Cruise Line Cancellation Policies During Coronavirus (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and More)

Note: Given the spread of the coronavirus, policies of major cruise lines can change quickly. As well, the policies can be somewhat complex. Your cruise line will have the latest terms and conditions of their cancellation policies.

Worried about the coronavirus and thinking of cancelling your cruise? In that case there is good news. Many cruise lines have made dramatic changes to their cancellation policies in direct response to the havoc caused by the illness.

These new policies often allow you to cancel your cruise and still be able to use your fare as a credit on a future cruise. As well, many allow you to now cancel any time up to 48 hours before your cruise.

In other words, you can book a trip and if the outbreak continues to worsen or you are nervous about going, you often have an “out” to be able to cancel and move your trip to a different date.

Each policy differs, so we’ve covered each cancellation policy of the major cruise lines below.

Want to cancel your cruise? You’ll need to call the cruise line directly (or your travel agent) to do so. Keep in mind that wait times might be longer than usual.

Carnival

Carnival Horizon in port in Nassau

Carnival currently has one of the most complex policies about cancellations, but is also rewarding passengers who keep their cruises as scheduled.

Passengers who are already booked and sail as scheduled through May 31 will receive the following amounts of onboard credit automatically:

  • $100 per cabin for 3/4-day cruises
  • $150 per cabin for 5-day cruises
  • $200 per cabin for 6+ day cruises

Want to cancel your Carnival cruise because of coronavirus worries? Those who booked before March 6, 2020 have the following options.

First, if your cruise departs by May 31, you can move your booking and receive “Future Cruise Credit” in the amount of the cancellation fee. This gives you all your cruise fare back to use on a future trip. The credit must be used by March 31, 2021.

Those sailing March 31 or earlier can move your booking up to three days before you sail. If you sail between April 1 and May 31, then you must move your booking by March 31.

(Note: If sailing in early April, we suggest that you call at least 72 hours before your cruise, but no later than March 31, just to be sure you cancel in plenty of time.)

You can call Carnival at 1-800-764-7419.

Carnival Policy:

  • Onboard credit if sailing as scheduled through May 31
  • Passengers who booked before March 6 and sailing by May 31 can cancel for a future cruise credit
  • Passengers sailing by March 31 can cancel up to three days before sailing
  • Passengers sailing April 1 – May 31 can cancel by March 31

Princess Cruises

Princess cruise ship in Cozumel

Princess — part of the Carnival family of brands — has a similar policy to its sister cruise line.

First, passengers who are already booked and sail as scheduled through May 31 will receive the following amounts of onboard credit automatically:

  • $100 per cabin for 3/4-day cruises
  • $150 per cabin for 5-day cruises
  • $200 per cabin for 6+ day cruises

Want to cancel? Cruises departing through April 3, 2020 can cancel up to 72 hours before the sailing and receive a 100% future cruise credit that can be applied to another trip that departs by December 31, 2021.

Sailings between April 4 and May 31 receive a 100% credit for their fare as long as they cancel by March 31.

One other important note: passengers who cancelled since January 20 (before this new policy was enacted) on cruises departing March 6 through May 31 will automatically receive future cruise credit for their fare.

You can call Princess at 1-800-774-6237.

Princess Cruises Policy:

  • Onboard credit if sailing as scheduled through May 31
  • All passengers sailing by May 31 can cancel for a future cruise credit
  • Passengers sailing through April 3 can cancel up to three days before sailing and receive future cruise credit
  • Passengers sailing April 4 – May 31 can cancel by March 31 for credit

Holland America

Holland America (part of the Carnival family of cruise lines) has a similar policy to Carnival and Princess, but there are some tweaks.

First, anyone who keeps their departure as planed through May 31, 2020 will receive onboard credit, with the amount depending on the length of the cruise.

  • $100 per cabin for 6-day or fewer cruises
  • $200 per cabin for 7+ day cruises

Passengers sailing through May 31 may cancel under the new policy and receive a “Future Cruise Credit” for their fare. To be eligible, passengers must make their cancellation at least 72 hours before their cruise, and no later than March 31. 

New bookings made by April 30, 2020 and sailing before October 15, 2020 will have the ability to cancel up to 30 days before departure and receive full credit for the amount of any cancellation fees.

You can call Holland America at 1-877-724-5425.

Holland America Policy:

  • Onboard credit if sailing as scheduled through May 31
  • All passengers sailing by May 31 can cancel for a future cruise credit
  • Passengers must cancel at least 72 hours before their cruise and no later than March 31
  • New bookings made by April 30 that sail on or before October 15 can cancel up to 30 days in advance for credit

Royal Caribbean | Celebrity | Azamara 

Royal Caribbean and several of its brands, including Celebrity and Azamara, have introduced a new “Cruise with Confidence” policy that offers lots of flexibility.

Any cruise that’s already booked — or will be booked in the future — that sails through July 31, 2020 can cancel up to 48 hours before sailing. Instead of having to pay the cancellation penalty, passengers receive the amount of the penalty in the form of a “Future Cruise Credit” that can be applied to another sailing. This credit can be used on any cruise that sails through December 31, 2021.

So if cancelling a week before your cruise, normally passengers would have 100% penalty, meaning they lost all their cruise fare. With this policy, that amount is instead a credit that can be applied to a future cruise.

This same policy applies to three of the cruise line’s brands: Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara.

You can call Royal Caribbean at 1-800-256-6649, Celebrity at 1-888-751-7804, and Azamara at 1-888-532-5828.

Royal Caribbean | Celebrity | Azamara Policy:

  • Any cruise through July 31 can cancel up to 48 hours before sailing for a future cruise credit.

Silversea Cruises

Silversea is part of Royal Caribbean, but has a slightly different cancellation policy in light of the coronavirus.

Cruises departing between now and May 31, 2020 will have the same policy of Royal Caribbean. Guests can cancel anytime up to two days before departure. Instead of a cancellation penalty, passengers receive that amount as a credit for a future cruise. There is no expiration date listed for this credit.

Cruises departing between June 1 and July 31 (whether already booked or booked in the future) have several options. If they cancel 30 days before the cruise, then they can either get a full refund or a 100% future cruise credit. Cancels from 30 days to two days before sailing receive a 100% future cruise credit.

Trips that sail between August 1 and December 31 can cancel up to 30 days prior and receive a 100% refund. If cancelling less than 30 days before the cruise, then the regular penalties apply.

You can call Silversea at 1-888-978-4070.

Silversea Policy:

  • Cruises departing through May 31 can cancel up to two days before sailing for future cruise credit
  • Cruises between June 1 and July 31 can cancel for full refund (30+ days before departure) or future cruise credit (30-2 days before departure)
  • Cruises between August 1 and December 31 can cancel 30 days before sailing for a full refund

Norwegian Cruise Line | Regent Seven Seas | Oceania

Norwegian Encore at sea

Norwegian and its other brands including Regent Seven Seas and Oceania have implemented a friendly cancellation policy of its own. On Norwegian Cruise Line it is called “Peace of Mind”. Regent has “Regent Reassurance” and Oceania has the “Travelers Assurance Program”.

All the plans are similar. Guests can cancel up to 48 hours before their sailing and receive a 100% credit to put toward a future cruise that sails before December 31, 2022. This credit must be applied to a booking within a year of the cancellation date. (The reservation itself must be made within a year, but the actual sail date can be up until December 31, 2022.)

For Norwegian, this policy applies to all cruises (future bookings or currently booked) that sail between March 10 and September 30, 2020. For Oceania and Regent, the cancellation policy applies to all cruises that sail before March 10 and September 30, but they must be booked by April 30. Cruises booked and departing May 1 – September 30 don’t currently fall under this policy.

You can call Norwegian at 1-800-327-7030, Regent at 1-844-872-3479, and Oceania at 1-855-623-2642.

Norwegian | Regent Seven Seas | Oceania Policy:

  • Cruises before September 30 can cancel 48 hours before sailing and receive full credit toward a future cruise
  • Applies to all cruises for Norwegian. Oceania and Regent must be booked before April 30.

Disney Cruises

Disney Ship

Disney offers a lenient policy, but the dates vary depending on which ship you sail.

Disney Magic sailings through May 8 are eligible to change their reservation until the day before sailing and receive a 100% credit for use on a future sailing. The credit must be used within a year of the original sailing date.

Disney Dream, Fantasy, and Wonder can change their reservation for sailings through May 31, 2020. The same 100% credit offer within a year of the sailing date applies.

Call the cruise line at 1-866-325-2112 for more details.

Disney Policy:

  • Disney Magic passengers sailing through May 8 can cancel up to the day before sailing and receive 100% credit
  • Dream, Fantasy, and Wonder passengers sailing through May 31 can cancel up to the day before for credit.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. In your article it doesn’t mention March 10 as the cutoff date for Norwegian and I have a screenshot of the original post on their website which doesn’t have the date as well. Now they have March 10 as the cutoff date and they are refusing to issue a credit to my son who ways set to said March 8. Any advice?

    • Ouch, that’s a tough one. You are correct that March 10 is the start date. In our opinion it would nice of NCL to apply the policy to when it was first announced as a nice gesture. Do you have any travel insurance that might be able to help? Being persistent and contacting via social media can sometimes help as well.

  2. Note that the Norwegian policy excluded passengers sailing March 9. Those who heeded the State Dept warning on March 8 advising US Citizens not to cruise lost their fare.

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