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Royal Caribbean bypasses CDC with new cruises from Barbados

Grandeur of the Seas side view

Royal Caribbean announced new sailings for Winter 2021 out of Barbados, which would put them out of the CDC's jurisdiction.

For the first time a Royal Caribbean ship will homeport from Barbados to offer 7- and 14-night cruises to destinations in the Southern Caribbean.

The new cruises are available to book immediately, and will be offered onboard Grandeur of the Seas. Guests will be able to choose from sailings to destinations in Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Cartagena, Panama, Costa Rica and more.

Barbados beach

Royal Caribbean’s new 2021-22 winter cruises from Bridgetown, Barbados open for sale today. The itineraries depart on Sundays and ports of call for each are:

  • 7-night Southern Caribbean Island Hop: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting Scarborough, Tobago (new); Port of Spain, Trinidad (new); St. George’s, Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent (new); Roseau, Dominica; and Castries, St. Lucia
  • 7-night Southern Caribbean Adventure: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting St. George’s, Grenada; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; and Port of Spain, Trinidad (new)
  • 14-night Ultimate Caribbean: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting St. George’s, Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent (new); Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba (overnight); Willemstad, Curacao; Port of Spain, Trinidad (new); Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley thinks these new itineraries will be a big hit with guests, "We are excited to grow our longstanding partnership with Barbados and introduce Bridgetown as Royal Caribbean’s newest home port. Sailing from the heart of the Windward Islands unlocks new memorable vacations to share with family and friends in breathtaking places, such as Grenada, St. Lucia, and now St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago."

"The pink-sand beaches and unexpected adventures across Barbados also make it an ideal destination for our guests to experience even more of the Caribbean charm and culture before or after their cruise."

Barbados beach

Grandeur of the Seas will sail from Bridgetown at 10pm in order to give guests more time to get to the island, since everyone will need to fly to go on the cruise.

The new role for Grandeur of the Seas comes after plans to move the ship to subsidiary Pullmantur Cruises were cancelled following that cruise line's financial trouble.

The fact Royal Caribbean chose to offer these cruises from Barbados seems to indicate these cruises would be able to be offered even if the CDC does not allow cruise ships to operate from the United States.

For all intents and purposes, cruises from the United States have had little, if any, visible progress in returning to service following the lifting of the No Sail Order in October. No cruise line has been able to offer test cruises as of yet.

Carnival Corporation told investors this week it was still waiting for further information from the CDC before being able to proceed with taking the necessary steps to receive approval to cruise again.

Quantum of the Seas aerial

Sailings from Barbados that visit no ports in the United States would not be subject to the CDC's regulations, similar to how Royal Caribbean was able to recently resume sailings with Quantum of the Seas in Singapore.

Unlike the sailings from Singapore, these new Grandeur of the Seas sailings are heavy on port visits, with some sailings having no sea days.  

Cruises on Quantum of the Seas have no port visits at all for the time being.