MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Several major cruise lines are temporarily allowing passengers to cancel trips for full refunds or providing penalty-free changes, due to coronavirus fears and also implementing temperature checks for both passengers and crewmembers.
Disney Cruise Line’s refund policy is in place for guests with upcoming sailings between now and May 31, 2020. They can change their reservations up until the day before embarkation.
In addition, passengers and crewmembers will undergo temperature checks with a no touch thermometer prior to boarding, starting immediately. Additional medical screening will be required for anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher, and they along with their travel party may be unable to sail.
Disney also says the Bahamas will not allow anyone who has been to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran in the past 20 days prior to their visit, while Jamaica will also not allow guests who have traveled through Singapore within 14 days of arrival.
Miami-based Royal Caribbean is also starting mandatory temperature screening for both passengers and crewmembers.
Royal also announced its ‘Cruise with Confidence’ policy Friday allowing Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea guests the ability to cancel up to 48 hours before a sailing. Guests will receive a full credit for their fair, usable on any future sailing in 2020 or 2021. The policy applies to both new and existing cruise bookings.
Princess Cruise Lines modified its cancellation policy for departures through May 31 and Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line issued similar policy changes for trips between March 9 and March 31, 2020. Carnival guests can reschedule their trips up to 3 days before sailing while customers booked on sailings departing between April 1 and May 31 have until March 31 to move their trips.
Viking, which offers river and ocean cruises, is implementing a new flexible rebooking policy by offering a credit for cancellation to those who made reservations before March 2 and guests who make new reservations through April 30. Viking travelers can change cruise dates or cancel cruises at any time up until 24 hours before departure without any cancellation fees. They will be issued vouchers valid for 24 months.
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In addition, some cruise lines are trying to sweeten the deal in order to keep passengers booked. Princess and Carnival guests who stay the course for trips booked between March 6 and May 31 will receive on-board credits ranging from $100 to $200 depending on the length of the cruise.
While cruise lines are getting flexible about their bookings, they do not want you to sail if you are sick (not just with the coronavirus) or have to take care of someone with the coronavirus. That is why they are instituting those mandatory temperature checks.
Passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of San Francisco are still waiting for coronavirus test results after the death of a former passenger.