Embarkation Delays for Royal Caribbean Sailing

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Guests setting sail on Royal Caribbean International’s Serenade of the Seas today, February 18, 2023, were slightly delayed to starting their cruise, due to a medical debarkation that occurred during the previous sailing.

Ultimately, the ship was delayed one hour in leaving Tampa, Florida, but the rest of the 4-night sailing should not be impacted.

Embarkation Delayed for Medical Debarkation

The February 18, 2023, departure of Serenade of the Seas was delayed by one hour due to a medical debarkation from the previous cruise and a delayed return home.

This means that a passenger on the February 11, 2023 sailing, a 7-night Bahamas cruise with four ports of call in the island nation, needed to be debarked during that voyage in Miami, Florida. The Royal Caribbean cruise ship also had to remain docked at PortMiami until cleared to depart before the ship could return to Tampa.

To safeguard the privacy of the passenger and their family or traveling companions, no further details about the nature of the medical debarkation have been released.

Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock

Guests on the next cruise were contacted via email and messaging the day before embarkation to alert them to the brief delay. “This impacts your check-in window and our departure,” the email read. “We kindly ask that you arrive to the cruise terminal later than your original arrival window.”

Due to limited seating in the terminal, guests were asked to delay their arrival to Port Tampa Bay by 1.5 hours after their originally selected time, but before 3:30 p.m. to ensure all passengers could be processed and onboard by 4 p.m. in preparation for the 5 p.m. departure.

The ship was originally scheduled to depart Port Tampa Bay at 4 p.m. “Thank you for your cooperation and understanding,” the email concluded.

Embarkation Terminal Changed

In addition to the slight delay in boarding, guests were also advised that Serenade of the Seas was changing departure terminals at Port Tampa Bay and was now leaving from Terminal 2 rather than Terminal 6 as originally planned.

The change of terminals may have been to better facilitate emergency access to the ship, or simply to ensure the ship could dock more quickly.

Serenade of the Seas at Port Tampa Bay
Serenade of the Seas at Port Tampa Bay

While the terminals are close to one another, Terminal 2 is the first passenger terminal ships reach as they enter the port area and is immediately adjacent to the Ybor Turning Basin for faster docking.

No ships were scheduled to use Terminal 2 on Saturday, February 18. The terminal is most often used by Norwegian Cruise Line vessels.

Setting Sail

Serenade of the Seas departed Port Tampa Bay with no further delays. The sailing is a 4-night Western Caribbean cruise, calling on Cozumel, Mexico on Monday, February 20. That is the only port of call for the impacted cruise, which will also have two days at sea for guests to thoroughly explore and enjoy the vessel.

A Radiance-class ship weighing in at 90,090 gross tons, Serenade of the Seas can welcome 2,490 guests on board, with nearly 900 international crew members to provide excellent service no matter where the ship is sailing.

No further delays or schedule adjustments are expected for the cruise, but travelers should always remain flexible with their plans and expectations, as emergencies can arise at any time.

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