Royal Caribbean Group gives guests greater control over their vacation decisions. Through the new Cruise with Confidence program, guests can cancel cruises as late as two days before departure due to how much uncertainty the Coronavirus is adding to travel plans around the world.
The Cruise With Confidence policy allows guests on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea to cancel up to 48 hours before a sailing. Guests will receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of the guest’s choice in 2020 or 2021. The policy applies to both new and existing cruise bookings.
“Our previous policy set earlier deadlines for guests to cancel their cruises, and that added unnecessary stress,” said Richard Fain, the company’s chairman and CEO, in press materials. “Trying to guess a month or more in advance where areas of concern about coronavirus might be is challenging for medical experts, much less a family preparing for vacation.
“When circumstances are as fast-changing as they have been recently, it’s good to know you have the option to take a raincheck,” Fain said. “We think putting more control in our guests’ hands helps them make informed decisions about whether to keep their existing vacation plans or trade out for a more convenient time or itinerary.”
In addition to easing concerns for booked guests, Fain said the policy would also give consumers more confidence in making new bookings, knowing that they could later adjust their plans without penalty.
The policy applies to all cruises with a sailing date on or before July 31, 2020, and will be offered by the company’s global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea. Full details of the Cruise with Confidence policy can be found at the respective brand websites.
During a call with about 4,400 travel advisors, Vicki Freed, senior v.p. sales, trade support and service for Royal Caribbean International, told advisors that during this time, “You want to be reaching out to your clients; they look up to you as someone they trust. That’s the best use of your time—reach out to your clients, be proactive, ask them if they have any questions or concerns.”
She added that once travelers have the Future Cruise Credit, advisors should “follow up with clients. Stay on top of them and find out how they want to spend their Future Cruise Credit.“.