Yes, you heard it straight from me. The self described frequent floater, avid cruiser, cruise junkie, cruise advocate, and promoter of the cruising lifestyle will admit that things don’t always go well. No, I’m not talking about the obvious….that being the tragic Costa Concordia accident. I’m talking about something a little more mundane. Ships, much like airplanes are extremely complicated mechanical contraptions that sometimes fail. Case in point, Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas, scheduled to sail from Baltimore this past Saturday, February 18. You can read this thread on Cruise Critic (the Milepoint/Flyertalk of cruising) if you’re really interested in the details, but the short story is that Enchantment had a mechanical issue that impacted her propulsion system.
Even after reading the thread, I’m still not clear if it was an engine issue, a propeller issue, or something in between, but what I do know is that the ship could not sail as scheduled and actually spent the first night of her cruise tied up at the pier in Baltimore. In fact, Enchantment did not sail until the next day and I even caught a glimpse of her sailing down the Chesapeake Bay as my flight on Sunday descended towards Baltimore around 1pm. From what I can tell, the onboard services were not impacted by this issue so there was plenty of booze and dinner was still served on Saturday night as if nothing was wrong, it just happened while sitting in port. When the ship finally did set sail, it did so at reduced speed and some of the ports of call were deleted from the planned itinerary.
After an initial offer of onboard spending money to help make up for the problem, it is my understanding that Royal Caribbean will be refunding the price of the cruise for all passengers. I should be so lucky as to have been on this cruise!!! That’s easy for me to say as an experienced cruiser, but I’m certainly sympathetic to those on board who may be first timers, and really have no idea that sometimes things can go wrong with ships as they can with airplanes. Frankly, I think this offer is more than fair, but I have to wonder if the compensation offered for those impacted by this would have been as generous prior to the Costa Concordia accident. In any event, I think Royal Caribbean deserves a shout out for handling things they way they did. I wonder if there are some passengers onboard Enchantment right now who are feeling less charitable than me?