Update, Tuesday December 14, 08.30 GMT: Since this blog story was posted yesterday, Royal Caribbean has offered a full refund to all passengers on Brilliance of the Seas. You can read the full story here.
The Eastern Mediterranean was lashed by horrendous storms yesterday, causing some pretty frightening damage to Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas, which was trying to get into port at Alexandria.
Fortunately, there were no serious injuries and although, as you can see from our news story, the ship is badly battered on the inside, the cruise will go on, with a breather of 48 hours in Valletta for repairs. I should think those passengers will be happy to be on dry land.
Cruise Critic member dirtgirl is on board and has done a fantastic job via the message boards in reporting from the scene.
Late last night, she posted: “The Captain was great with keeping us informed; coming on the intercom about four times in the hour immediately after the event, and having his announcements translated into several languages each time.
“The staff have been going non-stop to clear the areas. The amount of work they have done to keep us all fed is amazing. The Windjammer was a disaster area this morning. That it was open for limited dinner service was incredible.
“The staff have gone without sleep to clean the ship and keep us fed. Venues are being reopened. The Casino is up, and everyone was in the Schooner Bar tonight having a good time.”
It’s amazing how quickly the ship has recovered. Yet still, the talk turns to compensation. Royal Caribbean has offered $200 onboard credit per cabin, which should cover a few drinks before the cruise ends in Barcelona on Friday. But Dirtgirl says in her post: “There are people right here in the computer area writing a letter to RCI saying it’s not enough. They had to line up for breakfast and lunch.”
And members have been quick to weigh in, most with sympathy for Royal Caribbean. Kathynorth says on the message boards: “If last night’s situation was due to an act of God then IMO $200 for every cabin on the ship seems very generous.” Germancruiser is blunter: “I think RCI has done a great job in offering $200 on board credit. THEY did not force the storm to come up. Does nobody read their contracts? In such circumstances they are not in duty to give anything.”
Member c-legs adds: “Did I miss the part where it says cruise lines are responsible to compensate guests because Mother Nature and The Big Guy Upstairs throw a temper tantrum in the form of a violent weather system storm?”
But member Jlg172 points out: “Yes, weather does happen, however, when you skip a port or miss something like Egypt on a Med cruise, one would hope that maybe you could get a discount on a future cruise or something like that. I know for us, we are scheduled on the next cruise and Egypt is one of the highlights and we would/will be extremely disappointed if we miss it.”
If cruise lines are going to have to start offering compensation every time a ship goes through a severe storm, then cruising is going to become a very expensive business.
What do you think? Should passengers on Brilliance of the Seas be compensated? Or has Royal Caribbean done enough?