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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Sun Princess® Sailing Update and Cancellation: Navigating Unforeseen Changes

We have some important updates regarding the upcoming voyage aboard the Sun Princess®. As many of you may recall, the inaugural cruise scheduled from Barcelona on February 8th was postponed due to unforeseen delays with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.

Now, with the ship expected to depart from Rome on February 18th, we've encountered another unexpected obstacle. President John Padgett of Princess Cruises recently confirmed in a letter to travel agents and guests that although the ship will be delivered on Wednesday, February 14th, it will remain docked in the shipyard for additional technical work. This occurs after the official inaugural cruise, scheduled for February 8th, was canceled two weeks before sailing. We were scheduled for this sailing and received different compensation than being offered to February 18th passengers. 

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"We share in your deep disappointment and frustration, and sincerely apologize for the extreme disruption the late cancellation of this voyage creates," wrote Padgett.

See the actual notice passengers received here:

For those affected by these changes, here's what you need to know:

  1. Refunds and Future Cruise Credits: Guests booked on the sailing will receive a full refund of the cruise fare along with any additional onboard services that were pre-purchased, as well as a 50% future cruise credit (FCC) that can be used on any future Princess voyage booked by November 30, 2024, and sailed by December 31, 2025.

  2. Automatic Cancellations: Your booking will be automatically canceled, and you do not need to take any action to initiate the refund process.

  3. Flight Change Fees Coverage: Princess Cruises will provide up to $200 USD per person to cover change fees related to flights for guests who have not yet started their travel.

  4. Hotel and Per Diem Coverage: For guests already in the region, Princess will refund the cost of their hotel up to $450 per night, covering the nights of Sunday, February 18th, and Monday, February 19th, along with a per diem of $140 per person, per day to help cover meals and other expenses over that two-day period.

"We understand the inconvenience and frustration that this news brings, and we do sincerely apologize for the disruption to your travel plans. We are committed to ensuring that your future experiences with Princess Cruises are nothing short of extraordinary," reiterated Padgett.

As we navigate through the twists and turns of the Sun Princess® saga, it's clear that the seas of the cruise industry can be unpredictable. The recent postponement of the inaugural voyage from Barcelona and the subsequent delays in Rome serve as stark reminders of the challenges faced by both cruise lines and passengers alike.

While Princess Cruises has made efforts to address the situation with refunds, future cruise credits, and travel assistance, the inconvenience and frustration for affected guests remain palpable. As we look to the future, it's essential for all cruise enthusiasts to stay informed and prepared for potential disruptions to their travel plans.

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