According to some reports, passengers were in a mutinous mood demanding the captain of Royal Caribbean’s mega liner Legend of the Seas “walk the plank”. And all over a switch in schedule that meant they missed the town of Broome, in Western Australia.
As a result, the ship’s voyage is now trending on social media and being followed by avid cruisers everywhere.
It all started when passengers were informed by their Captain about a change in plans over the scheduled stop in Broome. Weather didn’t allow for the stop because of extreme tidal conditions.
In a world of social media, nothing remains secret for long. One of the passengers decided to share their story with stuff.co.nz, a well known local website. The news is trending as ‘breaking news’ in the cruising world everywhere.
The article by Ray Sparvell quotes a passengers named Garry, who booked the cruise because it included the iconic destination. Imagine his disappointment when, instead, the Legend stopped at Port Headland.
Currently sailing through the Malacca Straits en route to Phuket, Thailand, the passengers are still unhappy.
The 14-day cruise attracted 1700 and was scheduled to visit two Australian ports and several Asian ones before finally docking in Singapore.
According to Garry, who is liberally quoted on Stuff.co.nz, most learned of the Broome debacle through “Chinese whispers”.
“No other announcement was made by Royal Caribbean staff,” Garry complained.
Almost 400 passengers demanded an explanation from the Captain and senior crew as to why they were not visiting Broome. The Captain refused, reports the stuff.co.nz article. The 400 passengers then formed a committee and sent a letter to the Captain and Chief Executive of Royal Caribbean.
In a statement shared with Cruise Passenger, Royal Caribbean International said: “Legend of the Seas was unable to call at Broome on 1 October 2015 during her 14 night Fremantle to Singapore cruise because the extreme tidal conditions in Broome meant the gangways connecting the ship to the shore could not be deployed safely for seven hours during the ship’s stay alongside.
“This was unacceptable as it would have prevented passengers and crew getting off and on the ship as well as from a safety viewpoint as it would have inhibited evacuation of the ship in the event of an emergency.”
“The safety and security of our guests and crew are our number one priorities, and after careful consideration, a decision was taken by the ship’s Captain before the cruise departed to cancel the scheduled call at Broome and substitute with Port Hedland, where we were able to dock alongside.”
“Guests were provided with a letter advising of the itinerary change immediately prior to boarding the ship. Broome was one of eight ports of call scheduled on this cruise. We do our best to minimise itinerary changes to avoid disappointing guests who may be looking forward to visiting particular destinations, however safety always remains our highest priority and itinerary changes occur from time to time if sea conditions and available port infrastructure compromise our operations.”
“Guests will be refunded all prepaid shore excursions and port fees for the missed port,” said Royal Caribbean spokesperson.
Will that make them happy? Watch the social media space…