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Shame Royal Caribbean- Ovation of the Seas


Kangakid
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What should have been a fantastic family holiday has turned into a extremely disappointing experience for our family.  We arrived at the OPT terminal in Sydney after flying up from Melbourne this morning, to join Ovation for a 9 night cruise.  When my son and his family went to check in, they were taken upstairs and advised that as the itinerary had changed this morning they could no longer cruise, as there were now 3 sea days in the new itinerary and under RCI policy no child under 12 months could cruise.  They have a 10 month old and a 7 year old, so this meant they were no longer able to join the cruise.  You can imagine the tears from the 7 yo who was meeting up with her cousin from another state.  RCI have offered a full refund [which goes without saying] hotel for the night until they can get a flight home tomorrow.  Needless to say the rest of the family are saddened and deeply upset by the decision to change itinerary at the last minute.  We are not alone as there were numerous families with under 1 YO that this impacted.   Bad form RCI.  There were other options available with respect to the changed itinerary.  To say this has coloured our view of RCI is an understatement.

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As a mom - I empathize with this family.  What a devastating blow to a family vacation!   I wish that they also gave something to the cousins who were cruising!!  

 

As I understand this self imposed 3 sea day rule - it was because they did not think they could support infant urgent care for multiple days.  Unless they have drastically changed itineraries, it seems that even if they had 3 sea days that they may still be incredibly close to the islands during that time which would make it easy to dock in an emergency.    

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1 minute ago, Cel_cruise said:

it seems that even if they had 3 sea days that they may still be incredibly close to the islands during that time which would make it easy to dock in an emergency.    

Not much out there between Sydney and Vanuatu/Mystery Island. Nothing like Florida and Bahamas.

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53 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Not much out there between Sydney and Vanuatu/Mystery Island.

 

But the cruise was always going to those places! It changed from 

Sydney -> Noumea -> Mystery -> Brisbane -> Sydney

to 

Sydney -> Noumea -> Mystery -> Sydney. 

 

So they're cruising slower at some point to waste time. At no point will they be further from land than they would have been anyway. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Just left Ovation.  As mentioned some islands have closed to ships.  Out of Royal’s hands.  The  policy for children under 12 months is for their safety and well being.   
 

Unfortunate situation for sure.  

Hi Twangster, would you be able to tell me which islands? Have a cruise leaving 25th feb and have lots of island stops. Thnx

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1 minute ago, chrisb74 said:

My understanding is that this delay is not due to closed islands, it's due to the cyclone transitting down the Australian coast. It'll be long gone. 

 

Hopefully thats the case. I just read an article saying they closed due to the virus but dated over a week ago so fingers crossed. 

 

https://cruisepassenger.com.au/south-pacific-islands-turns-cruise-ships-away-due-to-coronavirus-fears/

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2 minutes ago, jsg612 said:

 

Hopefully thats the case. I just read an article saying they closed due to the virus but dated over a week ago so fingers crossed. 

 

https://cruisepassenger.com.au/south-pacific-islands-turns-cruise-ships-away-due-to-coronavirus-fears/

You might want to check Cruise Critic 🙂

We have multiple stories about this, including this one: https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/5048/

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1 hour ago, chrisb74 said:

Ok. This might be even more crazy than i thought. the first "sea day" is actually anchored in Sydney Harbour from 3am tomorrow to 6pm tomorrow when it sails for Noumea. 

 

I was wondering why the ship has not left yet. Too bad the ship is not at the terminal as the OP could have probably been able to board tomorrow.

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Feeling your pain Kangakid.

We first heard about this rule when sailed on the Navigator in 2018.

We met two families (with infants) who were told they had to disembark because of the 3-sea day rule.

It was truly heartbreaking listening to them...not much they can do...it was for the safety of their kids.

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It is because of the weather. Yes there are islands closed due to coronavirus because island chiefs realise that some of the islands don't have the facilities to cope with an outbreak which is true. Ovation was going to move at around 3am over to the other side of the harbour at Norman as another ship was due in and they will leave tonight. South East Queensland and northern NSW are being pounded by this small cyclone that is moving down the coast. Better to be safe.

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I must say even if an infant or anyone is really ill, isn't two days or one day of some concern as well.  What makes 3rd day so different.

Honestly, I often wonder about how the medical staff and facilities are setup on these ships.

 

Me thinks they worry more about insurance and being sued rather than having a top notch facility that can handle anything for several days to a week.  I think all ship's medical facilities are up for question on just what can they do and what equipment they have.  I feel like they often tell what they CAN'T do rather than what they CAN do given large numbers of people on board.

 

If a child was 14 months and ill, what or how would they handle that child then versus one 11 months old.  I don't see much reason to not refuse any infant over say 10 months.  oh well.  Let the comments flow but really I do question the medical facilities and what do they lack??.  It is a highly technical ship for darn sakes.

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