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kernow

Independence UK 2020 sailings cancelled

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You could see over the past years that RCCL tried hard to fill their ships departing Southampton with all the special promotions for UK booking guests such as Deluxe drink packages and I think free VOOM and or gratuities were also included at times. Compared to departures from other european ports Southampton was the cheapest and when you offer them in addion the drin packages you can imagine that it's not in the favor of RCCL considering how much lots of the Brits like to drink + with the consequences of unrully behaviour and possible damages to inventory etc. Hence RCCL is better off to have only one ship based in the UK and filling it at higher yields.

 

In general that cruise prices for Europe departures are higher than from the US could really be because the onboard spending is lower. Looking at all the "fake sales" for the low quality products on offer, you will find much more americans falling for it than europeans. A problem with Europe are the gratuities, it looks like quite a number of passengers refuse to pay them, hence, the once suffering the most from that are the Crew though.

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1 hour ago, Saab4444 said:

Why don‘t you book Brilliance to the Baltic? Much better ship for this ports anyway.

HI - thanks for that.  Several reasons really . The main one being I don't want to do a fly cruise. Also I am so fed up I now no longer trust RCCL.  I have been on one cruise with them which was not a good experience.  We decided to give them another chance as our daughter is 14 and we wanted a ship with more activities for her.  I have now lost all faith in the company. Shame because their ships have great facilities for teenagers.  Also we only have til the 16th to make a decision as to what we are doing - which feels like pressure.  I need time to calm down and think.  At the moment I have no idea what to do.  If Brilliance were sailing from the UK I would not have had a problem and would happily have swopped to that instead.  Thanks for the suggestion anyway.

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3 hours ago, ReneeFLL said:

 

I feel your pain. We were booked on the TA out of Fort Lauderdale and now we have to fly to Tampa to take the Brilliance. The cabin we had in the Indy was picked because of it's location. The cabins on the Brilliance in the exact location don't have the same category number so they won't even consider the price protection. That's what I was told today. I will call again because you often get a different answer from different RC employees. 

We’d had JS on Independence but it was an extra £2000 to book the same on Anthem- so we opted for balcony.

We also had an all inclusive package that included premium drinks package and gratuities, but the agent said they had been told not to honour any previous independence promotions.  We are actually paying more on Anthem for far less even with the 25% cruise credit but this cruise is a celebration so we didn’t want to just let it go.

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5 hours ago, ReneeFLL said:

 

I feel your pain. We were booked on the TA out of Fort Lauderdale and now we have to fly to Tampa to take the Brilliance. The cabin we had in the Indy was picked because of it's location. The cabins on the Brilliance in the exact location don't have the same category number so they won't even consider the price protection. That's what I was told today. I will call again because you often get a different answer from different RC employees. 

Please post if you have any success. I have phoned a couple of numbers but can't get any joy with it. 

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Do remember that by not sailing out of the UK you avoid sailing the Bay of Biscay around Cabo Finistere which can get choppy. I would much rather fly down to Barcelona and start my cruise from there. Much easier access to the port rather than a bus or train to Southhampton. 

 

Also even in June the weather can be iffy.  Its all up to you but my 2 cents would be to switch to another sailing like the Suez Canal or from Barcelona or the US On a Trans Atlantic with a B2B to the Med.

 

 

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On 5/9/2019 at 3:15 AM, kernow said:

According to the website she will stay in Fort Lauderdale and do perfect day at CoCo Cay

Awesome  I really want to go to Coco Cay!

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6 minutes ago, travelplus said:

Awesome  I really want to go to Coco Cay!

I will jump on Indy in a heart beat if it goes to CoCo Cay on a 7 night cruise.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2019 at 5:32 AM, boingboingbaggy said:

I am totally heart broken. The TA on Indy was going to be the one where I scatter my wifes ashes in the Caribbean. Wanted Indy and early November as the criteria. Nothing else now appeals to me. Probably means we will never see Indy in the UK again. Really bad show RCL. 😥

I am sorry for your loss.  I hope you can look at other cruises operated by Princess, Windstar or another Royal Cruise that stops at the ports you would like. Not to be mean but unfortunately you cannot guarantee that a cruise will be operating the route you purchased.


For instance last year we were supposed to call at Dublin but due to weather we could not dock so we were overnighted in Cobh.    

 

In the Passenger Contract it clearly states "Royal Caribbean is within its rights to cancel, amend or substitute ports at any time up to and during the sailing". If you  want to be 100 percent sure that you are going somewhere then perhaps an alternate transportation may suit your needs.

 

 I do understand you want to spread the ashes of a loved one and I do hope you get that chance. I know I would be sad that the plan did not work out if I were in your situation however having a Plan B and Plan C  is also important. I am sure your Wife  would be delighted to know that you are planning to spread her ashes with grace in a location that she would enjoy..

 

 

Edited by travelplus

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2019 at 5:29 AM, kalaniiwow said:

 

 

 

I'm from the US and here's my letter:

 

Dear Guest,

We are reaching out to let you know that, regrettably, we must cancel our Independence of the Seas September 12, 2020 cruise. We sincerely apologize for the impact to your vacation and understand your disappointment. Please know, when we have to make these difficult decisions, we explore all options. In this case, our main priority was to share this news with you as soon as possible to ensure that we give you as much time to find an alternate sailing.

As a cruise line, we constantly look at where we deploy our ships to give guests the most desired destinations and experiences. This led us to keep Independence of the Seas in the Caribbean in 2020, due to her large success there and the evolution of our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay. Nevertheless, we’re happy to share that the beautiful Anthem of the Seas will be back in Southampton sailing to many extraordinary European destinations! Anthem of the Seas has something for everyone; from thrill-seeking adventures to perfect epicurean delights, this ship offers cutting edge experiences for everyone in your party. And, Allure of the Seas & Explorer of the Seas will also be in Europe sailing out of Barcelona and Rome, respectively.

Due to this cancellation, we will process a full refund of all monies paid to the original form of payment, including any non-refundable deposits. We will begin processing refunds today, and depending on your banking institution or method of payment, you should start seeing these refunds by May 17th, 2019 or sooner.

Also, to help make up for this inconvenience, we’d like to provide all of our guests with the following compensation offer:

 

  • A Future Cruise Credit valued at 25% of your cruise fare paid on your cancelled sailing. You can expect to receive your Future Cruise Credit via email by May 13th, 2019 in hopes you’ll come sail with us on another cruise.
  • In addition, if you already booked your air, you’ll be reimbursed for non-refundable airline charges with receipts (up to $200 per guest for Domestic flights and up to $400 per guest for International flights). Please email your airline receipts and booking information to RoyalGuestRelations@rccl.com for review and reimbursement.

 

Click here to view some alternate Anthem of the Seas 2020 itineraries that are most similar to what you originally booked. If you prefer a different itinerary and ship, you’re welcome to select any Royal Caribbean International sailing and use your Future Cruise Credit. And, don’t forget, Independence of the Seas will be sailing out of Southampton this summer, if you want to catch her before she moves to the Caribbean. Click here to view Independence of the Seas 2019 summer itineraries.

It’s important to us that you find the best vacation option. We kindly ask that you call us at (800) 256-6649 by May 16th 2019 to advise which sail date you’d like to be rebooked on. Our teams are standing by to assist you with finding the perfect cruise.

Lastly, any pre-paid amenities, packages, or shore excursions will be refunded to the original form of payment within 7-10 business days.

Thank you for understanding. We hope you find another cruise vacation with us. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or looking to explore, relax, and recharge – we have no doubt your time with us will be nothing short of amazing. We look forward to welcoming you onboard.

Sincerely,

 

Image did not load.

 

Here are some helpful answers to questions you may have.

Why is my sailing being cancelled?

Your sailing is being cancelled because we’re making changes to our 2020 season that require the Independence of the Seas to remain in the Caribbean, instead of sailing to Southampton.

Our goal is provide our guests with the best itineraries that take you to exclusive parts of the world and have decided to make these changes for the 2020 season to maximize our capacity in the Caribbean. We are terribly sorry. We know this news is disappointing. We do hope you find an alternate vacation option with us.

Do you think you’ll stop operating ships out of the UK?

Absolutely not – the UK is a key market for us.

Where will Independence of the Seas sail from?

Independence of the Seas will continue to sail from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Is it true that Anthem of the Seas will replace Independence of the Seas in Southampton?

Anthem of the Seas is actually already sailing out of Southampton next year, so she isn’t replacing Independence of the Seas. And, Allure of the Seas & Explorer of the Seas will also be in Europe sailing out of Barcelona and Rome, respectively.

What kind of itineraries will Anthem of the Seas be sailing?

She will be sailing Transatlantic, Spain & Portugal, France & Spain, Northern Europe, Italy, plus more!

Why aren’t you moving me to an Anthem of the Seas sailing?

We want to make sure you find the perfect cruise. So, whether you choose to sail on a similar itinerary on Anthem of the Seas, or you decide you want to do a completely different itinerary, we want it to be your choice.

Are any other ships doing European itineraries?

Yes, Allure of the Seas will sail out of Barcelona & Explorer of the Seas will sail out of Rome in 2020.

What if my reservation had Future Cruise Credits applied?

Your FCC will be reinstated and once you are ready to apply it to a new reservation we will be happy to do so.

What if my cancelled sailing was a NextCruise booking?

NextCruise OBCs applied for Independence cancelled sailings can be reapplied to new bookings.

This is the one reason why I do not book my cruises more than a year in advance. I would much rather pay a higher price and know that 99 percent sure my sailing will sail. So far in the 7 years with Royal I never had my cruise cancelled. Only on one cruise a port was substituted and I was fine as it was due to weather.

 

I do understand that more cabins may be available the sooner you book but I have been very pleased with my cabin selections.   In fact I book my cruise between 10 months-6 months in advance. 

 

I have a 22 day B2B cruise on the Brilliance in October that sails around the Med before going to Tampa.  I do understand people have set vacation time but the 25 Percent FCC is a fair gesture plus a full refund one I would gladly apply of the newer ships like the Harmony if my itinerary gerts cancelled.  

 

I book my airfare once I know my itinerary is set in stone. Perhaps this is a good reason to book with Cruise AIr because if its cancelled they will take care of everything should something goes South. This is why a good Travel Insurance Policy with Cancel for any reason, Trip Delay etc. is vital. 

 

I think people get so worked up over cancellations and forget that even airlines can cancel their flights and hotels can close a portion of their rooms for a remodel etc. 

 

There are sadly no guarantees in the travel industry.  I have had the best plans change and then I make lemons out of lemonade. In fact I look for better deals. On one trip I was able to rent an Alfa Romero Gulia for less than the cost of a Renault of less caliber.  I love cancelling and rebooking when there are no fees attached.

 

Flexibility is key to any plan to fit into your schedule.  If I see a $1000 tour at the last minute with air I book it and this is why my passport is up to date.  I love last minute on a whim trips just as much as those planned in advance.

 

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

 

Edited by travelplus

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1 hour ago, travelplus said:

This is the one reason why I do not book my cruises more than a year in advance. I would much rather pay a higher price and know that 99 percent sure my sailing will sail. So far in the 7 years with Royal I never had my cruise cancelled.

A cruise can be changed/cancelled anytime for numerous reasons...even right before a departure date. Take the recent Oasis situation. Stuff happens.  When you book has no impact on the probability of change. There's a reason why every booking has the "itineraries subject to change" listed on their documentation.

 

In more than 10 years, we never had a cruise itinerary change or cancelled...and we always book well in advance.

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Can the 25% Future Cruise Credit be used on a Celebrity cruise?

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27 minutes ago, TPA2005 said:

Can the 25% Future Cruise Credit be used on a Celebrity cruise?

Unlikely, the FCC usually lists the terms. 

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On 5/10/2019 at 4:57 PM, Suebiker said:

Whilst 25% off may sound great.  We booked a cruise up the Baltic's in the school holidays.  The only other options open to us are 3 Mediteranean cruises which are already well booked up - only Balcony cabins and above available.. We don't want to go to the med as we have been before.  We would end up spending more money even with the discount and we have also lost our free drinks package.  Yes they have given us plenty of notice however if you book for school holidays you have to book early.   All the best deals and cabins for summer holidays are now gone.  Our options now are somewhat limited.  Our only option with RCCL is to pay more money , go to a destination we don't want to go to on a ship we don't want to go on!!!!!!!! How can you call this fair!!!!!  I will not book with them again on principle.   This decision should have been decided before they put the cruises on sale.  I'm sorry but you don't treat customers like this!

 

 

I would definately call them and argue the point that it wasn't your fault and the drink package should transfer.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

A cruise can be changed/cancelled anytime for numerous reasons...even right before a departure date. Take the recent Oasis situation. Stuff happens.  When you book has no impact on the probability of change. There's a reason why every booking has the "itineraries subject to change" listed on their documentation.

 

In more than 10 years, we never had a cruise itinerary change or cancelled...and we always book well in advance.

I believe it is a different story if a cruise is canceled or changed because of technical or weather issues or if Royal simply decides to promote their Island investment with one more ship. I don‘t believe the true reason is just high demand for Cocoa Cay, they just need as much return on investment as they can get short term to justify the high costs. There is high demand for Northern Europe cruises as well and for a day in a fun park island why not fly people in (I know there is no airport on Cocoa Cay...) or charter a ferry boat?

Edited by Saab4444

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7 hours ago, Saab4444 said:

I believe it is a different story if a cruise is canceled or changed because of technical or weather issues or if Royal simply decides to promote their Island investment with one more ship. I don‘t believe the true reason is just high demand for Cocoa Cay, they just need as much return on investment as they can get short term to justify the high costs. There is high demand for Northern Europe cruises as well and for a day in a fun park island why not fly people in (I know there is no airport on Cocoa Cay...) or charter a ferry boat?

Cruise lines can change their itineraries for whatever reason they choose. In this case, they intend to move another ship in place of Independence.

 

We're actually looking at a Northern Europe cruise in the future ourselves. The higher the cost of a cruise vacation, the more the value of getting travel insurance. We always get it,  and usually do so for any illness, injury, or evacuation potential (albeit rare). Stuff happens, and the cost of those scenarios can be financially significant...in some cases even more so that the entire trip.

 

In any case...they already know how well sales are for Coco Cay, and can likely forecast revenue of adding another ship for that destination. After spending more than $200 million on the place...it should come as no surprise that RCI is looking to recoup their investment there ASAP.

 

All this said...I do feel badly for those who have been required to rework their cruise plans because of the Independence of the Seas itinerary changes. We've been on that fine ship ourselves and have a sweet spot for her. 

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13 hours ago, ReneeFLL said:

 

I would definately call them and argue the point that it wasn't your fault and the drink package should transfer.

 

I have cancelled  - as have most other people according to my travel agent.  RCCL have told all the travel agents that no offer such as free drinks or free gratuities will be honoured under any circumstances!!!!!!!  I have booked with another line instead.  On principle - I won't sail with them again.

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10 minutes ago, Suebiker said:

 

I have cancelled  - as have most other people according to my travel agent.  RCCL have told all the travel agents that no offer such as free drinks or free gratuities will be honoured under any circumstances!!!!!!!  I have booked with another line instead.  On principle - I won't sail with them again.

The ‘incident’ line agent told me too that they had been told not to honour any promotions from Independence bookings. So unfair.

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7 hours ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

Cruise lines can change their itineraries for whatever reason they choose. In this case, they intend to move another ship in place of Independence.

Yes , but just because they can, doesn't mean it's right. Maybe cruise companies should be subject to the same  EU law as airlines. They have to provide the service that has been paid for. If they don't or are delayed for any reason they have to provide compensation AND the service paid for. Or in this case a similar level , like for like. maybe consumer law needs changing as far as cruise lines are concerned. I could maybe understand if this was a technical reason but it is  purely about profit for the company with no thought to the consumer.

 

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We were due to book Indy for 2020 from the UK for the kids, we are doing Oasis this year. Now the prices for Anthem as an alternative are to be honest crazy compared to what they were a few weeks ago its just not a sensible option. 

 

So for the first time we are going to try someone else who does want to service the UK market. Bye bye RCCL its been a blast but you dumped us so we are going to give another girl at try, who knows she might be a keeper 😘💅

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The other day just before Royal Caribbean announced keeping Indy in Florida because of anticpated demand for Coco Cay I had just read a passenger review of Coco Cay where they said it was very nice but with just one ship there the wait for the big water slides was something like 1 1/2 hours. Now granted this is an anecdotal report but if true how in the world are they going to be able to handle the added passenger count from Indy to the ones they had already planned on going there???

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27 minutes ago, notladjr said:

The other day just before Royal Caribbean announced keeping Indy in Florida because of anticpated demand for Coco Cay I had just read a passenger review of Coco Cay where they said it was very nice but with just one ship there the wait for the big water slides was something like 1 1/2 hours. Now granted this is an anecdotal report but if true how in the world are they going to be able to handle the added passenger count from Indy to the ones they had already planned on going there???

That was one person reporting that delay...tons of others posted no such delay. A fluke.

 

As for the itinerary changes- it is indeed unfortunate. Also somewhat of a fluke. I guess that’s why the sell travel insurance.

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7 hours ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

That was one person reporting that delay...tons of others posted no such delay. A fluke.

 

As for the itinerary changes- it is indeed unfortunate. Also somewhat of a fluke. I guess that’s why the sell travel insurance.

In the EU a standard travel insurance covers only sickness or other defined circumstances on the customer’s side. If the travel provider cancels he has to reimburse the customer but not the insurance.

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17 hours ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

Cruise lines can change their itineraries for whatever reason they choose. In this case, they intend to move another ship in place of Independence.<Major snip>

 

 

Hello,

 

Are you sure? There are no reports I have seen of RCI moving another ship to the UK to replace the Independence - it's Anthem or nothing.

 

Regards,

 

Cublet

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1 hour ago, cublet said:

Hello,

 

Are you sure? There are no reports I have seen of RCI moving another ship to the UK to replace the Independence - it's Anthem or nothing.

 

Regards,

 

Cublet

Yeah me too - Anthem or another cruise line if you want to go from Southampton!

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1 hour ago, shopaholic6 said:

Yeah me too - Anthem or another cruise line if you want to go from Southampton!

Referring to Anthem taking on the former Independence routes (some for the first time).

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