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Anthem OTS 2019-Nov-16 re-routed

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21 hours ago, Cez said:

I think that we’ll be placed 12 miles from the shore to open casino

Well, I think we have our answer.  I just checked marinetraffic.com.  The ship is still in port.  It was supposed to embark at 3:00 PM.  No casino and no shops.  

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11 hours ago, RCVoyager said:

Well, I think we have our answer.  I just checked marinetraffic.com.  The ship is still in port.  It was supposed to embark at 3:00 PM.  No casino and no shops.  

Well at least that update at around 945am is allowing us to get off the boat now...at least we can go to NYC if anything ?

Are you going off ship?

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Hi All,

For any one who was on this sailing...I tried piecing the sequence of events together but some of the details got hazy. What exactly happened and what did the final itinerary look like?

I wonder why they didn't send Anthem on a NE/Canada itinerary instead? Or is this something most people don't want, especially if you booked a warm-weather destination?

Due to work, my wife and I will most likely be sailing during hurricane season from now on. I was curious on how RCL handles these unpredictable weather situations from Cape Liberty.

I did notice that, unless its a hurricane, RCL doesn't post every single itinerary change on their website or Twitter.

Thanks!

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On 11/16/2019 at 8:25 AM, RCVoyager said:

This is the part of Anthem out of NYC year round that simply doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever.  I guess when you have 50,000,000 people within a 1 day drive, you can always find 4 or 5 thousand to fill up a ship for the week, but it's only November and the weather is ruining vacations.  

I guess you can compare the cold weather in the Northeast to cruising in hurricane season in the SE Atlantic and the Caribbean.  However, there are not always hurricanes in the Caribbean in September, and if there is, most of the time the cruise lines can work around them.  A dome of cold weather in the NE is a given from November to March, and there is only 1 direction you can go to get out of it.  You are pretty much guaranteed cold weather on the first day and the last day and hope that's all.

If given a free trip on the Anthem in January, I would take it gladly.  If making a choice with my hard earned money, I would fly to San Juan this time of year.

It’s not the northeast weather that’s causing the issue though, It’s the weather in Florida and the Bahamas. I also take a cruise anywhere anytime. 

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I only cruise from NJ/NY and you just take the good with the bad. In the end we are on a big, beautiful and incredible cruise ship so its good no matter what. I typically don't care where we end but next May we on Oasis and REALLY don't want to miss Coco Cay. I mean this is one cruise we don't want to miss Coco Cay and to lesser extent Cape Canaveral either. Really looking forward to this cruise. Oasis from NJ to the new awesome Coco Cay is a big deal to us.

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2 hours ago, RockerDom31 said:

I wonder why they didn't send Anthem on a NE/Canada itinerary instead?

I'm glad they didn't.....it's been unseasonably cold here over the past week (teens to single digits Fahrenheit).  Snow/sleet/freezing rain coming in today.  🙂 

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2 hours ago, Ogalthorpe Haywood said:

It’s not the northeast weather that’s causing the issue though, It’s the weather in Florida and the Bahamas. I also take a cruise anywhere anytime. 

You are correct.  The storm was in the South.  However, you have to stay in the North, where it is cold, and you couldn't get South without going through it or waiting for it to pass before you go, which is what they decided to do.

If you are in FL and there is a storm in the East and South, you can go West.  If there is a storm in the Gulf, you can go East.  If you are in the upper East coast, there is nowhere to go.  Someone mentioned going North which you could do, but that's a bad back up plan in the Winter.

Again, if given a free trip on the Anthem in January, I would gladly go, and not complain one bit.  The thought of spending really hard earned money and ending up with what this week's travelers ended up with, it would be somewhat on me for choosing to sail from NYC in November or really October through April.

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1 hour ago, RCVoyager said:

You are correct.  The storm was in the South.  However, you have to stay in the North, where it is cold, and you couldn't get South without going through it or waiting for it to pass before you go, which is what they decided to do.

If you are in FL and there is a storm in the East and South, you can go West.  If there is a storm in the Gulf, you can go East.  If you are in the upper East coast, there is nowhere to go.  Someone mentioned going North which you could do, but that's a bad back up plan in the Winter.

Again, if given a free trip on the Anthem in January, I would gladly go, and not complain one bit.  The thought of spending really hard earned money and ending up with what this week's travelers ended up with, it would be somewhat on me for choosing to sail from NYC in November or really October through April.

I agree, but I also appreciate that we have a royal port in the northeast. We’ve taken our last 4 cruises out of cape liberty and it just makes it much more affordable for us. We choose to go in April and May so we don’t really have to deal the rough northeast weather. Those that leave in the winter just have to accept that they might have a day or two of frigid temps. 

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1 hour ago, Ogalthorpe Haywood said:

I agree, but I also appreciate that we have a royal port in the northeast. We’ve taken our last 4 cruises out of cape liberty and it just makes it much more affordable for us. We choose to go in April and May so we don’t really have to deal the rough northeast weather. Those that leave in the winter just have to accept that they might have a day or two of frigid temps. 

We actually agree.  I think you make my point.  I think it's crazy to have a full time ship in New York, but with 50,000,000 people within a 1 day drive, RCCL can fill a ship every week.  It is not a purchase I would make.  However, if given that trip, I would gladly take it in a heartbeat. 

 

So if anyone wants to pay for my wife and I to go on the Anthem in January, I can give you my email address.  Kidding of course.

 

Peace to you Ogalthorpe.

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2 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

What did the final altered itinerary look like ?

They are on their way now to Coco Cay for a one day stop on Wednesday. It was supposed to be an overnight in Bermuda but because of the rainy/cold forecast there they decided to go to Coco Cay instead. I think that was a good call and the weather in the Bahamas looks wonderful so I hope everyone who chose to stay on has an amazing time! 

So here's my issue with Royal though. The communication with this trip was pretty bad. We were sent an email about potential intenirary changes the night before departure. At no point in the email did it mention sitting in the NJ dock for 2-3 days straight. I called 3 reps who had no knowledge of the email we got from Royal. Eventually they told us to expect an email at 7 am the morning of departure with additional details. However during this time Friday night Royal updated both the app and website with the new itinerary including the 4 days in NJ and overnight in Bermuda. Which means they at least knew or anticipated this would be the revised intenirary. They should've communicated this right away so folks could make an informed decision on whether to continue or cancel.  However this information didn't come until 9:30 p.m. on Saturday morning, the day of departure. At this point many travelers had already left for the terminal and couldn't change plans. We chose to cancel and take the FCC and apparently close to 1,000 other travelers did the same. As of this morning, another 100 or so got off the ship after 2 days docked because of the new change to Coco Cay. They will be getting a full refund even though they were on for 2 days. 

I do think Royal handled the compensation well. I'll be using my FCC to hopefully book Oasis in May when she comes here to Bayonne. However the communication could definitely have been improved! Super frustrating to say the least but I'm willing to give Royal another shot especially since so many of you here have had such great experiences. 

I hope everyone has an amazing time in Coco Cay and makes the best of this situation. 

  

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On 11/18/2019 at 10:51 AM, RockerDom31 said:

Hi All,

For any one who was on this sailing...I tried piecing the sequence of events together but some of the details got hazy. What exactly happened and what did the final itinerary look like?

I wonder why they didn't send Anthem on a NE/Canada itinerary instead? Or is this something most people don't want, especially if you booked a warm-weather destination?

Due to work, my wife and I will most likely be sailing during hurricane season from now on. I was curious on how RCL handles these unpredictable weather situations from Cape Liberty.

I did notice that, unless its a hurricane, RCL doesn't post every single itinerary change on their website or Twitter.

Thanks!

Hi Guys...

Sorry for the delay. This sailing has been… entertaining to say the least on this cruise LOL. I had elected to cancel my prepaid internet plan because paying for 3 days Voom service when I still had my own carrier in NY was ridiculous. I elected to get internet access again and pay for the fee when we actually got out in open waters/ actually sailing (ie. Today/ Day 4).  

To add on to what @CarlaB said...

 

Sequence of Events:

Day Before the Cruise:

E-mails seems to have gone out between 130 to 230 pm Eastern Standard Time the day before the cruise. I received mine around 130pm. This e-mail advised that the Florida stop has been cancelled and due to weather, there were the two options:

  • A. Florida is skipped but the Cococay and Nassau stops will occur OR
  • B. Overnight stay in Bermuda instead.

The decision of which option we were going to take was not announced until the day of sailing. 

On the Day of sailing:

At this point, everyone was still expected to have gotten on the ship at the proper sail away time. Communication I had with reps via Twitter only said the Captain will determine if passengers were allowed to go off the ship (for NY Day trips). 

It was determined that Option B was going to take place. Initially, the Captain's plan was to "anchor" in the NY port (to allow for the casinos and shops to open, depart for Bermuda 4pm on Monday.) This would mean going off ship was not a possibility.  

The captain apparently filmed a segment that was supposed to air on the ship’s tv channel…unfortunately it did not. The cruise director said it would…it did not. 

 

 

On Day 2 (Sunday):

Between 10am to 1030am in the morning- announcement goes out saying that due to weather, anchoring was not going to be the best option so passengers were allowed off ship. Passengers were required to be back on board no later than 8am Monday. 

A complimentary shuttle from the Port to the Bayonne 34th Street Station (about a 5 min trip) was provided between 1030am- last trip back was 8pm.

Passengers electing to do this was responsible for everything at this point and to get back to the station by 8pm if you wanted to get the shuttle back. 

If passengers wanted to come back after 8pm they could take a cab or rideshare back. 

It was about 1.5 hrs from this station to the 33rd St PATH station in NYC (cost was about $11 -12 roundtrip).

At this point, the plan was still to go to Bermuda, with sailing out of NYC at 4pm Monday. 

During the day, the captain did hold a Q&A session regarding the issues… we did not attend as we elected to go to NYC for the day instead. 

 

On Day 3 (Monday):

Around 930am -10am on Monday- an announcement goes out again stating another change of plans.

The weather in Bermuda was apparently going to now be terrible and added to it that 

The weather event has now cleared sufficiently so that we could sail to Cococay, spend 1 day there, then sail back, this option (we will call it Option C) has been chosen.

Apparently, the same offer stood that if people now did not want to sail to Cococay, they could depart the ship and get a full refund back, despite having spent the last 3 days on the ship. 

They were initially given 45 min to notify Guest Services and depart the ship as the Captain initially wanted to set sail by 11am.  

Some people elected for this, and I would say on top of the 1000 who cancelled after the 1st itinerary change, probably another 50-100 people elected to leave at this point. 

I would say we set sail closer to 1130 am. 

Ironically, the weather Saturday and Sunday were substantially nicer than Monday. I am guessing the system we were trying to avoid finally arrived as we were leaving?

The captain again taped an explanation with visuals of the weather system this night. Fortunately, this explanation WAS available for us to watch to give us an idea of what we missed from his Q&A. 

 

NOTES:

·      The bathroom system was down for about 1 hr after we departed NYC. 

·      Some of the Guest Services reps onboard were TERRIBLE. I understand that some were new, a lot were overwhelmed, but some were downright rude, dismissive and gave flat out wrong information. Hopefully the Rep H.S. was just having an off day…otherwise...if he treated others the way he treated us for 45 minutes, I could completely understand how some people were losing their patience at the agents. Shout out to Front Desk Manager Pretty Shamu… she was kind, informative and kept a positive attitude throughout. 

·      The Wi-Fi/ Internet system was completely down from roughly 5pm Sunday to around 9am Monday.

·      The Wi-Fi system being down includes the free Royal IQ app. Initially Guest Services did not know when we called… I was told to come down and see the tech manager… only to be told when I got there that it was actually a system wide issue.  

·      The waters were fairly active when we left NJ… fortunately for us, we do not get seasick…however they were giving out free Dramamine because apparently, there were quite a few that did not feel well. 

·      The offer for the 1 day credit (for initially missing Cococay) is still going to be given despite the fact that we are now going to the Island. 

·      The cost of the Thrill Waterpark was refunded when it was supposed to be Plan B. The cost of what they are now charging now that we are visiting Cococay is cheaper than what was originally charged. Not sure if this is due to a goodwill gesture.

·      The cost of the internet they were offering on the ship is cheaper than what was offered on CruisePlanner… Even the days that had 20 to 30% off Voom Surf & Stream packages.

     o   Instead of pre-purchasing next time, I may just buy one of the packages on the ship because your C&A discounts are also added on top of those prices.

 

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@TheaFromCDA Very good summary of our “adventures”. 
Ship feels empty and bars are readily available. The best usage of drinking package ever 🙂. That’s a good part. 
About compensation. Despite informing us less than 24 hours from sailing time,   they were underlining that we are getting credit for missing Coco Cay (one day based on your fare). No mention of lost opportunities to visit NASA, Orlando or Nassau. Since we are on casino offer, paying only taxes and upgrade I’m expecting nice handshake and sincere too bad so sad attitude. 
Wondering why so different from the cruise few months ago rerouted to Eastern Canada. We should get mail with the details tomorrow. 

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2 hours ago, Cez said:

@TheaFromCDA Very good summary of our “adventures”. 
Ship feels empty and bars are readily available. The best usage of drinking package ever 🙂. That’s a good part. 
About compensation. Despite informing us less than 24 hours from sailing time,   they were underlining that we are getting credit for missing Coco Cay (one day based on your fare). No mention of lost opportunities to visit NASA, Orlando or Nassau. Since we are on casino offer, paying only taxes and upgrade I’m expecting nice handshake and sincere too bad so sad attitude. 
Wondering why so different from the cruise few months ago rerouted to Eastern Canada. We should get mail with the details tomorrow. 

I’m interested to see if they’ll offer more...I doubt it though😞.

I did hear from some passengers that some that were in interior cabins were upgraded to balconies after complaining. (They were moved Day 3/ when we sailed).

I didn’t try to upgrade since I don’t know if they would’ve given us a Junior Suite (which would’ve been the step up from where we were.)

I know for safety purposes, RCCL can reroute last minute but I feel like those 2 nights/ 3 days in NJ...and really only 1 port  deserves more than just a 1 day credit but maybe I’m just being to hopeful.

Having never sailed out of NJ, I think I have met equal parts fellow Canadians on this trip than I have Americans...quite a number of Brits too.

Based on an unscientific poll, those that stayed on this were in a similar situation to us that by the time we received notices, most of us were already in route or in the NJ area and couldn’t have cancelled.

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