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Royal Caribbean suspends final payments for Australian cruises

28 Jun 2021
Matt Hochberg

While cruise ships are slowly returning to service in North America and Europe, when people will be able to cruise down under remains a mystery.

Australia still has a cruise ship travel ban that runs through September 2021, leaving many cruises scheduled for later this year in a state of flux.

Australia's Health Minister Greg Hunt announced an extension of the legislation governing Australia's coronavirus travel ban until at least September 17.

Royal Caribbean sent an email to guests with cruises booked sailing from Australia that updates will hopefully be available soon, but in the meantime, final payment dates will be suspended until further notice for Australia cruises.

"The final payment due date will be suspended until further notice for those sail dates that reach Final Payment while we iron out the details of our next steps."

"We’re currently working through this latest government update, and it is taking a bit of time to finalize, but we are getting closer to sharing details with you very soon."

The final payment date is the when full payment for the cruise is required.  Ordinarilly, if final payment was not made, the reservation would be cancelled.

Royal Caribbean did something similar with Alaska cruises earlier this year, when they kept pushing back the final payment date until Alaska cruises got the go-ahead to sail this year.

Since March 27, 2020, no foreign-flagged cruise ships may enter Australian waters.  The Australian Health Principal Protection Committee reviews the ban regularly.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said the ongoing red light on cruises is putting 18,000 jobs at risk, and estimated it has cost the nation $6 billion since last March.

CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said the cruise ship ban has had a major impact on Australia's economy, "After months of discussions with government, the suspension has been extended again without any clear route from government towards a careful and responsible resumption of cruising."

"The cruise industry has done an enormous amount of work to implement extensive new health protocols globally, but Australia is now the only major cruise destination in the world where there is no progress towards their adoption."

"The cruise industry is not asking for special treatment or to simply reopen the doors to cruising."

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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