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Royal Caribbean Unveils Bold Features on New Odyssey of the Seas



Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, is set to feature the most action-packed top deck in the company’s fleet as well as a number of ground-breaking firsts designed to create game-changing cruise vacations.

In a just-released statement, Royal Caribbean said the ship, which will be the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to arrive in North America, will offer “dialed-up onboard adventures,” as well as a two-level pool deck and a collection of restaurants designed to please every palate.

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Some of the additional notable Odyssey highlights include its ultimate SeaPlex activity space, which is being billed as the most interactive arcade to ever sail. The space will include VR games for individual and group play, augmented reality walls and floors for high-tech competitions and family experiences.

Adding to the mix, Odyssey will debut a reimagined Adventure Ocean where young adventure seekers can choose their own immersive experiences across an entirely new layout, while a new maxed-out teen lounge with gaming consoles, music and movies will provide hangout options indoors and outdoors on an exclusive patio.

The ship’s dining options will include Teppanyaki, which will serve Far East flavors, and Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar featuring rustic Italian dishes and a contemporary flair.

Entertainment across the ship will include high-tech signature productions in the Royal Theater and Two70, where art and multimedia are merged for surrounding performances.

The Odyssey of the Seas will also include the North Star glass capsule, which is to be located 300 feet above sea level and will provide 360-degree views.

“Odyssey of the Seas will set an all-new standard created to deliver the most memorable vacations by combining immersive experiences, the best of Royal Caribbean’s trendsetting innovations and the signature ‘Royal Way’ service of our dedicated crew members,” said Michael Bayley, president, and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “This Quantum Ultra Class ship introduces a new way to see the world as she becomes our first purposefully built vessel for island hopping on both sides of the Atlantic.”

As for Odyssey’s vibrant, two-level pool deck, it will offer a variety of options to sit back and soak up the sun—including two open-air, resort-style pools and four whirlpools, surrounded by casitas and hammocks.

Odyssey of the Seas
PHOTO: Pool deck on Odyssey of the Seas (photo via Royal Caribbean International)

The youngest globe-trotters meanwhile may want to head to Splashaway Bay, an aqua park that includes colorful waterslides, fountains, water cannons and more.

For adult travelers, there’s the Solarium, an exclusive space on the top deck, that allows for “me time,” including swimming pools and whirlpools, a full-service bar, daybeds and hidden nooks for ultimate relaxation.

The ship’s inaugural year is slated to kick off next November in the Caribbean taking travelers to destinations like Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman and Mexico on eight- and six-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Odyssey will then sail to her homeport of Rome in May 2021 and become the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to cruise Europe for the summer.

While in Europe, passengers will be able to explore storied towns in Turkey and Greece, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the ruins of Ephesus, the ancient Acropolis of Athens, the classic Cycladic architecture of Mykonos and more.

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Windstar President John Delaney to Step Down, Prelog Elevated to COO



John Delaney, president of Windstar Cruises since July 2016, will step down March 4 “to focus on personal priorities,” the company announced Feb. 28.

Andrew Todd, president and CEO of parent company Xanterra Leisure Holding, will continue as CEO of the small-ship cruise line. Delaney will provide advice to the brand during the transition through March.

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Christopher Prelog, vice president of fleet operations at Windstar and former vice president at Seabourn Cruise Line, will assume the role as chief operating officer of Windstar Cruises.

In addition, Betsy O’Rourke, chief marketing officer for Xanterra and the former senior vice president of marketing at Royal Caribbean, will lend her expertise to the Windstar brand.

This is a time of growth and expansion for the small-ship line. Its $250 Million Star Plus Initiative will lengthen three of Windstar’s yacht-like motor ships so new suites, dining venues and public spaces can be added. The first of the stretched ships, Star Breeze, is slated to return to service in May 2020.

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