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Viability of Anthem cruise late November 2020


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Hi gang, I have been booked since January for Anthem of the Sea's sailing out of Cape Liberty NJ the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  This would be our first time with RCL. 

Obviously, with everything going on, its VERY questionable whether the ship will cruise.  I know all cruises through October are basically canceled, but most pressing for me, the final payment is due 8/31 and I need to decide what we are going to do, and I'm kind of just looking for some opinions from more seasoned RCL people on this. 

We as a family have mostly conceded that we aren't going on this cruise in November.  My kids would need renewed passports (which we have neglected in the face of COVID and all that, not even sure how viable is to get them renewed right now, (however I read we might have been ok without them with the stops in Port Canaveral, Nassua, and Coco Cay with birth certificates since closed loop cruise and all that).  Furthermore, my wife's employer is basically making the trip near impossible to do this year, because they would force unpaid quarantine leave from her work, which would not work for us. 

That said, with the final payment date looming just days away, and (I think) about 99% certainty this ship won't sail, given no ships out of the US have started up yet, reading reports that Royal Carribean would only run real small limited stuff when they do start up (I'm guessing NOT 8 day cruises with Bahamas stops which to my understanding aren't allowing American cruise traffic these days either…. I am presuming these are my reasonable choices (correct me if I'm wrong):

1.  I can pay the balance and gamble that RCL will continue to cancel cruises in November, then I would be offered a future cruise credit of 125% which would be attractive to us as we definitely plan on booking something else maybe later in 2021 (assuming cruises are sailing then).  Maybe we could do a little more expensive sailing on a bigger ship, or rebook anthem a year later and spend the extra on some excursions or drink packages or something

or

2.  Just take the refund of my $1000 deposit (which I understand I should be able to do this via the "cruise with confidence program) and shop for new cruises at my leisure.  Probably would be the safe thing, but yet I keep thinking, I'll go and cancel it and then a week later they will cancel the cruises through November and I'll think, man I could have made some extra money for our future cruise, by just sticking with our original plan and waiting for the cancellation. 

So, anyway, I'm just open to any thoughts or opinions on the matter.  Anyone else in the same position, etc?  Thanks everyone!

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If you have the option to take this cruise in 2021, use the Lift & Shift option before final payment to move your booking over to the same cruise for November 2021. Gets you a few benefits compared to a straight-up refund:

  • Price is locked at the rate of your current booking, as long as you take the same cabin class and category that all passengers are currently booked in; if you cancel now and book the later trip at some future date, you'll be paying that sailing's current rate
  • If you do it before the current final payment date, you can still cancel that booking later on with no penalty, as long as you do it before the new sailing's final payment date
  • No need to make the current sailing's final payment as long as you Lift & Shift before Aug 31, since you now have the new sailing's final payment date

I think that by that time in 2021, the US will have finally gotten its spit together and we may even have a vaccine. But if you're dubious about sailing resuming even then, I would advise to go ahead and take the full refund now before final payment. Once you've passed final payment date, you can't cancel for a refund without penalties unless Royal cancels the sailing itself and offers 100% refund. Any cancellation done by you and not Royal after final payment must be done for FCC if you want to get back 100%; cash refund will still be subject to the usual post-final-payment cancellation penalty schedule.

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

If you have the option to take this cruise in 2021, use the Lift & Shift option before final payment to move your booking over to the same cruise for November 2021. Gets you a few benefits compared to a straight-up refund:

  • Price is locked at the rate of your current booking, as long as you take the same cabin class and category that all passengers are currently booked in; if you cancel now and book the later trip at some future date, you'll be paying that sailing's current rate
  • If you do it before the current final payment date, you can still cancel that booking later on with no penalty, as long as you do it before the new sailing's final payment date
  • No need to make the current sailing's final payment as long as you Lift & Shift before Aug 31, since you now have the new sailing's final payment date

I think that by that time in 2021, the US will have finally gotten its spit together and we may even have a vaccine. But if you're dubious about sailing resuming even then, I would advise to go ahead and take the full refund now before final payment. Once you've passed final payment date, you can't cancel for a refund without penalties unless Royal cancels the sailing itself and offers 100% refund. Any cancellation done by you and not Royal after final payment must be done for FCC if you want to get back 100%; cash refund will still be subject to the usual post-final-payment cancellation penalty schedule.

I actually don't think lift and shift is an option for us, as our cruise is 8 nights and the majority of Anthem cruises in 2021 (including the cruises in November 2021) are actually 7 night cruises instead.  The same ports of call, just one less day at sea.  But to my understanding, the itinerary  must be identical in order to lift and shift.  They had an 8 night cruise in February 2021 we could probably shift to, but I don't think that's out enough for the COVID situation to really change much with cruising and I'd probably be in the exact same position just three months later...

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2 minutes ago, mikeyg1479 said:

 But to my understanding, the itinerary  must be identical in order to lift and shift.  

No, the itinerary nor the ship needs to be the same.  The thing they look at is the # of days and the itinerary "name".  So if you have an 8 day Western Caribbean cruise on one ship, they will L&S to any other ship with an 8 night Western Caribbean sailing that is +/- 4 weeks on either side of the original date.

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2 hours ago, mikeyg1479 said:

I know all cruises through October are basically canceled, but most pressing for me, the final payment is due 8/31 and I need to decide what we are going to do, and I'm kind of just looking for some opinions from more seasoned RCL people on this. 

 

Considering a few Carnival subs have announced now closed through the end of year.....the Holiday cruise season appear dead.  I have final payment for Christmas on the Anthem due in like 20 days now.....so we will be making the big decision of shifting shortly.

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21 minutes ago, mikeyg1479 said:

I actually don't think lift and shift is an option for us, as our cruise is 8 nights and the majority of Anthem cruises in 2021 (including the cruises in November 2021) are actually 7 night cruises instead.  The same ports of call, just one less day at sea.  But to my understanding, the itinerary  must be identical in order to lift and shift.  They had an 8 night cruise in February 2021 we could probably shift to, but I don't think that's out enough for the COVID situation to really change much with cruising and I'd probably be in the exact same position just three months later...

There's an Anthem cruise for October 30, 2021 that is an 8-night Bahamas sailing.  That may be pushing the 4-week window by a few days but they may consider it. 

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4 hours ago, mikeyg1479 said:

Just take the refund of my $1000 deposit (which I understand I should be able to do this via the "cruise with confidence program) and shop for new cruises at my leisure. 

CWC doesn't provide a refund such as money credited back to your credit card.  It does allow your payments to be converted into future cruise credit which you can use to shop for another Royal Caribbean cruise.  There is a difference between an actual refund and a credit that can be used in the future.  Just wanted you to be clear on that.

 

 

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Wasn’t for me.  I wanted to change my 7 day W Caribbean to a 7 day eastern but my MEI TA was unable to make that happen.  I wanted the cruise I already had booked but the opportunity to get an insane deal on an OS on Harmony was too good to pass up.  So after the L & S, I rebooked the original cruise!  2 for the price of 1.  Ports are different even though both are W  Caribbean so it’s all good!

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8 hours ago, mikeyg1479 said:

I actually don't think lift and shift is an option for us, as our cruise is 8 nights and the majority of Anthem cruises in 2021 (including the cruises in November 2021) are actually 7 night cruises instead.  The same ports of call, just one less day at sea.  But to my understanding, the itinerary  must be identical in order to lift and shift.  They had an 8 night cruise in February 2021 we could probably shift to, but I don't think that's out enough for the COVID situation to really change much with cruising and I'd probably be in the exact same position just three months later...

My MEI agent was able to move us from 8-night to 7-night. And we’re actually getting some savings out of it, I’m assuming due to the loss of night. 

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I had a B2b on Anthem starting Jan 26th, 2020 with an 11 night, followed by the 8 night Bahamas out of Bayonne, New Jersey.  Since I was already booked on the second and third 11 night sailings in 2022, I wanted to lift and shift the 2021 11 night to the first 11 night sailing in Jan of 2022 and then lift and shift the 8 night to follow my third 11 night sailing. Unfortunately, unlike 2021, the 2022 sailing that follows the 11 night sailings is a 9 night (RC had added a sea day to the same itinerary as 2021).  Even though there was no 8 night option for 2022 that fit into the timeframe for L&S, RC denied it, no matter what supervisor I spoke with.  I eventually wound up L&S to Odyssey out of Fort Lauderdale in March and added another 6night booking to make that a B2B -- I can't see flying down, hotel, etc. expenses for less that 14 nights.  I was not happy.

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18 hours ago, mikeyg1479 said:

I actually don't think lift and shift is an option for us, as our cruise is 8 nights and the majority of Anthem cruises in 2021 (including the cruises in November 2021) are actually 7 night cruises instead.  The same ports of call, just one less day at sea.  But to my understanding, the itinerary  must be identical in order to lift and shift.  They had an 8 night cruise in February 2021 we could probably shift to, but I don't think that's out enough for the COVID situation to really change much with cruising and I'd probably be in the exact same position just three months later...

I would give them a call and try (or your TA) if its an option you're interested in.  They let me modify Anthem 8 night to Anthem 7 night, so they did make an exception.  However, it was a holiday cruise so that may have been the reason for the exception..but maybe they will do the same for you if everything else is the same (which I'm guessing it is).

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So after reading an article on this website talking about possibilities of various cruises (including Anthem) possibly starting to sail in November, I decided to cancel now before having to pay the balance and taking the credit for my down payment, as I have every intention of cruising with them in 2021 (most likely one of the seen night November Anthem cruises a year later, I wish it was 8 nights like they were this year, but alas it wasn't meant to be), when hopefully things are a little more calm with the virus.  Just have to wait (I guess up to 30 days) for the credit "certificate" to arrive. 

 

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I actually have one more question.  Since I canceled the cruise, does this automatically cancel the packages I bought (like Deluxe Beverage and Cabana at Coco Cay) that were tied with the cruise, or do I have to manually request their cancellation on the planner website?

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24 minutes ago, mikeyg1479 said:

I actually have one more question.  Since I canceled the cruise, does this automatically cancel the packages I bought (like Deluxe Beverage and Cabana at Coco Cay) that were tied with the cruise, or do I have to manually request their cancellation on the planner website?

since its canceled you are not supposed to have to go in and manually do it.. BUT I found every time Royal canceled my cruise if I went in and manually canceled the cruise planner stuff I got my refund much quicker. So its up to you.. 

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27 minutes ago, mikeyg1479 said:

I actually have one more question.  Since I canceled the cruise, does this automatically cancel the packages I bought (like Deluxe Beverage and Cabana at Coco Cay) that were tied with the cruise, or do I have to manually request their cancellation on the planner website?

3 minutes ago, AGSLC5 said:

since its canceled you are not supposed to have to go in and manually do it.. BUT I found every time Royal canceled my cruise if I went in and manually canceled the cruise planner stuff I got my refund much quicker. So its up to you.. 

+1 for what AGSLC5 said. However, in the case of my own L&S experience with Celebrity all Cruise Planner purchases (including a Private Journey booking) were auto-canceled as soon as the L&S process was begun; I never had a chance to go in and manually cancel everything. I suppose it's possible that it can vary from person to person at Royal / Celebrity with how they enter the cancellation, given the general wonkiness of Royal's IT dept and the stuff they put out.

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

+1 for what AGSLC5 said. However, in the case of my own L&S experience with Celebrity all Cruise Planner purchases (including a Private Journey booking) were auto-canceled as soon as the L&S process was begun; I never had a chance to go in and manually cancel everything. I suppose it's possible that it can vary from person to person at Royal / Celebrity with how they enter the cancellation, given the general wonkiness of Royal's IT dept and the stuff they put out.

True mine wasn't canceled with lift and shift.. So maybe that's why?? mine was just that the cruise line canceled it due to them canceling more dates because of Covid

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23 hours ago, mikeyg1479 said:

I actually don't think lift and shift is an option for us, as our cruise is 8 nights and the majority of Anthem cruises in 2021 (including the cruises in November 2021) are actually 7 night cruises instead.  The same ports of call, just one less day at sea.  But to my understanding, the itinerary  must be identical in order to lift and shift.  They had an 8 night cruise in February 2021 we could probably shift to, but I don't think that's out enough for the COVID situation to really change much with cruising and I'd probably be in the exact same position just three months later...

We're on the 8-night Anthem cruise with that itinerary that departs NY on 10/30/21 next year if that helps any.

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I saw the 8 night for 10/30/21, alas that won't work, interferes with my kids sports schedule.  So 11/28/21 it will likely be to get between the Fall and Winter sports schedules.  Shame its a 7 day next year instead of an 8 day, but will still be fun. 

 

Was also looking at some Oasis dates going out of Cape Liberty in June, tempting, however a quite a bit more pricey.  Is there anyone with impressions of Oasis vs. Anthem?  I know Oasis is a much bigger ship, but size isn't always everything in terms of having an enjoyable cruise experience..

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