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What have they done to your Cuba cruise?

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2 minutes ago, GalCruzer said:

Why does it seem you can still booka Cruise on the Carnival website?

 

I checked Royal's site and they also have Cuba cruisers still up. 

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8 hours ago, theEvilQueen2 said:

Maybe we can try again in 2 years (if you catch my drift). 

You might be a Kindom by then!😂

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1 hour ago, boscobeans said:

Actually they have already issued a "Grandfather Clause".  The Following is directly from the US Treasury Department's website:

 

"In accordance with the newly announced changes to non-family travel to Cuba, OFAC is amending the regulations to remove the authorization for group people-to-people educational travel.  OFAC’s regulatory changes include a “grandfathering” provision, which provides that certain group people-to-people educational travel that previously was authorized will continue to be authorized where the traveler had already completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to June 5, 2019."

 

In effect all previously purchased cruises will be allowed.

 

How many cruises are booked with enough passengers to make it worth any line's effort to complete? 

That's the question.

The grandfathering appears to be specific to "group people-to-people educational travel" only.  Are Majesty and Empress cruises to Cuba considered group people-to-people educational travel?

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11 hours ago, Kingofcool1947 said:

The cruise line will change itinerary.  Haiti and/or the Dominican Republic instead of Cuba.   I heard both are beautiful and welcome tourists (cruisers)$$$’s.  Very safe counties, so I’ve been told,

Good luck and enjoy.

Who has been telling you “very safe countries”?

 

From the US State Department:

Travel Advisory: Haiti - Level 4 (Do Not Travel)
Do not travel to Haiti due to crime and civil unrest.

[additional comment by me: RCCL’s leased private peninsula of Labadee is generally safe]

 

Dominican Republic has been assessed as Level 2: exercise increased caution.

 

“Good luck” is right; you’ll need it. 

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5 minutes ago, The Grumpus said:

The grandfathering appears to be specific to "group people-to-people educational travel" only.  Are Majesty and Empress cruises to Cuba considered group people-to-people educational travel?

AIUI passengers are grandfathered, but the ship is not. 

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23 minutes ago, TravelerThom said:

AIUI passengers are grandfathered, but the ship is not. 

Hmmm... maybe we can all swim over and the ship will follow us.

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25 minutes ago, TravelerThom said:

AIUI passengers are grandfathered, but the ship is not. 

It is like a Catch 22. If you are booked you can go, but the ship you are booked on can not go. 

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Disappointing in the failure to spell out a clear plan and allow a phase out window for the cruise lines. Yes, they telegraphed something might be afoot, but this administration has been so all over the place in terms of rules implementation (or not, despite announcements) that it was impossible for cruisers or cruise lines to make real plans.

 

I'm thankful to have been able to travel on Majesty last year and will return eventually (I'm a professional journalist and my wife is a medical professional, categories that are eligible for visas even under the rules of the bad old days), although I suspect I'll be able to cruise there sometime in 2021. I feel awful for everyone who has seen their trips disrupted and hope they get an opportunity in the future.

PLAZA-DE-LA-REVOLUCION.jpg

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1 hour ago, Judyrem said:

I am going to the Ocee library today!  I live in St Ives Cruisefan!

Hey neighbor!😁

As long as neither ones of us starts singing "It's a small world after all..." 🤣

 

Greetings.

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1 hour ago, The Grumpus said:

The grandfathering appears to be specific to "group people-to-people educational travel" only.  Are Majesty and Empress cruises to Cuba considered group people-to-people educational travel?

 

I believe that in order to visit Cuba, prior to this new ruling,  EVERYONE MUST fulfill one of if not more of the 12 "People to People" restrictions issued by the O.F.A.C... This goes for all existing bookings to Cuba.

 

What people do when they get to Cuba is their responsibility and whether or not they follow the existing regulations, may or may not be scrutinized when they return just as before.

 

If in doubt, check with the .O.F.A.C.  1-800-540-6322

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2 hours ago, boscobeans said:

A OFAC’s regulatory changes include a “grandfathering” provision, which provides that certain group people-to-people educational travel that previously was authorized will continue to be authorized where the traveler had already completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to June 5, 2019."

 

In effect all previously purchased cruises will be allowed.

 

 

 

It seems that the grandfathering may work for people who are booked on a land-based group tour.  But cruise ships need their own special permission.  Either that is being denied, or the cruise lines are deciding that there may be other factors that warrant not exercising their grandfathering privileges.

 

1 hour ago, The Grumpus said:

The grandfathering appears to be specific to "group people-to-people educational travel" only.  Are Majesty and Empress cruises to Cuba considered group people-to-people educational travel?

 

What frustrates me (Majesty, 6/24 sailing) is that we were planning a private excursion that meets the "support of the Cuban people" and that bullet point is still allowed...but the ship itself is not permitted to dock.

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1 minute ago, waterbug123 said:

 

 

 

What frustrates me (Majesty, 6/24 sailing) is that we were planning a private excursion that meets the "support of the Cuban people" and that bullet point is still allowed...but the ship itself is not permitted to dock.

 

If that holds true for a cruise ship it would also hold true for an airplane, which would also not be permitted to land on Cuban soil. 

 

 Contact O.F.A.C. 1-800-540-6322 for a definitive answer.

 

I am just trying to interpret the wording of their latest statement.

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8 minutes ago, waterbug123 said:

 

It seems that the grandfathering may work for people who are booked on a land-based group tour.  But cruise ships need their own special permission.  Either that is being denied, or the cruise lines are deciding that there may be other factors that warrant not exercising their grandfathering privileges.

.

 

 

Other factors may be whether or not it would pay to run partially filled ships on any cruise the Cuba.

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3 hours ago, Ms BumbleBee said:

 

 

The government makes noises of shutting it down and the industry takes a pause and then re-starts the bookings.  They are not idiots, they must have been assured of grandfathering or some kind of loopholes.  And then it comes out and there is no loophole and no grandfathering and it is immediate.

 

These are all facts.  And now they have to figure out what to do with the ships that are 100% at capacity with people who paid a lot of money for a specialty destination.

 

 

They aren't idiots but assurances from current admin have been proven to be negated and ignored with a change in the breeze.  I don't blame them for trying to operate a business where there was demand for such, and it's going to be a logistical nightmare re-routing ships during the busy summer season.  Nassau and Cozumel can only hold SO many ships at one time.  

 

And though not legally required, the cruise lines would be very wise to make their customers whole by offering full refund options.  You are right, these were marketed as premium destinations, at higher cost, on smaller ships lacking many features and amenities that these companies spend a lot of time marketing.  So, yes, you were paying more for the destination, not the ship.  And I venture to say Cuba was not a first time itinerary for many cruisers; if cruise lines burn their guests it may be unwise. 

 

Imagine if enough angry cruisers contact their representatives and current administration realizes these ships are foreign flagged to avoid paying taxes.  Oh boy....well at least we'd have the possibility of cruises to nowhere to return (but at what a price!!!).  

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15 minutes ago, boscobeans said:

 

I believe that in order to visit Cuba, prior to this new ruling,  EVERYONE MUST fulfill one of if not more of the 12 "People to People" restrictions issued by the O.F.A.C... This goes for all existing bookings to Cuba.

 

What people do when they get to Cuba is their responsibility and whether or not they follow the existing regulations, may or may not be scrutinized when they return just as before.

 

If in doubt, check with the .O.F.A.C.  1-800-540-6322

Gotcha. I do remember now my TA explaining something about a cultural excursion requirement but I didn't pay much attention since my trip is (or was) in November.  I appreciate the info!

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I have a call in to the .O.F.A.C. and am waiting for a call back and intend on getting a more sppecific answer on this subject with CRUISES that have been booked prior to the recent cut off date.

 

When (I am not holding my breath) I get a response and an answer I will post it immediately.

 

BOSCO

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2 hours ago, Big_G said:

 

I checked Royal's site and they also have Cuba cruisers still up. 

 

Unless I am losing it, it appears RCL just removed Cuba itineraties and also removed it from the list of Ports of Call.  I am pretty sure they were still there 30 mins ago...

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4 minutes ago, Canadian Disney Mom said:

 

Unless I am losing it, it appears RCL just removed Cuba itineraties and also removed it from the list of Ports of Call.  I am pretty sure they were still there 30 mins ago...

 

Yeah they're gone now. They were there earlier this morning.

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1 minute ago, Big_G said:

 

Yeah they're gone now. They were there earlier this morning.

 

Does Empress only do Cuba cruises?  It is not even one of the ships you can filter for under Plan a Cruise.

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5 minutes ago, Canadian Disney Mom said:

 

Does Empress only do Cuba cruises?  It is not even one of the ships you can filter for under Plan a Cruise.

 

There were other stops. They must be in the middle of updating because Majesty has disappeared from October as well as November and December has Cuba removed from their itineraries.

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Posted (edited)

First-time poster (and a first-time cruiser) 👋A little nervous, but I wanted to share this info:

 

I went into my account on the RCI website.  I selected the trip planner and then excursions and saw that Havanna was removed from our itinerary and that Key West was listed as our Day 2 destination.  

 

We were booked on the Empress for June 29th for a 9 Day Cruise.  Here is our new itinerary:

 

Day 2: Key West

Day 4: Costa Maya

Day 5: Belize City

Day 6: Cozumel

Day 8: Perfect Day

 

Hope this helps!

Edited by runwyo

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So I just checked my account too, and 2/3 of our cruise on 8/4 has changed. We were sailing Empress to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Havana. Now it's KW, Cozumel and Costa Maya. 

 

I would have MAYBE considered CM...but to tank Grand Cayman too? Now I'm pissed. 

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3 hours ago, boscobeans said:

In accordance with the newly announced changes to non-family travel to Cuba, OFAC is amending the regulations to remove the authorization for group people-to-people educational travel.  OFAC’s regulatory changes include a “grandfathering” provision, which provides that certain group people-to-people educational travel that previously was authorized will continue to be authorized where the traveler had already completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to June 5, 2019.

 

The term "SUCH AS" does not limit the exception to just airlines.

The word "ACCOMMODATION" also is non limiting to just a hotel.    

Definition of accommodation

 

1: something supplied for convenience or to satisfy a need: such as
a: lodging, food, and services or traveling space and related services usually used in pluraltourist accommodations on the boat.

 

Where does it say that purchasing "accommodation" on a ship is not grandfathered in?

 

The O.F.A.C. is aware that this ruling will shut down the cruises to Cuba industry very quickly, since ships scheduled 6 months or longer into the future may be far from capacity and are probably not worth completing and will be cancelled.

 

I don;t know what the cruise lines are doing but it looks like the cruises booked before 6/5 are still allowed.  

 

The decision whether to sail or not is up the the cruise line at this point and that will be a decision based on bookings vs capacity vs revenue and will be made by the bean counters....

 

No argument here just trying to decipher the statement released by O.F.A.C..

 

 

It doesn't explicitly say that cruises aren't included, but it also doesn't explicitly say they are included either. I don't know how exactly to decipher that statement myself, but the cruise lines who have connections, lawyers, and policy experts have access to that same statement and are cancelling/modifying cruises last minute at their own expense. That tells me that most likely:

 

a) The official statement is too vague and they don't know if they are allowed to continue or not OR

b) The grandfather clause does not apply to cruises (either because they aren't considered the same as an aircraft since cruises are much more than just a way to get from point A to point B and/or they don't count as accommodation in Cuba since they aren't Cuban flagged vessels)

 

Given the fact that they are only cancelling the most immediate cruises right now, I think a) is the most likely scenario, but b) is also possible and they think they have a chance at fighting it.

 

Option c) would be that they are in fact grandfathered in, they know that they are, and they are choosing to cancel/modify fully sold out cruises, offering refunds and OBC at their own expense, and risking angering thousands of customers just because. I have a real hard time believing that. Some future cruises that are not sold out; sure, but not the immediate cruises. That still leaves a or b as the most likely scenario

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12 minutes ago, runwyo said:

First-time poster (and a first-time cruiser) 👋A little nervous, but I wanted to share this info:

 

I went into my account ob the RCI website.  I selected the trip planner and then excursions and saw that Havanna was removed from our itinerary and that Key West was listed as our Day 2 destination.  

 

We were booked on the Empress for June 29th for a 9 Day Cruise.  Here is our new itinerary:

 

Day 2: Key West

Day 4: Costa Maya

Day 5: Belize

Day 6: Cozumel

Day 8: Perfect Day

 

Hope this helps!

Thank you for the heads up. My June 15 has changed as well. Not too happy with the changes especially at the premium price we paid to get to Cuba for three days. Curious when they will tell us what the deal is. If any. Glad I bought insurance.

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