MSC Cruises has followed other major cruise lines by canceling cruise operations in the U.S. for even longer. The extension impacts three MSC cruise ships originally planning on resuming cruises from two major Florida homeports.
MSC Cruises Extends Suspension
The cruise line has announced that the suspension on U.S. operations is being extended through all of April 2021. This now means that MSC Cruises won’t resume cruises until May 2021 at the very earliest.
The further suspension impacts three MSC cruise ships set to resume sailings out of two major Florida homeports. Schedules for MSC Divina out of Port Canaveral are now canceled through April, along with sailings from MSC Meraviglia and MSC Armonia out of PortMiami.
Even though it’s a huge disappointment for MSC guests, it doesn’t really come as a surprise. Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line have already suspended cruises into May, and it was just a matter of time until MSC did the same.
On January 11, 2021, the cruise line previously announced an extended suspension on U.S. cruises through March 31, 2021.
MSC Cruises will be making it up to guests who were hoping that their cruises would still go ahead.
Guests who paid in full and booked through MSC Cruises USA or affiliated US-based travel advisors on the impacted sailings between April 1, 2021, and April 30, 2021, will be offered a 125 percent future cruise credit (FCC) of the original cruise fare.
The credit can be used on any future sailings on any ship. Guests can also request a full refund if they no longer want to cruise at all in the future, or if they don’t want to commit to a new sailing at this time.
Why Another Extension?
It’s taking much longer than first thought to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on a safe return to operations. We already know that cruise lines are waiting for more specifics and that the new Biden administration could be another reason why those details haven’t yet been forthcoming.
There is a growing trend that cruise lines might not resume cruises until July. That came after predictions from a Wall Street analyst and comments from Port Canaveral, which is a major cruise port in Florida that MSC will operate from.
For now, May seems to be the month when cruises will resume but the industry has had a number of setbacks and we’ve still not seen any test cruises to practice new health protocols. We’ll just have to wait and see what direction the CDC provides moving forward.
Not All Doom & Gloom for MSC
Even though we’ve got another extension from MSC today, the cruise line has had some positive news. MSC Grandiosa resumed cruises from Italy on January 24, 2021, and the cruise line is among the very few cruise ships sailings at the moment. In fact, MSC Grandiosa has hosted almost 40,000 guests under MSC Cruises’ new health and safety procedures in the Mediterranean.
Just days ago Cruise Hive also reported MSC taking delivery of the new MSC Virtuosa, a new flagship that will begin sailings in April 2021.
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