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How Many Delays and Cancellations Can Impact Our Cruise?

How Many Delays and Cancellations Can Impact Our Cruise?

avatar   Stacy
Trip Date 12/10/2017
Posted On 05/02/2018 17:35:35

Destinations | Cruise | Texas | Galveston | Cruise Park | Liberty of the Seas | Caribbean

Just over two months ago, we decided to join our friends, Terry and Dwayne, for a Western Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas. The planned itinerary called for a 4:00 PM Sunday afternoon departure from Galveston, Texas followed by three ports of call:
  • Tuesday, December 12, 2017 in Cozumel, Mexico (7:00 AM - 4:00 PM)
  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017 in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (10:30 AM - 6:00 PM)
  • Thursday, December 14, 2017 in Falmouth, Jamaica (8:00 AM - 5:00 PM)

Delay Notification from Royal Caribbean

On the day prior to our sailing, I noticed some postings on our Cruise Critic Roll Call that indicated that our departure would be delayed, so I called Royal Caribbean in an attempt to learn more. The end result of my phone call was no additional information - the person with whom I spoke knew nothing of the delay and said if the information was not coming directly from Royal Caribbean, it was unreliable. Within less than 30 minutes of hanging up the phone, all four of us received emails from the cruise line with the subject, "Liberty of the Seas Update":

Delay Notification e-mail from Royal Caribbean

Delay Notification e-mail from Royal Caribbean

Interesting that just a short while earlier, Royal Caribbean supposedly knew nothing of the delay!

Scott and I made a slight adjustment to our travel plans, however since we had a four hour drive from our Austin area home to the port, and we would not be receiving additional information until 9:00 AM in the morning, we felt that we still needed to be in the Galveston area by the last hour of our original boarding window - and we also needed to allow plenty of time for potential travel delays.

As promised, we did receive a second "Liberty of the Seas Update" while in route to Galveston:

Final Delay Update from Royal Caribbean

Final Delay Update from Royal Caribbean

Our travel companions had spent Saturday evening in a Galveston hotel, so upon our noon arrival, we made contact with them so that we could enjoy some time together before boarding the ship. We spent just over 1 1/2 hours walking along the beach and people watching from the sea wall before we decided to head to the port.

Strolling on the Beach with Friends in Galveston

Strolling on the Beach with Friends in Galveston

Parking at Cruise Park in Galveston, Texas

We had no trouble dropping off our luggage shortly after 2:00 PM before Scott and I found our way to Cruise Park where we had prearranged our parking for the week. Based upon the outstanding customer service received while parking our car, we would highly recommend Cruise Park to anyone on a cruise out of Galveston - we will absolutely use them in the future. A short complimentary golf cart ride courtesy of Cruise Park took us to the pedestrian path leading to the port, and we walked the few blocks to the building that housed check-in for Liberty of the Seas.

Liberty of the Seas Check-in and Embarkation

With our Crown & Anchor Platinum status, proceeding through both security and cruise check-in was extremely efficient, however a long wait followed. After sitting in a waiting area until nearly 4:00 PM, Platinum members (the second lowest status level with priority check-in) were finally called to board the ship. We walked up to the ninth floor with hopes of dropping off our carry-on luggage before heading up to the Windjammer for a bite of lunch. After a short wait in the ninth floor centrum lobby and library, we learned that cabins would not be available until 6:00 PM or later. With this information, the four of us met for a nearly two hour lunch (so much for luggage-free dining!) - until 6:00 PM when we thought we'd soon have access to our cabins. At around 6:15 PM, the announcement was finally made that cabins on most decks (ours included), were ready.

Itinerary Change for Liberty of the Seas

Due to our delayed departure and planned 9:30 PM muster drill, dinner on this first night of our cruise was changed to "My Time Dining" for all guests, with the originally scheduled dining arrangements resuming on day two. After our rather late lunch, the four of us stuck with our original plan to meet at 8:00 PM for dinner. We rushed through our dessert so as to make it to our muster stations, where we received one last bit of unfortunate news from the Captain following the drill - our stop in Grand Cayman had been cancelled due to a weather disturbance that was forecast to pass through the area. Although our safety is most important, the announcement was especially disappointing to Scott and I as we had planned our one and only excursion for this cruise during our day in Grand Cayman - a Two Stop Stingray/Snorkel Tour with Captain Marvin's. Fortunately, the tour company did not charge us in advance, and they do not hold guests accountable when cruise ships are unable to stop at the port

Delay Compensation from Royal Caribbean

In my personal opinion, the $25.00 credit to each person's onboard account was neither adequate nor credited as promised. Based on the email distributed to each guest, the amount was "to cover lunch and any incidentals", however, the credits that posted to the accounts of my husband and I were "non-refundable" meaning that they must be spent on-board the ship or forfeited. How does a non-refundable credit help to cover lunch and/or incidentals which would not be paid while on board? Additionally, in my estimation, we missed nearly 50% of the first day of the cruise, and based on the price that we paid for our inside cabin, the amount was nowhere near enough compensation - not to mention the prices that others paid for cabins much nicer and more expensive than ours.

Travel Delays

What's the worst travel delay that you have personally experienced?

Total Fitbit steps today: 13,572
Weather:55F Sunny
Port of Galveston Cruise Terminal 2, Galveston, TX, United States

How Many Delays and Cancellations Can Impact Our Cruise?


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