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New rule gives cruise ship passengers more rights to refunds

Cruise ships
Posted at 12:26 PM, May 20, 2022

NORFOLK, Va. - During the pandemic, a lot of cruise customers were left in the same boat, losing thousands of dollars for trips that never happened. As of April, there is a new rule that's better protecting passengers.

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

The FMC then looked into claims of what was happening and agreed that change was necessary.

In 2020, Commissioner Louis Sola started looking into all parts of the industry to see if stricter rules would better protect people. Ultimately, he found enough evidence to justify change across the board, so now all companies must follow the same guidelines.

Considering 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 or more days
  • Cruise lines must have public clear, accessible instructions for online refunds
  • Customers can agree to a credit

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans enjoy taking a pleasure cruise every year. For some, these are trips of a lifetime where people have worked hard to save the cost of a ticket. Amending the Commission’s regulations to provide passengers more rights and options when a cruise line has not performed is good for consumers. I am grateful for the trust my fellow Commissioners placed in me to lead Fact Finding 30 and for their support in expanding consumer protections,” said Commissioner Louis E. Sola.