Royal Caribbean-owned cruise lines have extended the suspension on operations for another month through November 30, 2020.
Cruise Lines Suspend Operations Through November
It has been decided by the world’s second-largest cruise company that operations will be suspended for a further month through November 30, 2020. This impacts cruises for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara, and Silversea.
Even though the suspension has been extended for global operations there are some exceptions including departures from Hong Kong. Each cruise line does have specifics on the deployments impacted so guests will need to check with their cruise line.
Cruises from Australia remain suspended until 2021 and the new Odyssey of the Seas won’t begin cruises until April 2021. The Liberty of the Seas dry dock has been delayed to a later date and there are further changes during these unprecedented times.
It comes as no surprise as Royal Caribbean was the last of the big cruise companies to announces further cancellations for November 2020. Norwegian Cruise Line announced its extension yesterday for all sailings and Carnival Cruise Line announced that it will only be sailing from two homeports for the remaining months of the year.
Guest Cancellation Options
With even further cancellations, guests will be able to choose from three options that provide confidence and a way of still cruising in the future. At the end of September, Royal Caribbean actually announced the “Cruise with Confidence” program is extended through November, a possible hint to today’s announcement?
Lift and Shift allows guests to move an existing booking to a 2021 sailing. s long as the sailing is within four weeks of the original departure guests will be able to keep the same options including cruise length and stateroom category.
A 125% Future Cruise Credit is avavailble which guests can use on a departure by April 30, 2022. This will need to be booked by December 31, 2021. There is also the option for a full refund if guests no longer want to go ahead with any cruise.
Why a Further Extension?
Royal Caribbean has suspended cruises for another month due to a number of reasons. The main reason is that the return of operations must be done safely and that is taking time to implement.
We already know that Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain has said that they will have to do some test cruises first to try out any new health measures, that will take time to arrange.
There are also the logistics for getting crew members back to the ships, with strict travel restrictions still in place in many countries that can be very tricky.
Another reason is that a scheduled meeting with the COVID-10 task force at the White House was postponed. Without that meeting taking place, cruise line leaders won’t be able to agree with the relevant authorities on a plan on resuming operations.
December now seems to be the month cruises will resume but only with a ship or two and with strict new health measures in place. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has already announced that there will be testing for all guests and crew.