The New Ritz-Carlton Yacht Is Delayed

Filed Under: Ritz-Carlton

Update: The launch of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has now been delayed until April 2021.

There’s bad news for anyone (like me) who had booked a Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection cruise for early next year — they were supposed to have their inaugural journey next February, but have just announced a delay of over four months.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Delay

It has been announced that all Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection journeys departing February 5 through June 13, 2020, have been canceled.

The company notes that this is due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

What Happens If You Were Booked On A Ritz-Carlton Cruise?

For those who were booked on one of the canceled journeys, Ritz-Carlton is first offering:

  • A full refund, credited back to the original form of payment within two weeks
  • A full refund of any air or hotel change fees incurred; for arrangements booked independently, valid documentation will be required

On top of that, they’re offering a discount of 20-30% on future cruises for those who reschedule and book a 2020 or 2021 voyage. The percentage discount you get is based on when you reschedule by:

  • Save 30% on your voyage if you rebook by October 31, 2019
  • Save 25% on your voyage if you rebook by March 31, 2020
  • Save 20% on your voyage if you rebook by September 30, 2020

You can find all the available voyages here.

Should They Have Known About This Delay?

I was booked on the second Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection journey, so I’m disappointed by this news… but I was also expecting it. In mid-August there were media reports that the company had been officially informed that the ship wouldn’t be ready in time.

Construction is allegedly delayed by months, and the project is also costing 50 million EUR more than expected (290 million EUR rather than 240 million EUR). So it makes you wonder if those reports weren’t accurate, or why they have continued selling the cruises in the past several weeks when they knew the first ship wouldn’t be ready in time.

What Are Ritz-Carlton Cruises?

For those of you not familiar with Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, these are going to be some pretty exclusive cruise ships with just 150 rooms, so they’ll accommodate about 300 guests.

The plan is for there to be two ships within the next couple of years, and they’ll offer sailings around the world, including to the Caribbean, Europe, and more.

Note that this cruise line has very little to do with Marriott. Rather this seems to largely just be a licensing agreement, as the cruise line isn’t in any way owned by Marriott.

Bottom Line

It’s disappointing to see that Ritz-Carlton cruises will be delayed by several months. For those who were booked on one of these cruises that’s impacted, you can expect to be reimbursed for expenses you incurred as a result of the cancelation, plus get 20-30% off a future cruise.

Was anyone else impacted by this delay from Ritz-Carlton cruises? How do you feel about the company’s handling of this situation?

  1. Sorry Ben. But it’s prob a good thing. Who wants to be around a bunch of old people anyways?

    Get a refund, book an Atlantis or rsvp cruise and still put a few k back in your pocket.

    Crap maybe review one of those cruises. Would be hilarious.

  2. WHAT!?! Noooo! The inaugural journey of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht has been delayed 4 months? Aaagh!

    My life is over, it’s ruined! Think of the children! The world is coming to an end, save yourselves!

    Seriously, though, until/unless this cruise becomes bookable with Marriott points, might as well cover Virgin Galactic space flights, which will be (partially?) bookable with points.

  3. We were booked on cruises number 2 and 3 (14 days Barbados to Barbados) – we are very disappointed as we were looking forward to early sailings on this new ship. And in the Caribbean where it seems especially suited. We have sailed a lot – from Antarctica to the Arctic circle and avoid the Caribbean but thought on this more yacht like ship with so much outdoor space it would be cool. Now not sure if we want to wait a year and go in Feb 2021 or just forget the RC for now..l

  4. @Ben As I’ve posted before,it’s hard for me to understand,of all the line options, why you chose Ritz Carlton. (Since you usually provide your readers with your thinking process in choosing flights and one airline over another, perhaps you could enlighten us as the only reason I can imagine is that it’s tied in some way with Virtuoso). The only aspect I with which I would agree is that you would prefer smaller, upscale ships. However, why not choose an itinerary that’s best accessed by water, like Antarctica or the Galapagos, both the kind of nature destinations you prefer as well as being new to you)? I’d strongly recommend you look into Antarctic cruises with PONANT, deluxe small vessels with great experience and an informal dress code).

  5. @Ben An addendum to my above post, one more aspect of the Ritz Carlton cruise ship operation that’s important to understand is their agreement with V. Ships to provide management services. In addition to recruiting staff, inpractice that normally means that both deck and engine staff will be employees of and managed by V. Ships Leisure, a division of V.Ships, a large ship management company. When cruise lines subcontract operations to a third party it has a direct effect on the product and guest services.

  6. This has been known since spring. Unforeseen circumstances = shipyard is delayed, quite common when small shipyard is attempting to build their first luxury ship. Local media reported this already in june. Even june is somewhat optimistic.

  7. @luke vader

    Your contribution to this discussion is profoundly meaningful, insightful, focused and comprehensive. I am simply unable to expand on it.

  8. That is a shame. We booked the transatlantic together with three other couples. What’s the 30% discount when the same cruise costs 2000 dollars more the following year?

  9. Very disturbing that a “high-end” cruise line that supposedly puts guest service as their mission statement would cancel inside 4 months of a scheduled voyage despite apparently knowing much sooner that these trips would never occur. More disturbing is the fact that they make it seem that they are doing you a favor covering cancellation fees when contractually they are bound to do so. What about the planning (time off work, child care etc) that is required to plan for these trips. Offering 30% off a future cruise that costs 40% more is BS. I have a feeling that this Cruise line is nothing more than a licensing cash-grab by the new Marriott management. I’m done with these clowns.

  10. Does anyone know the legal situation with regard to damages for lost pleasure and frustrated travel?

  11. 30% discount offered for the rebooked cruises does not really take into account a 30% price hike on the same cruise scheduled for 2021. so you really save only 7% if rebooked by oct31.

  12. We were scheduled for an end of February cruise and are pursuing the refund. They are only fully refunding airfare that was booked through the Ritz Carlton Yacht service. If you booked it independently, they are only refunding any change fees incurred. I am fighting this because there is no valid reason for it.

    They just keep trying to push to book a different cruise which I will not until I see an actual ship

  13. I have been on two different luxury ships when they were about 4 months old and it was awesome . I know plenty of people that have done shakedown cruises or within a couple weeks of first sailings and they find a lot of hiccups because all the kinks have not been worked out . I would never do a first or second cruise .

  14. We booked a March, 2020 cruise to Castries, USVI to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and was also told only change fees for hotel and flight would be refunded. We are extremely disappointed and believe that we should be refunded our total monies spent. Was told refund would take 14 days…still waiting on flight and hotel refund. Should have booked Virgin Voyages instead!

  15. I was booked on a May cruise. I informed them I wanted a refund. Three weeks later and after numerous phone calls and emails that go unanswered, I have still not received my refund. If this is how they define luxury service, count me out. I

  16. Surely as a matter of course they should have notified us that would be refunding our credit cards/banks immediately as they still hold these records,then any flights and hotel claims settled after.The people dealing with this (and I have received emails from four different people!)are totally insensitive to customer relations

  17. @Paul This is also a black eye for Virtuoso which got ahead of their skis in reaching (and publicising) a preferred provider agreement with Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection without, apparently, doing the proper vetting (or, worse, doing the vetting and throwing their member travel advisors under the bus).

  18. This is a disaster in the making.

    The shipyard has never built a yacht or cruise ship. It knows nothing about luxury fit-out. It was given the contract because Marriott dithered until the big yards had full order books.

    The shipyard can’t be trusted. Workers have been sleeping on the job on a grand scale. Management must have known.

    The owner should know everything that happens on the job site. The owner’s CEO failed to detect this massive fraud in time. He is in over his head.

    The ship operating “partner” could care less. At a minimum, it should provide the ship’s officers, guarantee their capability, and replace them as needed. But the captain is being hired through a current job advertisement.

    The 3-month training and shake-down period is being sacrificed to meet the delayed timetable. The first paying customers will find a shambles.

    What a pity. They are ruining a good concept.

  19. I have never been on a cruise before and this was to be a trip of a lifetime for us, celebrating my husband’s 50th on board of the yacht. It leaves an awful impression for a disorganised, completely non-apologetic approach and unacceptable delays in getting a refund. Our plans are ruined and we have not received our money back. I lost count how many “personal yacht vacation consultants” we have dealt with to date regarding our refund over the last two months only receiving lip service but no actual refund. Is this company for real?

  20. I would suggest emailing the CEO, Douglas Prothero. That is what it took for us to ultimately get all of our refunds. His email is the same convention as everyone else there:

    [email protected]

    We received a call within 24 hours from someone who could get things done after doing that. We were polite but firm in what we wanted and expressing our disappointment.

  21. We booked the cruise in june. We had to ask actively what the status is. No proactive information, no excuses, no timeline. Very disappoiting.

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