New ships, itineraries and amenities mark a return to seas.
Arguably, no sector of the travel industry was hit harder during the pandemic than the cruise industry. Besides ships not sailing, some ships could not make their debut and one cruise line even had to postpone its inauguration.
But that’s all in the past! Ships have been sailing with passengers for months now and longtime cruise fans are finally getting their fix while new sailors are discovering their sea legs. Read on to learn more about popular cruise lines ready to come back stronger and better than ever in 2022 and beyond.
Royal Caribbean returned to cruising by sailing the Oasis of the Seas on seven-night cruises from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, to its private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay. The Oasis is the largest ship to sail from the New York area and features a resort-style pool deck and the tallest slide at sea, the 10-story Ultimate Abyss.
Royal Caribbean is also sailing the Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore, Maryland, on five- to 12-night cruises that travel to Bermuda or the Southern Caribbean. And, for the first time in more than 10 years, RCI will be sailing from Los Angeles, California, as the Navigator of the Seas will run 3-, 4- and 5- day cruises to California’s Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Carnival Cruise Line
Paying homage to their original ship, the TSS Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line re-created a fun and interactive cruise ship to celebrate its long-standing presence on the high seas and to delight its loyal cruisers with the debut of the Mardi Gras. The ship was scheduled to debut in August 2020 but finally completed its maiden voyage in July 2021. The Mardi Gras has more than enough space to keep guests busy exploring its 19 decks and six different easy-to-navigate, fun zones. But the “wow” moment on the Mardi Gras has to be the Bolt, the first roller coaster at sea. The Bolt is an all-electric coaster that encircles 800 feet of track 187 feet above the water and can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, but you control the speed with your throttle, so if it gets too fast or slow, you can adjust it.
Holland America Line
Holland America Line also will be cruising in the Caribbean this year with four ships, all sailing roundtrips from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The voyages range from four to 14 nights, visiting a variety of ports in the area, and all cruises include a call to Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private island.
Besides the Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam and Nieuw Statendam, the newly christened Rotterdam will be joining the fleet. Holland America’s first ship was named the Rotterdam and sailed its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York on Oct. 15, 1872. This is the seventh HAL ship to bear the Rotterdam name. With a 270-degree LED projection at World Stage, the latest Rotterdam will immerse guests in panoramic visuals and sound effects.
With the pandemic delaying its debut, Virgin Voyages finally set sail with the Scarlet Lady this summer. Now it is running four- and five-night cruises to the Caribbean from Miami, Florida, for adults only, meaning no one under 18 is allowed. The cruise line also does not charge gratuities and calls its guests “sailors.” The Valiant Lady will be joining the Virgin fleet shortly as it has ordered four ships that should all be running in the next few years.
Ready to Cruise in 2022?
Whatever cruise line you decide on or wherever you want to go, start by contacting your AAA Ohio Travel agent. Stop in your local office, call 888-AAA-OHIO (888-222-6446) or click on AAA.com, and then begin packing.