So, you’re on the fence about whether to cancel your cruise
With the Omicron variant surging, and countless reports of friends, family & co-workers coming down with the “seasonal ick” (COVID, flu, colds), “should I cancel my cruise” direct messages and emails from our friends & cruise loving community are comin’ in hot. Some cruise lines are offering more liberal cancellation policies that are better than ever before. These new policies allow cruise travelers to weigh the decision more thoughtfully. A few years ago, cancelling a few weeks, or even a month before your cruise may not have been possible, even with travel insurance, but now – it’s a very real decision for many cruise travelers.
Yes, while we all hoped we’d be escaping the winter chill with a Caribbean adventure, Panama Canal bucket list cruise, or a swanky week on a shiny new ship, instead, our community is asking “should I cancel my cruise”?
These aren’t new cruisers who are reacting to sensational media reports from cruise-haters who are still using the good old “petri dish” analogy. But rather, experienced cruisers who are simply on the fence (rightly) about how to make the decision to “cruise or cancel” in light of port cancellations, surging cases being reported on cruise ships, and even mass flight cancellations.
We can’t make the decision for you, but we can help you weigh the factors, objectively, to decide “should you cancel your cruise?”.
Should you cancel your cruise?
Here are 5 facts to ponder:
Port Cancellation Tolerance
In light of multiple port cancellations in the Mexican Riviera and the Caribbean this week, you’ll want to ask yourself if missing some, or all of your ports will cast a shadow on your total cruise experience. If the idea of a cruise with no port stops sounds okay to you, you may consider sticking with your cruise plans and enjoying a reduced capacity sailing.
While we aren’t experts, it seems that cruise passengers are more likely to cancel their cruise plans during this season of change, which may result in quiet, low occupancy cruise experiences, which can result in better service, and an overall unique once-in-lifetime cruise vibe.
These low capacity sailings won’t last forever. Should you cancel your cruise if your ports are going to be altered or cancelled? That’s up to you, but be aware – it could happen.
If missing ports, however, will “ruin” your cruise, postpone for a later date, when the risk of these cancellations is lower.
Flight Arrangement Flexibility
Can you fly in to your cruise port at least 1-2 days prior to your cruise?
With flight cancellations worldwide, many cruisers are fearful that they won’t make it to their cruise on time. If you still plan to cruise, consider flying in earlier than anticipated, or research backup flight arrangements should your airline cancel. While it may be too late at this point in your planning, we also strongly suggest booking your airfare through the cruise line, so you’re covered in the event of cancellations or delays.
Illness & Your Risk Factors
Are you at high risk for needing medical attention if you contract cold, flu, or a COVID-like illness?
If not having access to land-based medical attention, if you become ill, is cause for concern for you and your traveling party, now may not be the best time to cruise. Not because of Omicron and COVID necessarily, but because it’s also flu & cold season, and the time of year when more people tend to fall ill. If you’re flying to port, your chances of contracting something on busy public transportation, in the airport, or on a flight are inevitably higher.
While the odds of getting sick on your cruise may be low, the worry about becoming ill may not be worth it. This is a very personal decision, but of all the factors to consider, this one should be key.
How is this making you feel?
Okay, I know we’re getting a little “woo woo” here, but ANYTIME someone comes to us and ask if they should cancel their travels, this is the first question we ask. Because, while the decision to cancel or keep a cruise may be logical in subjective in some ways, other times, the decision needs to be based on the anxiety and stress the decision itself is causing.
You can ask yourself: Would you feel relief if you cancelled? Would getting a refund and taking the trip later offer you peace of mind? Why did you want to go on this cruise in the first place? Are those factors likely to change, or not?
You may initially experience sadness, anger and regret about making the decision to cancel your cruise, but in two weeks, how will you feel about the decision?
Will your trip be better if you postpone?
In a year from now, will you look back on your cruise experience and say “I’m glad I went on the cruise, even though I wasn’t able to get off the ship”? Or, will your reflection look more like: “I really wanted to see St. Kitts, it’s the only reason I booked the cruise, and I should have postponed until I could get off the ship. I wasted my money, and I’ll never sail with that cruise line again – they ruined my vacation!”
If your feelings align more with the latter, you should consider canceling your cruise, in favor of a time when travel is more stable.
We don’t have all the answers, but we hope we’ve offered you some comfort and some tools to reflect on the difficult decision your faced with. You are NOT alone.
Hang in there cruisers, and remember, before you know it, we’ll see you on the high seas!
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