Norwegian Sets Itinerary Changes, Refund Policy After Cuba Ban

Norwegian Sky at sea in Cuba
The Norwegian Sky docked in Havana, Cuba

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced changes to its itineraries that had previously called in Cuba following the Trump Administration’s decision to restrict travel to the country

Guests sailing on cruises to Cuba onboard the Norwegian Sun or Norwegian Sky through the September 2, 2019, departure will have the following two options: 

  • Sail the revised itinerary and receive a 50 percent refund of the cruise fare paid, as well as a 50 percent future cruise credit valid through December 31, 2020.
  • Cancel the booking and receive a full refund. If guests choose this option, Norwegian says it must be notified no later than June 11, 2019, midnight EST.

Norwegian says that refunds will be applied automatically to the original form of payment, and that it will protect full commission for reservations that continue to sail on amended Norwegian Sky and Sun former Cuba sailings, as well as those that choose to cancel. 

Visa fees arranged through Norwegian Cruise Line will be refunded and government taxes and fees will be adjusted accordingly. Any shore excursions purchased through Norwegian Cruise Line for Cuba will be automatically refunded and posted to the guest's onboard account for the June 3 departure or refunded to the original form of payment for other sailings. Future cruise credits will be attached to clients' Latitudes profiles and will be fully commissionable at the time of redemption. 

Cuba sailings on Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun beyond September 2, 2019, will be automatically cancelled, with new itineraries to be announced in the coming weeks. Norwegian said it will apply refunds to the original form of payment, as well as protect travel advisor commissions on all deposited bookings, to be distributed by June 30, 2019. Guests impacted by these cancellations will receive a 20 percent discount off current cruise fare on any new bookings on future sailings booked by August 5, 2019, and sailing no later than December 31, 2020. The discount will reside on guests’ Latitudes profile and can be applied by calling reservations at 1(800) 327-7030, Norwegian said. 

“We understand the disappointment and frustration this unexpected and last-minute change has caused you and your clients,” the cruise line said in a letter to travel advisors provided to Travel Agent. “Like you, we were surprised by this sudden modification to policy. We thank you for your patience and continued support as we navigate through this recent development.”

On Tuesday the Trump Administration announced that it was amending the regulations regarding travel to Cuba, most notably ending the “people-to-people” category of educational travel to the country under which many cruise lines and tour companies had operated. A grandfather clause continues to allow certain group people-to-people travel for which at least one travel-related transaction had already been made. 

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