Royal Caribbean cruise ship changes route due to berthing dispute

Guests aboard the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas January 22, 2022, have already been notified of route changes for their navigation. Unlike recent departures which have been marred by port cancellations, changes to Allure of the Seas are only a rearrangement of the stopovers planned on the initial itinerary.

Allure of the Seas Route change

The navigation of January 22, 2022 of Allure of the Seas is an 8-night round-trip Eastern Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale. The ship’s initial itinerary had her visit Nassau in the Bahamas on the first day, followed by a day at sea, then three ports in three consecutive days: Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas on January 25, Philipsburg in St. Maarten on January 26 January and Basseterre in St. Kitts on January 27.

The cruise was then scheduled for two days at sea as it returned to Fort Lauderdale to disembark on January 30.

An email sent to reserved customers advised of the new itinerary. No port is canceled and the days at sea as well as the stopover in Nassau remain the same. The trio of back-to-back ports has however been rearranged to call at Charlotte Amalie on January 25 (no change), Basseterre on January 26 and Philipsburg on January 27.

Photo credit: KJ Stylus /

Additionally, port times have also changed for Basseterre, with an extra hour added before departure. This results in the port of call now being 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., where previously it was scheduled to be 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. No other times have been changed at this time.

Why the changes?

These changes are unrelated to COVID, but the email sent by Aurora Yera-Rodriguez, assistant vice president of guest experience at Royal Caribbean, says “Due to a docking dispute, we have swapped days that we will visit Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.”

Docking conflicts can arise when multiple cruise ships need to visit the same port of call on the same day, and local port facilities and tour operators may not be properly equipped to handle all ships adequately based on their passenger size and capacity.

Allure of the Seas is an Oasis-class ship with a capacity of 5,484 passengers in double occupancy and 6,780 passengers when fully booked. While most cruise ships are not yet sailing at full capacity, a ship as large as Seduce can still bring a considerable number of guests into a port even if some cabins remain vacant.

Allure of the Seas cruise ship
Photo credit: Ruth Peterkin/Shutterstock

When measured at full capacity, Allure of the Seas – with its sister ship, Oasis of the seas – is currently the largest cruise ship in the world.

According to Port of Philipsburg Web Portal, six different cruise ships, including the original stopover for Allure of the Seas, are scheduled for port calls on January 26. Other ships that day include sky princess and greatness of the seas, and when all the capacities of regular ships are added, the port could accommodate well over 13,000 passengers in just a few hours.

On January 27, however, only two ships are scheduled for Philipsburg, Celebrity benefit capable of carrying 2,918 passengers, and Club Med II, which carries just under 400 passengers. Even adding Allure of the Seas on this day, the total number of guest arrivals will be much lower than the ship’s original itinerary.

Port of Basseterre schedules are similar, with five vessels with a total capacity of over 17,000 passengers – including Allure of the Seas – scheduled for Thursday, January 27, while only four other ships with a combined capacity of less than 10,000 are scheduled for Wednesday, January 28.

By moving Seduce on new dates, both ports can help ease congestion, which will also help promote better social distancing measures at the quay.

Shore excursions to adjust

All prepaid Royal Caribbean shore excursions affected by this change are automatically rescheduled for the appropriate day and updated tour information will be emailed to guests. New shore excursions can also continue to be pre-booked for any port of call on the itinerary via the Royal Caribbean website.

More changes to come?

While news of this itinerary change is likely a relief to customers as no port of call has yet been canceled, Royal Caribbean International recently reminded customers of the importance of flexibility and the possibility of route changes even while sailing. It is possible that this first itinerary will change for Allure of the Seas may not be the last.

Allure of the Seas cruise ship

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