Published on Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Independence of the Seas will arrive two weeks early

Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, Independence of the Seas, will be coming into service two weeks earlier than scheduled.

Work has been completed earlier than expected so the cruise line will be able to offer an additional two sailings on board the new ship from the beginning of May 2008.

Managing director Jo Rzymowska said: "The extra couple of weeks provide our trade partners with further opportunities to earn commission, particularly over the peak booking period during the festive season and in the New Year.

"This complements our Turn Of Year campaign which has launched earlier than ever before.”

The two additional sailings include a four-night Cork cruise that departs on May 2 and an 11-night Canary Island cruise on May 6.

Guests who have already booked onto the inaugural sailing on May 17 will be offered the first chance to move at no additional cost to the new maiden voyage on May 2, incorporating exactly the same itinerary from Southampton – Cork – Southampton.

Guests wanting to change to the new date should contact the cruise line by December 12 in order for their booked stateroom to be re-protected on the new sailing date.

Royal Caribbean International is writing to all its trade partners to fully explain the changes.

The new sailings are live for re-booking from December 7.

After a Nordic inaugural celebration in April 2008, Independence of the Seas will arrive in the UK on April 25 with UK celebrations taking place from April 26-30 in Southampton.

By Bev Fearis

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  • Maiden Voyage!!

    I booked myself and my family on the RCCL Independence of the Sea's Maiden Voyage which was due to sail on 17 May 2008. We have now been informed that the Maiden Voyage is now 2 May 2007. We have been given the option to change to the 2nd of May free of charge, but we are all working people and cannot change our holidays as we have had this cruise booked since April 2007. I have spoken to the Customer Services Manager at Royal Carribean, who has said that the management have decided that NO compensation of any kind will be given. I was also informed that if we decide to cancel, the normal cancellations fees will be charged! Myself and my husband are Platinum members of Royal Carribean and have never sailed with any other cruise company, we feel very let down and so do our twin sons who have been told they will be the first people to sail on this super ship. I can fully appreciate that if the ship is ready early, from a financial point of view RCCL wants it out at sea, but I feel that they have total disregard for customers like ourselves who booked this cruise because it was the Maiden Voyage. I read the above press release from RCCL and feel saddened that the only people they seem to care about is their 'trade partners and their ability to make more commission during the festive season! what about us, we are the customers who PAY to sail on their ships!! I do plan to write to Jo Rzymowska as well. If you feel the same, please contact me, my email address [email protected]

    By sharon mathers, Tuesday, December 11, 2007

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