Carnival Breeze, Empress of the Seas UK Debut, Marella Explorer, Queen Mary 2, Norwegian Star (II) & Jewel of the Seas
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, most cruise lines suspended operations in March 2020.  Six ships in total on the 5th June.  Empress of the Seas made her debut call to repatriate crew.  The original press release stated Majesty and Empress would depart Port Miami on the 15th May, arriving 28th while Freedom of the Seas would sail the same day and get here four days earlier.  Well nothing left anywhere and they changed their mind about Freedom!  Majesty and Empress remained at anchor off Nassau.  Finally, on the 19th, Empress sailed from Coco Cay.  The baby of the Royal Caribbean fleet, Empress was originally ordered for Admiral Cruises as Future Seas.  The merger with Royal Caribbean transferred the ship to them and in 1990 this 48,563gt ship debuted as Nordic Empress.  She retained that name until 2004 when she became Empress of the Seas.  In 2008 to 2016 she was Empress for Pullmantur, returning to the parent company when Cuba opened up to Americans.  Carnival Breeze returned from repatriating crew in the Med, Mary popped in as usual, Norwegian Star returned from refit and would be going nowhere.  The weather was hit and miss with rain and hail between sunshine.  After Mary sailed, Jewel came up from Nab anchorage and took her berth, sailing to Gibraltar that night with 96 crew.  Everything else was staying overnight except Star which was remaining indefinitely.
For photos of the cruise ship comings and goings during lay-up, check out the 2020 list in the Southampton Stalking Index..

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© Patricia Dempsey 5th June 2020
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