Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has announced the latest changes to its itinerary, which will include a shorter sailing time (2-3 days). This is due to a berthing conflict at Port Canaveral. Meanwhile, passengers are being offered up some free drinks and shore excursions as compensation for the inconvenience.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has changed its itinerary due to a conflict with the port of berthing. The cruise ship will now be sailing from Miami instead of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Read more in detail here: royal caribbean cruise cancellations 2021.
The schedule modifications for guests aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas on January 22, 2022, have already been communicated to them. Unlike previous sailings that have been plagued by port cancellations, the adjustments for Allure of the Seas are only a reorganization of the original itinerary’s intended ports of call.
Itinerary Change on the Allure of the Seas
The Allure of the Seas’ January 22, 2022 departure is an 8-night Eastern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. The ship’s original plan called for it to visit Nassau, Bahamas, on the first day, then a day at sea before visiting three ports in three days: Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, on January 25, Philipsburg, St. Maarten, on January 26, and Basseterre, St. Kitts, on January 27.
The cruise was then slated to spend two days at sea before docking in Fort Lauderdale on January 30.
The amended schedule was announced in an email to all booked guests. No ports will be skipped, and the number of days at sea as well as the stop in Nassau will stay the same. The itinerary has been rearranged to stop in Charlotte Amalie on January 25 (no change), Basseterre on January 26, and Philipsburg on January 27.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/KJ Stylus
At addition, the timings in port for Basseterre have been modified, with an additional hour added before departure. This means that the port of call will now be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., rather than the previous timetable of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At this moment, no additional times have been modified.
What are the Reasons for the Changes?
These changes are not COVID-related, but the email, sent by Aurora Yera-Rodriguez, Assistant Vice President of Guest Experience at Royal Caribbean, states “Due to a berthing conflict, we’ve swapped the days we’ll visit Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.”
When numerous cruise ships visit the same port of call on the same day, berthing disputes may develop because port infrastructure and local tour operators may not be fully ready to manage all ships due to their size and visitor capacity.
The Oasis-class ship Allure of the Seas has a passenger capacity of 5,484 at double occupancy and 6,780 when fully booked. While most cruise ships aren’t currently operating at full capacity, a ship the size of Allure can nonetheless transport a big number of passengers to a port even if some rooms are empty.
Ruth Peterkin / Shutterstock / Ruth Peterkin / Shutterstock / Ruth Peterkin / Shutterstock
Allure of the Seas, together with her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, is now the world’s biggest cruise ship as measured by full capacity.
Six separate cruise ships, including the initial stop for Allure of the Seas, are planned to arrive on January 26th, according to the Port of Philipsburg’s web page. Sky Princess and Grandeur of the Seas are among the other ships sailing that day, and when all planned ships’ guest capacity are tallied together, the port might see well over 13,000 guests in only a few hours.
Only two ships are planned to dock at Philipsburg on January 27: the Celebrity Edge, which can transport 2,918 people, and the Club Med II, which can take just under 400 passengers. Even with the addition of the Allure of the Seas on that day, total guest arrivals will be much fewer than on the ship’s original schedule.
The port schedules for Basseterre are similar, with five ships totaling over 17,000 passengers – including the Allure of the Seas – slated for Thursday, January 27, and just four ships totaling less than 10,000 passengers scheduled for Wednesday, January 28.
Both ports can assist ease congestion by moving Allure to different dates, which will also help encourage greater social distancing measures at the dock.
Shore Excursions Will Be Modified
Any pre-paid Royal Caribbean shore excursions that are impacted by this change will be immediately rescheduled for the appropriate day, and passengers will receive updated tour details via email. New shore excursions may also be pre-booked on the Royal Caribbean website for any port of call on the itinerary.
Are There Going to Be More Changes?
While customers will likely be relieved to learn of this schedule adjustment since no ports of call have yet been cancelled, Royal Caribbean International recently reminded guests of the necessity of flexibility and the likelihood of itinerary modifications even while on board. It’s probable that Allure of the Seas’ initial schedule alteration may not be the last.
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The “royal caribbean covid protocols” is a problem that has been present for a while. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines are changing their itineraries due to the berthing conflict.
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