Ship sail

More modified itineraries for the Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Due to ongoing engine issues, Royal Caribbean International has changed the rest of the Alaska itineraries to quantum of the seas this season. Changes include removing scenic glacier sailing days, replacing ports of call and modifying port times to accommodate slower ship speeds.

August and September itineraries modified

Affected itineraries for the Quantum-class vessel include late August embarkation dates, 22 and 29, and all September departure dates: 5, 12, 19 and 26. Previously, the Departures on August 1, 8 and 15 have been modified in the same way.

quantum of the seas offers 7-night round-trip sailings to Alaska from Seattle, with two different routes planned.

Depending on the itinerary for each sailing date, the scenic cruise for Endicott Arm and the Dawes Glacier is waived, and port time in Juneau is slightly extended. Alternatively, crossings that were to have visited Icy Strait Point will now visit Ketchikan In place.

In emails sent to reserved customers informing them of itinerary changes, the reasoning is given as follows: “due to speed restrictions caused by a technical problem with one of the ship’s engines.”

Photo credit: Venturelli Luca / Shutterstock

These issues have been ongoing with Quantum of the Seas for several weeks. Supply chain issues have delayed the delivery of spare parts needed to fix the problem so the ship can resume essential speeds to complete the original routes.

“While we are doing everything we can to expedite this, the global supply chain situation we are all experiencing is further impacting the delay,” Royal Caribbean said in an earlier statement when the route changes were first announced.

No security mechanisms on board the ship have been compromised and no hotel operations are affected. Only the ship’s cruising speed is affected.

Aurora Assistant Vice President for Guest Experience Yera Rodriguez also informed guests of the decision to remove glacier viewing.

“We have worked tirelessly to find a way to visit the Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier for your navigation, but this would result in drastically reduced port times. And given that there’s always a risk of missing the glacier due to weather, it’s best to opt for the safer option of keeping better times in port. Rodriguez said in a previous communication.

All prepaid Royal Caribbean Shore Excursions on these modified itineraries are automatically booked or refunded if necessary.

Remuneration offered – is it enough?

The cruise line offers onboard credit to compensate for missing guests, which is often a highlight of any Alaskan cruise.

The credit amount varies by stateroom, with $75 for Inside and Ocean View staterooms, $100 for Balconies, and $200 for Suites. These amounts are per stateroom, not per passenger, and are refundable. Any unused amount remaining at the end of the cruise will be returned to guest cards on file.

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas cruise ship
Photo credit: Mohd Syis Zulkipli / Shutterstock

Many guests are understandably upset about missing out on impressive glacier-viewing opportunities at sea, but it’s worth noting that summer weather in Alaska can still be temperamental.

The glaciers are often obscured by thick fog or rain, and poor weather conditions can prevent cruise ships from maneuvering safely for the best views.

Cruise lines often have to change their itineraries for a variety of reasons, and while offering compensation is a courtesy to make up for any inconvenience or disappointment, it is not mandatory. Cruise ticket contracts always include language about the possibility of change, and customers agree to abide by these contracts when booking a cruise vacation.

After completing the Alaska season with the September 26 sailing, quantum of the seas is scheduled for a one-way trip to Hawaii and then another one-way trip from Hawaii to Australia, where it will kick off the summer season Down Under from Brisbane.

No announcements have yet been made regarding changes to the ship’s post-Alaska itineraries.

Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas