Updated: Jun 6, 2019
The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has announced that the People -To- People category allowing US Citizens to travel to Cuba is ending today, June 4 2019. This provision allowed US cruise ships to stop in Cuba ports. For those who have already booked all or part of their trip, the OFAC is allowing a “grandfathering” provision that will allow certain people-to-people travel groups to continue as long as at least one qualifying travel related transaction has taken place prior to June 5 2019.
”In accordance with the newly announced changes to non-family travel to Cuba, OFAC is amending the regulations to remove the authorization for group people-to-people educational travel. OFAC’s regulatory changes include a “grandfathering” provision, which provides that certain group people-to-people educational travel that previously was authorized will continue to be authorized where the traveler had already completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to June 5, 2019. “
If you have an upcoming trip to Cuba already booked, you should contact the supplier and ask if your trip can still proceed under the new OFAC rules and restrictions.
UPDATE: As of June 5 2019, cruise lines have ended all calls to Cuba and are modifying upcoming sailings to include alternate ports of call.
Norwegian Cruise Lines is offering two options for their guests booked to Cuba through September 2, 2019:
Sail the revised itinerary receive a 50% refund of the cruise fare paid as well as a 50% future cruise credit valid through December 31, 2020.
Cancel the booking and receive a full refund. If guests choose this option, NCL must be notified no later than June 11, 2019, midnight EST.
NCL Cuba sailings on Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun beyond September 2, 2019 will be automatically be cancelled and refunded. Those impacted by these cancellations will receive a 20% discount on future sailings booked by Aug 5, 2019 and sailing no later than December 31 2020.
Royal Caribbean is offering those impacted with these options:
BOOKINGS WITHIN FINAL PAYMENT DATE
A refund of 50% per stateroom, credited to the guest's onboard accounts. This amount will be based on their total cruise fare, excluding any taxes and fees. If their onboard spend does not reach this amount, the remaining balance will be refunded to their credit card on file once they've completed their cruise.They'll also receive a refund for any pre-paid shore excursions in Cuba purchased from Royal Caribbean as a credit to their onboard account.
BOOKINGS OUTSIDE FINAL PAYMENT DATE
A 50% fare reduction per stateroom, excluding any taxes and fees. This amount will be discounted off guest's current cruise fare and will be reflected on their reservation by Wednesday, June 12th, 2019.For reservations already paid in full, guests will automatically receive a refund for any overpayment. They will see this refunded to their credit card by June 19th, 2019. Please know times may vary depending on their financial institution.If they haven't yet paid in full, their remaining balance will be based on this 50% cruise fare reduction.Additionally, they'll receive a refund for any pre-paid Royal Caribbean shore excursions in Cuba to their original form of payment. Our shore excursions team will send an email with the details within the next 3 business days.
GUESTS WHO WISH TO CANCEL
While we hope guests choose to stay, if they decide not to sail with us, we'll provide them with a full refund of any paid portion of their cruise fare to the original form of payment, including any non-refundable deposits, both for bookings inside and outside of final payment date. Please call RCL by June 7th, 2019 if booked on a Majesty of the Seas or Empress of the Seas sailing that departs on or before June 19th, 2019. If their cruise departs on or after June 23rd, 2019, please call RCL by June 19th.If they choose to cancel, no additional compensation will be provided. They can expect to receive their refund between 3 to 5 business days from cancellation date.