After the big turn around for Royal Caribbean this week it does make me wonder whether passengers will lose faith in their favourite Cruise Line.
Earlier this week Royal Caribbean made the shock announcement that they would be pulling the ‘Independence of the seas’ out of Southampton in Summer 2020. Seeing as these sailings have already been on sale for many months now and Cruise.co as only one Company had hundreds of passengers already confirmed and looking forward to their 2020 holiday, to say it has been an upheaval would be a slight understatement.
I do understand to make such a massive alteration was a decision that would not have been made likely, and Royal have compensated customers with a 25% future cruise credit which passengers are able to use over the next two years. However for passengers who have to secure holiday early from work and fit around school holidays, also large parties trying to get everybody to commit to one date is a difficult task. Also as a Cruise Agent we have normally spent considerable time whittling down cruises to find the right option for a customer, so to then have it whipped away from under your feet is a mighty blow.
Royal Caribbean gave the reason for the change down to them having high demand to get passengers over to their new Cococay destination, but my thoughts are they have bitten off more than they can chew, trying to get almost 10,000.00 passengers out of the UK on a weekly basis was a bit too much to expect even with the luring of Brexit possibly effecting sales over the last 6 months.
They are leaving the ‘Anthem of the seas’ in the UK for 2020 and have today released ‘All Inclusive Drinks’ packages on their 2020 sailings for the next two weeks, obviously with the hope that many passengers will be lured into jumping onto the Anthem. However, all my passengers who I had confirmed on Independence have not rebooked with Royal Caribbean onto the Anthem as this ship is far too big for them, so they have confirmed with other lines and are sitting on their credits till a later date.
I do feel that the passengers affected will lose faith in them as a brand, what’s your thoughts, were you booked on???……………….