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buddylover

Freedom OTS February 2020 Sailing Cancelled

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Got an email yesterday cancelling our February 23, 2020 Freedom OTS sailing due to RCI's decision for an "Extended Refurbishment"???  :classic_wacko: Bookings on this ship/sailing have been open for close to a year??  To cancel a sailing for reasons NOT OUT of RCI's control is mind boggling - to make a corporate decision impacting thousands of pax that seemingly could have been 'pre-planned' (like to extend a known refurbishment) is staggering.  RCI cheerleaders, please back off if you were not impacted on this sailing. Just a bad 'customer service' statement in totality in my family's estimation.

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6 minutes ago, buddylover said:

Got an email yesterday cancelling our February 23, 2020 Freedom OTS sailing due to RCI's decision for an "Extended Refurbishment"???  :classic_wacko: Bookings on this ship/sailing have been open for close to a year??  

For context, the Feb 24 THIS YEAR sailing for Navigator (also in dry dock) was cancelled last week.

Edited by Biker19

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2 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

For context, the Feb 24 THIS YEAR sailing for Navigator (also in dry dock) was cancelled last week.

WOW....can't they figure these things out???  Not like a mechanical issue or "Mother Nature"....that is totally understandable.

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4 minutes ago, buddylover said:

....that is totally understandable.

Dry docks often have issues - in this case, RCI may have wanted to give themselves more cushion based on recent ones. Would it feel any better if they cancelled due to a charter (which is more common but same end result)?

Edited by Biker19

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1 minute ago, Biker19 said:

Dry docks often have issues - in this case, RCI may have wanted to give themselves more cushion based on recent ones. Would it feel any better if they cancelled due to a charter (which is more common but same end result)?

No, not at all....both are poor business decisions....PERIOD!!  and hurt the booked pax equally.

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Just now, buddylover said:

 

No, not at all....both are poor business decisions....PERIOD!!  and hurt the booked pax equally.

Not sure if you know, charters happen quite often and are probably made simply because it's a good business decision and cancelling a sailing 1+ year out (instead 2 weeks like Navigator) is as well.

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Understand your frustration.  But, it's a fact of life if one wants to cruise.  Refurb's, charters, weather...... lots of things can cause cancellations and changes.  Be angry and bitter if you want, your choice. 

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At least you got a year's notice. I feel bad for the folks that got less than 2 weeks

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26 minutes ago, molly361 said:

At least you got a year's notice. I feel bad for the folks that got less than 2 weeks

Me too!!

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51 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

For context, the Feb 24 THIS YEAR sailing for Navigator (also in dry dock) was cancelled last week.

 

My Empress cruise in 2016 was also cancelled a couple weeks before sailing.  Wasn't happy, but made the most of it.  It stinks, but what are you gonna do.

 

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I wonder what the reason for the "extended refurbishment" is?  If they just under-estimated the amount of time they needed, yeah i agree with you. They dropped the ball. They've been rehabbing ships for 30 years now so they should have a pretty good idea.

 

But, if it's b/c they learning from the mistakes from the Navigator (weather-delay) and decided to pad the time needed, or if they decided to throw on an extra water-slide or there was some non-urgent mechanical issue that could wait a year and decided to correct it during the Royal-amplification time, what can you do? It's disappointing for sure but construction delays happen all the time.

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1 hour ago, buddylover said:

Got an email yesterday cancelling our February 23, 2020 Freedom OTS sailing due to RCI's decision for an "Extended Refurbishment"???  :classic_wacko: Bookings on this ship/sailing have been open for close to a year??  To cancel a sailing for reasons NOT OUT of RCI's control is mind boggling - to make a corporate decision impacting thousands of pax that seemingly could have been 'pre-planned' (like to extend a known refurbishment) is staggering.  RCI cheerleaders, please back off if you were not impacted on this sailing. Just a bad 'customer service' statement in totality in my family's estimation.

Did they just cancel and refund, or did they offer extra in future cruise credit? I think they may have, as suggested, learned from the Navigator, and by planning so far in advance they have saved a lot of people from buying nonrefundable airfares. (And saved those reimbs + fcc's as well, of course!)

 

They may also have chosen to cancel yours due to slower bookings than some others. I understand being disappointed, but considering all that can happen booking more than a year in advance, I think you may have lucked out. Assuming all your costs are reimbursed, I would guess that you can rebook, or switch to a new line that never cancels any cruise, with at worst a little inconvenience. And maybe avoided what might have been a miserable cruise on the FOS and posting later about how desperately in need of refurbishment it was.  Good luck!

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We happen to be on the 3/15/19 sailing of Navigator and the 3/15/20 sailing of Freedom. Neither one had been announced as going into dry dock when we booked. I believe that Royal learned from the mess that cancelling the 2/24/19 sailing of Navigator caused and decided they needed to add the additional week for Freedom next year. While I would not be happy about it (and completely understand the frustration), I would at least feel better knowing that I had a year to plan another cruise instead of two weeks like the Navigator cruisers got. I'm also just making an educated guess here, but the majority of passengers on Freedom are flying to Puerto Rico to go on this cruise versus a cruise leaving from a continental US based port where a lot of people may be driving. Royal doesn't want to be in the business of having an even bigger PR disaster on there hands given those circumstances.

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3 hours ago, HBE4 said:

I wonder what the reason for the "extended refurbishment" is?  If they just under-estimated the amount of time they needed, yeah i agree with you. They dropped the ball. They've been rehabbing ships for 30 years now so they should have a pretty good idea.

 

But, if it's b/c they learning from the mistakes from the Navigator (weather-delay) and decided to pad the time needed, or if they decided to throw on an extra water-slide or there was some non-urgent mechanical issue that could wait a year and decided to correct it during the Royal-amplification time, what can you do? It's disappointing for sure but construction delays happen all the time.

But in last 30 years they usually do a 2 week Marine side Dry Dock, rare that Royal has done any Refurbishments. It's new that they add all these Water slides and dozens of additional cabins, this is what takes time...

Edited by ONECRUISER

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14 minutes ago, ONECRUISER said:

But in last 30 years they usually do a 2 week Marine side Dry Dock, rare that Royal has done any Refurbishments. It's new that they add all these Water slides and dozens of additional cabins, this is what takes time...

 

I just watched some of the video's posted Navigator Drydock thread. Gives me a new appreciation of how much effort goes Amping up the ships. 4,000 people working for weeks....the logistics or coordinating the delivery of materials, etc.

 

It's actually amazing they get the work done in the allotted time. 

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3 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

 

I just watched some of the video's posted Navigator Drydock thread. Gives me a new appreciation of how much effort goes Amping up the ships. 4,000 people working for weeks....the logistics or coordinating the delivery of materials, etc.

 

It's actually amazing they get the work done in the allotted time. 

Agree, well said. Seeing amount of work in pictures, Wow

Edited by ONECRUISER

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So they realize a year ahead of the cruise they should have budgeted more time.  They can:

 

1) Cancel now and give you options a year in advance,

2) Hope it all works out and if not, cancel two weeks in advance, or

3) Hope it all works out and if not, let you go ahead and cruise while construction workers finish up the job.

 

Sounds like they took the lesser of three evils.  

 

Hope it works out for you, whether you choose another line or continue to cruise on a cruise line which exhibits such "bad customer service."

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5 hours ago, buddylover said:

Got an email yesterday cancelling our February 23, 2020 Freedom OTS sailing due to RCI's decision for an "Extended Refurbishment"???  :classic_wacko: Bookings on this ship/sailing have been open for close to a year??  To cancel a sailing for reasons NOT OUT of RCI's control is mind boggling - to make a corporate decision impacting thousands of pax that seemingly could have been 'pre-planned' (like to extend a known refurbishment) is staggering.  RCI cheerleaders, please back off if you were not impacted on this sailing. Just a bad 'customer service' statement in totality in my family's estimation.

 

@buddylover - Did they offer price protection on any other sailings or other compensation?

 

I was on the Feb 24 Navigator and this Freedom cruise.

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11 hours ago, buddylover said:

Got an email yesterday cancelling our February 23, 2020 Freedom OTS sailing due to RCI's decision for an "Extended Refurbishment"???  :classic_wacko: Bookings on this ship/sailing have been open for close to a year??  To cancel a sailing for reasons NOT OUT of RCI's control is mind boggling - to make a corporate decision impacting thousands of pax that seemingly could have been 'pre-planned' (like to extend a known refurbishment) is staggering.  RCI cheerleaders, please back off if you were not impacted on this sailing. Just a bad 'customer service' statement in totality in my family's estimation.

All I will say, is that I would never book a cruise before or after a schedule drydock. So many horror stories about those cruises, not even worth the chance. Hope you find a suitable replacement

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8 hours ago, skidawg79 said:

All I will say, is that I would never book a cruise before or after a schedule drydock. So many horror stories about those cruises, not even worth the chance. Hope you find a suitable replacement

 

I have never paid attention to the dry dock schedule. We usually book 10 - 14 months in advance. We were on Adventure last year 2 weeks after she came out of dry dock. I didn't know she was going into dry dock until a few months before our cruise. Even if I had, I wouldn't have changed our plans. The ship was in beautiful condition when we boarded. While there were still a few repairs going on, it was almost unnoticeable and it certainly did not affect our cruise. A few weeks ago, we booked Freedom for March 8th, 2020. I just found out yesterday that she will be in dry dock from January 19th - March 1st. I have no intention of changing our plans. I'm looking forward to being on a freshly refurbished ship. 

Edited by cruiseguy1016

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16 hours ago, Ronaldo807 said:

We happen to be on the 3/15/19 sailing of Navigator and the 3/15/20 sailing of Freedom. Neither one had been announced as going into dry dock when we booked. I believe that Royal learned from the mess that cancelling the 2/24/19 sailing of Navigator caused and decided they needed to add the additional week for Freedom next year. While I would not be happy about it (and completely understand the frustration), I would at least feel better knowing that I had a year to plan another cruise instead of two weeks like the Navigator cruisers got. I'm also just making an educated guess here, but the majority of passengers on Freedom are flying to Puerto Rico to go on this cruise versus a cruise leaving from a continental US based port where a lot of people may be driving. Royal doesn't want to be in the business of having an even bigger PR disaster on there hands given those circumstances.

perfect answer to the reason....but not price locking any cruise that someone wants to move the cancelled cruise is wrong....had a b2b booked....now have a extra $800 to pay for the 3/8/20 cruise 

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We were scheduled for B2B 2/23 and 3/1.

I called immediately when notified of the extended refurb.

I was able to get March 8 (it is not part of the substitute options) to complete our B2B. It took a lot of talking and at least an hour on the phone.

It cost me $300 more, but I ended up with a total of $575 OBC. The representative worked hard for the best outcome.

I think it helped that we are Diamond Plus.

RC would not budge on list price and kept saying the week is part of spring break, so prices are higher.

Not sure what I’ll do with that other than gratuities.

We are not drinkers and generally arrange private excursions.

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11 hours ago, Thorben-Hendrik said:

Have not gotten any notice yet..... 🙄

Check your spam folder  this could be #8 for you and we are not even 2 months into 2019😇

Edited by molly361

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24 minutes ago, molly361 said:

Check your spam folder  this could be #8 for you and we are not even 2 months into 2019😇

My TA is always a little slow... 🙄

Well I just got the notification.... sweet 🙃😇

So when is the Explorer drydock? 🤔

Allure is not likely to move as they have hefty fines on the European side...

Any other drydocks in 2020?🤔

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