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How to request a refund for your cancelled Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
Category: 
17Apr2020

If your Royal Caribbean cruise was cancelled as a result of the voluntary global suspension of cruising, you have the choice of a Future Cruise Credit or getting a full refund.

There are advantages of both options, but if you are interested in a refund, here is what you need to know.

How long do you have to decide if you want a refund or a credit?

Royal Caribbean wants to provide its guests the greatest flexibility when choosing between either compensation offer.

Even if you opt for a future cruise credit, you have a certain amount of time to change your mind and opt for a refund instead.  Royal Caribbean would prefer you take the future cruise credit, but they do provide a means of changing your mind up until a certain point.

  • If your cancelled sailing was on-or-before March 14 - May 11, refunds must be requested on-or-before December 31, 2021 and will be processed approximately 30 days after the request is submitted.
  • If your cancelled sailing was between May 12 – June 11, 2020, refunds must be requested on-or-before December 31, 2020 and will be processed approximately 45 days after the request is submitted.

Keep in mind that even if you take a future cruise credit, taxes, fees, and prepaid gratuities  will be refunded to the original form of payment automatically.

How to request a refund

If you know you want a refund, there are two methods you can employ to get the process started on processing it.

If you booked through a travel agent, my advice is contact them and ask them to do it for you.

Alternatively, Royal Caribbean provides a self-service form that you can fill out and submit your refund request. This form is good for requesting refunds of a cancelled sailing, as well as opting into the Cruise with Confidence program.

You will need a few details to complete the self-service request:

  • Booking ID
  • Ship
  • Sail Date
  • Last Name

When can I expect refunds for shore excursions, specialty dining, beverage package, and other add-ons?

For sailings departing on-or-before April 10, 2020, once the reservation is cancelled, refunds can be expected within 30 days.

For sailings departing April 11 – May 11, 2020, guests had the option to select a 125% onboard credit to be used on a future sailing, in lieu of a refund. This option was available, if desired, through April 8, 2020, and has since expired. The fulfillment of both options is currently underway and can be expected within 30 days of request date.

For sailings departing May 12 – June 11, 2020, guests can elect to convert their purchases into an onboard credit valued at 125% of the amount paid via the Cruise Planner tool. You must opt-in to take advantage of this option on-or-before Monday, May 4, 2020 – at which time the offer will expire.

Thereafter, all guests who did not opt-in for the elevated onboard credit will automatically receive a refund to the original form of payment. Please allow 45 days for processing. This offer is applicable to individual reservations, as well as individuals within a Group.

Can I change my mind later and opt for a future cruise credit instead of a refund?

Yes, if the refund has not yet been processed, the compensation offer can revert back to a Future Cruise Credit.

What if my cruise isn't cancelled yet? Can I request a refund?

If your cruise has not been cancelled yet, you have a few choices that will depend on when your sailing is scheduled.

If you have not reached your final payment date, you can always cancel your cruise to get a refund, subject to the usual Royal Caribbean policies on how to cancel a cruise.

If your cruise is on or before September 1, 2020, you can take advantage of the Cruise with Confidence program to get a 100% future cruise credit.

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 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.

Updated December 2, 2020

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 deposit and/or base cruise fare of any future cruise.

It cannot be used to pay:

  • 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 of June 6, 2020, a FCC can be used for a new cruise reservation deposit.

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 2020 cancelled sailings?

The delivery of a FCC can be expected depeinding on which phase of cruise cancellations your sailing was part of: 

Sailings on-or-before April 10, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than April 13, 2020.

Sailings between April 11-May 11, 2020: FCCS can be expected via email no later than April 30, 2020.

Sailings between May 12–June 11, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than May 22, 2020.

Sailings between June 12–July 31, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than June 30, 2020.

Sailings visiting Canadian ports between August 1-October 31, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than July 17, 2020.

Sailings on Explorer of the Seas through August 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than July 24, 2020.

Sailings in China (July 1-12, 2020 only) and 2020 Copenhagen: FCCs can be expected via email no later than July 24, 2020.

Sailings between August 1- September 15, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than July 31, 2020.

China (Quantum & Spectrum July 13-31, 2020) & Bermuda sailings through October 31, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than July 31, 2020.

Sailings between September 16 - September 30, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than August 26, 2020.

Sailings between October 1 – 31, 2020, plus remaining 2020 Europe & Fall Transatlantic season: FCCs can be expected via email no later than September 14, 2020.

Spectrum & Quantum of the Seas China departures between August 15-September 13, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than September 14, 2020.

Australia / New Zealand / South Pacific departures between October 1-31, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than September 30, 2020.

Spectrum of the Seas China departures September 18-27, 2020 and Quantum of the Seas China departures September 17-October 1, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than September 30, 2020.

Australia / New Zealand departures between November 1 – December 31, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than October 16, 2020.

Spectrum of the Seas China departures October 1-31, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than October 16, 2020.

Sailings between November 1-30, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than November 4, 2020.

Sailings between December 1-31, 2020: FCCs can be expected via email no later than November 30, 2020

Sailings between January 1 - February 28, 2021: FCCs can be expected via email no later than January 15, 2021.

Australia/New Zealand sailings departing February – April 2021: FCCs can be expected via email no later than January 15, 2021.

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 from the first two sets of cancellations can be redeemed on any sailing departing on-or-before April 30, 2022. 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.

Credits recieved from the third set of impacted sailings must be redeemed by January 1, 2021 and sail by April 30, 2022. In addition, the deadline to request to change a future cruise credit to a refund deadline is December 31, 2020. 

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.  

Are Future Cruise Credits transferable?

Future Cruise Credits are not transferable, minus two exceptions:

  • Guests under 12 years old
  • Guests over 70 years old

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

If a Future Cruise Credit was leveraged to pay for a reservation now impacted by the suspension of cruising, Royal Caribbean will make it easier by combining all funds into one voucher.

The value of the original FCC will now be added to the new FCC at 100% of its original value, plus 125% of any amount paid by the guest on the cancelled
sailing.

Regardless of the original FCC’s expiration date,the new FCC is valid through December 31, 2021, at which time all unused funds will expire.

In a unique scenario where you may have been impacted by multiple phases of suspended sailings where your original Sailing Suspension FCC was redeemed on a newly impacted reservation, a full refund is feasible. Assuming the terms of the original FCC are met, the refund amount will equate to the value of the cruise fare at 100% and will not include
the incremental 25% earned through the original selection of a Future Cruise Certificate.

Can I change my mind after getting a Future Cruise Credit and opt for a 100% refund instead?

Yes, refunds can be requested in exchange for unredeemed FCCs as follows:

  • Sailings departing on-or-before May 11, 2020: Refunds must be requested on-or- before December 31, 2021 and will be processed approximately 30 days after the request is submitted.
  • All sailing suspension announcements made on-or-after April 16, 2020: Refunds must be requested on-or-before December 31, 2020 and will be processed approximately 45 days from the cancellation date

Upon processing the refund and reimbursing the original form of payment, the Future Cruise Credit will be deactivated. Additionally, if you previously opted-in for the 125% Onboard Credit, it, too, will be deactivated when the refund is requested.

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."

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