Guests looking forward to a weekend getaway on Carnival Radiance later this year have just been informed that their cruise has been cancelled due to a full ship charter.
While this will be a disappointment to booked guests, the cancelled voyage is not until December, giving travelers plenty of time to make alternative plans and take advantage of the compensation Carnival Cruise Line is offering.
Carnival Radiance Cruise Cancelled
Guests booked on the December 8, 2023 sailing of the Sunshine-class Carnival Radiance have been informed that their cruise is now cancelled. The sailing was to have been a 3-night roundtrip sailing from Long Beach, California to Ensenada, Mexico, with one day at sea. Now, guests have received an email about the cancellation.
“We are very sorry to inform you that the ship has been chartered and your voyage will be cancelled,” the email read. “We have a variety of alternatives and are confident you will find another Carnival cruise that is filled with an equal amount of FUN.”
Booked guests do have several options. Full refunds of the cruise fare and pre-purchased items such as drink packages, pre-paid gratuities, shore tours, and spa treatments will be automatically returned to the original form of payment.
This also applies to Early Saver reservations, but guests should be aware that refunds can take up to three weeks to process, depending on guests’ bank or credit card policies.
If impacted guests prefer to reschedule to a comparable sailing, their cruise rate will be protected in any similar stateroom, regardless of the vessel. Carnival Radiance is offering 3- and 4-night sailings from Long Beach every week, giving guests plenty of alternative dates to choose from.
In addition to Carnival Radiance, two other Fun Ships are also sailing from Long Beach in December 2023 – Carnival Miracle and Carnival Panorama.
While Carnival Panorama is only offering longer 6-, 7-, and 8-night itineraries, Carnival Miracle is offering shorter 4- and 5- night sailings, as well as the occasional 3-night cruise, that may be eligible for the rate protection. Interested guests should reach out to Carnival or their travel agent for other possible cruises.
“Our team is ready to discuss options and rebook you on another Carnival cruise right away,” the email read.
Guests who do rebook on a different sailing will also receive an added bonus, $25 (USD) per person, up to $50 per stateroom, of onboard credit for the new cruise.
Carnival Cruise Line will also consider reimbursement for independent air arrangements, up to $200 per person for any nonrefundable tickets or change fees. Supporting documentation must be submitted for reimbursement consideration, and acceptance is not guaranteed.
Full Ship Charters
The email does not provide details about the charter, in order to protect the privacy of the charter company and its guests. Many different companies offer charter cruise arrangements through major cruise lines, including not only Carnival Cruise Line but also Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and Princess Cruises.
Full-ship charters are often arranged for larger groups and made available for purchase to anyone interested or affiliated with the group. These might be LGBTQ+ cruises, church group charters, music or entertainment themes, corporate retreats, or other groups.
While many full ship charters are arranged more than a year in advance to minimize any disruption to already booked guests and to provide the maximum amount of time for charter guests to book their cruise, these cancellations do happen occasionally.
For example, Royal Caribbean International cancelled the October 22, 2022 sailing of Navigator of the Seas just a few months before the sailing due to a charter sailing, and similarly cancelled the September 12, 2022 sailing of Spectrum of the Seas for a full-ship charter. Norwegian Cruise Line cancelled the January 22, 2023 sailing of the new Norwegian Prima for a private charter sailing.
While every cruise line has different policies for these types of arrangements, guests are often offered alternative sailing choices, future cruise credits, or onboard credit for new sailings. Full refunds are also an option if guests choose not to make, or cannot make, alternative plans.