Royal Caribbean has canceled seven more voyages of Empress of the Seas, which has been undergoing a major overhaul in dry dock since February.
The line said the 2,020-passenger ship needed more work than it originally envisioned when it scheduled the overhaul, which was supposed to be done by late March.
Royal Caribbean previously canceled six sailings of Empress scheduled to take place between March 30 and April 25. The new cancellations extend the ship's absence from service through late May.
Unveiled in 1990, the 48,563-ton Empress is rejoining the Royal Caribbean fleet after sailing for Spanish line Pullmantur the past eight years.
Royal Caribbean said it had discovered a need for significant infrastructure and physical improvements to Empress' galleys and provisioning areas that were not part of the original overhaul plans.
"We decided that instead of simply repairing the five galleys, we would completely rebuild them, starting from scratch with entirely new infrastructure and all new equipment, at a cost of $10 million," the company said in a statement.
Passengers on the affected voyages can choose to receive a full refund or switch to an Empress sailing later in the year. They also can switch to a similar sailing on Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas. Those who reschedule will receive an on-board credit.
“We sincerely apologize to our guests and travel partners for the inconvenience, and hope they understand that more time was needed to ensure Empress of the Seas meets the standards for quality our guests expect from Royal Caribbean,” Royal Caribbean president and CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement.
When it rejoins Royal Caribbean's fleet, Empress will operate four- and five-night trips to Nassau, The Bahamas; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Grand Cayman and Key West, Florida. Some of the stops in Cozumel will be overnight stays.
The overhaul of Empress is bringing some new features that have debuted on Royal Caribbean's latest ships such as the one-year-old Anthem of the Seas.
USA TODAY Cruise in 2015 was among a handful of U.S. media outlets to get early access to Anthem ahead of its christening in Southampton, England. For our 'first look' tour of the ship's pool decks, public areas and swankiest suites.
Source; USA Today