Guests aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas may be surprised that their July 4, 2022 sailing does not operate on the initially planned itinerary, but instead visits the same ports, just in the reverse order. Guests have been notified of the change, which is impacting only the one cruise.
Freedom of the Seas Itinerary Change
In an email sent to booked guests and travel partners, Royal Caribbean International announced the itinerary change for the July 4 cruise aboard the Freedom-class Freedom of the Seas.
“Due to a change in itinerary planning, we’ve swapped the days we’ll visit Nassau, Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay, which means you’ll still get to enjoy the same destinations – just in a different order!” the email reads.
The ship’s new itinerary is visiting Nassau on Tuesday, July 5, followed by a day at sea, and then a visit to Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, CocoCay, on Thursday, July 7. This is a simple reversal of the original itinerary.
Freedom of the Seas will be docked in Nassau from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and in CocoCay from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Originally, the time in Nassau was to have been from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., so now guests will have two hours less to enjoy the capital of The Bahamas.
“Our Shore Excursions team will automatically reschedule any pre-paid Royal Caribbean International shore excursions for Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay impacted by this change,” the email said.
Additional shore tours are also available for booking, and guests can continue to schedule options to explore these amazing ports of call. Shore excursions can sell out quickly, especially the most popular options such as dolphin, sea lion, and stingray experiences.
Other tours available on this cruise include cultural, arts, and culinary tours, beach days, jeep adventures, snorkeling, scuba diving, wine making, harbor cruises, pirate experiences, ghost tours, and more.
This particular sailing of Freedom of the Seas is momentous, as it marks the one-year anniversary since the ship returned to service following the global cruise industry shutdown.
Why the Change?
It is not unusual for cruise lines to adjust itineraries prior to sailing, or even during cruises as needed. This is especially common at the most popular cruise ports, which may need to shuffle schedules to accommodate different vessels.
If unforeseen issues come up, such as pier or harbor maintenance, staffing shortages, civil unrest, poor weather, or changes in commercial shipping traffic, cruise schedules may also need adjustment.
For this itinerary change, it is likely Royal Caribbean International is seeking to ensure greater exclusivity at its private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.
On July 5, the original day Freedom of the Seas was scheduled to visit, two other vessels – Symphony of the Seas and Independence of the Seas – are also scheduled for their perfect days. If all three ships were to visit simultaneously, this could mean as many as 15,000 guests would be on the island at once.
By moving the visit to July 7, however, Freedom of the Seas will have CocoCay to itself, which will give guests a much more enjoyable and exclusive experience, which is a great part of the attraction of visiting a “private” island.
In Nassau, Freedom of the Seas will now have more company in port, as Harmony of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Liberty are also scheduled to be docked on July 5.
Nassau is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world for passenger traffic, with more than 3.5 million visitors each year when cruise traffic is normal. This means the port is well-equipped to handle multiple ships and thousands of passengers each day.