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My cruise was cancelled….Why can’t I get a refund?

Cruise cancellations are rare….but they do happen, and are no reflection upon the cruise line itself.  Things break down and you don’t want the cruise line to put profits over safety.

Recently Holland America Cruise Lines had to cancel a cruise from Fort Lauderdale on the Nieuw Amsterdam scheduled for February 1, 2020 due to a rare problem with one of its two azipod propulsion systems, and instead is sending the ship to the shipyard in the Bahamas for repairs.  It would appear that the February 8 sailing will go as scheduled, so apparently the repairs will not take too long.

According to the notice on their website: (link will open in a new window, this tab will stay open)

Those booked on this cruise will have the option to move to any other 2020 winter or spring 7-day Caribbean or Mexico cruise in the equivalent stateroom category and also receive credit for a future cruise credit equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid.  There are a couple other options as well, as you can see from the notice on their website.

This is a very generous offer (we are big fans of Holland America….they are the only U.S. cruise line that has a Catholic priest on board every cruise) and for many people this will turn out to be a pretty good deal:  just take your cruise a little later than planned and then get an additional cruise at 50% off of the published prices.  Many of Holland America’s customers are seniors, and their schedules are usually flexible in scheduling their cruises.

However, this solution could create a problem for some:  what if the passenger (s) just wants a refund?.  Perhaps these were the only dates they were able to travel in the near future, perhaps they wanted to celebrate a special occasion during those particular dates, and a whole lot of other “ifs”…..and  that is why we have always recommended travel insurance.

Many (but not all) travel insurance policies will cover you if your cruise if it is cancelled by the cruise line and give you a full refund.  We don’t know how that would affect your future cruise credit offered by Holland America, but in this case if had been booked on this cruise and you were not in a position to take advantage of their offer and had travel insurance, you would likely get a full refund.

We have always championed buying travel insurance directly from the insurance company and not through a cruise line or tour operator.  See our insurance page for reasons why.

For a comparison of insurance policies visit Squaremouth to be sure that you get all the coverage you need.


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