In a genuine shot-in-the-arm for Galveston (not to mention south-central U.S. cruise travelers) Royal Caribbean announced this week that Rhapsody of the Seas has signed on for another five years there. This has been the first year Royal Caribbean has used Galveston as a home port -- at least for part of the year. Rhapsody called Galveston “home” in October - December, from which it sailed roundtrip week-long trips to the western Caribbean. As part of this new agreement, Rhapsody will sail exclusively out of Galveston. Rhapsody will, at least for now, continue with the same itinerary -- stops at Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Key West -- that were on the schedule on last winter’s Galveston runs.
Does this mean that, as a result of Rhapsody’s new exclusivity agreement with Galveston, Royal Caribbean is abandoning New Orleans? Nah. A spokesman there says another ship will be assigned to that port.