Major cruise operator shut down reservations on busiest weekend of the year

By Linsey McNeill
10/01/2023
Home » Major cruise operator shut down reservations on busiest weekend of the year

Travel agents in the UK were left bewildered on Sunday when a cruise operator shut down its reservations systems for planned maintenance.

Agents criticised Royal Caribbean’s timing, pointing out that it was the busiest weekend of the year to date.

The outage meant agents were unable to make bookings for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara for at least part of the day.

Instead, they were greeted with a message saying ‘selected cruise not available’.

RCCL had posted a message on Facebook warning agents that some of its external booking tools, including its fly/drive booking site AirWaves, would be unavailable between 5am and 3pm on Sunday. It apologised for the inconvenience, but urged agents to keep checking the site throughout the day, saying the reservations site was unlikely to be down for the entire period.

In fact, one agent said they were still unable to make a reservation on RCCL’s booking site cruisingpower.com after 3pm.

In a statement, issued to Travel Gossip, RCCL said: “Royal Caribbean’s reservation systems were unavailable due to planned downtime. The system was originally scheduled to be unavailable from 5am to 3pm on Sunday 8th January however it was back online at 11:50am.”

One agent described RCCL’s decision to shut down the system on Sunday ‘unbelievable’, and another said: “Whoever decided to do this in peaks on the last day of the sale needs to explain themselves.”

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