The line said it is scratching Allure of the Seas' February 23, 2014, scheduled sailing, and sending Allure to the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas, for repairs to one of the ship's three propulsion motors. Bearing wear in the central propulsion "pod" has kept the ship from reaching top speeds in recent weeks.
Some type of move was widely speculated on this week after Royal Caribbean's chairman and CEO, Richard Fain admitted the line was considering whether Allure should take the week-long dry dock slot in 2014 that had been planned for sister ship Oasis of the Seas instead of its planned dry dock in 2015. Oasis is keeping its 2014 dry dock date.
In a statement, Royal Caribbean said that it was important to bring Allure "back up to speed … and fix the problem as soon as possible."
"All three motors are fully operational," the statement read, "and there is no impact on the maneuverability of the ship or on the safety of guests and crew.
"However, since the rate of … wear is directly related to ship speed, the ship's top speed has been limited. This … will ensure that all three propulsion motors are fully available for maneuvering and emergencies until repairs can be completed."
The ship's propulsion problems have also shortened port calls and increased travel time on its recent Eastern Caribbean itineraries. And according to the line, the "minor adjustments" to itineraries will continue until the ship goes in for repair.
"Allure of the Seas will now call on Nassau, Bahamas, from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and on Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.," on its Eastern Caribbean itineraries. There will be no changes to Allure's Western Caribbean itineraries.
Royal Caribbean said that passengers sailing on the cancelled cruise in February would receive a full refund or the option to sail on select Allure or Oasis of the Seas sailings at the same rate they'd originally paid for their fares.
Passengers that choose to move to one of the offered sailings will receive a $200 per cabin onboard credit for interior, oceanview, balcony and neighborhood staterooms, and $400 onboard credit per cabin for suites.
Passengers who purchased air through Royal will receive a full refund; all others can request a refund of change fees of up to $150.
The 5,400-passenger, 225,000-ton Allure of the Seas holds the record as the world's largest cruise ship, along with sister ship Oasis of the Seas.
--by Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production Editor