On June 5, cruise lines Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corporation announced that they would no longer operate cruises to Cuba, effective immediately. Their decision came one day after the Trump administration banned cruises – as well as private yachts and fishing vessels – from the island.
The new regulations affect nearly 800,000 bookings that are scheduled or already underway, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (C.L.I.A). “The new rules effectively make it illegal to cruise to Cuba from the United States,” C.L.I.A. said in its statement. “While this situation is completely beyond our control, we are genuinely sorry for all cruise line guests who were looking forward to their previously booked itineraries to Cuba.”
Norwegian Cruise Line announced that shore excursions purchased through Norwegian – as well as visa fees – would be refunded. A 50 percent refund for the cruise and a 50 percent credit toward a future cruise would be given to passengers.
Royal Caribbean advised “All 2019 sailings on the Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas will have alternative ports in the Caribbean”. Guests will have the option of canceling for a full refund or keeping their bookings and going to a new destination and receiving a 50 percent refund.
Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean said they would modify their cruise itineraries to stop at different non-Cuban ports and would offer compensation to travelers.