Recognizing our responsibility to our guests, our crew and the global community, and after very serious consideration of the evolving COVID-19 situation, Princess Cruises has made the difficult decision to voluntarily and temporarily pause our global ship operations for 60 days, effective immediately through May 11, 2020.
The impact of this decision will have far-reaching effects, to your clients, your business, and undoubtedly our industry. For any of your clients who has a booking and expected to sail with us before May 11, 2020, we apologize and sincerely share in their disappointment. Our company President, Jan Swartz, explains the rationale behind the decision in this video recorded last night.
For your clients who have sailings between now and May 11, there will be many questions and careful choices to consider, which are listed below. We are counting on you to guide them through the generous options we’ve made available, and ask your patience and understanding as our call volume will be at unprecedented levels.
Here is a rundown of how voyages underway are affected:
- Guests currently onboard a cruise that will end in the next 5 days will continue to sail as expected through the end of their cruise so that we do not disrupt their onward travel arrangements.
- Current voyages that are underway and extend beyond March 17 will be ended at the most convenient location for our guests. We will do everything in our power to return each guest home with the greatest amount of care possible.
For clients who have bookings through May 10th, we are pleased to offer two options, a generous Future Cruise Credit (with additional compensation for selecting this option) or a refund to their original form of payment. For our valued Travel Advisor partners, please know we will protect your commission on bookings paid in full for the cancelled cruises as well as on the future cruise credits. We believe this compensation model shows our support for the critical role you have played in our success.
While we will leave the ultimate decision to you and your clients, we hope they strongly consider choosing Option 1, by transferring money paid and accepting the Future Cruise Credit representing a higher value and maximum benefit for your clients. The future cruise credit applies for all guests who had bookings as of February 4, 2020. This can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022.
For some, choosing the Future Cruise Credit may not be financially possible. So we will be posting an electronic form on Princess.com where guests who are booked in this specific time period can request a cash refund.
Here are the details of the two options for guests booked through May 10th, 2020:
To verify which option each guest wishes to choose, and to automate the process as much as possible to avoid long hold times, we have developed an easy-to-use online form that you can find here. We will be sending this out to each guest booked on any of the impacted sailings but we encourage you to connect with your clients if you’d like to offer your support in completing this on their behalf.
As we embark on the immense task to pause service of our fleet of 18 ships temporarily, our goal is to reset the environmental conditions onboard, incorporating all the learnings from the world’s public health experts like the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will also use this time to refocus our attention on providing the best service and experience possible for our guests.
With your support, we will emerge from this time of trial even stronger. We look forward to serving you while connecting the world for years to come.
On behalf of all of us here at Princess, thank you for your understanding, patience and ongoing support.
Senior Vice President
North America Sales & Trade Marketing