ANTHEM OF THE SEAS AND HOW TO SAVE WHEN CRUISE VACATIONS GO AWRY
-by Eileen Entin
I sailed on Anthem of the Seas two weeks before the cruise ship made headlines by sailing straight into a storm. During our cruise from New Jersey to the Caribbean, the East was hit by a massive snowstorm and rather than return to Port Liberty in a blizzard, Royal Caribbean decided to extend our cruise by one day and alter the route to avoid rough seas. I rejoiced at the free extra day at sea.
But for others with flights to catch upon arrival, the announcement triggered a mad dash of frantic phone calls to cancel flights and find new flights for the next day. This is no easy task, especially from the middle of the ocean, though Royal Caribbean provided free wifi and free phone service from the ship to make it easier. Passengers who booked their airline tickets online were mostly out of luck, losing their non-refundable tickets and faced with buying another set of plane tickets at the last minute – if they could find a flight – possibly needing a hotel, too. Those who booked their airline tickets as part of the cruise package through a travel agency that specializes in working with Royal Caribbean were in the clear because Royal Caribbean took care of making new flight arrangements at no extra cost.
Not often known is that airline flights booked through cruise lines are comparably priced to online sites. And in many instances cruise lines prices are lower.
At Diamond Cruise & Travel, we’ve sailed on cruises all over the world and have experienced many of the situations that land cruise ships on the news. We know how to protect our clients from the costs involved when the itinerary changes due to weather, and we do the work involved so there’s no hassle. When the cruise line declares you get an extra day on the ship for free, we think it should be a cause for celebration, not a reason to call the airline.
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