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Want to Cancel Your Upcoming Cruise? These Are the 3 Steps You Need to Take

Booked on a cruise in the coming weeks? Well, considering the state of the world, we wouldn’t blame you for canceling immediately. Both the State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited an increased risk of infection from the new coronavirus in a cruise ship environment. Here is what you need to know before canceling or postponing your cruise:

Coronavirus can spread fast on a ship.

Neither the State Department nor the CDC is ordering Americans to stop going on cruises. The pronouncements made earlier this week were recommendations. Still, the advisories were very clear in that Americans should not embark on a cruise right now. Both cited early evidence that the illness can spread particularly fast on a cruise ship, and the U.S. government might not be able to evacuate passengers from foreign countries— if they get caught up in a coronavirus-related quarantine situation.

Most lines have eased their cancellation policies.

If you’re thinking of canceling a cruise, the good news is that most cruise lines have drastically eased cancellation policies. Many major lines now will let you cancel a cruise with just a day or two of notice for a full refund in the form of a future cruise credit. That’s a huge change from normal policies. At many lines, you’ll normally lose at least part of your money, if you cancel a cruise within 90 days of a departure. Now, you are free from any penalties, so your safety should come first and foremost.

You don’t need to rush into canceling your cruise.

If you’re booked on a cruise in the next few days, you’ll need to make a quick decision about canceling. But, if you’re on one that isn’t departing for a month, two, or three, there’s no need to rush to cancel in many cases. The relaxed cancellation deadlines at many lines mean you can hold off a bit to see how the coronavirus outbreak plays out. Note that, in some cases where a ship has been chartered to an outside group for a specialized sailing, such as a music cruise, you’ll fall under the organizer’s cancellation policy and not the policy of the line. In such a case, call your trip organizer first to determine your course of action.

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