Royal Caribbean has informed guests booked on a sailing onboard the world’s largest cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas, that their cruise has been oversold. Guests have been given the option to remain on the sailing or reschedule or cancel their cruise.
Wonder of the Seas Overbooked, Again
Wonder of the Seas has been overbooked for the third time this year, with Royal Caribbean International again saying the overbooking was due to an unexpected inventory error, the same reason the cruise line gave in December 2022 and March 2023.
The affected cruise is a 7-night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day sailing, scheduled from April 30 to May 7, 2023, from Port Canaveral, Florida, with stops in Coco Cay, Bahamas; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
Royal Caribbean sent a letter to guests booked onboard the affected April 30 sailing, informing them of the error, and stating the following:
“We’re sorry to inform you that due to an unexpected inventory error, your scheduled Wonder of the Seas April 30th, 2023 sailing is currently oversold. We’re aware that this may cause disruption to your booking, so if your travel plans are flexible, you may be able to take advantage of our special offer.”
The 236,857 gross tons Wonder of the Seas can accommodate 5,734 guests based on double occupancy. When all berths are filled to maximum capacity, the ship can host as many as 7,084 guests.
Options Offered to Guests
Guests have been offered three options: reschedule to a different sailing of the Wonder of the Seas and receive a full refund; cancel, and receive a full refund and future cruise credit; or remain booked on the April 30 sailing if they are unable or not willing to reschedule.
For those willing to reschedule, Royal Caribbean has provided two alternative sailings onboard the ship: July 9, 2023, or an August 20, 2023, 7-Night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day sailing. Both sailings offer the same itinerary, with calls to Perfect Day at Coco Cay, Bahamas; St Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
Alternatively, guests who choose to cancel will receive a 100% refund and a 100% Future Cruise Credit to book an alternate Royal Caribbean sailing. The Future Cruise Credit must be used for a new booking by April 30th, 2024.
Guests who used a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) to pay for their reservation will have any new funds paid above the certificate amount refunded, and the original FCC will be reinstated and remain valid for a year from issuance.
Past Overbooking Incidents with Wonder of the Seas
Overbooking issues have occurred previously with the Wonder of the Seas. Earlier this year, the company apologized to guests who had booked a cruise sailing on March 12, 2023, for overselling the cruise during the busy and popular Spring Break period.
Another overbooking incident took place in December 2022. Guests booked on the December 11, 2022, sailing of the Wonder of the Seas were informed that their cabins were not available.
On all three occasions, Royal Caribbean told guests just days before sailing and said the overbooking was due to unexpected inventory errors, language that Royal Caribbean uses more often when overbooking.
What an “unexpected inventory error” is, is not clear, but it could be due to several factors, such as technical difficulties with the cruise line’s booking engine or website, miscommunication for group bookings, or other causes.
This is similar to another recent Royal Caribbean International oversold situation for an August cruise aboard the Vision-class Rhapsody of the Seas.