Royal Caribbean Delays Cruise Despite Earlier Assurances

Brilliance of the Seas will sail a shorter itinerary with a very different destination, but great compensation is being offered to guests.

Royal Caribbean International has once again reached out to guests booked on the April 4, 2024 sailing of Brilliance of the Seas following a technical issue with the ship’s propulsion that cancelled the ship’s March 30 cruise.

Just days ago, travelers were assured that the April 4 departure would move forward as planned, but now the cruise has been delayed and the itinerary shortened with a significantly different destination. Guests are being offered generous compensation for the change, however.

Brilliance of the Seas Delayed, Cruise Shortened

Despite an earlier notice reassuring guests that the cruise was intended to set sail as planned, Royal Caribbean International has now reached out to passengers booked on Brilliance of the Seas‘ April 4, 2024 departure from Sydney, Australia, with the unfortunate news that the cruise must be shortened.

Instead of departing on Thursday, April 4, as planned, the sailing is now delayed until Sunday, April 7, and will have a dramatically different itinerary due to the loss of time.

“While repairs for the technical issue that we encountered on one of our previous sailings was completed, during routine testing, we discovered that we’re going to need some extra time to get the ship ready for you,” the email explained.

“As a result, your Brilliance of the Seas 4 April 2024 sailing will now set sail on Sunday, 7 April 2024 as that is the earliest date we are able to secure a terminal in the Port of Sydney.”

The cruise line does not detail what the “extra time” is needed for to prepare the ship to welcome guests, and it is unclear whether it is a separate technical issue or may be related to supplies or other factors.

Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

The overall delay is attributed to berth availability in Sydney. Checking the cruise schedule for the port confirms that Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge and P&O Cruises’ Pacific Adventure are in port on Friday, April 5, followed by Holland America Line’s Noordam, Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess, and Pacific Adventure again are all docked on Saturday, April 6.

No other cruise ships are currently on the schedule for Sunday, April 7, so Brilliance of the Seas would be able to use the terminal that best suits the ship’s size and passenger complement.

New Itinerary Planned

The April 4 sailing was originally planned as a South Pacific cruise, visiting Noumea and Lifou Island in New Caledonia as well as Mystery Island in Vanuatu before returning to Sydney on Friday, April 12.

Because it takes two full days at sea to reach those destinations, however, the original itinerary is no longer feasible with the shortened timeline. Instead, Brilliance of the Seas will now be visiting Hobart, Tasmania for an overnight call from 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 9 through 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10.

Read Also: Who Owns Royal Caribbean – All You Need to Know

“The temperature in Hobart is going to be between 16-19 degrees C (61-66 Fahrenheit), so we recommend packing some warmer clothing for your time in port,” the cruise line is advising guests.

Hobart is approximately 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) southwest of Noumea, the southernmost port of call on the original itinerary. The two destinations have radically different climates, and in comparison, the temperature in Noumea on April 9-10 is forecast to be 22-29 Celsius (73-84 Fahrenheit).

Compensation Offered

Because of the shortened itinerary and radically different destination, Royal Caribbean is offering significant compensation to guests. All travelers will receive a 50% refund of their cruise fare, as well as a 50% future cruise credit for another sailing.

Likewise, pro-rated refunds for daily packages – beverage packages, internet access, and dining packages – will also be processed. Any pre-paid gratuities will also be pro-rated for the shortened cruise length.

As is typical when a port of call is changed, all pre-paid shore tours booked through the cruise line will be refunded to guests as refundable onboard credit. Of special note is that Royal Caribbean is also discounting drinks for the voyage as a special thank you for guests’ understanding.

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Ship
Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia)

“We want to enjoy our upcoming days together, so we’ve opened the bar at a discount!” the email said. “All drinks will be at a 50% discounted price.”

Guests who have already paid for beverage packages will receive a 50% refund of the package cost back as onboard credit, in addition to the pro-rated refund for the shortened itinerary.

Airline change fees up to $250 (USD) for domestic travel and $400 for international travel will also be reimbursed, and likewise, hotel costs up to $250 per night for up to three nights before the sailing will also be reimbursed. If guests booked flight or hotel arrangements through the cruise line, their travel arrangements will be adjusted automatically.

Finally, all travelers will still receive full credit for the original 8-night cruise in Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Program, ensuring that their loyalty does not go unnoticed despite the fact that the cruise will now only be a 5-night voyage.

This sailing is Brilliance of the Seaslast roundtrip voyage from Sydney for the season. The next departure – April 12 – is a 16-night one-way trip to Honolulu as the ship begins repositioning to Vancouver for the Alaska sailing season.

The 90,090-gross-ton, Radiance-class Brilliance of the Seas will not be returning to Australia for any upcoming deployments, but instead will move to New Orleans in October, and in 2025 will offer seasons with multiple departures from Athens, Boston, and San Juan.


Free expert cruise tips and news from Cruise Hive! We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Cruise Boards
Copy link