(4 p.m. EST) -- Heads up: Effective January 30 for all new bookings, Carnival Cruise Lines has tightened its cancellation penalties for cruises of six days or longer, excluding Europe itineraries.
Passengers who cancel their cruises 75 to 56 days prior to departure will now be charged a cancellation fee representing their deposit. According to a statement from the line, the previous date range was from 75 to 46 days.
In addition, those who cancel their cruise 55 to 30 days prior to departure will be charged 50 percent of their cruise fare. The previous policy called for the 50 percent forfeiture on cruises canceled 45 to 30 days prior to departure.
Carnival said the contraction "places [it] in line with cancellation policies of other cruise lines." Indeed, Carnival's updated policy correlates to that of Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean. Norwegian Cruise Line's current policy, however, abides by Carnival's old policy for cruises of six nights or more.
What does this mean for cruisers?
Passengers concerned about depositing and having to cancel early -- or those just looking for peace of mind -- should always consider insurance, said Bill Kraus, president and CEO of Cruise Club of America. "Then, if they're in a penalty period, it's immaterial. As long as they are cancelling for a reason that's covered under the policy, they're not going to lose dime."