You're cancelling on us? How can that be?


We never tire of this amazing view of Hideaways Beach and Hanalei Bay.
We knew the possibility existed that a vacation rental, a flight or a cruise could be cancelled over which we'd have no control.  If it were a flight, in most cases that would be remedied within 24 hours.  If it were a vacation rental, especially if we'd booked it for weeks or months, it would be a difficult scenario to resolve of the above three possibilities. 

If it was a cruise, leaving two weeks or more of our lives with a hole in our schedule, this could be costly in trying to fill the period of time. Besides, we often use cruises as a means of getting us to one location or another resulting in added airfare expenses. 
The combination of colors from the sea and the vegetation is always breathtaking.
The worst case scenario would be the necessity of paying for a hotel, airfare and meals for two weeks which if planned carefully we could accomplish for a cost similar to the cost of the cruise.  Inconvenient?  Yes.  Costly? To a degree (see below).

Yesterday, we discovered that our booked cruise was cancelled, scheduled from Sydney to Perth on April 12, 2016 to April 28, 2016, for a total of 16 nights. 

Tom had been reading comments online at cruisecritic.com about this possibility.  We were never notified directly nor were our online friends, Staci and Glenn who were also scheduled on this cruise, whom we were looking forward to meeting in person. 


Beautiful orchids.
Yesterday, Tom called our rep at Vacationstogo.com to inquire as to the status of the cruise.  They weren't notified either.  Or perhaps with the thousands of cruises in their system, it could easily have been missed.

In any case, it was cancelled, as we've discovered due to it being booked in its entirety for a private charter.  If a wealthy individual or company chose to book an entire ship for an event, someone would be inconvenienced. They often begin to book as soon as their posted at time two years out.  In this case, the inconvenience lies with us.  Good thing we didn't wait any longer to find out. 

Remote Hideaways Beach, accessible only by a steep partially paved path.
Yesterday, after speaking with our rep about alternatives, Tom went ahead instructing her to book us on a similar cruise that Royal Caribbean was offering as one of three options for replacement, all different dates, all different itineraries. Should we choose one of these three options, we'd been given a $200 onboard credit.

In reviewing the three options, only one offered dates similar to the cancelled cruise, the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas, sailing on April 16, 2016 to April 30, 2016, for a total of 14 nights, the price slightly less for the shorter by two night cruise. 

Another portion of Hideaways Beach.
Originally, we paid $4714.20 for a balcony cabin with taxes and gratuities included.  The new cruise at $4510.36 for the same type of cabin, is not an appreciable difference although shorter by two days. The $200 credit will be sucked up in the first 30 minutes on a cruise when we order the $800 Internet package.

Sure, we could call RC and make some noise.  Then again, what's the point?  Plus, that's just not our style.  In reality, we're being compensated and for most of us, kinking a cruise a few days, a year in advance for $200 may not seem to be such a big deal. Although, we wonder how long they'd have waited before telling the passengers?

Zooming in, we spotted these sunbathers on the beach.  Looks like the guy standing is adjusting his snorkel.
For us, its presents a few issues, none of which we can't manage with relative ease.  One, we need to stay in New Zealand at the alpaca farm for four more nights or, if not available, a hotel in Sydney.  On the other end, we'll be two days late in arriving for our booked rental in Bali.  They will either accept our change of dates or we'll have to pay for two nights that we won't be there. 

In all, this could cost us for six nights somewhere at an average cost of $200 per night, including housing and meals.  Its the nature of the beast.  We budgeted for scenarios such as this and have seldom had to tap into that.  Who's to complain?   Instead it becomes a matter of figuring it out on both ends and biting the bullet for the added costs.

Future lily pods.  They almost look like apples and are almost as large.
So far, we're waiting to hear back from the property owners to see what transpires.  We'll post updates as to how it is resolved.  In the meanwhile, here is the itinerary for the cancelled cruise and then, the new cruise:

Cancelled cruise itinerary:
Royal Caribbean - Explorer of the Seas, departs 4/12/16, 16 nights
Tue Apr 12 Sydney, Australia  9:00pm

Wed Apr 13 At Sea 
Thu Apr 14 At Sea 
Fri Apr 15 Wellington, New Zealand 3:00pm 10:00pm
Sat Apr 16 Picton, New Zealand 8:00am 6:00pm
Sun Apr 17 At Sea 
Mon Apr 18 Dunedin (Port Chalmers), New Zealand 7:00am 5:00pm
Tue Apr 19 Dusky Sound, New Zealand (Cruising) 9:00am 10:00am
Tue Apr 19 Doubtful Sound, New Zealand (Cruising) Noon 1:00pm
Tue Apr 19 Milford Sound, New Zealand (Cruising) 4:30pm 5:30pm
Wed Apr 20 At Sea 

Thu Apr 21 At Sea 
Fri Apr 22 Melbourne, Australia 8:00am 7:00pm
Sat Apr 23 At Sea 
Sun Apr 24 Adelaide, Australia 8:00am 7:00pm
Mon Apr 25 At Sea 
Tue Apr 26 At Sea 
Wed Apr 27 At Sea 
Thu Apr 28 Perth (Fremantle), Australia 6:00am 

New cruise itinerary:
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas, departs 4/16/16, 14 nights
Sat Apr 16 Sydney, Australia  5:00pm

Sun Apr 17 At Sea 
Mon Apr 18 Brisbane, Australia 7:00am 4:00pm
Tue Apr 19 At Sea 
Wed Apr 20 At Sea 
Thu Apr 21 At Sea 
Fri Apr 22 At Sea 
Sat Apr 23 Darwin, Australia 9:00am 5:00pm
Sun Apr 24 At Sea 
Mon Apr 25 At Sea 
Tue Apr 26 At Sea
Wed Apr 27 At Sea 
Thu Apr 28 Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang), Malaysia 8:00am 5:00pm
Fri Apr 29 Singapore 10:00am Sat Apr 30 Singapore Disembark


As shown, this second cruise is by no means as exciting as the first with considerably less ports of call and yet the price is comparable.  Based on visa restrictions we must proceed with this new cruise or we'll end up staying too long in either location. 


Pools refilled each day from the surf at high tide.
We booked it.  Our previously paid $900 deposit transferred over, the $200 cabin credit is listed in our new cruise documents and the balance is due on the same date, January 16, 2016.  Yesterday, I entered all the changes in our spreadsheet in several locations:  itinerary, Deposits Paid and Balances Due, Cruises.

There it is, folks, the realities of the possible inconveniences of living a life in motion.  We both took this in our stride.  I suppose if this was our only vacation for a year or more, we may have felt differently.  But, in this life, it goes with the territory.  Literally.

Happy day!
______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, April 30, 2014:


In between the enclosed area of the souks was outdoor areas where more products are offered for sale.  For details from that date, please click here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found your blog whilst Googling 'why Explorer of Seas cruise cancelled April 2016', as we were booked on the same trip and only found out via our travel agent yesterday. Thanks for the info on the private charter.
Now we've got to rearrange everything around our planned holiday as well - it was our 'once in a lifetime' trip (and our 25th wedding anniversary). Don't think we'll be using RCI for the rebooking....

Jessica said...

Dear Anonymous,

Isn't is amazing that we didn't hear about this sooner from our booking agency? Good thing for online access. We found out about it on cruisecritic.com.

So sorry you have to rearrange your special anniversary holiday. Although, we understand your frustration with RC. It might be worth taking a look at their cruise from Sydney to Singapore on April 16, 2016. They're offering a paltry $200 cabin credit for the inconvenience and has considerably less ports of call but we went ahead and booked it since we had to fill the time slot. We have so much fun on cruises, the lack of ports of call is less significant to us than perhaps others.

Thanks so much for writing. Please write back and share what you choose in its place for your 25th anniversary. Good luck!

Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom

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