The International Association of Cruise Lines (CLIA) has reported since some 800,000 cruise reservations have been affected by restrictions on travel to Cuba imposed by the United States Government.
The association has criticized that this measure has been taken «without prior notice» to the companies that make routes between the United States and Cuba. He also points out that «they are very sorry for all the customers» who were waiting for their trips and who are «disappointed» because the cruise ships can no longer travel to Cuba.
The Trump Administration announced new restrictions on travel to Cuba for its «destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere» and, specifically, for its support to the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Thus, Washington has ended the so-called «person-to-person» educational trips, one of the most common exemptions to avoid the general prohibition of US tourism to Cuba.
Thus, it has indicated that these trips will be authorized for the moment as long as the traveler has completed at least one transaction related to the trip, such as the purchase of the ticket or the reservation of accommodation, before June 5.
However, this amendment to the Administration’s export regulations excludes license exemptions for recreational vessels and private jets, which has put an end to cruise routes between the United States and the island.
The companies, therefore, have been forced to cancel the stopovers in Cuba, as well as the beginning or end of the trip. MSC Cruises has reported a modification of the itineraries that include stopovers in Cuba.
The shipping company has indicated that the ‘MSC Armonia’ is no longer authorized to make a stopover in the port of Havana, which is part of its current itinerary and will be replaced by the alternative ports of Key West, Costa Maya, George Town or Cozumel, while the rest of the itinerary will not be altered.
To the affected customers, to compensate for these changes, MSC has offered $ 400 onboard credit or the possibility of changing the ship and itinerary. In the first case, if this credit is not used in full, MSC will refund the difference when checking out the boat, as well as the amount of any excursion booked in Havana.
For its part, Royal Caribbean has also indicated that it will seek alternative ports to make stops with the ‘Majesty of the Seas’ and the ‘Empress of the Seas’, in addition to offering guests the possibility to continue with the trip and receive a refund 50% or cancel it and receive the full refund.
The other companies, such as Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line or Holland America Line have taken similar measures, while others, such as Seabourn or Virgin Voyages, which had planned to begin operations in Cuba soon have also been affected by the measure.
DELTA AND UNITED LEAVE TO ACCEPT RESERVATIONS
Air travel if protected by the amendment, so that all reservations of tickets made before the announcement of restrictions can be operated.
However, Delta Airlines has indicated that it will always operate «within the limits of the law», so that from midnight on June 4 it stopped accepting reservations to Cuba for «town to town» travel clients, although He assured that all the reservations made before will operate, according to CNN.
For its part, United Airlines has sent an email to its customers to inform them that it will not continue to make reservations for these trips as of June 5. Meanwhile, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have reported that they are reviewing regulations to determine what action to take.