Crown Princess, which has only resumed service this week with her first cruise in more than two years, is experiencing ongoing engine issues that have required more itinerary changes and even port cancelations.
This is in addition to changes that were announced a week before the sailing due to scheduled maintenance on one of the ship’s diesel generators.
More Changes for Crown Princess
In an email sent the day before embarkation, guests were notified of the necessary itinerary changes, which included canceling the scheduled calls in Juneau and Icy Strait Point, rearranging the order of remaining port visits, and adjusting times in port.
The email said, “Crown Princess is currently experiencing a technical issue with one of her diesel generators. This is in addition to the diesel generator that is currently out of service for scheduled maintenance. While this in no way affects the safety of our guests or crew, which is our highest priority, it does restrict our ability to operate at full speed.”
The email explains that the issue is being worked on, but that the reduced cruising speed necessitates some additional itinerary changes.
On April 28, guests had already been informed of the scheduled maintenance and advised that the call on Ketchikan needed to be canceled, but a visit to Icy Strait Point was added to the itinerary. The call to Juneau was to be shortened by several hours, while the call on Skagway was to begin one hour earlier than originally planned.
Now, with a second diesel generator requiring repairs, the itinerary has been adjusted even further. Both the calls on Juneau and the new visit to Icy Strait Point are canceled, Ketchikan was added back into the itinerary, and the visit times in both Skagway and Victoria have been shortened.
In Skagway, the ship was supposed to be docked from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., but will now be visiting from 12-10 p.m., 3.5 hours less than the earlier revised itinerary. The call to Victoria, British Columbia was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. to midnight, but will now be from 8 p.m. to midnight.
No changes have been made to the ship’s return to Seattle.
Crown Princess set sail on this newly revised itinerary on Saturday, May 7, spent Sunday at sea, and called on Ketchikan from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday. The remainder of the itinerary is now:
- Tuesday (5/10) – Skagway – 12-10 p.m.
- Wednesday (5/11) – Glacier Bay National Park Scenic Cruising
- Thursday (5/12) – At Sea
- Friday (5/13) – Victoria – 8 p.m. to midnight
- Saturday (5/14) – Seattle – Arrival at 7 a.m.
Shore tours booked through Princess Cruises will automatically be rescheduled or refunded as necessary to accommodate the new port visits and times.
When the original itinerary changes were announced on April 28, guests were given a $100 per person onboard credit. Now, because of these further changes and port cancelations, all guests are also receiving a 20% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) based on the fare paid for this sailing.
This FCC can be used on any future Princess cruise, booked by December 1, 2022 and setting sail by December 1, 2023. The email does acknowledge that the compensation does not completely mitigate these last-minute changes.
“Although not a replacement for the missed ports, it is our sincere hope that the Future Cruise Credit will help you to create new cruise memories with us in the near future,” the email reads.
Future Itineraries Also Changing
While Princess Cruises has not made official announcements for further Crown Princess alterations, guests booked on upcoming sailings are also reporting similar itinerary changes later in May and into June.
Sailings in August do not appear to be affected, other than the possibility of a slightly earlier departure from Seattle.
Guests are understandably upset at these last-minute changes. While it is common for a cruise ship to have to change a port of call or adjust a visit due to weather, dock availability, or other issues, such extensive changes due to maintenance issues can be frustrating.
Because Crown Princess has only just re-entered service after her more than two-year pause, guests are questioning why such maintenance was not carried out while the ship was not in use.
Maintenance schedules, however, are often devised with the assumption that a ship will be continually sailing between repair cycles, and it is possible that unanticipated difficulties have arisen because of the ship’s long period out of service.
Guests booked on any cruise line should remain in close contact with their travel advisor or the cruise line in case of changes. At this time, it is essential to remain flexible about travel expectations as the cruise industry continues to adapt to returning to service.