Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas is having alterations to a number of upcoming itineraries, dropping ports of call and substituting sea days on various sailings in the coming months.

These changes are due to required engine maintenance impacting overall sailing speed, but guests are being fairly compensated for the adjustment.

Booked passengers have reported a variety of itinerary changes on upcoming sailings for Anthem of the Seas. Most changes involve dropping a scheduled port of call, either Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida or Nassau, Bahamas, depending on the sailing date and exact itinerary. When possible, the cruise line has extended time in another port on the itinerary to give guests more exploration time as well.

Emails sent to booked guests, travel advisors, and travel partners are similar regardless of the sailing.

“To maintain a safe and comfortable speed along our journey, we’ll now have a sea day instead of visiting Nassau, Bahamas [Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida]. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this,” the notification reads.

Photo Credit: LD Media UK / Shutterstock

To help make up for the alteration, the cruise line is increasing the amount of time Anthem of the Seas will spend in Royal Caribbean’s private island destination in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay. Depending on the sailing, the time extension in CocoCay varies from just one extra hour to 2.5 additional hours.

On some sailings, such as the November 12, 2023 departure, the ship had not originally intended to visit CocoCay, but the port stop has been added, along with an extra 2.5 hours in Port Canaveral. On that particular sailing, the visit to Nassau is cancelled in favor of a sea day.

Other impacted itineraries include the October 30 and November 26, 2023 departure dates. Booked guests have also reported similar changes on various departure dates, including November 5 and November 12, 2023, and it is likely that other sailing dates are also affected.

It isn’t just 7-night Bahamas cruises that are affected by these itinerary changes. The ship’s January 29, 2024 cruise – an 11-night Southern Caribbean sailing – is also losing a port of call with some adjustments to other ports on the itinerary.

On that sailing, Anthem of the Seas will no longer be visiting Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, but two extra hours have been added to the call in Charlotte Amalie, which will now be the first port of call on the sailing after three full days at sea.

Times in St. Lucia as well as St. Kitts & Nevis are also slightly adjusted, before the ship enjoys three more full days at sea before returning to Cape Liberty.

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock)

Anthem of the Seas is offering several of these longer Southern Caribbean sailings over the winter, and each one may be similarly impacted with itinerary changes. Guests booked on those cruises should stay in close contact with the cruise line or their travel agent for updates.

The reasoning for both types of itinerary changes – whether on weeklong or longer sailings – is that the ship requires maintenance on one of its four engines. While no safety or onboard operational systems are impacted, the vessel’s maximum cruising speed must be reduced.

“While this impacts our ability to deliver on the original itinerary, we’re confident that it will still be an exceptional cruise vacation,” the email explains.

Anthem of the Seas has previously had similar issues that caused minor itinerary modifications, including for sailings in June 2023 and in 2017.

In addition to extending some time in another port of call, Royal Caribbean International is also offering guests on the impacted cruises a one-day prorated refund of their cruise fare as an onboard credit posted to each guest’s account on embarkation day.

Any unused funds from that credit will be refunded back to the account’s credit card at the end of the cruise. All Royal Caribbean shore excursions for the cancelled ports are also being automatically refunded.

“Thanks for your understanding,” the email concludes. “We can’t wait to welcome you onboard Anthem of the Seas!”

Anthem of the Seas is currently homeported from Southampton, UK, offering Canary Islands cruises as the ship finishes her European season.

On October 15, the 168,666-gross-ton, Quantum-class ship will sail a 15-night transatlantic crossing to return to New York (Cape Liberty, New Jersey), stopping at ports of call in Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands, and Bermuda along the way.

The ship will remain homeported from New Jersey through the winter, before returning to Southampton in late April 2024. In November 2024, Anthem of the Seas will be repositioned in Singapore to offer Southeast Asian itineraries.

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