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Would you cruise if wearing a mask is mandatory?


While some elements of life are starting to open back up around the world, cruise lines remain shut down for the time being and a big questions is what changes will Royal Caribbean make in order to keep guests safe once they resume sailing.

Royal Caribbean has not divulged any specifics of the plans and protocols in intends to introduce once cruising resume, but many believe wearing a mask onboard the ship might be included as part of the new rules.

On land, the requirement to wear a mask is one provision that many tourist-centric venues are taking, including theme parks. Shanghai Disneyland required all guests to wear a face covering when it opened back up again, and a similar rule is in place for when Universal Orlando reopens on June 5.  Disney's CEO recently said it's "likely" that Disney World and Disneyland will also require face coverings.

Keeping guests safe

Royal Caribbean has not announced what steps it will take once cruises resume to mitigate the spread of any illness onboard, but the company has said over and over again it is looking into what best practices it can employ.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain commented recently on the importance of guest health, "we are focused on all aspects of our safe return just to serve as strategy with special emphasis on safety security and health. We know that the public expects that we will elevate our health and safety protocols to a new level. We are prepared to make sure that we meet and exceed those expectations."

"We have been and are working on ways to up our game in this field to ensure that we use our ingenuity, our passion, and our innovation, raise the bar to new heights. We are calling our aspirational program the healthy return to service program. The program will have four main focuses: upgraded screening prior to boarding, enhanced processes and procedures onboard, special focus on addressing the destinations we visit, and procedures for dealing with any reports of exceptions."

Royal Caribbean has even gone to the point of trademarking a name for its own brand of face masks, which may or may not indicate a direction in policy.

Will you wear a mask to go on a cruise?

So the big question is how willing are cruise fans to wear a mask, especially if it means being able to go back on a cruise again.

I recently posed this exact question on Facebook to get a sense of what everyone thought: Would you cruise if wearing a mask is mandatory?

Of the 2,160 people that responded to the poll, over half of the respondents voted "no" to cruising if wearing a mask was mandatory.

About a third voted "yes", and 11% were unsure what they would do.

The comments from those that voted were "spicy", to say the least. The debate of whether or not they would wear a mask on a cruise extended to political/scientific arguments and name-calling.  Clearly, there are some strong opinions on this matter, that make the "can you wear shorts in the main dining room" debate seem trivial.

"If you need to wear mask, can't be safe, simple really."

"I would rather be on a cruise ship wearing a mask than confined to my home. Don't get me wrong I enjoy the comforts of home but I also enjoy the comfort of socializing and meeting new people and if I am required to wear a mask while cruising so be it!"

"Will only even consider a cruise if masks are mandatory. Not a chance I am getting on a ship with thousands of high risk strangers from all over for a week without them."

"I am a huge proponent of mask wearing. I answered 'no' because I won’t be cruising until it is safe to do so without a mask (I.e. there is a vaccine); I did not answer “no” because I disagree with Royal Caribbean requiring masks in the near future."

"No way. That’s the only deal breaker for me."

Your thoughts

What do you think about being able to cruise again, but having to wear a mask while onboard? Would you be willing to do it? Calmly explain your opinion without conspiracy theories or political conjecture in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean Cancellations - Updates, Refunds & FAQs


A great deal of Royal Caribbean cruises have been cancelled in the wake of the global suspension of cruising, and many readers are wondering if Royal Caribbean will cancel more cruises and what happens if their cruise is included.

Royal Caribbean originally announced it would cease its sailings from March 14 - April 11, 2020, but those dates have been pushed back repeatedly. 

The result has been a lot of uncertainty and doubt about the future of cruising, and what to expect if your Royal Caribbean cruise is cancelled.

Royal Caribbean cancelled cruises

As of December 2, 2020, Royal Caribbean has cancelled most sailings through February 28, 2021.

In addition, all Odyssey of the Seas sailings between November 5, 2020 - April 17, 2021 are cancelled. All sailings out of Australia and New Zealand through April 2021 are also cancelled.

There are two exceptions: Singapore sailings onboard Quantum of the Seas, and Spectrum of the Seas’ China departures between January 24 - February 28, 2021. 

Royal Caribbean says it intends to resume sailings on March 1, 2021, although it has warned more cancelled cruises are possible due to continued disruptions to travel and port operations in various regions.

Official statement from Royal Caribbean

Here is what Royal Caribbean has stated in their official statement:

While we continue to work with the CDC and government authorities around the world towards the shared goal of safely returning to cruising, Royal Caribbean Group will be extending the suspension of some sailings. 

Royal Caribbean Group’s panel of globally recognized scientific and medical experts, together with teams both on sea and on land, continue to focus on a healthy and safe return to service for our guests, crew and the communities we visit.

What happens if Royal Caribbean cancels my cruise?

If Royal Caribbean cancels more cruises, guests and their travel agents will be notified via email the the sailing is cancelled.

You will have the choice of taking advantage of the Lift & Shift program, getting a 100% refund or a 125% Future Cruise Credit.

There is no wrong option, it boils down to do you prefer to get your money back in cash, or take advantage of a generous credit that can be applied to a cruise in the future.

If you want the refund, your travel agent can take care of the request for you, or you can do it yourself via the self-service refund request form.

Regardless of which option you choose, taxes, port fees and gratuities will automatically be refunded to your original form of payment.

How to cancel your Royal Caribbean cruise

If you are leery of your upcoming cruise and want to cancel your Royal Caribbean cruise, here is what you need to know.

Before final payment date

If you have not reached final payment date yet, you are subject to the traditional means of cancelling your cruise and getting a refund will depend on which type of deposit you booked.

  • If you booked your cruise directly with Royal Caribbean, you must call them to do so. 
  • If you booked with a travel agent, your travel agent will need to cancel the cruise on your behalf.

New and existing bookings created by January 31, 2021

Royal Caribbean's "Cruise with Confidence" program offers the flexibility to cancel a cruise up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a full credit of the cruise fare for a future cruise through April 2022. 

Whether it is a booking you already have or one you make right now through January 31, 2021, as long as you cancel at least 48 hours before your sail date, you’ll receive a Future Cruise Credit. 

The Cruise with Confidence program covers sailings booked on or before January 31, 2021, that set sail on or before April 30, 2022.

The credit is valid through December 31, 2021 or 12 months from your original canceled sail date (whichever is longer) and can be used for any open sailings at the time of booking.

Lift & Shift

In lieu of canceling and rebooking, Royal Caribbean introduced Lift and Shift, where you can move an existing booking to next year.

For guests with sailings that qualify for Cruise with Confidence that are ready to move to an alternative sail date in the following year, Royal Caribbean will protect the original price and/or promotion if the alternative sailing is the same itinerary, length, and stateroom category. 

The new sail date next year can be within 4 weeks (before or after) of the original sail date. For example, if you are moving from a July 30, 2020 sailing, you must move to a sailing that is the same itinerary, length, and stateroom category, and the sail date should be June 30, 2021 – August 30, 2021.

To be eligible for Lift & Shift, you must move your booking on or before January 31, 2021.

What happens to any pre-cruise purchases, such as beverage packages, shore excursions, etc. if my cruise is cancelled?

Any pre-cruise purchase will be refunded to the original form of payment.

This includes moving your cruise with our Life and Shift option under the Cruise with Confidence program.

How long does it take to get a refund from Royal Caribbean?

It is no secret that refunds are taking longer than expected, and Royal Caribbean has admitted to delays in processing them.

Refunds were expected to take 30 days to process, but some refunds are taking up to 45 days.

The good news is that refunds are going through, it just may take a bit longer than expected.

When will Royal Caribbean cruises resume?

No one truly knows the answer to this question.

Royal Caribbean has said it currently plans to resume operations in some capacity on October 1, 2020, but that date is subject to change and many expect that date to slip.

The bottom line is, Royal Caribbean will start cruising again when it is safe to do so, and proper procedures and policies are in place to keep guests and crew healthy and safe. Moreover, continued disruptions to travel and port operations in various regions may result in further suspensions. 

Royal Caribbean indicated it is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, global public health authorities and national and local governments to enhance measures to protect the health, safety and security of guests, crew and the communities visited when we are out of service and once operations resume.

Is it safe to cruise when sailings resume?

The answer to if you should cruise when sailings start back up again is going to be a very personal decision.

Royal Caribbean is actively working on developing a comprehensive and multi-faceted program that addresses the public health challenges for everyone on a ship.

In a recent poll, 61% of people indicated they would feel comfortable going on a Royal Caribbean cruise right away once it resumes.

I have been onboard Royal Caribbean vessels when a norovirus outbreak occurred, and feel confident in the cruise line's procedures that mitigate the spread among guests and crew.

Given the nature of the Cruising with Confidence policy, my only advice is you have nothing to lost by waiting and seeing how things progress and make a decision closer to your sail date. Be sure to set a deadline of a bit earlier than 48 hours before your cruise so that you have time for the request to be processed.


Are all Royal Caribbean cruises cancelled?

Yes. Royal Caribbean sailings are cancelled through November 1, 2020. More cancellations are possible depending on a variety of factors.

If I cancel my cruise and Royal Caribbean later cancels the sailing, do I qualify for the cancellation offer?

No. If you opt to cancel before Royal Caribbean cancels the sailing, you cannot take advantage of any offers or better deals the cruise line has in place.

How long will I have to redeem my Future Cruise Credit?

Future Cruise Credits are valid through December 31, 2021 or 12 months from your original canceled sail date (whichever is longer) and can be used for any open sailings at the time of booking.

Can you get your money back if you cancel a cruise?

If Royal Caribbean cancels your cruise, you can choose a 100% cash refund.

If you want to cancel the sailing, you can only get a 100% refund if you are before final payment date, per the terms of the booking you agreed to when reserving the cruise.

You can, however, get a 100% future cruise credit refund regardless of the deposit you have by taking advantage of the Cruise with Confidence program. Check the "How to cancel your Royal Caribbean cruise" section on this page for more information.

Your thoughts

Have any questions I did not answer with the above FAQ? Do you agree or disagree with my advice? Any questions I can help you answer? Please share your thoughts below in the comments!

Royal Caribbean ends option for travel agents to complete online check-in for guests


Royal Caribbean announced effective May 21, 2020, the option for travel agents to assist guests in completing their online check-in will no longer be supported.

Instead, guests will have to choose between conducting online check-in via the Royal Caribbean App (available for both iOS and Android) or through

The cruise line recommends using the Royal Caribbean app as the preferred method for check-in, although it can be completed via the website as well.

Step-by-step instructions for completing Royal Caribbean's online check-in

The reason why using the app is preferred is because it is simpler and offers guests the benefit of Expedited Arrival, any boarding enhancements, and also supports mobile boarding passes where applicable. 

The rationale for retiring the Advisor-Assisted Check-in was, "to ensure your clients are able to unlock the best possible, most customized experience onboard, by taking advantage of any boarding enhancements or cruise details available to them via the Royal Caribbean App."

Guests can complete the check-in process from 90 days to 72 hours prior to their sail date. Check-in at the pier is still an option upon arrival to the cruise terminal.

Royal Caribbean Lift and Shift information & frequently asked questions


Royal Caribbean's Lift and Shift program offers guests the option to move their existing cruise reservation one year ahead, and it has intrigued plenty of potential cruisers looking to defer their vacations.

The appeal of Lift and Shift is it provides a simple and clean way to move a booking without having to cancel and rebook.

Taxes & fees will be adjusted to reflect the charges associated with the new sailing. Taxes & fees from the original sail date will not be protected.

How does Lift and Shift work?

If you have a cruise booked, Royal Caribbean is offering the opportunity between now and January 31, 2021, to protect the original price and promotional offering of a cruise by selecting a future sailing on the same itinerary type, sailing length, stateroom category, and within the same 4-week period of their original cruise date same-time-next-year.

You do not need to book the same ship or even class of ships.

Does it matter when a cruise was booked?

Guests are eligible to rebook under the Lift & Shift guidelines between now and January 31, 2021. After this point, Lift & Shift expires and is no longer eligible.

All existing bookings, as well as bookings made between now and January 31, 2021 are eligible.

If your Royal Caribbean cruise was cancelled by the cruise line, there are different opt-in deadlines:

  • Sailings departing June 12-July 31, 2020: On-or-before June 10, 2020
  • Canada Port closures departing August 1-October 31, 2020: On-or-before June 17, 2020
  • Explorer of the Seas itineraries through August 2020: On-or-before June 25, 2020
  • China (July 1-12, 2020) & 2020 Copenhagen sailings: On-or-before June 25, 2020
  • Sailings departing August 1- September 15, 2020: On or before July 10, 2020
  • China (Quantum & Spectrum July 13-31, 2020) & Bermuda sailings through October 31, 2020: On or before July 10, 2020
  • Australia/New Zealand departures between November 1 – December 31, 2020:On or before September 28, 2020.
  • Spectrum of the Seas China Departures between October1 – 31, 2020: On or before September 28, 2020.
  • Sailings between November 1-30, 2020: On or before October 16th, 2020.
  • Sailings between December 1-31, 2020: On or before November 13, 2020.

Bookings for 2021 sail dates may shift to 2022 only on current deployment open through 4/30/22

Do all rates qualify for Lift & Shift?

Most cruise rates do apply with no restrictions, but there are a few exceptions.

Select restricted rates are ineligible for Lift & Shift and Best Price Guarantee - including but not limited to

  • Net rates
  • Casino rates
  • Travel Agent Friends & Family rates
  • Travel Agent Reduced rates
  • Complimentary staterooms

Are there any blackout dates for Lift & Shift?

Christmas, New Year’s, and Chinese New Year’s cruises are ineligible, unless you are currently confirmed on one of these sailings and wish to take advantage of Lift & Shift to move to the same sailing next year (assuming all other qualifying criteria is met).

Will my pre-cruise purchases at their booked rates come with Lift & Shift?

Unfortunately, not.

Pre-cruise purchases such as beverage packages, shore excursions, etc. will be removed during the re-accommodation process and can be added to the future reservation, as desired, at prevailing rates.

What happens to hotels and transfer purchases?

If you purchased hotel accommodations or transfers with Royal Caribbean, these will be removed during the re-accommodation process, but can be re-added, if desired, once confirmed
on the future ship/sailing of choice at prevailing rates.

If you purchased these outside of Royal Caribbean, you will need to be addressed directly with whomever you purchased it originally.

Is there a limit to how many times I can use Lift & Shift?

Yes, you can only use it once throughout the lifetime of the booking.

Lift & Shift scenarios

While the rules laid out in this post answer many questions, there may still be lingering questions and conundrums you may have about specific situations.

In order to provide better context, Royal Caribbean has provided some examples of when Lift & Shift may or may not be applicable.

Different ship

Currently booked on Explorer of the Seas in Europe this August 2020. Can I Lift & Shift to Harmony of the Seas in September 2021?

Yes, provided the sailing next year is on a departure that falls within a 4-week span of their original sail date, you are able to enjoy a cruise onboard the Harmony of the Seas in
Europe within the same stateroom and on a sailing of the same length. 

Currently booked on an Open Jaw Alaska itinerary onboard Radiance of the Seas departing August 21, 2020 and want to move to a Roundtrip Alaska itinerary onboard Ovation of the Seas departing August 20, 2021. Does this qualify for Lift & Shift?

Yes, assuming you want the same stateroom category since the sailing length, itinerary type, and timing meet the required criteria.

Different Sailing Length

Currently booked on a 4-night Bahamas cruise onboard Mariner of the Seas in October 2020 and now want to move to a 3-Night weekend getaway onboard the same ship in October 2021, can I take advantage of Lift & Shift as long as the same stateroom category is selected?

No, because the two sailings are not the same length. 

While the same itinerary, stateroom category, and 4-week cruise window were selected, you would have to select another 4-night Bahamas cruise in October 2021 to qualify for Lift & Shift.

Different stateroom type

Is it possible to Lift & Shift from 2020 to the same cruise in 2021, but upgrade to a balcony stateroom over the prior booked oceanview?

Yes, you could upgrade to a balcony, but under prevailing pricing and promotional offerings.

Unfortunately, prior rates and promotions will not carry through.

Different timing

Is it feasible to Lift & Shift an Oasis of the Seas cruise from Port Everglades on December 6, 2020 to Oasis of the Seas departing Miami on December 19, 2021?

Since December 19, 2021 is a Christmas sailing and the current reservation is confirmed on a non-holiday December cruise, unfortunately, Lift & Shift does not apply.

Are cruises cancelled eligible for Lift & Shift?

Lift & Shift is applicable to cancelled sailings departing between June 12 and July 31, 2020. Those sailings previously impacted by Royal Caribbean's pause in operation, unfortunately, are ineligible.

We asked our readers if they received their Royal Caribbean cruise refunds yet


It is no secret that refunds for the cancelled Royal Caribbean cruises has been taking longer than expected. The cruise line has even apologized for the delay in getting money back to guests.

I wanted to know what our readers' Royal Caribbean refund status is, and how many have gotten their money back.

With thousands of guests impacted by the cancelled sailings, it is impossible to get a good sense of where things are, but talking to RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers helps provide some insight into the current status.

Royal Caribbean has announced cruise cancellations three separate times, beginning in March and extending over the last two months. Each time, a large swath of sailings were impacted and guests had to choose between opting for a refund or a future cruise credit.

Refunds were expected to take 30 days to process, but some refunds are taking up to 45 days.

If you browse the comments on this site, or most Facebook groups, you will quickly run across posts from cruisers that are frustrated by having not received their refund or credit yet.

I posted a Facebook poll asking, "If your cruise was cancelled, have you received your refund or future cruise credit yet?"

The poll ran for the last six days, and 585 people responded with their experience.

The leading poll answer was "no" (they had not received a refund or future cruise credit yet) with 327 votes. In second place was "yes" (they had received their refund or future cruise credits) with 167 votes, and "some, but not all" coming in third with 91 votes.

Comments from those that took the poll run the gamut of experiences, from people that received their refunds, to those that received some, and others that are still waiting.

"We were part of the first round of cancellations...we were told our Future Cruise Credit would appear by April 13. We got it late in the day April 10. I canceled all my cruise planner stuff early on so I got that refund within 72 hours."

"I was due to sail on Majesty today and it was cancelled on March24 . I got an email last night to say my Future Cruise Credit was sent to my travel agent but I haven't received any refunds for taxes and gratuities or Cruise Planner yet."

Refund status is also proving to be difficult to track for some, as there are add-on purchases that are refunded separately from the cruise fare refunds.

"Received refund for May 17 on Oasis but have not received drink package and beach club refund. That was really fast. Only 2 weeks"

It seems those that had multiple cruises cancelled were impacted the most, with some refunds being issued, but not all.

"We have thousands outstanding want to book more cruises but need the money to do so."

Have you received your refund or cruise credit yet? Share your Royal Caribbean refund status in the comments.

Royal Caribbean greatly expands ability for guests to cancel and rebook cruises for later


Royal Caribbean announced a massive enhancement and extension to its Cruise with Confidence program, which allows guests to cancel their cruises up to 48 hours before sailing.

The "enhanced & extended Cruise with Confidence policy" was announced on Wednesday , where guests can cancel up to 48-hours prior to sailing in exchange for a 100% Future Cruise Credit on sailings through April 2022 for bookings made on-or-before August 1, 2020.

In addition, Royal Caribbean announced "Lift & Shift", where guests can move their existing booking to next year, protecting their original price and promotion. 

Lift & Shift is available by selecting a future sailing on the same itinerary type, sailing length, stateroom category, and within the same 4-week period of their original cruise date same-time-next-year.  It is not required that your client rebook on the same ship or ship class.

Guests are eligible to rebook under the Lift & Shift guidelines between now and August 1, 2020. After this point, Lift & Shift expires and is no longer eligible.

All pre-cruise purchases will be removed during the re-accommodation process and can be added to the future reservation, as desired, at prevailing rates. 

You can opt to Lift & Shift only one time.

Guests who take advantage of the Cruise with Confidence program can get a 100% Future Cruise Credit if they decide they would like to cancel their cruise vacation due to the current global situation.

Non-Refundable Deposit bookings are eligible for Cruise with Confidence and follow the same guidelines.

If you purchased a hotel or transfer, here is how it works:

  • When electing for a Future Cruise Credit
    • If you purchased hotel accommodations or transfers with Royal Caribbean, all charges will be automatically refunded.
    • If you booked outside of Royal Caribbean, you will need to contact the company you booked through directly.
  • When opting to Lift & Shift
    • If you purchased hotel accommodations or transfers with Royal Caribbean, these will be removed during the re-accommodation process, but can be re-added, if desired, once confirmed on the future ship/sailing of choice at prevailing rates. 
    • If you booked outside of Royal Caribbean, you will need to contact the company you booked through directly.

Lift & Shift blackout dates:

  • Christmas, New Year’s, and Chinese New Year’s cruises are ineligible, unless you are currently confirmed on one of these sailings and wishes to take advantage of Lift & Shift to move to the same sailing next year (assuming all other qualifying criteria is met). 

Best Price Guarantee Update

Another big change announced is guests can take advantage of Royal Caribbean's Best Price Guarantee up to 48-hours prior to their cruise vacation start date, ensuring the best rate and/or promotion.

This means guests can now take advantage of price drops after final payment date, up until 48 hours before the cruise.  This is applicable to all sailings made on or before August 1, 2020 (including ones made before today's announcement).

Price variances will result in a rate adjustment if requested outside of final payment or a non-refundable onboard credit when inside final payment period.

Prior to this change to the Best Price Guarantee, price adjustments after final payment date would incur cancellation fees that would offset any price adjustment advantages.

Will you be more willing to book a cruise because of this enhanced policy? What do you think of the Lift & Shift offer? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Royal Caribbean apologizes to guests for refunds taking longer than expected


Royal Caribbean sent an email to guests who are still waiting for a refund from a canceled cruise in order to apologize for the longer than expected time it has taken to process these requests.

Thousands of guests received emails expressing the cruise line's apology for how long it has taken, along with an explanation of why things have taken longer than expected.

Refunds were expected to take 30 days to process, but some refunds are taking up to 45 days.

In addition, Royal Caribbean has promised an update by May 6th, unless a refund has already been issued by then.

Currently, some refunds are taking up to 45 days. Please know that each and every request is receiving the same level of care and dedication. And rest assured, your refund will be honored and it is coming – it’s just taking a little longer than expected and we’re very sorry about that.

Royal Caribbean has cancelled dozens upon dozens of sailings since mid-March due to the global cruise suspension. Each time sailings have been canceled, guests have had the choice of a 100% refund or 125% Future Cruise Credit.

The delay in receiving refunds has prompted frustration among some guests, with plenty expressing their dissatisfaction with the delays online.

Royal Caribbean offers updates on refunds, Odyssey of the Seas and the President's Cruise


There are plenty of questions among cruisers in this time of a global cruise suspension, and Royal Caribbean shed a bit of light on some of these topics.

Earlier on Tuesday, Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support & Service Vicki Freed took questions from travel agents about a variety of topics that many guests are wondering about.

In addition to announcing a doctor's note is no longer needed for guests who are over 70 years old, a number of hot topics were hit during the question and answer session of the call, and here are the answers provided to concerns many readers have had as well.

Changes to buffets

One agent wanted to know how Royal Caribbean will handle guests going to the buffet once sailings start back up.

Royal Caribbean Director, Post Cruise Guest Relations & Shared Services, Laly Rodriguez, commented, "We're still ironing out some of the different details, as to whether there'll be folks serving. We might have different shifts for our buffets, and have different options taking place in our main dining venues. Those are still being worked out, but as soon as we know, you'll know."


A very hot topic is when guests can expect to receive refunds for canceled sailings.

Ms. Rodriguez provided an explanation on the current refund situation, "When we first started with our global suspensions, we anticipated that refunds would take us about 30 days, but given the volume and being able to handle all the volume that we are receiving, it seems that we are closer to a 45 day window."

"We've been able to modify some of our processes, add things that we didn't have in the past, like bots processing the refunds; we've added resources to accounting; we've always been looking to speed this up"

"Your clients should be seeing their refunds in about 45 days, and hopefully with the next batches of suspensions that we've announced, the timing should get tighter and tigher."

In addition to the refunds being processed, Royal Caribbean will be sending a proactive apology communication to guests in order to explain how long it has been taking to get through all of the refunds promised.

"Seaface" mask trademark

Last week, I broke the news of Royal Caribbean's trademark of a name for a sanitary mask, and Ms. Freed was asked if there was any update on what this was all about.

There was not much information to share, but Ms. Freed had this to say, "Other than what I read on the RoyalCaribbeanBlog that we have a patent for it, I don't know anything else about it. I'm sure it will be adorable with Crown and Anchors, and whatever else designs we can come up with."

Ms. Rodriguez elaborated, "This whole situation has made us as a cruise line take on a bunch of other innovations that we've never thought we'd been in the business of taking on."

"This is one of a number of innovations that our team's are exploring as we look forward to safe and healthy and a fun return to cruise. So keep your eyes peeled for more hopefully."

Alaska cruises in 2020

When asked about cruises to Alaska this year, Ms. Freed offered an optimistic attitude, "Alaska's certainly a real possibility that we will be sailing there. The end of July, certainly I'm optimistic.

Pushing back final payment dates

Another question asked was if Royal Caribbean would shorten or change the final payment date due to the current situation.

Royal Caribbean Account Executive Brittany Yochum spoke to this concern, "At this time, we're not pushing back any of our final payment dates, especially because we do have the Cruise with Confidence policy out through the end of August."

Odyssey of the Seas update

Just like readers here, travel partners were curious if Odyssey of the Seas has any kind of update on the progress being made.

Ms. Yochum provided a brief update, "She is still being built, and we are definitely working on our way to still having her be delivered."

President's Cruise

Another question asked as if there would be any changes to Royal Caribbean's President's Cruise on October 25 out of Barcelona on Allure of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean's manager of the Sales Training Team, Renee Didier, answered, "The President's Cruise is still in our scope, and of course we're going to look forward to welcoming our guests onboard. So right now, we are still planning that cruise."

Royal Caribbean says no doctor's note will be required to cruise once sailings resume


Following a swirl of rumors online about policies guests can expect once cruising resumes, Royal Caribbean spoke briefly to travel agents about the issue of guests needing a doctor's note in order cruise.

Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support & Service Vicki Freed spoke at the beginning of her webinar by addressing the need for a letter from a doctor for guests who are 70 years old or older, or have a pre-existing chronic medical condition.

"We found out that CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) did actually change this requirement on April 3rd. So a health form is no longer required for those travelers ages 70 plus, nor are there restrictions for those guests with underlying health conditions."

"In our current environment, everything can change at a moment's notice, so this is very fluid. But as of today, there are no requirements for doctor's notes."

"We are working on our return to service protocols, and they may look very different in the next couple weeks or months. Until that's finalized, we can't say for sure this is never going to happen, but we will keep you informed."

Ms. Freed's comment comes less than a day after a few travel agents spotted an updated list of boarding & health protocols, which was quickly taken down after being prematurely posted.

The post sent ripples through social media as guests and travel advisors began to wonder if these policies would indeed enter into practice.

Prior to Royal Caribbean suspending global sailings in March, the cruise line issued a notice it would deny boarding 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.

"According to CLIA," Ms. Freed reiterated later in the call, "a health form is no longer required for those travelers ages 70 plus, nor are there restrictions for those guests with underlying health conditions."

Royal Caribbean extends Future Cruise Credits dates of use


Royal Caribbean sent an email indicating it will honor its Future Cruise Credits for a longer period of time so that guests can have more options to consider when using their credits.

Originally, Royal Caribbean advised that you had until December 31st, 2021 to re-book and sail using your 125% Future Cruise Credit. 

So, instead of selecting a sailing the departs on or before December 31, 2021, you may now select a sailing departing on or before April 30, 2022. 

This provides an extra 4 months of sailings to choose from, although the credit must be applied by December 31, 2021 to the sailing.

Royal Caribbean says the decision was made to give guests more flexibility in properly planning a cruise.

Guests who have already received a 125% Future Cruise Credit will not receive an updated email, but the change has been made in Royal Caribbean's system.