A bit of a surprise here.

via wikimedia

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. are overhauling their Spanish subsidiary Pullmantur. They are going to concentrate on the European market only and pulling their ship out of the Caribbean. The Monarch (ex-Monarch of the Seas) will focus on European itineraries next year instead of Southern Caribbean. This is reportedly related to the weakening of the Latin American markets that the Monarch was sourcing pax from.

This turns out to have cost Royal roughly $399 million which they agreed to write off in order to refocus and reset the brand.

In addition to the refocusing, the Empress (ex-Empress of the Seas, Nordic Empress) will leave the Pullmantur fleet and rejoin the Royal Caribbean fleet this Spring.

Nordic Empress in 2004 via wikimedia

Since the two markets that Pullmantur caters to, Latin American and Spain, are in the midsts of serious financial crisis, it all makes sense what Royal’s doing. It just surprising that the 2,000 pax ship would go to the flagship brand in Royal Caribbean. A fleet that contains Oasis, Allure, and Anthem of the Seas. The Empress will supposedly be given Majesty of the Seas treatment and undergo extensive refurbishments before joining Royal.