Well, its Monday afternoon which for most of us means the first day of the work week. However, if you are a cruise passengers leaving out of the Port of Galveston it is the 3rd day of your stay in Galveston.
While the ships will be leaving the Port today its still not the cruise you expected when you booked (most likely) months ago. Beginning late Friday night heavy fog shut down the cruise port, meaning no traffic at all. Freighters, tankers and passenger ships were all kept in a holding pattern until it was safe to resume business as usual. What this meant for those who had planned on embarking this weekend on their well-deserved vacations was complete and total disappointment.
Two Carnival ships and a Royal Caribbean cruise ship were amongst those effected ships. The Carnival Ecstasy, The Carnival Conquest and Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas were was made to wait 6 miles off shore with passengers waiting to end their cruise feverishly trying to alter their plans to get home. This also meant that new passengers who were waiting to begin their cruises were forced to play a waiting game.
On Monday morning after two days of waiting the fog finally lifted and the port was able to operate. Today Carnival posted an update on the status of their ships stating the itineraries needed to be adjusted. The Carnival Ecstasy originally expected to visit Cozumel and Progresso will now be a 3 day “fun” cruise at sea. The Conquest itinerary has been pared down to 6 days and will now be visiting Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Progresso which takes the place of the scheduled stop in Montego Bay. Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the seas will now be sailing a six day cruise but will be keeping its original itinerary of Roatan, Cozumel and Belize.
What do the cruise passengers get for their trouble?
Not nearly enough. Compensation this time around is embarrassingly low. In other words like usual the inconvenienced passengers get screwed
Passengers on the Carnival Ecstasy were offered two compensation options. The first is they could cancel and receive a full refund, 25 percent discount off a future 2-5 day cruise and $45 per person meal allowance (for money they had to spend during the delay). The second option was to Sail on the modified cruise, receive a 50 percent refund of the cruise fare paid, a 50 percent discount on a future 2-5 day cruise, and $45 per person meal allowance in the form of a shipboard credit.
Passengers on the Carnival Conquest have not been offered any compensation at this time, but I am sure some form of on-board credit (not nearly enough) will be coming.
***update*** passengers were given a 15 dollar per person on-board credit
Passengers on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas were offered a $20 on-board credit to cover lunch and any incidentals they incurred yesterday in Galveston. Hmm lose a day of your vacation and back the cost of your lunch (sounds fair lol).
I am a huge fan of cruising. I love both the value and experience cruising provides but if there is one area they fall short in, its customer service. While we do understand that accidents and acts of god happen and aren’t controllable by anyone, time and time again it seems as if the cruise lines fail to meet passengers even half way.
When these types of delays happen the cruise lines lose money. Although their ships were idling off shore full of passengers waiting to leave most of the passengers had already spent their vacation allowances. At that point the vast majority of passengers were just waiting for it all to end.
On the other hand passengers waiting to board had to not only readjust their vacation expectations but had to blow their vacation budgets on non-vacation related things. Hotel rooms, food and transportation would all need to be paid for out of pocket. Now, I’m not saying the cruise lines should cover those costs but I am saying that a 20 dollar on board credit is insulting.