I think Eric is saying people are perceiving Royal Caribbean "caving in" as a negative - not what they ended up giving the passengers.
My thougts are this.. there have been plenty of cruises where people have ganged up and complained before - to no avail. This is not the first cruise by ANY means where a group of passengers rebeled at hearing the compensation. Usually the cruise lines sticks to what it originally decided.
In this case, I really think RCL decided the attraction of Alexandria as the main port on the itinerary, along with the fact that the captain is responsible for the safety of the passengers, were the two factors. I agree with Eric that the scariness of the situation was the determining factor.
I do not recall seeing anyplace where the captain said he was at fault. I read that he said his weather reports were wrong. However, it can be argued that regardless of weather reports, that is no excuse, any more than the the Clipper Cruise ship hitting the underwater ridge in the Northwest Passage was the fault of the Canadian Gov't. (as they tried to make it out to be) for not having complete charts.
Ultimately, the capt & cruise line are responsible no matter what, and RCL accepted that responsibility, which I think was a good thing.
And I have no delusions that the next time something like this happens the cruise line will buckle to pressure from protesting passengers. That has happened before and will happen again. Every case will be considered separately.
This reminds me of the ire many RCL passengers had for the "professional complainer" (Barbara Moran I think her name was) that Anita Potter wrote about. They eventually gave her a $500 check and said "here, now don't come back" and people were mad they gave her the check.
It amazes me how much people in this country can "hate" banks, oil companies, doctors, insurance companies, car mechanics, plumbers, etc. But they will defend a cruise line everytime. I am not saying they are wrong, I am a firm believer in "corporate rights" - it just surprises me more people do not gang up on cruise lines, especially in todays' anti-corporate class warfare mentality.