Cruise Lines: Contingency Plans

August 10, 2006
Don't Miss This -- New Carry-On Restrictions
Members Speak Out: Impact on Cruise, Air Travel
News: Major Terrorist Attack Thwarted
Airline Policies for Passengers Flying To and From the United Kingdom
Foiled Terror Plot: News to Use
Travel Insurance: What's Covered?
News Analysis: Thursday's Plot Reverberates Onboard

As the day progresses (and in fact through the weekend), we will post cruise lines' responses to our questions on what impact Thursday's terror attempt will have on cruises beginning Friday and through the weekend.

If a cruise line is not represented here it means that it has not responded to our request for information. We will update this page as new details emerge, so check back often.

Carnival Cruise Line
(August 10, 3:30 p.m.) -- Carnival has only one ship, Carnival Liberty, involved in European sailings this summer.

Jennifer de la Cruz, a Carnival spokeswoman, tells Cruise Critic that, "We do not expect cruise operations to be impacted other than the potential for flight delays. We have sent detailed information to all ships with instructions to disseminate that info to guests. The information explains the current air travel situation and details newly restricted items for U.S. domestic flights as well as flights into and out of the U.K.

"We are supplying guests with detailed information in advance so that they know ahead of time what is permissible in their carry-on bags and what isn't. Also, we are sending fax and/or email communications to agents/consumers with bookings on ships departing this weekend."

Voyages with Potential for Airline Complications: Carnival Liberty is slated to depart from Rome (Civitavecchia) on Friday; de la Cruz says that, "We may possibly delay departure of Carnival Liberty's next voyage from Civitavecchia if necessary."

Celebrity Cruises
(August 10, 9:30 p.m.) -- The line is alerting future passengers to new travel rules and regulations.

Voyages with Potential for Airline Complications: Celebrity's Constellation is slated to depart on a Dover roundtrip tomorrow (Friday); at this point no changes have been made to its departure schedule.

Crystal Cruises
(August 10, 12:45 p.m.) -- No cruises are scheduled for turnaround "for at least a week," according to spokeswoman Mimi Weisband.

Voyages With Potential for Airline Complications: None at this time.

Cunard Line Ltd.
(August 10, 2:50 p.m.) -- Spokesman Brian O'Connor reports that "Queen Mary 2 is scheduled to depart Southampton tomorrow, 11 Aug for New York as planned. Many of our North American guests are already in England on pre-voyage packages.

"Queen Elizabeth 2 departed today from Southampton for a 14-day Mediterranean cruise on schedule. Otherwise, there are no changes at this time. We are advising our passengers to continue plans as usual and to allow plenty of time for their journey as lines for flight check in and security are very long.

"Our Flight Department has already reviewed air travel booked through us and is monitoring schedule changes and cancellations. We are standing by to assist (air/sea) passengers as needed. Those who have made travel arrangements independently are working directly with their respective airline or with their travel agent to make changes if needed. We are advising guests that they may experience delays in the airports."

Incidentally, Cruise Critic heard reports that some U.S. travelers in London tried to book cabins on Queen Mary 2 in order to avoid air travel home. O'Connor now says that the ship was already fully booked.

Voyages With Potential for Airline Complications: None; "we will," O'Connor says of Queen Mary 2, "sail tomorrow evening as planned."

Holland America Line
(August 10, 3:15 p.m.) -- Holland America is the first cruise line we've heard from that is revising some departures to allow for folks who may be delayed because of the airline situation. It's also making these changes for a variety of sailings, not just those in Europe.

Voyages with Potential for Complications: Amsterdam, sailing from Copenhagen tomorrow, will move its departure from 5 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. Statendam, in Vancouver tomorrow, will head out at 7:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. On Saturday (August 12), Maasdam in Montreal will move its sail-away time from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. That same day Zuiderdam turns around in Vancouver; it will leave at 8:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m.

On Sunday (August 13), Ryndam in Vancouver will push back its departure from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Veendam, embarking passengers in Seward, will leave two hours later than its original 8 p.m. schedule.

And finally, Prinsendam which sails out of Lisbon on Monday (August 14) and was slated to depart at 5 p.m., will leave at 4 a.m. August 15 instead.

All times are local.

MSC Cruises
(August 11, 3 p.m.) -- All of MSC Cruises' ships are currently operating in Europe. The company says it is "monitoring the situation, and at the airport 'meet and greet' staff are working overtime to assist passengers whose flights are delayed. As MSC Cruises sailings scheduled for the near future are all based from ports outside the U.K., the effects on our guests are minimal."

Voyages with Potential for Airline Complications: MSC has no fewer than seven ships departing on voyages this weekend  from ports ranging from Barcelona to Genoa and from Venice to Copenhagen. At this point, however, air travel issues for intra-Europe flights seem to have calmed down and few are delayed beyond the usual.

Norwegian Cruise Line
(August 10, 1 p.m.) -- From a company statement: "There have been no significant changes to security status of ports within the last 24 hours; however, we are maintaining a heightened level of awareness and monitoring the situation. Says Susan Robison, company spokeswoman, "In addition, we have sent detailed information to the ships to distribute to our guests that the Department of Homeland Security has elevated the threat level and new guidelines for carry-on luggage. We are also reaching out to travel agents to alert them of these new restrictions and to expect longer lines at airport security."

"NCL is not aware of any cancellations and changes to flight schedules beyond today's disruption; however, passengers should check with their individual airline for the most up-to-date information."

Voyages With Potential for Airline Complications: Norwegian Jewel departs Barcelona Sunday on a seven night roundtrip; no further info has been received from NCL.

Oceania Cruises
(August 10, 3 p.m.) -- Update: Oceania's the first cruise line we've heard from that is actually addressing issues facing passengers who are disembarking in the short term. Nautica, which finishes up a cruise in Barcelona tomorrow, will arrive early so that passengers may disembark earlier than usual. Oceania is recommending all airport-bound folks, on whichever continent, to arrive four hours early. Furthermore, Oceania is offering assistance to passengers who've booked air through the cruise line, as well as those who have purchased flights independently -- they're asked to call 800-531-5658 if help is needed.

Voyages with Potential for Airline Complications: < a href="../reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=346">Nautica's outgoing cruise from Barcelona on Saturday will depart on schedule. Insignia, sailing a Stockholm to London itinerary on Sunday, will also leave as planned.

Princess Cruises
(August 10, 1:30 p.m.) -- Karen Tetherow, spokeswoman for Princess Cruises, notes that "Golden Princess has departed Southampton today as scheduled. We don't have any changes to report at this time. We are advising passengers to continue travel plans as usual and to allow plenty of travel time as security lines at the airports are very long.

"We don't have any itinerary changes planned at this time."

Voyages With Potential for Airline Complications: "We don't have any ships arriving/departing in Southampton for the next few days. Golden Princess will return to Southampton on August 20."

Regent Seven Seas Cruises
(August 10, 9:30 p.m.) -- According to company executive Andrew Poulton, "fortunately, the Seven Seas Mariner and the Seven Seas Navigator turned around yesterday (in Whittier, Alaska, and Dover, respectively)."

Voyages With Potential for Airline Complications: Adds Poulton, "the Seven Seas Voyager turns around this Saturday in Copenhagen. There may be independent guests in London who have made their own flight arrangements who we don't know about. Our own air/sea guests are typically booked to fly directly to/from Germany or Scandinavia on SAS or Lufthansa. "Nothing formal has been changed, but of course our Regent Concierge is offering every assistance (whether or not they purchased their air through the cruise line) to make changes to guests' travel plans if requested."

Royal Caribbean
(August 10, 9:30 p.m.) -- "We are monitoring the situation and anticipate it will only be affecting our guests in Europe returning home from their cruises," writes Tracy Quan, a spokeswoman for the line, "but will get a more detailed response to you as soon as I get more information in."

Voyages With Potential for Airline Complications: According to a search on Expedia, Royal Caribbean has ships departing on cruises on August 12th (Voyager of the Seas, Barcelona roundtrip) and on August 13th (Splendour of the Seas, Venice roundtrip); at this time there's no update on departure delays.

Seabourn Cruise Line
(August 10, 10 a.m.) -- According to spokesman Bruce Good: "We have a full-ship charter departing Copenhagen today on Seabourn Pride. We are aware of two U.K.-based guests whom we are unable to get to Copenhagen -- they are not strictly speaking our responsibility, but our agents are trying to help out. They will join the ship at Helsinki on Saturday.

"Both Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend will turn at Rome on Saturday. We must naturally watch developments to see how we might be affected there. Both of those cruises are seven-day voyages, on which about a third of the guests are cruising back-to-back and will not require transport for another week."

Voyages With Potential for Airline Complications: See above.

Windstar Cruises
(August 10, 3:45 p.m.) -- Like parent company Holland America, Windstar is already planning to delay departures in light of passengers likely facing air traffic delays when traveling to cruise ports of embarkation.

Voyages with Potential for Airline Complications: Wind Star, which departs from Athens (Piraeus) on Saturday, will push its departure from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. On Sunday, Wind Surf, which is slated to leave Barcelona at 5 p.m., will now head out at 10 p.m.

Cruises With Imminent Departures
August 11:
Carnival Liberty, Rome roundtrip

August 12:
Celebrity Constellation, London (Dover) roundtrip
Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas, Barcelona roundtrip
Windstar's Wind Star, Athens - Venice
SeaDream Yacht Club SeaDream I, Athens (Piraeus) to Istanbul

August 13:
Windstar's Wind Surf, Barcelona - Rome
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Jewel, Barcelona roundtrip
Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas, Venice roundtrip
Princess' Star Princess, Copenhagen roundtrip