Royal Caribbean Shuffles Ships, Informs Guests on Replacement Cruises

Summer 2023 sailings are changing aboard both Voyager of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas as the ships are being repositioned.

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As Royal Caribbean International has reviewed 2023 deployment plans, the cruise line has opted to reposition Voyager of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas, causing some confusion about which ship will be where at what time. Fortunately, guests’ bookings are being protected and different options are available for these changed cruises.

Cruise Ships Swapped

In an email sent to travel partners and booked guests, Royal Caribbean has announced, “Our original plan for Voyager of the Seas was to offer sailings departing from Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden starting May 21, 2023. Instead, Voyager will now sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida beginning May 6, 2023.”

Instead, Serenade of the Seas will take Voyager‘s place with similar itineraries, sailing from Copenhagen on Northern European and Scandinavian voyages. According to the email, the new sailings “will still offer the same beautiful ports of call as [the] original cruise, and it’ll depart from the same destination.”

Guests who were initially booked on Voyager of the Seas will automatically be moved to the identical replacement sailing aboard Serenade of the Seas. Like-for-like stateroom categories will be protected, as will guests’ original cruise fare rates.

If the current price aboard Serenade of the Seas is less expensive than the comparable Voyager of the Seas fare already booked, guests will be provided a refund of the difference, even if the fare has already been paid in full. Refunds will be processed within 30 days, but processing dates may vary depending on financial institutions and how the fare was paid.

More Options Available

If passengers prefer not to sail aboard Serenade of the Seas, they can opt to rebook on any other Royal Caribbean ship or itinerary instead, without any change fee penalties. Guests will be responsible for any increase in fare prices, however, but if the new cruise is a lower price, they will still receive a refund.

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Akimov Igor / Shutterstock.com

Guests can also choose to cancel their cruise entirely with no cancelation penalties, even for non-refundable deposits. If a future cruise credit (FCC) was used for the booking, the original credit will be returned to guests’ accounts and any additional funds paid will be processed as a refund.

Regardless of the option chosen, guests must make their selection no later than May 18, 2022. While Royal Caribbean’s team has already begun moving reservations from Voyager of the Seas to Serenade of the Seas, guests still have time to make a different choice if they prefer.

“There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to shifting sailings and rebooking guests, so please bear with us as we work to make this process easier,” the email said. “Thank you for understanding and support.”

Which Ship Is Where?

Cruise lines often reshuffle ships because of changes in local port availability, booking popularity, dry dock schedules, or general fleet changes. These changes can be very challenging when they are last-minute, but as the switch from Voyager of the Seas to Serenade of the Seas is happening a year in advance, there is plenty of time for a smooth swap.

To clarify, Voyager of the Seas will no longer be sailing from Copenhagen or Stockholm starting in May 2023. Instead, the ship will be based from Fort Lauderdale, offering a variety of Caribbean itineraries from 6-8 nights.

Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas
Photo Credit: Yevgen Belich / Shutterstock

At this time, no changes have been announced for the ship’s fall sailings from Port Canaveral, scheduled to begin on November 10, 2023.

Serenade of the Seas was previously scheduled to sail from Barcelona beginning in May 2023, but is instead taking over Voyager of the Seas‘ Northern European and Scandinavian itineraries. The ship’s fall 2023 deployment and itineraries have not yet been announced.

No replacement ship for the Barcelona departures has been announced, but those plans may yet be developed.

Voyager and Serenade – How Do the Ships Compare?

Regardless of where passengers are sailing, both Voyager of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas offer amazing features and activities to enjoy.

Voyager of the Seas is the namesake of the line’s Voyager class, weighing in at 138,194 gross tons and able to accommodate 3,114 guests at double occupancy, and up to 3,840 passengers when fully booked.

Serenade of the Seas is part of the somewhat smaller Radiance class, weighing 90,090 gross tons, with a double occupancy capacity of 2,146 guests and a maximum capacity of up to 2,476 travelers.

Both ships have specialty restaurants, bars, lounges, pools, whirlpools, spa facilities, fitness centers, and other great choices for guests, including the cruise line’s iconic rock climbing wall, FlowRider surf simulator, waterslides, and miniature golf. Voyager of the Seas also features the popular ice rink.

Voyager of the Seas was last updated and renovated in 2020, while Serenade of the Seas was refreshed in early 2022. With these recent updates, both ships are ready to welcome guests with all of Royal Caribbean’s signature fun and exemplary service, no matter where in the world they sail.

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