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Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises cancel sailings into June

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Add Royal Caribbean and sister brands Celebrity Cruises and Azamara to the list of cruise lines canceling all sailings into June.

Citing the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the three lines late Thursday canceled departures across their fleets through June 11.

The lines join Princess Cruises, Holland America, Carnival Cruise Line and several other major brands in canceling trips for at least the next eight weeks.

Princess and Holland America on Tuesday canceled all sailings through June 30. Carnival on Monday canceled all departures through June 26.

Both lines also canceled the majority of their cruises in Alaska for all of 2020, and said none of their lodges in Alaska would open this year, nor would they operate any of their sightseeing trains or buses.

Princess also delayed the debut of its newest ship, Enchanted Princess, until Aug. 1, and canceled sailings of two more ships — Diamond Princess and Sun Princess — through Aug. 4 and Sept. 4, respectively.

Until this week, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara only had canceled departures on most ships through May 11. The new cancellations extend their fleet-wide shutdowns by a month.

More cancellations are likely coming. Late last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an extended “no-sail” order for cruise ships operating out of U.S. ports. The “no-sail” order could remain in effect through July 24.

Nearly all cruise lines around the world suspended operations the week of March 9 as coronavirus cases surged around the globe. Initially, most lines said they planned to resume sailing after 30 days. But with the pandemic showing few signs of slowing, many lines later extended their shutdowns to mid-May.

This week’s announcements will affect hundreds of thousands of travelers with bookings in the coming months. Carnival alone accounts for nearly one of every five cruises taken worldwide.

All the lines said passengers on affected sailings could choose between a full refund or a credit for a future cruise. They all offered incentives to encourage customers to take the credits.

Carnival, for instance, offered customers who chose a credit an additional $300 to $600 per cabin in onboard credit, depending on the length of the trip. To get the additional credit, cruisers must rebook by Dec. 31.

Giving out future cruise credits instead of cash refunds allows the lines to preserve cash. In a regulatory filing earlier this month, Carnival’s parent company, Carnival Corp., said it was burning through $1 billion a month.

Carnival Corp. is the parent company of Carnival, Princess Cruises, Holland America and Seabourn as well as five other major cruise brands.

This week’s announcements are the latest evidence that cruising worldwide is unlikely to resume in a meaningful way until at least the summer.

A handful of lines such as Viking already had canceled all sailings through late June, and some lines are starting to go even further with cancellations for specific itineraries and specific ships. On Monday, for instance, Norwegian Cruise Line canceled all scheduled sailings on one of its 17 ships, Norwegian Sun, through October. The ship, currently docked in Jacksonville, Florida, had been scheduled to spend the summer in Alaska.  

Norwegian said Norwegian Sun would reposition to Port Canaveral, Florida, to sail a mix of three- to five-day itineraries to the Bahamas and Florida as well as the Western Caribbean once the line’s coronavirus-caused shutdown to cruise operations was over.   

Carnival also has canceled sailings on some ships into the fall. On Monday, the line canceled all sailings on its 2,984-passenger Carnival Sunrise through Oct. 19. The ship had been scheduled to sail out of New York over the summer.

Carnival also has canceled sailings on its 2,680-passenger Carnival Legend and 3,873-passenger Carnival Radiance through Oct. 30 and Nov. 1, respectively. The ships had been scheduled to be in Europe this year.

By Gene Sloan, USA Today
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com

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For the most part, the cruise lines have been very accommodating with generous amounts of bonus onboard credit for those who choose to take a credit for a future cruise. Some have also relaxed cancellation policies for cruises into the fall, allowing cancellations up to 30 days prior with penalties given as FCC. On the downside, due to the unprecedented number of cancellations on a daily basis, their accounting departments are overwhelmed and refunds and credits are a long time in coming - 3 months, in some cases, requiring an enormous amount of patience. I've also noticed that NCL has been the last to cancel itineraries or extend their dates of cancelled cruises, preferring to take a wait-and-see approach. This has been frustrating for guests who feel their cancelled cruise is inevitable but want to wait for the cruise line to make the move to cancel in order for the guest to have a choice of refund or FCC.

I feel sad for Alaska which has lost most of their summer 2020 tourism business. I am happy to see that many of the tour and hotel suppliers in Alaska, as a result of the cruise shutdown, are refunding and waiving penalties during the pandemic - not only in Alaska, but worldwide.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that sailings start over the summer and are all in by September, because I'm booked on Liberty of the Seas in September

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2 hours ago, kcl57 said:

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that sailings start over the summer and are all in by September, because I'm booked on Liberty of the Seas in September

Hoping for the best, as well. A lot will depend on what ports are open and the availability of crew. 

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