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Top 8 things you should know about Royal Caribbean's 125% onboard credit offer

In:
Category: 
07Oct2020

When Royal Caribbean cancels cruises during its voluntary suspension, it usually offers guests the option of taking anything they pre-purchased and turn that into an onboard credit for a future sailing.

Not only does this simplify the process of getting a refund and then re-purchasing items for a different sailing, Royal Caribbean sweetens the deal with an extra 25% credit.

If you are thinking of taking advantage of Royal Caribbean's 125% onboard credit offer, here are the most important things to be aware of before you take it.

You can only qualify for the onboard credit offer if you take the future cruise credit

At this time, the elevated onboard credit offer is only available to those guests who opt for the Future Cruise Credit.

If you elect to use Lift & Shift or ask for a full refund, you will not qualify for the 125% onboard credit.

The bonus is only for money you spent

The 125% onboard credit offer only applies to money you spent out of your own pocket, and not any onboard credit that was used for the now cancelled cruise.

If you had onboard credit and used that to pay for Pre-Cruise purchases, you would only receive the offer only for the amount paid, not for the portion paid via an onboard credit.

The onboard credit is non-refundable

Once the onboard credit is applied to a new booking, it has no cash value and is nonrefundable.

Once onboard, any amount unused during the voyage will not be refunded at the end of the voyage.

You can use the onboard credit before or during your cruise

Once you get the onboard credit, it can be used prior to your cruise to purchase items, and/or you can wait to spend it during the cruise.

The onboard credit can be used for both pre-cruise purchases and onboard purchase, so there is no limitation on when you have to use it.

You have to decide to use it by a certain date.

You only have a limited time to decide if you want to opt-in for the 125% onboard credit offer. 

Once you reach the deadline, no adjustments can be made, and an automatic refund of the pre-cruise purchases will be issued.

For the November cruises that were just cancelled, guests have until October 16, 2020 to opt-in.

How the bonus is calculated

The bonus 25% onboard credit sounds great, but you should be aware of how Royal Caribbean determines the exact amount for you.

The new Onboard Credit is based on the amount paid, excluding any previously applied Onboard Credits, and will be based on a per person value.

You have until April 2022 to use the onboard credit

Once you opt-in for the 125% onboard credit offer, you have until April 2022 to apply it to a particular sailing.

You do not have to use it on your next booked cruise. Rather, it is like a Future Cruise Credit, where you can apply it as you see fit.

Once issued, the credit will be valid for use onboard Royal Caribbean sailings through April 2022.

The onboard credit is not tied to your future cruise credit

The good news is you do not have to apply the 125% onboard credit to the same sailing your future cruise credit is redeemed towards.

You can use their Future Cruise Credit on one sailing and their Onboard Credit on another.

Royal Caribbean cancels Quantum of the Seas cruises through March 2021

In:
07Oct2020

In addition to canceling all of its November 2020 cruises, Royal Caribbean has also cancelled Quantum of the Seas sailings through the end of March 2021.

Sailings aboard Quantum of the Seas between December 2nd, 2020 – March 22nd, 2021 have been added to the list of cancelled cruises.

Quantum of the Seas had been scheduled to sail from Singapore between 2020 and March 2021.

Royal Caribbean's website has also removed all Quantum of the Seas cruises for booking until April 2021.

In a statement on Royal Caribbean's website, the cruise line explained the need to "assess" changes for Quantum.

"In preparation for our return to service, we’ve been making changes to our existing itineraries to ensure we meet the evolving needs of our guests and are aligned with any existing travel restrictions. Unfortunately, the following Quantum of the Seas sailings have now been cancelled as part of this change, while we assess our next move for this ship."

Similar to the other cancelled cruises, guests who had cruises booked on Quantum qualify for compensation options, although Lift and Shift is not available for Quantum.

  • 125% Future Cruise Credit to book a new cruise by December 31, 2021 for sailings on or before April 30th, 2022.
  • 100% Refund. You have until December 31, 2020 to request a refund and deactivate your future cruise certificate.

Royal Caribbean has big plans for Quantum of the Seas, setting the stage for her return to North America in summer 2021 to sail from the Pacific Northwest for the first time when she calls Seattle home in May 2021.

Quantum will join Ovation of the Seas next year and offer 7-night cruises to Alaska, leaving on Mondays.

Quantum of the Seas sailed for a brief period out of Bayonne, New Jersey when she debuted in 2014, but since 2015 has been sailing in Asia.

Royal Caribbean cancels all November 2020 cruises

In:
Category: 
06Oct2020

Royal Caribbean announced on Tuesday it has extended its voluntary cruise suspension by canceling all of its November 2020 cruises.

A statement on its website states all of its sailings are cancelled through November 30, 2020 and the new goal to restart cruises is December 1, 2020.

"After further consulting with our partners at Cruise Lines International Association and in conjunction with the CDC, we have decided to extend the suspension of sailings for our global fleet for all sailings through November 30th, 2020."

"Our goal is to resume operations on December 1st, 2020."

Cruise operations had been suspended through the end of October, but will now be extended an additional month.

In an email to travel agents, Royal Caribbean expanded a bit more on the impetus to extend the cancellations, "Our most recent plan was to resume operation on October 31st, 2020. However, to ensure we have ample time to focus on our healthy return to service initiatives, our global suspension has been extended through November 30th, 2020, with a plan to resume operation on December 1st, 2020."

Compensation

Guests affected by the cancelled cruises between November 1 - 30, 2020 have three options for compensation.

Lift & Shift: Select next year’s sailing with the same itinerary type, sailing length, stateroom category, and within the same 4-week window of the original cruise date, and you can take your existing reservation and move it to next year. Option expires on October 16th, 2020

125% Future Cruise Credit: To account for the inconvenience this has caused, guests are eligible for a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) that is based on the total cruise fare paid at the guest-level and will be automatically issued on-or-before November 4th, 2020 — if neither of the other options is selected.

Taxes and fees, as well as any pre-purchased amenities or onboard packages will be automatically refunded to the original form of payment within 45 days from the cancellation date. 

If you previously opted to take advantage of our Cruise with Confidence policy, the 100% FCC will stand, and this new option is ineligible.

Additionally, if you redeemed your Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credit on a sailing that is now cancelled, their original FCC will be reinstated, plus 125% of any amount paid by the guest on the cancelled reservation.

FCCs for sailings in November will automatically be sent via email by November 4th, 2020.

Refund: If you prefer a cash refund, you can do so by requesting this option on-or-before December 31, 2020.

You can expect their refund to the original form of payment within 45 days from the cancellation date. 

If you redeemed a Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credit on an impacted sailing and would now prefer a refund instead, Royal Caribbean will process this request in the amount of any new funds paid above the original certificate and, in turn, will reinstate the Cruise with Confidence FCC for future use.

Cruise Planner Purchases: If you had purchased any cruise add-ons, such as shore excursions, drink packages, wifi and more, you could opt to convert your Cruise Planner purchases  to an Onboard Credit valued at 125% of the total amount paid. This offer expires on October 16th, 2020.

What's next for Royal Caribbean?

The latest round of cancellations likely come as no surprise to cruise fans, but the question of when cruises might actually restart again remains.

A few hours before this announcement, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain did not rule out cruises in 2020.

Speaking at an industry event on Tuesday, Mr. Fain shared a sense of confidence that cruises could still restart sometime in 2020.

"We're going to start with test cruises, I think, and and then a few shorter cruises and and gradually build up as we build up our experience. But I do think that's going to start this year. I'm highly I'm highly optimistic."

Regardless of the cruise line plans, the U.S. Center for Disease Control "No Sail" order remains the most visible obstacle for Royal Caribbean to restart cruises.

The federal agency extended its cruise ship ban by another month, through the end of October, and there does not appear to be any signs that it could end.

The CDC has been adamant in its belief cruise ships are not safe environments during the current global health crisis.

"Cruise ships continue to be an unsafe environment with close quarters where the disease spreads easily and is not readily detected," is the direct rationale for why cruise ships may not sail.

Royal Caribbean, and the entire cruise industry, has been working on comprehensive new health protocols it believes will make cruises safer than any other form of travel.

Just today, cruise lines announced they would implement 100% testing, alongside over 70 new policies that will create a layered approach to keeping guests and crew members safe.

Fain believes a bubble approach to cruise ships could very well be the answer, with testing at the top of that myriad of protocols.

Royal Caribbean plans to have 100% testing of everyone on its cruise ships

In:
Category: 
06Oct2020

When Royal Caribbean resumes sailings, it intends to test every single passenger and crew member.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain highlighted a recommendation of the Healthy Sail Panel to institute 100% testing of cruise ship guests and crew members.

Mr. Fain asserted that no other section of the travel industry has 100% testing, which separates Royal Caribbean (and other CLIA member lines) from the rest of travel.

"No other section of the travel industry, no other section does one hundred percent testing. In fact, no other industry in the world requires 100 percent testing. The closest anyone comes is the bubble that was organized to the NBA teams and that's been so very successful."

Fain seems very excited about the recent advances in testing and how much of it is offered.

"The improvement in our country's ability to test has been phenomenal," Mr. Fain explained. "The capacity for traditional testing has grown exponentially, and we now regularly seeing more than a million tests performed in a single day. That's unheard of."

Specifically, Fain believes the development of new test capabilities, combined with decreasing testing costs and speedier results is "staggering."

Vaccine vs. tests

To exemplify how important testing is and the advances made with them, Richard Fain went as far to say that he expects tests to have a greater impact on cruises than the vaccine in the short term.

"The advances are so significant that I believe in the near term we will see more benefit from testing than we will from vaccines in the near term."

Fain thinks the impact of a vaccine will take time, and in the meantime, new and better testing will make a quicker difference.

"Vaccines are the ultimate weapon against this virus and their development has been nothing short of amazing. But I do think it's likely that a vaccine will be available before the end of the year. But getting enough for widespread distribution is going to take probably until sometime in the spring."

"On the other hand, faster, cheaper and widespread testing will be much more impactful, much sooner. Widespread testing enables contact tracing, and it's the one two punch of testing and contact tracing that is so effective in limiting the community spread of the disease."

Testing can't solve the problem by itself

While testing is going to be a big part of Royal Caribbean's approach to ensuring cruises are safe when they return, it is not a silver bullet.

Mr. Fain admitted that as helpful as it is, testing cannot solve the problem by itself. That is why the Healthy Sail Panel's recommendations take a variety of different steps to create a layered approach of several different operating protocols.

"Each individual step whittles away at the risk levels until you have architected a overall much safer journey."

"I compare it to a car. The brakes keep you safe, of course, and a seatbelt and you've got even better protection. Then add an air bag and you start to see the effect of a layered approach."

Fain believes a bubble approach to cruise ships could very well be the answer, with testing at the top of that myriad of protocols.

Carnival and NCL cancel more cruises: Is Royal Caribbean next?

In:
Category: 
05Oct2020

UPDATE: The answer is yes, Royal Caribbean has cancelled its November 2020 cruises.

In the days since the No Sail Order was extended, Royal Caribbean's primary competitors have each announced a new round of cancellations, so is Royal Caribbean next?

There has been no official word by Royal Caribbean on any new cancellations, but typically when one of the "big three" cruise lines has announced a new wave of cancelled cruises, the others have eventually followed suit.

Royal Caribbean currently only has cruises cancelled through October 31, 2020, although it has also canceled transatlantic, European and Australian itineraries beyond that date.

The dominos begin to fall

The first cruise line to announce changes was Carnival Corporation, when it canceled sailings from most ports through December 2020.

Carnival essentially cancelled all of its cruises, minus ships sailing from Port Canaveral and Miami in Florida. The line has not yet canceled November or December sailings from those two ports.

Earlier today, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. cancelled all of its cruises through November 2020, with three ships cancelled through the end of March 2021.

Both cruise lines made their announcements less than a week after the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) extended its No Sail Order through October 2020

An unconfirmed, but widely accepted, report claims the CDC wanted to extend the No Sail Order to February 2021.

Cruise line executives were scheduled to meet with White House officials last week, but the meeting was postponed.

What will Royal Caribbean do?

The big question is if/when Royal Caribbean may announce a new set of cancellations to match what the other cruise lines have done.

Royal Caribbean rarely gives any kind of warning when a new set of cancellations are going to occur, and there is no consistent pattern to when they have been announced.

Earlier today, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain offered a video update that did not specifically call out any new changes to its cruise schedule, but did allude to some recent news impacting the cruise industry.

"Soon, we hope to have the opportunity to put our plans to the test. It's not going to happen overnight. It is going to take time for this process to work through."

"The process will be carefully evaluated by independent outside observers and then only on a ship or two at first, we hope to start sailing again."

 

Cruise fans are quite eager to know what the cruise line will do, with many having sailings scheduled to depart in less than a month.

"It’s less than 30 days from November 1st, and based on prior cancellations by Royal, we should have had Royal’s decision about November (at the very least) by now," writes S.Marie. "I would even be ok with Royal saying we are still waiting for the green light from the CDC but here are the ships we plan to deploy (or not deploy) for our start up phase."

"If I was a cruise line," twangster postulated, "I'd be hesitant to begin bringing thousands of crew back for two ships until there was an absolute green light from the CDC or CV Task Force that a restart is a sure thing."

CJS2766 exemplified the concern so many seem to have, "I'm also one of those that's supposed to cruise Nov 8... I wish we would hear something already, even though I know the realistic outcome."

Cruise line meeting with White House officials postponed

In:
Category: 
02Oct2020

The meeting scheduled between cruise line executives and White House officials has been postponed.

A meeting had been set up between the cruise lines and Vice President Mike Pence on Friday to discuss the No Sail order extension, but it is being reported that meeting has been postponed.

No reschedule date for the meeting has been announced.

Earlier this week, it was revealed the White House overruled the U.S. Center for Disease Control's recommendation to extend the No Sail Order until February.  Instead, the order was extended through just the end of October.

In addition, a meeting was set up for Friday afternoon between representatives of the cruise industry and the Trump administration to, "describe their transformation and dozens of ways that they will mitigate risk and ensure public health," according to a White House official.

And in that meeting there will be a discussion and afterwards a decision will need to be made about whether the order needs to be extended," the White House official added. "These things can be extended for a month and then we can reassess the conditions on an ongoing basis."

One senior official added that the cruise ship decision "is an example of the task force weighing all the equities of the departments and agencies represented on the task force and making a decision that properly balances the public health impacts and the economic ramifications on the country."

The CDC believes cruise ships would create an unacceptable amount of risk to the public health if allowed to resume sailings.

"Cruise ships continue to be an unsafe environment with close quarters where the disease spreads easily and is not readily detected," is the direct rationale for why cruise ships may not sail.

"Cruise ships continue to be an unsafe environment with close quarters where the disease spreads easily and is not readily detected," is the direct rationale for why cruise ships may not sail.

In short, the CDC sees these factors as necessitating the extension of the No Sail Order:

  • The continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide
  • Risk of resurgence in countries that have suppressed transmission
  • Ongoing concerns related to restarting of cruising internationally
  • Need for additional time to assess industry measures to control potential SARS-CoV-2 transmission on board cruise ships with passengers without burdening public health

Why did the CDC extend the No Sail order?

In:
Category: 
01Oct2020

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) extended it cruise ship ban on Wednesday, but why did it choose to lengthen its prohibition?

In reading through the No Sail Order, the agency provides its justifications for preventing cruise ships from restarting despite nearly every other sector of travel being able to operate.

"Unsafe environment"

The opening portion of the No Sail Order spells out why the CDC believes cruise ships should not operate.

"Cruise ships continue to be an unsafe environment with close quarters where the disease spreads easily and is not readily detected," is the direct rationale for why cruise ships may not sail.

In order to prove this, the Executive Summary cites CDC data on COVID-19 cases aboard cruise ships.

"Cumulative CDC data from March 1 through September 28, 2020, show a total of 3,689 confirmed cases of COVID-19 or COV1D-like illness cases on cruise ships and 41 deaths. These data have also revealed a total of 102 outbreaks on 124 different cruise ships, meaning more than 82% of ships within U.S. jurisdiction were affected by COVID-19 during this time frame. In addition, four cruise ships still have ongoing or resolving COV1D-19 outbreaks on board. Recent outbreaks on cruise ships overseas continue to demonstrate that reduced capacity alone has not diminished transmission."

In addition, the CDC cited small-scale cases of the virus on a few sailings that have restarted outside the United States.

All of this lead the CDC to believe cruise ships, "would likely spread the infection  into U.S. communities if passenger operations were to resume prematurely in the United States."

In short, the CDC sees these factors as necessitating the extension of the No Sail Order:

  • The continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide
  • Risk of resurgence in countries that have suppressed transmission
  • Ongoing concerns related to restarting of cruising internationally
  • Need for additional time to assess industry measures to control potential SARS-CoV-2 transmission on board cruise ships with passengers without burdening public health

New protocols

While cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian are working on crafting stringent new health protocols, it seems the CDC is unimpressed with any new health protocols added by other cruise lines.

In a press release announcing the No Sail Order extension, the CDC characterized extensive health and safety protocols as a burden on public health officials.

"When health and safety protocols were apparently observed, resuming passenger operations significantly burdened public health authorities by creating the need for additional SARS-CoV-2 testing, isolation of infected travelers, contact tracing, and quarantine of exposed people."

The Healthy Sail Panel has developed its own set of 74 detailed steps to safeguard the health of guests, crew and communities.

Recommendations include testing, the use of face coverings, and enhanced sanitation procedures on ships and in terminals. 

Healthy Panel co-chair Governor Mike Leavitt, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, specified exactly how in-depth their recommendations go.

"This Panel undertook an ambitious, cross-disciplinary, public health examination to develop standards and guidelines that create the highest level of safety in the complex environment of a cruise ship. We studied the industry’s experiences combating the pandemic – and we then incorporated the many lessons learned and advances made by medicine and science over the past six months. The Panel’s recommendations are grounded in the best scientific and medical information available and are intended to meaningfully mitigate public health risks to those who sail."

Double standard?

Reading through the rationale for the extension of the No Sail Order, it may sound a reasonable response until considering the reality of the rest of the travel sector, both in the United States and internationally.

While the CDC holds cruise ships to the standard of not potentially burdening healthcare workers, port personnel and federal partners, other aspects of travel have been able to operate while simultaneously doing the exact same thing.

Airlines have never stopped operating since the beginning of the pandemic, and are chiefly responsible for the spread of the virus from country to country and continent to continent. 

Theme parks have been allowed to re-open in many states, along with Las Vegas casinos and hotels.

The CDC claims its goal is "to protect the health of all Americans", yet has not enforced any regulations on any other aspect of travel other than cruise ships.

CDC extends ban on cruise ships until October 31

In:
Category: 
30Sep2020

Hours before the No Sail Order was set to expire, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has extended the ban on cruise ships by another thirty days.

The CDC website has been updated to indicate the No Sail Order has been extended until October 31, 2020, unless rescinded earlier.

On September 30, 2020, CDC extended the No Sail Order and Suspension of Further Embarkation; Third Modification and Extension of No Sail Order and Other Measures Related to Operations that was issued on July 16, 2020. The Order is effective upon signature and will be published in the Federal Register soon.

Prior to this extension, the "No Sail Order" was set to expire on September 30 at midnight, although Royal Caribbean and all the cruise lines have already voluntarily cancelled its cruises through October 31, 2020, with the intention to possibly resume November 1.

The extension matches an earlier report that the White House overruled CDC Director Robert Redfield's recommendation of extending the No Sail Order until February 2021.

According to the report, Redfield wanted to push the No Sail order out to February 2021, but the Trump administration would only allow an extension through the end of October 2020.

Vice President Mike Pence informed the CDC Director of a different plan than what the agency had in mind, according to the two task force members.

The No Sail order has been a legislative, as well as symbolic, barrier to the cruise industry restarting. Royal Caribbean has been shutdown since mid-March, and the No Sail order has been a major obstacle to any restart plan.

This is the third time the "No Sail Order" has been extended, after first being implemented on March 13.

What is the No Sail Order?

The No Sail Order is a policy of the CDC that restricts the embarkation of passengers on top cruise ships in the United States due to the global health crisis.

Like the previous orders, this order will remain in effect until one of the following occurs:

  • The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency,
  • The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations, or
  • October 31, 2020.

Cruise industry's plan for healthy return

Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings teamed up to form an independent committee to come up with a way for cruise ships to operate in a healthy manner, known as the Healthy Sail Panel.

In late September, the Panel produced a list of 74 detailed steps on how a cruise ship could operate safely despite the current health crisis.

Recommendations include testing, the use of face coverings, and enhanced sanitation procedures on ships and in terminals. 

The Panel is chaired by Governor Mike Leavitt, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Healthy Sail Panel identified five areas of focus every cruise operator should address to improve health and safety for guests and crew, and reduce the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19 on cruise ships:

  • Testing, Screening and Exposure Reduction
  • Sanitation and Ventilation
  • Response, Contingency Planning and Execution
  • Destination and Excursion Planning
  • Mitigating Risks for Crew Members

In each category, the Healthy Sail Panel created practical and actionable recommendations to address specific safety concerns. Among the recommendations are key strategies such as:

  • Taking aggressive measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering a ship through robust education, screening and testing of both crew and guests prior to embarkation
  • Reducing transmission via air management strategies and enhanced sanitation practices
  • Implementing detailed plans to address positive infection on board, including contingencies for onboard treatment, isolation and rapid evacuation and repatriation
  • Closely controlling shore excursions
  • Enhanced protection for crew members

Furthermore, the CDC has been made aware of the panel and even invited to observe the planning and creation of procedures.

Report: White House overrides CDC on extending No Sail order

In:
Category: 
29Sep2020

It looks like the White House has overruled the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) to only allow the No Sail Order to be extended through the end of October.

A report by Axios claims CDC Director Robert Redfield, "was overruled when he pushed to extend a "no-sail order" on passenger cruises into next year."

The article goes on to say that Redfield wanted to push the No Sail order out to February 2021, but the Trump administration would only allow an extension through the end of October 2020.

It is important to note that the CDC's website has not been updated yet to confirm any extension.

Axios cites the news following two sources who had "direct knowledge" of what happened in the White House Situation Room.

According to the two task force members, Vice President Mike Pence informed the CDC Director of a different plan than what the agency had in mind.

Axios also reports that cruise industry represenatives will meet with White House officials on Friday in order to, "describe their transformation and dozens of ways that they will mitigate risk and ensure public health," according to a White House official.

The current No Sail order is set to expire on September 30, and an extension by another month would have no affect on cruise ships since the industry had already volunteered to cancel all October cruises.

For its part, Royal Caribbean has not given up yet on offering cruises in 2020.  Armed with a new set of in-depth health protocols, it feels under the right circumstances, it could still offer cruises in 2020.

The No Sail order has been a legislative, as well as symbolic, barrier to the cruise industry restarting. Royal Caribbean has been shutdown since mid-March, and the No Sail order has been a major obstacle to any restart plan.

If Royal Caribbean follows the Healthy Sail Panel recommendations for resuming cruises, the cruise line would begin with a series of test cruises, where Royal Caribbean employees act as guests and the cruise experience is simulated in order to test and adjust the new policies.

The cruise industry has a history of conducting test sailings when they introduce a new product. These are normally several cruises of short duration with selected invited guests and limited itineraries, which gives the operator the opportunity to train the crew and refine its procedures. We believe that such a process could be helpful in the introduction of these protocols and procedures, giving the operators the opportunity to ensure that their programs are well understood and work appropriately.

In conjunction with succesful tests, it is likely the cruise line will announce some kind of start up plan where certain ships and sail dates are confirmed as ready to sail.

All of this work is centered around the question of can Royal Caribbean come back to a safe and healthy environment, which is what Mr. Fain asked the Panel.

"And their answer was, if you adopt all these protocols, you can."

"And obviously we are going to, and we believe that will greatly accelerate the time, so we're looking forward to coming back sooner."

Royal Caribbean extends ability to cancel cruise for a credit until November 30

In:
29Sep2020

Royal Caribbean has extended its Cruise with Confidence cancellation policy to now include sailings through November 30, 2020.

The popular program allows guests to cancel a cruise for any reason up to 48 hours before a sailing is scheduled to depart in exchange for a future cruise credit.

It was scheduled to end on September 30, 2020 prior to the extension.

In addition, the Lift and Shift option will be extended to November 30, 2020.  Lift and Shift allows guests to defer their cruise by a year.

The Cruise with Confidence program was introduced at the beginning of the health crisis, and provides significantly relaxed rules concerning canceling a cruise if the situation changes for a guest.

Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO Richard Fain thinks this extension makes a lot of sense for guests, "We want our guests to feel they can safely keep their existing cruise bookings or schedule new sailings, because this policy gives them more freedom and flexibility."

Ordinarily, guests would incur a penalty for canceling a sailing beyond the final payment date, which is typically 90 days before a sailing commences. Cruise with Confidence provides a great deal more flexibility to change minds with no penalty.

The extension applies to all cruises with sailing dates on or before April 2022, and applies to the company’s global brands Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara.

Cruise with Confidence future cruise credits expire on December 31, 2021 or 12 months from the cancellation date, whichever is further out.

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