Carnival Cruises Offering Guests $200 in Credit Not to Cancel Trips Amid Coronavirus Concerns

At least two cruise ships have been quarantined after coronavirus cases were suspected or confirmed onboard since February

Carnival Cruises is offering guests a financial incentive not to abandon their trips amid growing coronavirus concerns and news of another major cruise ship quarantine.

In a letter obtained by PEOPLE that was issued to its customers, the cruise line informed travelers they would be offered up to $200 in onboard credit in an effort to persuade vacationers to proceed with their planned trips.

For those currently booked on a Carnival cruise that depart between March 6 and May 31 who follow through with their trip, the onboard spending credit will be automatically added to their account. The bonuses will be $100 per cabin for three- and four-day cruises, $150 for five days, and $200 for six days and longer, according to the memo.

Carnival has also adjusted its cancellation and rebooking policies to be more flexible through May.

Guests who move their booking to a new date, for example, will receive a credit for a future cruise equal to their cancellation fee.


As its cruises continue to depart regularly, the company has also ramped up cleaning and health screenings on its ships.

“We continue to implement increased monitoring, screening and sanitation protocols to protect the health of our guests, crew and the residents of the destinations we serve,” wrote Colleen Oliverio, vice president of guest services at Carnival. “Our measures are designed to be flexible to adapt to changing conditions and recommended best practices.”

A representative for Carnival told PEOPLE earlier this week that the brand has “implemented enhanced screening, prevention and control measures for our ships, guests and crew” in response to the spread of coronavirus.

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Added the spokesperson: “Since the travel restrictions have gone into place, all of Carnival Cruise Line’s ships have been cleared to sail multiple times and there have been no operational cancellations.”

Many major cruise lines have spoken out amid the coronavirus outbreak to assure guests of their safety when setting sail.

On Sunday, Royal Caribbean enacted an order that would deny boarding to any passenger who has traveled to — or been within 6 feet of someone who has traveled to — areas with major ongoing outbreaks of the illness known as COVID-19, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, and the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto within the past 15 days, according to their website.

It will also deny boarding to anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms or feeling unwell, and screenings will be conducted to guests uncertain whether they’ve been in contact with potentially exposed parties.

Passengers who are allowed to board but begin to feel unwell during their trip will be quarantined, the statement said.

MSC Cruises, Carnival and Princess Cruises (which is owned by Carnival) all issued similar statements.

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Grand Princess Cruise Ship

Princess Cruises — which experienced the worst outbreak at sea that has reportedly left at least six passengers dead — has set similar parameters for passengers who have traveled to affected countries “currently subject to lockdown by government health authorities” within 14 days.

A Diamond Princess cruise ship was quarantined off the coast of Japan in early February after the illness was reported on board, with 621 people eventually testing positive. Everyone has now disembarked after being stuck on the ship for several weeks.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Princess Cruises said: “Our hearts go out to the families, friends and all who are impacted by these losses. All of us at Princess Cruises, as well as the crew of the Diamond Princess, offer our sincere condolences.”

The Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan with over 3,000 people on board in February. A member of the media looks out toward the Diamond Princess cruise ship (L) with over 3,000 people as it sits anchored in quarantine off the port of Yokohama on February 4, 2020, a day after it arrived with passengers feeling ill. - Japan has quarantined the cruise ship carrying 3,711 people and was testing those onboard for the new coronavirus on February 4 after a passenger who departed in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP) (Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)

Currently, a different Princess ship, the Grand Princess, is quarantined off of San Francisco after 21 people on board began showing symptoms. During a press conference on Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that the Centers for Disease Control and the California Coast Guard are working together to get test kits for COVID-19 to the ship. It will not be able to head to port until passengers and crew are tested.

Newsom declared California in a state of emergency on Wednesday after the first death in the state was reported.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face, coughing into your elbow or a tissue and avoiding contact with anyone suffering from respiratory illness.

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