March 25, 2020
(Updated 10 a.m. EDT) -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the parent company of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea Cruises, has extended its fleet suspension through May 11, 2020.
The move follows the line's announcement of the suspension of all U.S. cruises as of March 13, which extended to a 30-day worldwide suspension on March 17, as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The decision has affected the launch of Celebrity Cruises' newest ship, Celebrity Apex, which was due to launch in the U.K. on March 28. The line had already announced the postponement of the christening, which had been scheduled for March 30.
A statement from RCL reads:
"Given global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has decided to extend the suspension of sailings of our global fleet and expect to return to service on May 12, 2020, with some exceptions.
"Because of announced port closures, we expect to return to service for Voyager of the Seas sailings in June 2020 [and] for Alaska, Canada and New England sailings on July 1, 2020."
Celebrity also will be pushing its Alaska season back with Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Solstice returning to service on July 3 and Celebrity Eclipse returning on July 5.
The Canada and New England season on Celebrity Summit will be suspended through July 1 as well.
Royal Caribbean, Azamara and Celebrity are offering a 125 percent future cruise credit to anyone booked on affected sailings for use by December 31, 2021.
Passengers wishing to request a refund of 100 percent of the cruise fare they paid (including any nonrefundable deposits) can do so via this form prior to December 31, 2021. Refund requests will be issued to the original form of payment and will result in the forfeiture of the future cruise credit.
Affected Silversea cruisers will receive either a 125 percent future cruise credit valid two years from issuance or a 100 percent refund of the cruise fare paid, issued to the original form of payment. Refunds can be requested by calling the cruise line directly or by reaching out to your travel agent.
Special conditions apply to the following voyages:
Passengers booked on Silver Spirit (voyages 5006 and 5007) will receive a 100 percent refund to their original method of payment within 90 days of request, plus a 25 percent future cruise credit for the cruise portion of the booking valid for two years from issuance.
Cruisers booked on the 2020 full world cruise or on Silver Whisper (voyages 4006, 4007, 4008 and 4009) will have the option to receive a 100 percent refund of the unused portion of their cruise, reimbursed to the original form of payment, within 90 days of request, or a 125 percent future cruise credit of the unused portion of their cruise booking, valid for two years from issuance.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has joined most cruise operators suspending cruise voyages across the world.