Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas is the second Quantum-Ultra Class ship. Originally scheduled to debut in the fall of 2020, the ship’s maiden season was delayed due to COVID-19. Now, it appears that there will be further changes to its first sailings. Actually, this is good news for those in the U.S.! It appears that Odyssey of the Seas will arrive in the U.S. earlier than expected.
Odyssey of the Seas Arrives in the U.S. Early
Odyssey of the Seas Inaugural Cruises
Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas was set to debut from its homeport of Fort Lauderdale, FL in November 2020. However, COVID-19 led to a delay until April 2021.
At that time, Royal Caribbean announced a series of Mediterranean cruises planned to visit ports including Italy, Greece, Israel, and Turkey. These original sailings included a number of 7-, 9- and 12-night itineraries. Then, the cruise ship would arrive in the U.S. for November 2021 to begin its Caribbean season.
Although, given the ongoing global health crisis, and vaccination status in the European Union, Royal Caribbean decided to move Odyssey of the Seas to a new homeport.
Instead, Royal Caribbean announced in March 2021 that Odyssey of the Seas would homeport in Haifa, Israel. These cruises would be only for Israeli residents who were fully vaccinated. In fact, this was the first ship to announce a fully vaccinated cruise including both passengers and crew.
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Odyssey of the Seas Arrives in U.S Early
However, given the recent political unrest in Israel, it was recently rumored that Odyssey of the Seas’ itineraries might be changing again.
Well, these rumors have been confirmed by onboard crew. According to crew reports, the cruise line has cancelled these Israeli cruises. The captain announced over the PA that the cruise line will reposition the ship out of the region. The growing conflict between Israel and Palestine appears to be the root cause of this swift decision.
Currently, Odysseys of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas are conducting ship-to-ship transfers in Cyprus. Crew that do not have U.S. visas are being transferred to Anthem of the Seas. Anthem of the Seas will then head to the U.K. to begin offering summer cruises.
After the crew transfer is complete, Odyssey of the Seas will then head to Port Canaveral, FL.
Now, we are still waiting on official word from Royal Caribbean regarding these reports.
Although, this could mean that this brand-new cruise ship could begin offering cruises from the U.S. this summer. Odyssey of the Seas might be one of the first ships from Royal Caribbean to resume cruising right here in the United States!
Given the recent CDC cruise announcement regarding testing, we suspect that Odyssey of the Seas could begin offering fully vaccinated cruises this summer from a temporary homeport in Port Canaveral.
Of course, we will keep you updated as this story develops.
What do you think of Odyssey of the Seas arriving early in the U.S.? Would you sail on a vaccinated cruise on this ship this summer? Drop us an anchor below with your thoughts about this latest change to the ship’s schedule.