The guests board Celebrity Eclipse in Sydney, Australia, had a slight delay in boarding the ship on Thursday, November 3, 2022. Bad weather in the region delayed the ship’s return to port, which had a ripple effect on passengers of the next cruise.
Although the boarding window has been compressed, no further changes to the ship’s upcoming itinerary are expected.
Celebrity Eclipse Delayed boarding
Guests booked on Celebrity Eclipse for the 11-night Great Barrier Reef cruise from November 3 were notified by email on Tuesday of a delay in their embarkation the following day.
“Celebrity Eclipse experienced adverse weather conditions during previous sailing which resulted in the vessel arriving in Sydney later than expected,” the email read. “Due to the late arrival of the ship, we ask all passengers whose embarkation windows are selected between 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to arrive at the pier 2 hours later.”
“We look forward to getting your holiday started as soon as possible and we look forward to Journey WonderFULL with you across Australia!”
The nature of the bad weather was not described but could be wind related as regional weather conditions have also impacted other vessels sailing Down Under in recent days such as Ovation of the seas missing a port of call due to high winds November 3.
Large waves have been reported in the Tasman Sea at times when Celebrity Eclipse was returning to Sydney from her cruise around New Zealand, and guests aboard the ship reported somewhat choppy sailing.
All guests for Celebrity Eclipse had to be on board before 5 p.m. This shortens the overall boarding window for all guests, which could have created more crowds or longer queues when boarding.
Further delays and updates later in the day were provided to guests as needed.
The Solstice class Celebrity Eclipse has a capacity of 2,850 passengers when fully booked, plus 1,270 crew members who need to be aware of embarkation times if joining or disembarking the ship for any reason on embarkation day.
Although the ship may have been slightly delayed during boarding, the rest of the cruise itinerary will probably not require adjustments due to the late boarding time.
The impacted cruise is an 11-night Great Barrier Reef round trip from Sydney, with stops at Willis Island, Port Douglas, Yorkeys Knob, Airlie Beach and Brisbane, before returning to Sydney on Monday November 14.
The first two days of sailing, as well as the last two days, are all sea days. Even if the ship experiences early delays, it is easy to adjust the cruising speed during these days to compensate so that the times spent at the port are not affected.
The ship’s return to Sydney will also not be affected, unless the ship encounters other severe weather conditions during the voyage.
Weather affecting boarding times
It is not common for the weather to have a significant impact on cruise disembarkations and related embarkations on the same day, but it does happen.
Rain and thunderstorms will not affect passengers boarding or disembarking from a cruise ship, but any weather that might delay a ship will definitely impact disembarkation and subsequent embarkation times. Strong winds, swell in the port area and fog are the most common weather conditions that can affect docking procedures and the timing of disembarkation or embarkation.
Since these weather impacts can be difficult to predict, it is important that cruise passengers always stay in close communication with their cruise line for updates as their embarkation date approaches.
Likewise, it is best for passengers who must travel extensively to or from a homeport to plan for the possibility of delays when booking flights or hotel rooms before or after their cruise, just in case their trip could be affected.