Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) has notified the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) that mechanical issues with its MS Allure of the Seas cruise ship has forced itinerary changes that have resulted in five canceled calls to St. Thomas. VIPA Executive Director David Mapp said that the Allure of the Seas was scheduled to berth at the Austin Monsanto Terminal in Crown Bay on the following dates:
September 20, 2017
October 18, 2017
November 15, 2017
December 13, 2017
January 12, 2018
Frederico Gonzalez-Denton, associate vice president of government relations for RCCL notified VIPA. “Mr. Gonzalez-Denton said that the Allure ship has an issue with its propulsion system, which makes it very difficult for the ship to travel to certain distances due to speed restrictions. RCCL was forced to cancel these five calls to St. Thomas and shifted the ship to San Juan, Puerto Rico,” Mapp said.
Gonzalez-Denton also stated that the ship is scheduled to head to dry dock for repairs.
Mapp added that he is cognizant that these cancellations will have an adverse effect on the U.S. Virgin Islands’ tourism industry. He is arranging a meeting with the cruise line to discuss possible calls to St. Thomas by other RCCL vessels that may be in the region during the period in question. Mapp is hopeful that additional visits will be added in the future to offset these missed calls.
The Allure of the Seas is one of the world’s largest cruise ships and has the capacity to bring up to 6,296 passengers plus 2,384 crew to the shores of St. Thomas.