Royal Caribbean announces return of sailing from Florida, Texas

First cruise from Port Canaveral set for August

Royal Caribbean gets go-ahead from CDC to begin test cruising

Royal Caribbean cruise line announced the return of sailing from Florida and Texas on Friday. The company had previously announced a return of its Alaskan cruises in May.

According to a news release, the cruise line is planning summer sailings on six of its ships. The first of these comeback trips will disembark from Miami on July 2 with the ship Freedom of the Seas embarking on a special Fourth of July weekend sailing.

The first sailing out of Port Canaveral will be a 7-night trip starting on Aug. 8. with another sailing planned to start on Aug. 23.

The company said it plans to have 12 of its ships sailing again by the end of August.

“In the coming weeks, the cruise line will announce its plans to reintroduce its full fleet around the globe by year’s end. The 2021 summer cruises are available to book today,” the news release read.

Here is Royal Caribbean’s full summer lineup:

  • Freedom of the Seas*3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Miami, starting July 2
  • Odyssey of the Seas* – 6- and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, starting July 3
  • Serenade of the Seas – 7-night Alaska sailings from Seattle, starting July 19
  • Allure of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 8
  • Ovation of the Seas 7-night Alaska itineraries from Seattle, starting Aug. 13
  • Symphony of the Seas7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami, starting Aug. 14
  • Independence of the Seas* – 7-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas, starting Aug. 15
  • Mariner of the Seas3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 23

The company said all crew members will be vaccinated against COVID-19. Guests are “strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible,” according to the release.

People who are unvaccinated or cannot verify their vaccination will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing and “follow other protocols, which will be announced at a later date.”

People planning to sail out of Alaska who are 16 or older must be fully vaccinated, according to Royal Caribbean, and that will extend to anyone 12 and older starting Aug. 1.

The company said any cruises outside of those announced Friday are cancelled through the end of August and guests who are impacted may receive a full refund.

Friday’s announcement comes one day after Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley announced on Facebook that the cruise line has gotten approval from the CDC for simulated sailings as soon as next month.

“Yippee. Just got approval from the CDC for our simulated sailings on Allure of the Seas for July 27 to July 29 from Port Canaveral and Symphony of the Seas sailing from Miami on August 1st to 3rd,” Bayley wrote in the post.

Just a few days ago, the cruise line announced that it got approval from the CDC to host a simulated cruise on the ship Freedom of the Seas June 20-22. The CDC approval letter posted to Facebook by Bayley didn’t say from which port that ship will be sailing.

Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines across the country suspended sailings in March 2020 as coronavirus cases first began popping up in the U.S.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.