The cruise ship Grand Princess, which once transported some 3,000 passengers, some of whom had coronavirus, returned to port in San Francisco Bay on Tuesday with nearly 650 crew members on board after completing their 14-day quarantine. (April 7)
The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on the cruise industry.
Princess Cruises announced on Wednesday that it is extending its break in global vessel operations, leading to the cancellation of some cruises until the end of the 2020 summer season. Sister Line Holland America is doing the same, stopping its cruises in Alaska, Europe and Canada / New England for 2020, just like the other sister line Seabourn. Seabourn suspends operations until October 13 to travel to Alaska; which extends throughout what is usually the cruise season here.
Also on Wednesday, Royal Caribbean Cruises announced an extension of its “Cruise with Confidence” cancellation policy until April 2022, with extended booking change options.
Carnival Cruise Line announced on Tuesday that it was canceling Alaska cruises during the summer, but that eight vessels would return to North American service on August 1, a month later than the schedule announced in mid-April.
Mike Tibbles of Cruise Lines International Association Alaska said by email that the state is currently facing a loss of 479 trips – 80% of expected crossings – with passenger capacity of more than 955,000 due to ‘ship cancellations.
The industry has been shutdown since mid-March, with hundreds of cruise ship passengers and crew members contracting a coronavirus as the pandemic swept the world. Some passengers, stranded far from home, faced logistical difficulties returning home as travel options dwindled. Crew members of some ships, such as the Costa Atlantica, are currently returning.
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In a press release, Princess said her decision was related to reduced flight availability, the closure of cruise ports around the world and other international travel issues.
“As the world prepares to resume its voyages, it is with great disappointment that we announce an extension to the break in global ship operations and the cancellation of cruise vacations for our loyal customers,” said the president. from Princess Cruises, Jan Swartz, in a statement. She expressed her sadness at the effects of the decision on employees, business partners and the destination communities.
Princess cruises canceled for the summer include:
• All remaining Alaska cruises on Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess
• All remaining European and transatlantic cruises on Enchanted Princess, Regal Princess, Sky Princess, Crown Princess and Island Princess
• Summer cruises in the Caribbean and all cruises in Canada and New England on Caribbean Princess and Sky Princess
• Summer to fall cruises from Japan on Diamond Princess
• Cruises in Australia on Sapphire Princess and Sea Princess until August
• July cruises from Taiwan on Majestic Princess
• Fall cruises to Hawaii and French Polynesia on Pacific Princess until November
Customers who have paid in full on one of these trips can receive a Future Cruise Credit equivalent to 100% of the cruise price plus a 25% bonus or they can request a full refund via an online form. Refund requests must be received before June 15, 2020, otherwise customers will receive the FCC option.
Cancellations: Royal Caribbean, Celebrity stops cruises until June 11; Carnival, Princess cancels until June
For potential travelers who have not paid in full, Princess will double the deposit with a refundable FCC plus a corresponding bonus that can be used on any trip until May 1, 2022. No action is required for this FCC offer.
Princess also said she would protect travel agent commissions on canceled cruise reservations that have been paid in full.
In mid-April, Princess announced the cancellation of all cruises until June 30.
In addition to cruise cancellations in Alaska, Europe and Canada / New England, the Amsterdam vessel on the line scheduled for a 79-day Grand Africa Voyage from Boston on October 3 is also canceled. Holland America’s land and sea trips for 2020 have already been canceled; this refers to cruises in Alaska with land visits to Denali and the Yukon.
Each passenger on a canceled cruise will receive a future cruise credit. Those who paid in full will receive a 125% cruise credit, and those who will not receive it will receive double their deposit; the minimum credit is $ 100 and the maximum is up to the base cruise fare paid. This credit can be used to book trips until December 31, 2022 and applies for 12 months from the date of issue.
Customers can also receive a 100% refund, but must indicate online if this is the case by June 15, 2020 via a cancellation preferences form.
Charter cruises are not part of this policy, and if the cruise was not booked through Holland America, these booking and cancellation policies and conditions may not apply.
The five Seabourn vessels will remain on hiatus in October or November.
- Seabourn Odyssey took a break until November 20, during the season in Europe
- Seabourn Sojourn stopped on October 13, during the Alaska / British Columbia season
- Seabourn Quest Pauses Until November 6 During Canada / New England Season
- Seabourn Still on break until October 19, during the season in Europe
- Seabourn Ovation took a break until November 6, during the season in Europe
The line had previously suspended operations from March 14 to June 30.
Customers who have paid in full will earn a future cruise credit of 125%, while those in deposit will receive this same credit and an additional onboard credit of $ 300 per suite. The credit is applicable for 12 months from the date of issue, and can be used for reservations until December 31, 2022. Customers can also request a refund.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruises is extending its “Cruise with Confidence” cancellation policy on three cruise lines – Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara – until April 2022.
For new and existing bookings created before August 1, 2020, travelers can cancel the cruise up to 48 hours before sailing and receive full credit for a future cruise until April 2022, the company announced on Wednesday.
Royal Caribbean is also extending the new booking options related to cruises until April 2022:
• The “Best Price Guarantee” allows customers to change the price and promotional offer for a reservation up to 48 hours before a cruise.
• “Lift and Shift” allows customers to move their booking itinerary to a later date, the original price and the promotional offer being protected.
“We want our customers to feel they can safely keep their existing cruise reservations or plan new crossings,” said Royal Caribbean President and CEO Richard Fain in an accompanying statement.
The announcement did not include an update on when cruises could resume. In mid-April, the company said it plans to resume service on June 12.
Contributor: Associated Press
Slow refunds: Cruise companies are slow to issue refunds: the coronavirus “overshadows all the disruptions we have experienced”
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