Royal Caribbean suspends sailing through September 15 

Royal Caribbean International has extended its suspension of sailing through September 15.

The move comes after a Cruise Lines International Association announcement last week that its members would voluntarily extend suspension of sailings from North America due to the COVID-19 situation.

Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruises have also announced suspensions through September 30. 

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Royal Caribbean International has extended its suspension of sailing through September 15.
Royal Caribbean International has extended its suspension of sailing through September 15.

Our goal is to resume operations on September 16th

“In conjunction with the CDC, we have decided to extend the suspension of sailings for our global fleet for all sailings through September 15th, 2020. Our goal is to resume operations on September 16th, 2020 for the majority of our fleet,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement.

“We are working with our guests and travel partners to address this disruption to their vacations and are genuinely sorry for their inconvenience,” the company said.

It added that circumstances have extended the suspension for the following ships and sailings:

  • Canada sailings will be suspended through October 31, 2020, due to the Canadian government’s extended travel ban on cruise ship travel.
  • Explorer of the Seas’ revitalization will take place August 2020 given the closure of shipyards along with the disruption to the supply chain caused by the pandemic. As a result, Explorer’s August 2020 sailings will be cancelled and the revitalization will be a technical dry dock where only routine maintenance work will take place.
  • Cruise terminals will remain closed in Copenhagen, Denmark and as a result, Royal Caribbean has canceled the following sailings: Jewel of the Seas August 8th, 16th, and 23rd, 2020 sailings, & Brilliance of the Seas August 21st, 2020 sailing.
  • Bermuda sailings will be suspended through October 31st, 2020.
  • After further review with CLIA, the CDC and local governments, Royal Caribbean has decided to cancel Voyager of the Seas sailings through September 30th, 2020, along with Spectrum of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas sailings through July 2020.
  • Sailings from China are excluded from the extension.

Slow Refunds

Royal Caribbean said it would give guests who wish to move their booking to a later date a 125%  Future Cruise Credit valid for sailing until April 30th, 2022. Rebooking should be completed by December 31, 2021. 

Guests can also receive a Lift and Shift option with the same price and/or promotion on the same itinerary, length, product, and stateroom category as your original sailing within 4 weeks (before or after) of the original sail date.

The cruise line also said guests also had the option to receive a full refund. However, cruise refunds have been notoriously slow during the COVID-19 crisis, with some passengers reporting delays of up to 90 days on some lines.  

At the end of May, Royal Caribbean issued an apology for the delay in providing refunds. “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.

Royal Caribbean has said that when it does eventually resume cruising, it will do so with “unparalleled” health and safety protocols.
“We will soon be announcing a blue-ribbon panel working to ensure our health safety protocols are unparalleled,” the company’s CEO Richard Fain said in a video message to travel advisors in early June. “We will proceed cautiously and we will learn from our experiences. And unquestionably, we will invest in all these areas more than most of our guests will ever fully see or know.”

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