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Cancelled by RC - chartered ship cancels cruise


Peaches54
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Royal Caribbean cancelled a cruise because someone Chartered the ship.  Months ago we planned and paid for a family cruise on Independence of the Seas, November 21-26, 2020. Just this week we received an email letting us know the ship has been chartered and we cannot go on this cruise.  They gave several options and other dates to choose another cruise.  None of these dates worked for our family because these are Holiday dates and trying to rearrange several family members schedules-----very hard to do.  How do I trust Royal Caribbean when I book a future cruise?  I have 3 other cruises with Royal in 2020 and now I can't trust that these will actually take place.  After 37 cruises, most with Royal Caribbean, I've lost confidence in booking with them.  Not only was our week cancelled due to the Charter, also another week in November 2020 was cancelled!  How many people now are scrambling to re-book a cruise with Royal?! After 2-3 hours of telephone conversations with our travel agent, who was corresponding with Royal, we had to cancel the Family vacation.  Why can't Royal Caribbean let the Chartered cruises plan years in advance and not disrupt cruises already booked?!  Very sadly disappointed in a this cruise line that we've been loyal to.  The "loyal to Royal" means nothing to me anymore. 

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I always worry about this because I work for a school and can not decide when I want vacation time. For me it is summer months only and at that only late June thru August. We did one over presidents weekend in Feb years ago and have one planned for that same weekend in Feb this year. I am praying that we do not get sick or have bad weather that would keep us from getting there because I would have to wait until summer before I could rebook. I don't understand why they can't give the people who want to do a charter options of of certain ships and dates that have not been booed yet. Example , if I were to call and say I wanted to charter for Feb they would then say we have x date on x ship or xx date on xx ship available. Rather than saying well we only have 500 people booked on Liberty for the date you want so sure I'll kick them off to accommodate you. It is not good business to kick off pax that have already booked and paid to accommodate a company that will then be given group discounts on everything!.

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6 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

I think you answered your own question about how often it happens.  While it does happen from time to time it is not common enough that I would not cruise Royal because of this. 

Let me know your opinion when YOUR Holiday Family vacation is cancelled.

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4 minutes ago, toxicfairy said:

I always worry about this because I work for a school and can not decide when I want vacation time. For me it is summer months only and at that only late June thru August. We did one over presidents weekend in Feb years ago and have one planned for that same weekend in Feb this year. I am praying that we do not get sick or have bad weather that would keep us from getting there because I would have to wait until summer before I could rebook. I don't understand why they can't give the people who want to do a charter options of of certain ships and dates that have not been booed yet. Example , if I were to call and say I wanted to charter for Feb they would then say we have x date on x ship or xx date on xx ship available. Rather than saying well we only have 500 people booked on Liberty for the date you want so sure I'll kick them off to accommodate you. It is not good business to kick off pax that have already booked and paid to accommodate a company that will then be given group discounts on everything!.

I agree totally.  I've been on chartered cruises before and now I hate to think that my chartered cruise could have caused problems for others.  Oh well, nothing I can do about all this now.  Just wondered what others thought.  

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2 minutes ago, Peaches54 said:

Let me know your opinion when YOUR Holiday Family vacation is cancelled.

You asked how often it happened.  The answer is not very often. And yes I have had a ship that I was booked on chartered.

 

FYI, ships on other cruise lines get chartered as well.

 

i totally get that it’s disruptive and disappointing and I agree that Royal should set limits on how close to sailings that charters happen but all that aside I’m still not letting it stop me from booking on Royal.  

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We've never had the replacement cruise match our schedule but they did price protect us on a different cruise (and different port).  Our TA handled this for us.  In our case hadn't made air reservations yet.  Happened around 9 months out as yours had.  Deposit just got moved over to different cruise.

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Most cruise lines do this.  However if you can't trust Royal anymore, vote with your wallet and try another line, just be prepared for them to do the same.  

 

I know it sucks.  Been there, done that.  It's part of cruising unfortunately.  

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All the cruise lines and all the ports in Florida, and there's nothing that matches your dates?  Have you purchased airfare yet?  If not, that opens up your options even more.  

 

While I'm sure it sucks, I don't see what it cancels the vacation itself.  Go to an AI, go to Key West, rent a cabin on the beach.  

 

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I'm sorry to hear this has happened.  As a TA I know a lot of time and planning goes into finding the "perfect" cruise and then when you throw in coordinating with family, etc...that quadruples the time!  Then to have the cruise line cancel your sailing, just tosses all of that hard work (and excitement) out the window. 😕

 

Not sure where all your family is coming from, but did you consider switching to the Adventure out of Galveston?  Same dates and it's a Western Caribbean itinerary.  The Navigator and Mariner are also good options.

 

Best of luck to you and your family.  

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The second cruise we booked with RCCL was chartered out.  I was a 7 day cruise out of Port Everglades.  I was upset as the only cruise I could find was a 5 day out of Port Canaveral.  We had already booked all our flights so we flew down as planned, rented a car and spent 2 days in Key West prior to the cruise.  It does happen from time to time and we dealt with it in our own way.  We did learn that a 5 day cruise is not long enough for us, lol.

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OP, I’m very sorry this happened to you and I feel the same as you in that all cruise lines should NOT charter a cruise that already has people booked on it.  Not at all fair to people that have already made their plans, especially with multiple families being involved.

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6 minutes ago, Yvonne said:

OP, I’m very sorry this happened to you and I feel the same as you in that all cruise lines should NOT charter a cruise that already has people booked on it.  Not at all fair to people that have already made their plans, especially with multiple families being involved.

 

I don't see how is this going to work. 

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It’s happened to us but thankfully it was over a year away and we hadn’t booked air or anything else.  

 

We've also had a great one planned and Royal decided to cancel and  move the ship  somewhere else. 

 

It happens and and it sucks every time. I’d be especially upset if I’d planned taking extended family. It’s not in your control.  Plan and another and keep your fingers crossed.  

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2 hours ago, Yvonne said:

OP, I’m very sorry this happened to you and I feel the same as you in that all cruise lines should NOT charter a cruise that already has people booked on it.  Not at all fair to people that have already made their plans, especially with multiple families being involved.

I agree with the host - this would be quite difficult.  Cruise lines release itineraries 18-24 months before sailing and many people book as soon as they're released, companies looking to charter cruise ships can't POSSIBLY plan that far ahead for many reasons.

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Royal has cancelled multiple cruises, Ports of Call, and excursions on us. On one of the cruises, we had a large group of family and friends that we had encouraged to book.  When the cruise was cancelled, they were not amused and although it wasn’t our fault, we felt somewhat responsible.

 

Lesson learned - we no longer encourage anyone to book cruises with us.  Cruises, excursions, and Ports are cancelled way too frequently these days with no thought for the customer.  I get it!  I still book and enjoy cruises but there’s no enthusiastic cheerleading from me anymore. 

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We had our November 14th ,7 day Indy cancelled also. Said our week had been Chartered. Got the same letter with 3 options. Didn't hurt my feelings as took a j4 junior on Harmony  for November 15th. Option two and gave $400.00 o b c for switch along with additional $25.00 n from agent.    Been sailing since 1991 and my first cancelled but look on line often and see a large number done on various lines.Bob

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1 hour ago, hallux said:

I agree with the host - this would be quite difficult.  Cruise lines release itineraries 18-24 months before sailing and many people book as soon as they're released, companies looking to charter cruise ships can't POSSIBLY plan that far ahead for many reasons.

why not? That makes no sense. If a family can plan then a company can. They know what they have money for annually. Most companies due have the ability to plan ahead or at least book the charter that far ahead.

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The bottom line is that until the itineraries are released to the public they are not available (in most cases) to be booked for a Charter.  Many itineraries and ship deployments are still being finalized close to their release. It would be nice if Royal set a limit and only allowed charters to be booked within 6 months of their release then guests would know that booking after that they would not have to worry.

 

Its not just charters though. Many of the ones recently have been redeployments.  Royal moving ships around for various reasons but the bottom line is they move them because they can make more money elsewhere. 

 

Another thing with the charters.  It is the charter company that is responsible for paying the costs to the displaced guests (The OBC that Royal offers as well as flight change fees) It somewhat acts as an incentive for the companies to seek out ships to charter early or ones who do not have a large number of guests already booked.

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1 hour ago, toxicfairy said:

That makes no sense.

If the company is chartering the ship to celebrate or commemorate something, wouldn't it make sense to do that within a reasonable time of when that event actually happened?

 

I can only imagine - "hey everyone, we're going to do this trip to celebrate this event that happened last week, but we can't do it for 2 years".  Yeah, that works...  Yeah, that may be a bit hyperbolic but that's kind of how it would be.

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