Good news for Port Canaveral and the surrounding communities. Ending speculation, Royal Caribbean announced today that the Enchantment of the Seas will relocate to Port Canaveral from her current home in Baltimore.

Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas first cruise from Port Canaveral

Thousands of people lined Jetty Park to watch as the Freedom of the Seas
departed on her first cruise from Port Canaveral.

It’s been a few years since Royal Caribbean last played musical ships at Port Canaveral. At the turn of the millennium, Royal Caribbean sent the Sovereign of the Seas from Miami to Port Canaveral.

Then the Mariner of the Seas arrived in 2003, at that time the largest ship to be homeported at Canaveral. Add some steroids and then in came the Freedom of the Seas and out went the popular Mariner of the Seas, now headed to California.  Those lucky enough to get onboard the Mariner of the Seas’ final cruise from Port Canaveral, sailed an extensive 47-day cruise around the horn of South America to California.  Still with me here?

In 2008, it was out with the Sovereign (transferred to Royal Caribbean sister company in Spain, Pullmantur) and in with the Monarch of the Seas. Thankfully, the Freedom of the Seas isn’t going anywhere (yet). With the arrival of the Enchantment of the Seas, the Monarch will leave Port Canaveral, cross the Atlantic to her new home with Pullmantur.  The Monarch of the Seas’ last cruise from Port Canaveral is March 29, 2013.

Port CanaveralAt a Canaveral Port Authority commissioners meeting on Wednesday, their Chief Executive Officer Stan Payne said “I’m really very excited about this, and you should be, too.”

The Enchantment of the Seas will take over the Monarch of the Seas three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas, beginning on April 25, 2013.  Compared to the Monarch of the Seas which carried 2,744 passengers based on double occupancy, the Enchantment holds 2,446 passengers and a crew of 840 vs. the Monarch’s 878 crew members.

According to Payne, the deal to get the Enchantment of the Seas at Port Canaveral was a relief since Royal Caribbean could have decided to leave only the Freedom of the Seas once the Monarch left.

In December, the Enchantment of the Seas will go through an extensive renovation adding some of the most popular features found on the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas.

Photo credit: Royal Caribbean, Sherry Laskin, Canaveral Port Authority

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