When Royal Caribbean International announced it would send its newest vessel, Quantum of the Seas, to home port in Shanghai, starting in June 2015, it set off a domino effect of changes throughout the cruise brand’s deployment.
|A map of the line's revised deployment schedule // Infographic by Royal Caribbean|
Since the line then needed another vessel to operate New York winter sailings to Bermuda and the Caribbean, it decided to send Liberty of the Seas, a Freedom-class vessel, to Cape Liberty, NJ, for summer 2015. Then in winter 2015-2016, it will replace that ship in the New York market with Quantum’s sister vessel, Anthem of the Seas.
However, Anthem of the Seas had previously been slated to sail from Port Everglades, FL, in winter 2015-2016 after its inaugural U.K. sailings from Southampton. So now Royal Caribbean says it will put the recently revitalized Navigator of the Seas in Port Everglades in November 2015 to sail the winter season. It will move the ship from Galveston, TX.
A Voyager-class ship, Navigator of the Seas will offer six- to eight-night western Caribbean sailings from Port Everglades, along with Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Independence of the Seas.
Here’s a link to the announcement by Royal Caribbean with all the schedule changes.
Royal Caribbean’s corporate officials faced the media on Thursday morning in a press briefing to explain all the moves and the philosophy behind them. While the line's leaders were enthusiastic about the changes and the increase in China service, some reporters expressed disappointment in the line’s decision – in particular to move a new ship like Quantum of the Seas from New York. There was also concern about moving a new ship, Anthem of the Seas, from Port Everglades -- thus changing plans mid-stream.