Royal Caribbean International has agreed to compensate the 145 passengers it left stranded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when it was forced to leave early last week due to the threat of hurricane Irene.
Although initially the cruise line had offered only to cover expenses for the 15 passengers who purchased their air fare directly through the cruise line , this offer was met with a barrage of criticism and it has now confirmed it will compensate them.
Royal Caribbean’s usual policy is that it won’t compensate passengers for weather events that alter a cruise.
“We are in the process of contacting those guests who were not able to sail with us to inform them of their compensation, and would prefer that the impacted guests learn of the amount directly from the line before it is disclosed publicly,” said spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez.
“We are compensating these passengers,” she added, “because we understand that this was an unusual situation, and we want to provide our guests with another opportunity to sail with Royal Caribbean International in the near future.”
Fifteen passengers who had booked their air through Royal Caribbean were provided hotel accommodations in San Juan on Aug. 21 and 22, along with air transportation to Aruba on Aug. 23, where they boarded the Serenade. These passengers also will be compensated, the line said, with a future cruise certificate for 30% of the cruise fare they paid.
Royal Caribbean said passengers who were able to catch up with the ship by flying to Aruba two days later would get a future cruise certificate valued at 30 percent of the cruise fare paid for their sailing.
It also promised passengers who missed the entire cruise another offer, but compensation details have not yet been disclosed.
Meanwhile Carnival Cruise Lines offered to cover expenses for all the 300 passengers it left behind when the storm also forced it to leave San Juan early.
“We are compensating these passengers because we understand that this was an unusual situation, and we want to provide our guests with another opportunity to sail with Royal Caribbean International in the near future,” the line said in a statement.