Due to cruise soon and not sure what’s happening with your booking? Wondering what’s holding up a refund or Future Cruise Credit? Looking to shift your future cruise to a new date? We’ve collated some of the most frequently asked questions our reservations team have been receiving into one convenient location to help answer all your queries.
What happens if my cruise gets cancelled?
If the cruise lines must make the unfortunate decision to suspend your cruise as a result of COVID-19, you will receive an email from either Cruise Guru or your cruise line (or both) notifying you of the cancellation. This email will outline the applicable Future Cruise Credit being offered for your departure and in some cases, instructions on how to obtain a refund in lieu of the cruise line’s generous Future Cruise Credit offer. Please read this email carefully and follow any steps required to take advantage of your applicable compensation offer.
For more information on Future Cruise Credits and how they can be redeemed please consult our Future Cruise Credit page.
My cruise has been cancelled, but I have not received any update from you?
Both Cruise Guru and the cruise lines are processing cancellations as quickly as possible. However, with thousands of cancellations and impacted travellers, it is taking some time to work through all existing bookings.
Please bear with us as we work through the cancellation and rebooking options for all affected guests. You can also refer to our COVID-19 Cancellations page for details of all suspended cruises as well as more information regarding the next steps for impacted sailings.
How can I check if my cruise is within the COVID-19 suspension dates?
We have created a COVID-19 Cancellations table which outlines the current suspension dates for a number of cruise lines as well as an indication of the compensation offerings and how to proceed with your cancellation. This page is updated as soon as we receive further information from the cruise lines regarding their suspensions and so is your go-to-place to learn more about the status of your upcoming cruise holiday. We ask that you please refrain from contacting our reservations team if you are unsure about your cruise and instead refer to this page for more information.
Do you charge a cancellation or administration fee?
Yes. As per our standard terms and conditions, any cruise that is cancelled outright will be subject to a $110 per person administration fee, which will be deducted from any refund due. This fee is charged to cover the costs associated with making the original booking, following up with the travel operators and arranging a cash refund to you, less any operator fees if applicable. Alternatively, if you choose to instead simply make changes to your booking, such as moving to a new sailing date, Cruise Guru will only withhold a $50 administration fee per booking.
Under consumer law, travel agents are entitled to charge a reasonable fee for these services, and our fees are some of the lowest in the industry. If you would like to consult our full list of terms and conditions, you can do so on our website by visiting our terms and conditions page. If you would like to read more about cancellation and administration fees applied by travel agents and operators, please refer to the consumer advocate site CHOICE or the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) refund fact sheet.
I have followed the required steps and have selected the refund option. What happens now?
The next step in this process is waiting for the funds to be sent to us so that we can then process the refund back through to you. The refund, once received, will be returned to the same method of payment originally used to purchase your cruise.
We must advise that Cruise Guru is unable to process any refunds until your monies have been returned from the cruise lines or other operators.
If you initially paid for your booking by credit card, there is no need to contact us unless your details have changed since making your booking. If you made your cruise payment either by Direct Deposit or PoliPay we ask for you to please (if you have not already) email firstname.lastname@example.org with your account details (BSB, Account Number, Banking Institution, Account Name).
If a travel supplier is only offering cruise credits, do I have to accept that or can I get my money back?
Although we are working proactively with our suppliers to seek the best possible options for our guests, there are some cruise lines who are only offering Future Cruise Credits with no option for a full refund.
In support of the cruise lines decision, ACCC’s website states that if travel arrangements are cancelled in response to COVID-19, suppliers have the responsibility to “provide a refund or other remedy, such as a credit note or voucher”.
How long will it take to receive my voucher or refund?
While we were initially advising a minimum of 14 weeks from date of refund request for refunds to reflect back into your account, the recent influx of requests combined with the large volume of funds transfers that have been received from the cruise lines has meant that our team have had to re-evaluate their processing protocols. Once the refund has been received from the cruise line (which, please note, is still taking upwards of 14 weeks) our accounts team will now be prioritising refunds in order of departure date starting with March 2020. We thank you for your patience as we work through all the refund requests in queue. (Updated 20 July 20)
Cruise vouchers time frames vary from cruise line to cruise line, but are currently taking approximately 30 – 60 business days.
Why is my refund taking so long?
As you can imagine, the cruise lines are currently receiving an overwhelming number of refund requests. As such, processing times have been significantly extended and most cruise lines have advised that refunds are now taking at least 14 weeks, or possibly longer, to be paid to us.
Once Cruise Guru have received the money from the cruise line, please allow us extra time to reconcile and process your refund. As the cruise lines refund us in mass (aka. hundreds of bookings at a time), the reconciliation and administration process can result in an additional delays. In order to manage the large volume of refund requests our accounts team will now be prioritising refunds in order of departure date starting with March 2020. (Updated 20 July 20)
If you would like more information about refund delays, please refer to the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) refund fact sheet.
I currently have an upcoming trip booked. Should I cancel now?
Cruise lines are currently cancelling cruises in line with government travel bans and restrictions. It is in your best interest to leave un-cancelled cruises in place until cancelled by the cruise line. This is because you are likely to have stricter cancellation penalties imposed on your booking should you cancel prior to the cruise being suspended.
Alternatively, if you are looking to cruise again in the near future, cruise lines are offering guests more flexibility with either a future cruise credit to cover any applicable cancellation fees, or the ability to shift to a different sailing*. Please contact us to discuss what options are available to your cruise.
Payment is due on my booking. Must I pay now or can I wait to see if my booking is going ahead?
We completely understand how the uncertainty surrounding the current global situation may make you weary of future travel plans.
The agreed payment terms for your holiday as stated on your invoice and cruise confirmation are in line with the payment requirements stipulated by our suppliers. If you miss making your final payment, it will result in the cruise line canceling your booking. It is in your best interest to make all payments on time to ensure your booking remains intact. This will also mean that you will be eligible for any policy (Future Cruise Credits or otherwise) the cruise line or supplier may release if they are forced to cancel your cruise due to global developments with regard to COVID-19.
What if I want to move my sailing date to another year, is this possible?
Now more than ever, cruise lines are offering guests greater flexibility. Please contact us to discuss the rescheduling options available for your booking.
Can I make a claim through my travel insurance for any fees or charges I have incurred?
Any fees you are charged, or any other loss you may have experienced, should be pursued under your travel insurance. Even if you have been denied a claim, you can escalate the matter as a complaint to the insurer.
If this fails, a complaint can also be lodged with the Australian Financial Complaint Authority (AFCA). As the Insurance Council of Australia has declared the pandemic a ‘catastrophe’ a special team has been set up by AFCA to review insurance policies within a lens of ‘fairness’. To find out more, please visit the AFCA website.
I have heard that some cruise lines or agencies are undergoing financial troubles and may need to close. Should I be worried that something might happen to Cruise Guru or the cruise line?
We understand your concern at this time, but please know that Cruise Guru and its parent company Travel the World are in a strong financial position and together we will continue to service your current and future travel needs. We are processing refunds in a timely manner and will continue to do so.
We only partner with established, reputable and profitable companies, and we have no reason to believe they will not emerge from this period ready and willing to restart operations as soon as possible.
When can I cruise again?
As further restrictions are being lifted in Australia and around the world, we are looking forward to getting you on your next cruise. Stay tuned as we will be sending out some great deals on some of our fantastic itineraries due depart later this year and throughout 2021 and 2022. If you would like to keep up to date with all the latest developments, special offers, and promotions at Cruise Guru, you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or, if you haven’t already, subscribe to our newsletter for the latest travel deals delivered directly to your inbox.