Royal Caribbean Itinerary Change Leads to Great Opportunity

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Guests aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Wonder of the Seas have been informed they will not be able to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico as planned, but will instead be visiting St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. While a cancelled port of call can be disappointing, this gives travelers the unique opportunity to enjoy an amazing festival in St. Thomas.

Earlier this month, MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia inadvertently impacted a mooring dolphin on Pier 3 West in San Juan, causing structural damage that has meant the pier is unable to be used. While repairs and inspections are currently underway, this means that Wonder of the Seas will be unable to visit on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 as originally planned.

While there are other docks available for cruise ships to berth in San Juan, the overall dock length and configuration of other berths may be unable to accommodate the 235,600-gross-ton, Oasis-class Wonder of the Seas, the second-largest cruise ship in the world. Adjacent water depth to accommodate the ship’s draft may also be a factor in the cancellation.

Instead, Wonder of the Seas will now visit Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Food Fair Day.

“The Port Authority is thrilled to welcome this unscheduled visit by the Wonder of the Seas,” said Carlton Dowe, Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Port Authority.

“The Carnival Food Fair is one of the ultimate showcases of our local cuisine, treats, arts and crafts, fresh produce, and music. We are certain that this unique cultural experience will entice our cruise visitors to return for a longer stay in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

The festival is a free event attended by thousands every year. Nearby streets are diverted to one-way traffic and free ferry and shuttle service is provided to help with crowds. Some taxi services near the cruise port will also be restricted to accommodate fair traffic, which might impact shore tour availability and timing.

Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

Visitors will have the opportunity to sample an amazing array of local treats, including lobster, jonny cakes, beef and salt fish pates, kalaloo, tamarind stew, mango and pineapple tarts, passion fruit juice, and many other delicious Caribbean dishes.

Local art, paintings, and crafts will also be available for purchase, such as Caribbean and iguana dolls, coconut monkeys and birdfeeders, and other unique options that can be amazing souvenirs of a truly unique visit.

Other events during the fair will be live music from local bands, traditional cultural dances, and appearances by political figures and local celebrities.

Two other cruise ships are also scheduled to visit Charlotte Amalie on May 1 with time to enjoy Food Fair: MSC Seascape and Disney Fantasy.

Not the First Cancelled Port for the Cruise

The cancellation of San Juan for Wonder of the Seas‘ current sailing – a 7-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary that departed Port Canaveral on Sunday, April 28 – is not the only original port of call removed from the itinerary.

Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas

The ship was also to visit Labadee, Haiti, on Friday, May 3. In light of recent unrest and violence in Haiti, however, Royal Caribbean International has removed Labadee from all ships’ itineraries at least for the next several weeks. Some sailings through the summer months have also had the port cancelled, and it is unclear when regular visits to Labadee might resume.

Instead, various ships are being rerouted to different destinations, including Grand Turk, St. Maarten, or Perfect Day at CocoCay, among others, depending on the sailing route and port availability.

Because Wonder of the Seas will now be sailing further east to visit St. Thomas, the ship will also be visiting St. Maarten rather than Labadee.

Read Also: Wonder of the Seas Itineraries, What You Need to Know

Wonder of the Seas can welcome 5,734 guests at double occupancy, and up to 7,084 travelers if fully booked with all berths filled. The ship is also home to approximately 2,300 international crew members.

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