When you book a cruise, nothing is guaranteed except your room and the various included offerings on the ship.
You can be assured that Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) – Get Free Report will serve three meals a day in their main dining rooms and that shows will be performed in the main theater.
Aside from the basics, however, things can change. Cruise ships are affected by weather, and that means that sometimes ports change at the very last minute.
It’s not all that uncommon for Royal Caribbean (RCL) – Get Free Report to cancel stops at its Perfect Day at CocoCay private island because rough seas make it impossible to dock at the island. That can happen at any stop and weather can cause other cancellations as well.
Certain shows — like the Aquatheater performances on Oasis-class Royal Caribbean ships — can’t be performed in rough seas. During rough seas, Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) – Get Free Report has been known to replace some of its higher-end production shows with performances built around more sedate singing.
On a cruise, everything remains a question until it happens, and cancellations are always possible. Many Royal Caribbean customers are learning this the hard way as one of the cruise line’s most popular attractions will be closed for several months.
The Up, Up, and Away balloon ride offers a chance to fly above CocoCay.
Image source: Daniel Kline/TheStreet
Royal Caribbean closes its balloon ride
With Perfect Day at CocoCay Royal Caribbean has reimagined the cruise-line private-island experience. CocoCay offers a number of beaches, a massive pool, and added-fee services including a beach club, a water park, zip lines, and a tethered balloon ride.
Royal Caribbean President Michael Bayley talked about the popularity of the private island during the chain’s second-quarter-earnings call.
“I mean, one of the reasons we call Perfect Day Perfect Day is it really is perfect. And it is driving a lot of demand and people are booking the ships and the itineraries that sell to Perfect Day,” he said.
Bayley also noted that people who have visited the island want to go back.
“It really is delivering an exceptional customer experience, and people value that immensely. And we see the repeat rates going back to Perfect Day accelerating,” he added.
Now, the cruise line has been notifying customers that it’s canceling their rides on the Up, Up & Away balloon ride.
Bad news for Royal Caribbean customers
People who have booked the Up, Up & Away balloon ride over the next several months have been receiving emails from Royal Caribbean saying that their rides have been canceled. No exact timeline has been shared for the shutdown, which the cruise line said in the email was for routine maintenance on the ride, CruiseHive reported.
This will disappoint thousands of the cruise line’s customers who prebooked trips on the balloon ride.
Up, Up & Away is a tethered balloon that rises up over Perfect Day at CocoCay. It’s not uncommon for the cruise line to shut down the balloon on windy days.
Royal Caribbean has stopped selling new rides on the balloon, and customers who prebooked rides on Up, Up & Away had the cost of the trip refunded to the methods of payment they used to book their trips.
This short-term closure follows Royal Caribbean’s permanent closing of the SkyPad virtual-reality trampoline experience on all the ships that offered it. Housed in a bright yellow dome on the pool deck of select ships, SkyPad was a free attraction that had very limited capacity.
The cruise line provided only limited details as to why it closed down SkyPad.
“On March 31, 2023, the Sky Pad across our fleet will be transforming! Starting in April, the Sky Pad will retire the Virtual Reality bungee experience and become a new versatile venue for exciting onboard activities,” he said,
The cruise line has not yet replaced the attraction with something new.