StacL--it's highly unlikely that RCCL is removing Grand Cayman from its itinerary.
Skipping that port is pretty common due to the fact that there is no dock and you must tender to and from shore.
If the water is too rough, the tenders cannot safely come alongside the ship for transfering people from one to the other. Safety is the main concern as it should be.
I was on RCCL's " Mariner of the Seas " three weeks ago and Grand Cayman was on our itinerary but we too skipped the port as the water was too rough.
As I said, skipping that port is common throughout cruising, not just with RCCL.
Have to say I for one would not miss Grand Cayman if they did drop it. #1. Tendering is a royal pain and #2. On our western Caribbean tour on Rhapsody last fall, it was by far our least favorite port. Very dirty and "touristy" and no good excursions for you to really see the place and learn about it. Just shopping,shopping, shopping. We almost booked the "dolphin" excursion and learned later that it was very short and not worth the money. The one at Cozumel was much better. Our day-long excursion at Cozumel included a great tour of the island and some Mayan ruins and an aftrnoon at a beach resort....... very nice. At Key West we took a walking that was terrific and did the "sunset" thing at Mallory Square.......so fun. I would have preferred another relaxing day at sea to Grand Cayman.
Thanks for all the additional responses to StacL. We too are booked on the RCCL Rhapsody for the May 9 sailing, and I was very worried to read that they were dropping Grand Cayman. I have booked the whole day for the Stingray City, Snorkling, and Beach Excursion. I thought it was something the whole family would enjoy. Something none of us have ever done. This is our first cruise and we are bringing all the kids. My oldest son will be 22, and my youngest is 18. We are also bringing the girlfriend and she is 19. (Kind of an adopted daughter). I hope there are many varied activities to keep them all entertained. Any ideas on what to do at the other ports.
PS I have been reading all the suggestions and already writing down things that we shouldn't forget to bring.
For large groups I recomend walkie talkies. No worries about everyone keeping busy.There are so many activities you will find it hard to keep track of everyone even on the ship. And bring your own bottled water.
Re: Re: Re: Grand Cayman removed from RCCI Itinerary
If the Caymen Islands are skipped over would the Rhapsody of the Seas go to another port? Or would it turn into a 2 port trip with 4 days at sea? I was on the NCL Sea once where it had to skip over Cancun but we got extra time in Cozumel so that was fine. But skipping a port all together and having 4 days at sea would be a let down. Also considering how late Rhapsody gets to Key West it would really turn into a 1.5 port trip. We are going on the Rhapsody in September so will just hope for good luck.
We just returned yesterday from our cruise on Voyager. We did not get to 2 of our 4 ports: Labadee (due to the unrest in Haiti) and Grand Caymen. We were told by staff on the ship that GC is often skipped due to rough seas. To quote one employee "it's hit or miss". I don't know that I'll plan another cruise itinerary with this port because of this.
I just got back from a western caribbean Explorer of the seas 7 day cruise. sail date was 2-14-04. and WAS suppose to stop in Laberdee(sp ?), Ocho rios, grand caymens, and cozumel. Royal carribean waited til after they did all their paper work and took my credit card number for sea pass account, then slid a piece of paper to me with the rest of the "normal " doucuments . that paper was aletter stating we were not going to stop in Laberdee due to the civil un-rest in Hati. and we would have another day at sea nothing else planned. ( 4 ports now down to 3) I can understand not stopping. but it would have been nice for them to be more "upfront" about it instead of sliding me a letter mixed in with the other paper. the ship stayed in first gear the time. I could see ships off in the distant on the starboard side passing us. we got to Ocho Rios, jamaca at the normal arrival time just like if we HAD stopped in Laberdee. we left Laberee and WERE to travel to the Grand Caymans. when we got near the Caymans. the seas were rough. so they made an announcement around 7:15 am that we were NOT going to stop at Grand Caymens ( 4 ports now down to 2) and would go directly to cozumel and we would have some "extra" time there. and they would have a new "compass" ( the ships daily flyer of activites) at 9:30 . the only change in the daily activities was that they added a bingo game durning the afternoon. ( what a clever cruise director ) this time they put the ship into High gear ( the in room Tv stated it was going 22.3 knots. ( 23 is the most it will do) ). due to the high speed and slightly moderate waves. people were getting tossed alla round the ship. when the shops finally opened in the mall, people were lining up to buy motion sickness pills. we did arrive "early "in cozumel. about 10:45 pm. after an being tossed around since 7:00am, barely being able to walk around the ship ( they even closed the swimming pools because it was so rough) while traveling at top speed. I for one , along with most others . were not in the mood to go a shore at 11:00pm .
All in all it was the worst cuise I've ever been on ( many more horror stories to tell about this cruise, but my fingers are starting to hurt). I should have known they didn't care too much about the passengers right from the start . when they couldn't even inform us a head of time about the first port cancelation, instead they felt it would be better to sneak a letter to us. during check in.
I have cruised many times. but will NEVER go on another Royal Caribbean cruise again
I think these posts prove what has been said many many times before---you can't please all the people all the time.
Imagine if RCCL had stopped in Haiti and someone had been hurt or killed. Can't you just imagine the uproar that would have been raised??? So, they do the smart thing and don't put peoples safety at risk. What happens---some people can't or won't try to understand .
So, the seas are rough--imagine--going on a large ocean and finding rough seas. The ship rocks--imagine that. A floating object sitting in the middle of hundreds of sq. miles of water and it rocks !!
I have cruised many many times on 5 different lines. I have been to Grand Cayman 7 times over the past several years with ' nary a problem---until last year ( Jan-03 on Celebrity ) When I woke up that morning I knew we would not be stopping due to the seas being too high.
It wasn't long before the captain came over the inter-com and made the announcement that we were not stopping there.Yes, some complained but he made the right decision.
We sailed on RCCL's Mariner on Jan 25th -04. When I went to bed around midnight I wondered then if we might skip G.C. again as you could look out and see and also feel the water was getting rougher. Sure enough when I got up the next morning I knew we would not stop there and we didn't. So, with stopping there 7 times in a row with no problem, we hit two cruises in a row that we didn't stop. It is hard to predict but most of the time you can make the port. Just sometimes the water, through no fault of the cruise line, is too rough for safely tendering people in.
I know it's tough when you have your heart set on a particular port and don't make it.
I have skipped ports due to hurricanes, rough water, mechanical problems with the ship and a medical emergency. Sometimes we just have to roll with the waves.
Besides-- how bad can a day onboard a cruise ship really be ??
Im in total agreement with your posting. Yes, there would be dissapointment about missing a port, but I would be furious if my total experience were ruined because of bad decisions that put me and others at risk. An extra day at sea on a cruise ship, I can definately think of worse places to be.
Im booked on a spring cruise and looking forward to visiting GC for the first time. If we have to skip it I will definately be sad but......My thoughts, what a great exuse to keep cruis'n till I get it right.
We just returned on January 17 from Grandeur's New Orleans departure. We did get to stop in Cayman, but they cancelled Stingray City due to high winds. We were disappointed, but went to Seven Mile Beach instead (how bad a day can that be?). We got a full refund. The port I would like to see them discontinue is Costa Maya. That was a BIG disappointment. But still I would call the cruise a wonderful experience. Like someone said "How bad can a day at sea be", or even a port that's not all you would dream of - you're in the Caribbean, it's warmer than home, and you're on vacation!
I couldn't agree more, Ron. You can't please some people EVER! They have to have something to complain about. I, too, prefer a cruise line that puts my safety ahead of my expectations. Our cruise last Nov. was our first, but DEFINITELY won't be our last. We are already doing our research and adjusting our schedules to get our next one booked. The first-time cruise is mainly to find out what you do and don't like. One bad thing was that I came down with the flu on Wed. of our 7-day cruise...... not the tummy bug, just regular old influenza. In spite of feeling like death warmed over, I still had a great time. Believe me, if you have to have the flu there are worse places than a cruise ship with twenty-four hour room-service and the world's best room steward (Virgil). I did find out that just sitting out on my balcony with a book or magazine and a cold drink was more fun (even with a 101 degree fever) than anything I could be doing at home. A cruise is what YOU make it. If you are just grateful to be there and determined to enjoy yourself, you will. Life, and that includes cruises, is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you deal with what happens to you. Can't wait to cruise again........
WE all know these things do happen and I would rather have a port skipped than try to tender in with bad weather or go to a private island with a bunch of rioting surrounding me. With that said, one thing I have noticed, through the 20 years or so of cruising, RCI seems to be the line that skips the most ports and has the fewest activities planned to take up the slack. That is my number one complaint about them.
Flexibility is the key but the cruiseleine should do a bit more to offset the disappointment. They should understand how the cruisers feel & maybe go a bit extra on the sea day. I must say that on Enchantment last yr , we had to return in the night to get closer to Key West for a medical emerg helicopter, & our next port day was then turned into a day at sea. The captain got right on the PA & told us what happened & how they would work to re-arrange everything. We did not lose ports but they were all on diff days (another reason to take the ships excursions) & only a few had their excursions cancelled due to time switches. They re-did all the newlstters in record time, re-booked our excursions on land & it was obvious how much they tried to please with additional activities etc. We were very impressed & had a great cruise on that ship. Guess the captain & mgr of hotel & cruise dir, have alot to do with it. Having experienced rough seas & weather onother cruises, I'd rather be safe than sorry.. Also I could skip Key West any day ..Cozumel on land wasn't so great but anything under the sea there is really gorgeous--The reefs are a wonderful experience. Just some thoughts--hope your future cruises work out better.
We just got back last week from 12 nights on the "Splendour" and Grand Cayman was the last stop. Snorkeling was great but by the time we got back to the dock the seas were rough and they were having a problem tendering. Probably just depends on the weather if they stop or not but I can't see them dropping this port. Too much to see and do here and great watersports.
We had our Belize stop cut short by two hours and were late getting to the Panama Canal so had to miss the ferry ride through but still had a seven hour tour of Panama City which was great. Life on a cruise ship is great and better than any day at work!
Thanks, libbynan! I do like Cozumel and can't wait to go back. I'm looking forward to the rays Grand Cayman, as my family enjoyed the Dolphins last July. It is a concern ours that you have to tender and I'm hoping to get a tour through a company other then RCCI.
The Dolphin Discovary has nice packages that allow you to spend some time with the dolphins. The company is located in Chankanab Echo Park which is also nice and not crowded. The snorkeling was good and there were many kinds of fish to see. There was also a decent resturant for refreshments.
P.S. I glad I wasn't the only one concerned about the stop being removed.