Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Message from Royal Caribbean About Brilliance of the Seas

A picture is worth a thousand words and most vacationers, including cruisers, pack their cameras and camcorders to capture their travel highlights. Passengers aboard Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas probably caught more dramatic images than they anticipated last Sunday as the ship encountered heavy weather while making its way to Alexandria, Egypt.

Captain William Wright, Senior Vice President of Marine Operations for Royal Caribbean International, explains what happened during Brilliance of the Seas' approach to Alexandria, Egypt on Sunday morning in the video below. An official statement by Royal Caribbean that follows further outlines the incident, the extent of passenger injuries, and compensation for the passengers who had completed six days of the twelve day cruise itinerary.

"Royal Caribbean International continues to assess the serious incident guests and crew onboard Brilliance of the Seas experienced early Sunday morning as the ship was sailing to Alexandria, Egypt.

During Brilliance of the Seas' approach to Alexandria, the ship experienced extreme wind and sea conditions, including heavy seas and 70 knot winds, nearly double what had been forecasted. The combination of the wind and sea conditions resulted in severe ship movement.

Some guest injuries were reported, the most serious of which were two guests with fractures. The medical facility onboard is fully operational and our medical team is diligently caring for guests.

The severe ship movement caused damage to some public areas and a loss of electricity in some staterooms. Aesthetic damages to the ship's interior have caused the closure of three public venues for the remainder of the sailing: the beauty salon, video arcade and disco. There has been no impact to the ship's operating systems or engines and the ship continues to be fully seaworthy.

Because of the inclement weather, Brilliance of the Seas was unable to call in Alexandria, and instead proceeded to the next port of call, Valetta, Malta, where it will arrive on Tuesday [ed note: yesterday] at 7:00 a.m. The ship will conclude its sailing in Barcelona, Spain on Friday, as scheduled. Subsequent cruises will sail as scheduled and the ship will not require a dry dock, as repairs are underway.

As a gesture of goodwill, and to thank guests onboard Brilliance of the Seas for their understanding during this difficult situation, Royal Caribbean International has provided guests with an onboard credit, as well as a full refund of their cruise fare paid for the sailing.

Royal Caribbean understands that this has been a frightening experience for our guests and crew, and our officers and crew onboard Brilliance of the Seas will make every effort to ensure that the remainder of the cruise is as enjoyable as possible.

Brilliance of the Seas is sailing on a 12-night itinerary that departed Barcelona, Spain with port calls in Sicily (Palermo), Italy; Athens (Piraeus) and Rhodes, Greece; Alexandria, Egypt and Valetta, Malta."
In an ABC News video report yesterday passengers were interviewed coming ashore in Malta. One young man who clung to his upper berth during the storm described it as an adventure, while others related a near "mutiny" on board when a Royal Caribbean rep announced the $200 on board credit being offered. That discontent subsided when the cruise line offered full refunds. When asked if they would use their refund to take another cruise, at least one woman responded, "Of course... but I might wait a while."


Anonymous said...

RCL did a great job in handling the public relationship part of this freak incident and looking after their passengers and crew.
If we accept that weather reports are not always right and that wave action can occur out of the blue regardless of all the modern rader we have than we should not tear apart an organization because of the handing of this incident.

It would sound like the decision not to enter the port was a wise one but by turning the ship it encountered unexpected wind and waves.
Getting a full refund has to be a bonus above the norm.

Sailing on the seas can always have one exposed to rough waters but it is not the norm for majority of ships and passengers.

jdjosie said...

since that incident my wife suffered three bleeds to the brain she spent three weeks in hospital in malta in a coma with a hole drilled in her head to releive the pressure we got flown out by air ambulance back to scotland where she remains in a coma i think she,s going to die somebodies going to pay and will pay for this