Royal Caribbean Adjusts Itinerary Amid Operational Challenges

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Royal Caribbean International announced an update to the itinerary of Spectrum of the Seas‘ March 5, 2025, 4-night roundtrip cruise from Shanghai, China.

Originally set to include a stop at Jeju Island (also referred to as Cheju Island) in South Korea en route to Nagasaki, Japan, the cruise will now modify its schedule due to unforeseen operational difficulties in Jeju.

In a recent notice to the ships’ 4,905 passengers, the cruise line detailed the operational challenges at Jeju’s Seogwipo Gangjeong Cruise Port, prompting a reevaluation of the planned stop. Royal Caribbean will now skip the call and spend an extra day at sea, turning the two-destination cruise into a one-destination getaway.

Royal Caribbean's Spectrum of the Seas Cruise Ship
Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: mokjc)

“After exploring all options, and to provide you with the best experience, we’ll now enjoy a Sea Day instead,”stated the cruise line in a letter. “To help make up for the changes, we’ve added two (2) extra hours to our visit to Nagasaki, Japan, so you can explore everything this beautiful destination has to offer.”

The letter went on to apologize for the inconvenience and highlighted offerings for sea day, including surf and boogie boarding on ship’s twin FlowRiders, skydiving sessions at RipCord by iFLY, and lounging at the pool bar.

The revised itinerary begins in Shanghai on March 5, 2025, with the ship setting sail at 4:30 p.m. After a day of cruising, guests will arrive in Nagasaki on March 7, 2025, at 7 a.m. and have until 7 p.m. to enjoy the city. The cruise will conclude with another day at sea before returning to Shanghai on March 9, 2025.

Any excursions booked on Jeju Island will automatically be cancelled and refunded to guests’ original form of payment. Any individually booked excursions will need to be modified by passengers at their own expense.

Jeju’s Seogwipo Port

Jeju Island’s cruise port, Seogwipo Gangjeong Cruise Port, is the largest cruise facility on the island and has been operational since 2017. Designed to accommodate two 220,000-gross-ton cruise ships simultaneously, the port is part of South Korea’s growing cruise market, which is expected to reach $46.91 million in 2024.

Strategically in the southern part of the island, the port is near the Jungmun Tourist Complex and nearby Downtown Seogqipo, known for its natural scenery and vibrant shopping streets.

Jeju port
Jeju port (Photo Credit: Artem Pachkovskyi)

Jeju itself is often referred to as the “Hawaii of Korea.” The island boasts stunning natural sites, including Mount Hallasan, a dormant volcano recognized as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

Other attractions include Cheonjeyeon Waterfall, accessible via the Seonimgyo arch bridge, and Manjanggul Cave, an extensive underground lave tunnel.

Read Also: Costa Cruises Unveils New Asia Itineraries for Winter 2025-26

The operational issues Royal Caribbean International is encountering have not been revealed, and the port is not currently listing construction or expansion issues that could be causing the itinerary change, although Spectrum of the Seas is the largest passenger ship scheduled to arrive at the island in March 2025, weighing 168,666 gross tons.

Other cruises calling on that month include Norwegian Cruise Line’s nearly 76,000-gross-ton Norwegian Spirit, arriving on March 11 and 14; Silversea’s 40,8791-gross-ton Silver Muse, arriving on March 13 and 23AIDA Cruises’ 71,300-gross-ton AIDAstella, arriving on March 20; and Seabourn’s 32,000-gross-ton Quest, arriving on March 21.

Spectrum of the Seas is also scheduled to visit the island on March 17. The cruise line has not altered that itinerary.

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