This week in the cruise industry has seen some major new announcements regarding Florida homeports.
Royal Caribbean released the details on the first Caribbean itineraries for the Odyssey of the Seas, which will become the first Quantum Ultra class ship to homeport in North America when it begins sailing from Fort Lauderdale in November 2020. The ship will offer a schedule of eight- and six-night itineraries; the eight-night sailings will call at Aruba and Curacao, while the six-night sailings will call at Cozumel, Grand Cayman and the cruise line’s private island destination of Perfect Day at CocoCay. Bookings for the new Caribbean cruises are open now.
MSC Cruises, meanwhile, announced plans for an entirely new North American homeport in the state: Tampa. The company will deploy the MSC Armonia to the city as of November 11, 2020, when the ship will begin offering year-round cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico and the Bahamas. During the winter season, running from November 2020 through April 2021, the ship will sail a schedule of short four- to five-night cruises, while during the summer season from May 2021 through November 2021, the ship will sail week-long itineraries. The cruises will call at Key West, Cozumel, Progreso and the new private island destination of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, with the option to book back-to-back sailings for a nine- or 10-night vacation option. The ship will also offer several seven-night cruise options in December 2020, including Christmas and New Years.