If there's one thing 2020 taught cruisers, it's that knowing when a refund is available and how to claim it is an important aspect of booking any cruise.
Princess' refund policies are dependent on the length of cruise, the type of fare you purchase, and the time frame in which you make changes or cancellations to your booking.
Princess is continuing their Cruise with Confidence program on bookings made through June 30, 2021 on sailings through December 31, 2021. The program allows you to cancel anytime up to 30 days before sailing and receive your cancellation fees as a future cruise credit. Bookings made after those dates will have standard cancellation penalties applied. Final payment dates have also been extended.
If Princess must cancel a cruise, guests are notified of the reason, important dates that apply to that sailing, and a method for contacting the cruise line to choose any options. That information is also made available on the Princess.com website, as well as on the line's Facebook page and Twitter account.
COVID-19 specific refunds: COVID-specific policies have not been finalized, but Item 4 of the passage contract states that anyone denied passage in advance of the cruise for any number of reasons, including those that are health related will be entitled to a refund. If you become ill and unfit for cruising during the cruise, Princess is not liable for a refund.
Pricing guarantees: Princess offers a 110 percent lowest price on shore excursions (but not cruise fares). The refund must be requested seven days prior to sailing and is in the form of onboard credit.
When you cancel the cruise: Full refunds are issued for cancellations made 75 or more days prior to sailing for short cruises up to 5 days, 90 or more days before the sail date on cruises of 6 to 24 days, and 120 days for cruises of 25 days or longer. Inside those dates, cancellation fees will apply according to the timeframes found below. Taxes, fees, port charges, and pre-paid packages are refundable on all cancellations other than mid-cruise early departures and no-shows.
When Princess cancels the cruise: Princess is currently offering to move guests on cancelled cruises to the same cruise (where available) one year later. Guests may also opt for a future cruise credit, with a bonus 10 percent non-refundable credit. Full refunds are available, but must be requested within a narrow time frame, usually 30-45 days after notice of the cancellation, beyond which future cruise credit is automatically issued.
On cruises cancelled or shortened due to mechanical issues prior to or during sailing, passengers should expect full or partial refunds.
Beginning October 1, 2021, final payment dates coincide with the end of the full refund period: 75 days prior to sailing for cruises two to five days long, 90 days for cruises of 6 to 24 days, and 120 days for cruises 25 days or longer.
If you must cancel the cruise: Cancellation fees are charged according to the number of days before sailing at the time of cancellation.
You forfeit your deposit from the day following your final payment date to day 45 on short cruises, day 89 for cruises of 6 to 24 days, and day 119 on longer cruises. You forfeit the larger of your deposit or 50 percent of the fare for cancellations made between days 44 and 29 for short cruises, between days 56 and 29 on cruises 6 to 24 days long, and between days 89 and 64 on longer cruises. You forfeit the larger of either the deposit or 75 percent of the fare on cancellations made between days 28 and 15 on all cruises less than 25 days long and between days 63 and 43 on longer cruises.
Inside 14 days you forfeit 100 percent of the fare on cruises of 24 days or less. And on cruises of 25 days or longer the 100 percent penalty begins at 42 days prior to sailing.
If Princess must cancel the cruise: Guests are provided a date to notify Princess if they prefer a full refund or future cruise credit with a bonus percentage. Beyond that date, a future cruise credit is automatically issued.
Future Cruise Credit
Cruises through September 30, 2021 have a 60-day final payment date, regardless of length.
Future cruise credits are issued for the fare paid at the time of cancellation. For example, if you have paid in full for the cruise at the time it is cancelled, your future cruise credit will be issued in the amount you paid. If you have only paid a deposit, the future cruise credit would be for that amount, not the full fare of the cruise.
When Princess cancels a cruise, no action is required to claim the bonus future cruise credits. Guests only need to act if they prefer a refund. All future cruise credits are linked to the online guest's account and are automatically applied to the next cruise booked by that guest.
Future cruise credits are only valid for cruise or cruisetour reservations, not for shore excursions, taxes, fees, or onboard credit and may not be used for a cruise deposit. They take approximately 60 days to appear in your My Princess profile.
All cruise credits have an expiration date; currently issued FCC's are valid on sailings through December 31, 2022. Guests have the option to request a refund of any unused amounts within twelve months of their issuance, minus any bonus amounts. That means you can use the credits to book a lower priced sailing and request the difference back as a refund.
The Fine Print
When either you or the cruise line cancel a cruise, any additional travel plans made through a third party must be cancelled independently. Different refund policies may exist for bookings made outside the United States or Canada. Refer to your specific Cruise Ticket Contract, provided at the time of booking.
Standard cancellation policies are found in the passage contract. A full list of cruises cancelled by Princess is found on the impacted and cancelled cruise page as well as on their Twitter and Facebook accounts. Princess customer service can be reached at (800) 774-6237 or via the contact form on the customer care page. Due to potentially long wait times on calls, the contact form is the line's preferred method of contact. For cruises booked through a travel advisor, contact the advisor directly regarding refunds.