Ship sail

New rule gives cruise ship passengers more rights to refunds

NORFOLK, Va. — During the pandemic, many cruise lines have been left in the same boat, losing thousands of dollars on trips that never happened. Since April, a new rule better protects passengers.

People will now have more rights to refunds if their cruise is canceled or delayed. The new regulations come as so many people have filed complaints with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) during the pandemic.

The FMC then looked at the claims about what was happening and agreed that a change was needed.

In 2020, Commissioner Louis Sola began looking at all industry sectors to see if tougher rules would better protect people. Ultimately, he found enough evidence to justify a change across the board, so that all companies must now follow the same guidelines.

Since these are federal regulations, each cruise line must adhere to the following:

  • Cruise lines must issue refunds if a ship is canceled or delayed three days or more
  • Cruise lines must have clear and accessible public instructions for online refunds
  • Customers can accept a credit

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans enjoy pleasure cruising every year. For some, these are trips of a lifetime where people have worked hard to save the cost of a ticket. Amending Commission regulations to give passengers more rights and options when a cruise line has been underperforming is good for consumers. I am grateful for the trust my fellow Commissioners have placed in me to lead Fact Finding 30 and for their support in extending consumer protection,” said Commissioner Louis E. Sola.

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