Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
MIAMI — Royal Caribbean International will debut new ship pairings in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico as part of its 2020-21 winter season, the details of which have just been released.
Here are some key highlights:
GALVESTON AND SAN JUAN
Big news for the Lone Star state – Adventure of the Seas will call Texas home for the first time in 2020, becoming the largest ship sailing short getaways from Galveston. Passengers will find ‘only-on-Royal’ features, including Splashaway Bay and the Perfect Storm waterslides, while visiting Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. The ship will join Liberty of the Seas, which will be sailing seven-night Caribbean cruises year-round from Galveston.
Enchantment of the Seas will sail south for the winter to homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the first time, following its summer season in Galveston. It will sail seven-night itineraries from San Juan to the Southern Caribbean, including Barbados and Dominica.
San Juan will continue to be the year-round homeport for Freedom of the Seas, which will be newly reimagined in March 2020 as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization program.
Following its multimillion-dollar transformation and summer season in Europe, the amplified Explorer of the Seas will return to Miami with enhanced nightlife and activities. It will sail five- and nine-night cruises from Miami to far-flung islands like Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba, as well as Royal Caribbean’s private destination in Labadee, Haiti. Select five-night sailings will visit the company’s highly anticipated private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas.
Independence of the Seas will return to Fort Lauderdale in November 2020, sailing four- and five-night short getaways to the Western Caribbean and Nassau, as well as select sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Vision of the Seas will offer 10- and 11-night cruises from Fort Lauderdale to the Southern Caribbean, including St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Thomas, San Juan, Antigua and St. Maarten (on 10-night itineraries), and Oranjestad, Aruba (on 11 nights).
Rhapsody of the Seas returns to its homeport in Tampa in 2020 and will sail regular seven-night itineraries that call on hotspots like Grand Cayman, Belize and Mexico.
Also returning to Tampa is Brilliance of the Seas, which will join Rhapsody for the season, continuing a mix of four- and five-night sailings to the Western Caribbean.
Seasonal winter Caribbean itineraries will be open to book this week. Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members will have access to book one day prior to the general opening date.