November 4, 2013 Updated November 5, 2013
According to Royal Caribbean International, a significant reduction in the ship's speed caused delays and shortened calls during its past two Eastern Caribbean sailings. The line has not released details about the cause of the problem or which pods are affected.
"Allure of the Seas currently has a small restriction on her top speed," said Cynthia Martinez, Director of Global Corporate Communications for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "All equipment is fully operational, and there is no impact on the maneuverability of the ship or on the safety of our guests and crew."
Cruise Critic member 7x5090g, who was onboard Allure of the Seas' Eastern Caribbean October 13 - 20 sailing, commented on the forums, "When we were checking in the day before, they handed us a sheet of paper indicating that the Nassau short stay will now be shorter by one hour, on top of a delayed arrival in St. Thomas two days later. The reason stated was technical issues with the ship's top speed. I was also told while on board that they want to slow down a bit to save fuel."
Other members, including Mabbiez, have reported excursions being canceled due to limited time in port. "Once in port, they informed us that our excursion was canceled due to the earlier ship departure time. They did of course reimburse our money and also gave us complimentary access to Atlantis AquaAdventure."
Royal Caribbean also elected to change its October 27 - November 3 itinerary. Nassau was shortened by one hour and St. Thomas was shorted by three hours. "We are currently exploring various options that would fix the problem," Martinez said. "Until a decision is made on which course of action we will take, I won't be able to provide you with additional details. But yes, the plan is to get Allure back up to top speed."
The ship is sailing a Western Caribbean itinerary but is scheduled to return November 10 to the Eastern Caribbean.
Cruise Critic has reached out to Royal Caribbean regarding updates on the propulsion issue and any future itinerary changes, and is awaiting response from the company.
--by Gina Kramer, Associate Editor