Royal Caribbean has sent an email to guests, announcing that they have made some changes to their terms and conditions cruise contract, specifically those concerning the Covid policy and matters concerning each passenger’s country of origin.
Royal Caribbean Updates Cruise Terms
The Miami-based cruise line has been busy in the background updating its terms and conditions for upcoming sailings.
A letter was sent out on April 12 detailing the updates, which will go into effect immediately. Guests can also check the full details of terms online specific to a country.
Royal Caribbean says in the letter sent to guests, “We’re making important changes to our legal terms and simplifying the process by which these terms – which are applicable to your cruise purchase and other activities, services, and products related to your cruise – are communicated to you all our guests from around the world.”
Royal Caribbean will enforce changes to its cancelation policies, specifically regarding Covid.
Previously, the conditions stated that passengers who tested positive anytime within 14 days before embarkation and exhibited signs or symptoms or had been in close contact with someone who tested positive or suspected of having Covid, would be denied boarding.
However, the new policy reduces that pre-embarkation window to only five days and only states that Royal Caribbean may deny the passenger boarding.
Passengers who are denied boarding but still comply with Royal Caribbean’s “Covid-19 Policies and Procedures” are still entitled to either a refund or future cruise credit equal to the amount spent on the missed cruise.
Royal Caribbean has also modified how Covid factors into how it determines itinerary “Cancellation, Deviations or Substitutions,” eliminating the previous mention of declarations of public health or government orders.
Now it states that a sudden Covid-19-caused change or cancelation to the itinerary will warrant a refund only if Royal cancels the cruise or delays boarding passengers for three or more days.
Changes Regarding Primary Country of Residence
Also, beginning April 12, 2023, Cruise Ticket Contracts and Booking Conditions for all Royal Caribbean International cruises will be based on each passenger’s primary country of residence.
Royal Caribbean has separate contracts for passengers coming from different countries, including major cruise markets, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and of course, multiple countries in Europe.
There is also one shared contract for Germany, Switzerland, and Austria and another for passengers from all other locations.
The letter says, “The Cruise Ticket Contract or Booking Conditions applicable to your cruise purchase are now determined by your Primary Country of Residence.”
Identifying each passenger by his or her primary country of residence allows Royal Caribbean to ensure that all booking conditions are governed by the laws of each country listed above, requiring all claims and disputes to be “resolved by alternative dispute resolution or under the laws and exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts” of the passenger’s home country.
These contracts and conditions, therefore, vary in nuanced ways. Each European cruise ticket contract is also paired with a link to key rights for those who booked a cruise package within the “EU Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangement regulations.”
Royal Caribbean also updated its form selection to correlate exclusive jurisdiction and choice of law provisions with each passenger’s Primary Country of Residence or the location of the passenger’s cruise itinerary.
However, it should be noted that the contract appears to require United States residents to agree to bring all legal matters concerning sailings outside the U.S. before the Courts of England and Wales, while all U.S. sailings will fall under American jurisdiction.
All would-be passengers should take a moment to read the updated Terms and Conditions for themselves. Cruise Hive is not responsible for these terms, and readers should consult with an expert on legal matters.
The new terms and conditions will apply to all cruises embarking on and after April 12, 2023, as well as all cruises booked on or after the same date.