Storm Causes Complete Itinerary Change for Royal Caribbean Ship

Quantum of the Seas will have a completely different itinerary than expected due to a tropical cyclone this week.

Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas will not be sailing any of the anticipated itinerary for its February 7, 2023 departure. A strong tropical low is currently churning through the Coral Sea, northeast of Australia, just where Quantum of the Seas was scheduled to sail. Instead, the ship will be following an alternative itinerary with different ports of call, well out of the storm’s projected path.

Cyclone Causes Complete Itinerary Change

Quantum of the Seas was scheduled for an 8-night roundtrip South Pacific itinerary from Brisbane, Australia, departing on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 and visiting Mystery Island, Noumea, and Port Vila before returning to Brisbane on Wednesday, February 15.

Upon boarding the ship, however, guests received emails from Royal Caribbean that their itinerary was changed because of storm forecasts, which is also reflected in the Royal Caribbean app.

Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas
Photo Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock

“We’re sorry for the last-minute change caused by weather,” the notification read. “Your safety remains our top priority.”

Due to the influence of the tropical low, projected to become Cyclone Gabrielle by late Wednesday, the ship will now be sailing south rather than northeast, visiting Hobart, Tasmania and Sydney, Australia.

The call in Sydney will be an overnight visit, from 8 a.m. on Sunday morning through 10 p.m. on Monday night, giving guests plenty of time to explore and enjoy the amazing city. The ship will return to Brisbane on February 15 as scheduled, long after the storm has moved away from the area.

Quantum of the Seas is the first vessel in Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum class of ships, weighing in at 168,666 gross tons and welcoming 4,180 guests aboard at double occupancy. When fully booked with all berths filled, the ship can host as many as 4,905 guests, as well as the 1,500 crew members.

Tropical Low Projected to Strengthen

The tropical low is currently positioned approximately 480 miles (772 kilometers) east-northeast of Cairns and 900 miles (1,448 km) north of Brisbane. The track has the storm moving to the south and turning eastward, likely on Thursday, February 9 as it continues to strengthen and will become Cyclone Gabrielle.

While the storm will stay off the Australian coast, its projected path does cover much of Quantum of the Seas‘ original route. The new itinerary, however, has the cruise ship moving to the south, well out of the storm’s reach so there will be minimal impact on sea conditions for a much safer and more comfortable cruise.

Graphic: AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY

“As a reminder, being onboard a ship is one of the safest places to be because we are faster and can move out of the way of any inclement weather,” the email to guests read.

While guests may be disappointed at the change in itinerary, the safety of the ship, passengers, and crew are always the first priority for any cruise line, and guests should be flexible with their travel plans and expectations whenever weather is involved.

Read Also: How a Hurricane Could Affect Your Cruise

The South Pacific cyclone season runs annually from November 1 through April 30, though storms can and occasionally do form outside those dates. So far this season, six storms have formed in the region, affecting Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, and Vanuatu. Additional storms are likely to form in the coming weeks.

Quantum of the Seas will remain in Australian waters through the season, departing in mid-April to reposition to Seattle for the Alaska sailing season. In October, the ship will return to Brisbane.

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