For one minute, two maybe three, imagine with me that you and your partner are closing in on a milestone. It could be any milestone, kids finally out of diapers, last kid leaves daycare, they are going for college, or maybe it is a huge point in the life of you and your significant other: 10, 15, 25, 50th wedding anniversary.
You have been saying ever since the day you kissed, that you were going to take a big trip, just the two of you. When you are married, you were young and didn’t have the money available to make a big honeymoon trip.
It never fails though that it seems that life would get in the way. Either you have kids, someone decides to back to school and earn their law degree, or losing your job all prevent you from taking a much-deserved trip for just the two of you.
But you sit down one evening and plan it. You plan the perfect Royal Caribbean cruise on board the Enchantment of the Seas. The itinerary is perfect visiting places that you have always wanted to see in the Caribbean. You tell each other that you don’t care if you are a year and a half out, you are going to put down the deposit and just do it. You think to yourself that certainly over the next year and a half things can’t change THAT much.
Until Your Cruise Line Changes Your Itinerary
Then you open your email to find out the cruise line has made changes to the upcoming itinerary. The first of which you see is a boat change. You tell yourself that you didn’t book this cruise because of the boat and that being on a bigger boat isn’t going to make or break this trip.
Then you see the stops and notice that they have changed. They have removed a key stop that was the reason you chose that particular cruise.
You are devastated and don’t know what to do. There is a risk that changes to your trip will happen when you book so far in advance, but you had your hopes set on this trip.
This exact scenario happened to me when we were planning our 10th wedding anniversary cruise aboard Royal Caribbean. But there are things you can do… and sometimes it comes with a sweet sense of irony when you start to make changes to your trip.
What do you do when the cruise line changes your itinerary?
Do your own research
With our hopes set on a cruise that would sail through the Port of Key West, we started to look elsewhere. We immediately looked at the Royal Caribbean site and noticed that the cruise line removed ALL cruises sailing through that port during that particular time of the year. The only time we would be able to sail through Key West would be in the spring, and we were hoping to keep the trip as close to our actual anniversary as we could.
Call the cruise line
Our next step was the call Royal Caribbean and talk to their agents to see what they were seeing available during that time. We explained that we were hoping to sail through Key West and were heartbroken when we saw that cruise line changed, fully understanding that we knew the pity card would not work.
The first call ended with no change to our trip at the time. But the more we discussed it, we decided to cancel the trip altogether and rethink what we were going to do for our trip.
When you book this far out, you are able to get a full refund for the trip, which helped us at the time as I had just been laid off and the funds that we had paid for this trip were going to help us through the next few months until I found a job.
We knew that we wanted to sail Royal Caribbean, you might have an affinity towards another cruise line, so I kept my eyes on their site. I looked every month to see if things were changing. The only way we were going to make Key West work is if we planned that spring trip which we just were not ready to do.
Itineraries change all the time so keeping our eye on the Royal Caribbean site along with the dates you were looking for is a necessity when you are booking well in advance of your trip.
When it came to rebooking our Royal Caribbean cruise roughly a year before our trip, we came to the conclusion, ironically, that Key West was a location we could skip. The main factor for our decision was that Hurricane Irma had just blown through the islands and we’re unsure if they would have time to rebuild in a year.
And that leads us to the rebooking of our 10th anniversary Royal Caribbean cruise. After much to do, we ultimately booked ourselves on the same itinerary but out of a different port.
Things happen for a reason
There is a bittersweet irony in our whole planning process that has taken almost 2 years. When we first initially started to plan our cruise 2nd honeymoon, we book on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas, through a change in our itinerary and ship, canceling that cruise, rebooking on a different shop, we are back to embark on the Enchantment.
Like we always say, everything happens for a reason.