As the cruise industry continues to adjust to its new reality in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it has tried to reassure travelers by offering generous refund policies. Passengers have responded by canceling droves. But getting a refund is easier said than done.
USAToday.com reports that many people who have canceled their cruises and opted for a refund have found that getting their money back has been been a challenge. The article was written by Morgan Hines, who had planned to be a Royal Caribbean cruise passenger later this month. But when coronavirus struck, she canceled her cruise in March. After over a month's wait, Hines still has not received her refund.
After opting to get her money back Hines learned that it could take up to 30 days to receive a refund. But just as the 30-day window was closing she received a notification informing her that refunds are taking up to 45 days. It is still not clear if her refund will arrive in this expanded refund window.
The article says that different cruise lines are issuing different guidance as to how long the refunds will take.
Royal Caribbean - Refunds should be issued within 45 days.
Carnival - Is processing refunds but refuses to give a timeline for issuing the refunds
Princess - Says refunds are taking 60 days on average
Holland America - Says refunds are taking 60 days on average
MSC Cruises - Says refunds are taking 60 days on average
Many cruise passengers were offered bonuses of 25% or 50% if they were to take a future travel credit instead of receiving a cash refund. But the credits had to be used within a year or 18 months, prompting some to reject the generous offers and simply ask for their money back.