Friday, 2 September 2011

Royal Caribbean changes course on compensating stranded guests

Royal Caribbean changes course on compensating stranded guests

By Donna Tunney
Royal Caribbean International backed off on its policy that says it won’t compensate passengers for weather events that alter a cruise.

Royal Caribbean drew criticism after 130 people booked to sail on the Serenade of the Seas on Aug. 21 were stranded in San Juan after the ship departed early to avoid Hurricane Irene.

The cruise line is keeping mum on the amount of compensation.

“We are in the process of contacting those guests who were not able to sail with us to inform them of their compensation, and would prefer that the impacted guests learn of the amount directly from the line before it is disclosed publicly,” said spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez.

“We are compensating these passengers,” she added, “because we understand that this was an unusual situation, and we want to provide our guests with another opportunity to sail with Royal Caribbean International in the near future.”

Fifteen passengers who had booked their air through Royal Caribbean were provided hotel accommodations in San Juan on Aug. 21 and 22, along with air transportation to Aruba on Aug. 23, where they boarded the Serenade. These passengers also will be compensated, the line said, with a future cruise certificate for 30% of the cruise fare they paid.