Rhapsody of the Seas Marks Full Return to Royal Caribbean International Service
The Rhapsody of the Seas welcomes guests today, marking the return of Royal Caribbean International’s entire 26-ship fleet.
Entering a summer season in the Mediterranean, the Vision-class ship completes the company’s restart plan, which began in December 2020 with the Quantum of the Seas.
For her first cruise in more than two years, the Rhapsody is sailing from Civitavecchia, a port near Rome, Italy, on a jaw-dropping route.
The seven-night trip ends in Piraeus, Greece, and includes stops in Catania, Salerno, Santorini, Mykonos and Kusadasi.
Continuing its European schedule, the ship will operate additional four- to seven-night Mediterranean itineraries departing from various homeports in the region, such as Barcelona (Spain) and Ravenna (Italy).
According to Royal Caribbean, the full rollout includes visits to 25 destinations in the Greek islands, southern France, Italy, Turkey, Croatia and more.
From August, a first for the company, the Rhapsody is also offering a series of cruises departing from Israel.
Until October 31, the ship will be based in Haifa, sailing three to eight night itineraries to Greece and Cyprus.
A Vision-class cruise ship, the Rhapsody of the Seas entered service in 1997.
As part of the Royal Advantage refit program, she underwent a month-long, $54 million drydock refit in 2012.
During the major revitalization, the 78,491 ton vessel received a host of new equipment and locations as well as an assortment of technological upgrades.
Among the additions were new dining options including Chops Grille, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Chef’s Table Experience and Park Café.
The 2,000 passenger vessel has also been refreshed from bow to stern of all furniture, carpets and upholstery, including refurbished cabins.
With the Rhapsody now in service, 26 cruise ships have resumed service for Royal Caribbean International since March 2020 – when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the cruise industry to a complete halt.
After first welcoming guests to Asia in December 2020, the company restarted business operations in North America in June 2021.
As more ports and destinations around the world reopened for cruise operations, the rest of the fleet has been gradually reactivated over the past 12 months.