Royal Caribbean Ship Drops Port Visit and Shortens Others

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Royal Caribbean International has reached out to booked guests aboard one January 2024 sailing of Anthem of the Seas with notification of multiple itinerary changes. One port of call is being dropped completely, and times in port are being changed for every other port on the 11-night voyage.

Itinerary Changes for Anthem of the Seas

The January 29, 2024, departure of Anthem of the Seas is being altered, with every port of call being changed in some way. The cruise line has contacted booked guests to explain the changes as follows:

“To maintain a safe and comfortable speed along our journey, we’ll now have a sea day instead of Puerto Plata,” the email began. “Additionally, we’ve adjusted our arrival and departure times for a few of our ports.”

In actuality, every port of call for the sailing has been adjusted. The cruise was initially planned to have five ports of call, but the time in each one has been altered.

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock
  • Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic – Cancelled
  • Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. instead of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (+2 hours)
  • Philipsburg, St. Maarten – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. instead of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (-1 hour)
  • Castries, St. Lucia – 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. instead of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (-1.5 hours)
  • Bassetere, St. Kitts & Nevis – 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (-1.5 hours)

In total, while extra hours have been added to Charlotte Amalie to give guests more time to enjoy that beautiful port of call, a total of 2 hours have been lost from the overall time in ports for the entire itinerary.

While this may not seem like a significant change, adjusting every port of call can impact multiple shore excursions and cuts down on the time guests may have to shop locally, enjoy the beaches, visit local restaurants, or otherwise truly immerse themselves in these amazing destinations.

“We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this,” the email continues. “Nevertheless, we’re excited to sail away with you!” The whole cruise is an 11-night sailing, roundtrip from New York. The ship’s New York times – departing on January 29 and returning on February 9 – are unaffected.

Explaining so Many Changes

Royal Caribbean has offered no further explanation for the adjustments other than to “maintain a safe and comfortable speed” for the sailing.

This seems to indicate that the ship may be having technical issues, but it would be unusual for a cruise itinerary to be altered more than nine months prior to sailing, as that is ample time for such issues to be repaired before this particular voyage.

Anthem of the Seas in the UK
Photo Credit: Matt Alexander/PA Wi

This would not be the first time that the Quantum-class Anthem of the Seas has experienced propulsion issues, however. Both the upcoming June 4 and June 16 departures have also had itinerary changes shortening time in different ports of call, and in early March, another sailing was adjusted due to engine issues.

Similarly, in 2017, the ship was forced to alter an in-progress itinerary due to propulsion issues that required sailing at a reduced speed. During that incident, engineers fixed the problem before the end of the cruise and the following sailing was unaffected.

At this time, there is no confirmation of further upcoming itineraries being altered, but guests booked aboard Anthem of the Seas in the coming months should stay alert for the possibility of changes to their sailings.

Anthem of the Seas debuted in 2015 as the second ship in the Quantum class. Weighing in at 168,888 gross tons, the ship can welcome 4,180 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 4,905 passengers when fully booked.

The ship is homeported in New York for the winter season of Caribbean and Bahamas sailings, but moves to Southampton for the summer, offering a variety of European, Mediterranean, and Norwegian fjords sailings.

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