"Speed Restrictions" Plague Allure of the Seas

Allure of the SeasSeveral Royal Caribbean customers have reported that propulsion issues which the Allure of the Seas experienced several years ago have returned and will interfere with the cruises which are scheduled in the future.

One guest sent us an email she recently received:

"Dear Valued Guest,

We have updated information about your sailing.

Allure of the Seas currently has a speed restriction that will result in slight adjustments to your itinerary. For your convenience, the updates are noted below. The new port of San Juan, Puerto Rico offers the opportunity to visit the culturally rich city of Old San Juan and the lush rainforest of El Yunque. We apologize for this change, but have no doubt that your vacation will be nothing short of amazing. We can't wait to welcome you on board."

The guest who contacted us said that Royal Caribbean replaced St. Kitts with San Juan (others said that Royal Caribbean replaced St. Thomas with San Juan on other itineraries) and the duration of time that the ship will remain in the other ports of call has changed.

Many quests have made their plans a long time ago and chose the itineraries for the specific ports in question, with some people planning honeymoons and anniversaries.  They naturally feel disappointed. They are prohibited from canceling the planned cruises at this point without a penalty being assessed. Many have asked whether compensation is in order.

Unfortunately, the one-sided terms of their cruise tickets permit Royal Caribbean to change ports like this. It's not nice bit it's not illegal.  It is a matter of goodwill and the company's view of its own PR. Compensation is usually reserved for missed ports.

The cruise line that will say that, notwithstanding the propulsion issues, the guests are still receiving the value of a 7-night Caribbean cruise.

Back in November of 2013, passengers aboard the Allure began noticing that the cruise ship was shortening its stay in Nassau and then arriving late in St. Thomas; some excursions were canceled. We wrote about the problems in Dry Dock Cure for Allure of the Seas?

The Allure eventually went into dry dock (with the use of cofferdams) in the Bahamas in early 2014 for the repair of the bearings in an azipod, which was the subject of an interesting YouTube video

To our knowledge, Royal Caribbean has made no official announcements regarding this issue; there is no indication one way or the other whether the cruise line will respond to the ship's reduced speed with an early dry dock again. 

Stay tuned . . . 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

August 18, 2017 Update: The Allure is scheduled for dry-dock repairs on Janaury 21, 2018, according to Royal Caribbean. The cruise line says that the cruise ship will undergo "standard maintenance work."  The specfics of the work is not specified.

Photo Credit: Allure of the Seas (in Falmouth Jamaica) - Jim Walker

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Comments (20) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Candace krueger - August 17, 2017 5:46 PM

I'm booked to go out on Sunday Aug 20th.
We just received our new itinerary changing port times and switching around days in ports.
It says due to speed restrictions.
I'm on the phone the entire day trying to figure out
Excursions.I use outside vendor, Costco..they are trying very hard to accommodate our trips on the new days and times...wonder how this will all work out..stay tuned

Don - August 17, 2017 8:27 PM

I am a victim of this change as well. I find it interesting that RC waited until after the full refund period to announce this change. Hopefully they don't lose another propeller on the cruise and we will really be screwed. My first cruise in many years and this happens!!

Troy - August 18, 2017 11:51 AM

I like how there is always a VICTIM. Lol. Enjoy the better port. Most importantly, enjoy your voyage - it's a vacation. I sure hope I don't come across a sourpuss attitude while I'm on my vacation. Bon voyage!

Shelah - August 18, 2017 2:27 PM

Victim here as well!! We booked our cruise based on the Itinerary. The first stop we knew we would not leave the ship because it is Nassau. BUT we specifically booked this cruise because it was going St. Thomas and Sint Maarten. I am getting the "Royal" runaround by Royal Caribbean. I was told I would get a call back within 48 hours. Hasn't happened. I don't know who the genius is that thinks replacing St. Thomas with San Juan is comparable. Royal Caribbean has replaced the vacation we worked for and they sold us with a vacation of their choice. And their "let them eat cake" attitude is appalling. Then there is the issue of having a bad prop. What if a storm blows up? Do you have the muscle to sail through it safely? These things happen. An Act of God is one thing but this is an entirely different matter.

Becky waggoner - August 18, 2017 10:32 PM

We are scheduled to go on Allure in November. Of course we have our cruise paid for and while booking an excursion today I found that the itiniary been changed and had not been notified. We feel screwed as we will pay a penalty to cancel and now going to a port that we have no interest in. After 13 cruises with Royal we are very disappointed. We booked this cruise specifically to go to St Thomas. Such a disappointment and concern that we will be on a ship that is ready to be dry docked for repair.

Jen - August 19, 2017 10:38 AM

If only RC had known the propeller was going to break, so they could have notified you all earlier! And why can't they move those pesky islands, or just take you where you wanted to go but for only 2 hours. Ridiculous!

I understand people are upset, I would be too if I had made plans that now had to be changed. I don't understand what they think RC can do about it. They can't fix it any quicker. They can't empty everyone off another ship to replace it. They can't give you all a full refund without going broke. What do people actually want?

Joy - August 19, 2017 1:07 PM

I, booked for Oct 1 and booked specifically because this cruise had St Kitts and boom not going instead Puerto Rico been there once didn't like it then. Of course I can't cancel now and book something else - of course for the first time booked two outside excursions now had to change those called st kitts and cancelled. Shouldn't there be some kind of opportunity to cancel without losing your money if their ship has an issue?

Paul - August 20, 2017 1:21 PM

I just sailed on Carnival's Dream and we had a similar "propulsion" problem which resulted in cancellation of the 3rd/last port, Cozumel, and two days on ship back to New Orleans. We were moving very slow most of the time, even dead stopped at one point in the middle of the Gulf. They gave everyone a whopping $50 ship credit (of course to be used on board). I talked to one crew and he told me the ship had the same problem a few months earlier. And I bet travel insurance won't cover this type of problem, eh?

Mike Kaplan - August 20, 2017 1:44 PM

I am going to be nice
Have no interest in Saan Juan. Wanted St.Kitts. booked specifically based on ports of call. RC no help on the phone.. curious if they will provide a little "something something". Precious vacation time being taken, let alone airline and hotel costs.. 13 days B4 we get on board.

Jim B - August 20, 2017 5:02 PM

I am in the "same boat"
Of course I just paid the final big payment on July 21 for the October 29 sailing
We bought the cruise for our son and his fiancé for their honeymoon
They are getting married October 14th
Been on more than 30 cruises, many on RCL
Have never had this happen !!!
Still have not received any e mails from RCL or
Cruisesonly ( our travel agent )
Very disappointed & poor customer service on RCL
They basically "tricked" all of us !!!
Been to San Juan ( ugh ). Our son and his bride
were looking forward to St Kitts
Hope the propulsion that remains hangs in there
long enough to complete the upcoming cruise

carole forbes - August 21, 2017 8:08 AM

We are on the Jan cruise and received the same email!This is August. You mean a repair is needed and Royal Caribbean is waiting 5 months to fix an issue? Is this a safety issue? We booked this cruise to go to St. Thomas and now we are going to Puerto Rico!And if that isn't bad enough they cut the time we spend in the Bahamas by 90 minutes! We are unable to go on our excursion. I emailed Royal Caribbean about this matter and NO RESPONSE!! We are very disappointed in the way they are handling this. If we change or cancel we lose our $500.00 deposit. We did not create this situation and Royal Caribbean is not being very friendly about this at all!! Royal Caribbean needs to discount the cruise or give us a Credit,as this is not what we signed up for!! I realize its their right to change, but at least be friendly in the way that you change!

David - August 21, 2017 11:58 AM

I guess it is a matter of taste, but I have been to St. Thomas, St. Kitts and San Juan several times each and, of the three, I very much prefer San Juan. I would consider skipping St. Thomas/St. Kitts and going to San Juan instead a bonus.

Ken F - August 21, 2017 5:00 PM

You would think that the cruise lines might consider stop building these ships with Azipods since these things fail all the time

Teri - August 22, 2017 10:50 PM

Royal Caribbean has been absolutely no help when I finally got a supervisor after 59 minutes on hold last night!!! Very alarmed to be on the Allure with thousands of other passengers in the middle of the Caribbean during hurricane season... on a ship with ENGINE PROBLEMS!!!! So they're risking the safety of all those passengers so they don't have to give up their revenue all fall and high-season Christmas/New Year's cruises. Supervisor, Cindy told me that they are having "propulsion" issues and RC not offering any compensation due to an itinerary change. Told her that their "itinerary change" was just a CONSEQUENCE of their REAL PROBLEM which is ENGINE PROBLEMS!!! Chose this Anniversary cruise solely for their itinerary which included St. Kitts. Now going to San Juan (YUCK!!) since the Allure can barely LIMP from port to port.
God forbid another propeller craps out or a hurricane comes up!! Have been cruising for many years and RC is definitely declining in customer service and on-board amenities. Also, worked on the QE2 as Cruise Director and have NEVER heard of this type of problem and the ship still sails!!!

Kimberly Palumbo - August 27, 2017 6:58 PM

Booked cruise Sept 3 entirely because of St.Kitts.We as customers should be told of the problem and given the choice of refund or credit on another cruise.This is poor,poor,public relations.

Teri - August 29, 2017 1:36 PM

update: Had to cancel our 10/29/17 cruise on the Allure because of their engine problems. They will not do anything for us- no credit, refund, different sailing, NOTHING!!!! They are quite happy to keep our $500!!!
Just called their corporate headquarters in Miami and spoke to Nelson- Customer Service Rep. in the Executive Office. He was extremely disinterested and rude! He refused to answer any of my questions and was completely silent!!! I had to say "Nelson??? are you there?" I guess he was reading from a script and my questions were getting in his way. All he would say was that the ship is as safe as any other and he will get me a call-back within 48 hours. Really unbelievable how rude he was. If I ever treated one of my clients like that, I'd be fired that day!

Jess - August 31, 2017 9:30 PM

My parents are currently on the Allure & experiencing vast changes to their planned itinerary. Their lack of contact prompted me to do a google search in hopes of finding an update from Royal Carribean. No update from them, but reading this board leads me to believe they are experiencing a change of itinerary due to speed restrictions.

Larry Kitchen - September 1, 2017 7:49 PM

My wife and I were scheduled to depart on the 9-3-17 modified cruise. Today we find out the crippled ship would head out on schedule with a totally different itinerary, thinking passengers would be satisfied trying to avoid a possible Category 5 hurricane roaming around in the Caribbean where speed of ship might be important to avoid the storm. We have been loyal to RC considering no other cruise line when planning to cruise. We understand the financial loss to RC but feel a better option would have been to offer a discount on this cruise or the option of selecting a later voyage. We cancelled thinking more of our lives than RC does. We would have become Diamond members with this cruise and rest assured we will take the treatment on this cruise when we consider future cruising. Sorry RC, you have failed us.

Rob Mend - September 19, 2017 5:54 PM

How would you like to be switched from St. Thomas to Labadee, Haiti. The #1 duty free port to a hot dog cookout on the beach. Totally embarrassing and disrespectful to their customers. Yes, I know that St. Thomas is storm damaged. Cancel the cruise or go west, don't give us a port that is not even in the same universe. I will think long and hard about cruising with RC again.

Wenal - October 15, 2017 5:46 PM

So after they kept changing the itenary, literally several times up to the day of the cruise, we sailed and because of Nate, they took us back to Nassaa instead of Costa Maya, the said usually they go to Jamaica but would only be able to stay for a few hours. I cant help but wonder if this could have been a longer stay in Jamaica instead of Nassau if they didnt have propeller issues. So we paid for a 3 port cruise and got a 2 port curise instead in the Bahamas with no credits or refunds from Royal.

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