On a travel agent oriented conference call, Royal Caribbean announced a new itinerary from New Orleans beginning the Fall of 2013. This adds an exciting new route from the North Gulf Coast. New Orleans is a departure port within reasonable driving distance for millions of passengers. Houston is only about a 5 hour drive from New Orleans, and areas in the Southeast United States also close, this is an exciting addition for the cruising community, especially for those who love New Orleans or don’t want to sail from Southeast Florida.
The new route will include Key West, Florida; Nassau, the Bahamas; and CoCo Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island also in the Bahamas. This route will alternate with the current Western Caribbean route sailed for the past few years. One special 9 night cruise will be available as the first cruise of the season out of New Orleans in December 2013.
Navigator of the Seas, currently in Europe and sailing from New Orleans again during the 2012 Winter cruise season, will in the Fall of 2013 begin sailing from Galveston. The Galveston bases sailings will be to the Western Caribbean alternating between two different itineraries. Both routes are in the Western Caribbean but to different ports, with the only common port being Cozumel. Thus, Galveston will see a new Royal Caribbean ship, the Navigator of the Seas, but will keep the current Western Caribbean routes.
New Orleans in addition to hosting the new Bahamas route will also welcome a new ship. Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas will begin sailing out of New Orleans in the Fall of 2013 for the Winter cruise season. This is a smaller ship than the Navigator, but keeps a ship sailing from New Orleans.
All of the routes (except the special 9 night cruise) from Galveston and New Orleans will have 3 days at sea and 3 days in ports with the departure day as the 7th day in the week. This leaves plenty of time for everyone to enjoy what the ships have to offer in the way of onboard entertainment in addition to the ports of call.
By David Brooks, The Examiner