Policies

Royal Caribbean extends ability to cancel a cruise up to 48 hours before a sailing through September 1 due to coronavirus

In:
30Mar2020

Royal Caribbean announced today it has extended its Cruise with Confidence cancellation policy to now include sailings through September 1, 2020.

Under this policy, Royal Caribbean is providing guests with the flexibility to cancel a cruise for any reason up to 48 hours before a sailing is scheduled to depart.  

 Guests will receive a full Future Cruise Credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of choice in 2020 or 2021.

The Cruise with Confidence program was introduced earlier this month at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, and provides significantly relaxed rules concerning cancelling a cruise if the situation changes for a guest.

Ordinarily, guests would incur a penalty for cancelling 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.

“Guests are reacting positively to our Cruise with Confidence policy,” says company chairman and CEO Richard Fain, “because it enables them to make informed decisions and to better manage complicated travel plans during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.”

The extension applies to all cruises with sailing dates on or before September 1, 2020, and applies to the company’s global brands Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara.

All Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credits must be redeemed on sailings departing on-or-before December 31, 2021.

Currently, Royal Caribbean has cancelled all of its sailings between March 14 and May 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and plans to resume service on May 12, 2020.

In addition, due to port closures around the world, Royal Caribbean added they expect to return to service for Alaska, Canada and New England sailings July 1, 2020.

Royal Caribbean letting travel agents place a hold on cruise reservations through end of May

In:
Category: 
21Mar2020

Royal Caribbean is helping travel agents with guests that have an upcoming future cruise credit by allowing travel agents to place a hold with no deposit through the end of May 31.

With a lot of guests awaiting future cruise credits emanating from the canceled cruises due to the coronavirus pandemic, Royal Caribbean wanted to make things easier for travel agents to start making new reservations with the credits.

Travel agents can now place a hold on a new booking and keep that hold through May 31, 2020. Traditionally, holds would expire after 3 days. This extension allows guests to await the delivery of their FCC to apply to the booking and then only pay any potential remaining balance at that time.

This new option is available for reservations beginning March 18, 2020 and is valid on sailings departing on-or-before December 31, 2021. It is also only available to travel agents, and not guests.

The final payment date for these new sailings remains unchanged. 

Royal Caribbean Future Cruise Credit: What you need to know

In:
Category: 
16Mar2020

With Royal Caribbean suspending cruises for 30 days due to the Coronavirus outbreak, there are a lot of people who may be getting a Future Cruise Credit because of a canceled sailing.

Many cruisers have questions about how a Future Cruise Credit works, and I did some digging to find answers.

This voucher for a specific amount comes with its own set of rules and things to know, so here is a breakdown of what Royal Caribbean's Future Cruise Credit is all about.

What is a Future Cruise Credit?

A Future Cruise Credit (FCC) is essentially a voucher for future travel.  It has a monetary amount associated with it, and it is provided in lieu of a refund.

What can I use the Future Cruise Credit towards in the future?

A FCC may be used towards the base cruise fare of any future cruise.

It cannot be used to pay:

  • The initial deposit to reserve a cruise
  • Taxes
  • Port fees
  • Prepaid Gratuity
  • Shore Excursions

It can be used towards a new sailing you book, or any existing sailing you have previously booked.

As it pertains to the Future Cruise Credits issued under the Cruise with Confidence program, the Cruise with Confidence FCC cannot be redeemed to repurchase the same sailing where the original booking canceled.

How is my Future Cruise Credit calculated?

The FCC compensation amount for impacted sailings is based on the total cruise fare paid at the guest-level and is exclusive of taxes, fees, and prepaid gratuities which are being refunded to the original form of payment.

What if the amount of my Future Cruise Credit exceeds the value of the next cruise I book?

If there is leftover value in the Future Cruise Credit, the remainder will be reissued in a new Future Cruise Credit.  The new FCC will have the same expiration date as the previous voucher.

How do I receive my Future Cruise Credit?

Once a FCC is issued, it is sent to each guest via email.

It can take a bit of time for a FCC to become available.  A few weeks is fairly typical, but it largely depends how busy Royal Caribbean is with processing them.

When will I receive my Future Cruise Credit from the Coronavirus-impacted cancelled sailings?

For sailings through April 10th, 2020, Future Cruise Credits will be sent via email no later than Monday, April 13th, 2020.

Future Cruise Credits for recently suspended sailings departing between April 11th – May 11th, 2020 can be expected on-or-before Monday, April 30th, 2020.

When will my Future Cruise Credit expire?

When a FCC is issued, there is an expiration date that comes with it. 

As it relates to the Coronavirus-impacted sailings,  FCC’s can be redeemed on any sailing departing on-or-before December 31st, 2021. If the Cruise With Confidence FCC is not redeemed and sailed on or before December 31, 2021, the certificate will automatically expire and have no value.

Can I use my Future Cruise Credit with a travel agent?

Yes, any FCC issued is "owned" by the guest, and is never attached to any agency until it is applied to a booking.

How long does it take for the Future Cruise Credit to be issued/available?

Can I use my Future Cruise Credit to pay for someone else's booking?

Future Cruise Credits are per person, per booking, and valid only for the person noted above. The FCC can only be applied to the cabin that has the passenger with the FCC.  

What if I used a Future Cruise Credit to pay for a now canceled cruise?

The original Future Cruise Credit will be reinstated with the prior FCC amount and expiration date. If expired or due to-expire before October 31st, 2020, you will be granted an extension to redeem through October 31st, 2020.

You will also receive a new Future Cruise Credit based on the remaining amount paid and can be redeemed on any sailing departing on-or-before December 31st, 2021.

Royal Caribbean denies boarding to anyone over 70 without doctor's clearance

In:
Category: 
12Mar2020

Royal Caribbean has updated its coronavirus protocols effective Monday, March 16, boarding will be denied to any person age 70 or older, unless the guest provides written verification from a qualified treating physician that certifies the person has no severe, chronic medical condition and is fit to travel.

In addition, boarding will be denied to any person with a severe, chronic medical condition, including those specified by the CDC.

Guests of all ages will be screened prior to boarding, regarding underlying health issues that may prevent them from sailing, i.e.  chronic heart, lung, liver, or kidney disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or cancer.

For guests 70 years or older, they can have this letter template filled out by a physician.

This new policy is in addition to the cruise line's enhanced screening policy that include mandatory temperature screenings, denial of boarding to anyone that has been to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Europe, Iran, or South Korea 15-20 days prior to embarkation.

Royal Caribbean has also implemented additional protocols that include professional medical treatment; isolation of unwell individuals from the general ship population; and intensified ship cleaning, air filtration, and sanitization procedures.

Royal Caribbean allows cancellations up to 48 hours before sailing due to Coronavirus outbreak

In:
Category: 
06Mar2020

Royal Caribbean announced its "Cruise With Confidence" policy allows guests on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea to cancel up to 48 hours before a sailing. 

Guests will receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of the guest's choice in 2020 or 2021. The policy applies to both new and existing cruise bookings.

The policy applies to all cruises with a sailing date on or before July 31, 2020, and will be offered by the company's global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea. 

All Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credits must be redeemed on sailings departing on-or-before December 31, 2021.

"Our previous policy set earlier deadlines for guests to cancel their cruises, and that added unnecessary stress," said Richard Fain, the company's chairman and CEO. "Trying to guess a month or more in advance where areas of concern about coronavirus might be is challenging for medical experts, much less a family preparing for vacation.

"When circumstances are as fast-changing as they have been recently, it's good to know you have the option to take a rain check," Fain said. "We think putting more control in our guests' hands helps them make informed decisions about whether to keep their existing vacation plans or trade out for a more convenient time or itinerary."  

Royal Caribbean announced yesterday it will conduct mandatory temperature screenings on embarkation day to better screen guests against the spread of Coronavirus.

Spotted: Fast Track priority boarding

In:
31Jul2019

Guests sailing on Symphony of the Seas this week noticed a new option to allow select guests faster boarding back onboard their Royal Caribbean ship.

Known as Fast Track, the program is available in the ports of call the ship visits and allows for expedited boarding for guests who are in any of these groups:

  • Star and Sky Class Guests
  • Pinnacle Members in Crown and Anchor Society
  • The Key guests
  • Assistance Needs
  • Families with infant strollers

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Lovetocruise2002 spotted this on the current Symphony of the Seas sailing.

Fast Track was advertised in the Concierge Lounge on Symphony of the Seas, as well as on the front page of the Cruise Compass.

Royal Caribbean offers new travel protection option for New York state residents

In:
Category: 
13Mar2019

Guests residing in New York State may no longer purchase Royal Caribbean Travel Protection/CruiseCare.  

As of February 5, 2019, Royal Caribbean stopped offering its form of travel insurance to New York Residents due to New York State regulations which applied to companies selling travel insurance. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd partnered with Aon, the service provider, to offer an alternative travel protection program for residents of all states, including New York, via www.travelcruisecare.com. This is effective and available immediately.

If a guest had Royal Caribbean Travel Protection/CruiseCare added to their reservation on 2/14/19 or prior, the benefit will be honored even if the Royal Caribbean Travel Protection / CruiseCare has not been paid in full. 

This new program can be purchased through www.travelcruisecare.com and will require 100% payment upfront. The certificate of insurance may look slightly different for the new product, but there will not be any other differences that would impact the guest experience.

Royal Caribbean now allowing guests to bring non-alcoholic beverages onboard

In:
Category: 
28Aug2018

Royal Caribbean has updated its non-alcoholic beverage policy for guests, beginning on September 1st, 2018.

Guests bringing small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages onboard are now required to do so in a carry-on or hand luggage, rather than in a checked bag.

The cruise line announced that guests will be able to bring small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages in a carry-on or hand luggage onboard only on boarding day. Checking in non-alcoholic beverages will no longer be permitted.

Specifically, non-alcoholic beverages brought onboard may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom. Distilled water or specialized beverages such as, milk for medical purposes, dietary or infant use, are permitted.

Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages onboard any cruise ship, with the exception of being able to bring two bottles of wine per stateroom.

Royal Caribbean prohibits emotional support animals from its cruise ships

In:
Category: 
14Aug2018

Royal Caribbean has updated its policy regarding emotional support animals by announcing that effective immediately, emotional support animals may not sail onboard Royal Caribbean International ships. 

The cruise line cites that emotional support animals are not recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

All Emotional Support Animals noted on reservations prior to July 30, 2018 are protected and will be allowed to sail. A notation advising of a protected emotional support animal will be placed on the reservation by the Access Department.

Royal Caribbean joins Southwest Airlines, which also announced today, it will restrict emotional support animals on its airplanes.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement regarding the change and why it was implemented, "We are updating the policy to differentiate emotional support animals from service animals that are trained to perform a function for a person with a disability.  It is important to us that all our guests enjoy their vacation, which is why we put into practice this new policy.  Royal Caribbean’s policy remains the same for service animals traveling with guests that have a physical or non-physical disability.

Moving forward, emotional support animals cannot be added to existing or new reservations.  Confirmed guests who already have emotional support animals noted in their reservation will be permitted to bring the animal."

Royal Caribbean announces enhanced online check-in process

In:
07Aug2018

Royal Caribbean announced today an easier online check-in process that aims to cut down the check-in process by 25%.

Guests will be asked to enter fewer data fields and can apply information, like credit card data, to multiple parties on their reservation. These improvements help guests move through the check-in process faster and easier.

The new online check-in features:

  • Fewer steps needed for check-in completion
  • Option to check in one person or your entire party simultaneously
  • Ability to edit previously entered information without repeating any steps
  • Easy add-guest or remove-guest functionality from check-in process
  • The ability to stop and save at any point
  • Easily pick up where you left off on either the website or the Royal Caribbean mobile App check in
  • Convenient digital SetSail pass for mobile use at terminal

The new online check-in process is already available for sailings onboard Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Royal Caribbean plans to expand this functionality to other ships "in the near future".

Guests can check-in from 90 days to 72 hours prior to the sail date. If a guest misses the check-in window, the guest has the option to check-in at the Port.

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