Boarding Delayed for Celebrity Cruise Ship

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Guests embarking on Celebrity Eclipse in Sydney, Australia have had a slight delay boarding the ship on Thursday, November 3, 2022. Poor weather in the region delayed the ship’s return to port, which has had a knock-on effect for guests on the next cruise.

While the embarkation window has been compressed, no other changes to the ship’s upcoming itinerary are expected.

Celebrity Eclipse Embarkation Delayed

Guests booked on Celebrity Eclipse for the 11-night Great Barrier Reef cruise starting November 3 were notified via email on Tuesday of a delay in their embarkation the next day.

“Celebrity Eclipse experienced inclement weather on the previous sailing which has resulted in the ship arriving into Sydney later than expected,” the email read. “Due to the ship’s late arrival, we ask that all guests with selected embark windows between 12:00 PM and 2:30 PM arrive to the pier 2 hours later.”

“We are eager to get your vacation started as soon as possible and can’t wait to Journey WonderFULL with you through Australia!”

The nature of the inclement weather was not described, but could be wind-related, as regional weather has also impacted other ships sailing Down Under in recent days, such as Ovation of the Seas missing a port of call due to high winds on November 3.

Ovation of the Seas in Sydney
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Large waves were reported in the Tasman Sea in the hours when Celebrity Eclipse was traveling back to Sydney from its cruise around New Zealand, and guests onboard the vessel reported somewhat rough sailing.

All guests for Celebrity Eclipse were required to be on board by 5 p.m. This shortens the overall embarkation window for all guests, which could have created more crowding or longer lines during embarkation.

Further delays and updates later in the day were provided to guests as needed.

Read More: After 930 Days, Celebrity Cruises Returns Down Under

The Solstice-class Celebrity Eclipse has a passenger capacity of 2,850 guests when fully booked, as well as 1,270 crew members who need to be mindful of embarkation times if they are joining the ship or off the ship for any reason on embarkation day.

Itinerary Not Affected

While the ship may have been slightly delayed with embarkation, the rest of the itinerary for the cruise is not likely to need adjustments due to the later embarkation timing.

The impacted cruise is an 11-night Great Barrier Reef sailing roundtrip from Sydney, with port of call visits to Willis Island, Port Douglas, Yorkeys Knob, Airlie Beach, and Brisbane, before returning to Sydney on Monday, November 14.

Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Celebrity Cruises

The first two days of the sailing, as well as the last two days, are all days at sea. Even if the ship experiences early delays, it is easy to adjust cruising speed during those days to compensate so times in port are not impacted.

Nor will the ship’s return to Sydney likely be affected, unless the vessel encounters additional poor weather during the voyage.

Weather Affecting Embarkation Times

It is not common for weather to have a significant impact on cruise debarkations and the related embarkations that same day, but it does happen.

Rain and thunderstorms will not affect guests moving on or off a cruise ship, but any weather that could delay a vessel will have a definite impact on debarkation and subsequent embarkation times. Heavy winds, swells in the port area, and fog are the most common weather conditions that can affect docking procedures and debarkation or embarkation timing.

Cruise Ship Fog
Photo By Russell Otway (Disney Wonder, also stuck in fog)

Because these weather impacts can be difficult to predict, it is important for cruise passengers to always stay in close communication with their cruise line for updates as their embarkation date approaches.

Similarly, it is best that guests who must travel significantly to or from a homeport plan for the possibility of delays when booking flights or hotel rooms before or after their cruise, just in case their travel may be impacted.

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