In the wake of outbreaks of COVID19 on several cruise ships combined with cancellations of dozens of voyages, Princess Cruises is extending its Book with Confidence program along with a renewal of its health and safety protocols.
These are rocky seas for cruise lovers. Norwegian Cruise Line aborted a 10-day Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Gem midway through the cruise, leaving passengers stuck at sea without ports. The line cited COVID concerns but didn’t clarify to the press or passengers what these were. The ship was due to dock in New York, where the sailing originated, on Jan. 19. But so far no word on its fate.
Other canceled cruises include the following Royal Caribbean voyages:
- Vision of the Seas: Its return to cruising is postponed until March 7.
- Serenade of the Seas: Its sailings from now to March 5 have been canceled. It's returning after dry dock on April 26.
- Jewel of the Seas sailings from now to February 12 are canceled. It's returning on February 20.
- Symphony of the Seas: Its sailings are halted until January 22. It's returning on January 29.
An added layer of customer protection
Amid all this, Princess says its Book with Confidence is now effective for summer 2022 sailings, including all cruises departing through September 30, 2022, for all bookings made by March 2.
The purpose is to persuade people to book in advance. Should guests need to cancel, or the cruise line puts the brakes on, they will get their money back. The caveat is that any changes must be made up to 30 days prior to the cruise to receive a future cruise credit.
“Planning a vacation gives us something to look forward to, and so many of us have an inherent desire to explore the world and experience sought-after destinations,” said Deanna Austin, Princess Cruises chief commercial officer. “With the extension of our Book with Confidence program, we’re giving cruisers the confidence to book a summer vacation now, knowing they have flexibility in case they need to alter their plans.”
Protocols remain in effect
Princess Cruises is continuing its vaccine mandate as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Which means guests must have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the sailing day and have proof they did.
Princess Medallion Class summer cruise vacations include Alaska, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, British Isles, Scandinavia and Canada & New England.
For full Book with Confidence and COVID-19 Protection Program guidelines, visit princess.com/bookwithconfidence.
To ease your mind, Princess is offering Princess Vacation Protection that will provide full vacation protection in the form of a future cruise credit or a reimbursement of the normally non-refundable cancellation fees, depending on the reason for changed plans. This program also covers guests during their cruise, including lost or damaged luggage protection, emergency excess medical expenses and emergency evacuation, and trip interruption coverage, which provides pro-rated refund if illness interrupts the cruise and extra costs associated with trip delays or interruptions.
For the latest Princess COVID-19 health protocols, please visit princess.com/plan/cruise-with-confidence/cruise-health.