Cruise guests issued warning over last minute itinerary changes

Cruise passengers have a huge range of choice when it comes to picking a destination. From the Caribbean to Scandinavia, cruise guests can opt to explore many different regions of the world.

However, some guests might end up disappointed if their cruise itinerary isn’t exactly what they expected. Cruise lines can change routes for several reasons.

A cruise guest ‘redditlurker67’ wrote on Reddit: “They will change itineraries for whatever reason. If you are not willing to take the risk of missing a port, don’t cruise.”

If cruise lines change the itinerary during the journey, passengers may spend longer at one of the planned ports or visit another destination.

One guest ‘LeoMarius’ said: “I can’t believe how many people complain about itinerary changes. Most of the changes are for your safety, like the weather. I saw some people complaining about cancellations during Hurricane Hilary.

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“Really? You want your cruise ship sailing during a hurricane? We lost a major port last year due to the Ukraine War. I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t going to go to St Petersburg during the war.”

Cruise lines may have to alter itineraries in an emergency. Dangerous weather such as storms and hurricanes could mean a ship has to change course.

If a passenger suffers a medical emergency, the ship may need to change route to take the guest to a hospital. This will also be the case if the ship suffers a mechanical fault.

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If a ship has to make a major change to the planned route, passengers will usually be informed by their cruise line. In some cases, guests may be able to cancel their trip.

Usually guests sign a cruise contract. Cruise lines usually aren’t required to offer guests compensation if their itinerary changes, but they will receive a refund for any excursions they booked at the cancelled port.

Cruise lines will sometimes offer compensation as a goodwill gesture but guests shouldn’t expect this as a matter of course.

One guest said: “We missed Juneau on my Alaska cruise because of a medical emergency onboard and people were fuming. I was like ‘you’d rather someone die, so you can get your eight hours in Juneau?’”

In the case of a medical emergency, a ship may need to miss a port. Guests will usually be refunded for any booked excursions with the cruise line but may not be able to get a refund for tours booked separately.

Cruise guests may also have their itinerary changed due to port rules. A top Spanish port is set to close one of its docking areas to cruise ships in October.

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