Royal Caribbean International, a Norwegian-American owned cruise company with its headquarters in Miami, USA, has announced further cruise cancellations following a fire aboard one of its vessels earlier this week.
Repairs to the fire damage sustained by the company’s ship, Grandeur of the Seas, will take several weeks to carry out, forcing the company to cancel a further six summer cruises. July 12 is now the date when the vessel is expected to resume its programme of 7-day cruises from the US port of Baltimore.
Thousands of passengers will be asked to reschedule their cruise aboard the 2,446 capacity ship while the repairs are carried out to an ‘industrial area’ in its aft that was affected by the fire. They are to be offered a full refund for the cancelled cruise and 25 percent off the price of a future cruise as compensation.
Royal Caribbean Cruises said in a statement, ‘The company has taken the vessel out of service and expects that it will take approximately six weeks to complete the repair efforts.’
When the fire broke out the ship was forced to alter its course in the Bahamas and disembark passengers. The company then had to provide 11 flights to get the passengers home, with some travelling by ferry to Florida where they met train and coach connections. Organising the mass repatriation will have further compounded Royal Caribbean’s losses from the cancellations to its schedules at its busiest time of the year.
Jason Liberty, the company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, confirmed, ‘The extent of the financial impact was relatively high because the affected sailings were during the premium summer season.’