Categorized | Cruises

Royal Caribbean returns to New Orleans with bigger ship…

Posted on 16 November 2011


Royal Caribbean’s 3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas.

The comeback of New Orleans as a cruise hub got a big boost over the weekend as Royal Caribbean returned to the city for the first time in four years.


The line’s 3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas arrived in the Big Easy on Saturday for a winter season of seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean, becoming the largest cruise ship ever based out of the city.


Like other lines, Royal Caribbean pulled out of New Orleans after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The line returned to the city briefly in late 2006 but left again in early 2007.


Voyager is switching its winter home to New Orleans from Galveston, Texas. Galveston, in turn, also is getting a new ship for the winter of 2011-12, the 3,114-passenger Mariner of the Seas. Read about Mariner’s new itineraries.


Royal Caribbean is following Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line in returning to New Orleans. Carnival already operates two ships out of the city, the 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest and 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation. Norwegian has a single ship sailing out of the city, the 1,966-passenger Norwegian Spirit.


The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports Royal Caribbean’s return to New Orleans got off to a bit of a rocky start on Saturday as the city’s newly renovated cruise ship terminal struggled to keep up with the crowds boarding Voyager. The news outlet says there were hours-long traffic snarls around the facility, lines that stretched into the street from noon until long after 5 p.m., check-in computer meltdowns and slow security checkpoints.


The Voyager’s new program out of New Orleans will continue until April 2012. The ship’s seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries will include port calls in Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico and George Town, Grand Cayman.

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