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Travel Tip: What Happens When Cruises are Rerouted?

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons User Mikefairbanks

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons User Mikefairbanks

When you book a cruise, you generally look at the brochures or the catalogs to study your itinerary and the various ports you’re scheduled to visit.

But it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll actually get there.

A number of events might intervene—ranging from political instability to extreme weather—and your ship could be rerouted to alternate ports.

In recent months, terrorist events in Turkey forced cruise lines to cancel Istanbul as a port dock.

Hurricanes and tropical storms in the Caribbean forced many cruise lines to head north to New England.

What are your rights as a passenger when that happens? Are you entitled to a refund? More often than not, the answer is no.

In the contract you sign when you book the cruise, there’s specific language that covers these possibilities and it states that the cruise line reserves the right to substitute ports of call for almost any reason.

In some cases, cruise lines have issued on-board money credit for the current cruise or a discount for a future cruise.

Keep in mind the cruise lines are not legally mandated to do this.

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