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

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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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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.:rolleyes:

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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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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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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.

Edited by foxesden1

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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.

Edited by oldguysandgalls

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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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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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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.

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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.

Edited by FreshOffTheBoat

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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.

 

Yes a cruise line can predict the weather.:rolleyes::rolleyes:

 

How about some of you get real. No one is protecting anyone. We are simply stating the facts. How do you know that the airport was open or flights were not canceled? It's called having insurance to cover this. :rolleyes:

Edited by simplylife0010

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IT'S NOT THE passengers fault, so people who try to blame them stop.

 

Its no one's fault. Force majeure should definitely come into play here.

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We never thought we would cruise during Hurricane season but we decided to this year..I am concerned with the weather and will follow the weather predictions closely. I always fly a day before and get to the ship early so if some bad weather comes our way, I would hope it will be some kind of help.

 

Everyone knew there was a hurricane coming, not only RCI but also the passengers. Everyone concerned has to take some responsibility. It's not just the fault of RCI...and I ain't no cheerleader. The problem with many people today is that it's never their own fault.

 

Hurricane season...hellooooo

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I am really disapointed that I am reading that RCI is not paying for some peoples hotels or flights. 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.

 

It isn't just Royal Caribbean that will not provide assistance to passengers who do not book through the cruise line. We were on a Celebrity Mediterrean cruise last October that was cancelled, due to rudder problems, on the second night of 12 nights. We were told up front that if we didn't book through Celebrity, we would receive no assistance and they were true to their word. We were bused 10 hours to Barcelona, given one night in a hotel and left to fend for ourselves. We had travel insurance but more importantly, we had a terrific on line travel agency who made all the flight and hotel arrangements for us.

Edited by CruisinNole

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From what I've read on the Carnival boards, Carnival handled the situation better. They left at 6pm & don't normally leave till 10pm I think. They had staff at the port and airport advising passengers on what to do and helping them - Carnival booked airfare or no.

Edited by KITKAT0229

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Yes a cruise line can predict the weather.:rolleyes::rolleyes:

 

How about some of you get real. No one is protecting anyone. We are simply stating the facts. How do you know that the airport was open or flights were not canceled? It's called having insurance to cover this. :rolleyes:

 

I can predict the weather when the weather network is telling me their is a hurricane coming... Its not like the cruise line didn't know one was close to hitting the area. Its call planning ahead, you can do it apparently but the cruise line can't?

 

Yes it is good to have insurance for instances like this, I just don't get how they treat 15 people so different from everyone else, RCI should want to take care of all there passengers.

 

Anyone know how carnival handled this situation?

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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.

 

The National Hurricane Center has problems predicting hurricanes and where they are going to go. Would you trust Royal's computers to predict this? They can barely display correct fares on their website... :)

 

I think RCCL could have handled it better, but it is also a risk the passengers take by flying in the day of the cruise, regardless of if they booked with RCCL or not.

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If the cruise lines compensated everyone for every mishap, there would be no need to buy trip insurance.

This is precisely why you buy insurance, or book airfare through the cruise line. Or you suck it up if something goes wrong.

Actually, 145 is surprisingly few people to have missed the boat, given the circumstance, so there was probably some communication somewhere along the line to whomever could be reached. Probably wasn't deemed newsworthy.

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I can predict the weather when the weather network is telling me their is a hurricane coming... Its not like the cruise line didn't know one was close to hitting the area. Its call planning ahead, you can do it apparently but the cruise line can't?

 

Yes it is good to have insurance for instances like this, I just don't get how they treat 15 people so different from everyone else, RCI should want to take care of all there passengers.

 

Anyone know how carnival handled this situation?

 

If people were in the air then the cruise line had no way of contacting them. Obviously these were late arriving passengers who flew in. As for Irene, her path was not clear as they never are. If you cruise during hurricane season then you are rolling the dice.

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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).

 

Happened to this guy, and he was on Celebrity. Another reason to always carry your ID and Passports.

 

We were on a Celebrity ship in San Juan. We checked in then went to dinner at the Ritz. The departure time was supposed to be 10 pm with a be on-board by 9:30 pm.

We returned at 8:15 pm and the ship was about 40 feet off the dock. We called the ship on our cell phone, jumped up and down, all to no avail. We had locked everything in the room safe and only had an AMEX card. No licenses, passports, nothing. We ended up taking a taxi back to the Ritz, then went to the airport the next morning and had to convince American Airlines to fly us to St Thomas with no identification. About $900 later we arrived in Saint Thomas. Celebrity covered some of the expense. Truly bizarre that they left early.

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If the cruise lines compensated everyone for every mishap, there would be no need to buy trip insurance.

This is precisely why you buy insurance, or book airfare through the cruise line. Or you suck it up if something goes wrong.

Actually, 145 is surprisingly few people to have missed the boat, given the circumstance, so there was probably some communication somewhere along the line to whomever could be reached. Probably wasn't deemed newsworthy.

 

That's because you have common sense and understand "it".:)

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The National Hurricane Center has problems predicting hurricanes and where they are going to go. Would you trust Royal's computers to predict this? They can barely display correct fares on their website... :)

 

How right you are, half the time I check my booking on their site..I don't even see it:eek:

I think RCCL could have handled it better, but it is also a risk the passengers take by flying in the day of the cruise, regardless of if they booked with RCCL or not.

 

It does seem that they could/should have..but then again, we don't know for sure when the Port told them to leave. If they did have enough time, I would hope they would do the right thing.

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The National Hurricane Center has problems predicting hurricanes and where they are going to go. Would you trust Royal's computers to predict this? They can barely display correct fares on their website... :)

 

I think RCCL could have handled it better, but it is also a risk the passengers take by flying in the day of the cruise, regardless of if they booked with RCCL or not.

 

The risk of flying in the day before or not, really has nothing to do with this situation. People could of just been out enjoying PR thinking they have plenty of time to get to the ship.

 

The facts are that RCI left 145 passengers behind, the passengers were given no warning that the ship was leaving so early. RCI is now saying to 130 passengers that oh well its not our fault (its an act of GOD). We are keeping your money, not paying for your hotels, not pay for flight changes, etc. Also that fact that these people's vacations have now been ruined, its hard enough for some people to have the money and or time to ever go on a vacation.

Edited by FreshOffTheBoat

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It is not reasonable to assume under these extreme circumstances that RC could have contacted all guests in such a short period of time.

Maybe not all of them, but they could have contacted many of them with text messages, which could have been done in a matter of seconds.

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Maybe not all of them, but they could have contacted many of them with text messages, which could have been done in a matter of seconds.

 

How many people do you think have their cell phones on when traveling? I don't. It's the first thing that I shut off when going on vacation.

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If people were in the air then the cruise line had no way of contacting them. Obviously these were late arriving passengers who flew in. As for Irene, her path was not clear as they never are. If you cruise during hurricane season then you are rolling the dice.

What about the people that weren't in the air, that might have just been touring the city?

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If the ship had to leave, they had to leave, but the line about no way to contact passengers? That's just bogus. Just as an airline can send out a text message and/or leave a voicemail on flight changes or cancellations, RCCL could have absolutely done the same. This wouldn't have helped everyone, but there are some, no doubt that it would have helped.

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From what I've read on the Carnival boards, Carnival handled the situation better. They left at 6pm & don't normally leave till 10pm I think. They had staff at the port and airport advising passengers on what to do and helping them - Carnival booked airfare or no.

 

Yes, Carnival did step up, they had staff at the airport and a dedicated phone number for pax to call to make arrangements to fly to Barbados. They put them up in hotels in San Juan and flew them to Barbados last night.

Edited by DaytonCruiser

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I think RCCL could have handled it better, but it is also a risk the passengers take by flying in the day of the cruise, regardless of if they booked with RCCL or not.

 

How do you know that the left-behind passengers were flying in the same day of the cruise? Maybe they had arrived the night before, and simply hadn't gone to the port yet, given that (normally) they would have still had hours remaining before it was time to depart.

 

Look at it this way. Suppose you were booked on a flight that was scheduled to leave at 5:00 p.m. You were even diligent enough to call the airline that morning, and they said the flight was operating on schedule. What time would you present yourself at the airport? I would bet that most people would aim to be there between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Now, suppose the plane left at 2:00 p.m.? I'll bet you would insist that the airline take care of you, one way or another . . . regardless of whether you had flight insurance or had booked through the airline or whatever else.

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