Offering guests a much-needed hassle-free way to book cruises with the company, the Cruise with Confidence program has been one way Royal Caribbean has managed to boost consumer confidence.
The program was first introduced on March 6, 2020, and gives guests far more flexibility to cancel cruises after the final payment due, a helpful tool considering the rising number of COVID-19 cases worldwide.
Royal Caribbean wants to offer the same worry-free experience to guests as they have done for many months during the pandemic. The program was due to expire on December 17, 2021, and applied only to cruises through April 2022.
The new extension is valid for all reservations confirmed on or before January 31, 2022, for cruises that sail through May 31, 2022.
“With the holiday season upon us, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have stood by us. As we make strides towards our fleetwide return, we want to ensure that planning your clients’ vacations is as worry-free as possible. Therefore, we’ve made the decision to extend our popular Cruise with Confidence program to reservations confirmed on or before January 31, 2022 and sailing through May 31, 2022.”
Although the program does not allow a full cash-back refund, it does provide guests the opportunity to rebook the voyage through the use of a Future Cruise Credit.
The Cruise with Confidence program from Royal Caribbean is precisely what the name suggests. It provides guests with the reassurance necessary to confidently book a cruise during these uncertain times and provides guests with different options and additional flexibility when booking a Royal Caribbean cruise. Should guests change their minds before their voyage, they are eligible for the program.
Guests who opt-in to the program then have up to 48 hours before the sail date to cancel their cruise; they will receive a Future Cruise Credit equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid to Royal Caribbean.
However, should guests decide not to opt-in, they will be bound to the original cancellation policy, which could turn out quite bad for the guests. In most cases, this means guests will not receive any refund if they cancel 30 days before the voyage or later.
Royal Caribbean has several policies in place to boost confidence for guests. One of such is the COVID-19 Assistance program. This allows vaccinated guests and children who are not yet eligible for vaccination to cancel their voyage up to 14 days before sailing and receive a full, 100% refund of the cruise fare for the travel party should they test positive.
It also includes guests who test positive while onboard, which would make them eligible for a pro-rated refund. The COVID-19 assistance program is in place through April 2022.
Royal Caribbean is hard at work to operate its entire fleet by the spring of 2022. To achieve this, it will need to bolster confidence from guests. While the safety onboard has been well documented, the Cruise with Confidence and COVID-19 assistance programs will help grow confidence and fill up the ships.