Guests aboard Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess have not had the sailing they first anticipated when they boarded on Saturday, July 22, 2023.
Due to high winds creating hazardous conditions, the ship has had to cancel one port of call while technical problems temporarily suspended tending at another, but guests are receiving some onboard credit as compensation for the adjustments.
The 112,894-gross ton, Grand-class Caribbean Princess is currently sailing a 13-night “Canada & Colonial America Itinerary” from Fort Lauderdale to Quebec City. The ship departed on Saturday, July 22, calling successfully on Norfolk, Virginia and New York City, New York, but the third port of call – Newport, Rhode Island – was dropped at the last minute.
The day before the scheduled call to Newport, guests received notification of the itinerary change.
“The latest forecasts show adverse weather conditions around the area of Newport, Rhode Island, and the high winds and heavy swells anticipated will be unfavorable for conducting our water shuttle operation,” the letter explained. “As the safety of our guests and crew is always our highest priority, we have made the necessary decision to cancel our call to Newport tomorrow, Thursday, July 27.”
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Because of the cancelled call, Caribbean Princess was able instead to head directly to her next destination, Boston, Massachusetts, arriving five hours earlier than originally planned. This permitted guests to have extra time to explore the richly historic city.
A single itinerary alteration was not the end of the changes for the voyage, however. Three days later, on July 29, 2023, guests received a second letter addressing the difficulties guests encountered while tendering in Bar Harbor, Maine.
“We sincerely apologize for the delays or disruptions you may have experienced today in Bar Harbor when water shuttle operations between the ship and the port were affected due to technical issues,” the letter said.
“While at no time was the safety of our guests compromised, we made the difficult decision to suspend our operations midday, and are very sorry that some guests were unable to go ashore as planned.”
The nature of the technical difficulties for tendering in Bar Harbor was not disclosed, and the ship has continued on to Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Sydney, Nova Scotia. The cruise will conclude in Quebec City on Thursday, August 3 as scheduled.
Due to the multiple disruptions, guests onboard have received a variety of compensation.
All Princess Cruises‘ shore excursions for Newport were refunded back to travelers’ onboard accounts. Similarly, if guests missed later shore tours in Bar Harbor, those excursions were likewise refunded.
Furthermore, because of the shortened time in Bar Harbor, all guests received $50 (USD) of non-refundable onboard credit (up to $100 per stateroom). This credit can be used for all onboard purchases, including drinks, souvenirs, photos, specialty dining, and spa treatments, and could also be applied toward shore excursions later in the cruise.
Because the onboard credit is non-refundable, any unused amount will be forfeit and will not be returned to guests at the end of the cruise. This is very common for credits issued by any cruise line in this type of situation.
Caribbean Princess is currently offering a series of New England and Canada sailings between Quebec City and New York through the end of October, visiting destinations such as Prince Edward Island and even Greenland, depending on the itinerary and departure date. In late October, the ship will reposition to Fort Lauderdale to offer assorted Caribbean itineraries through the winter and spring.
Caribbean Princess debuted in 2004 and can welcome 3,142 guests per sailing, with approximately 1,200 crew members onboard to provide truly exceptional service.
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