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Travel to Cuba coming to an end?

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Viking has the same situation of partly sold cruises for January and February of 2020. Lots of availability or limited availability in most classes and price points.

 

My guess is they'll try to combine multiple cruises with already paid reservations and create sold out trips.  And redeploy the ship for other Caribbean itineraries in the intervening weeks.

 

The regs appear to reference specific travel arrangements already purchased, so a change of date would seem to be impermissible. But, there is a Treasury work-around called a private letter ruling.  That document, addressed to a single client, provides a safe harbor based on facts unique to that taxpayer. As long as the conditions presented are accurate, Treasury / OFAC agree not to take action if their directions are followed.

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42 minutes ago, rwdtgb said:

MSC is still selling our cruise due to depart on October 28th. From what I can tell there are at least 150 cabins available. We are just under deposit and can cancel before final payment is due next month. Will sit tight for a few days and let the cruise line figure this out before I move onto plan B...

I wonder, since MSC is largely European and they do not have travel bans in place, if they will continue with their itineraries as planned with only Americans unable to disembark.

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Royal already posted they're modifying itineraries for June 5th and 6th ... more info in 24 hours

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From RCCL: We are aware of the new U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba and we are analyzing the details to understand the impact to future sailings.  We expect to know more within the next 24 hours and will communicate any changes as soon as we are able.  In the meantime, we are adjusting the itineraries of our June 5 and June 6 sailings, which will no longer stop in Cuba. We are communicating with our guests about those changes. 

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I think that the COmmerce department and the Treasury Department (OFAC) are not communicating.  Once they do, I think the argument will be that to give the grandfather clause any effect they have to allow previously scheduled cruises, among other legal arguments.  It may take a court getting involved.  I think the Federal District Court in Miami would favor the Cruise companies.

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If there is anything good about the Cuba situation, it is the fact that many cruisers will actually read the fine print attached to their cruise documents.  It clearly states that the cruise may change itineraries. This has always been the case.

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19 minutes ago, kkbay said:

If there is anything good about the Cuba situation, it is the fact that many cruisers will actually read the fine print attached to their cruise documents.  It clearly states that the cruise may change itineraries. This has always been the case.

Yes we all understand that but when you purchase a cruise that specifically states going to Cuba for an overnight 2 day visit and pay a premium for such cruise then the cruise line has and should either furnish such cruise or give us the opportunity to change our plans. I can cancel up until final payment which is not due until July so I have a few weeks to make other plans. I still have airfare that I booked using miles so can get that redeposited into my account. 

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3 minutes ago, rwdtgb said:

Yes we all understand that but when you purchase a cruise that specifically states going to Cuba for an overnight 2 day visit and pay a premium for such cruise then the cruise line has and should either furnish such cruise or give us the opportunity to change our plans. I can cancel up until final payment which is not due until July so I have a few weeks to make other plans. I still have airfare that I booked using miles so can get that redeposited into my account. 

Actually, they do not and will not.  Things like this happen all the time, and people find out what the cruise contract actually says.    It may not be right, but it is the way it is.

 

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Just watching the NCL Sun heading to Havana...that might be the last cruise ship docking there for some time to come...

 

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Did that come from RCL or your TA?    We haven't heard anything yet...we are on Jun 10 sailing.

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RCL canceled stops in Cuba on June 5 and 6. Guess they are hoping their lawyers find a loophole or friendly judge.

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45 minutes ago, Granny DI said:

RCL canceled stops in Cuba on June 5 and 6. Guess they are hoping their lawyers find a loophole or friendly judge.

I'm not an apologist for RCL, but they pretty clearly have the right to do this under their passenger agreement.  The more important question for those of us booked on Cuba cruises and past the cancellation deadline is what RCL is going to do to make things right given that Cuba cruises are far more expensive than standard Caribbean cruises and many passengers booked to go to Cuba specifically.  This isn't a legal matter, but a significant public relations challenge.

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I would agree with you. wife and I booked for Oct for the specific reason of visiting Cuba. Not RCL's fault but I have no interest in staying on a older/smaller ship without the specific stops, in Cuba.

 

Guess we will have to wait and see. Reminds me of the Army. SNAFU...

 

 

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I called Carnival (which is who my cruise is booked through for August) and they have a recorded message saying that they will provide an update by noon tomorrow (The 5th) 

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Well I wasn’t worried but now I am. We have not heard anything official but a few crew members have confided in me that we might not be docking. No final decision has been made yet. 

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We are booked on a Viking Cultural Cuba trip Feb. 2020.  It is strictly Miami-Cuba-Miami.  I know the contract of carriage permits changes in ports but there are no other ports involved.  Is it even possible to do a 8 day cruise without a single port?  It would be a PR nightmare without a doubt and a cruise to nowhere holds no appeal.  Can they completely change the itinerary and find whatever ports are available?

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I suspect I'm not alone in this regard, but my wife and I booked our cruise this December SOLELY due to the Cuba part of the trip. The other ports of call were not really all that interesting. I never thought I'd actually get to see Cuba, and it looks like that might still be the case. However, I'd like to think this is just a bit of a political stunt and once it blows over, cruises will resume. Still, it does leave us in a quandary: do we cancel our cruise entirely and book something with a more attractive itinerary, or do we just stick with our plan and see whatever we can? I'll be anxious to see what others do and maybe get some ideas.

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Yes, this is absolutely a destination cruise.  Don't get me wrong, I love The Majesty but she would not be my first choice for a vacation at this point in my life.  Having said that, I do not expect RCI to foot the bill for this (how do I continue without getting political here? ) *situation*.   My cruise is at the end of August (paid in full) and I am hopeful this is enough time to figure things out.  I would not be happy with a different port obviously, but you know what?  Cuba is a place that has been at the top of my list forever and I will just find another way to get there next Summer - it is what it is. 

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I think for anyone who is not past final payment - if you can live with an alternative port for this, I would stay on and hope for the best once this blows over/there is a change in the WH.  If you would not otherwise find yourself on this cruise,  I say re-book something else.

 

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We are past the final payment for our August cruise. We considered canceling in April, but rolled the dice that there might be some type of grandfathering. We figured it might be our last chance to see Cuba for a long time. We do, however, have trip insurance through an outside vendor and Royal Caribbean. Our worst case scenario if we cancel is 75% credit to future Royal Caribbean cruise (which isn’t our usual preferred line). Hoping for 75% actual cash back. Right now I am holding an Alaska cruise on princess for the same week. I have no desire to go to Cozumel or Jamaica or the other ports which will likely be substituted. We will see what the email says today and then decide.

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I figure I will go on this regardless - this is my annual Summer cruise where I also need to be down in Florida for another reason.  Had I not paid out in full, I would likely re-book.  I normally say I don't care about the destination and I cruise to cruise so I just have to start thinking this way for this one as well.  

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