Royal Caribbean strands 145 passengers in San Juan when Irene forces early departure

#1
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Joined Jun 2005
http://travel.usatoday.com/cruises/p...irene/416548/1

""There was no way to notify our guests of this change in departure time."

Huh??? Why not?
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#2
orlando, fl
1,511 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
As stated in the article, it was the Port of San Juan that decided to close and force the ship to leave early. Not knowing the whole story, it was probably a last minute decision by the port to do this. The cruise line is left in the wind just like the 145 passengers. I doubt this would be different with any other cruise line.
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#3
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Joined Aug 2011
Maybe they didn't have time to notify guests. Who knows when the orders came down for the ship to leave port. I'm sure that there is more to the story than USA Today is reporting. We all know how accurate the media is.
#4
Summerville, SC
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Joined Oct 2005
How would they? I suppose they could ask as many of their reservations employees top start calling cell phone numbers provided by guests, but that could take hours, hours they did not have.
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#5
Western Washington
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Why we flew to SJ two days early and boarded as early as possible - and it wasn't even hurricane season. I figure if I am on the ship then I'm leaving when it does so there's no such thing as boarding too early.
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#6
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While I understand that they had to leave port, I do not think that they had no way of contacting the clients.

In most cases, they had phone numbers on file, for reaching guests, maybe even flight numbers.

The least they could have done is posted a sign, if it was deemed unsafe to have a rep waiting to meet people at the port/and or airport. Posted a flash on their website

I do think that RCL could have handled it better.

I do not think they needed to pay for hotel rooms for everyone (unless air/sea pkg bought with cruiseline). or forwarding flight.

I think it would have been a goodwill gesture.

BUT people who sale in HS, when its cheep HAVE to be aware of what may happen. It has been all over the news, so unless they were living under a rock, they could have called RCL in advance.
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#7
Howard County, Maryland
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Originally posted by cruzeluver
How would they? I suppose they could ask as many of their reservations employees top start calling cell phone numbers provided by guests, but that could take hours, hours they did not have.
They could have sent an e-mail out to everyone registered for this cruise. And/or, sent a text message. Some of the people wouldn't have gotten the message in time, but some would have. At the least, it would have been a good-faith effort.

What I wonder is, what will RCI do to make their left-behind guests whole? I acknowledge that they have no control over the weather, and no control over what the port authorities tell them to do; but then again, neither do the passengers. If the ship leaves early, the cruise line should fairly compensate those who missed it.
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#8
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#10
Westcoast USA
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Joined Oct 2007
I think it would fall under force majeure, not much other then good faith gesture is needed on behalf of the cruiseship.

They SHOULD have made a effort to contact the pax, they should have posted it, had it signed at the airport, and port.

They should have had a discount rate code at local hotels, allowing for that option.

They should have had someone on the ground.

From what I read on the net, they did - but only for air/sea pax.

So rule of thumb with cruising, arrive early, book air/sea pkg and book cruiseline tours or beaware you may be left on your own, watching the ship sail away.

T
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#11
Upstate NY
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Most likely even if RCL did contact everyone, the ones that missed the ship were in the air and it would have made no difference
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#12
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Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by cruzeluver
How would they? I suppose they could ask as many of their reservations employees top start calling cell phone numbers provided by guests, but that could take hours, hours they did not have.
Text messages. I know that wouldn't reach everybody, but at least it would reach some. With a properly-written computer system (), they could do this in a matter of seconds.
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#13
Toronto, Ontario
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Joined Jun 2010
I am really disapointed that I am reading that RCI is not paying for some peoples hotels or flights. This is totally Royal Caribbean fault for leaving early, if they planned on leaving early they should of let everyone know the day in advance (I know I know its a hurricane and its unpredictable, but your trying to blame the customers the same way for not knowing). Royal caribbean should not only make sure all the extra expenses are covered but they should all be getting other compensation for their vacation now being ruined. This is really disapointing to read.
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#14
3,948 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by SeaUs
Most likely even if RCL did contact everyone, the ones that missed the ship were in the air and it would have made no difference
When we cruised out of PR, we toured the city the day of the cruise, and didn't get back on the ship until dinner time. There could have been some people doing the same (or not even have checked in yet, knowing that they have time to tour the city).
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#15
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Originally posted by FreshOffTheBoat
I am really disapointed that I am reading that RCI is not paying for some peoples hotels or flights. This is totally Royal Caribbean fault for leaving early, if they planned on leaving early they should of let everyone know the day in advance (I know I know its a hurricane and its unpredictable, but your trying to blame the customers the same way for not knowing). Royal caribbean should not only make sure all the extra expenses are covered but they should all be getting other compensation for their vacation now being ruined. This is really disapointing to read.
Did you even bother to read? It was not Royal Caribbean's choice to leave early. They were forced out by the port authority.
#16
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877 Posts
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This is surprising to hear since our experience was far more pleasant.
A few years ago our RCI cruise was delayed in returning to port due to a storm by 1 and 1/2 days at the end of our cruise. All passengers were given a letter stating that UP to $300.00 would be refunded to all passengers for costs incurred in re-booking air and hotel arrangements. All we had to do was to submit our receipts to the cruise line and within a matter of a few weeks, our credit card was credited. In addition, we were given free access to free e-mail to contact our families, and free telephone usage to contact airlines and hotels while we waited out the storm at sea.
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#17
Charleston, SC (prev Guilford, CT)
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Originally posted by FreshOffTheBoat
I am really disapointed that I am reading that RCI is not paying for some peoples hotels or flights. This is totally Royal Caribbean fault for leaving early, if they planned on leaving early they should of let everyone know the day in advance
It is NOT RC's fault for leaving early. The article states that port officials had begun limiting harbor traffic earlier in the day..as in THE SAME DAY...Although I agree they could have handled it better, there was no way to let them know "a day in advance" as you indicate....
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#18
Summerville, SC
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Joined Oct 2005
The decision to leave was not left to Royal Caribbean (or Carnival, who found themselves in the same situation). They were given no choice but to leave. It is not reasonable to assume under these extreme circumstances that RC could have contacted all guests in such a short period of time.
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#19
palm beach gardens,fl
1,576 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
I wonder how many were in SJ , or stuck somewhere else with canceled flights. When is the latest boarding time recommended for this port. I always thought that they departed so late to allow later flights to arrive.
#20
Toronto, Ontario
656 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by MrsFixitCT
It is NOT RC's fault for leaving early. The article states that port officials had begun limiting harbor traffic earlier in the day..as in THE SAME DAY...Although I agree they could have handled it better, there was no way to let them know "a day in advance" as you indicate....
Its called planning AHEAD. They KNEW a hurricane was coming up the coast. It can't be the first time a hurricane was close to a port and a port had to be closed early. They should know to predict these things as a company, and at the very least if their is potential that they have to leave early to let their customer know of the possibility.

IT'S NOT THE passengers fault, so people who try to blame them stop. Some of you guys protect the company way to much, get real.

All I am saying is I am VERY disapointing on how RCI is treating the people who were stranded, by basically saying its not their fault and their not going to compensate. They should of flown all 145 people to Aruba not just 15.
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