This issue continues to be raised (mostly in cruise reviews) as a sore spot for people who are on cruises where the itinerary changes mid-voyage. The following excerpt is from Princess but I am sure that all other cruise lines have same/similar language regarding the right to change a cruise's scheduled itinerary. This is a fact of life when cruising so best become familiar with it. I could underline multiple passages where it addresses liability but suffice to say, the line can deviate from the scheduled route of your voyage and there is little to no recourse you have to claim damages and/or request a refund.
It pays to know before you go!
7. RIGHT TO DEVIATE FROM SCHEDULED ROUTE, CHANGE PORT OF EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION, SUBSTITUTE TRANSPORTATION, CANCEL CRUISE AND ACTIVITIES, AND CHANGE OR OMIT PORTS OF CALL; SUBSTITUTION.
Except as otherwise provided, Carrier may, for any reason, without prior notice, cancel the cruise; deviate from the scheduled ports of call, route and timetable; call or omit to call at any port or place or cancel or modify any activity on or off the ship; comply with all governmental laws and orders given by governmental authorities; render assistance to preserve life and property; or change the date or time of sailing or arrival, change the port of embarkation or disembarkation, shorten the Cruise or substitute ships, aircraft or other transportation or lodging. Accordingly, You should not make any important arrangements or meetings based on the scheduled Cruise, which may change without liability to Carrier. Furthermore, the Master of the ship as well as the operator of any other means of transportation may, in his/her sole discretion, take any action deemed necessary for the safety, security, comfort, or well-being of any person or to prevent damage to or loss of the ship.
In the case of mechanical failures that cause the scheduled cruise to be cancelled, You are entitled to a full refund of the Cruise Fare; or for mechanical failures that cause a cruise to be terminated early, a partial refund, travel expense to transport You to the scheduled port of disembarkation or Your home city at Carrier's discretion, and overnight lodging if an unscheduled stopover is required. You shall have no claim against Carrier, and Carrier shall not be liable for damages or a refund of the Cruise Fare, any portion thereof, or other payment, compensation or credit of any kind; nor for hotel or meal charges, travel expenses or other loss, delay, inconvenience, disappointment or expense whatsoever, which shall be the Guest's responsibility, whenever the cancellation or change was otherwise beyond Carrier's exclusive control. Carrier's non liability extends without limitation to any of those causes described in Section 14(B) and/or inclement weather; health, medical or environmental considerations; labor, political or social disturbances or unrest; or operational, commercial or safety reasons; or was based on a good faith belief by the Carrier or the ship's Captain that the Cruise or any portion thereof might endanger the vessel or expose any person or property to loss, injury, damage or delay. Except as provided above for mechanical failures, whenever the performance of the Cruise is hindered or prevented by any cause or circumstance whatsoever, the Cruise may be terminated and You may be landed with no further liability of the Carrier for refund, payment, compensation or credit of any kind.
If, and only when, the cancellation or change was for reasons other than described in the preceding paragraph, and was within the exclusive control of Carrier, You agree the liability of the Carrier, if any, shall nonetheless be limited as follows:
- (A) If Carrier cancels the Cruise before it has started, it shall refund the Cruise Fare (less any air or accommodation charges incurred).
- (B) If the sailing is delayed and You are not accommodated on board the ship, Carrier may arrange accommodations and food at no additional expense to You.
- (C) If the scheduled port of embarkation or disembarkation as specified in the passage ticket is changed, Carrier shall arrange transportation to it from the originally scheduled port.
- (D) If the Cruise is terminated or ends early Carrier, at its option, may issue a cruise credit, make a proportionate refund of Your Cruise Fare, transfer You to another ship or transport You to the scheduled final port.
- (E) If You pay the Carrier an amount above the Cruise Fare for a shore excursion or other activity that is cancelled, You will be limited to a refund, if any, of the amount paid for the cancelled activity.
Under no circumstances shall the Carrier be or become liable for consequential or other damages of any kind sustained by any Guest except as expressly provided herein.