Royal Caribbean International has reached out to guests booked on a spring sailing of Allure of the Seas to inform them of an itinerary change for the single port of call on the cruise. A berthing conflict is cited as the reason for the switch, despite the original port of call being one of the busiest cruise ports in the world with multiple docks to accommodate several vessels simultaneously.
Allure of the Seas Itinerary Change
Guests setting sail on the April 29, 2024 sailing of Allure of the Seas will not be visiting the destination originally planned for what was to have been a 4-night Western Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Port Canaveral. The ship was to have spent a day at sea, then a day in Cozumel, Mexico on May 1, followed by another day at sea before arriving back in Florida.
Travelers have received notification, however, that their itinerary has been changed and an alternative port substituted.
“Due to a birthing conflict, we’ll now visit Labadee, Haiti instead of Cozumel, Mexico,” the email read. “We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this. Nevertheless, we’re excited to take you to our amazing private destination!”
The overall schedule of the ship – day at sea, port day, day at sea – has not been changed, and Allure of the Seas will be docked in Labadee from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., the same time the ship was to have been in Cozumel.
All pre-paid shore excursions for Cozumel that have been booked through the cruise line are being automatically cancelled and refunded to the original form of payment, and guests can select from a wide range of shore excursions for Labadee instead.
Busy Day in Cozumel – Or Is It?
Cozumel is one of the busiest cruise ports in the western Caribbean, easily welcoming more than 3.5 million passengers annually. On May 1, 2024 – the day Allure of the Seas was to have visited – only two other ships are scheduled for the port, which makes the idea of a “berthing conflict” questionable, as the cruise port routinely welcomes 3, 4, and even sometimes 5 ships in a single day.
The identities of the other two ships, however, do help explain the conflict. Also scheduled for Cozumel on that date are Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Valor, as well as Royal Caribbean International’s upcoming Icon of the Seas.
While Allure of the Seas is an Oasis-class vessel and is currently ranked as the fifth largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage at 225,282 gross tons, Icon of the Seas will be much larger at 250,800 gross tons when she debuts in January 2024.
It is likely that the docking facilities in Cozumel, while they certainly can handle such massive vessels, cannot accommodate two such tremendous ships at once.
Moving Allure of the Seas to Labadee will also ensure a less crowded port experience for all guests at both ports, though Labadee will still be seeing an incredible number of guests. On May 1, 2024, the Symphony of the Seas – another Oasis-class ship – will also be visiting Labadee.
It is possible that the cruise line may work to reschedule Symphony of the Seas as well, though this is unlikely as the destination can accommodate both vessels.
Labadee, Haiti is located on the country’s north coast, and is Royal Caribbean’s private, 260-acre resort destination reserved exclusively for its guests. There, travelers will find a wide range of amenities and activities, from white sand beaches to adrenaline-inducing thrill rides including one of the world’s longest zip lines.
Kayaking, parasailing, jet skis, a shopping market, multiple bars, a relaxing garden, multiple pools, a pickleball court, a bocceball court, and more await guests visiting Labadee.
Still, some travelers are sure to be disappointed at missing Cozumel, which is always a popular destination for its vibrant culture, ancient ruins, spectacular snorkeling, and energetic atmosphere. Fortunately, with many other cruises visiting Cozumel year-round, travelers can always plan a getaway to that Mexican paradise.