It comes as no surprise that Royal Caribbean has now suspended operations through May 31, 2021. Further cancellations were expected as other major cruise operators announced a further suspension in the last several weeks.
Royal Caribbean Extends Suspension
So the cruise line has decided to extend its suspension through May 31, 2021, which does means cruises won’t resume until June at the very earliest. However, this does exclude some ships.
The extension impacts all brands owned by the cruise company, including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea Cruises. Azamara is also on the list, but the line is being sold and already made an announcement recently on canceled sailings.
Until today, the Royal Caribbean International website had still been showing departures from the U.S. in May 2021. Those have now been removed, and guests are unable to book.
Also Read: When Will Cruises Resume in 2021?
From the first week of June, there are multiple departures available from the U.S., including Cape Liberty, Miami, Port Canaveral, and Tampa.
Not All Ships Are Impacted
Even though the cruise line has extended its suspension, it does not impact the entire fleet. We’ve already posted about the new Odyssey of the Seas that will homeport from Israel from May. This is the first time Royal Caribbean has been based from the country and will offer sailings to vaccinated guests only.
The ship will sail 3- to 7-night itineraries from Haifa to the Greek isles and Cyprus. These new sailings are actually going on sale from March 9, 2021.
Quantum of the Seas has been the only ship in the fleet that has been sailing during the suspension of operations around the globe. She is sailing cruises to nowhere out of Singapore. In fact, the ship’s season has been extended, and it proves that cruises can operate while keeping guests and crew members safe.
Worth Reading: Why Are Cruises Still Being Canceled?
The suspension also excludes Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas sailings out of China from March 30 through May and beyond.
Cancellation Policy Extended
As a result of the extension, Royal Caribbean has made updates to its Cruise with the Confidence cancellation policy. The popular program is now extended through May 31, 2021, for a sailing departing through April 30, 2022.
Related: How to Speed Up Your Cruise Refund
Guests can cancel up to 48-hours before departure in exchange for a 100% Future Cruise Credit. The deadlines to use the Future Cruise Credit have also been adjusted, with guests now having until April 30, 2022, to use the credit on sailings departing on or before September 30, 2022.
Royal Caribbean’s Current Situation
Like other major cruise lines that operate out of the U.S., everything comes down to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on resuming cruises. Royal Caribbean is waiting for further guidance and technical details on cruising, and the rumor has it that this will be released very soon indeed.
Once those details are released, we’ll soon have test sailings, and then regular operations can begin with new health measures in place. Royal Caribbean has already started planning to bring crew members back to the ships.
We also already know that the cruise line will require the crew to be vaccinated but no decision yet on the mandate for guests apart from onboard Odyssey of the Seas out of Israel.
Royal Caribbean last announced its suspension on January 12 with cruises canceled through April.
Main Photo Credit: Natalia Deksbakh / Shutterstock.com