Sovereign Next to Leave RCI Fleet

October 12, 2007
Royal Caribbean announced today that its Sovereign of the Seas, once quite a revolutionary "big ship" back when it was built in 1988, will be transferred out of the fleet. The 73,192-ton, 2,276-passenger ship, lauded this summer by USA Today as a top 25 travel milestone for its role as the world's first mega-ship, will head to Pullmantur in October 2008.

The Spain-based Pullmantur, of course, was recently acquired by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The line is benefiting from the transfer of older ships from the Celebrity and Royal Caribbean fleets. Already, Celebrity Zenith and Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas have been re-assigned to Pullmantur.

Sovereign of the Seas, which sails three- and four-night Bahamas cruises from Port Canaveral, will depart for its last voyage on October 31 -- remember, that's 2008. Cruises beyond that date that are already scheduled, such as the November 3 and November 7 departures, have been canceled; passengers booked on those voyages will get a full refund, and an onboard credit for rebooking on an earlier Sovereign of the Seas sailing. When travelers rebook, they will receive $200 onboard credit for Junior Suites and above and $100 for staterooms below Junior Suites.

Editor's note: That's pretty generous compensation for cruises canceled more than a year ahead of time.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas, currently cruising out of Los Angeles, will head east to assume the three- and four-night Bahamas assignment. The 73,941-ton, 2,350-passenger Monarch of the Seas, which currently sails short Mexican Riviera itineraries, will cruise its last L.A.-based voyage in October; on October 17 the ship will head east via a 16-night Panama Canal repositioning.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor