Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Diverts, Cancels Port of Call

Mariner of the Seas has changed its itinerary due to a diversion for a medical emergency Monday night, and will now visit Cococay twice.

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Guests aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Mariner of the Seas will not be visiting the cruise line’s private resort destination of Labadee, Haiti, as originally scheduled, due to an onboard medical emergency that required the ship to make a significant route diversion. Instead, the ship will enjoy two days at a different popular private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Mariner of the Seas Changes

Mariner of the Seas diverted off its planned route in response to an onboard medical emergency Monday night, in order to rendezvous with the Coast Guard and transfer the affected individual off the cruise ship. This diversion occurred while the ship was en route from its homeport, Port Canaveral, to Labadee, Haiti.

The Voyager-class ship departed Port Canaveral on Monday, August 29, 2022, and Tuesday was planned to be a leisurely day at sea before arriving in Labadee on Wednesday.

The medical emergency occurred Monday night. To safeguard the person’s privacy, neither the nature of the emergency nor whether the person is a passenger or crew member has been released.

Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

The ship adjusted course south to bring the affected individual closer to Port Everglades, where they were transferred to a Coast Guard vessel at approximately 5:30 a.m. for further transport to appropriate medical facilities.

While rare, medical emergencies do occur on cruise ships. Each ship is equipped with a well-stocked medical center to deal with most minor concerns, including illnesses and injuries. If a medical emergency is beyond the scope of the care that can be provided onboard, however, the cruise ship will divert to bring the affected individual to land-based care.

After the diversion, Mariner of the Seas turned north back toward its original route, but the diversion was too lengthy to guarantee a suitable arrival at Labadee on Wednesday as planned. Instead, the ship slowed and held off dramatic changes until the new itinerary was decided.

Labadee Canceled, CocoCay Twice

By 9:30 Monday morning, the itinerary shift was confirmed, and the ship’s captain announced that Mariner of the Seas would no longer be calling on Labadee. Instead, the vessel will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay twice, on Wednesday, August 31, and again on Friday, September 2.

Read Also: Labadee, Haiti – What You Need to Know

The call on September 2 was part of the ship’s original itinerary, as was the day at sea on Thursday, September 1.

Both destinations are privately owned and operated by Royal Caribbean, offering a variety of on shore activities, beach relaxation, and local flair. Labadee, however, is 550 miles (478 nautical miles) southeast of CocoCay, a much greater distance to be traveled and requiring more time to reach.

Royal Caribbean Ship in Labadee Haiti
Photo Credit: NAN728 / Shutterstock.com

While some guests onboard may be disappointed at the prospect of missing Labadee, a second day at CocoCay also opens new opportunities to book shore tours or experiences that may have sold out for just a single day’s visit.

Normally, just one ship is scheduled to visit Cococay on any given day, ensuring a more exclusive, private, and uncrowded experience.

Because of this last-minute change, however, Mariner of the Seas may be sharing the island with Oasis of the Seas on Wednesday. The destination is large, however, with plenty of room for passengers from both ships to enjoy the visit.

It is also possible that Oasis of the Seas‘ itinerary may be altered, to shift its visit to Cococay to a different day. The ship is currently sailing a 7-night roundtrip itinerary from New York, with port of call visits to Port Canaveral (Orlando), Cococay, and Nassau. No such itinerary change has been announced at this time.

Mariner of the Seas can welcome as many as 3,344 guests at double occupancy and up to 4,000 guests when fully booked, while Oasis of the Seas is a larger vessel that can accommodate up to 5,606 passengers at double occupancy, and up to 6,699 guests when fully booked.

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