Royal Caribbean International has announced that it is temporarily suspending operations on four cruise ships. The company says the suspension will occur as a result of urgent inspections and repairs, which it had previously scheduled to be completed before the start of next month’s cruises. Royal Caribbean says customers who have made reservations are not entitled to any refund or compensation for their travel plans during this time.
Due to the continuing COVID problem, Royal Caribbean has chosen to temporarily cease operations for four of its cruise ships. It does imply that a number of sailings will be canceled as early as March 2022.
Royal Caribbean has canceled a number of cruises.
Due to the continuing COVID problems, especially worries about the Omicron variety, Royal Caribbean has become the second major cruise operator to cease operations on specific ships. Travel agencies have been notified that operations on the Vision of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas would be temporarily discontinued.
The Vision of the Seas will be unavailable to passengers departing from Fort Lauderdale until March 2022. The Tampa-based Serenade of the Seas will be on hold from January 8 to March 5, before returning on April 26 following a dry dock.
Toni Arsovski of Shutterstock.com contributed to this image.
The cruises on the Jewel of the Seas, which is based in Miami, Florida, will be stopped from January 9 to February 12, with the first sailing scheduled for February 20, 2022. Cruises aboard the world’s biggest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, have been canceled from January 8 to January 22, with the Oasis-class vessel resuming on January 20, 2022.
“We regret having to cancel your guests’ long-awaited trips and appreciate their commitment and understanding,” Royal Caribbean said in an email to travel brokers. The safety of our visitors, staff, and the communities we visit is always our first concern. We had to proceed with this choice despite severe health and safety safeguards, including immunization and testing requirements for visitors and workers, as well as considerable contingency preparation.”
Royal Caribbean’s decision comes at a difficult moment for the cruise industry, with several Caribbean ports refusing to dock ships owing to COVID cases aboard. After being relocated from other ships in the fleet, some of the ships that are stopping operations are now being utilized to house diseased crew members.
This latest development comes after Norwegian Cruise Line said that owing to the present scenario, eight of its ships will be grounded.
Guests who have been impacted
The cruise line is notifying guests that were booked on one of the canceled sailings and detailing the options moving forward. For those booked on Serenade of the Seas & Symphony of the Seas departing January 8, 2022, and Jewel of the Seas departing January 9, 2022, Royal Caribbean is providing a full refund and the addition of a 100% Future Cruise Credit.
When redeemed before May 31, 2022, on a sailing leaving on or before December 31, 2022, all other sailings are eligible for a 125 percent Future Cruise Credit. This option will be activated automatically on or before February 4, 2022, so guests will not need to take any action. Guests who desire to get a full refund can contact the cruise company or their travel agency.
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