Norwegian Cruise Line toughens cancellation terms

Norwegian Escape, Getaway, and Breakaway.
Norwegian Cruise Line announced new terms for canceling booked cruises that will require earlier decisions about backing out of trips and impose higher penalties on cancellations.

The changes, which take effect on bookings made after Jan. 1, are complex. But on one common product, the cruise or cruise tour of 7 days or longer, the least costly cancellation will require forfeit of 25% of the cruise fare for bookings cancelled 76 to 89 days from sailing.

The current policy is loss of deposit for bookings cancelled 56 to 75 days before sailing.

Cancellations 60 to 75 days out come with a 50% penalty, those from 31-60 days a 75% penalty and within 30 days, 100% penalty.

The current schedule penalizes cancellations from 29 to 55 days out at 50%, and those from 15 to 28 days at 75%.  Currently, when guests cancel within 14 days of sailing, they lose their full fare.

Standard deposits will be $100 per person on cruises of two to six days, $250 on cruises seven to nine days and $400 on voyages 10 days or longer.

Final payment will be due 75 days from sailings of two to six days and 90 days on longer voyages. Holiday sailings will require final payment 120 days from sailing, except for the Norwegian Sky.

HAL pulls Noordam from Eastern Med in 2014

HAL pulls Noordam from Eastern Med in 2014

By Tom Stieghorst
Holland America Line said it has made the decision to redeploy the Noordam away from its Eastern Mediterranean itineraries for all of 2014.

HAL had already canceled port calls in Egypt for 2014 due to the unrest there. It said those cancellations created further operational and port implications that led to the redeployment.

Noordam will now do central and western Med itineraries next spring and summer. The cruise line is in the process of notifying guests and travel agents.

Guests booked on the previous itineraries can choose any 11- to 14-day cruise in Europe as a substitute, and receive the same stateroom category for the original cruise fare paid, plus a shipboard credit based on the stateroom category previously booked, HAL said.

Celebrity Millennium’s remaining 2013 Alaska cruises canceled

Celebrity Millennium’s remaining 2013 Alaska cruises canceled

By Tom Stieghorst
Celebrity Cruises called a premature end to the Alaska season for the Celebrity Millennium, canceling the ship’s remaining four cruises on its schedule.

Celebrity acted after mechanical problems with the ship’s propulsion units kept it in port for at least part of the last two cruises between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska.

The canceled cruises, in addition to the current one, were scheduled to depart Aug. 23, Aug. 30, Sept. 6 and Sept. 13. Celebrity is in the process of contacting passengers on those cruises and rebooking or refunding them.

Affected passengers are being offered a full refund and a 25% future cruise credit.

The next scheduled sailing of Millennium will be a Panama Canal transit cruise from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 22.

Millennium carries 2,038 passengers at double occupancy.