September 2, 2011
(3:45 p.m. EDT) -- As we reported earlier this week, Royal Caribbean plans to reverse its an original decision not to compensate passengers it stranded in San Juan when port authorities ordered Serenade of the Seas to leave early as Hurricane Irene loomed. Today, it revealed details of the compensation offer.
Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez confirmed that those passengers who missed the ship and opted not to try to board the ship mid-sailing will now be entitled to a future cruise credit equal to the value of the missed sailing, as well as a refund of prepaid expenses (gratuities, shore excursions, restaurant reservations, spa treatments and the like). There will be no cash refunds for the missed cruise or for hotel accommodations required in San Juan -- or even flights back home.
In a statement, the line said it is "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."
Those passengers who did fly from San Juan to Serenade of the Seas mid-cruise will, as we reported this week, receive a 30 percent future cruise credit.
Faced with a similar directive to leave early, competitor Carnival offered free hotel stays and flights to catch the ship to some 300 stranded passengers -- at no additional cost. Passengers who opted to simply fly home, and skip the cruise, received full refunds.