Royal Caribbean International has notified guests booked on the upcoming September 12, 2022 sailing of Spectrum of the Seas that the ship has been fully chartered, and existing bookings are to be canceled.
Impacted guests have several options for replacement sailings with additional compensation, or may opt for a full refund instead.
Spectrum of the Seas Bookings Canceled
The September 12, 2022 sailing for the Quantum-Ultra class Spectrum of the Seas was to have been a 3-night “Ocean Getaway” roundtrip sailing from Singapore, without any port of call visits.
In a letter sent to impacted guests, Royal Caribbean International explained only that the ship has now been chartered.
“We regret to inform you that the Spectrum of the Seas voyage sailing 12th September 2022 has been chartered,” the communication read. “We would like to apologize most sincerely for any inconvenience that this change may cause to your scheduled holiday plans.”
A variety of compensation offers are being made available to guests for this now-canceled cruise.
Select 3- and 4-night sailings on Spectrum of the Seas are available as substitute voyages throughout September, and guests’ cruise fares will be protected if they opt to rebook on one of those selected sailings. If the price of the new booking is lower than the original September 12 cruise, the lower price will be honored.
Guests can also transfer their reservation to any other Royal Caribbean International sailing, with no penalty fees. Prevailing fare rates will apply and guests will be responsible for any increase in price for the new cruise booking.
Guests who rebook on a new sailing will also receive $100 (USD) per suites or $50 per standard stateroom as onboard credit, based on the original booking’s stateroom category. An additional $25 of onboard credit will also be given to third and fourth guests originally booked in the same stateroom.
All new reservations must be made no later than August 1, 2022, to qualify for the price protection and onboard credit offer.
Guests who choose not to rebook will receive a full refund of their cruise fare or whatever portion of the fare has already been paid. If guests booked the now-canceled cruise with a future cruise credit, the credit will be returned to their passenger accounts, with any additional monies returned to the original form of payment.
All prepaid shore tours, internet packages, spa services, or other onboard arrangements will automatically be refunded as well.
Refunds are being processed on July 20, 2022, and should be available to guests within seven days.
Charter Sailings Cancel Public Bookings
While the ship will still be sailing on September 12, the cruise is no longer available for passengers to book, as the vessel has been fully chartered. This means all cabins have been filled or reserved for a specific group, organization, company, or event, and are not open for public bookings.
Charter cruises, while not frequent, do happen several times a year, particularly with a cruise line as large and popular as Royal Caribbean International. The cruise line has already hosted more than 10 charter sailings since cruising restarted in mid-2021, with more already on the schedule.
Often, a cruise ship is chartered many months before the sailing date in order to permit more advertising so the cabins can be sold to the participating group, but shorter lead times are possible if the ship is chartered by a single company or private group.
Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas canceled a cruise for a charter sailing in late October.
While Royal Caribbean recommends ships to be chartered at least a full year in advance to provide ample time and to avoid extensive conflicts and rescheduling, the cruise line does seek to notify passengers as soon as possible when a ship is chartered and existing reservations are affected.