Cruise traces Royal Caribbean and Norwegian mentioned on Wednesday that they are going to not sail to Cuba, becoming a member of Carnival Corporation, which introduced earlier within the day that it’ll not function cruises to the island, efficient instantly.
The firms’ choice, got here sooner or later after the Trump administration banned cruises, non-public yachts and fishing vessels from visiting Cuba, and left many vacationers pissed off and confused, particularly these at present en route to Havana.
“I’m one of hundreds of very angry passengers aboard a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean,” wrote Cindy Hamilton on Twitter. “We all planned this cruise anticipating our stop in Cuba. Very upset!”
The new rules have an effect on practically 800,000 bookings which are scheduled or already underway, in accordance to the Cruise Lines International Association, an trade group. These bookings had been made underneath a license issued by the United States authorities that allowed “people to people” journey to Cuba. This class has been banned by the brand new rules.
“The new rules effectively make it illegal to cruise to Cuba from the United States,” C.L.I.A. mentioned in its assertion. “While this situation is completely beyond our control, we are genuinely sorry for all cruise line guests who were looking forward to their previously booked itineraries to Cuba.”
Norwegian Cruise Line rerouted its Norwegian Sun cruise to the Bahamas and, in a press release, thanked visitors for his or her “patience as we navigate this unexpected, last-minute change.”
In a letter to passengers who had been on the Norwegian Sun, Vivian Ewart, the corporate’s senior vice chairman for passenger companies, wrote that shore excursions bought by means of Norwegian and visa charges can be refunded. A 50 % refund for the cruise and a 50 % credit score towards a future cruise can be given to passengers.
But it wasn’t clear from the letter if this refund coverage would apply to different Norwegian cruises or simply the Norwegian Sun, which pissed off some visitors.
“@RoyalCaribbean & @CarnivalCruise are responsive to their passengers,” Heather Francisco wrote on Twitter. “@CruiseNorwegian is radio silent & avoiding all Cuba-related tweets #disappointed.” Ms. Francisco was booked on a Norwegian cruise from Cape Canaveral to Havana in mid-June.
Norwegian mentioned in its assertion that it might share data with passengers “as soon as additional details become available.”
Royal Caribbean rerouted its Majesty of the Seas cruises, which had been scheduled to arrive in Havana on Thursday and Friday. One cruise will now go to Costa Maya, Mexico, and the opposite will keep at sea for a day of cruising.
“All 2019 sailings on the Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas will have alternative ports in the Caribbean,” Royal Caribbean mentioned in a press release. Guests could have the choice of canceling for a full refund or holding their bookings, however going to a brand new vacation spot and receiving a 50 % refund.
When Carnival made its announcement, at the very least considered one of its ships, the Carnival Sensation, had been rerouted to Cozumel as a substitute of Havana. It set sail from Miami on Monday. In 2016, Carnival was the primary U.S. cruise firm to sail to Cuba for the reason that 1959 revolution.
“We recognize Havana is a unique destination and may have been the reason for the selection of this itinerary,” the corporate mentioned on its web site. Guests have been supplied a $100 onboard credit score and excursions in Cuba that had been paid for can be routinely refunded.
For different vacationers with cruise plans by means of July, Carnival has issued a travel alert explaining their choices. Travelers may remain on their original cruise, which will now sail to another destination. These travelers will receive $100 onboard credit. Or they may select to travel on another cruise (receiving a $50 onboard credit) or cancel their trip and receive a full refund.