Royal Caribbean International has been reaching out to guests on multiple upcoming sailings of Quantum of the Seas, advising them of engine troubles leading to itinerary changes that include shortened port times and route alterations.
Because the ship is sailing in Alaska, some of these changes are removing scenic glacier cruising days from the affected itineraries for the next several weeks.
Quantum of the Seas Engine Issues
According to communications sent to booked guests, itineraries on Quantum of the Seas must be adjusted because of engine issues that affect overall cruising speed.
This means the distance between some ports of call along the ship’s previously planned Alaska routes is too great to cover safely and still permit guests adequate time in port.
The email reads, “Due to a speed limitation caused by a technical issue with one of the ship’s engines, we’ve reduced our speed between ports and as a result, we’ve adjusted some of our arrival and departure times in Alaska and British Columbia.”
The “technical issue” is not defined and further details about the ship’s mechanical performance are not available. No sailings are canceled at the moment, so it is likely the issue can be corrected with in-port maintenance, possibly when necessary parts become available.
Multiple Itineraries Changed
In the meantime, multiple itineraries are being adjusted due to the change in available speed. Impacted guests have reported the sailings departing on August 1, August 8, and August 15 already adjusted, and it is likely that additional sailings may also be impacted if the issues cannot be repaired.
An example of changes to the itinerary is the following:
- Port time in Ketchikan, Alaska now 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., changed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Port time in Sitka, Alaska now 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., changed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (one hour shorter)
- Tracy Arm Fjord cruising time removed from itinerary altogether
- Port time in Juneau, Alaska now 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., changed from 2-8 p.m. (1.5 hours longer)
- Port time in Victoria, British Columbia now 5-10 p.m., changed from 4-10 p.m. (one hour shorter)
Passengers have also reported Icy Strait Point being removed from some itineraries, Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier cruising removed, Skagway being dropped as a port of call or replaced with Ketchikan, and other port times being shifted or shortened.
Guests booked on upcoming sailings of Quantum of the Seas should contact their travel agent or the cruise line for details about their exact sailing.
Departure and arrival times in Seattle are unchanged, and shore tours impacted by the changed itineraries are automatically being rescheduled as appropriate.
The 168,666-gross-ton Quantum of the Seas is currently offering 7-night roundtrip sailings from Seattle, Washington, with slightly different itineraries depending on the sailing date.
The changes to different itineraries likely depend on the ship’s sailing date and what accommodations can be made at various ports of call depending on what other ships may be scheduled for the same days and times.
Royal Caribbean is offering guests on the impacted sailings onboard credit for the inconvenience, with amounts varying based on the type of stateroom. Interior and oceanview staterooms are receiving $75, balcony staterooms are receiving $100, and suites are receiving $200 (all values in USD and per stateroom, not per passenger).
The credit can be used onboard, and if it is not all used during the cruise, will be refunded to passengers’ accounts.
Not all passengers are pleased with the compensation, however, as scenic cruising and the opportunity to see Alaska’s massive glaciers up close is often a highlight for once-in-a-lifetime sailings to the Last Frontier. With scenic cruising removed from itineraries, passengers will no longer have that experience.
Technical Problems Can Happen Anywhere
It is important for all guests to remember that technical problems can happen with any cruise ship, in any region, on any itinerary. While cruise ships have thorough inspections and regular maintenance, issues can and do develop, just as mechanical problems can develop even on the most carefully maintained car.
Because these issues only affect the ship’s cruising speed, other onboard activities are unaffected. Quantum of the Seas has a number of popular features, including Royal Caribbean’s signature rock climbing wall, the skydiving simulator Ripcord by iFly, laser tag, an escape room, the quirky Bionic Bar, the North Star observation capsule, game shows, movie nights, and much more.
The first of the outstanding Quantum class of ships, Quantum of the Seas can host 4,180 passengers at double occupancy, and up to 4,905 guests when fully booked.