As reported by Cruise Hive a few days ago, guests aboard the Sky Princess cruise ship experienced an unexpected turn of events as their vacation was interrupted by severe weather conditions, canceled port calls, and a medical emergency. With the vessel now away from the worst of the weather, Princess Cruises has started making amends.
Acknowledging the inconvenience caused, Princess Cruises reached out to guests with a letter, ensuring a form of compensation for the disrupted itinerary.
An Unexpected Turn of Events
The Sky Princess, a Royal-class cruise ship weighing 145,281 gross tons, embarked on its cruise from Southampton on May 13.
It was intended to be a voyage that would treat its 3,660 guests to the picturesque beauty of selected Norwegian and Icelandic ports before returning to Southampton, England, on May 27.
However, adverse weather conditions, which Cruise Hive reported on May 22, put a damper on these plans, causing drastic changes to the itinerary.
The journey that started positively with visits to Norwegian ports such as Skjolden, Olden, and Alesund soon met with the unpredictable and unforgiving nature of the region’s weather.
This resulted in canceling and rescheduling several anticipated stops in Iceland, including Akureyri, Isafjordur, Grundarfjordur, and Reykjavik.
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In the face of disappointment and inconvenience caused to the guests, Princess Cruises has stepped up to take responsibility. Captain Marco Fortezze, Master of Sky Princess, issued a letter on May 23 expressing regret for the disruption.
He wrote: “While missing multiple ports in Iceland has been beyond our control, we deeply regret the disruption to your cruise vacation.”
Acknowledging the guests’ understanding during these challenging times, the letter also revealed Princess Cruises’ plan to offer compensation for the situation.
“We recognize that the weather prevented us from providing the cruise itinerary you expected, and as a gesture of concern for your experience and gratitude for your understanding, each guest will receive a Future Cruise Credit equal to 20% of the cruise fare paid for this voyage.”
The credit on offer can be used for booking future cruises and applied to non-cruise fare items, including flexible flights, pre and post-cruise packages, or plan coverage. Guests on the back-to-back 21-day voyage will receive 20% of the cruise fare paid for the first fourteen days of their cruise.
According to a guest onboard, passengers were initially offered reimbursement for port taxes. These fares are previously paid in the cruise fare and would apply only for the missed ports.
Maintaining a Delicate Balance
Captains onboard cruise ships must find a delicate balance between ensuring guests have the cruise experience they expect while keeping the ship and everyone onboard safe. Something that is not always possible.
Captain Marco Fortezze, Master of Sky Princess: “We sincerely sympathize whenever a change is required in order to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests and crew, and we again thank you for your understanding. On behalf of all our officers and crew, we look forward to continuing to serve you on our voyage together.”
The unexpected interruptions and the subsequent compensation offer have been received with mixed emotions among the guests. One guest, who shared a message with Cruise Hive, voiced concerns about the frequency of such changes, mentioning previous itinerary cancellations.
The guest wrote: “We were aboard the Sky Princess when it repositioned from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton mid-March for 28 days and just prior to dry dock in Rotterdam.”
During the initial phase of our cruise, ‘Captain Cautious,’ as his crew calls him, canceled two out of the only three ports for the transatlantic crossing due to potential inclement weather. Each passenger received an immediate $100 on-board ship credit for the ‘inconvenience.'”
Nonetheless, Princess Cruises remains hopeful that the compensation offered will make up for the guests’ inconvenience.
As Captain Fortezze expressed in his letter: “It is our sincere hope that these credits will help you to come back and create new cruise memories with us in the near future.”
Sky Princess will return to Southampton on May 27. From there, the cruise ship will sail to Kristiansand, Norway; Copenhagen and Skagen, Denmark; and Oslo, Norway.