With the last ship in Royal Caribbean International’s fleet resuming service this week, the Royal Comeback is complete – but what does that really mean?
The cruise line has welcomed more than two million passengers back to amazing cruises, but the numbers mean so much more.
Two Million Guests
Since the first Royal Caribbean vessel began sailing with guests to officially end the global pause of cruise vacations, the full fleet of 26 ships has welcomed more than two million passengers around the world. This began with Quantum of the Seas sailing from Singapore in December 2020, after a full fleet shutdown of 10 months.
Over the next 17 months, Royal Caribbean gradually phased in its ships all over the world, once again offering outstanding vacations in Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Canada, and more.
Rhapsody of the Seas is the final ship in the fleet to have resumed service, offering Mediterranean itineraries for the summer with a schedule that will take the ship to Israel, the Greek Isles, Barbados, and the southern Caribbean through the rest of 2022.
Now, the cruise line is offering cruise getaways from a total of 24 homeports around the world, bringing guests to 137 different ports of call, from private islands to bustling metropolises.
In addition to such a great comeback from the complete stop in operations, Royal Caribbean International has added even more numbers to its impressive resumption of service.
Two New Ships
Despite shipyard delays, worker shortages, and supply chain issues, Royal Caribbean has been able to welcome two outstanding new ships to the fleet even as cruise vacations have continued to resume.
The Quantum-Ultra-class Odyssey of the Seas debuted with great fanfare in July 2021, bringing exciting new thrills to guests eager to set sail again. Then, in March 2022, the record-breaking Wonder of the Seas set sail and took her place as the world’s largest cruise ship.
Both ships brought new incredible experiences to guests, just when passengers have been most eager to return to cruises, visit new places, and reconnect with family and friends through group travel.
Royal Caribbean is cruising full steam ahead on new ships, with both the new class Icon of the Seas and sixth Oasis-class ship Utopia of the Seas already under construction, with expected deliveries in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
Two additional Icon-class ships are also on order to continue expanding what is already the world’s largest cruise ship fleet.
Challenges Along the Way
The Royal Comeback hasn’t been without challenges, however. Particularly early in the resumption of service, the cruise line was forced to cancel sailings and contend with conflicting protocols and strict health safety measures from different ports of call.
In order to improve its financial stability at a time when there were very few cruises available, the cruise line also sold off two ships – the smaller, older Empress of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas – and parent company Royal Caribbean Group sold the entire Azamara cruise brand.
These bold moves helped the company stay strong to weather the challenges during the shutdown and the resumption of cruises.
The Omicron variant, changes in masking policies, shifting guidance from the CDC, updates to vaccination policies, and other challenges marked the pandemic for all cruise lines, but Royal Caribbean International remained confident and optimistic about the future.
Now, with the full fleet sailing, new ships on the way, and the busy summer season set to begin, there is no better time to set sail with Royal Caribbean for new adventures aboard some of the world’s most innovative and most popular cruise ships.