Royal Caribbean Cancellation Policy Changed

By ,   March 2, 2016 ,   Cruise Industry

Starting March 7 (Monday), Royal Caribbean passengers who want to cancel an upcoming sailing without penalty will have to do so farther out from the sailing date than before. The new cancellation policy of the line simplifies the penalty fee schedule by reducing the number of sailing categories from 5 to 2: those of 1 to 4 nights and those 5 nights or longer.

Under the old policy, travelers booked on voyages of 1 to 5 nights could cancel up to 60 days prior to sailing without cancellation fee. The new Royal Caribbean policy changes the cruise length to 1 to 4 nights (including short holiday sailings) and requires cancellation at least 75 days before departure. Cruises of 1 to 4 nights canceled between 74 and 57 days out incur a fee equal to the deposit paid; cruises canceled 56 to 29 days out incur a fee of 50% of the total fare, while those canceled 28 to 15 days out incur a fee of 75% of the total fare and any cruise canceled within 2 weeks of sailing is not refunded at all.

In the new policy, the second tier of cancellations includes any voyages of 5 nights or longer, including cruise tours and holiday sailings. Under the old policy, cruises of 6 nights or longer, holiday sailings of 1 to 5 days, holiday sailings of 6 nights or longer, and cruise tours, had separate cancellation penalty schedules. The sailings of 5 nights or longer must be canceled 90 days prior to the departure date in order to avoid the cancellation fee; previously cruisers could cancel from 75 to 90 days before sailing, depending on the category of sailing. Cruises of 5 nights or longer canceled 89 to 57 days prior to sailing incur a penalty equal to the deposit paid; those canceled 56 to 29 days or 28 to 15 days out incur penalties of 50% and 75% of the total fare, respectively. As with the shorter cruises, any sailing canceled within 2 weeks out are not eligible for refund.

The new policy is applied to all new bookings made on or after March 7, 2016.