What a start to my day today with the news that Royal Caribbean announcing Independence of the Seas will not be based in Southampton for 2020.
A few months ago having the Independence and Anthem of the Seas for 2020 alongside each other was an exciting time, but sadly Royal has changed the schedule for Independence of the Seas and she will be based from Fort Lauderdale offering Caribbean Sailings and stopping at the cruise lines newly relaunched private Island, Perfect Day at Coco Cay.
Guests are being offered a full refund and also a 25% Future Cruise Credit for use on other sailings. The 25% is based on the cruise only fare exclusive of taxes and fees that the guests have currently got booked.
About 16 cruises and 70,000 passengers are affected. This is a huge decision from Royal Caribbean and they have said they have a huge demand for their Caribbean itineraries which will be better off to sail her closer to home in the US.
Our main priority here at Cruise.co.uk was to look after all of our booked guests and contact them immediately to offer them alternatives and talk over what the best options would be for them. The news is very disappointing to some of Royal Caribbean guests, although the 25% future cruise credit has been a great help for people rebooking alternatives with Royal, or if rebooking with another cruise line the credit is valid for 2 years so a bonus whether they use it now or for something in the future.
Will there be more options with royal sailing out of Southampton?
It is sad for the UK market to lose such a large ship and I really hope to see more options for us in the future. 🙂