Royal Caribbean Moving Independence of the Seas from UK to Ft. Lauderdale

by Daniel McCarthy
Royal Caribbean Moving Independence of the Seas from UK to Ft. Lauderdale

Independence of the Seas will now sail Caribbean sailings from Ft. Lauderdale because of “strong booking interest” in Perfect Day at CocoCay. Photo: Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean International’s Perfect Day at CocoCay, the new $250 million, reimagined destination that debuted this week in the Bahamas, is already making waves.

Royal announced this week that Independence of the Seas will no longer sail its scheduled itineraries out of Southampton, UK, in 2020, and will instead sail Caribbean sailings from Ft. Lauderdale because of “strong booking interest” in Perfect Day at CocoCay from guests.

Independence had been sailing in the UK since it reentered service after a multimillion-dollar makeover in 2018. It was scheduled to sail out of Southampton, alongside Anthem of the Seas, throughout 2020, but Anthem will now be the only ship sailing out of Southampton next year.

All guests already booked on Independence’s UK sailings will be offered full refunds and a future cruise credit for alternative sailings. Similar itineraries are available on Anthem. All commissions from travel advisors with bookings on Independence’s UK sailings are protected.

Perfect Day at CocoCay is a $200 million upgrade to the cruise line's private island in the Bahamas that was first announced in March 2018. It welcomed its first guests in March for a soft preview ahead of the official grand opening this week.

The island includes Thrill Waterpark, home to the “tallest waterslide in North America,” the 135-foot-tall Daredevil’s Peak; and Splashaway Bay aqua park. Guests can also ride in a helium balloon, 450 feet in the air, and overlook the Bahamas; or ride a 1,600-square-foot zipline across the harbor. Other amenities include two beaches for either relaxation or recreation, and more eateries.

The Coco Beach Club VIP area with overwater luxury cabanas (the first in the Bahamas) will open in December 2019, marking the project’s second phase.

Royal Caribbean ships departing from its New York, Maryland, and Florida ports will visit CocoCay, which will serve as the model for more of the brand’s “Perfect Day Island Collection” private islands; and which are slated for Asia, Australia and other Caribbean destinations.

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