The travel industry is taking a major hit as a lot of people are forced to cancel their travel plans because of the spread of the corona virus. One of the industries expected to be significantly impacted by the outbreak of the virus is the cruise industry.
Carnival Cruise Line sent emails to their customers explaining that they are immediately pausing operations across their fleet of ships based in North America as of Saturday, March 14, 2020 and will resume operations on Friday, April 10, 2020. All ships currently at sea will continue their voyages and return to their homeports as scheduled. Below is the rest of Carnival’s statement:
“Throughout this COVID-19 situation that has now turned into a global pandemic, we have implemented higher and higher levels of screening, monitoring and sanitation protocols to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve. While Carnival has not had a diagnosed case linked to our operation we realize this situation is bigger than the cruise industry and we will continue to do our part to support public officials to manage and contain this unprecedented public health challenge.
We are directly contacting booked guests on the cancelled sailings over the next four weeks regarding their cruise and their options.
Our guests have been tremendously patient and understanding as we have reacted to a rapidly changing situation and a desire to be responsive to authorities in the U.S. and the destinations we visit. We are very sorry that this decision will disrupt the vacation plans for our guests and look forward to resuming operations and providing safe, fun and memorable vacations. And it goes without saying, we can only do that with the support of our outstanding onboard team members who have been nothing short of amazing during this prolonged period of challenge.
We will continue to keep our website information updated with regard to our response to this situation here. We appreciate your loyalty and look forward to resuming operations and welcoming you on board in the near future.”
The timing of the release of the statement has left some passengers furious because they learned about the cancellations after they’ve already begun travel to board the ship for their long-awaited cruise vacation. One customer tweeted “Just left for our cruise out of California tomorrow. Very disappointed we were not informed before starting our long road trip of 7 hours. There better be a refund.“
Another customer tweeted, ” We are currently in Fort Lauderdale, set to leave tomorrow. We spent $200 on an Airbnb and drove from Atlanta. We will be requesting fuel reimbursement and accommodation reimbursement on top of our refund. This is absolutely ridiculous.“
More and more customers are coming forward to vent their frustrations regarding the way Carnival handled contacting customers with the news. Customers also feel as though the timing of the release of the news related to cancellations was bad.
Carnival isn’t the only cruise line temporarily suspending operations. Cruise lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, MSC, Princess, Viking, and Disney put a temporary stop to sailings on ships leaving from North American ports
Cruise-goers have posted in popular social media travel groups that they canceled their cruise long before cruise lines decided to suspend operations. Some cruisers posted that prior to the cancellation, they received phone calls from cruise lines offering major upgrades or significant slash in prices for already booked vacations.
Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Let me know if your local or international travel plans have been effected by the coronavirus outbreak.