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Cruise lines' ability to fullfill itineraries


Timbuktu123

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Is there a site that tracks the reliability of cruise lines to visit the ports they had on their itineraries?

I browse these boards and I see on some blogs of past cruises that it happens more often than we think that the ship can't go to one of the scheduled ports due to weather, or mechanical failure etc.

It would be great to know this when picking either a cruise line or an itinerary.

For example, we’ve taken two cruises on Regent and although we loved them both, in each case an “incident” forced a change in the itinerary. The first, on the Mariner going from San Francisco through the Hawaii to Tahiti and back, a sick passenger forced us to return to SF and we missed two of the Hawaiian islands as well as Fanning Island.

On our last cruise on the Navigator we missed Fortalezza due to a generator cooler failure.

I see the Voyager is limping into Rome due to getting one of its pods tangled in a fishing line.

Lastly, a cruise I was tempted by, the Mariner’s crossing of the South Pacific from Valparaiso to Sydney with stops at Easter Island, Robinson Crusoe Island, and Pitcarin. It missed Robinson, Pitcarin and the Cook Islands due to swells.

Having some database of ports of call and how many times its been missed would be useful info in deciding whether to go on a particular cruise. Also maybe some ships have higher success rates at landing somewhere due to their size or some other factor.

If it doesn’t exist maybe we could do something here?

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It might be a bit unfair to do this by cruise line. Some ports are more missed than others, due to weather conditions. I understand Mykonos is one of the most missed ports, due to unfavourable sea conditions. However, all cruise lines continue to schedule it, because it's also quite popular.

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Maybe unfair, but if the priority for a cruise is to see a particular port, then that this database would give the traveller the best info in deciding. Who knows, maybe it would also give cruise lines an incentive to prioritize some ports.

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I'm not aware of any site that tracks these, I would think a reason would be important, missing a port because of a sick passenger or some other odd incident is quite different than the potential to miss a port from rough seas or bad weather and issues related to mechanical problems would fall into a totally different group. For illnesses and odd incidents, that tracking wouldn't be much help as those types of things are completely unpredictable. For weather related port issues, I just assume tender ports are highest risk to be missed and check to see if there is an alternate that is often used as a backup plan (Naples for Amalfi for example) versus the likelihood of a sea day being added (Mykonos or Grand Caymans). I can definitely see a use for cruisers for some sort of tracking for mechanical issues, but the cruise lines would probably fight that the most.

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I don't see how recording such info would be helpful at all. Weather affects all ships, mechanical problems cannot be predicted not getting caught in fishing nets etc.

 

Possibly missing a port or several is just one of the risks you take when cruising.

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We also missed a port due to another passenger becoming ill. No predicting that! I could see trying to figure out how often a port is missed due to weather conditions, but I can't see the usefulness of trying to track any other kind of reason for missing ports.

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Of course there is all sorts of random bad luck that makes any ship unable to access a port. I don't think the point of tracking this info is to place blame its just another piece on information to help make a cruise decision.

 

For example, I've always wanted to visit those hard to reach places like Fanning Island (missed that one), or St. Helena (wonderful). Therefore if there's a cruise to, let's say St. Helena, I'd like to be able to dig up in a database how many times that port is visited by any ship, which ones actually disembarked passengers there, what kind of ship did they use, and at what time of year. That way you could make an informed guess on how likely a chance of visiting that port would be. There are of course all sorts of other reasons to pick a cruise, and this is just one aspect. The traveller could then decide well if there's only a 50% chance of visiting the port, are ther are ports on the itineary that are as important to make up for missed ones. In my case, if I was taking a cruise primarily to visit St. Helena, and I missed it, I'd be really disappointed. If I knew ahead of time that there was just a 10% chance I'd be able to get off the ship there, I might choose a cruise that had more alternative ports to make up for the loss.

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They don't have to fulfill any given itinerary. While that itinerary is posted, if you find the infamous "cruise contract", it usually states

something to the effect "... the cruiseline can change itinerary for weather related issues, mechanical issues, OR FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER...".

 

By booking and paying for the cruise, that is the agreement you enter into with the cruiseline. If you can't live with that clause, then maybe cruising isn't for you.

 

My first 6 cruises, I was very lucky to be taken where our itinerary said we were going. It wasn't until cruise 6 was approaching that I found this website and started reading about all the ports missed. And I guess I never read that "cruise contract" very thoroughly, as I didn't realize they could make the kind of changes they make.

 

There was one RCCI cruise that was supposed to go to the Caribbean, but because of hurricane activity, when the folks arrived at the pier, they were informed the itinerary had changed to New England/Canada. If they didn't board, they lost their money. There was a big lawsuit discussed here for awhile, but I never heard how it settled or if it settled.

 

And on my most recent cruise to the Med in Oct '08, we missed the port of Mykonos due to high winds. I think we were given a $25 refund (which I think to be port fees), but it was one of the ports I really wanted to see. We were really disappointed, but nothing we could do about it. We just thanked our lucky stars that we didn't have foul weather until the last three days of the trip.

 

Then after we returned home, about a week later, our very ship was in the news, hitting a rogue wave off Naples, and limping into Rome. Folks were hurt and scared. We were sure glad we didn't have that adventure.

 

If a port is all important to folks, cruising may not be the best vacation for that. While cruises are convenient to visit many different ports that might not be easily accessed otherwise, there is always the chance of not making it to any port. That's why I do land tours in between cruises. I fly somewhere and spend my time on land visiting that area.

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Maybe unfair, but if the priority for a cruise is to see a particular port, then that this database would give the traveller the best info in deciding. Who knows, maybe it would also give cruise lines an incentive to prioritize some ports.

 

Well, under normal circumstance, the cruise lines have no control over the weather, sea conditions, wars and insurrections, travel advisories, mechanical problems and other things.'

 

There is no way to "prioritize" a port of call if the sea and weather conditions prevent stopping or if there are problems ashore that prevent calling.

 

Such a list would be meaningless as conditions change every day of the week, every week of the year.

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A good friend of ours who is a Hotel Manager on cruise ships once said to us when aboard a cruise where two ports had to be cancelled. I think it was a 12 day cruise and one port was cancelled due to a dock workers strike and one due to ill passenger.

 

When there was a fair amount of grumbling, of course, he was disappointed for his guests but said: "If one really must visit a certain port in order to have a good vacation and be satisfied, they should not cruise. They should go to that location by air/car/train...whatever. Not by cruise ship."

 

He was so correct.

 

None of us mere mortals can control weather, tides, winds, whether a fellow guest or a crew person will become ill etc etc etc

 

 

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A good friend of ours who is a Hotel Manager on cruise ships once said to us when aboard a cruise where two ports had to be cancelled. I think it was a 12 day cruise and one port was cancelled due to a dock workers strike and one due to ill passenger.

 

When there was a fair amount of grumbling, of course, he was disappointed for his guests but said: "If one really must visit a certain port in order to have a good vacation and be satisfied, they should not cruise. They should go to that location by air/car/train...whatever. Not by cruise ship."

 

He was so correct.

 

None of us mere mortals can control weather, tides, winds, whether a fellow guest or a crew person will become ill etc etc etc

 

 

 

I totally agree S7S! The cruise contract covers this completely. They can not predict sea conditions or other things that might prevent you from visiting a port. This is why everyone should really read their cruise contract completely, it explains it all there. There are more gripes from those that missed a port, even due to weather when it was unsafe.

As long as they fullfill the length of cruise, they are really not responsible for cruises missing a port or substituing a port, if they can substitute.

 

Anyone that sails on a ship because of visiting only one particular port should take a land vacation there. As you never know when that special port will need to be missed, for a variety of reasons.

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I think that most lines/ships are nearly always able to fulfill itineraries...many times it has nothing to do with the line. The first example you gave was a sick guest that needed to be transported back to port...not really much a line could do to prevent that. We havent missed a port yet...so I would imagine the percentages are pretty good

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S7S & Toto.

 

While you are certainly correct regarding there being no certainty of visiting any given port on an itinerary, and given the fact that the Cruise Line has complete freedon to skip any given port, there would still be some utility to what the OP is suggesting.

 

Given the "Track Record" of various ships scheduled for the several intended ports on a given itinerary, you could certainly improve your chances of making a given desired port byt picking the ship / time of year / etc, that has the highest percentage of sucessful calls at the port. While it would cetrainly be no guarantee, the statistics should reveal the "safest" choice for any given port.

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Thanks K&R, that was my original intent, just to have another piece of statistical data to choose a cruise.

 

In my my case, I like visiting hard to visit places in luxury and comfort. Many of these islands are so remote that they can only be reached by sea. Some may have an airstrip and could be reached by charter air, but once you get there you're on your own organizing a visit and finding lodging.

 

The real attraction to cruise to these destinations is that the cruise handles all the logistics while you sail comfortably to and from in your suite. Even if the visit is a bit rustic you can come back to the ship to be pampered. A nice combo.

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