Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Europe's Royal Mediterranean

Mediterranean Deployment

Eight ships are set to sail in Europe next year

Liberty of the Seas will head to the Mediterranean in 2014. // © 2013 Royal Caribbean International
Liberty of the Seas will head to the Mediterranean in 2014. // © 2013 Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International recently announced that Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, and Splendour of the Seas will sail the Mediterranean in 2014, in addition to the Northern Europe deployment of Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas and Legend of the Seas. The move means that the cruise line will have a total of eight vessels in Europe next year. Bookings opened for these sailings are currently open.
Most of the 2014 Europe fleet will have undergone Royal’s revitalization program, delivering an expanded array of dining options from the casual dining Park Cafe, Boardwalk Dog House and Rita’s Cantina to the Samba Grill Brazilian steakhouse, the new Viking Crown Lounge with a menu of appetizers in a reconceptualized modern club atmosphere, Izumi Asian Cuisine and the Chef’s Table.
The recently revitalized ships also feature Wi-Fi throughout the vessels, digital signage, flat-panel televisions in newly refreshed staterooms and a poolside, oversized LED movie screen. Independence of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas each have a FlowRider and cantilevered whirlpools, as well as Europe’s only ice-skating rinks at sea, which are also onboard Navigator of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas.
Cruisers six to 36 months old can enjoy the new Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, while three to 11-year olds are led by college-accredited counselors in educational and entertaining programs developed with Fisher Price in the complimentary Adventure Ocean program. Teens have their own dedicated lounge and activities such as learning to mix music in Scratch DJ sessions or the teen-only rock-climbing wall and FlowRider surf simulator sessions.
On Splendour of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Legend of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas, guests can enjoy the new retro-hip R Bar as performers perform the new aerial-acrobatic Centrum Experience performed throughout more than four decks of the ships’ atriums. Guests aboard Liberty of the Seas can take in the Broadway musical Saturday Night Fever by night.
Liberty of the Seas will sail roundtrip from Barcelona on a seven-night, Western Mediterranean itinerary, calling at Provence (Marseilles) and Nice (Villefranche), France; and Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Rome (Civitavecchia), and Naples/Capri, Italy; the Aug. 10 sailing calls at Cannes instead of Nice. A four-night, roundtrip itinerary departing May 14 will offer vacationers a taste of the Freedom-class experience, with a call at Nice and Florence/Pisa. An eastbound trans-Atlantic sailing on May 1 and westbound on Oct. 26, both 13-night itineraries, will bookend the Europe season.
Navigator of the Seas will homeport in Rome (Civitavecchia) to sail a seven-night Eastern Mediterranean itinerary, which calls at Sicily (Messina), Italy; Athens (Piraeus) and Chania (Souda), Crete, Greece; and Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey. The seven-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise, sailing roundtrip from Sicily (Messina). A May 4, 15-night Galveston to Rome cruise or Nov. 9, 14-night Barcelona to Galveston sailing take guests trans-Atlantic. 
Nine to 12-night Italy, Greek Isles and Turkey cruises sail from Barcelona from May through August, and Venice from late August through October. From Barcelona, Serenade of the Seas will alternate 12-night Mediterranean Greek Isles and Mediterranean Venice itineraries, the latter featuring an overnight in Venice. From September, Serenade will homeport in Venice and alternate 10-night Greek Isles and 11-night Greece and Turkey itineraries. A 16-night trans-Atlantic cruise from New Orleans to Barcelona sails on Apr. 26.  Vacationers also can choose a nine-night eastbound sailing from Barcelona to Venice on Aug. 27 and a 10-night westbound return on Oct. 27.
Splendour of the Seas will homeport in Venice for its entire Europe season and alternate seven-night Greek Isles and Greek Isles & Turkey itineraries. The ship will reposition from Sao Paolo, Brazil, to Barcelona for a 14-night trans-Atlantic voyage on Apr. 25, and then start its Europe season with an eight-night Italian Mediterranean and Adriatic itinerary from Barcelona to Venice. Splendour concludes its Europe season with a seven-night Western Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Barcelona on Nov. 15, before returning to Sao Paolo on Nov. 22 on a 15-night westbound trans-Atlantic itinerary.