Royal Caribbean International has just announced an extensive season of short Caribbean and Bahamas cruises for the winter of 2015-16. The cruises, offered on a trio of different class vessels, sail from three different Florida ports, and offer durations from three to five days in all.
The biggest- quite literally- of the options are offered on the old ex-UK stalwart, Independence Of The Seas. The popular and commodious ‘Indy’ operates three different itineraries from Port Everglades; one of four nights, and two five night runs.
The four night voyages showcase the popular Yucatan port of Cozumel. One of the five night runs offers calls at both Belize and Cozumel, while the second highlights Falmouth, Jamaica, as well as the private Royal Caribbean resort of Labadee, on Haiti.
These are some of the best short cruises on offer in the region, combining exotic and landmark destinations with enough sea time to sample the diverse dining opportunities and dazzling nightlife and entertainment options aboard one of the most completely equipped resort cruise ships in the world. I expect this programme to be hugely popular.
Not to be outdone, Port Canaveral offers the enhanced Vision class Enchantment Of The Seas. The ship- the only one of the six ship, late nineties built class to be (thus far) lengthened, will offer three and four night cruises from that port to both Nassau and the line’s private Bahamian island at Coco Cay, with the four night cruises also offering an extra day at sea.
These short, invigorating breaks aboard a classy ship offer the alluring option of adding a stay at any of the numerous Florida theme parks, including the amazing Kennedy Space Centre.
Finally, Royal Caribbean is offering departures year round from Miami aboard the still elegant, immaculately maintained Majesty Of The Seas (see my previous blogs for a review and separarte photo album of this ship). Majesty Of The Seas is the last of the Sovereign trio, the pioneer class of mega ships developed for the line during the late eighties.
She offers three night cruises that offer calls at Coco Cay and Nassau, and a more mellow, four night Monday departure that adds feisty, bohemian Key West to the first two ports of call. This is a well regimented, destination intensive ‘fun run’ on a ship that was recently refurbished, and still offers more than enough bells and whistles to make sailing her an enjoyable experience. The only qualifier I would add is that the inside cabins are very small, so pack light if you’re travelling economically.
While there is nothing really innovative overall here, this programme is soundly researched, and as tight as a drum in terms of product offerings. The addition of the magnificent Independence Of The Seas, in particular, is a very welcome development.
As always, stay tuned for potential changes and additions’subtractions to this roster.