A lack of functional air conditioning on much of the Anthem of the Seas for the past week has left many guests feeling that they did not receive the cruise vacation which they paid for and which Royal Caribbean promised to them.
A couple of cruise passengers contacted our office yesterday to state that the air conditioning in their cabins, as well as to others parts of the cruise ship, were not cooling adequately. Instead of blowing at a desired temperature in the high 60’s or in the 70’s, the air conditioning was leaving their cabins hot, with temperatures ranging from the low to mid-80’s with some cabins as hot as 89 degrees. The heat has interrupted the guests’ sleep and made their cruises unpleasant.
It seems that the problem with the air conditioning began on or around Monday the 13th although there are comments posted on the Anthem of the Seas Facebook page dated earlier. Many guests with balconies opened their balcony doors but did not get much relief as the ship sailed in the Caribbean.
The ship has been slow to advise the guests the nature of the problem (“it will be fixed shortly” type of response). And there have been sporadic updates regarding how the engineering department will try to solve the widespread problem. Not all decks seem to be affected with many complaints focusing on the cabins on decks 10 and 11 as well as public areas on the ship.
Royal Caribbean recently offered the guests an on board credit (OBC) of $200 for interior cabins and cabins without a balcony, $300 for cabins with balconies, and $400 for suites. The credits are for the cabin, not the number of guests in the cabin.
This offer seems to have made matters worse. Guests seem to consider the OBC as a pittance, considering that they paid several thousands of dollars for the cruise and particularly compared to the full refund offered to all of the passengers on the Oasis of the Seas where around 600 guests became sick during a gastrointestinal illness outbreak last week.
A few guests have posted comments on Twitter:
On anthem of the seas 5 day without ac in my rooms. No updates being given. Can rc hq help?
— Kyle Pellegrino (@KylePellegrino2) January 16, 2019
We just received our compensation offer of $200 per inside room. I have to confess that's a little insulting after having five nights of 82 + degree heat in my rooms and not being able to get to sleep. My six year old has been very irritable due to the lack of sleep
— Kyle Pellegrino (@KylePellegrino2) January 17, 2019
12 days without A/C in the Caribbean @royalcaribbean and you think compensation is only worth $300 what a joke.
— Justin Mazur (@justmazofficial) January 17, 2019
The Anthem is now heading back to New Jersey (after a medical emergency detoured the ship to Bermuda) where it will dock shortly. The cooler weather in the northeast has apparently made the ship more pleasant for the passengers for the past day. But there are many passengers who are still understandably hot with the way that the matter was mishandled by Royal Caribbean. After the success in handling the public relations fallout following the debacle of the recent GI outbreak on the Oasis, it seems that the cruise-line decision makers and bean counters back in Miami have made an unforced PR blunder.
It also remains to be seen how Royal Caribbean intends to fix the air conditioning problem once the Anthem is back in port in Cape Liberty this morning when the cruise ship will take on another round of passengers looking forward to a relaxing cruise.
The Anthem left New Jersey on January 6th, sailed to San Juan, Puerto Rico arriving on January 9th, Philipsburg, St. Maarten on January 10th, St Johns, Antigua on January 11th, Castries, St Lucia on January 12th, Bridgetown, Barbados on January 13th, Basseterre, St. Kitts on January 14th and is scheduled to arrive back in New Jersey shortly.
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January 18, 2018 p.m. update: Comment from cruise passenger osted on Twitter:
Anthem of the Seas – just returned today. This ship needs major repairs. Air conditioning didn’t work, elevators worked only sometimes, our cabin creaked and loud popping sounds we didn’t sleep very well. We tried the Coastal Kitchen- very poor service. Refunds should be had!
— Kimberly Tuttle (@KimberlyTuttle) January 18, 2019