Royal Caribbean’s top executives have told passengers it would be compensating flights and airfares of passengers booked on the Ovation of the Seas repositioning cruise on January 23, 2017.
The move was revealed after on Australian passenger took complains right to the top: Adam Goldstein, the line’s president.
Royal Caribbean has been facing a social media storm ever sine it announced it would be extending the ship’s season in Australia for an extra four cruises. Cabins for the Australian stay are 90 per cent booked out and demand is still surging.
But the move meant a repositioning cruise was scratched, and hundreds of passengers left disappointed.
Suzie Woods had booked the Ovation of the Seas repositioning cruise from Sydney to Singapore for her family and friends – including her 10-year-old daughter. The entire group were looking forward to the holiday.
Unfortunately she and her family are unable to go on another cruise four weeks later because of end of school holidays. She now has to break the news to her 10-year-old that they will not be taking their dream holiday.
“I’m dreading telling my daughter…she was so excited.”
Some cruisers’ travel agents only found out from their clients and some passengers are even waiting to receive news from Royal Caribbean.
Over the past few months, cruise lines have cancelled port calls and even itineraries due to bad weather which is a fair reason.
The announcement came a day after Channel Nine’s news program 60 Minutes aired a special on the ship, sparking debate whether the line had an influx of interest and therefore, cancelled its repositioning cruise to cater for more itineraries.
Some have been emailing Royal Caribbean’s top executives like Chairman and CEO Richard Rain and President and CEO Adam Goldstein.
One passenger, Leanne promptly emailed Mr Goldstein after she heard about the cancellation.
“I emailed Adam Goldstein and his assistant called me today. He said that nobody will be out of pocket for their airfares or accommodation, we will be offered a cruise for the same duration and at the same costs and that our deposit will not be lost.”
So what are you entitled to if a cruise line cancels or changes your cruise?
Unfortunately, not much. Cruise lines will offer alternate sailings or itineraries. But in this rare case where many passengers have booked flights back to Australia and accommodation in Singapore, travel insurance won’t cover the cancellation.
Royal Caribbean’s cancellation policy says, “Whilst we always endeavour to avoid changes and cancellations, we reserve the right to do so. If we have to make a significant change or cancel, we will tell you as soon as possible. If there is time to do so before departure, we will offer you the choice of the following options for significant changes.”
The policy goes on to say that passengers can either accept the alternate arrangements, get their money back or Royal Caribbean will offer a similar holiday or they will give you an option of another.
When Cruise Passenger asked Royal Caribbean how they would help cruisers who were in this predicament, a spokesperson said, “Guests booked on Ovation of the Seas’ 23 January 2017 repositioning cruise will be contacted directly to discuss cruise and flight arrangements on a case by case basis, and offered the first choice of sailings to rebook, including the revised repositioning itinerary scheduled for four weeks later.”