Princess Cruises has made the difficult decision to shorten the current sailing of Caribbean Princess by four days and disembark passengers in San Francisco, rather than continuing on to Vancouver, due to dry dock needs requiring more time than initially planned. Guests on board are being assisted with travel home and offered compensation for the shortened itinerary.
Cruise Shortened by 4 Days
The Grand-class Caribbean Princess left Fort Lauderdale, Florida on what was to have been a 19-night Panama Canal and Pacific Coast cruise beginning Saturday, March 19. The ship has already visited ports of call in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico.
A letter delivered to passengers on board dated April 1, 2022, explained that an already planned extensive dry dock in Portland, Oregon is now anticipated to need additional time to ensure the ship is ready for the renovation work.
“The difficult decision has been made to end our voyage in San Francisco on Sunday, April 3 to allow additional time to help assure the vessel is up to our highest standards in advance of the busy summer season,” the letter, signed by the ship’s master, Captain Vincenzo Lubrano, stated.
“As you planned to remain on board with us to Vancouver, British Columbia on Thursday, April 7, we regret that we must end your voyage early. We are very sorry for the disappointment this causes and offer our sincere apologies,” the letter continued.
Of course, this means guests must change their homeward travel arrangements, as they will no longer be continuing to Vancouver and instead will disembark in San Francisco.
Travel Help Provided
Princess Cruises is arranging airfare home from San Francisco for all travelers, booked and paid for by the cruise line, regardless of whether passengers had purchased airfare through Princess Cruises or if they had made independent arrangements. The cruise line was also covering hotel arrangements if necessary before flights.
Complimentary WiFi vouchers and stateroom phone access was also made available for passengers to permit them to contact family members or travel agents.
Guests are encouraged to submit reimbursement requests for additional extra charges as needed for unexpected expenses. Anyone submitting these requests should be sure to include receipts and other documentation for consideration; reimbursement will be considered, but is not guaranteed.
If passengers had travel insurance, they should submit claims through their insurance carrier before submitting reimbursement requests to the cruise line.
Because passengers are no longer getting the cruise they had hoped for, Princess Cruises is providing full refunds worth four days’ of their cruise fare, which represents the four now-canceled days of the shortened voyage, including the missed ports of Astoria, Victoria, and Vancouver.
In addition, all guests will receive full refunds of their unused shore tours, port taxes, post-cruise hotel packages, and other fees for the canceled portion of the cruise.
All guests will also be given a $250 Future Cruise Credit (FCC) valid for a future sailing booked by November 1, 2022, and setting sail by November 1, 2023. This FCC can also be applied to any current booking passengers may have for a future sailing that is not yet fully paid.
“It is our sincere hope that the refund and credit will help you come back and create new cruise memories with us in the future and give us the chance to exceed your expectations,” the letter explained.
Caribbean Princess, which first set sail in 2004 and was last refurbished in 2019, can accommodate up to 3,142 passengers at double occupancy, with 1,200 international crew members providing exceptional service. The ship restarted post-pandemic operations on November 28, 2021, the eighth ship in Princess Cruises’ fleet to welcome passengers.
After this scheduled dry dock, the ship will return to Fort Lauderdale via an 18-day sailing from San Francisco departing on April 26, and during the summer will offer 7- and 14-day Caribbean voyages.