what I am going to say is just an opinion...no more no less
Well let me give you an idea of what happen:
the condition of the waether change so bad and so fast, that some of the airlines adjust their arriving time even a few canceled the trip to Puerto Rico so many of the cruiser probably never arrive either on the time expected or did not arrive at all.
THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL THE DAY BEFORE YOUR TRIP!!!
Also our port autorities told them "If you don't leave by 6 pm you will have to stay on port" by that time port autorities already have issue a warning for small ship to stay on port, the cruise-liners were next on the list...so they leave
as You can see hurricanes are not a joke and here in the island we take them with great caution just in case they get a little "dangerous" for our taste. OK cat 1 like Irene in our Island is nothing for Puertorricans but we usually get this monsters every now or then so we are familiar of how we prepare for them that is not the case for tourist or ships under heavy weather. I think that leaving port at 6 pm was a wise decision by RCCL in order to protect the cruisers.
I don't justify the RCCL actions with the passenger left behind
they were expected to leave at 8:30 pm and this situation is no act of God since they knew, like us, that this storm was gona hit the island on sunday at least 5 days before sunday, so they could have inform the cruiser by mail of the situation in order to them to make adjustments.
One thing is canceling a port of call because a storm or other situation that are not expected to happen but leaving early on departure well in my opinion is not considered an act of God since they knew this was gone happen days before the embarking of the ship.
We live on a Planet Earth That have doppler radars and weather channel you know...
In a legal case:
Our local justice system will see it the same, since we legally have the DACO agency in the island, this agency looks for situations like this on daily bases and has the needed experience to work in situations like this or worse against big companies,
if just one of the cruisers acused them of leaving early, file a claim and, like I think it will happen, wins the DACO case. well RCCL will have to pay more in penalties than just giving them a credit for a future cruise.
The way I see it there is no reason for the cruiser to have the fly-trip money refound back if they don't buy it FROM RCCL system in the first place, but I think they should at least, give them back the cruise money as a future cruise credit or something even that is going to be less that the money they will have to pay in panalties.
Also the Image of RCCL is over the floor right now because of this, is this a good comapany image desicion??
RCCL did you really need to do this???
The economy is so Bad that you need to take this actions and the $$$ from cruiser??
Do you really believe this is going to add more cruisers to your cruiseline in the future because of this actions??
I think the anwswer is a BIG NO!!!
So why doing this???
As a cruiser I can tell you this:
Well at the moment I am working on my next cruise and I was considering RCCL as an option, after all they are a great family cruise option but after this...well I will stay with the company that looks for me, I will stay with CARNIVAL IN THE FUTURE!!! and will not travel with RCCL in a near future...but that is just me and maybe just a few more cruisers
nothing to worry about.
As for Carnival I can Only say:
THANKS FOR LOOKING OUT FOR THE CRUISERS!!!
THAT'S WHAT MAKE A COMPANY LIKE YOURS A GREAT FUN SHIP CRUISE LINE!!!
see you in the future...since I'll be cruising in a fun ship next time...