The coronavirus continues to disrupt the cruising industry and many central Florida families have contacted Action 9 with concerns. Consumer investigator Todd Ulrich looked into what cruise companies are doing for their customers and if they can get any money back.
Dennis Weik and Mary Lotter are cruise veterans, ready for any adventure.
But days before their Royal Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral, the couple felt this just was not the time and place.
"Just the threat to our health. No other reason, and we are in an age group that is high risk," Weik said.
Days before departure, Weik says he cancelled the cruise. They already paid in full, $2,500.
Given the coronavirus national headlines he didn't expect Royal Caribbean to deny a refund or future cruise credit.
"I actually thought they would consider something, being the circumstances are so unusual," Weik said.
Then the US State Department warned high risk people not to cruise then later said that covered everyone.
The new alert was issued the last day of what would have been their cruise. He said that alert confirmed their action and concerns.
Even with standard insurance, cancelling a cruise because it felt risky has not been a covered loss until now.
Since the couple contacted Action 9, major cruise lines made major concessions benefiting customers.
Some companies now offer full refunds, others offer cruise credits for future travel.
"In a few days, if things change, pick up the phone and give them a call and see if you're included in the refund," said BBB President Holly Salmons.
Royal Caribbean allows cancellations before August without penalty and is offering future cruise credits good through 2021.
The most generous, Norwegian Cruise lines is giving future cruise credits for travel through 2022.
Ulrich contacted Royal Caribbean about Weik’s complaint hoping the new policy covers a future cruise.
"It is absolutely, it is a step toward fairness," Weik said.
If the cruise line cancels like Princess and Viking have done through the end of April of course there is a full refund.
But now if you choose to cancel there are options to protect you.
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