Royal Caribbean Suspended Sailings Through September 15

Canada and Bermuda sailings will be suspended through October.

Royal Caribbean International announced it would extend its suspension of cruises across its global fleet until September 15.

Royal Caribbean aims to resume cruises on Sept. 16, 2020, but with some exceptions, according to the cruise line’s website. All cruises from Canada will be suspended through Oct. 31, 2020, due to a ban on cruise ship travel from the Canadian government. Bermuda sailings will also remain suspended through the end of October. And cruises aboard theVoyager of the Seas cruise ship will remain suspended through Sept. 30, 2020.

Five Things to Know About Royal Caribbean International's Empress of the Seas Cruise Ship
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

The decision was made following an announcement from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to “voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations” from U.S. ports until September 15.

Passengers whose cruises are affected by the suspension can opt for a Future Cruise Credit, worth 125 percent of what they originally paid. Bookings must be made by Dec. 31, 2021, for travel by April 30, 2022. Passengers can also “lift and shift” their canceled booking for one year after their intended cruise date, or apply for a full refund.

When Royal Caribbean does resume service, there will be many drastic changes onboard. In an interview last month, CEO Richard Fain said that the ships would likely have lower passenger quotas to promote social distancing onboard. The future of the self-service food buffet is also in question. Passengers will also notice increased cleaning and disinfecting of public areas.

"We have consulted with some of the leading experts in the world to make sure we have the best protocols, the best sanitation, the best hygiene, [and] the best testing to allow us to come back in a way that we're confident in doing all the things we should be to protect those people," he said.

Carnival Cruise Line also announced it would extend its suspension of service until at least September 30, following the CLIA decision. Norwegian Cruise Line has suspended all cruises through August 31. The only cruises that will take place in September will depart from Seattle, according to their website.

At the moment, a "No-Sail" order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still in place, although it’s due to expire July 24.

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