Outraged Guests Left At Shore As Major Cruise Line Overbooks A Ship

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Some guests who were due to board Royal Caribbean’s ship Quantum of the Seas were left disappointed after being denied boarding due to overbooking.

Quantum of the Seas sailing in the ocean

The guests – who had booked Guarantee staterooms – received a letter when they reached the departure port in Brisbane, Australia, informing them that there was no room on the ship.

We regret to inform you that currently we have been unable to allocate a stateroom number to your reservationThe time and effort you took to plan your cruise is important to us, and we apologize for the inconvenience. Every aspect of your time with us should be enjoyable, so we have put together some alternate options that we hope will work for you.”

Letter from Royal Caribbean to affected guests

While the letter didn’t confirm that the ship was overbooked, it’s highly likely this was the reason. Cruise lines will sometimes overbook guarantee staterooms on the assumption that some guests always cancel or no show on the day of departure.

A guarantee stateroom is where a guest pays a cheaper rate and is assigned a stateroom by the cruise line, instead of choosing their own. It can sometimes result in upgrades – if a passenger books a guarantee Interior, for example, but all interior cabins sell out.

The cruise line offered guests several options for their cancelled cruise:

  • Remain on standby in case of no shows, with $100 onboard credit if a stateroom could be assigned. Otherwise guests would get a full refund and a 25% future cruise credit based on the value of their cancelled cruise.
  • Transfer the booking to another cruise, including some that were slightly longer, without paying extra and with a stateroom upgrade where possible
  • Cancel for a full refund and a 25% future cruise credit

Either way, guests will surely have been extremely disappointed to only find out on reaching the port – and there has been no confirmation of any refunds for travel costs to the port, either.

Hopefully the guests had appropriate insurance.


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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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1 thought on “Outraged Guests Left At Shore As Major Cruise Line Overbooks A Ship”

  1. If cruise companies are not careful, some disgruntled customers in the UK, including me, are going to start lobbying Which? the consumer’s association and the Dept for/of Trade to get them better regulated in the UK, and the cruise comp. won’t like that.

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