Final Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Restarts, All 26 Vessels Now Back in Service

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The “Royal Comeback” is complete as Royal Caribbean International has welcomed all 26 of its cruise ships back into passenger service.

The final ship to restart, Rhapsody of the Seas, greeted its first guests in more than two years as it began its summer Mediterranean season on May 23, bringing the full Royal Caribbean fleet back to sailing.

Rhapsody of the Seas Resumes Sailing

The Vision-class Rhapsody of the Seas welcomed guests embarking in Civitavecchia, Italy today, as the ship begins its first passenger sailing in more than two years.

The ship is sailing a 7-night, one-way itinerary between Civitavecchia (Rome) and Piraeus (Athens), Greece. Along the way, guests will have the opportunity to explore amazing ports in Italy, Turkey, and Greece, including Salerno, Santorini, and Mykonos.

Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas
Photo Credit: LukeandKarla.Travel / Shutterstock

Through the summer, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer a range of 7-night Mediterranean itineraries, with embarkation ports including Rome, Ravenna, Barcelona, and Athens. In early August, the ship will reposition to Haifa, Israel, where it will then offer Cyprus and Greek Isles sailings from 3-8 nights.

In late November, Rhapsody of the Seas will move to Barbados, offering Southern Caribbean island hopping adventures through the winter, before returning to the Mediterranean in spring 2023.

Full Fleet Back in Service

The return of Rhapsody of the Seas marks a momentous day, bringing the full fleet of 26 ships back to guest service. Royal Caribbean was the first major cruise line to resume sailing, when Quantum of the Seas began sailing from Singapore in December 2020.

In North America, the first Royal Caribbean ship to resume was Adventure of the Seas, which began sailing from Nassau, The Bahamas on June 12, 2021. From United States homeports, Freedom of the Seas began sailing from Miami on June 20, 2021.

Odyssey of the Seas
Odyssey of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz)

Over the past 11 months, the cruise line has gradually phased in its remaining ships in different parts of the world, and is now sailing globally with all 26 vessels.

This is the same size fleet that first suspended service in March 2020, though the 26 cruise ships are not the same as those that ceased sailing when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Two older ships – Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas – were sold during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, two amazing new vessels – the Quantum-ultra class Odyssey of the Seas and the largest cruise ship in the world, the Oasis-class Wonder of the Seas – joined the fleet. Both ships offer new innovations and features for guests to enjoy, bringing great updates to the reenergized cruise line.

Enjoying Rhapsody of the Seas

Though the last ship to resumes service was built in 1997 and is not as flashy as its newest fleet-mates, guests who were finally able to return to Rhapsody of the Seas will not be disappointed.

Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

The ship is one of the smallest in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, weighing just 78,878 gross tons, and measuring 915 feet long and 116 feet wide.

This smaller size allows the ship to visit more intimate ports and offer guests a classic sailing experience without overwhelming crowds, as the vessel’s capacity is just 1,998 guests at double occupancy, and 2,416 when fully booked.

Also Read: Royal Caribbean Extends Protocols for Sailings in North America and Europe

Yet Rhapsody of the Seas still delivers the outstanding amenities Royal Caribbean is known for, including the signature rock climbing wall, poolside movies, the Vitality Spa & Fitness Center, amazing dining, relaxing Solarium, and more. Onboard, 765 international crew members provide exceptional service to exceed guests’ expectations for an amazing oceangoing getaway.

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