Propulsion Issue Forces Royal Caribbean Ship to Cancel Ports

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A technical issue affecting Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas is causing the ship to miss her scheduled port visits on a one-way repositioning cruise between Los Angeles, California and Vancouver, British Columbia. The ship is now arriving back home earlier than expected.

Guests are being compensated for the dramatic itinerary adjustment, and the current plan is that the ship will be able to sail her next cruise as scheduled.

Propulsion Issue Affecting Radiance of the Seas

Radiance of the Seas is currently making her way from Los Angeles to Vancouver to start the Alaska season, but a technical issue impacting the ship’s propulsion has made it necessary to slow the maximum speed. As a result, the ship will no longer be able to make the scheduled ports of call on the itinerary.

“Radiance of the Seas is experiencing a technical issue with one of its propulsion systems, resulting in a slower maximum speed,” a letter delivered to guests’ staterooms read. “Unfortunately, this means we’re no longer able to make our scheduled calls.”

The ship was scheduled to visit Astoria, Oregon on Wednesday, April 24 and Victoria, British Columbia on Thursday, April 25. Instead, the vessel will now head directly to Vancouver, with an anticipated arrival of 9 p.m. on Thursday.

This is ahead of the ship’s original arrival on Friday morning, but will permit extra time for the required maintenance to correct the issue prior to the next sailing. It must be noted that no safety systems, hotel operations, or other onboard systems are impacted.

“Our ship remains seaworthy and safe, just slower,” the letter confirmed.

At the moment, Radiance of the Seas is sailing north along the California coast at approximately 16 knots (18 miles per hour). The ship’s maximum speed is 25 knots (29 mph).

Radiance of the Seas Cruise Ship
Radiance of the Seas (Photo Credit: Stories In Light)

The nature of the technical issue has not been disclosed, but the cruise line does note that work is already being done to correct the malfunction.

“Our teams are hard at work to correct this issue and our current progress is meeting our timeline,” the letter explained. “However, we’ll need to be docked to complete the required repairs.”

Compensation Offered

Royal Caribbean is being generous with compensation for this dramatic itinerary change, as the ship will now have no port of call visits until arriving in Vancouver.

All pre-paid Royal Caribbean shore excursions for Astoria and Victoria will be fully refunded as onboard credit, and all guests will also receive a 50% refund of their cruise fare as another onboard credit.

Any unused, refundable credits will be returned to guests’ credit cards on file within 14 business days of debarkation. Guests should be aware, however, that some banking institutions may take a bit longer to process those refunds.

Because the ship will arrive in Vancouver ahead of schedule, there will be no need for changes to onward, post-cruise travel plans. Debarkation remains as planned on Friday, April 26.

Radiance of the Seas Cruise Ship
Radiance of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: VIDEOVISTAVIEW / Shutterstock)

It should be noted that on the ship’s most recently completed cruise, the April 8 departure from Tampa (a 14-night sailing that brought the ship to Los Angeles), there was a mild norovirus outbreak reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of 67 cases were reported during the 2-week cruise, out of 2,917 guests and crew aboard.

The norovirus outbreak is not related to the current technical issue or the cancellation of the ports of call.

Next Sailing Still Scheduled as Planned

As is common with many repositioning cruises, there are a number of back-to-back guests onboard Radiance of the Seas who are understandably concerned about whether or not the next sailing will move forward as scheduled.

Read Also: Must-Know Things About the Vancouver Cruise Terminal

While the technical work is yet to be completed and cannot be finished until the ship is docked in Vancouver, all indications are that there should be no further impact to the April 26 departure.

“At this time, we intend to sail as planned on April 26th, 2024, and we are committed to keeping you informed every step of the way,” the letter stated.

The April 26 cruise is Radiance of the Seas‘ first Alaska cruise of the year, with visits planned for Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, and Ketchikan. Full sailing speed will be necessary to ensure the ship can make those visits as scheduled.

The 90,090-gross-ton ship can welcome 2,501 travelers aboard, and is also home to approximately 900 international crew members.

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