Two Royal Caribbean ships have each had to sail one lifeboat lighter after malfunctions that caused the boats to drop into the water.
On November 25, Legend of the Seas lost a lifeboat, while anchored near Cabo San Lucas, when one of the boat's pulleys malfunctioned. Line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez tells Cruise Critic that the decision to continue sailing without the boat was approved by government officials in the Bahamas, where the ship is registered.
When Legend returned to Cabo San Lucas four days later on its subsequent sailing, the boat was recovered and reattached to the ship.
On December 9, Allure of the Seas lost a lifeboat near Nassau when a wire snapped. Again, the cruise ship sailed on without the boat.
"We are just leaving Nassau 2+ hours late because of an issue with the lift cable of lifeboat number 1," says Cruise Critic member Lukkie, who's currently onboard the Allure sailing. "At the biweekly test it appeared to [have] snapped. We are -- after talking to HQ, the shipyard and Bahamas authorities -- leaving lifeboat 1 in Nassau and will be picking it up again on the way back after they repair the cable."
Martinez says both ships were able to sail without the missing lifeboats because "we had enough safety crafts for everyone onboard the ship. ...Our ships carry extra lifesaving vessels at all times."
She goes on to note that, although this happened twice in a two-week span, it's not a common occurance: "While something similar just happened on Legend, in the almost six years I've been here, I haven't heard of this happening many times."
In both instances, the systems that raise and lower the lifeboats failed; it's unclear at this time what is being done to check and monitor the mechanisms on other lifeboats throughout the fleet.