After CMV's MV Columbus was ordered to cut its world cruise short and return to port in the UK, it met its fleet buddy MV Vasco da Gama, just off the coast of Thailand. The Columbus was 4 weeks into her four month world cruise before the voyage was curtailed, while the Vasco da Gama was operating it's Northbound voyage from Fremantle to Tilbury via the Suez Canal.
Cruise and Martime Voyage (CMV) passengers, crew and luggage were transferred between vessels at sea.
Following the immediate suspension of its voyages, CMV offered passengers the option to swap ships to return to their original ports. This resulted in more than 500 pieces of luggage and 239 passengers and crew swapping as part of the repatriation effort to help return passengers to their home countries. The operation began at 6.30am and was completed by midday.
“We are tremendously proud of our onboard and shoreside teams for their fantastic job in delivering this safe and effective evacuation and relief operation,” said Christian Verhounig, chief executive at Cruise and Maritime Voyages.
The line confirmed it will offer all passengers affected a full refund or future cruise credit of 125 per cent the value of their cruise. Ships that are currently still at sea will conclude their current itinerary to return guests to their disembarkation ports, then also stop their operation.
Check out the video footage of this amazing feat below!
There have been no cases of Covid-19 on either ship.
A Future Cruise Credit (FCC), or Future Cruise Certificate, is mostly used to compensate cruise travellers for things like cancelled voyages, cruises that have been cut short or other. It’s used like a store credit or gift card, instead of receiving a refund, and is usually non-refundable and non-transferable to anybody else. It often comes with additional benefits to entice you to use the FCC over a refund and can often deliver you great savings off your next cruise.
It’s often confused with a Future Cruise Program, which is a benefit extended to people when they’re onboard a current cruise that offers them onboard credit when putting a deposit on their future cruise. However the two are very different as the Future Cruise Credit is compensation, where as the Future Cruise Program is an additional benefit.
The amount of your FCC is usually based on the base cruise fare that you have paid, less taxes, fees, onboard expenditure, shore excursion or upgrades (like WiFi and Drinks Packages).
How Can I Use my Future Cruise Credit?
You’ll know if you’ve received a FCC usually via an email from the cruise line or your travel agent. It normally takes a few weeks, however in the current environment with all cruise lines delaying departures by at least 30 days, the processing may take a little longer. When it is issued, the email will also advise you of the date the credit expires.
The cruise passenger owns the FCC, and you can use it directly with the cruise line or through any travel agent you wish to use.
What Can a Future Cruise Credit Not be Used for?
It can be used towards the base fare of any future cruise, but cannot be used to pay for:
If you already have another cruise you previously booked, you can also use it towards that cruise. However it cannot be redeemed to re-purchase the same sailing where the original booking was cancelled.
Can I get a Refund Instead?
Cruise line are currently extending generous new cancellation policies, with cruisers able to cancel even up to 48 hours prior to departure for cruises that are still scheduled to travel.
With the current temporary cancellation policies due to COVID-19 cancellations, you will normally receive a Future Cruise Credit in the amount of whatever the cancellation fees would normally be. The remainder is refunded to your credit card or the original form of payment.
For example, if your cancellation penalities are 75%, you will receive 75% of the total cruise paid as a Future Cruise Credit (this would normally have been forfeited as a cancellation fee), and the other 25% as a refund. If your cancellation penalties are 100%, you’ll receive 100% of the total cruise paid as a Future Cruise Credit.
Top Tips for Using Future Cruise Credits
Princess Cruises has continued their commitment to delivering first class cruise experiences, with the announcement of their sixth Royal-Class cruise ship f revealed today – Discovery Princess.
The largest inaugural launch program ever with worldwide itineraries offered onboard Discovery Princess to Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Mexico and the California Coast for the 2021/2022 cruise season was also announced by Princess Cruises.
Discovery Princess will be the first-ever new cruise ship for Princess Cruises to be based on the West Coast, sailing out of Los Angeles.
Designed from the ground up as a Princess Medallion Class ship, even-day Mediterranean & Aegean inaugural cruise from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Athens.
With cruise vacations open for sale Oct. 8, 2019, Discovery Princess will be available for sale from 8th October 2019, and will sail from the Mediterranean, to the Caribbean and South America before arriving in Los Angeles for her West Coast debut, sailing to Mexico and the California Coast.