Coronavirus has been all over the news recently. It’s a highly contagious illness responsible for hundreds of deaths throughout China so far. For people planning on traveling to or near China, this is obviously concerning, and many people want to cancel their cruise tickets to the area.
Understanding what cruise lines are doing about travel to areas affected by coronavirus may seriously impact your cruise vacation plans.
The primary issue is a number of cruise lines aren’t refunding all of these tickets because of their own out-of-pocket costs. In fact, some companies are making it harder than normal to refund tickets for these cruises. Others are simply altering their itineraries to avoid the area.
Cruise Companies Refusing Refunds
Multiple major cruise lines are refusing to cancel trips or issue refunds on trips with ports in China. These companies include:
- Celebrity Cruises;
- Holland America Line; and
- Seabourn Cruises.
These companies aren’t giving a discount, credit, or any other means of getting your funds back. This is a departure from their normal policies. It appears that their bottom line comes before their passengers’ health.
Cruise Companies Altering Itineraries
Other cruise lines are changing ports of call to avoid unnecessary viral exposure. Costa, Dream Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean are among the cruise lines that are completely canceling trips, and Costa Cruises has already canceled more than nine sailings from Shanghai.
These cruise lines are also offering full refunds to anyone on canceled voyages. Holland America is at least rerouting multiple ships to avoid Chinese ports.
Many of these lines are also denying boarding to people who have traveled through Wuhan since the new year. These guests are also guaranteed full refunds.
On the other hand, there are several lines requiring health tests before boarding for non-canceled trips. Should you fail one of these health tests, it is unlikely that you’ll be offered a refund when you’re denied boarding.
Staying Healthy On Your Cruise
Since so many lines are not offering refunds, it’s understandable if you decide that you don’t want to lose your money. Should you decide to take one of the cruises still visiting China despite the CDC warning, be cautious. Understanding how coronavirus spreads will help you avoid getting sick on your cruise.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
The basic symptoms of coronavirus are similar to those of a bad cold. People who have coronavirus typically run a fever, have runny noses, and suffer a significant cough.
This cough can develop into pneumonia and other respiratory problems. Coronavirus is spread through coughing and sneezing.
Preventing Contraction of Coronavirus
To avoid coronavirus, be cautious of public places. Wash your hands regularly, and avoid touching your face. If you’re spending time around strangers or people who may have been exposed, consider wearing a mask to avoid inhaling any of the virus.
It appears that coronavirus is contagious even when people aren’t symptomatic, so simply appearing healthy is not a guarantee.
Seek Treatment as Soon as You Fall Ill
If you do go on one of these cruises and get sick, it may not be your fault. The cruise line and employees are responsible for keeping the ship sanitary. Don’t be afraid to visit the ship doctor.
If you do come down with coronavirus, documenting the start of your symptoms by seeing the doctor is the first step to filing a lawsuit.
The next step, should it become necessary: find an experienced cruise claims attorney. The last thing you should be doing when sick is trying to handle legal matters on your own. Your attorney will take care of your case for you, while you focus on recovering from this new, scary disease.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.