After the hopeful projections that the Royal Caribbean Group announced in its third-quarter results this week, Royal Caribbean International has now given guests more reasons to book a cruise. The Cruise with Confidence program has been extended until Spring of next year.
The program was first introduced last year on March 6, 2020, and gives guests far more flexibility to cancel cruises after final payment was due, and introduces a shorter time window when the cruise line expects the final payment to be made. Another change the cruise line has introduced is the extension of the COVID-19 Assistance Program.
Cruise with Confidence Extended
Guests will be happy to note that cruises onboard the Royal Caribbean ships can now be booked without having to worry about additional penalties if they need to cancel. The program allows guests to cancel their voyage up to 48 hours before departure and still receive a Future Cruise Credit.
The Cruise with Confidence program has now been extended for bookings confirmed on or before December 17, 2021, which depart through April 30, 2022. Qualifying guests can also take advantage of the Best Price Guarantee up to 48-hours before sailing, which ensures they get the best deal if prices have changed since the time of their booking.
Guests should keep in mind that if they do not opt-in for the Cruise with Confidence future cruise credit, the original terms and conditions will continue to apply. By requesting a Cruise with Confidence FCC, guests also lose the right to receive any refund of the monies they paid for these cruises, even if the cruise line decides to cancel the voyage at a later date.
The second change that Royal Caribbean announced on its website is the possibility for guests to postpone their final cruise payment until 30 days before sailing. This option is available for all guests with bookings that depart before March 31, 2022.
The final payment extension option will be a welcome break for guests who are unsure about their cruise just yet and want to see what options are available closer to their sail date. It also allows guests to wait and see what health protocols will be in place before their departure. Ordinarily, guests need to make final payments for their cruise at least 90-days out.
COVID-19 Assistance Program Also Extended
Lastly, Royal Caribbean also made changes to its COVID-19 Assistance program. This has been extended for all vaccinated guests and children who are not yet eligible for vaccination until April 30, 2022.
Guests will have peace of mind should they test positive from 14 days before the cruise; they can cancel and still receive a full, 100% refund of the cruise fare. This includes being tested positive before the cruise or while at the terminal.
And even when guests are on board, there will be options within the assistance program. This includes a pro-rated cruise fare refund if your cruise is cut short for reasons related to COVID-19.
If you do test positive during your cruise, under the program, Royal Caribbean covers the costs of COVID-19 related medical treatment onboard. Land-based quarantine and travel home for you and your traveling party are also included.
With the confidence that Royal Caribbean showed in its third-quarter results released on October 29, it is clear the cruise line is looking forward to the future positively. It now needs to instill that same confidence in its guests. While they have already done exactly that since the start of cruising, the extension of the Cruise With Confidence program will only strengthen it.