The Royal Caribbean Cruise Cancellation Policy Explained

Cruise cancellation with Royal Caribbean Cruises has recently had a policy change, which has taken effect as of tickets purchased on or after August 1, 2010. If you must cancel a cruise with them you will be using this policy instead of the original policy. In this article, we will be discussing the old and new policy and their differences.

The Old Policy

Under the old refund and cancellation policy used by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line prior to August 1, 2010, there were only 4 levels of refunds. The first level, which was applicable to cruises of 5 days or fewer canceled 60 days before the cruise; longer cruises canceled 70 days before the cruise; and holiday cruises canceled 90 days before the departure date, was a full refund.

The second level was a refund without the price of the deposit, which was applicable to cruises of 5 days or fewer between 59 and 30 days before the cruise; longer cruises 69 to 30 days prior to the cruise; and holiday cruises canceled between 89 and 30 days prior to the cruise.

The next level was a 50 percent refund, which was applicable to cruises of 5 days or fewer canceled between 29 and 8 days; 6- to 9-day cruises canceled between 29 and 8 days prior to the cruise; longer cruises canceled between 29 and 15 days prior to the cruise; and holiday cruise canceled between 29 and 8 days for shorter holiday cruises and 29 and 15 days prior to departure for longer holiday cruises.

The New Policy

The new policy of Royal Caribbean Cruises is very similar. The first level has been barely changed except that the group of non-holiday cruisers longer than 5 days now has to cancel 75 days prior to the cruise in order to receive a full refund.

The second level is now divided so that the earliest 50 percent will receive their deposits back and the later 50 percent will lose 50 percent of the total cost of the cruise.

The third group is the same time wise, but now cruisers who fall into this time period prior to the cruise for cancelling will only receive 75 percent refunded of their total purchase price of the cruise. The people falling outside of this third group and reporting their cancellation later than the number of days in this group will receive no refund at all and the entire ticket price will be forfeited.

What is the Difference and What Does This Mean for You

Using this cancellation policy, it is much more difficult for cruisers to receive their refund in whole or in part. The time expectancy is much longer and the penalty for cancellation is higher for the most part. What cruisers need to take from this is that they cannot passively book a cruise. If you would like to go on a cruise, it would be wise to make all of your plans prior to purchasing or booking your cabin because it will be a long frustrating process to get your refund.

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