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Shame Royal Caribbean- Ovation of the Seas


Kangakid
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HI all, I want to thank everyone who has shown compassion for our situation, to say the least it has been very stressful for the remainder of the family who are sailing without one family.

We were well aware of the 3 day at sea policy, so at no time when contemplating booking this cruise did we have any concerns as we only had 2 sea days consecutively, the remainder of the days were only 1 sea day before land.

Our issue is with RCI and the comms re notifying us of the change and therefore prohibiting our grandson from boarding.  We were only made aware of this change to itinerary at 11:13am, when we arrived at Sydney OPT to board.  Surely RCI didn’t make this decision at 11am????

For the RCI warriors here, who won’t hear a wrong thing said about RCI, this is not our first cruise with RCI and they are in fact our cruise line of choice when travelling with the family.  We are platinum level.  Our issue is the lack of comms by RCI and the decision to change the itinerary extremely last minute, so therefore having 3 sea days consecutively.  For those who travel in the South Pacific, our new itinerary has us stopping Noumea, followed by Mystery Island and 3 days back to Sydney, a stop between each of these island would have avoided the situation we are now in.   

I would in future ensure we never put us or our family in this situation again, and lesson learnt never book for anyone under the 12 month age limit, but RCI seriously need to look at their communication process, waiting until we had arrived at the OPT is just not good business, shows a definite contempt for its loyal passengers.

We sail at 4pm, my son and family flew out of Sydney back to Melbourne today...😞

 

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Just now, The_Big_M said:

 

There are actually multiple ports in the vicinity for alternatives. Along that route, there are Noumea, Brisbane and Newcastle on the way, just as those with docking facilities, plus even more ports where tendering is possible.

 

Lack of ports, or remoteness, are not issues.

 

With New Caledonia shut down to ships and all those displaced ships competing for the few remaining islands it is an issue.  It's not like these ports can take 4 to 8 large ships like some Caribbean ports can.  South Pacific ports are not as developed as Caribbean ports. 

 

This isn't just one Royal ship updating it's itinerary.   It's a game of musical chairs with too many ships and not enough ports close enough together to put together an itinerary.  Ships move slowly, they can't go zig zagging across the South Pacific willy nilly.  

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19 minutes ago, twangster said:

 

With New Caledonia shut down to ships and all those displaced ships competing for the few remaining islands it is an issue.  It's not like these ports can take 4 to 8 large ships like some Caribbean ports can.  South Pacific ports are not as developed as Caribbean ports. 

 

This isn't just one Royal ship updating it's itinerary.   It's a game of musical chairs with too many ships and not enough ports close enough together to put together an itinerary.  Ships move slowly, they can't go zig zagging across the South Pacific willy nilly.  

 

First off, wrong, Noumea is NOT shut down to ships. That is the capital, has docking facilities and would be the most relevant as the potential concern. And it can take multiple large ships. As for development, it also has extensive industry and cargo facilities so to say it is less developed is plain wrong.

 

The topic is about one ship, and there is no problem with nearby availability with multiple large cities with emergency facilities and docks in a day's range. There is no need for anything to go zigzagging, as if that is an excuse - although even on that point many planned itineraries in that region already zigzag for the sake of it, so even that is not an issue.

 

 

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Very sorry Kangakid about the disappointment and disruption to your family's holiday plans - incredibly disappointing for you : (

 

I was completely unaware about this issue.  Our kids were older than this before we started sailing with RC so it never came up.  I was fairly aware of the 6 month child age rule.

 

Many years ago (2004) we sailed with our son when he was 4mths old.  That was during the SARS episode when they brought the Singapore ships down under.  It wasn't an issue then but obviously things have changed.

 

Hope the rest of you can enjoy your trip and your family can ALL sail together in the future!

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5 minutes ago, The_Big_M said:

First off, wrong, Noumea is NOT shut down to ships.

 

Let me be more specific as I didn't mean to suggest every port in New Caledonia was closed.  New Caledonia's Lifou and Mare were closed.  https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5016/

 

Just about anyone in the cruise industry acknowledges that South Pacific ports are not as developed as the Caribbean.  That's not necessarily a bad thing by the way.  It is what makes them unique are arguably better.  

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1 hour ago, Kangakid said:

Our issue is with RCI and the comms re notifying us of the change and therefore prohibiting our grandson from boarding.

 

Ok so you have two issues here right?

 

Issue one: RCI didn't give you enough notification time.

I get this one. The only thing I have to say in RCI's defence is that had they told you 24-48hrs in advance of your departure, the 7yo still would have cried, you still would have all been disappointed and still out of pocket for expenses. Apart from a waste of time, I think your emotional outcome would have been the same?

 

Issue two: Grandson being prohibited

Most people, even you perhaps, will understand the reason why this is the case. You should be thankful to RCI for implementing such a policy to ensure that, if the unthinkable happens, your grandson will be safe.

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Well then I would think anyone over a certain age with some health concerns should think twice about part of the south Pacific.

 

I still say that the cruise line should have a TOP NOTCH fully technical medical team for when cruising in places like the South Pacific.  Make it a standard for certain areas of the world and hire good people and be able to handle situations that come up.

 I get it that they have a concern for infants, but darn I think that sailing that part of the world among the smaller islands, most folks might think twice on sailing especially senior citizens.  After all, a lot happens in the first 24 hours with some situations.  

 

I do understand that RCI has a published policy and would expect them to go against it.  I am merely suggesting they re think and adjust the policy and make the ship's medical care better or different depending on the part of world the ship is in.

 

And as for communications, I think given weather and virus issues and dealing with other RCI ships in the Asian areas, it sounds like things just are hectic.  Perhaps they were hoping things would change but it did not.  

 

 

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No photo description available.This is the revised itinerary as posted by someone onboard on the book of faces. So a day 'lost' staying in Sydney to miss the worst of the weather from the cyclone, and then not stopping at Brisbane on the way back from Mystery Island

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3 hours ago, twangster said:

 

Let me be more specific as I didn't mean to suggest every port in New Caledonia was closed.  New Caledonia's Lifou and Mare were closed.  https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5016/

 

Just about anyone in the cruise industry acknowledges that South Pacific ports are not as developed as the Caribbean.  That's not necessarily a bad thing by the way.  It is what makes them unique are arguably better.  

 

Yes, those two ports are closed which affects itineraries and scheduling, but doesn't prevent the resolution of this issue, and doesn't impact the key underlying emergency availability which is what the policy relates to.

 

As for development, your cruise comment relates to cruise holiday infrastructure across multiple destinations, so a different purpose to emergency infrastructure at key sites which is again the issue in this thread. Sure, in terms of the islands having lots of tourist activities, theme parks, pubs, not as much as the Caribbean. In terms of having port access, emergency response and hospital facilities if the worse was to happen, not an issue.

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31 minutes ago, The_Big_M said:

As for development, your cruise comment relates to cruise holiday infrastructure across multiple destinations, so a different purpose to emergency infrastructure at key sites which is again the issue in this thread.

 

Yes because that how itineraries are created - maximum adult appeal for vacation value.  Itineraries are not created based on proximity to pediatric resources for infants.

Edited by twangster
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More disgraceful behaviour from Royal Caribbean - This is what happens when you empower massive global tax avoiding corporations with your loyalty. They use you up and throw you away

 

We were on the Jewel last week and they cancelled the stop we booked the cruise for (Bahrain) on some flimsy - troubles in the region, nonsense - THERE IS ALWAYS TROUBLE IN THE REGION

 

On one day we travelled at less than walking distance for this skipped port, and it sounds like the OP's ship could have fit another port in if it cared about its customers. How much will they save on fuel costs?

 

Turning people away from the port for an avoidable reason that benefits them financially is disgusting and shame on you cheerleaders for defending them

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We are on the next ovation cruise. With this cruise we will keep an open mind and if they cancel a port so be it.

 

A couple of years ago royal cancelled our radiance of the seas cruise to New Zealand 24 hours prior to sailing. We received multiple calls and emails at that time.

 

I believe that royal as soon as they knew the change of itinerary should have called and emailed all the affected passengers like they did for us. 

 

Changing this itinerary would not have been an on the spot change. If they would have called the OP’s family then they may have had the option of making arrangements which would have made the cancellation a bit easier. 

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4 hours ago, The_Big_M said:

In terms of having port access, emergency response and hospital facilities if the worse was to happen, not an issue.


All very well and true, until someone’s child is in danger and it becomes an issue. There will be a reason to why it is set up like this, and debating the ports of the world won’t change the outcome.
 

This is a no win situation for the OP.  If RC had gave earlier notification it would be the same outcome, but perhaps not as tough as finding out at the pier. Still sucks for the family.

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3 hours ago, compman9 said:

More disgraceful behaviour from Royal Caribbean - This is what happens when you empower massive global tax avoiding corporations with your loyalty. They use you up and throw you away

 

We were on the Jewel last week and they cancelled the stop we booked the cruise for (Bahrain) on some flimsy - troubles in the region, nonsense - THERE IS ALWAYS TROUBLE IN THE REGION

 

On one day we travelled at less than walking distance for this skipped port, and it sounds like the OP's ship could have fit another port in if it cared about its customers. How much will they save on fuel costs?

 

Turning people away from the port for an avoidable reason that benefits them financially is disgusting and shame on you cheerleaders for defending them

Don't know where they could have fit in other ports. Some of the islands are closed to cruise ships as the island chiefs don't want to take the risk of coronavirus as they don't have facilities to deal with an outbreak. On South Pacific cruises if there is a medical emergency the ships usually divert to Noumea and the whole itinerary changes. I think Voyager's current cruise has totally changed from the islands to Fiji, New Zealand and Eden on the south coast of NSW. There are also other cruiselines with ships in the area and they won't allow more than one in at a time on the smaller islands.

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6 hours ago, Oceansaway17 said:

I do understand that RCI has a published policy and would expect them to go against it.  I am merely suggesting they re think and adjust the policy and make the ship's medical care better or different depending on the part of world the ship is in.


There is a reason why the have rules for young children and pregnant cruisers. They are not as capable to care for them if an emergency arises. They tend to be more medically fragile than a 45 year old individual.  
 

It’s easy to say just change the medical clinic, but doing it is a different reality. Think of medical on the ship as your local mom and pop garage. Sure they can repair a tire on a Lamborghini, but they are not trained/capable of technical work.  They get you fixed up enough to limp along to the certified dealership.  You can’t expect them to bring in a import car specialist for the warm summer months, while you are out in your summer car, on the chance you might show up needing dire help. 
 

The same is said of the cruise line medical department.  Yes, they have a doctor and a few nurses but that’s it for staff. They are not NICU doctors, and nor do they have the specialized equipment to care for specialized situations. If you want that I would think they would have to revamp the entire medical team, medical area layout and bring in specialized equipment just to sail in specific areas of the world. Or the cruise lines could continue to do as they are now, set restrictions for specific situations and keep those guests stable until they can be passed along to specialized care. 
 

It is easy to say change it.  Everything after isn’t.

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13 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

Still sounds like a crazy rule, A sick child at 1 year old or 2 or 3 years old is no difference, A child is sick and in need of care. I guess pretty soon you won't be allowed to bring any kids onboard.


There are some cruisers that would love RC to do that. 

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I do not fault RCCL for changing itinary. It happens, but there is a common theme that well actually makes me so angry. They show up at port and were told of itinary change. 

What happened royal?? You decided to change itinary hours before sail away?? 

Once again the last minute advisement and disregard for families is huge. 

You can not not tell me that they couldn't notify family before travel. 

This policy of we will give you info whenever we feel like it is crazy. Especially when we have had proof of rccl decisions being made days earlier on other sailings. 

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If part of this change was in fact due to weather as has been reported then yes it very well could have been a last minute, morning of decision.  If they make the decision too early and make the wrong call then they impact everyone’s vacation, make it late and yes they still affected a few.  It’s a no win for Royal.

 

It’s  easy to sit here and criticize without knowing exactly what information Royal was waiting on and when they received it. Unfortunately in this digital age people are expecting businesses to provide them with every single what if scenario the instant something happens or is about to happen and that is not a reasonable expectation.  

 

Could things have have been done differently or better, maybe or maybe not.  We don’t have all the information and never will. 

 

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Hmmm.  Lots of 'logic' being thrown around about the risks of sailing with an infant under 12mths.  The ships may not have a NICU, but they are also not ICU.  They may not have paediatricians but they also don't have cardiologists or neurologists for stroke sufferers.

 

Perhaps this is just another sad indictment of our society where the lives of our seniors are not 'valued as highly as our young?

 

I will not argue the policy on 12mth olds but I do seriously question the apparent rigidity around that policy when itineraries do change.  For example, would it be fair to refuse boarding if one of the parents or travelling party was an experiencedpaediatrician?  

 

Other points to consider:

☆ if a child is born 16 weeks prematurely (for which survival rates are significantly impoved these days), are they better equiped and developed to cruise at 12 months than a 10mth old healthy full-term infant?  Probably not.

☆ A cruise ship will be required to carry equipment for emergency treatment for any child allowed to travel on that ship  regardless of the number of sea days.  That means they are equipped for a child 6mths or older.

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6 minutes ago, banzaii said:

Hmmm.  Lots of 'logic' being thrown around about the risks of sailing with an infant under 12mths.  The ships may not have a NICU, but they are also not ICU.  They may not have paediatricians but they also don't have cardiologists or neurologists for stroke sufferers.

 

Perhaps this is just another sad indictment of our society where the lives of our seniors are not 'valued as highly as our young?

 

I will not argue the policy on 12mth olds but I do seriously question the apparent rigidity around that policy when itineraries do change.  For example, would it be fair to refuse boarding if one of the parents or travelling party was an experiencedpaediatrician?  

 

Other points to consider:

☆ if a child is born 16 weeks prematurely (for which survival rates are significantly impoved these days), are they better equiped and developed to cruise at 12 months than a 10mth old healthy full-term infant?  Probably not.

☆ A cruise ship will be required to carry equipment for emergency treatment for any child allowed to travel on that ship  regardless of the number of sea days.  That means they are equipped for a child 6mths or older.


the passengers who think they are at an age to perhaps suffer a stroke or need specialized care make a conscious decision to sail.  The infant clearly does not.  Bringing an infant on a cruise without readily available specialized care is totally irresponsible. 

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16 minutes ago, Sam Ting said:


the passengers who think they are at an age to perhaps suffer a stroke or need specialized care make a conscious decision to sail.  The infant clearly does not.  Bringing an infant on a cruise without readily available specialized care is totally irresponsible. 

So do you agree that it is totally irresponsible for anyone to travel without specialist care or just every infant?  Many a cruise itinerary has been changed by a return to port for these reasons!

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