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Royal Caribbean sets 2008-09 winter Caribbean itineraries

Itineraries include Aruba, Antigua, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St Lucia, St Maarten, Turks & Caicos and USVI

Miami, Florida, USA (April 25, 2007) – At 160,000 gross registered tons, Royal Caribbean’s third and final Freedom-class ship, Independence of the Seas, will make history in November 2008 as the world’s largest cruise ship yet to make a transatlantic passenger voyage. Having completed her inaugural summer and fall seasons in Europe, Independence will head to the balmy waters of the Caribbean for the winter. Independence will be joined by three more Royal Caribbean ships leaving Europe to offer travellers 14 more seasonal Caribbean itineraries starting in November 2008, taking guests to 24 exciting ports aboard 83 spectacular sailings ranging from six to 13 nights.

“Independence of the Seas will make her US debut at the end of 2008, bringing together all three Freedom-class ships in the Caribbean,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice-president of sales, Royal Caribbean International. “With four more ships in the wintertime to supplement seven ships already deployed year round in the region, travellers will have the most options to sail on a Royal Caribbean cruise from a port close to them. Guests can escape the frigid winter temperatures and visit some of the Caribbean’s most spectacular destinations aboard the world’s most innovative ships.”

Independence of the Seas will sail from Southampton, UK on the 13-night historical transatlantic voyage to Fort Lauderdale, calling at Vigo, Spain; Madeira (Funchal), Portugal; and Philipsburg, St Maarten. Guests will revel in a record nine days at sea to fully enjoy the exclusive and signature on-board amenities of a Freedom-class ship, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, boxing ring, H2O Zone water park, 11-route rock-climbing wall and two cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 feet above the ocean, as well as world-class entertainment and dining.

Once in the Caribbean, Independence will offer guests two different itineraries, sailing round trip from Fort Lauderdale and alternating between an eight-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary leaving on Saturdays, and a six-night Western Caribbean itinerary departing on Sundays. The Western Caribbean itinerary will call at George Town, Grand Cayman; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary will feature a call at Labadee, Haiti, one of Royal Caribbean’s private island destinations, and an extra day at sea to enjoy the myriad of on-board amenities, as well as calls at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, USVI; and St Maarten.

Bookings for seasonal Caribbean sailings on Independence and other seasonal Caribbean itineraries on Jewel of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas opened today.

Jewel will sail round trip from Miami on 10- and 11-night voyages to the Panama Canal. On the 10-night Caribbean and Panama Canal sailing, guests will call at Labadee; Cartagena, Colombia; Cristobal Pier, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; and Grand Cayman. The 11-night Ultimate Panama Canal voyage will also call at Oranjestad, Aruba and includes an extra day at sea. A December 19, 2008 Caribbean & Panama Canal sailing includes a call at Montego Bay, Jamaica instead of calls at Cristobal Pier and Puerto Limon, and a special Ultimate Panama Canal New Years cruise sailing on December 29, 2008 will takes guests to Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos instead of Aruba.

Voyager of the Seas returns to Galveston to offer two seven-night round-trip itineraries throughout the Western Caribbean. On a Mexico-focused itinerary, ports of call include Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Yucatan (Pregreso), Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras. On a second itinerary, guests will enjoy an additional day at sea and call at Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Montego Bay.

Serenade of the Seas will be doubling travellers’ choices from San Juan and offer seven-night round-trip voyages to the Southern Caribbean. Guests will visit St Thomas; St Maarten; St Johns, Antigua; Castries, St Lucia; and Bridgetown, Barbados.

For additional information or to make reservations, call 1-800-327-6700.

For cruise specials and to search for and book cruises, click on Cruises at www.caribbean.com.

For your FREE on-line Caribbean destinations travel guides, visit www.caribbean.com.

Disclaimer: The information in this article/release was accurate at press time; however, we suggest you confirm all details and prices directly with vendors.
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