Royal Caribbean has suspended the refurbishments of Allure of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas amid work stoppages at shipyards in Europe and the global shut down of the cruise industry due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
“In these unprecedented times, in addition to the voluntary suspension of our global operations, port closures and travel restrictions have also affected the possibility of moving forward with our amplifications of Explorer of the Seas in Brest, France and Allure of the Seas in Cadiz, Spain this spring,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement to Cruise Critic.
“Both amplifications have been put on hold at this time. With global developments rapidly evolving, we are reviewing all options to bring Explorer and Allure into dry dock this year and determining the extent of the enhancements we can make.”
Allure of the Seas, the latest of the Oasis-class ships to undergo the massive refurbishment project, was to go into drydock for 58 days this spring to receive new enhancements like the Ultimate Abyss and Perfect Storm slides, a Music Hall, expanded Giovanni’s specialty dining venue, and all-new Adventure Ocean spaces for kids and teens.
Explorer of the Seas was meant to go into drydock around the same time for a US $100-million refurbishment that would see The Perfect Storm racer waterslides and a redesigned pool deck with The Lime & Coconut installed, and other enhancements made to the vessel.
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However, the refurbishment of both ships has been put on hold as Royal Caribbean, along with every other cruise line in the world, seeks ways to save money and shore up liquidity amid the greatest crisis the cruise industry has ever seen.
Every major cruise line in the world has suspended cruise operations globally, with industry observers anticipating extensions to the shutdown as the Coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of clearing in the near future.
Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas managed to have its own Royal Amplification refit completed before the pandemic hit, emerging from the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport just prior to the industry-wide shutdown.