Hurricane Irene disrupts cruises.

Well, just as I had previously blogged about, the news stories are clogging up the chat boards with accounts of sailings being altered because of Irene.  This article from CruiseCritic.com talks about how the different lines have handled having to leave passengers behind due to early departures.  Most of the cruiselines chose to offer as a good-will gesture, compensation for their passengers who were inconvenienced.  One line even went as far as putting left-behind passengers up in a hotel and flying them to meet the ship at the next port.  The article makes a point of saying that the lines that chose to do this for their passengers are “heroes” while Royal Caribbean International who chose not to, well within their contractual obligations, are “zeros.”

I think it’s great that the other lines chose to compensate their passengers for being inconvenienced by mother nature.  Kudos to them!  If I were one of those passengers I would be thrilled.   As one message board poster pointed out, it was good PR for them.  In my opinion, those other lines chose to do it because they couldn’t afford to have any bad PR.

I don’t think any less of RCI for not throwing a bone to their inconvenienced passengers as some message board posters have commented, saying that they will now choose another line to cruise on.  Great!  That just means there will be less lounge chair hogs for me to have to fight with to get a chair on the pool deck. 😉

Look people, if you know you’re cruising in hurricane season, and you know a hurricane has been forecasted around the time of your sailing, PAY ATTENTION!  The cruiselines update their websites continually as they receive information about the storm, so check it….. often.  Call your travel agent to find out if departure times have changed.  This is one of the reasons I always fly in the day before departure.  There is no rushing to get to port, especially if the departure time is moved up.  The cruiselines give you every opportunity to receive up-to-date information, but you need to put a little effort into it yourself.  If you don’t want to have to deal with these types of issues, don’t cruise during hurricane season.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ed
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 14:15:31

    I have a lot of cruises with Royal and I know that people should get travel insurance and also get to the departure port a day early. BUT, when an unusual circumstance comes up the passengers are to blame for getting to San Juan late but the cruise line also dropped the ball in not even trying to contact them; one email or twitter to all of those email addresses and emergency numbers would have helped.

    In my experiences with Royal this is not the first time for this. About 2 years ago we cruised South America and I know Royal’s web site says passengers are responsible for getting necessary VISA’s and travel documents, but on that cruise more than a hundred passengers were left at the port in Chile and not allowed to board because they did not have a VISA for Brazil. They had to use expedites services to get the Visa and pay their own way to the next port. If Royal had the right information about which people needed the VISA when they arrived at the port, they had that same information when people booked and should have told them in an email.

    Now add that to the passengers who were treated badly when the Brilliance was hit by a rogue wave in the Med and there is definitely a pattern here.

    Reply

  2. Steve
    Sep 02, 2011 @ 15:07:58

    Looks like Royal is giving their passengers some credits depending on the change they made it their vacation. http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=4592

    Reply

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