Royal Caribbean International has reached out to guests booked aboard the October 22, 2023 sailing of Explorer of the Seas to notify them of a two-hour change in the ship’s departure from Venice (Ravenna), Italy.
The significant change in time means that guests may need to alter their arrival plans to ensure they reach the ship in time for sailaway.
Early Departure for Explorer of the Seas
Royal Caribbean has notified guests that the October 22, 2023 Explorer of the Seas cruise – a 7-night “Italy & Adriatic” itinerary – will be departing Ravenna two hours earlier than initially scheduled. The ship will now set sail at 5 p.m. rather than 7 p.m.
“To maintain a safe and comfortable speed along our journey, we’ve adjusted our departure time from Venice (Ravenna), Italy,” the email reads.
While there are no other changes to the itinerary at this time, this does mean that guests may need to adjust their pre-cruise plans in order to arrive on time for embarkation. All travelers must arrive no later than 90 minutes before the ship’s published sailing time, in this case, by 3:30 p.m.
If guests are planning to arrive in Italy several days prior to the cruise, it can be a simple matter to adjust train tickets or other transportation options to accommodate this change, but guests flying in the day of the cruise may need to check options from their airport to the cruise port to ensure they have adequate time to reach the cruise terminal.
If travelers are planning to explore Venice earlier in the day before traveling to the cruise port, they should note that the travel time between Venice and Ravenna is approximately two hours, but could be longer due to traffic, road construction, or other obstacles.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this,” the email concludes. “Nevertheless, we’re excited to sail away with you!”
After leaving Ravenna, the ship’s itinerary includes six amazing ports of call: Split, Croatia; Bari, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Greece; Sicily, Italy; and Naples (Capri), Italy, before arriving in Rome (Civitavecchia) for debarkation.
Explorer of the Seas is a 138,194-gross ton, Explorer-class vessel, which can welcome 3,114 guests at double occupancy or as many as 3,840 passengers when fully booked.
The ship is currently based in Ravenna offering Greek Isles, Adriatic, and Croatia cruises, but will move to Miami in November to begin a winter season of Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings.
Why Leave Early?
Other than “to maintain a safe and comfortable speed” there is no explanation given for why Explorer of the Seas will be leaving port two hours earlier than planned.
It is possible that other marine traffic in the area is impacting the ship’s schedule, or else the between-ports route must be adjusted for local sailing conditions.
Local port operations, such as dredging or maintenance work, may also impact how ships can move nearby, including what speeds they can operate at, and so might impact Explorer of the Seas‘ departure time.
At this time, no other cruise departure times have been changed, but guests booked to sail from Venice in the coming weeks will want to stay in close contact with their cruise line to be alerted to any schedule adjustments.