Latest cruise restrictions, cancellation policies

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If you are looking to cancel your trip, be sure to check your cruise line’s cancellation policy (or travel insurance coverage). While it varies from company to company, most cruise lines will refund a portion of what you paid. However, the closer it gets to your departure date, the smaller that refund will be, and in some cases, that amount could be zero.

Below is a list of the latest policies by major cruise lines for boarding as well as updated cancellation policies. Find out if your trip might be impacted:

Carnival Cruise Line

As a CLIA member, Carnival is complying with all screening and operational protocols listed above but is extending the restrictions to 20 days prior to embarkation. Carnival will be taking the temperatures of all guests and crew.

Guests who keep their booking for any departures between March 6 and May 31 will receive onboard credit. The amounts vary on the length of each cruise, but start at a minimum of $100 and will be automatically applied.

Carnival is also allowing guests who booked their trip before March 6 up until May 31 to move their booking to a new date. Guests will receive a future cruise credit for the amount of the nonrefundable cancellation fee that must be used by March 31, 2021. Guests booked on future cruises through the end of March can move their booking to a new date up to three days before departure. Those with bookings for cruises between April 1 and May 31 can change their travel dates by March 31.

There are no itinerary changes for upcoming trips as of March 5.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises is complying with all CLIA restrictions and will additionally deny boarding to any guest who transited through mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao 15 days prior to departure as well as guests who came in contact with people who reside in those areas.

These precautions will remain in place for a projected 30 days. All guests denied boarding due to the restrictions will receive full refunds.

Celebrity Cruises has also adopted a “cruise with confidence” policy. This gives guests greater control over their vacations by allowing them to cancel a cruise up to 48 hours before sailing. Guests will receive full credit for the cancellation to use on any cruise in 2020 or 2021. This policy applies to all cruises on or before July 31.

For itinerary changes, guests aboard a cruise that leaves March 17 will replace an embarkation from Singapore with one in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Travel to Thailand will be replaced with more time at seas and extended port times in India.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line has emailed guests booked on upcoming cruises with details of the CLIA restrictions. The cruise line will screen all guests before boarding, and anyone who feels unwell or shows flu-like symptoms will not be permitted to sail. The email has been shared online by guests who received it.

On its website, Disney Cruise Line lists “no advisories at this time”.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is complying with all CLIA travel restrictions.

As of March 5, the cruise line has “modified, cancelled or redeployed a number of sailings and none of our vessels are calling to ports in mainland China.” Additionally, the company has suspended any deployments in East Asia through the end of the third quarter. Itineraries have been altered as needed to avoid at-risk areas.

Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises is extending the CLIA travel restrictions by denying boarding to:

  • Any passenger or crew member who has been in China, Hong Kong and Macao within 30 days of embarkation
  • Anyone holding a passport from those places

The cruise line has reportedly canceled all cruises in Asia through August.

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is a CLIA member and updated its health and travel advisory this week to comply with the association’s restrictions. Any crew members from China, South Korea or the lockdown areas in Italy will be delayed from joining any ship until further notice.

As of Feb. 17, Princess Cruises canceled 23 voyages scheduled for later this year, the majority departing from Shanghai. Guests booked for these cruises will receive a compensation package, according to the company.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent is complying with the CLIA travel restrictions and will additionally deny boarding to any passenger or crew member holding a Chinese, Hong Kong or Macao passport.

For all cruises between April 3 and Nov. 1, passengers who have paid in full have the option to cancel their trip up to 30 days prior to departure and receive 100% of that amount in cruise credit, which can be applied to any future Regent cruise in 2020-2021.

There are no future itinerary changes as of March 5.

Royal Caribbean International

While a CLIA member, Royal Caribbean is going one step further in health precautions. The cruise line will deny boarding to any guest who has traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Iran, South Korea and Italy in the past 15 days. The 15-day limit also applies to people who have come in contact with someone who traveled to the aforementioned countries or had contact with or helped care for someone suspected or diagnosed with having COVID-19.

The cruise line will also perform mandatory, specialized health screenings on the following guests:

  • Any person who reports feeling unwell or demonstrates any flu-like symptoms
  • Any guest who has traveled from, to or through Japan or Thailand in the past 15 days
  • Guests who are uncertain about contact with individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Thailand or Italy in the past 15 days

Guests with a fever or low oxygen levels in the blood during the screenings will be denied boarding. Royal Caribbean will provide full credit refunds for all guests denied boarded due to these restrictions.

Along with Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean has adopted a “cruise with confidence” policy. This gives guests greater control over their vacations by allowing them to cancel a cruise up to 48 hours before sailing. Guests will receive full credit for the cancellation to use on any cruise in 2020 or 2021. This policy applies to all cruises on or before July 31.

Viking River Cruises

Viking is implementing “enhanced health screening procedures for all guests and staff,” including a health care questionnaire to be completed before boarding. Any guests who traveled from or through mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao within 14 days prior to the trip will not be permitted to board.

If guests wish to cancel their trip, there is temporary exception to the standard cancellation policy, allowing them to change their cruise date or cancel their trip up to 24 hours before the planned departure without incurring cancellation fees. The temporary exception is applicable to all guests who made a reservation prior to March 2, and all guests who make a new reservation through April 30.

There are currently no changes to any Viking itineraries as of March 5.

Virgin Voyages

This newly launched cruise line is currently abiding by CLIA restrictions. Virgin is expanding on the restrictions and will deny boarding to anyone who has been in the following countries within the last 21 days before departure:

  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Italian regions of Milan, Lombardy and Veneto

Any guest who has had close contact with people suspected or confirmed of having COVID-19 are also subject to the 21-day ban.

On March 2, Virgin announced they are postponing any upcoming events in New York City amid the coronavirus spread and will return for a later date.

This article was originally published on March 5, 2020.



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