Cruises are just one of many industries within the travel sector that have been hit hard financially by the coronavirus pandemic. While managing to weather the storm, many cruise companies have been forced to take drastic action to survive. Earlier this week, cruise line Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) announced that it would be closing its doors due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is also advising against cruise ship travel at this time.
“This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England,” according to the FCO.
And now, major cruise line Princess Cruises which is owned by Carnival corporation, has announced plans to halt its voyages for even longer.
The California-based cruise line announced yesterday that it would be extending its pause on operations until December 15.
This means voyages on Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess and Sun Princess will all be impacted.
In a statement, Princess Cruises said that the extension is due to “the continued progression of Covid-19 and related decisions of various government, health authorities, and airlines regarding travel restrictions”.
Princess Cruises president, Jan Swartz, added: “We share in our guests’ disappointment in cancelling these cruises.
“We look forward to the days when we can return to travel and the happiness it brings to all who cruise.”
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The cruise line’s website says that customers do not “need to take any action to receive the default compensation offer” for cancelled voyages.
The voyages that have been affected include those to Australia, Asia, the Caribbean, California, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama Canal, South America and Antarctica, Japan, and Tahiti/South Pacific until December 15.
Customers booked on cancelled voyages who have paid in full can receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC).
The FCC is a voucher that has a monetary amount associated with it, and it is provided in lieu of a refund.
Customers who have paid in full will receive an FCC which is the equivalent to what they paid.
They will also get an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25 percent of their cruise fare.
For guests who have not paid in full, the cruise line will double the deposit, providing a refundable future cruise credit for the money on deposit and a matching bonus credit that can be used until May 1 2022.
Guests can also request a full refund.
For anyone experiencing a delay for their refunds, Princess Cruises has said they understand customers’ “frustrations”.
Their website reads: “We want you to know that we hear you and understand your frustration with the time it is taking to receive your refund.
“We are now refunding millions of dollars per week and are actively working through our back log. Our reservation and payment systems were not designed to handle this volume of refunds in a short period of time, and it is taking longer than we wanted.
“As we respect our guest’s money and time, we have increased the number of team members supporting this enormous effort and have made modifications to our systems.
“Thank you for your patience in these extraordinary circumstances. The latest updates regarding refunds can be viewed on our Notices & Advisories page.”
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