Royal Caribbean Cruise Cancelled After Guests Are Already Onboard

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Royal Caribbean International has just notified guests onboard Radiance of the Seas that the ship will not, in fact, be departing as hoped for an abbreviated Alaskan sailing. The voyage is now cancelled and guests will be debarking the ship to be sent home.

As originally planned, the ship was to have departed from Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday, April 26, but an earlier adjustment due to technical difficulties meant that guests were permitted to board on embarkation day while the ship was to spend two days in port undergoing repairs.

The revised plan was to have the ship depart on Sunday, April 28, with an adjusted route and calls to Icy Strait Point and Ketchikan, along with scenic cruising in the famed Inside Passage, before returning on May 3 as per the original schedule.

Now, the entire sailing has been cancelled while the ship continues to undergo repair for a technical issue impacting its propulsion.

“Despite our best efforts, circumstances beyond our control have delayed our sailing further,” the letter delivered to guests’ staterooms said. “Your patience throughout this time [has] not gone unnoticed, and we are immensely grateful for your understanding.”

To compensate for the difficulties and late change of plans, all passengers will be provided with a 100% refund of their cruise fare as well as a 100% future cruise credit (FCC) that may be applied to any future Royal Caribbean sailing.

Internet service onboard the ship is also open and complimentary to permit guests to more easily arrange onward travel plans, and the ship is offering an open bar – no charge for drinks – until debarkation. Reimbursement is also being provided for change fees for airline reservations, as well as to help cover hotel costs.

The 90,090-gross-ton ship first developed propulsion difficulties on her repositioning cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver just days ago. Visits to Astoria, Oregon and Victoria, British Columbia were scrapped to accommodate the ship’s slower cruising speed, and so she would reach Vancouver with extra time to implement repairs before her first Alaska cruise of the season.

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

That first cruise was then shortened as more time was needed to complete repairs.

“While repairs for the technical issue that we encountered on our previous sailing are still underway, we discovered that we’re going to need some extra time to get the ship in tip-top shape for you,” the notification letter for shortening the cruise read.

Guests were still permitted to board, with the expectation of finally setting sail and leaving Vancouver on Sunday, April 28. It should be noted that due to US Customs and Border Protection restrictions, travelers have not been permitted off the ship to explore Vancouver once they boarded the vessel on Friday.

Two days, however, does not provide enough time to implement appropriate repairs. Now, the entire cruise is cancelled, and guests will indeed be off the ship in Vancouver – to head home on Sunday. Passengers were notified of this decision on Saturday afternoon, just 24 hours before they will be required to debark the ship.

Eerie Similarities to Earlier Problems

These problems, including the shifting plans, shortened cruise, and last-second cancellation are eerily similar to propulsion problems Radiance of the Seas experienced at the end of August 2023.

At that time, the ship developed propulsion problems that prompted the cancellation of her September 1, 2023 departure on embarkation day. Despite immediately beginning repairs, the following sailing also had to be cancelled, just three days before embarkation.

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas (Photo Credit: meunierd / Shutterstock)

For those cancellations, Radiance of the Seas was undergoing repairs in Seward, Alaska, as she had been alternating northbound and southbound cruises for the Alaska season, just as is planned for her 2024 season in the Last Frontier.

While there is no word yet on the ship’s next planned departure – the May 3 departure, a one-way voyage from Vancouver to Seward – guests booked on that sailing will want to stay alert for potential adjustments or possible cancellation in the days to come.

Read Also: Royal Caribbean Ships by Age – Newest to Oldest

Radiance of the Seas is one of the older ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet, having first debuted in 2001. The vessel can welcome 2,143 travelers at double occupancy, or up to 2,466 guests when fully booked with all berths filled. She is scheduled to remain in Alaska through the end of September, then will make her way to Tampa to offer Bahamas and Western Caribbean itineraries.

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