Celebrity Cruises Sweetens Compensation Deal for Displaced Century Passengers

October 22, 2010

(5:23 p.m. EDT) -- Celebrity Cruises has sweetened the compensation pot for displaced Celebrity Century passengers who were offloaded just two days into a cruise after a pair of rudders stopped working.

Many passengers were up in arms over what they considered unfair compensation and a general mishandling of the situation. (You can read about the firestorm here.) Cruise Critic has obtained a letter sent out to travel agents outlining the new reparation plan. Here are the details:

Celebrity will now be offering full refunds for flights passengers purchased out of pocket to get home. This refund is in addition to the $250 passengers received onboard to cover any change fee.

The line will be providing a $100 per person refund to each passenger. Quoting from the letter, "We understand you may have incurred additional incidental costs."

The original compensation, which still stands, included full cruise fare refunds, 25 percent future cruise credits based on the fares paid and bus transportation from Villefranche, where the cruise ended prematurely, back to Barcelona, where it had begun (on time).

Meanwhile, progress continues on the Century repairs. According to a company statement, "Both rudders have been removed…. We continue to be on schedule to complete the repairs in time for Celebrity Century's next scheduled sailing from Barcelona on October 25. Nevertheless, we would like to reassure our guests that should anything unforeseen occur, and the ship's departure from Barcelona is delayed, Celebrity Cruises will provide guests with accommodations in Barcelona, as well as a credit to cover any incidental costs."

We want to know: Is the new, more generous compensation fair? Weigh in on the message boards.

--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor