Tropical Cyclone Forces Royal Caribbean Ship to Cancel Ports

A tropical cyclone has forced a complete itinerary change for one Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing near Australia.

Guests sailing aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas learned the day before embarkation that their 6-night Queensland cruise itinerary needed adjustment and every port of call was cancelled.

One substitute port was available for an overnight stay, but the cruise is very different than originally planned.

Quantum of the Seas Itinerary Change

Quantum of the Seas was to have departed Brisbane, Australia on a 6-night cruise to top ports of call in Queensland on Wednesday, December 6, 2023. The day before embarkation, however, booked guests received email notification of a dramatic itinerary change.

The cruise was to have first enjoyed a day at sea, then visited Airlie Beach, Yorkeys Knob (Cairns), and Willis Island over the next three days. After a final day at sea, the ship would return to Brisbane on Tuesday, December 12.

Now, every originally scheduled port of call is cancelled, and Quantum of the Seas will instead have a day at sea, an overnight visit in Sydney, and two additional days at sea before returning to Brisbane. The departure and arrival times in Brisbane are unchanged.

“We’ve been monitoring adverse weather along our intended path,” the notification email explained. “To ensure a safe and comfortable sailing and after exploring all options, we’ll skip our visit to Airlie Beach, Cairns, and Willis Island and enjoy an overnight in Sydney, Australia instead.”

Quantum of the Seas Cruise
Quantum of the Seas Cruise (Photo Copyright Emrys Thakkar / Cruise Hive)

The ship will be in Sydney from 9 a.m. on Friday, December 8 until 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 9. Guests should note that Quantum of the Seas will be anchored rather than docking, meaning that small tender boats will be used to ferry guests ashore.

While Sydney has plenty of space to accommodate the 168,666-gross-ton cruise ship, two other vessels are already scheduled in port on Friday – Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas and Seabourn’s Seabourn Odyssey – and berth space is limited. On Saturday, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge will be joining Quantum of the Seas.

Read Also: Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Overbooked, Guests Left Behind

“We’re terribly sorry for the last-minute change caused by the weather – your safety is our top priority. Please know, being onboard is one of the safest places because we are faster and can move out of the way of any inclement weather,” the email concluded.

Quantum of the Seas can welcome 4,180 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 4,905 passengers when fully booked. Also onboard are 1,500 international crew members who will help travelers weather any storm with as much fun and relaxation as possible.

What Poor Weather?

The poor weather impacting Quantum of the Seas is a tropical system that has formed northeast of the cruise’s route, but is already having an impact on regional weather patterns.

Tropical Cyclone Jasper is currently spinning near the Solomon Islands, creating strong winds and rough seas well away from the storm’s center. The storm is forecast to move south-southwest over the coming days, bringing it closer to the ship’s route.

Quantum of the Seas Deck
Quantum of the Seas Deck (Photo Copyright: Emrys Thakkar / Cruise Hive)

In fact, Jasper is predicted to be just east of Willis Island over the weekend, just when Quantum of the Seas‘ original schedule had the ship visiting the island.

While the storm is still several days away from reaching Australia, the predicted landfall could be anywhere between Cairns and Brisbane, most likely early next week. By sailing south to Sydney, Quantum of the Seas will stay well away from the severe weather.

Worth Reading: Rough Seas on a Cruise Ship – How They Handle It

Depending on its overall track and what intensity it reaches, Tropical Cyclone Jasper may impact the ship’s return to Brisbane. Royal Caribbean International is keeping a close eye on the storm and will make further itinerary adjustments if needed.

Guests on the ship’s next sailing – a 9-night South Pacific itinerary departing Brisbane on Tuesday, December 12, will want to say in close contact with Royal Caribbean in case there may need to be adjustments to their sailing. At this time, however, it is too early for any such changes to be predicted.

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