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coneyraven

Royal cancelling all excursions to active volcanoes

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10 hours ago, coneyraven said:

Here's my letter - I figure it's referencing our mudbath excursion in St. Lucia.  

Sounds like this could end excursions to the Pitons, maybe? Glad I got to see them when I did back in January, then. It's the one thing I knew I had to see in St. Lucia.

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17 minutes ago, SPS said:

Sounds like this could end excursions to the Pitons, maybe? Glad I got to see them when I did back in January, then. It's the one thing I knew I had to see in St. Lucia.

My "Coastal Cruise to the Pitons" remains while my White Island tour was cancelled.  The coastal cruise doesn't stop at the Pitons, just views them from a distance so maybe they consider that to be okay.

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1 hour ago, Ditchdoc said:

Seems to me "acts of God" should release any one from any liability. What's next? Any excursion where you might get hit by lightening is cancelled?

I think this goes beyond pure legal concepts.

In some aspects a cruise line is a common carrier not unlike an airline in that they transport you to a destination.   In some countries there are laws that apply to common carriers including cruise lines.

In the cruise industry it is emerging that some people are mistakenly believing that the cruise line is guaranteeing their safety.   This appears nowhere in the cruise contract, it's some mythical belief that in the wake of the White Island natural disaster is coming to light.  It seems some people believe this bubble of safety follows them onto land when they leave a ship.  "I'm on a cruise so I get to disengage my brain because the cruise line will think for me".

If someone flew to a destination and stayed in a local hotel this bubble of safety misbelief doesn't apply.  They don't try to hold an airline or hotel accountable like some people are trying to do with cruise lines.  

It's more about improper expectations rather than actual legal implications.  

So it is very possible that additional excursions will only be available for booking directly with the tour operator and the excursions offered through the cruise line may be further evaluated to eliminate any with even low risk present on them.     

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

So it is very possible that additional excursions will only be available for booking directly with the tour operator and the excursions offered through the cruise line may be further evaluated to eliminate any with even low risk present on them.     

I expect this is the direction they will go.  The tour operators aren't going to shut down, we will just have to book with them directly so Royal can say they have nothing to do with it.

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4 hours ago, twangster said:

In the cruise industry it is emerging that some people are mistakenly believing that the cruise line is guaranteeing their safety.   This appears nowhere in the cruise contract, it's some mythical belief that in the wake of the White Island natural disaster is coming to light.  It seems some people believe this bubble of safety follows them onto land when they leave a ship.  "I'm on a cruise so I get to disengage my brain because the cruise line will think for me".

If someone flew to a destination and stayed in a local hotel this bubble of safety misbelief doesn't apply.  They don't try to hold an airline or hotel accountable like some people are trying to do with cruise lines. 

If I book an excursion through the ship, I do have an expectation that I will be as safe as when I'm on the ship, just like I expect them to wait on me if the tour is late or arrange for me to meet up with them later.

Your comparison to flying somewhere and staying at a local hotel is not really and apples to apples comparison.  At certain hotels I book especially in 3rd world countries that cater to foreign visitors I do also have certain expectations of security and safety.

Although I do agree with you that that they should not be holding the cruise line responsible in this particular case,  I do see the cruise line taking action like the have to cancel future ship sponsored excursions, as they are now more aware of a threat.

BTW I do value your opinions and posts which many times I find very helpful

1 hour ago, Atlantix2000 said:

I expect this is the direction they will go.  The tour operators aren't going to shut down, we will just have to book with them directly so Royal can say they have nothing to do with it.

also my opinion, as that is the smartest business decision for Royal

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2 minutes ago, CruiseGus said:

I do have an expectation that I will be as safe as when I'm on the ship

I'm curious where this expectation comes from.  Understand I'm trying to understand different perspectives, not start a fight or flame.

When I look over the excursions or listen to the reasons to book an excursion through Royal, personal safety isn't offered as a reason to book through Royal.  The guarantee to be reunited with the ship if the excursion is late is a huge benefit in my opinion.  The automatic refund if the port is skipped is another.  The ability to cancel up to 48 hours before arrival without any questions is painless and easy.  

Scuba diving is an excursion I often book through Royal for the ease of it.  Scuba diving isn't a high risk sport but there is danger involved.  If I make a mistake I can die.  It's never occured to me that Royal would be considered responsible for my safety while I am on an excursion with danger present.    

There are a lot of fly-by-night tour operators that can use poorly maintained equipment, vehicles or vessels.  I take some comfort in knowing that tour operators that Royal offers are most likely not some fly by night operator using sketchy equipment but accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. 

If a local government sees no reason to prevent a tour from visiting an area how can a cruise line determine there is risk when none of the experts or regulating agencies do?

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I think excursion operators and the cruise line should exert reasonable care. I think the move is sensitive to the situation and makes sense on a lot of levels. I don't see it as any kind of an admission of liability...it's just reasonable care. If I want to go to a volcano, I would simply use a third party.

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"we've made the decision to cancel all tours that visit an active volcano."

STUPID! What a terrible managerial decision. 

I've been on a few RCL excursions to active volcanoes; some that come to mind are Mt Vesuvius in Italy, Mt Kilauea (TWICE- the excursion to Volcanoes National Park and then when the ship purposefully stopped so we could watch Mt Kilauea's lava flows into the ocean later that night, that snorkel/lunch thing to Nevis 'cause I think the entire island is actually an active volcano, and I did jump into a mud volcano in Columbia but it wasn't a RCL excursion and it's really not a volcano, volcano.

Partial list of countries I've visited via RCL that have active volcanoes ( you tell me if these ports of call "are too close to danger") St. Kitts, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, Grenada, Italy, Greece, Columbia, Aruba, Mexico, Panama, Turkey.....

How about Seattle? Mt St Helens is only 200 miles away....

Thank God I've never been to that dangerous Iceland....or Alaska...

 

So as it stands, if you wanna vacation with Royal Caribbean to Alaska, Hawaii, or go to Pompeii in Italy, or any of a handful of islands in the Lesser Antilles, or maybe even sail out of Seattle...you are in the face of danger? You wanna do the Volcano Hike in St. Kitts? Well, most people don't make it to the top anyway so I'm guessing they will finally ax that excursion. It's a shame, it's the only RCL excursion that ever was truly "strenuous".

If you haven't been to any of the above places, I hope you do--soon. Make time to travel; you'll become a better person. Cruising with RCL has made it possible for me to do all of the above and I am a better person for having done so. I hope you can become that better person too. Don't let a volcano get in your way.

 

<gets off soap box and quietly walks away>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

Mt Rainier is only 70 miles away, and is an active volcano.  How are they REALLY going define an active volcano with regards to excursions?

The Pacific Ring of Fire contains many volcanoes.  Some active, some dormant, some extinct.  New Zealand has other volcanoes.  Italy has volcanoes.  

The public had a knee jerk reaction and the cruise line responded.  

In hindsight going on an excursion looking for bears in Alaska is probably not 100% safe.

Where do you stop?    

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21 hours ago, twangster said:

If I make a mistake I can die.

Can't this be said for every excursion?

And I agree,  doing something that I chose to do that might endanger my life shouldn't be Royal's responsibility. They didn't force me to do it.

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Not knowing a ton about this, couldn't RCI get around the liability of potentially "dangerous" excursions by having anyone who wishes to participate in one of the excursions just sign a waiver?  Again, I don't know if this is something they already do or if it would really limit their liability, but simply looking at it, it seems like it would be an easier solution to cancelling all potentially dangerous excursions

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1 hour ago, Geoff P said:

Not knowing a ton about this, couldn't RCI get around the liability of potentially "dangerous" excursions by having anyone who wishes to participate in one of the excursions just sign a waiver?  Again, I don't know if this is something they already do or if it would really limit their liability, but simply looking at it, it seems like it would be an easier solution to cancelling all potentially dangerous excursions

That ventures into a legal quagmire involving laws of different nations, the limits of liability and how a waiver doesn't absolve a company from all responsibilities or liability. 

More importantly a waiver doesn't address the impact of social and news media blowing an event into a frenzy of negativity regardless if it is warranted or not.  

Currently the social media litmus test for any excursion incident seems to be "Did they book it directly?  If so, oh well, that's on them, move on, nothing to see".

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I think a better response to the situation would be to temporarily cancel volcano excursions vs just straight up ban them or just that one stop at least until they figure out everything. I don't know much about the situation but did they wander off and was in a spot they weren't suppose to be in? whens the last time this volcano erupted? Also what is royal considering a active volcano?

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22 hours ago, bobroo said:

Partial list of countries I've visited via RCL that have active volcanoes ( you tell me if these ports of call "are too close to danger") St. Kitts, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, Grenada, Italy, Greece, Columbia, Aruba, Mexico, Panama, Turkey.....

I'll be visiting Iceland next year, where they have a number of fairly active volcanoes (Eyjafjallajökull, anyone?) and the whole freaking island is one big geothermal site. I don't even have to be near a volcano, I could just be enjoying the view of a waterfall from up close and have the island get an earthquake that rocks the ledge I'm standing on and send me tumbling to my death. Or be in the middle of a fjord and have an earthquake hits that sends a rockslide onto the ship. No hot lava or steam or any volcanism byproduct required.

I'm still going. Don't try to stop me.

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We had begun exploring excursions for our Greek Isles cruise next year and we were most interested in an excursion that included Mt Vesuvius and Pompei at our Naples stop. Just noticed that excursion is no longer listed. Many to Pompei but none include Mt Vesuvius. We will explore a third party tour group but we’ve always taken RC tours because, like others, we like knowing the ship will wait if something unplanned on the excursion happens causing it to be late. 

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On 12/14/2019 at 2:34 PM, Kathleen said:

We had begun exploring excursions for our Greek Isles cruise next year and we were most interested in an excursion that included Mt Vesuvius and Pompei at our Naples stop. Just noticed that excursion is no longer listed. Many to Pompei but none include Mt Vesuvius. We will explore a third party tour group but we’ve always taken RC tours because, like others, we like knowing the ship will wait if something unplanned on the excursion happens causing it to be late. 

We did the Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii excursion.  While the view of the harbor from the top of Mt. Vesuvius was nice, it wasn't the greatest hike I've been on.  This is my way of saying you wouldn't miss much if you just spent time in Pompeii....I hope you have a great cruise next year!

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And who's to say how long these excursions will be canceled..... I'm sure they're getting a lot of push-back from the vendors due to the effect on the local economy.  Who know's, by the time our cruise comes around in March, they may reintroduce the mud bath excursion in St. Lucia. 

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20 minutes ago, coneyraven said:

And who's to say how long these excursions will be canceled.....

It will take years for the legal fallout to run its course.  I'm thinking it will take a while before they consider adding these types of excursion back.  

I'm curious what other types of excursions may start disappearing.  I'm betting they'll run a risk assessment across the board and we may start to see other excursions silently dropped.

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