Royal Caribbean confirmed Tuesday on Twitter that they are returning to the Middle East for the 2019/2020 cruise season with a series of roundtrip Dubai cruise departures aboard Jewel of the Seas.
The announcement comes two years after Royal Caribbean sailed their last winter cruise season in the Arabian Gulf. Vision of the Seas sailed a series of roundtrip Dubai cruises between November, 2016 and March, 2017.
At the time, Royal Caribbean said that they would not be returning to the Middle East until 2019 due to limitations on fleet deployment following the sale of Vision’s sister ships Legend of the Seas and Splendor of the Seas to Marella Cruises.
Now, however, they’re ready to come back, with their largest cruise ship to homeport in Dubai since Brilliance of the Seas was deployed in the Arabian Gulf back in 2008.
— Cruise Arabia (@CruiseArabia) May 22, 2018
Jewel of the Seas will be offering 7-night roundtrip Dubai cruises from December 16th, 2019 until March 16th, departing every Monday on 15 butterfly Arabian Gulf itineraries visiting all the major cruise destinations in the Gulf.
Each 7-night cruise will alternate between the eastern and western Arabian Gulf, so on the eastward itineraries, she’ll depart Dubai and spend the following day in port in Abu Dhabi, she’ll then cruise overnight to Sir Bani Yas Island, spending a day at the cruise beach, before spending a day at sea on her way to Muscat, Oman.
Jewel of the Seas eastern 7-night roundtrip Dubai cruise itinerary.
After departing from Muscat, she’ll cruise back to Dubai, arriving the following morning. At the beginning and end of the cruise she’ll also spend a full overnight in Dubai.
Jewel of the Seas western 7-night roundtrip Dubai cruise itinerary.
The western itinerary will depart Dubai and spend a full day at sea en-route to Bahrain. The following day she visits Doha, Qatar and then Sir Bani Yas on the fourth day of the cruise. Sir Bani Yas also features on this itinerary, with a day on the island before calling in Abu Dhabi.
Like the eastern itinerary, these cruises also feature an overnight port call in Dubai on the first and last nights of the voyages. For passengers booking back-to-back 14-night cruises, they’ll therefore get a full two days in Dubai in the middle of the cruise.
Jewel of the Seas is a Radiance-class cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s fourth-largest type of cruise ship. At 90,090 gross tons, and with a passenger capacity of 2,500 people, she will be the third-largest cruise ship homeporting in Dubai for the 2019/2020 season (behind MSC Bellissima and AIDAprima).
Jewel of the Seas has six dining rooms, such as Tides, pictured here.
Jewel of the Seas was launched in 2004, but received a major AED 100-million refit and refurbishment in April, 2015 that saw new staterooms, new restaurants, technology upgrades and new entertainment offerings added to the ship.
The ship features 12 bars and cafes, many with spectacular ocean views.
The makeover also saw new two-bedroom family suites added, as well as 24 new outside and balcony staterooms. Some of Royal Caribbean’s newest dining venues were also introduced to bring her up-to-par with the Quantum-class, including Giovanni’s Table, Vintages and Izumi.
There’s even a water park, complete with water slides and Jacuzzis.
On the technical side, VOOM, the fastest internet at sea, was made available to passengers.
Throughout the ship public rooms were upgraded, including the popular restaurant Chops Grille, the spa and the ship’s extensive shopping area. Up on the massive pool deck, new poolside movie screen nights of animated and classic cinema were made available.
The ship has six restaurants, 12 bars and cafes, three pools, three whirlpools, a gym and spa, a theatre where Broadway-style entertainment is offered free of charge, and even a games room with self-levelling pool tables!