Cruise lines worldwide suspended sailings March 13 because of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 9 extended its no-sail order for cruise ships in the U.S., with no firm return date announced.
Now companies such as Carnival and Disney are pushing out their return dates and canceling more trips, meaning passengers can receive full refunds for the price of their trips.
Those who want to take their chances and postpone — even though there’s no date when this pandemic will end — can choose to receive a credit for a future cruise. Just remember: If you choose a credit, you have forfeited your refund. Cruise companies want you to stick with them, and are offering extra perks and credits to keep you on board.
To get a refund or credit on a canceled cruise, look for an email from your cruise line. You may be able to make changes online or you may have to do so through the call center (expect long wait times). If you didn’t book with the cruise line, check with your travel agent or third-party online retailer.
On Wednesday, Carnival Cruises announced it would suspend Alaska sailings through June 30 and scrap all San Francisco cruises for the rest of the year. Typical five-day cruises along the California coast called at Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico, before returning to the Bay Area.
The company also canceled cruises aboard Carnival Radiance (an upgrade of the Carnival Victory) through Nov. 1, and Carnival Legend, through Oct. 30. Carnival Legend typically sails from Seattle to Alaska in summer months.
Passengers whose trips have been canceled may opt for a refund or a future cruise credit.
Disney Cruise Line on Monday extended its suspension for sailings departing in April. Passengers who had tickets on any of its four ships through April 28 may receive a refund or a cruise credit for a trip within 15 months of their original departure date, according to the company’s website.
Disney also warned passengers about sailings aboard the Disney Wonder that are scheduled to resume April 29. The itinerary calls for a stop in Vancouver, Canada, but Canada has closed its ports at least through July 1.
Princess canceled its cruises through June 30, according to a statement April 14. At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the cruise line had suspended operations for sailings March 12 to May 10.
Also, Princess is canceling Alaska Gulf cruise and land tours for the season, which keeps five wilderness lodges, trains and buses operated by the cruise line shut over the summer. It will, however, offer round-trip sailings from Seattle to Alaska when cruise operations in the U.S. resume.
The cruise line is offering guests refunds that must be filed by May 31 or vouchers for a future cruise at 125% of the value of what you paid. You may sail with the voucher on or before May 1, 2022.
Other cruise lines
Seabourn and Holland America on April 14 announced plans to cancel sailings through June 30. The original suspension of operations had canceled sailings through May 14. Passengers may receive a refund or a credit for a future cruise valued at 125% of the fare price plus $250 shipboard credit.
Luxury line Cunard has canceled sailings through May 15. You may receive a refund or a future credit for 125% of the total value of your booking. Credits are good for sailings up to March 31, 2022, but you must book before Dec. 31.
Royal Caribbean has suspended cruises through May 11, offering refunds or a credit valued at 125% of what you paid. Itineraries sailing through Singapore and Canada also are suspended because those ports are temporarily closed.
The company also offers future credits to passengers who may want to cancel in as little as 48 hours before their departure. Those scheduled to sail through Sept. 1 may rebook a cruise by Dec. 31.
Celebrity Cruises has suspended sailings through May 11, and Alaska sailing through July 1. Refunds and 125% future cruise credits are offered to passengers whose trips have been canceled.