Empress of the Seas Cancels San Juan due to safety concerns

Jul 17, 2019

The Royal Caribbean cruise ship Empress of the Seas, decided to cancel scheduled arrival to San Juan due to safety concerns over protests which started yesterday, calling for Puerto Rico Governor Ricard Orossello to step down. According to the latest reports the vessel is being re-routed to Tortola, British Virgin Islands, and all guests will receive refunds for prepaid shore excursions scheduled for San Juan.

The decision to reroute the ship was made shortly before arrival in San Juan, while Empress of the Seas was 3 miles from El Morro. The port pilot had already boarded the ship when the captain indicated that the visit was canceled. Empress of the  Seas, was the only cruise scheduled to dock for the day in Old San Juan. Puerto Rico Port Authorities announced on Tuesday afternoon that the cruise company, based in Miami, had canceled a stop in San Juan.

In light of current unrest in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we have canceled today’s call to San Juan.” said Owen Torres, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean. “Empress of the Seas has been re-routed to Tortola, and our guests will receive refunds for prepaid shore excursions. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will make adjustments as necessary to ensure the safety and security of our guests and crew."

The demonstrations in San Juan are part of a multi-day protest calling for the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló after sexist private chat messages were leaked. They have intensified in the last days since hundreds of messages exchanged on WhatsApp with at least 11 assistants and members of his cabinet have also provoked protests in Florida, New York, and Washington DC.

Another Royal Caribbean cruise ship Harmony of the Seas is scheduled to stop in San Juan on Wednesday. A spokesman for Carnival Corporation said no changes are planned yet for the itineraries of their cruise ships calling to San Juan