Add MSC Cruises to the long list of lines that have announced a suspension of sailing in the face of the growing health crisis.
The cruise line, which has a limited lineup in the United States compared to competitors like Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival, announced it will cancel all cruises from the Port of Miami for the next 60 days. The cancellations span from March 14 to April 30.
On its website, the cruise line said:
Given the evolving Covid-19 coronavirus situation, we have decided to cancel all Caribbean cruises from Miami from March 14 – April 30. This decision wasn’t taken lightly, however, the health and safety of our guests and crew members is our top priority.
We are offering guests the following options:
125% Future Cruise Credit – BEST CHOICE
Receive a Future Cruise Credit for 125% of the original cruise fare paid (excl. Government taxes & fees and prepaid items, which will be refunded to the original form of payment).
The future cruise credit can be used on any sailing departing on or before December 31, 2021.
Request of Refund
We hope you choose to reschedule your cruise for a future date. However, we understand this may not be the ideal option for you. If you choose not to take the future cruise credit, we will provide a refund equal to the original amount paid.
TO MAKE THIS AS CONVENIENT AS POSSIBLE FOR YOU, YOU DO NOT NEED TO CALL OUR CONTACT CENTER. A FORM TO SELECT YOUR OPTION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON – PLEASE CHECK BACK SOON
On behalf of our entire team at MSC Cruises USA, thank you for your patience, support and commitment during these trying times.
MSC currently sails several ships from Miami, including the MSC Seaside and Meraviglia. The departures head to the Caribbean, Mexico and the Bahamas. This includes the cruise line’s private island, Ocean Cay.
Cruise lines have had a rough go of it over the past several weeks. Not only have there been outbreaks tied to some ships, but there have also been numerous scares that have led to port denials and debarkation delays.
In response, cruise lines have made major moves in regards to sanitation, screening passengers, and denying boarding to those who’ve visited places with a high number of cases.
There have also been cruise lines that now force older passengers to have a doctor’s note saying they are fit to sail, and denying boarding to those with chronic health conditions.
Cruise lines have also offered more flexible cancellation policies to put passengers at ease.
However, the outbreak continues to spread globally. Outbreaks now span every continent except Antarctica and the death toll has surpassed 5,000. Given the close proximity of passengers to each other on a cruise ship, the risk of a spread is significant.
While cancelling cruises for 60 days may be drastic, it follows in the line of significant actions taken across the world to try and reign in the outbreak. Several other cruise lines have announced similar moves to suspend sailings for the time being. On top of that, we’ve seen major cancellations and suspensions of things like the famous South by Southwest festival, the NBA season and the NHL season.
The cancellation of cruises just a few weeks ago seemed unimaginable. At this point, it appears to be the right move in the face of a growing crisis.
Read our full coverage of the crisis and its impact on cruising here.