two ships docked side by side

Cruise Lines Cancel All US Sailings

Lyle Chevrette

· 12 mins

Cruise sales are declining because of the outbreaks of covid-19 on cruise ships and the world wide pandemic. Yet another blow is being dealt at the cruise industry.

Last Friday, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that all 4 of the large ocean cruise companies will voluntarily halt operations for at least 30 days. The big 4 are Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and MSC Cruises.

Kelly Craighead, CLIA’s president and CEO had this to say:

CLIA cruise line members are voluntarily and temporarily suspending operations from the U.S. as we work to address this public health crisis. This is an unprecedented situation. Our industry has taken responsibility for protecting public health for more than 50 years, working under the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and prides itself on its ability to deliver exceptional vacation experiences for guests, as well as meaningful employment opportunities for crew.

This has been a challenging time, but we hope that this decision will enable us to focus on the future and a return to normal as soon as possible.

What to do if you are on one of these crusies?

Guests, who are booked on impacted cruise itineraries, are encouraged to contact their travel advisors or reach out to their cruise lines directly.

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Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is the parent company of Royal Caribbean International, Azamara and Celebrity Cruises.

Cancellation dates: March 14th - April 11th

Refund options: 125% Future Cruise Credit or 100% refund of the original purchase price. All taxes, fees, prepaid gratuities, prepaid extras and prepurchased excursions will be refunded to the card they were purchased with.

Royal Caribbean said in their initial press release:

We understand the gravity of the public health crisis confronting the country. And this is our part to play. So, beginning at midnight tonight, we are pausing the fleet’s US sailings for 30 days.

We are reaching out to our guests to help them work through this disruption to their vacations, and we are truly sorry for their inconvenience. We are also communicating with our crew to work out the issues this decision presents for them. We know this adds great stress to our guests, employees and crew, and we are working to minimize the disruption.

Cruises that depart U.S. ports before midnight tonight and international cruises will operate their scheduled itineraries. U.S. ships already at sea will finish their itineraries as planned. Our business is providing great vacations and creating great memories. We look forward to getting back to work as soon as we can.

On March 14th they included the whole world in the decision:

Given global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has decided to suspend the sailings of our fleet globally at midnight tonight. We will conclude all current sailings as scheduled and assist our guests with their safe return home. As with our announcement yesterday regarding U.S. sailings, we expect to return to service on April 11, 2020.

MSC Cruises

Cancellation dates: March 14th - April 30th

Refund options: 125% Future Cruise Credit or 100% refund of the original purchase price. All taxes, fees, prepaid gratuities, prepaid extras and prepurchased excursions will be refunded to the card they were purchased with.

MSC took things a little further than the normal 30 days and upped it to 45 days. Here is what they said in there statement Friday:

In light of the extraordinary circumstances the world is currently facing in connection with the COVID-19 virus, MSC Cruises has taken the difficult decision to temporary stop all its U.S.-based new cruise embarkations for 45 days until April 30.

As the COVID-19 situation is now a global pandemic, governments across the globe are continuously reviewing ashore public health and safety measures to protect local populations and limit the further spread of the virus. MSC Cruises’ decision aims to mirror and further support the effectiveness of such efforts.

The Company has already also halted ship operations across all areas considered as high risk for the virus, in the Mediterranean, the Gulf and Asia. Ships still in operation in South America and South Africa will also end their operations at the end of their current itineraries.

In 2019, MSC Cruises hosted nearly three million guests on board its ships deployed across five continents, representing over 170 nationalities.

MSC Cruises is offering guests affected by today’s decision the opportunity to transfer 100% of the money paid for their cancelled vacation plus an additional generous credit benefit to a future cruise of their choice at any point through the end of 2021. If not used by that date, guests will receive a full refund of the cruise fare.”

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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH)

Cancellation dates: March 3rd - April 11th

Refund options: 125%, 150% Future Cruise Credit or 100% refund of the original purchase price refunded within 90 days. All taxes, fees, prepaid gratuities, prepaid extras and prepurchased excursions will be refunded to the card they were purchased with.

Below is a statement from NCLH sent out last Friday:

This temporary suspension comes after collaboration with federal officials and is aimed at contributing to efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and covers voyages with embarkation dates from March 13 through April 11, 2020. We will plan to commence cruise operations with embarkations beginning April 12, 2020.

The health, safety and well-being of our guests and crew remains our highest priority. I want to emphasize that this measure is being taken in an abundance of caution within our family of brands, as we have not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 across our 28-ship fleet. We greatly appreciate the understanding of our loyal guests and valued travel partners during these fluid, unprecedented and challenging times. Working closely and in partnership with local, state, federal and global agencies, we are committed to taking all appropriate precautions and actions to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Voyages that are currently in process will end as soon as possible and guests will disembark. We will work closely with them on travel arrangements to bring them home. We have asked our guests who are currently booked on voyages departing from March 13 through April 11, 2020 to contact you, or Norwegian Cruise Line for more information. Below are a few details that may be helpful when speaking to your clients:

Cruises scheduled to embark between March 13 through March 17, 2020:

  • These guests will receive a 150 percent refund of the fare paid in the form of a future cruise credit, which can be applied toward any cruise through December 31, 2022.
  • For guests who wish to not avail themselves of the 150 percent future cruise credit, a 100% refund of the fare paid will be reimbursed to the original form of payment within 90 days of guests’ requests.

Cruises scheduled to embark between March 18 through April 11, 2020:

  • These guests will receive a 125 percent refund of the fare paid in the form of a future cruise credit, which can be applied toward any future cruise through December 31, 2022.
  • For guests who wish to not avail themselves of the 125 percent future cruise credit, a 100 percent refund of the fare paid will be reimbursed to the original form of payment within 90 days of guests’ requests.

Carnival Cruise Line

Cancellation dates: March 14th - April 11th

Refund options: 100% Future Cruise Credit and on board credit up to $750 or 100% refund of the original purchase price. All taxes, fees, prepaid gratuities, prepaid extras and prepurchased excursions will be refunded to the card they were purchased with.

Carnival Cruise Line said:

Throughout this COVID-19 situation that has now turned into a global pandemic, we have implemented higher and higher levels of screening, monitoring and sanitation protocols to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve.

While Carnival has not had a diagnosed case linked to our operation we realize this situation is bigger than the cruise industry and we will continue to do our part to support public officials to manage and contain this unprecedented public health challenge. We are contacting booked guests directly regarding their cruise and their options.

Our guests have been tremendously patient and understanding as we have reacted to a rapidly changing situation and a desire to be responsive to authorities in the U.S. and the destinations we visit. We are very sorry that this decision will disrupt the vacation plans for our guests and look forward to resuming operations and providing our guests safe, fun and memorable vacations.

And it goes without saying, we can only do that with the support of our outstanding onboard team members who have been nothing short of amazing during this prolonged period of challenge.

Princess Cruise Lines

Cancellation dates: March 12th - May 10th

Refund options: up to 225% Future Cruise Credit or 100% refund of the original purchase price. All taxes, fees, prepaid gratuities, prepaid extras and prepurchased excursions will be refunded to the card they were purchased with.

In an email to travel advisors, John Chernesky from Princess wrote:

Recognizing our responsibility to our guests, our crew and the global community, and after very serious consideration of the evolving COVID-19 situation, Princess Cruises has made the difficult decision to voluntarily and temporarily pause our global ship operations for 60 days, effective immediately through May 11, 2020.

Here is a rundown of how voyages underway are affected:

  • Guests currently onboard a cruise that will end in the next 5 days will continue to sail as expected through the end of their cruise so that we do not disrupt their onward travel arrangements.
  • Current voyages that are underway and extend beyond March 17 will be ended at the most convenient location for our guests. We will do everything in our power to return each guest home with the greatest amount of care possible.

For clients who have bookings through May 10th, we are pleased to offer two options, a generous Future Cruise Credit (with additional compensation for selecting this option) or a refund to their original form of payment.

While we will leave the ultimate decision to you and your clients, we hope they strongly consider choosing Option 1, by transferring money paid and accepting the Future Cruise Credit representing a higher value and maximum benefit for your clients. The future cruise credit applies for all guests who had bookings as of February 4, 2020. This can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022.

For some, choosing the Future Cruise Credit may not be financially possible. So we will be posting an electronic form on Princess.com where guests who are booked in this specific time period can request a cash refund.

Here are the details of the two options for guests booked through May 10th, 2020:

Your Departure Date In 2020Option 1: Transfer money paid + Bonus Future Cruise Credit (higher value)Option 2: Refund + Future Cruise Credit (lower value)
March 12 - March 25225% future cruise credit100% refund + 100% future cruise credit
March 26 - April 8th175% future cruise credit100% refund + 50% future cruise credit
April 9th – May 10th150% future cruise credit100% refund + 25% future cruise credit

During this downtime John’s email said:

As we embark on the immense task to pause service of our fleet of 18 ships temporarily, our goal is to reset the environmental conditions onboard, incorporating all the learnings from the world’s public health experts like the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will also use this time to refocus our attention on providing the best service and experience possible for our guests.

Cunard

Cancellation dates: March 16th - April 11th

Refund options: 125% FCC or 100% refund of the original purchase price. All taxes, fees, prepaid gratuities, prepaid extras and prepurchased excursions will be refunded to the card they were purchased with.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said:

Having reviewed all of our ship operations and industry recommendations, we have decided no new guests or crew will be joining our ships as we suspend operations until April 11, 2020. This pause in operations has been done in an abundance of caution to support the global effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

All guests impacted directly by this temporary suspension are being contacted regarding their voyage and their options.

Simon continued:

These truly are unprecedented times, the likes of which we have certainly never seen before. We are really sorry for the disruption and disappointment that this extraordinary measure will cause. We hope everyone will understand that we have to take these measures in the interests of protecting the well-being of our guests and crew.”

Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will be returning to Southampton and Queen Elizabeth finished her last voyage while in Australia.

For all guests impacted by this temporary suspension, Cunard will provide a 125% Future Cruise Credit. This Future Cruise Credit will be applied automatically to their guest account for use on a Cunard voyage departing before March 31, 2022 so you do not need to contact us to have it added.

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Holland America Line

Cancellation dates: March 13th - April 14th

Refund options: 100% refund & 100% FCC. All taxes, fees, prepaid gratuities, prepaid extras and prepurchased excursions will be refunded to the card they were purchased with.

Holland America Line Press release:

Seattle, Wash., March 13, 2020 — Due to the continued port closures and travel restrictions surrounding COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution, Holland America Line has made the decision to voluntarily pause global cruise operations of its 14 ships for 30 days, impacting sailings scheduled to depart through April 14, 2020.

“These are unprecedented times, and while no guests or crew have tested positive for COVID19 on any of our ships, we must take a leadership position as a global citizen and ensure that we are doing everything we can to help stabilize the situation” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line We know this decision will be disappointing and also inconvenience guests currently in transit, and for that we sincerely apologize. All of us at Holland America Line are fully committed to supporting all our guests through this change. Holland America Line operates 14 ships on all seven continents and we thank all of our guests, travel advisor partners, employees and business partners for their support during this challenging time,” added Ashford. “We look forward to welcoming our guests back on board soon.” Three cruises that were scheduled to depart this weekend are now cancelled. Booked guests and their travel advisors are in the process of being notified. Guests on these three cruises cancelled this weekend will receive a 100% refund and 100% Future Cruise Credit. The cancelled cruises are:

  • Oosterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday, March 14 in San Diego, California.
  • Nieuw Amsterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday, March 14 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Koningsdam: originally scheduled to embark Sunday, March 15, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“Any guests on back-to-back cruises beyond the dates above will now need to disembark the ship.”

For any additional information please check out the cruise lines website or email us at LyAn Voyages at info@LyAnVoyages.com

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