Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Delayed Returning to Homeport

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Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of the Seas is delayed in returning to Port Canaveral at the end of the current sailing due to a medical evacuation earlier in the cruise.

The cruise line is making what adjustments are possible for a smooth debarkation despite the delay, though embarkation for the next sailing will also be impacted.

Adventure of the Seas Delayed

Adventure of the Seas will be late arriving back to Florida at the end of an 8-night Eastern Caribbean holiday sailing, following a medical evacuation that required an unexpected diversion to Grand Turk earlier in the cruise.

Guests onboard have been notified of the late arrival with a notice sent to their staterooms detailing plans for their arrival into Port Canaveral.

“As previously announced by our Captain, due to a delay caused by a medical evacuation, we expect to return to Port Canaveral at 8:30 AM tomorrow morning,” the notification read.

According to the original itinerary, Adventure of the Seas was to have arrived back at Port Canaveral by 7 a.m. on Saturday, December 30, 2023. In reality, most cruise ships actually arrive back to their homeports somewhat earlier than the published time to provide enough time for customs and immigration clearance, with debarkation generally beginning close to the scheduled time.

The letter goes on to explain that debarkation will begin at approximately 9 a.m., and guests are urged to take advantage of the self-assist option to leave the ship, carrying their own luggage to make the process go more quickly.

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks /

The cruise began on Friday, December 22 and has visited Labadee, Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. The last two days of the sailing – December 28 and 29 – were planned as days a sea, though satellite tracking data shows the ship diverting to Grand Turk.

This would have been the medical evacuation, though details of that incident have not been revealed in order to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, as well as that of their traveling companions and family members.

Cruise Line Helping With Travel Arrangements

To assist guests with adjusting their post-cruise travel plans, Royal Caribbean is providing complimentary Wi-Fi vouchers for passengers without internet packages. This will help travelers communicate with airlines or hotels if necessary to make reservation adjustments, as well as be in touch with family members or friends who may be meeting them at the port or picking them up at an airport after the cruise.

Furthermore, if guests purchased flights through the cruise line, those post-cruise arrangements will be adjusted automatically and email notifications will be sent once new flights are confirmed.

Adventure of the Seas cruise Ship
Photo Credit: NAN728 /

Passengers who booked their own airfare will need to contact their airline directly, and it is recommended that flights depart Orlando International Airport (MCO) no early than 12:30 p.m.

Royal Caribbean is also covering air change fees up to $200 (USD) per person for domestic travel, and $400 per person for international travel. Appropriate receipts and booking information will need to be submitted via email for reimbursement review.

Will the Next Cruise Be Impacted?

Because Adventure of the Seas is delayed returning, the next cruise’s departure is also be impacted. By encouraging guests to use self-assist debarkation, the cruise line is attempting to speed up the debarkation process and minimize delays both for guests leaving as well as arriving to the cruise ship.

Adventure of the Seas
Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks /

Guests embarking on the next sailing – a 6-night Eastern Caribbean cruise – have been advised to delay their arrival to Port Canaveral by 1.5 hours, which is consistent with the anticipated change in arrival time from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

It should also be noted that construction in the Port Canaveral area has caused traffic backups and parking challenges. Guests arriving too early – before debarking guests have left the port area – may be unable to find parking spaces, which could further contribute to traffic congestion and additional delays.

The 138,193-gross-ton, Voyager-class Adventure of the Seas can welcome 3,114 guests when booked at double occupancy, or up to 3,807 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled. With a Christmas cruise followed by a New Year’s cruise both impacted by this delay, the ship is likely much closer to full occupancy for both sailings.

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