Just this past Saturday, Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, left the shipyard for her conveyance in preparation for sea trials. Today, it was announced that the ship will begin sailing in May. However, Odyssey of the Seas will not be sailing her planned European itineraries this summer. Instead, the ship will sail from the new homeport of Haifa, Israel.
Odyssey of the Seas to Start Sailing in May from Israel
Odyssey of the Seas will offer Israeli passengers a variety of 3 to 7-night cruises to Greece and Cyprus. Itineraries will include visits to destinations like Santorini, Mykonos, and Athens. Further, in conjunction with Israel’s health and tourism authorities, Royal Caribbean will be the first to offer fully vaccinated sailings; both crew and guests above the age of 16 will be vaccinated against COVID-19.
President and CEO, Michael Bayley, stated “Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had our sights on for quite some time. We greatly appreciate the government of Israel for their collaboration and confidence in us to deliver memorable cruise experiences to their residents, and look forward to delivering on that promise aboard our newest ship.”
Israeli residents can begin bookings as of March 9th.
Of course, this means that the original European sailings with scheduled departure dates from May 9th to October 28th, 2021 have been cancelled. Guests with impacted itineraries will have the option to request a refund of the funds paid, Lift & Shift to any 2022 sailing of their choice, or receive a 125% Future Cruise Credit. Plus, guests who take the FCC or Lift & Shift options will receive an additional $100 of onboard credit.
Odyssey of the Seas is still scheduled to debut in the United States in November 2021.
Odyssey of the Seas Highlights
Odyssey of the Seas is the second ship in the Quantum Ultra Class, sister ship to Spectrum of the Seas. The ship will feature two familiar favorites from the Quantum Class ships, the RipCord by iFLY sky diving simulator and the North Star aerial capsule offering 360 degree views from 300 feet above sea level. Other thrills include the Sky Pad bungee trampoline experience and the Flowrider surf simulator.
Odyssey of the Seas will also be home to the SeaPlex, the largest and most revolutionary indoor space at sea. This area will feature a roller skating rink and bumper cars. In addition, it will be home to Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade with club-level views of the competition below.
Cruisers who love the pool deck on the newly amplified ships in the fleet can rejoice. Odyssey of the Seas will have a similar two-level resort style pool area. It will feature two resort style pools, whirlpools, and plenty of comfy lounge options like shaded casitas and hammocks. Also, the newly popular two-story Lime & Coconut bar will serve up your favorite island drinks day and night.
The kids will enjoy the reimagined Adventure Ocean kids program. While the teens will enjoy Social180. This lounge will feature gaming consoles, music, movies, and an outdoor wraparound deck with ocean views.
Keeping pace with other contemporary cruise lines, Royal Caribbean will now have a dedicated restaurant to serve up Far East flavors in a traditional Japanese cooking style, Teppanyaki. It will also feature the cruise line’s first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, which offers rustic Italian dishes including wood-fired pizzas paired with Italian wines in a modern setting. We loved the reimagined Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen on Freedom of the Seas!
Given the CDC’s lack of forward motion in the United States, do you think more cruise lines will seek out foreign homeports? What do you think about Royal Caribbean’s decision to sail the brand new Odyssey of the Seas from Israel? Drop us an anchor below to share your thoughts.