It’s hard to imagine an appetite in the world to step foot on a filthy cruise ship these days. During the beginning of the spread of the coronavirus, passengers were stuck on ships as they were quarantined. It was a frightening notion and sight. Some cruise lines were naively or irresponsibly hoping to return to business this summer. Finally, major cruise line companies read the writing on the wall.
Not Until September 15
The Cruise Lines International Association announced its members will continue the suspension of operations from U.S. ports until September 15th. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a “No Sail Order.” It ruled no ships with more than 250 passengers could cruise the ocean until July 24th.
Even though the “No Sail Order” will soon expire major cruise lines have pulled the plug on any summer plans. The Cruise Lines International Association and its members will continue to work with the CDC on new protocols.
Royal Carribbean’s Response
Royal Caribbean is planning a return on September 16th. To perhaps make up for lost business, Royal Caribbean is trying to throw perks into bookings for the future. The cruise line clarified their plans for the future on their site:
• Canada sailings will be suspended through October 31, 2020, due to the Canadian government’s extended travel ban on cruise ship travel.
• Terminals will remain closed in Copenhagen, Denmark and as a result
• Bermuda sailings will be suspended through October 31st, 2020.
• And, after further review with CLIA, the CDC and local governments, we decided to cancel Voyager of the Seas sailings through September 30th, 2020, and Spectrum of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas sailings through July 2020.
Carnival Cruise’s Response
Carnival Cruise is aiming for a slightly later date to resume operations. They’ve canceled all cruises in North America until September 30th. Originally, the company implemented a 30-day pause in mid-march. Three delays for reopening have happened already. Don’t expect those three delays to be the last. During the pause, Carnival Cruise will attempt to finalize health protocols for the future. Anyone who booked a cruise for this summer can receive a refund. If they reschedule, they will receive credit for either $300 or $600. In a statement, the president of the popular cruise line, Christine Duffy, said:
During this unprecedented pause in our business, we have continued to assess the operating environment and confer with public health, government and industry officials.
Before the most recent cancellations for major cruise lines, Disney Cruise Lines had already announced they wouldn’t return until September 15th. Again, that’s the hope, not the expectation, from the sound of it. Disney Magic sailings, too, are unavailable until October 2nd. The company explained the suspension:
In alignment with the announcement made on June 19, 2020 by the Cruise Lines International Association regarding the voluntary extension of suspended passenger operations from U.S. ports, Disney Cruise Line is cancelling Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy sailings through September 15, 2020.
Disney Cruise Line has already suspended Disney Wonder sailings through September 14, 2020 and Disney Magic sailings through October 2, 2020.
Guests booked on affected sailings who have paid their reservation in full will be offered the choice of a cruise credit to be used for a future sailing or a full refund. Guests who have not paid their reservations in full will automatically receive a refund of what they have paid so far. These Guests and travel agents will receive an email from Disney Cruise Line outlining details and next steps.
As a result, cruise lines’ stocks have taken serious hits. Stocks will likely remain low until 2021. More often than not, cruises are filthy to begin with. Buffets in particular spread germs, as do most parts of a ship. Not to mention, cruise lines are notorious for mismanaged crimes, especially assault, and lost passengers. They’re cities on the water with serious issues. They’re not safe to begin with, and even less so during the pandemic.