Royal Caribbean has issued an apology to guests for a delay in refunding payments for cruises canceled due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
“Your refund will be honored and it is coming – it’s just taking a little longer than expected and we’re very sorry about that,” the company’s Associate Vice President of Guest Experience, Aurora Yera-Rodriguez, wrote in an email.
Here is the email in full:
Message From Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Regarding Refunds:
“It’s no secret that the world is going through a difficult time. And while there are many changes going on around us, one that will never change is our commitment to remain transparent and as communicative, as possible.
As we went into our global suspension of sailings, we initially estimated that refunds would take 30 days. Unfortunately, with an unprecedented volume of refunds and credits, we are delayed. We’ve worked diligently to resolve most of the volume issues and are working around the clock to address the backlog to get you your refund, as quickly possible.
Currently, some refunds are taking up to 45 days. Please know that each and every request is receiving the same level of care and dedication. And rest assured, your refund will be honored and it is coming – it’s just taking a little longer than expected and we’re very sorry about that.
We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. Please stay safe!
AVP | Guest Experience
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean “Seaface” Protective Mask
Royal Caribbean refunds policy is to allow cash refunds
Resume operations on June 12th
Royal Caribbean, initially cancelled sailings from US ports due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 13 and on March 14 followed up by suspending operations for the remainder of its sailings worldwide.
On March 24, it extended its global suspension until May 11. In conjunction with the CDC no-sail order, all sailings departing on and before June 11th, have been cancelled.
The company says it will now resume operations on June 12th for the majority of its 26-ship fleet. It notes that Canadian ports will remain closed until July 1.
The company has offered passengers affected by the cancellation 125% Future Cruise Credit to sail with Royal Caribbean by April 30, 2022. To use Future Cruise Credit, bookings need to be made by December 31, 2021.
For full details of Royal Caribbean’s refund policies please visit the company’s website.
UPDATE May 27, 2020: Why are Royal Caribbean refunds so slow; CEO says, ‘We simply weren’t prepared to handle that kind of volume’
Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain said in a webinar (27.05.2020) with travel agents that the company simply hadn’t been prepared for the enormous volume of demand for refunds, which, he said had “simply exploded” as a result of the no-sail order issued by the CDC.
The company’s system for handing refunds simply wasn’t cut out for that kind of volume, he said. “A very nice system that worked for a volume of X doesn’t work per volume of 50 times X or whatever the number is, but we simply weren’t prepared for it. And by the way, this requires more training than other things,” Fain said,
Fain added that credit card companies were also having trouble processing that kind of volume, saying that they “weren’t equipped to handle this as quickly as we thought.”
“When something like this happens,” he continued, “it builds on itself. And so, this same issue also reverberates into affecting our call centers. So, we start to get more calls. People are on hold longer and it becomes a vicious circle.
“What we’re working to do is convert the vicious circle into a virtuous circle. We’ve added technical capabilities to hopefully speed up more of the processes. We’ve added a lot of people to the process. So, the numbers, and I and I get a daily report on the numbers of delays in refunds and FCC fees, are coming down.
“We’re not to a point yet where I no longer need to get that daily report. And I look forward to that day. But where we’re making progress towards it.”