Several 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 . . .
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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