Carnival Cruise Line's refund policies are dependent on the length of cruise, the type of fare you purchase, and the time frame in which you make changes or cancellations to your booking.
Cruises with special pricing have stricter refund policies, and when refunds are allowed on specials, they are typically in the form of Future Cruise Credits (FCC), not in monetary refunds.
Current refund policies for cruises cancelled by Carnival include an enhanced option that adds onboard credit in exchange for choosing an FCC over a refund. And while that information is available online as cancellations happen, each guest should also receive direct communication regarding those options at the time of the cancellation.
COVID-19 specific refunds: Carnival has not finalized its policies relating to COVID-19, but the current ticket contract provides for possibility of denial of boarding for any guest who is not fit to travel and under those circumstances, no refund is given.
Pricing guarantees: Carnival offers a lowest price guarantee on cruise fares for the first 48 hours after you make a booking. The 110 percent difference between the price you paid and the lower price you discover is refunded to you in the form of onboard credit.
When you cancel the cruise: Full refunds are issued for cancellations made 76 or more nights before sailing for short cruises up to 5 days and 91 or more nights before the sail date on longer sailings. Inside those dates, cancellation fees will apply according to the timeframes found below.
When Carnival cancels the cruise: Full refunds are available, as are options to accept future cruise credit with added onboard credit, based on the length of cruise. Pre-purchased Wi-Fi and beverage packages are refunded in full to the method of payment used.
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On cruises cancelled or shortened due to mechanical issues prior to or during sailing, passengers should expect full or partial refunds.
Final payment dates coincide with the end of the full refund period: 75 days before sailing for cruises two to five days long and 90 days for cruises of six days or longer.
If you must cancel your cruise: Cancellation fees are charged according to the number of days before sailing at the time of cancellation. From the final payment date to 56 days prior to sailing, you forfeit your deposit. Between days 55 and 30, you forfeit the larger of your deposit or 50 percent of the fare. Between days 29 and 15, you forfeit the larger of either the deposit or 75 percent of the fare. And inside 14 days (excluding no-shows and mid-cruise cancellations), only the taxes, fees, port charges, and pre-paid packages are refunded.
If Carnival must cancel your cruise: You are typically given a window of six months or more to rebook a cruise that sails within a 24-month window to receive any bonus onboard credit offered. Monetary refunds may take up to 90 days to process.
Future Cruise Credit
Future Cruise Credits are issued for the fare paid at the time of cancellation. For example, if you have paid in full for the cruise at the time it is cancelled, your FCC will be issued in the amount you paid. If you have only paid a deposit, the FCC would be for that amount, not the full fare of the cruise.
When you cancel the cruise: For Early Saver cancellations made prior to the final payment date, a Future Cruise Credit, minus a $50 service fee will be issued, valid for cruises within 24 months of the date of cancellation.
When Carnival cancels the cruise: Future Cruise Credit offered in lieu of refunds for cruises cancelled by Carnival will have an expiration date, typically 24 months from the cancellation, but always clearly spelled out in the communications provided by Carnival. Bonus onboard credit offered along with the future cruise credit will be dependent on a short window of acceptance. For example, the cancellations announced in March 2021 require an acceptance and booking of the new cruise by September 30, 2021 to receive the bonus offer.
The Fine Print
When you cancel the cruise: Deposits under Carnival's Early Saver program are non-refundable. And Super Saver fares have non-refundable deposits. Pack and Go promotions have non-refundable fares.
Carnival's Fly2Fun airfare has its own set of cancellation dates. The Flexible Air option is refundable up to 60 days prior to the flight. The Restricted Air option is non-refundable.
Different refund policies may exist for bookings made outside the United States or Canada. Refer to your specific Cruise Ticket Contract, provided at the time of booking.
When Carnival cancels the cruise: Options to accept Future Cruise Credit rather than refunds when Carnival cancels a cruise apply to all guests on the reservation, which means you and your traveling companions who were originally booked into the same cabin don't necessarily have to both opt for the same rebooked cruise, but you must agree on whether to accept a refund or the credit.
When either you or the cruise line cancel a cruise, any additional travel plans made through a third party must be cancelled independently.
Standard cancellation policies are outlined in the ticket contract. If you are booked directly with Carnival, you can see how potential cancellation fees effect a refund in your Carnival.com account under “My Cruise Details.” If you booked through a travel advisor, they can best advise you of the refund policies that affect your cruise.
You can check the status of your cruise on the canceled cruises page. Carnival customer service can be reached at (800) 764-7419.