9-Month Cruise’s Russia and Israel Stops Altered to Steer Clear of Conflicts, Passenger Reveals

Brandee Lake, an adventurous traveler and podcaster, has been providing exclusive insights into the unfolding journey of Royal Caribbean’s 9-month Ultimate World Cruise. In a recent update, Lake shared details about alterations to the cruise itinerary, shedding light on the complexities of navigating geopolitical challenges. Originally encompassing Russia, Ukraine, and Israel, the itinerary was strategically rerouted to avoid potential conflicts, showcasing the cruise organizers’ commitment to passenger safety and seamless exploration.

According to Lake, who has been actively documenting her experiences on TikTok since the cruise’s departure from Miami on December 10, the itinerary underwent a series of adjustments. “The itinerary has changed a bit a couple of times. When we first signed up, Russia and Ukraine were on it,” she explained. Additionally, Israel, initially part of the grand adventure, was omitted due to ongoing political dynamics. However, Lake maintains an optimistic outlook, highlighting that the cruise organizers compensated for these changes by adding new destinations. Remarkably, this flexibility ensures that Lake remains on track to achieve her impressive goal of visiting 100 countries during this epic journey.

Throughout these alterations, Royal Caribbean demonstrated a commitment to transparent communication with passengers. Lake emphasized that each time a destination was removed, the cruise line proactively sent official updates to passengers, detailing the adjustments and introducing the new ports of call. This open dialogue fosters a sense of trust and understanding among the more than 600 passengers who embarked on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Addressing recent rumors circulating on board about a potential early termination of the cruise due to unrest in the Red Sea and Suez Canal, Royal Caribbean promptly issued a reassuring statement. The cruise line confirmed that the journey would continue as originally planned, with the first segment set to conclude in February, marking the beginning of the next exciting phase exploring Asia.

The 9-month Ultimate World Cruise, a monumental undertaking, is designed to span all seven continents and conclude in September 2024. In its initial 30 days, passengers aboard Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas have already explored 10 countries or territories, including iconic landmarks like Chichén Itzá, Christ the Redeemer, and Iguazu Falls. The ship recently navigated the challenging Drake Passage, providing passengers with a rare glimpse of Antarctica, and is currently making planned stops along the captivating West Coast of South America, notably in Chile.

Contrary to potential external perceptions of drama or discord among passengers, Lake emphasizes the strong sense of community on board. “Honestly, and I’m not just saying this, we all are a group. It’s funny to me that people think that we’re all so separate,” she shares. This camaraderie adds a unique dimension to the cruise experience, fostering connections and shared memories among fellow travelers.

Reflecting on the distinctive cruise lifestyle, Lake appreciates the convenience of living on what she describes as a “mobile hotel.” The joy of waking up in a new destination without the hassle of traditional travel logistics is a major highlight for passengers. However, Lake candidly acknowledges the challenges, particularly in maintaining a balanced diet due to her gluten intolerance. With a touch of humor, she admits, “I have some dietary restrictions, which stop me from going completely off the rails, but yet, still … the desserts!” This human touch adds a relatable and lighthearted element to the journey, showcasing the real and varied experiences of those on this extraordinary cruising adventure. As the ship sails toward new horizons, passengers eagerly anticipate the next chapter of exploration, camaraderie, and unforgettable moments.