Just Announced: Royal Caribbean Cruise Restart Plans

Get all the details for the newly revealed Royal Caribbean cruise restart plans for cruises starting this July, including Odyssey of the Seas!



This afternoon, Royal Caribbean revealed its return to service plans for sailings from the United States. With this announcement, Royal Caribbean revealed itineraries for 6 ships that will begin sailing from Florida and Texas ports as early as July 2nd. These sailings are in addition to the already announced Alaska cruises on Serenade of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas. Now, we finally know the Royal Caribbean cruise restart plans in 2021.

The initial sailing for Royal Caribbean will be on the newly amplified Freedom of the Seas from Miami, Florida. This special Fourth of July weekend sailing will include a visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Following this highly anticipated restart, Odyssey of the Seas will begin her inaugural season on July 3rd. This brand new ship will sail 6 and 8-night Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale.

Further, additional Royal Caribbean ships will set sail from various ports throughout North America over the summer months. The cruise line’s plan is to have the entire fleet sailing by year’s end.

By the end of August, Royal Caribbean will have 8 ship sailing from U.S. home ports and 12 ships cruising once again across The Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe.

Royal Caribbean Test Cruise Feature

“This is it. Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone. I would like to sincerely thank our guests and travel partners for their incredible patience and understanding during this very difficult period. Thanks in large part to the successful rollout of vaccines, the world of adventure is beginning to open up, and we are all excited to start delivering great vacations to our guests, who have increasingly told us they are getting vaccinated. As of today, 90% of all vacationers booking with Royal Caribbean are either vaccinated or planning to get vaccinated in time for their cruise,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

“We also thank Governor DeSantis of Florida, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Broward County Mayor Steve Geller and Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority board Wayne Justice and board commissioners for their steadfast support of our industry and for providing access to vaccines to the thousands of crew on our ships off the eastern seaboard. This act of understanding and humanity has been deeply appreciated, and we are grateful for their support, which is enabling the health and safety of our guests, crew members and the communities we visit.”

The most exciting news is that many of these cruises will be available to book as soon as today.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Restart Plans

Royal Caribbean has announced some test cruises already for ships including, Freedom of the Seas, as well as Allure of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas. It was also suggested earlier that Mariner of the Seas and Independence of the Seas had received approval.

Test Cruises on ROyal Caribbean Feature

We already know that Serenade of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas will bypass the test cruise route to expedite the process of sailing in Alaska this summer. This means that these ships will need to comply with the vaccination requirement. Vacationers sailing to Alaska who are 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 or older as of August 1st.

This leaves us speculating as to whether Odyssey of the Seas will be required to complete a test cruise. Or, if the ship will also sail fully vaccinated for a portion of her inaugural season.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships Sailing This Summer in the U.S.

  • Freedom of the Seas* – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Miami, starting July 2
  • Odyssey of the Seas*– 6- and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, starting July 3
  • Serenade of the Seas – 7-night Alaska sailings from Seattle, starting July 19
  • Allure of the Seas– 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 8
  • Ovation of the Seas –7-night Alaska itineraries from Seattle, starting Aug. 13 
  • Symphony of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami, starting Aug. 14
  • Independence of the Seas*– 7-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas, starting Aug. 15
  • Mariner of the Seas – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 23

Now, some of these sailings are actually replacing existing itineraries. The sailings on Freedom the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas, and Independence of the Seas are replacements for existing itineraries on Navigator the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, and Liberty of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean will automatically transfer guests to the new ships for these sailings.

Harmony of the Seas Eastern Caribbean Cruise Review 2017

Further, Harmony of the Seas will return to cruising in Europe on August 15th. The ship will sail 7-night itineraries to the Western Mediterranean and visit iconic destinations like Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Provence, France.

These newly announced cruises are in addition to the previously announced itineraries on Adventure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, and Jewel of the Seas.

All crew members will be vaccinated on all Royal Caribbean ships.

The cruise line is strongly encouraging individuals that set sail to be fully vaccinated if they’re eligible. According to current health procedures, those without a vaccination will have to undergo testing as well as follow other protocols which will be announced at a later date.

Further, if departing from an international port, guests must meet the travel requirements of their home country and the country of departure. 

As the return to cruise process continues to evolve, Royal Caribbean will update guests with the health and safety measures for their specific sailings prior to the departure dates.

Unfortunately, Royal Caribbean did confirm cancellations for all other cruises in July and August. Cruises outside of those announced today will be cancelled through the end of August.


Are you planning to cruise with Royal Caribbean this summer? Do you think the Royal Caribbean cruise restart plans for 2021 are feasible? Drop us an anchor below with your thoughts on these newly announced cruises.

Stay up to date with the latest cruise news and travel updates!

Don Bucolo, or “DB”, loves everything about cruising- the ocean, the food, and the atmosphere. While he may be obsessed with doing extensive amounts of research on ships and all elements of a cruise, Don enjoys sharing his new found knowledge with fellow cruisers. When he is not sailing the high seas, he does whatever his wife tells him to do-it only took 10 years to realize this.
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