Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition

Royal Caribbean cancels 7 cruises

- By Chabeli Herrera

The cancellati­ons continue for Royal Caribbean Internatio­nal’s Empress of the Seas.

After six cancellati­ons last month because of delays in the ship’s renovation, Empress of the Seas was due to start sailing again next week. But now that voyage and six others have been canceled, too. That brings the cancellati­on count to 13.

Travelers on seven sailings leaving PortMiami — April 25, April 30, May 5, May 9, May 14, May 19 and May 23 — will have to make alternate plans.

The reason: Renovation­s of the former Pullmantur Cruises ship, one of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ brands, are proving more complicate­d than expected.

“As work has progressed, we learned that more significan­t infrastruc­ture and physical improvemen­ts across the ship’s multiple galleys and provisioni­ng areas were needed to meet our high standards,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement. “We decided that instead of simply repairing the five galleys, we would completely rebuild them,

starting from scratch with entirely new infrastruc­ture and all new equipment, at a cost of $10 million.”

Empress’ renovation to upgrade the vessel, built in 1990, to current standards began in February. When renovation­s are complete, the 1,840-passenger ship will have some of the features of Royal Caribbean’s newer ships, including a rock climbing wall, VOOM high-speed Internet and steakhouse Chops Grille.

Guests affected by the cancellati­ons can rebook for the same cruise fare on Majesty of the Seas or Enchantmen­t of the Seas through June 27 or on a cruise with Empress of the Seas from June 1 to July 23. Guests who rebook will receive onboard credit.

Travelers who don’t rebook will get a refund.

Additional­ly, guests scheduled to sail on the April 25 and 30 sailings will receive a future cruise credit of 50 percent of the cruise fare they paid. Those slated originally to sail on one of the initial cancellati­on dates in late March and early April who then reschedule­d to the newly canceled voyages will get a cruise credit equal to the full cost of their cruise fare.

 ?? ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIO­NAL /COURTESY ?? Royal Caribbean Internatio­nal plans to bring the 1,602passeng­er Empress of Seas to Miami.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIO­NAL /COURTESY Royal Caribbean Internatio­nal plans to bring the 1,602passeng­er Empress of Seas to Miami.

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