Days after a crane struck and damaged Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, the cruise line announced Tuesday it is cancelling the ship’s scheduled sail dates out of Port Canaveral on April 7, 14 and 21.
The Oasis of the Seas, which was the largest cruise ship in the world when it debuted in 2009, suffered damages from a crane that toppled onto and damaged its main deck in Freeport, Bahamas, on Saturday. There were no passengers on the ship at the time, the cruise line said, but crew members were aboard and eight people were injured in the incident.
Now thousands of others have had their entire vacations upended.
The ship has 2,700 cabins, putting its double occupancy stats — a common industry measure for passenger capacity — at 5,400.
As news of the crane accident emerged, hundreds of would-be passengers took to social media to ask Royal Caribbean if their trips would still be on. After a day of uncertainty, Royal Caribbean began to reach back out to some of those customers.
In tweets directed toward Royal Caribbean’s main account, people complained of weddings — scheduled to be held on Oasis of the Seas — having to be rescheduled, and future dates either being too expensive or too full to re-book.
Passengers on the three scheduled sailings will receive full refunds, as well as full credit toward a future cruise that sets sail in the next year, Royal Caribbean officials said. The line has also confirmed it will refund airfare change fees of up to $200 each for domestic and $400 per passenger for international flights.
Excursions booked through Royal Caribbean also will be refunded.
The ship will begin sailing again on May 5 from Barcelona. In the meantime, Oasis of the Seas is off to Cadiz, Spain, for unscheduled repairs, namely to its “AquaTheater” and some suites that were damaged, officials said.
While no passengers were aboard the ship in Freeport on Saturday, Cruise Hive reports that nearly 1,200 crew members were evacuated from the ship and temporarily stranded on Grand Bahama. This would be the case until two ships operated by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line provided aid, with one vessel acting as a “hotel ship," according to a statement obtained by WPBF’s Terace Garnier.
“Many of the crew members left the ship with no personal effects, for example, no wallet, no phone charger, no clothing or toiletries, etc," according to a statement, sent to crew members of a Paradise Cruise Line ship. "All the crew mustered in the yard today and many of them are apparently sunburnt. They will come onboard tired and exhausted.”