Icon of the Seas has had the cruise industry — and passengers — buzzing since it was first announced. Still roughly eight months away from its official debut, the ship is seeing tons of press and bookings.
We wrote about the considerably higher prices being charged to sail aboard Icon (on average $850 more for the least expensive interior cabin versus its current newest ship, Wonder of the Seas). Still, that’s not slowing down bookings.
“Icon is literally the best performing new product launch we’ve ever had in the history of our business,” said Royal Caribbean International President Michael Bayley during a quarterly investor conference call.
But while all the attention is definitely on Icon of the Seas, many don’t realize that Royal Caribbean has another major ship under construction. Utopia of the Seas will be the sixth Oasis-class vessel in the fleet when it arrives in mid-2024. This class includes sister ships like Wonder of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas.
So far, not much has been shared about the new ship. That includes details around features, schedule, and even homeport. The only thing that has been shard is that it is set to debut in 2024.
But now, a “slip” by Royal Caribbean has shared a juicy detail…
What We Learned About Utopia of the Seas
During that same investor call where Icon of the Seas’ record bookings were discussed, Bayley also shared another tidbit regarding Utopia.
Answering a question about CocoCay and the current demand plus future improvements, Bayley shared that about 11,000 passengers a day visit the island. And with the upcoming Hideaway Beach, that capacity will be increased by about 2,500 more guests.
That extra capacity is needed as Icon of the Seas will be visiting every week according to the quarterly update. It turns out that Utopia of the Seas will also be visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay.
“We’ve also got Utopia coming online in June. We haven’t announced the deployment, but Utopia will also be going to Perfect Day,” said Bayley during the call.
What This Means For Utopia’s Homeport
Up until now, there had been no firm announcements on where Utopia of the Seas would sail. Bookings are not yet available on Royal Caribbean’s website. We now know the region it will be homeported, helping narrow down where it will be based.
First, if Utopia of the Seas will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay regularly, that means it will need to be homeported at one of the major nearby cruise ports — Miami, Port Everglades, or Port Canaveral. (If Utopia will only visit occasionally, then ports as far as Galveston — which has a new Royal Caribbean terminal — could be considered.)
Royal Caribbean’s flagship terminal is in Miami and it’s generally where the line’s newest and largest ships sail. For instance, Icon of the Seas will be based there when it starts sailing.
Looking that the schedules posted on Royal Caribbean’s website for August 2024 (well after the expected arrival of Utopia of the Seas), Miami will have the following ships:
- Icon of the Seas
- Allure of the Seas
- Independence of the Seas
While it’s possible that the cruise line could add Utopia here and have three of its largest ships at one port, that also may be excessive.
Port Canaveral is also a short sail from CocoCay. According to Royal Caribbean’s schedule, that port is home to Wonder of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas in August 2024. The popular port seems like it could increase capacity from just two ships, but it would also mean putting its two newest Oasis-class vessels in the same port.
Finally, a search of Port Everglades reveals that currently only a single Royal Caribbean ship — Freedom of the Seas — is slated to sail from there in August 2024.That seems to leave plenty of capacity to offer a homeport for the cruise line’s largest ship.
So will Utopia sail from Port Everglades? Roughly a year out, all we know for sure is that it will need to be at a port within close distance to CocoCay if it plans to visit regularly, which points to one of the big three Florida ports. Still, the current schedule does show a promising “gap” at Port Everglades that would seem to fit Utopia of the Seas nicely.