On the heels of Cruise Lines International Association's (CLIA's) announcement late last week about its ocean line members extending the "pause" of sailings from U.S. ports until September 15, Carnival Cruise Line will extend that cessation of cruise operations for an additional two weeks.
Today, Carnival—which operates a fleet of 27 cruise ships—advised guests and travel advisors that it has extended its operational pause in North America through September 30, 2020, according to the line's press statement.
“During this unprecedented pause in our business, we have continued to assess the operating environment and confer with public health, government and industry officials," Christine Duffy, Carnival's president, told booked guests and travel agents in a letter. It explained that all Carnival cruises in North America are now cancelled through September 30.
“We have watched with great interest as commerce, travel and personal activities have begun to start back up, and once we do resume service, we will take all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we bring our ships to in order to maintain public confidence in our business," she said. "Nevertheless, we apologize for disrupting your vacation plans and appreciate your patience as we work through these decisions."
Carnival initially announced a voluntary 30-day pause in operations on March 13, and has now extended that pause three times—reflecting public health challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The line said it's currently completing the repatriation of nearly 29,000 crew members to more than 100 nations.
FCC or Refund
As with previous pause announcements, Carnival is giving guests desiring to move their booking to a later date a re-booking offer that combines a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) and either a $300 or $600 onboard credit (OBC). That's proven very popular with guests, the line's statement said.
In addition, guests as always have the option to receive a full refund, the statement also noted. The process is fully automated so that guests can submit their preference online and they can make a selection until May 31, 2021.
Duffy summed it up this way: "We appreciate the patience and support of our loyal guests, and recognize how much they want to get back to cruising. When the time is right, our outstanding onboard team will be waiting to welcome them back and give them the great vacation that they deserve."