Princess/Carnival Cruise Line Questionable Unethical and Business Compliance Practice

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
563
1,087
93
34
The CDC at the time was only through mid-April and the cruises in this thread were in May. So that wasn't a factor.

As for the Canadian government banning cruises - for Alaska cruises most only have one stop in Canada and that's only to be in accordance with PVSA. The US government has granted exceptions to the PVSA before and considering cruises are responsible for more than half of all tourism in Alaska which brings in a lot of money to the state it wouldn't be outrageous for an exception to be made if cruises hadn't eventually been canceled through almost all of the Canadian decree.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,018
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Look at the situation now- half the major cruise lines have announced they are canceling all summer cruises and one major line hasn’t said a word. This situation is just too fluid and there has never been anything like this in the history of travel.


Do not cancel future travel now- wait for your airline, tour operator, cruise to cancel for you. It’s far too early to worry about travel in July or further.

And give the suppliers a break- they aren’t doing things to deliberately hurt consumers- they are doing the best they can in unprecedented circumstances.
 

DLS

May 6, 2020
4
0
1
34
Thank you M42, you have summarized the issue perfectly. The point from an advocacy perspective is that the cruise was "constructively" canceled when the Canadian government closed their ports in mid March, thus Princess should be obligated to a 100% refund from that date forward.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,912
3,507
113
I guess the one question that many may have regarding their upcoming cruises is: do they make the final payment? Since the cruise lines may or may not be cancelling prior to the typical 45 day payment date, some customers may find themselves in a similar situation as this OP.....they make the final payment then a few week's later the cruise is cancelled.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FrankL183

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,018
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I guess the one question that many may have regarding their upcoming cruises is: do they make the final payment? Since the cruise lines may or may not be cancelling prior to the typical 45 day payment date, some customers may find themselves in a similar situation as this OP.....they make the final payment then a few week's later the cruise is cancelled.
And that is exactly what a consumer has to do. When you book your own travel, you need to accept the responsibility of knowing the pros and cons of what you are doing. You basically need to know as much as a travel agent to understand the consequences of your actions.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,758
10,556
113
San Francisco
I guess the one question that many may have regarding their upcoming cruises is: do they make the final payment? Since the cruise lines may or may not be cancelling prior to the typical 45 day payment date, some customers may find themselves in a similar situation as this OP.....they make the final payment then a few week's later the cruise is cancelled.
Exactly right, Patina. I'm looking at a final payment for a Christmas cruise out of Roma. It has slowly dawned on me that this may be a very tough decision. Put up the money and wait forever for a refund ... or wait forever and a day to use a generous credit ... or just cancel before the final and lose the goodies that came with this cruise, including a great upgraded cabin. Communications with my TA will be hot and heavy the last couple of weeks. I am so grateful that she's a cruise expert.
 

DLS

May 6, 2020
4
0
1
34
I do have a question pending for Neil that hasn't been answered - was there/is there any public statement by Princess re: them waiting on/negotiating for/discussing a waiver of the requirement to stop at a foreign port after the Canadian government issued their statement on March 13 closing their ports?

You mention this in two of your responses, yet I haven't been able to find this information in any public forum. If it does indeed exist, can you please provide a link to that information or some assistance in finding it. It would at least provide a bit more clarity on the situation.


Thank you
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,018
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
There were no public announcements. Those of us in the business had heard from our sales managers but it doesn’t matter at all. The cruise lines all have their own timetables to when they canceled cruises as they are all trying to get cruises going as soon as they can. Right now all major cruise lines have announced they won’t be sailing this summer except Royal Caribbean. Any Royal cruisers should cancel early will be in the same position you were. We have told all our clients to sit and wait and all that took our advice were eligible to receive either a refund or credit.

If you booked through a travel agent and that agent didn’t advise you to wait or explain to you what the penalty would be if you canceled, then you should go back to your agent.

I’m sorry that you panicked and canceled but your situation was discussed in the articles we have on our main page telling you what you are entitled to or not.

You should certainly use our company contacts and ask fir an exception but if you berate then and tell them they were unethical, I don’t see a successful outcome. You canceled and didn’t wait for them to do it. They did nothing wrong by trying to see if there would be alternatives to canceling all their cruises.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Skippy

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
563
1,087
93
34
No there was no public posting about it. But for those well versed in PVSA and cruises it's a logical step that the cruise lines were undoubtedly going down.
 
Jun 24, 2019
645
1,220
93
72
What does "PVSA" stand for this context?
Passenger Vessel Services Act. Often confused with the Jones act, which applies to cargo ships. Foreign flagged ships may not carry passengers between two US ports without a stop at a "near" foreign port or a "distant" foreign port. Thus, cruises to Alaska are usually from Vancouver. ("Open loop") If they go from Seattle, they stop in Vancouver and Victoria and return to Seattle. The second stop is just to make sure. If it is an open loop cruise between two American ports (such as Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal), the ship must stop in a "distant" foreign port. A distant port in that context is one of the ABC islands or Cartagena. Cruises from the West Coast to Hawaii stop in Ensenada, and start and stop in the same port. LA to LA, for example. The cruise line could, I suppose, ask for an exception. Foreign flagged ships which carry passengers between two US ports without complying with the PVSA are fined, I think it is about $350 per passenger. There are a few Canadian ferries which have exceptions. Every now and then you will read about someone who insisted on leaving a ship without complying. The cruise line will be fined, and they will pass the fine onto the passenger.

The PVSA and Jones Act date from many years ago, and are designed to protect American flagged shipping. Similar rules apply to airlines. In other words, you can't fly British Airways from LAX to JFK.

Under the PVSA, a cruise is from when you get on to when you get off. How the cruise line breaks it up, and whether you are doing back-to-back, is irrelevant.
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
563
1,087
93
34
Passenger Vessel Services Act. Often confused with the Jones act, which applies to cargo ships. Foreign flagged ships may not carry passengers between two US ports without a stop at a "near" foreign port or a "distant" foreign port. Thus, cruises to Alaska are usually from Vancouver. ("Open loop") If they go from Seattle, they stop in Vancouver and Victoria and return to Seattle. The second stop is just to make sure. If it is an open loop cruise between two American ports (such as Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal), the ship must stop in a "distant" foreign port. A distant port in that context is one of the ABC islands or Cartagena. Cruises from the West Coast to Hawaii stop in Ensenada, and start and stop in the same port. LA to LA, for example. The cruise line could, I suppose, ask for an exception. Foreign flagged ships which carry passengers between two US ports without complying with the PVSA are fined, I think it is about $350 per passenger. There are a few Canadian ferries which have exceptions. Every now and then you will read about someone who insisted on leaving a ship without complying. The cruise line will be fined, and they will pass the fine onto the passenger.

The PVSA and Jones Act date from many years ago, and are designed to protect American flagged shipping. Similar rules apply to airlines. In other words, you can't fly British Airways from LAX to JFK.

Under the PVSA, a cruise is from when you get on to when you get off. How the cruise line breaks it up, and whether you are doing back-to-back, is irrelevant.
Just a correction that they don't usually make two foreign stops on closed-loop (start and end in same port) cruises to make sure - all the Seattle cruises I was looking at only stop in Victoria. And there's actually a lot of Alaska cruises that leave out of Seattle anymore, probably because it's easier to buy RT plane tickets and US citizens don't need passports for it (NCL had 4 ships scheduled for Alaska and 3 were out of Seattle I believe Royal was similar). The US did put the kibosh on technical stops (the ship docking at the port, but no one getting off) saying they didn't count anymore. But that's it - my Alaska cruise was only at a Canadian port from 9pm to midnight. Which was ridiculously short and with the lines for the shuttle I got back on the ship.

If Canada agreed to technical stops (and they might have since they were still allowing cruise ships under 500 to visit Canada) the US could have removed their sanction on technical stops if they didn't want to grant full exceptions to the PVSA.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,018
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Just a correction that they don't usually make two foreign stops on closed-loop (start and end in same port) cruises to make sure - all the Seattle cruises I was looking at only stop in Victoria. And there's actually a lot of Alaska cruises that leave out of Seattle anymore, probably because it's easier to buy RT plane tickets and US citizens don't need passports for it (NCL had 4 ships scheduled for Alaska and 3 were out of Seattle I believe Royal was similar). The US did put the kibosh on technical stops (the ship docking at the port, but no one getting off) saying they didn't count anymore. But that's it - my Alaska cruise was only at a Canadian port from 9pm to midnight. Which was ridiculously short and with the lines for the shuttle I got back on the ship.

If Canada agreed to technical stops (and they might have since they were still allowing cruise ships under 500 to visit Canada) the US could have removed their sanction on technical stops if they didn't want to grant full exceptions to the PVSA.
And that’s why the cruise lines didn’t rush to cancel- they tried as much as they could to try and make cruises happen but between Canada not allowing stops and the airlines not flying, it was just not possible. No conspiracy theories- they were simply trying not to cancel.