3 Cruise Lines Resume Operations

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Oasis of the Seas debuts in New York. (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.)

Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line have all restarted their operations this month following the industry-wide pause.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean marked its comeback in New York with the debut of Oasis of the Seas, the largest and most innovative cruise ship to sail from the area. Highlights include a resort-style pool deck; Portside BBQ, the cruise line’s first barbecue concept; and the tallest slide at sea, the 10-story Ultimate Abyss.

Oasis of the Seas is now sailing 7-night cruises from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey to The Bahamas, calling at Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The Oasis Class ship features The Perfect Storm, an action-packed trio of high-speed waterslides; a reimagined resort-style pool deck with casitas, hammocks, in-pool loungers, and signature poolside bar The Lime & Coconut; and hotspots such as Spotlight Karaoke, Bionic Bar – where a dynamic duo of robotic bartenders serve up cocktails – and Music Hall, a live music venue with a revolving roster of cover bands and an expansive dance floor.

Perfect Day at CocoCay boasts 13 waterslides at Thrill Waterpark, including the tallest waterslide in North America; as well as going up as high as 450 ft. on helium balloon Up, Up & Away, the highest vantage point in The Bahamas.

Oasis’ first season of cruises from the New York area, departing through October, are now available for bookings.

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Pride departed on Sept. 13 on a 7-day cruise to The Bahamas, visiting the destinations of Nassau, Freeport and the private island of Half Moon Cay. The cruise line is the first to set sail from the Port of Baltimore since the industry-wide pause in operations.

“We’re thrilled to be back in Baltimore,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a press statement. “Baltimore has been a wonderful partner for more than a decade and we are delighted to get Back to Fun in this key market which serves hundreds of thousands of guests in the Northeast and along the Atlantic Coast.”

In November, a newer ship, Carnival Legend, will replace Carnival Pride in Baltimore when Carnival Pride shifts to departures from Tampa.

Carnival offers the widest array of cruise options from Baltimore, including 6- and 7-day sailings to Bermuda and The Bahamas; 8-day voyages to Canada/New England and the Caribbean; and 14-day Carnival Journeys sailings to the Panama Canal and southern Caribbean.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line redeployed Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Getaway in the Mediterranean on Sept. 13. A third of NCL’s fleet of 17 ships are now back in operation, welcoming guests back on board after the line’s more than 500-day cruise suspension.

Norwegian Epic, the fourth ship in the line’s fleet to resume operations, completed its first voyage to ports in Spain and Italy from Barcelona. During the 7-day sailing, Norwegian Epic called at Livorno, the gateway to the Renaissance heritage of Tuscany and Florence, Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples, Cagliari (Sardinia) and Palma (Mallorca).

In addition, NCL has debuted an all-new The Haven by Norwegian aboard Norwegian Epic, following an extensive refurbishment in Marseille, France at the end of 2020. Norwegian Epic was the first in the fleet to premiere the brand’s key-card access ship-within-a-ship concept in 2010, complete with private amenities, dedicated services and luxury accommodation.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Getaway embarked on its first voyage from Rome (Civitavecchia). Through Oct. 25, the ship will sail a mix of 10- to 11-day Greek Isles itineraries, calling at Dubrovnik, Corfu, Katakolon — NCL’s newest embarkation port located on the Peloponnese peninsula — Santorini, Mykonos, Naples and Livorno (Florence/Pisa). With up to 13 hours in each port and no more than two days at sea, guests can spend their days exploring ancient ruins and medieval architecture.

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