Royal Caribbean International has reached out to guests booked on a Freedom of the Seas cruise that was cancelled almost three months ago to let them know that the sailing is not, in fact, cancelled after all.
Now, guests have an additional option to restore their original cruise, even if they had opted to rebook, change to a different sailing, or outright cancel their previous vacation plans.
Guests previously booked on the December 21, 2024 sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas sailing have received unusual notifications – that their cruise, which was cancelled in June, is now not cancelled after all.
“We recently communicated to you about the unfortunate cancellation of your upcoming 2024 sailing onboard Freedom of the Seas,” the email explained. “This was due to a dry dock we had to schedule, but we’ve got some good news – we were able to adjust our scheduling and your previous sailing will be made available again!”
At the time of the original cancellation, guests were given three options: to select an alternative sailing from a list of available cruises onboard Freedom of the Seas or Oasis of the Seas, rebooking on any other Royal Caribbean sailing, or else choosing a full refund of their cruise.
Now, even though guests all made those prior decisions, travelers can return to the originally scheduled cruise departing December 21, 2024 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The 8-night Eastern Caribbean holiday cruise will visit St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, and Labadee.
Impacted travelers have three options to reset their vacation plans back to the original sailing, if they wish to do so.
First, if guests moved to one of the specially offered select sailings, they can return to the original cruise in a comparable stateroom with protected pricing or a reduced fare if the new rate is lower. Any overpayment would then be refunded to the original form of payment.
The same deal is available for guests who rebooked on any other Royal Caribbean International sailing, if they would like to return to the original Freedom of the Seas cruise.
In both cases, guests can also opt to remain on their current booking, which was made in replacement of the Freedom of the Seas cruise when it was first cancelled.
If guests had chosen to cancel their vacation plans altogether when the first cruise was cancelled, it is now possible to reinstate that original booking with protected pricing or at the new cruise rate, if lower than previously booked.
Travelers who do want to reinstate their cruise – whether they had rebooked or cancelled – must contact the cruise line or their travel agent by October 3, 2023 to confirm their decision.
“Thank you for understanding,” the email concludes. “Whether you choose to rejoin us on the Freedom of the Seas or on another cruise in the future, we have no doubt your time with us will be nothing short of amazing.”
The 156,271-gross ton Freedom of the Seas can welcome 3,782 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 4,515 travelers when fully booked with all berths filled.
No explanation other than “we were able to adjust our scheduling” has been offered for why the cruise has reappeared, just as there was very little information given for the initial cancellation other than “dry dock for routine maintenance and exciting improvements.”
There is no indication of whether the dry dock schedule has been moved earlier, postponed later, or cancelled altogether.
Because the impacted sailing is 15 months away, guests have plenty of time to consider their options and make the best holiday vacation plans possible for their cruising wishes.
It is also likely that with the impending drydock rescheduled, other cruises are also affected. Any guests who had a sailing cancelled on Freedom of the Seas in recent months should stay alert for possible notification and rebooking options.
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