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Carnival tightens cruise cancellation policy

Industry giant Carnival this week tightened its cruise cancellation policy for voyages of six nights or longer, excluding European sailings.

As of Monday, customers who cancel such voyages with fewer than 56 days notice only will get back half of the fare they paid. Until this week, passengers only had to give 46 days notice to avoid losing half of their fare.

As in the past, customers who cancel before the 50% penalty deadline but with fewer than 76 days notice will lose their deposit on the trip. Those who cancel with 76 or more days notice will get a full refund.

Also unchanged from Carnival’s previous policy: Customers who cancel with fewer than 15 days notice will get no refund, and those who cancel with 15 to 29 days notice will get a 25% refund.

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The new policy only applies to bookings made on or after Monday.

The new policy places Carnival in line with other big cruise operators including Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian and Holland America (all of which generally require either 56 or 57 days notice to avoid a 50% penalty on cruises of six nights or more).

Would-be cruisers should note that some lines also have tighter cancellation policies for cruises that take place over holiday periods, cruises that are unusually long and cruises in faraway destinations. At least one line, Norwegian, also has a tighter cancellation policy for customers staying in top suites.

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