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Saturday, September 2, 2023

RCCL's Radiance of the Seas Sailing Cancelled Due to Propulsion Issues: What You Need to Know

In an unfortunate turn of events, Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line has had to cancel the current sailing for the Radiance of the Seas cruise ship due to significant propulsion issues. While cruise cancellations are always disappointing for both guests and the cruise line, safety remains paramount. In this blog post, we'll dive into the details of what happened, how guests are being compensated, and what this means for future Radiance of the Seas sailings.

Radiance of the Seas Propulsion Issues

The 90,090-gross ton Radiance of the Seas, a beloved member of the Royal Caribbean fleet, recently encountered propulsion issues that couldn't be easily rectified. These issues first emerged during the ship's previous cruise, and despite the best efforts, repairs couldn't be completed in time to ensure the safety of the subsequent voyage.

The affected cruise was scheduled to be a 7-night one-way southbound sailing from Seward, Alaska, with exciting stops at Juneau, Skagway, Haines, Icy Strait Point, and Ketchikan, along with scenic cruising in the renowned Glacier Bay. The journey was supposed to culminate in Vancouver, Canada on Friday, September 8.

Guest Accommodations and Compensation

Guests who were onboard for the September 1 departure have already been notified of the unfortunate cancellation and are being accommodated with last-minute arrangements. To facilitate their onward travel plans, the cruise ship will remain docked in Seward, Alaska, and will serve as a hotel for guests until noon on Sunday, September 3.

To compensate for the cancellation, all affected guests will receive a 100% refund of their cruise fare, taxes, fees, pre-paid gratuities, shore tours, and any flights purchased through Royal Caribbean (excluding any pre-cruise Cruisetours that have already been completed). If guests used a future cruise credit (FCC) to pay for the cruise, any extra funds paid above the FCC amount will be refunded, and the credit will be reinstated for future use.

Moreover, all guests will receive a 100% future cruise credit for a future sailing of their choice, with the condition that the future sailing must depart within one year. This new FCC will be available by September 22, 2023.

Royal Caribbean International has gone a step further by covering up to $600 (USD) of change fees for flights or other transportation adjustments. If guests initially booked airfare through the cruise line’s Air2Sea program, their flights will be automatically changed. The Guest Services team is readily available to assist other guests in making arrangements for their flights home, even if they didn't book airfare through the cruise line.

As a gesture of goodwill during this unexpected delay, guests onboard Radiance of the Seas will have access to complimentary internet, and all wine by the glass, beer, and other drinks, including alcoholic beverages, will be complimentary.

What Happened and Future Sailings

At this time, there are no specific details released about the exact mechanical problem on the ship, other than the statement that the "propulsion system experienced a technical issue which impacts the ship's speed." Additionally, there is no official notification as yet regarding whether or not future sailings of Radiance of the Seas may be impacted. Guests who have booked upcoming Radiance of the Seas cruises in the next few weeks should stay in close communication with Royal Caribbean for any potential adjustments or cancellations.

Radiance of the Seas is currently scheduled to offer just one more set of northbound and southbound Alaska sailings this year, with the ship's last Alaska sailing departing on Friday, September 22 as a roundtrip voyage from Vancouver. Following this cruise, Radiance of the Seas will reposition to Tampa, Florida, via an 8-night Pacific Coastal cruise to San Diego, followed by a 16-night Panama Canal cruise. From Tampa, the ship will offer various Caribbean and Bahamas sailings through early April before returning to Vancouver for the 2024 Alaska sailing season.

Not the First Time for Radiance of the Seas

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time Radiance of the Seas has faced propulsion issues. In April 2018, the ship required essential repairs on its Azipod propulsion system, leading to the cancellation of an 11-night sailing. During that period, the ship was operating cruises in Australia.

While engine problems are not commonplace on cruise ships, they can occur occasionally, impacting sailings and cruising speeds. It's essential to note that despite these issues, the ship's safety features, as well as hotel and restaurant operations, remain unaffected.

In the world of cruising, safety is paramount, and Royal Caribbean International is taking all necessary measures to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of its guests. We hope for smooth sailing ahead for the Radiance of the Seas and her passengers in the future.

Man Overboard on Royal Caribbean Last Week

This is not the only recent bad news from RCCL. In last week's post, we discussed the crucial issue of man overboard incidents on cruise ships. In a startling turn of events, the cruise ship Wonder of the Seas, renowned as the largest vessel currently in operation, faced a harrowing incident amidst its voyage. The ship, measuring a staggering 1,188 feet across 18 decks and capable of accommodating nearly 7,000 passengers and 2,300 crew members, encountered an overboard incident on Tuesday evening. The young man's body was never found. This incident adds to a series of overboard events that have recently plagued the cruise industry, shedding light on the critical importance of safety measures at sea.


While the cancellation of the Radiance of the Seas cruise due to propulsion issues is undoubtedly disappointing for both Royal Caribbean International and its guests, safety remains the top priority. The cruise line has taken swift action to compensate affected passengers generously, offering full refunds, future cruise credits, assistance with travel arrangements, and even complimentary amenities during their unexpected stay onboard. Additionally, plans for the ship's future sailings are in place, providing guests with opportunities to set sail once more. Despite this setback, the resilience of the cruise industry continues to shine, and we look forward to smoother waters ahead for the Radiance of the Seas and her passengers.

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