A two-week quarantine of the Diamond Princess cruise ship has led to widespread mayhem and concern regarding cruise travel as the coronavirus spreads. Aboard the Diamond Princess alone, over 700 passengers tested positive for the virus, leading other cruise lines to take preventative measures to avoid a similar spread and situation.
If you’ve paid thousands of dollars on airfare and a cruise booking, then you might be wondering if you should or even can cancel your cruise due to the coronavirus. Most cruise lines are altering their standard cancellation policies to accommodate travellers hoping to avoid cruise ship travel, which the CDC recommended this week.
Depending on where you’re going and when your travel plans are, you might not have to make any changes. Here are seven of the biggest cruise lines affected by the coronavirus and what they’re doing to prevent the spread of this deathly virus aboard their ships.
Cruise Lines Affected By The Coronavirus
The Grand Princess reportedly has at least 21 individuals with the coronavirus aboard and is scheduled to dock at the Port of Oakland today. The Caribbean Princess is the third Princess cruise ship affected by the coronavirus. It’s currently under a CDC “no sail order.” The cruise line has cancelled cruises to Asia and is providing affected guests with compensation packages.
In February, over 80 passengers fell ill aboard the Royal Caribbean Grandeur. After comprehensive testing, however, they found that the passengers simply had the flu. Currently, Royal Caribbean is allowing any passenger cruising through July 21 to cancel their cruise up to 48 hours in advance. If they do so, they’ll receive a “future cruise credit” good for a cruise through the end of 2021.
The Carnival Panorama is the ship making headlines in Southern California as it waits in Long Beach following the testing of a passenger for the coronavirus. While it’s the first instance of the virus aboard a Carnival cruise ship, the cruise line is accommodating travellers who are interested in modifying their itineraries. They’re allowing passengers to make changes but also offering incentives for those who don’t.
When it comes to cruise lines affected by the coronavirus, Norwegian Cruise Line is not exempt. In late February they cancelled nearly all cruises to Asia for the rest of the calendar year. And, they’re offering one of the best re-booking policies. Passengers who’ve booked a voyage between now and September 30th can cancel up to 48 hours before departure. They’ll receive cruising credit that can be used through the end of 2022.
Holland America Line has temporarily changed its cancellation policy to accommodate travellers worried about the coronavirus and cruising. Guests can cancel trips that were scheduled to depart on or before May 31st. And, they’ll receive credit towards another cruise in 2020 or 2021. But, similar to Carnival, they’re also offering credit to passengers who don’t cancel (in the form of an Onboard Spending Credit of $200 per stateroom).
At least 2,300 passengers disembarked from the MSC Opera in Greece despite staff knowing that an Austrian passenger aboard had come down with the coronavirus. Reportedly, he embarked and disembarked in Genoa in northern Italy. It’s one of the areas most affected by the virus. After they quarantined passengers, Greek health authorities gave them the clear to continue cruising.
Celebrity Cruises has certainly been one of the biggest cruise lines affected by the coronavirus. They’ve cancelled the all of the Celebrity Millenium’s trips to Asia throughout the rest of 2020. But, they’re offering great deals to passengers affected by the changes. They’ll get a full refund plus a 25% credit for future cruises. They’re also working to ensure those who have to cancel airfare will get up to $300 in reimbursement.