Royal Caribbean Itinerary Change Drops World’s Most Popular Port

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas will no longer be visiting the world's most popular port of Miami, Florida as part of an adjusted sailing.

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Royal Caribbean International has altered a February 2024 itinerary for Anthem of the Seas, dropping the world’s most popular cruise port – Miami, Florida – from the schedule. No port substitution has been made, but time has been extended in two other ports to compensate and give guests more time to enjoy their destinations.

Anthem of the Seas Itinerary Change

The impacted sailing has a departure date of Saturday, February 17, 2024, sailing roundtrip from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on an 8-night voyage. Royal Caribbean International has contacted booked guests via email to inform them of the itinerary change.

“Great news! We’ve modified our itinerary to give you extra time in Orlando (Port Canaveral) and Nassau, Bahamas,” the email read. “We hope you’re as excited as we are to explore everything these destinations have to offer!”

The Quantum-class Anthem of the Seas was to have visited Miami, Florida on Thursday, February 22, as the last port of call for the sailing. That visit has been dropped from the itinerary entirely.

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: LD Media UK / Shutterstock

Two other ports of call – Port Canaveral and Nassau – have changed dates for the ship’s visit. Originally, Port Canaveral was planned for February 19 and Nassau for February 20, and now the ports will be visited on February 20 and February 22, respectively.

The ship’s planned visit to CocoCay, Royal Caribbean International’s private island destination in The Bahamas, is unchanged for Wednesday, February 21.

Guests booked on similar sailings aboard Anthem of the Seas with different departure dates should be alert for possible itinerary changes as well.

Port Times Lengthened

In addition to changing the dates for Port Canaveral and Nassau, both port calls have also been lengthened. The original time in Port Canaveral was to have been from noon until 8 p.m., but now the ship will be docked from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., an extension of three hours.

In Nassau, the original schedule also had the ship docked from noon until 8 p.m., and the new time has been changed to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., an extra hour for guests to enjoy the colorful capital city of The Bahamas.

These time extensions help compensate for the loss of Miami as a port of call. The ship was to have visited the south Florida city from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

No substitute port has been added to the schedule, and instead, guests will have an extra day at sea to enjoy all that Anthem of the Seas has to offer. No other changes have been made to the itinerary, and the departure and arrival times from New Jersey remain the same.

No Explanation Offered

Royal Caribbean International has not offered any explanation for the itinerary change, other than “to give you extra time” in the ports of call.

Because Miami was to have been the last port of call on the itinerary, it may be that consideration of customs regulations have been a factor in removing the visit.

After a foreign port of call – Nassau and CocoCay – all guests would be required to process through customs prior to debarking the ship for a visit in Miami (even guests who plan to remain onboard), which could cause significant delays, especially if the port is hosting multiple ships for debarkation and embarkation that day.

Anthem of the Seas in New York
Photo Credit: Michelangelo DeSantis / Shutterstock.com

Anthem of the Seas can welcome as many as 4,180 guests at double occupancy, and up to 4,905 cruisers when fully booked. PortMiami is the world’s busiest cruise ship homeport, which ensures the port is often busy, but it is not typically a favorite port of call.

Because Miami is the second largest city in Florida and the ninth largest in the United States if the full metropolitan area is included, it can be challenging to arrange shore excursions that cruise guests enjoy. If customs processing creates additional delays, time for shore tours can be even further shortened.

Port Canaveral, on the other hand, offers a wide range of attractions that can be more easily reached, such as the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the Brevard Zoo, stunning beaches, airboat rides, Orlando’s theme parks, and more.

With the extra three hours in Port Canaveral, Anthem of the Seas guests will have more opportunity to take advantage of the available tours and see all the sights of central Florida and the Space Coast.

Royal Caribbean International will be adding shore excursions to the sailing in the coming months, giving guests plenty of time to make plans for a fantastic cruise vacation.

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