By Mary Luz Mejia | Published on August 4, 2023


If you've ever dreamed of packing up and sailing away, a world cruise might be your fantasy come to life. You pack your bags once and get to see more countries than many people see in a lifetime. If this sounds magical to you, get set to sail on an epic, around-the-world vacation called the Ultimate World Cruise℠ onboard the stunning Serenade of the Seas®. This once-in-a-lifetime voyage gives you the option of taking one of four world cruise segments — for your own mini world cruise — or enjoying them all by spending 274 nights on the full cruise. And within the four world cruise segments, the cruises are divided into 17 sailings that you can mix and match.

The beauty of booking a full world cruise is that it takes the logistics and guesswork out of where to go and what to do, offering you a fabulous itinerary encompassing more than 60 countries on seven continents. (It's especially ideal for those who don't love flying.) This global discovery experience offers the culturally curious an opportunity for full immersion in some of the world's most beautiful natural and man-made landscapes. From the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt to Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue, you're sure to be wowed by this itinerary.

Start your voyage in Miami on Dec. 10, 2023, and end your world cruise on Sept.10, 2024, in the same port. Of the 150 ports of call, 40 are either rarely available in Royal Caribbean Cruise itineraries or are brand new! With opportunities to see 11 world wonders and discover so many destinations, the world is your oyster!

Choosing Your world cruise Adventure

As Dr. Seuss once wrote, "Oh, the places you'll go!" With world cruise segments, you can pick a part of the globe to explore in depth on a trip ranging from 62 to 88 days. Enjoy one, or choose a combination of segments for an ultimate around-the-world vacation.

The segments divide the globe into four geographic groupings as follows: the Ultimate Americas Cruise (sailing Dec. 10, 2023 to Feb. 11, 2024), the Ultimate Asia Pacific Cruise (sailing Feb. 11 to May 9, 2024), the Ultimate Middle East & Med Cruise (sailing May 9 to July 10, 2024) and the Ultimate Europe & Beyond Cruise (July 10 to Sept. 10, 2024).

This first of four world cruise segments, the Ultimate Americas Cruise, is a stunner. The sailing kicks off in Miami, so you don't even need to book a long fiight to begin your adventure. As part of the itinerary, you'll sail the turquoise waters of the Caribbean and enjoy the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao), chill out on Barbados' talcum-like beaches before journeying around Cape Horn toward the glacier-studded waters of Antarctica. Bundle up, as this is the world's coldest continent. While there, you can watch whales display their aquatic power as they breach the surface. Closer to shore, you'll see penguins dart through the icy waters.

As you move on to warmer climates, you can take in the art deco Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro just in time for New Year's Eve. Dance the samba in Bahia, Brazil and marvel at nature's majesty at any one of the 257 waterfalls that comprise the Iguaçú Falls in Argentina. The world wonders continue with the ancient Mayan ruins of Mexico's Chichén Itzá or the former Incan citadel in Peru's UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu.

North of this, birdwatchers feast their eyes on a plethora of tropical hummingbirds and rare species in Costa Rican rainforests — or go surfing in Central American hot spot San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Try top-notch vintages to go with your fresh fish tacos at one of many vineyards in Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, and then head to Los Angeles, where this segment ends. If you weren't counting, that's four world wonders on offer on this leg of the world cruise alone — and no international flights required.

If you choose to book the second segment, the Ultimate Asia Pacific Cruise, you'll bid star-studded La-La Land goodbye, setting off on an itinerary that starts with Hawaii and its dramatic volcanic black beaches and white-capped waves. Tour the Pearl Harbor National Memorial to learn more about one of the most pivotal moments in U.S. history. Take in a luau and visit the Iolani Palace, where the Hawaiian royal family once resided. In French Polynesia, enjoy a traditional Tahitian dance and a mai tai cocktail and be mesmerized by the sapphire waters of Moorea. Drift past lush mountain peaks and sparkling white beaches in Tahiti. Indulge your inner daredevil in New Zealand with adrenaline-spiking outdoor sports — such as bungee jumping and zorbing — and learn about native Maori culture before heading to Australia. There, one of the world's best-known natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef, awaits with a kaleidoscopic array of over 1,500 kinds of fish in addition to other marine life and coral.

You'll continue to Asia, where the beaches of Bali beckon, as do the bustling metropolises of Hong Kong, Manila in the Philippines, and Seoul, Korea. Walk along part of the 13,000-mile ancient Great Wall of China, explore Beijing and immerse yourself in the electric vibe of Tokyo. Hike Mount Fuji in Japan or take part in shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) near the famed Meiji Shrine. Explore swanky Singapore, eat at hawker markets, slurp noodle dishes in Malaysia, enjoy a spicy curry in Sri Lanka and take a bite of a bahn mi sandwich in Vietnam. Pay your respects to love at India's iconic Taj Mahal before passing through Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates en route to the modern marvel that is Dubai, where this world cruise segment concludes.

As Dr. Seuss once wrote, "Oh, the places you'll go!" With world cruise segments, you can pick a part of the globe to explore in depth on a trip ranging from 62 to 88 days. Enjoy one, or choose a combination of segments for an ultimate around-the-world vacation.

Around-The-World Cruise Perks And Tips

Travelers who book the Ultimate World Cruise℠ get perks that aren't usually included. To ensure your home base onboard the Serenade of the Seas is picture-perfect on your around-the-world vacation, you'll enjoy wash-and-fold laundry service for up to three bags per stateroom per week, a deluxe beverage package per guest, gratuities and a VOOM® Surf + Stream high speed internet package for two devices per stateroom. Also included in this adventure is a pre-cruise two-night stay and gala/dinner party at the InterContinental Miami, roundtrip business class airfare to get you to and from port, premium transportation from the airport to your hotel and the pier, as well as added perks for Crown & Anchor Society members.

Packing can be a challenge when you're visiting so many different parts of the world, but it's a challenge most travelers would relish. Depending on the world cruise segments you choose, it's best to bring a range of clothing to suit the various climates you will visit. For example, for the Ultimate Americas leg, temperatures fluctuate from tropical to cold and windy. You'll want to bring layers to build warmth, waterproof gear, as well as gloves that work with touchscreens if you're planning photographic magic. You'll also need to bring along cool cottons and linens to stay comfortable in the warmer climates. We also suggest packing some seasickness medication — just in case.

Best of all, the Royal Caribbean Cruise team will work with you to make every effort to secure the same stateroom for your entire cruise so you will only have to unpack once. This is, of course, based on the inventory available since this cruise started booking in November 2021.

To reserve the enture once-in-a-lifetime Ultimate World Cruise℠ or a segment, a nonrefundable deposit is required, with full payment received by Royal Caribbean 180 days prior to departure. Bookings made within 180 days prior to cruise departure will need to be paid in full within 48 hours of booking. Interior staterooms start at $59,999 per person, excluding taxes, fees and port expenses; up to a starting price of $82,949 for a balcony staterooms. Junior suites start at $117,599. If you choose to pay in full, there's a 10% savings.

The third segment of the around-the-world vacation, Ultimate Middle East & Med Cruise, lasts 63 days and covers three continents along with 44 destinations — many of which are thrilling bucket-list spots. Departing from dazzling Dubai, you'll have roamed near-mystical desert dunes or shopped the gold souks for that just-right bling. Behold one of the most stunning world wonders, Jordan's rose-colored ancient city of Petra; Oman's beautiful beaches; and enthralling Egyptian pyramids. The holy city of Jerusalem and the Eastern Mediterranean await, with Cypriot castles, the Temple of Artemis in Turkey, beautiful Bulgarian Byzantine architecture and Romanian vineyards with vines dating back over 6,000 years. Take in Istanbul's cafe life, shopping and culture.

Get your camera ready for stunning golden-hour vistas on whitewashed Greek Islands amid the crystalline Aegean Sea; grab a gondola for a ride through Venice, Italy's many canals; and stroll the marble streets of Croatia's Adriatic jewel, Dubrovnik. Wander Rome's Colosseum in Italy, enjoy the city's famous carbonara pasta, revel in the French Riviera and sail toward Mallorca. You'll end in one of the most beautiful cities by the sea, Barcelona, Spain, where you can admire the work of one of Catalonia's famed architects, Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Familia cathedral.

The final around-the-world cruise leg, Ultimate Europe & Beyond Cruise, departs from Barcelona and heads south to the Spanish cities of Valencia (fun fact: The rice dish called paella comes from this city) and Cartagena. The latter offers you the opportunity to visit Roman theaters dating back to 1 AD. Cruise the famed Strait of Gibraltar as you head to North Africa. Morocco's Casablanca, made famous by the movie of the same name, and Agadir await, as do the country's majestic Atlas Mountains. You'll head to Atlantic Portugal, where the country's azulejos (hand-painted tiles) adorn everything from shop and home façades to train stations in Lisbon. Don't forget to sample a pastéis de nata (custard tart), made famous in this city, and indulge in port wine, sourced regionally from Porto, Portugal. Next, kiss the Blarney Stone in Cork, Ireland, order a pint at a local pub and go on to enjoy the sparkling city of Paris, laid out before you from atop the Eiffel Tower. Have a café crème before sailing to the English port city of Southampton, from which the Titanic departed.

From there, head north to design-centric Copenhagen, Denmark, behold fairy-tale-looking fjords in Norway and explore the cobblestone-lined medieval Old Town in Stockholm, Sweden. Take part in Swedish fika, the country's coffee break tradition that includes cardamom-spiced baked treats. This adventure wouldn't be complete without a stop in bohemian Berlin or the Baltic shores of Estonia and Lithuania. Soak in Iceland's geothermal waters at the Blue Lagoon. Head west and behold breaching humpback whales off the shores of Canada's furthest eastern landmass, Newfoundland. Make your way from beautifully rugged Atlantic Canada to the Big Apple itself, New York City, with its bright lights and Broadway spectacles. Wind down on the pink sandy beaches of Bermuda and return to subtropical Miami, where your world cruise comes to a heady close.

Written By

Colombian-born, Canadian raised Mary Luz Mejia is a twice NATJA nominated freelance food/travel journalist, Gemini-nominated former food TV producer and Level II Certified Chocolate Taster. Her work has been published in Saveur Magazine, the Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail, The Latin Kitchen, Rodale's Organic Gardening and Toronto Life to name a few. Former Saveur Editor-In-Chief James Oseland calls her "One of Toronto's most passionate food journalists" and her personal goal is to master iconic Latin American dishes, one plate at a time. And por supuesto, se habla Español!

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vacation couple walking along the Great Wall of China. Asia
vacation couple walking along the Great Wall of China. Asia

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