Carnival Cruise Line has waived cancellation fees for its cruises to mid-January after outbreaks of Covid-19 on board some cruises has led to disruptions to their itineraries. The ability to cancel will give travelers more flexibility when it comes to their cruises, and the opportunity to rebook to a period of time when they are less likely to find their cruises affected by Covid-19 or the Omicron variant – but it hasn’t been extended indefinitely.
The cruise industry has been back for some months now, but the constant altering of on board regulations, Covid-19 outbreaks on board and changing of the entry requirements for their destinations has made it far from smooth sailing for cruise lines in the US. Here’s everything you need to know about Carnival waiving their cancellation fees, including why they’re doing it and when it is valid until.
Carnival Waives Cancellation Fee – Information For Travelers
The past few weeks have shown that the spread of Omicron isn’t just affecting travel that is occurring in the skies, but on the waves too. The spread of the variant has hit the cruise industry hard, with outbreaks occurring on several ships that has led to them rethinking policies on board cruise ships, avoiding trips to certain destinations and adding pre-port testing in a bid to keep their passengers safe throughout the duration of the cruise.
However, one such change is bound to worry passengers more than others. Several different cruise lines have been prevented from docking at different ports in the Caribbean due to concerns about the potential number of positive cases of Covid-19 on board, and other cruise ships that have been able to dock at ports have not been allowed to let passengers disembark due to the same concerns.
The problem has spread to Carnival directly. Cruise ports in the Caribbean islands of Bonaire and Aruba turned away the cruise line Carnival Freedom ship on Wednesday and Thursday following a small number of positive Covid-19 cases on board the vessel. Whilst alternative cruise stops were lined up for passengers instead, the disruption to the cruise line’s regular schedule has led to the company changing its cancellation fee policy.
The cruise line is now giving its passengers who have booked to sail on cruises between now and January 14th the opportunity to reschedule or cancel their trip – without having to pay any cancellation fees. Referencing the situation, Carnival’s president Christine Duffy said:
“We recognize that given the circumstances, some of our guests may want to consider sailing at a different time.”
Carnival have also spoken about the fact that some ports are refusing cruise ships to dock.
“We want you to know that we may encounter a decision by local authorities at a destination to limit or deny the ship from entering the port,” adding that should this happen, they would “do our best to find an alternative destination.” Carnival also mentioned that they would not offer compensation for a missed port, but they would refund shore excursions that were pre-purchased through the cruise line.
Whilst alternative destinations may be found by the cruise line, travelers are bound to be relieved that they have the opportunity to cancel without fee until January 14th if they are worried about missing their favorite destination. With cases continuing to rise both on land and on sea, it might be wise to take advantage of the offer whilst they can.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories