Every so often we will publish a comment from a reader of Cruise Law News about an issue we are discussing on this blog.  This morning we received the comment below from a reader about the propulsion problem on the Allure of the Seas.

Quite often, the problems with the cruise industry’s poor image is not so much that things go wrong on the high seas, but that the cruise lines are not transparent when go amiss. When a major newspaper like USA TODAY or a major online cruise site like Cruise Critic breaks a story about a problem, it creates a perception that the cruise lines are being sneaky and are more interested in covering up a Allure of the Seasproblem than fixing it.

Our reader’s comments are below:

"What really bothers me about this is that Royal Caribbean is keeping silent on this issue instead of informing it’s passengers about the problem. Haven’t they learned anything from the problems that Carnival faced by not keeping their passengers informed?

I thought it was interesting that I called my travel agent and she was not aware of the problem but said that she would call the company. While I waited for her to call me back I called RCCL’s customer service line to ask about the propulsion problem. The operator hemmed and hawed but wouldn’t give me a straight answer. She even tried to tell me that there was a small problem and it had been fixed. When I told her that I knew about the problem and that it hadn’t been fixed she said she needed to call her supervisor. I never did get a straight answer out of either of them. I, as a customer think that I have a right to know what is RCCL hiding? I think the media should be asking this of Adam. And is the ship actually safe to be sailing?"

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


Photo Credit: Wikipedia (Daniel Christensen)

  • Misty Gee

    We are booked on the Allure departing November 10th Eastern Carribbean. I just called RCCL and was told the party line. Everything is fine with the ship – it just can’t reach its maximum cruising speed. It was not until I asked specifically about the impact on the ports of call, that I was told we will need to leave Nassau early and we will get to St. Thomas late by several hours. I told them if I get stuck in the middle of the ocean,they will hear from my lawyer. Cannot believe they aren’t even advising upcoming passengers that there is an issue. Typical lousy cruise line customer service we seem to be seeing more and more of these days.

  • Michael Bauman

    In cruising as in politics, the cover up is often worse than the initial failure. When a failure happens — and sooner or later one will — then you must cowboy up and face the people. You must give an answer. You must tell the truth and fix what went wrong. Suppressing the truth is a failure, and no politician and no cruise line is well advised to double down on failure. Own it; fix it.

  • Ed Enos

    I suspect (based on prior azipod issues with their ships & their own Celebrity brand) that RCCL port engineers and the pod manufacturer (ABB?) are discussing the issues. They are probably trying to zero in on specific problem area and attempting “short term” fixes in a way of buying time until ship can be properly repaired. As they (we Pilots, too) all learned later, the “bearing issues” with the Rolls Royce azipods were able to be used continually, with minimal problems by operating the ships/pods in a very limited way. This allowed the ships to continue their cruises until regularly scheduled yard periods would allow the correct repairs to be made. But this required TIME; real-time testing in actual use, trying to maneuver within different limitations suggested by manufacturer and learning what worked (or didn’t) and what helped (or made it worse). It sounds as if this is the situation the ship’s engineers have been in these last two weeks and why the ship has been operating at reduced speeds and as expected, cutting short their port calls.

    Being that these ships are new, as are the azipods placed on this class of ships, all designers, engineers, RCCL, and shipyard people are in deep conversation about 1.) what specifically is the problem? 2.) how it can be repaired? 3.) can it be done in the water or in dry-dock? 4.) if the ship needs to be placed in dry-dock, WHERE will this massive ship go to have the work done? (There are only so many places that can accommodate a ship of this size) 5.) who will pay for lost revenues if the ship is taken out of service during repairs?

    You see, the brilliant brain trusts of RCCL/Carnival always assume that things will be wonderful and profitable always…until there is a problem.

    Big Mega-Ships such as the ALLURE have the ability to make big profits, if they are operating at full capacity. But they also have the potential to cause massive headaches and problems that are even more costly than smaller ships. A post-panamax ship of this size and weight has limited shipyards that can accommodate her for repairs. And even if they are an emergency, a yard that can ‘fit’ this ship into her dry-dock, hopefully isn’t already full with another ship?!

    After all the years of problems that the Celebrity brand suffered at the hands of poorly designed and built azipods from Rolls Royce, you’d think execs at RCCL would have learned their lesson. A new class of ship, bigger than anyone else, with the size azipods never built before or placed on any other ship. It’s like buying a brand new computer and finding out their are all kinds of bugs in the hardware, that haven’t been (yet) discovered. It’s precisely why many people don’t go rush out and buy the FIRST of any new gizmo.

    While I’m sympathetic to RCCL guests who’ve made vacation plans and purchased tickets already, it’s the risk you take when going aboard ANY new cruise ship of ANY brand/owner.

    Travel insurance is a good thing.