Royal Caribbean cruise ship cancels ports, adjusts itinerary
In a letter presented to the guests on board, Odyssey of the seas has announced several changes to its current navigation. Instead of making a stopover in St. Thomas as planned on December 29, the ship spent a day at sea and the December 30 stopover in Puerto Rico was replaced by the Dominican Republic. The ship is also extending its scheduled visit to Nassau on Saturday January 1.
Visit of St. Thomas canceled
Odyssey of the seas Currently sailing on a 7-night “Perfect Day” Eastern Caribbean vacation cruise that departed Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, December 26th. While the first three days of the trip went as planned with the ship departing, Monday was spent at Perfect day at CocoCay, and one day at sea on Tuesday, the ship was due to visit Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas on Wednesday.
The captain however announced Tuesday evening that the stopover in Saint-Thomas would not take place and that the ship spent Wednesday at sea. To compensate for the missed stopover, the letter the guests received later in the evening indicated :
“We’re sorry for the last minute change. To make up for it, we’re offering you a pro-rated refund for the day missed as an onboard credit to your SeaPass account, plus taxes and fees for that port. These credits can be used anywhere on board and any funds remaining at the end of the cruise will be refunded to the card registered in your SeaPass account.
On a positive note, the extra day at sea gave guests more time to explore all of the exciting features of Odyssey of the seas, including the North Star Observation Pod, SeaPlex, Rock Wall, FlowRider, Sky Pad, Ripcord by iFly, and more.
Whenever a port of call is canceled, additional onboard activities are often offered, although this can be difficult if crew members are isolated due to positive COVID-19 test results or research procedures. contacts.
Puerto Rico tour replaced
The second change to the ship’s itinerary is that Thursday’s scheduled visit to San Juan, Puerto Rico, moved to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, with the ship docked from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Read more: Cruise lines begin to suspend San Juan tours due to new requirements
While not officially stated in the letter, it is likely that the decision to remove Puerto Rico from the ship’s itinerary was due to the recent tightening of COVID-19 testing requirements by local authorities, cruise lines and the crew hoping to disembark for any reason now required to present a negative test result not more than 48 hours prior to arrival.
The new rule in Puerto Rico was implemented just days ago, with another Royal Caribbean ship, Symphony of the Seas, the first ship to be entry refused for failure to meet testing requirement. Since the change was made, several additional cruises have changed routes to remove Puerto Rico from current and future crossings.
Any shore visits booked for St. Thomas or San Juan have also been reimbursed to Odyssey of the seas‘guests in the form of on-board credit.
Extended Nassau Tour
As an additional adjustment for modified ports of call, Odyssey of the seas was able to extend his visit to Nassau, scheduled for Saturday January 1. The ship was originally scheduled to be in port from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but will now spend two additional hours in Nassau, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
These extra hours give passengers more time to explore Nassau, and additional shore tours may be offered. According to the notification letter, the team aboard the shore excursions automatically began rescheduling the pre-booked tours from Nassau to compensate for the change in schedule.
Be prepared for changes
All these route changes on Odyssey of the seas come just as other cruise ships and cruise lines are also changing their plans en route to accommodate new port requirements or respond to cases aboard COVID-19. This is a very fluid situation for cruise travel, and passengers need to be flexible about their expectations for any cruise over the coming weeks.