Grandeur of the Seas trip cancelled
Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas cruise to Bermuda was cancelled on Saturday after the ship developed mechanical problems.
The Baltimore Sun reported Sunday the five-day cruise returned to Baltimore and disembarked passengers. The ship's maximum capacity of passengers is 2,446.
One passenger, Lisa Rinker, of Indianapolis, Indiana, reported the cruise was sold out, and is angered at her family's treatment.
“I feel like we're being punished because their equipment broke. And that's not our fault. Now we have to fight just to get home. After all is said and done, I'll be out close to $1,000 for a trip that didn't happen.”
Rinker said The Grandeur of the Seas never got far from port. Shortly after pulling away from the dock, the ship began moving in circles, she said.
At around 8pm Saturday, the captain announced that the cruise had been cancelled. Passengers were told they could choose to leave the boat immediately or remain on board overnight and disembark at 6am Sunday.
When passengers returned to their state rooms, they found a letter promising to reimburse them for the cost of the cruise, which, for Rinker and her son, totalled $3,000, and for any items they'd purchased from the company in advance, such as shore excursions.
In addition, the company offered to reimburse domestic passengers up to $200 and international passengers up to $400 to change their flights and up to $200 for one night's stay in a hotel room.
Passengers also will receive a credit for a future cruise based on the fees they've already paid, according to the letter signed by Thordur Thorsson, theGrandeur's captain.
“We know how much time and effort go into planning a vacation,” the letter said. “We're terribly sorry you didn't get to enjoy the full experience we had planned for you.”
Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Melissa Charbonneau said in a statement Saturday. “We understand this is an unfortunate inconvenience for our guests and sincerely apologise for the interruption in their travel plans.
Royal Caribbean officials were unavailable for further comment.
The cheapest air fare Mrs Rinker could find back to Indianapolis cost her $700 for two tickets, or nearly twice the $400 she expects to receive from Royal Caribbean.
She will not be reimbursed for her stay in a Baltimore hotel the night before she boarded the cruise ship, for the luggage fees she paid, for their meals, for parking at the airport, or for the other incidental expenses involved in planning a week's vacation.
She acknowledged that many costs could have been avoided by purchasing travel insurance, but she thinks Royal Caribbean should have gone “above and beyond” to help its passengers get home safely.
“My son and I were sitting on these little benches [in Baltimore's Inner Harbour] at 10.30 at night trying to make hotel and plane reservations from our mobile phones,” she said. “We don't know anybody in Baltimore. I felt abandoned. If my son hadn't been with me, it would have been kind of scary.”
She's not sure if she'll take Royal Caribbean up on its offer for a future cruise.
“I love cruises,” she said. “This is probably the 15th cruise I've taken, and about ten of them have been on Royal Caribbean.
“I've never had any problems before. So I'll have to wait and see how I feel after I get home. But right now, I am not at all happy.”