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What options do I have when the cruise line cancels or changes ports-of-call?

Dear Anita,

I just found out the cruise I booked last year and leave for next week will not call on several ports-of-call. Since I am not getting the cruise I paid for, can I get my money back?

Louise Horchowitz
Boca Raton, Florida.

Dear Louise,

It is very disappointing when you don't get the exact cruise you planned, especially if you miss a scheduled port-of-call. However, cruise lines are well within their rights to change ports-of-call. Stated in each cruise company's "terms and conditions" is a clause stating they have the right to change the itinerary should it be deemed necessary. Most often this clause is used when the weather is a problem or due to safety concerns. Lately, most changes are due to the war and SARS virus as many cruise lines are opting for simple and safe-appearing itineraries and ports-of-call. Most cruise lines go out of their way to make sure guests get the best cruise possible. Still, if a ship changes itinerary (either before you begin the cruise or during the voyage), the cruise line is not obligated to compensate you except to refund applicable port charges.

I hope I've been helpful. Bon Voyage!

Anita Dunham-Potter

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