It has been an eventful year for Royal Caribbean and the entire cruise industry. However, the Miami-based cruise line is not done yet; before we close out the year, one more vessel will start cruising—Enchantment of the Seas sails today from Baltimore.
The Vision-class ship will be sailing an itinerary to the Bahamas and the Southern Caribbean. She is the third ship to restart operations this month after Grandeur of the Seas set sail from Barbados and Brilliance of the Seas started operations from Tampa.
Enchantment of the Seas will depart Baltimore today and set sail towards Cape Canaveral, where she will arrive on Christmas Day. The last cruise ship to restart operations this year has been on operational pause since March of last year, now 19 months ago.
Other ports on her first cruise back include a day in Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas, and guests will be able to enjoy two full days at Fun Day at CocoCay.
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The cruise ship will remain in Baltimore for the entire of 2022 and through March 2023, enabling guests to enjoy a wide range of cruises to The Bahamas and the Southern Caribbean, while from next year, cruises to Bermuda are also scheduled. The first 12-day Eastern and Southern Caribbean cruise will sail on January 12, 2022.
“We are excited to welcome the Enchantment of the Seas back to Maryland and the Port of Baltimore,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Royal Caribbean’s decision to continue year-round sailings is a strong vote of confidence in Maryland and our cruise market. The Port of Baltimore’s cruise terminal enjoys a wonderful location off Interstate 95, allowing convenient access from the Mid-Atlantic into the Midwest.”
Departing Baltimore, guests can enjoy three full days at sea before arriving at Saint Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Next up are St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Kitts, followed by three more days at sea.
The 1996-built vision class Enchantment of the Seas might be getting on a bit in years; she still offers a tremendous amount of fun. The vessel was refurbished in 2005, where she received a significant overhaul, making her longer through adding a mid-ship extension. A further refurbishment in 2012 added more of the modern conveniences demanded by the cruising public.
The 82,910 gross ton, 2446-passenger Enchantment of the Seas is the third Royal Caribbean cruise ship to commence sailings this month. Earlier this month, Grandeur of the Seas sailed for the first time after the operational pause from Bridgetown in Barbados. From here, she is offering 7- and 14-night Southern Caribbean sailings.
Brilliance of the Seas also sailed for the first time this month from Tampa, Florida. She is sailing on a series of Bahamas and Western Caribbean cruises.
The huge increases in cases of COVID-19 worldwide have certainly placed question marks around the question of whether a cruise is the best idea right now. Those that are worried can rest easy though. Enchantment of the Seas, and indeed a cruise ship from any of the major cruise lines, is one of the safest places to take a vacation right now.
Guests must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before the start of the cruise, they will also need to show a negative Antigen of PCR test result taken no more than two days before sailing, and masks are mandatory inside the ships at all times.
As we’ve seen in recent weeks, infections can still happen onboard, but the cruise lines are doing their utmost to find and isolate those cases as soon as possible. In many cases, this seems to be working extraordinarily well.
The arrival of Enchantment of the Seas gives guests in the Baltimore area a wider choice of cruises. Carnival Legend offers cruises from Baltimore to The Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean, with Enchantment of the Seas adding Charleston, Bermuda, additional ports in the Bahamas, and the Southern Caribbean.