Royal Caribbean International has informed travel agents and impacted guests it will not be deploying Serenade of the Seas in Europe in 2023. The vessel had been scheduled to sail two Atlantic Crossings and a series of cruises from Copenhagen to the Baltic area.
The cruise line has canceled all voyages between May and September and says the ship will be redeployed to sail from a port in Florida.
Serenade of the Seas Europe Season Canceled
This week, Royal Caribbean International informed guests that Serenade of the Seas will not be heading to Europe for its summer deployment in 2023.
Citing increasing uncertainty on the situation in Ukraine and the possibility of calling in St. Petersburg, Russia, the cruise line has decided to keep Serenade of the Seas in the United States.
The season consisted of cruises departing from Copenhagen, Denmark, and Stockholm, Sweden, including two transatlantic voyages from May 2023 through September 2023. These will now be replaced by a series of cruises from a homeport in Florida.
Which homeport that would be is unclear. However, Serenade of the Seas is scheduled to sail from Tampa, Florida, from October 2022, through March 2023. It could be that Royal Caribbean would keep Serenade of the Seas in Tampa.
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In a letter to guests, the cruise line explains the situation that made them make the decision: “We’re continuously monitoring events taking place around the world, including the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Our original plan for Serenade of the Seas was to offer sailings departing from Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden starting May 21st, 2023.”
“However, with the increased uncertainty of visiting St. Petersburg, Russia, we’ve reviewed our upcoming 2023 deployment and decided to reposition Serenade of the Seas to a new homeport in Florida for our Summer 2023 season.”
While many guests will be disappointing, the decision from Royal Caribbean is understandable. St. Petersburg, Russia, is often the highlight for many on Baltic voyages. To make up for the disappointment, Royal Caribbean is offering guests several alternatives.
Rebooking and Refunding Options For Serenade Of The Seas Guests
Guests who had booked one of the voyages in Europe, or one of the transatlantic voyages, can rebook to sail onboard a different vessel in the same period. These include four transatlantic voyages.
Guests can rebook to sail a 12-Night Transatlantic cruise onboard Jewel of the Seas from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Another option is a 15-Night Portugal & Spain Crossing onboard Explorer of the Seas from Miami, Florida, to Civitavecchia, Italy.
Guests looking for a bigger ship can choose to sail onboard Odyssey of the Seas on a 14-night transatlantic cruise from Fort Lauderdale to La Spezia, Italy, or an 11-night Transatlantic cruise onboard Anthem of the Seas from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, to Southampton, England.
Guests who decide to rebook will have a protected cruise fare; if the new cruise is cheaper, they will receive a refund. Guests will also receive an onboard credit of $100 for Interior, Ocean View, and Balcony staterooms and $200 for Suites.
This is on top of a refund for any non-refundable transport costs guests have already made, plus $200 for domestic and $400 for international flight changes.
Other options are rebooking for any sailing onboard a Royal Caribbean ship, although guests will be responsible for paying the fare difference. Lastly, guests can also receive a full refund of all monies paid for the cruise.
The cancelation of the summer season for Serenade of the Seas is the second time Royal Caribbean has decided not to sail to Russian ports. Earlier this year, Voyager of the Seas cruises were canceled due to the situation in Ukraine.