Weather Forces Royal Caribbean Ship to Make Alternative Plans

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Guests boarding Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas in Port Canaveral on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 will not be visiting the destinations they’d originally expected on the 5-night sailing.

Poor weather expected along the cruise route has required an itinerary change, which includes one port of call cancelled, a different port substituted, and the remaining port rescheduled.

Allure of the Seas Itinerary Change

Allure of the Seas‘ October 25, 2023 departure was to have been a 5-night “Labadee & Perfect Day” cruise visiting two private destinations – Labadee, Haiti and Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas. Poor weather, however, means the ship will not be able to visit either port of call as originally planned.

The cruise line communicated the change to guests the day before embarkation at Port Canaveral.

“Along with our Chief Meteorologist, Craig Setzer, we’ve been monitoring some adverse weather along our intended path,” the email read. “To ensure a safe and comfortable sailing, we’ll now visit Cozumel, Mexico instead of Labadee, Haiti. Additionally, we’ll now enjoy Perfect Day at CocoCay on Day 5. We’re sorry for the last-minute change.”

The original cruise itinerary was to have been CocoCay on the very first day, followed by a day at sea before visiting Labadee on Saturday, October 28. Another day at sea would follow before the ship returned to Port Canaveral on Monday, October 30.

Bad Weather at CocoCay
Bad Weather at CocoCay (Photo Credit: dnaveh)

Now, the itinerary features a day at sea with a visit to Cozumel, Mexico from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, October 27. Another day at sea is planned on Saturday, and the ship will be at CocoCay on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. – the same in-port times as previously scheduled, albeit for a different day. The ship’s return to Port Canaveral on Monday has not changed.

Cruise lines always keep guests’ safety as the top priority and while itinerary changes are never ideal, they can be necessary to ensure smooth sailing, safe docking, and precise navigation.

Pre-booked shore tours arranged through Royal Caribbean for the stop in Labadee will be automatically cancelled and refunded, and tours booked for CocoCay should be rescheduled to the new visit date.

Company in Port

When the Oasis-class Allure of the Seas visits Cozumel on Friday, it will be a busy day with four other cruise ships in port: Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Glory, MSC Cruises’ MSC Seascape, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sky, and Viking Cruises’ Viking Mars. Allure of the Seas is the largest ship of the visiting vessels, however, and the port facilities in Cozumel are well-equipped to handle so many ships.

The ship’s visit to CocoCay, however, should be slightly less crowded than initially scheduled. If Allure of the Seas had kept her original itinerary to visit the private island on October 26, she would be sharing the destination with the Freedom-class Independence of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas (Photo Credit: Sterling Images / Shutterstock)

Now, with Allure of the Seas visiting on October 29, she will be in port with the slightly smaller Voyager-class Adventure of the Seas instead.

While the difference between the Freedom and Voyager classes is slight – Adventure of the Seas can welcome 3,807 guests at maximum occupancy, compared to 4,375 aboard Independence of the Seas – the difference of a few hundred guests can make the island seem less crowded and more exclusive for everyone.

Poor Weather Predicted

The poor weather impacting Allure of the Seas is not a tropical storm or hurricane – Hurricane Tammy is far from the area and no other systems are currently developing in that region.

Typical rough weather, however, can still create strong winds and intense waves that make it challenging to dock or navigate a ship, and it is always wiser to err on the side of caution.

Read Also: What to Do Onboard a Cruise Ship in Bad Weather

“Please know your safety is our top priority and 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 to guests explained.

Weather in the Bahamas on Wednesday is expected to be windy with wind speeds of 20-30 miles per hour (32-48 kilometers per hour). Gusts could be significantly stronger.

Depending on the wind’s direction, it could make docking in CocoCay unsafe, as the ship would struggle to stay safely against the pier. Waves over the pier could also make it unsafe for guests to move between the ship and the island.

Furthermore, high winds can also cancel a number of activities and give guests fewer options to enjoy their day ashore. Rescheduling, however, ensures a better day for everyone and a more enjoyable cruise vacation experience.

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