Tuesday,  January 19, 2021  12:06 pm

Royal Caribbean cancels Spa staterooms; extends Cruise with Confidence policy

Royal Caribbean cancels Spa staterooms; extends Cruise with Confidence policy
Voyager of the Seas. (Royal Caribbean International)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Royal Caribbean has decided to discontinue its plans to introduce Spa staterooms for its 2021-2022 season, PAX has learned. 

The company confirmed the news with PAX on Wednesday (May 6th) after a communication was sent to travel advisors.

“As we navigate the global effects of the coronavirus COVID-19 and review current and future projects, the introduction of spa staterooms for the 2021-2022 season is being discontinued,” wrote Michelle Byrd, account executive, public relations, at Royal Caribbean International, in an email to PAX.   “Guests with existing spa stateroom bookings will receive revised pricing based on current double-occupancy rates as well as onboard credit.”

Royal Caribbean announced its new stateroom category in October 2019.

It was originally designed to offer guests in-room amenities and spa privileges, such as 50 per cent off discounts on spa treatments, upgraded furniture/bedding/shower/toiletries and other special add-ons.

The plan was to make these staterooms available on Radiance, Voyager, Freedom Oasis, and Quantum Class ships, positioning them as below a suite but above a standard ocean balcony room.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Group has extended its “Cruise with Confidence” cancellation policy to sailings through April 2022 and will be introducing new rebooking options to make it easier for partners and guests. 

For new and existing bookings created by August 1st, 2020, guests have the flexibility to cancel their cruise up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a full credit of the cruise fare for a future cruise through April 2022.

The policy applies to all cruises with sailing dates on or before April 2022 and across the company’s global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara. 

The updates now available to travellers and advisors include:

  • “Best Price Guarantee”: Guests can choose to change the price and promotional offer on their reservation up to 48 hours before their cruise.
  • “Lift and Shift”: For ease and as close as 48 hours prior to sailing, travelers have the option to simply “lift and shift” their cruise to the same itinerary departing on a future date. The original price and promotional offer on the reservation will be protected, along with the length of the cruise and stateroom category.

“Guests are reacting positively to our Cruise with Confidence policy,” said RCL chairman and CEO Richard Fain in a statement, “because it enables them to make informed decisions and to better manage complicated travel plans during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.”

Cruise with Confidence applies to both existing cruise bookings and those made by August 1, 2020. In addition to easing concerns of booked guests, Fain says the policy enhances consumer confidence to schedule new bookings, knowing last-minute travel adjustments are allowed.

“We want our guests to feel they can safely keep their existing cruise bookings or schedule new sailings,” stated Fain, “because this policy gives them more freedom and flexibility.”

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