Due to ongoing engine issues, Royal Caribbean International has altered the remainder of the Alaska itineraries for Quantum of the Seas this season. Changes include dropping scenic glacier sailing days, replacing ports of call, and altering port times to accommodate the vessel’s slower speeds.
August and September Itineraries Changed
The impacted itineraries for the Quantum-class ship include embarkation dates in late August, 22 and 29, as well as all September departure dates: 5, 12, 19, and 26. Previously, the August 1, 8, and 15 sailings were similarly changed.
Quantum of the Seas is offering 7-night roundtrip Alaska sailings from Seattle, with two different itineraries scheduled.
Depending on the itinerary for each sailing date, scenic cruising for Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier is being removed, and port time in Juneau is being slightly extended. Alternatively, sailings slated to have visited Icy Strait Point will now visit Ketchikan instead.
In emails sent to booked guests to notify them of the itinerary changes, the reasoning is given as “due to speed limitations caused by a technical issue with one of the ship’s engines.”
These issues have been ongoing with Quantum of the Seas for several weeks. Supply chain issues have delayed the delivery of replacement parts necessary to repair the problem so the ship could resume speeds essential to complete the original itineraries.
“While we’re doing everything we can to expedite this, the global supply chain situation that we’re all experiencing is further impacting the delay,” Royal Caribbean said in an earlier statement when the itinerary changes were first announced.
No safety mechanisms aboard the ship have been compromised, and no hotel operations are impacted. Only the ship’s cruising speed is affected.
Assistant Vice President for Guest Experience, Aurora Yera Rodriguez has also communicated with guests about the decision to remove the glacier viewing.
“We’ve been working tirelessly to find a way to visit Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier for your sailing, but this would result in drastically reduced port times. And given that there’s always a risk of missing the Glacier due to weather, it’s best to go with the surer option of keeping better times in port,” Rodriguez said in an earlier communication.
Any pre-paid Royal Caribbean shore excursions on these altered itineraries are being automatically rebooked or refunded as necessary.
Compensation Offered – Is It Enough?
The cruise line is offering onboard credit to compensate guests for missing what is often a highlight of any Alaskan cruise.
The amount of the credit varies based on stateroom, with $75 USD for interior and oceanview staterooms, $100 for balconies, and $200 for suites. These amounts are per stateroom, not per guest, and are refundable. Any unused amount remaining at the end of the cruise will be returned to guests’ cards on file.
Many guests are understandably upset at missing out on impressive at-sea glacier viewing opportunities, but it should be noted that summer weather in Alaska can always be fickle.
Glaciers are often obscured by heavy fog or rain, and poor weather conditions can make it impossible for cruise ships to maneuver safely for the best views.
Cruise lines often have to alter itineraries for a variety of reasons, and while offering compensation is a courtesy to make up for any inconvenience or disappointment, it is not required. Cruise ticket contracts always include language about the possibility of changes, and guests agree to abide by those contracts when they book a cruise vacation.
After finishing the Alaska season with the September 26 sailing, Quantum of the Seas is scheduled for a one-way voyage to Hawaii, and then another one-way sailing from Hawaii to Australia, where she will begin the Down Under summer season from Brisbane.
No announcement has yet been made about any alterations to the ship’s post-Alaska itineraries.