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Why you shouldn't cancel your upcoming Royal Caribbean cruise

20 Aug 2020
Matt Hochberg

If you still have a Royal Caribbean cruise booked for the end of 2020 or sometime in 2021, your best bet is to not cancel the cruise on your own.

There is plenty of concern among cruisers about if their upcoming cruise will actually sail, as well as if they even want to go on a cruise during the current global health crisis. While preemptively cancelling a cruise may seem like a good decision now, you might still want to hang on, even if you know you do not want to cruise.

This article is about why you should wait for at least Royal Caribbean to cancel the cruise before you pull the trigger on cancelling it.

You might regret it later

There are two reasons why you might regret cancelling a cruise down the line.

Financially, you are better off waiting for Royal Caribbean to cancel your cruise than for you to cancel your cruise.

From the beginning of the cruise shutdown, Royal Caribbean has offered far more favorable terms to guests who have their sailing cancelled by the cruise line, than if they opt to cancel.

The classic example is anyone who cancelled before the cruise line and had to settle for just a future cruise credit, instead of the option to get a full refund. 

Moreover, if Royal Caribbean cancels on you, you can qualify for 125% future cruise credit, which is a bonus not otherwise available.

The other reason why you might regret cancelling a cruise later is if you cancel and many months down the line you want to rebook.

Things are changing every day in terms of the cruise line's plans, as well as approaches and treatments for COVID. While things might look not-so-great today, perhaps in Spring 2021 the situation will be very different.

While you might be able to change your mind later and rebook the same sailing, there is a good chance someone else will have booked the cabin you had booked, which means finding a new room available.

You have non-refundable cruise fare

A common reason for cancelling a cruise is to get a cash refund, but if you booked non-refundable cruise fare you can qualify for a cash refund minus the change fee penalty.

If you take advantage of the Cruise with Confidence program and cancel your cruise in exchange for a future cruise credit, you will not be able to get a cash refund at all.

However, if Royal Caribbean cancels your sailing later on, you can choose to get a 100% cash refund, even if you have a non-refundable cruise fare.

You can cancel up to 48 hours before your cruise begins

There is little risk in waiting to cancel. Even if Royal Caribbean were to resume cruises and you decide you prefer not to sail, the Cruise with Confidence program.

This means you can wait and see what happens, and decide at anytime until 2 days before your cruise begins to actually cancel for a 100% future cruise credit.

Cruise With Confidence 48 Hour Notification Window
MondayMidnight Friday in the time zone your ship leaves from
TuesdayMidnight Saturday in the time zone your ship leaves from
WednesdayMidnight Sunday in the time zone your ship leaves from
ThursdayMidnight Monday in the time zone your ship leaves from
FridayMidnight Tuesday in the time zone your ship leaves from
SaturdayMidnight Wednesday in the time zone your ship leaves from
SundayMidnight Thursday in the time zone your ship leaves from

This kind of flexibility means you do not have to make a decision now, and take advantage of the best information available closer to your sail date.

What if Royal Caribbean goes bankrupt?

I have heard from some cruise fans they are worried Royal Caribbean will not be able to survive the extended cruise shutdown, but there is quite a bit of time before a bankruptcy scenario could occur.

In Royal Caribbean's second quarter earnings report, as of June 30, 2020, the Company had liquidity of approximately $4.1 billion all in the form of cash and cash equivalents. A few weeks later, Royal Caribbean announced it has secured a new $700 million term loan facility.

Most Wall Street analysts believe Royal Caribbean Group has enough cash on hand in order to survive until at least the end of 2021 with no income.

All of that points to the likelihood of a bankruptcy forfeiting your balance with the cruise line to not be a consideration anytime soon.