Clark’s Must-Hear Advice if Your Cruise Has Been Canceled

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With the cruise industry on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, Team Clark has been getting a lot of questions from people who’ve booked cruises that are no longer happening.

So what do you do if your cruise has been canceled? Money expert Clark Howard has some advice that might surprise you.

Should You Get a Refund or Opt for Bonus Credit if Your Cruise Is Canceled?

If your cruise is canceled, your cruise line may offer you two choices: a full refund or a credit for a future cruise. Some cruise lines are even tempting people with as much as a 125% credit, along with future onboard ship credits.

So what does Clark think you should do if you’re given the option between bonus credit and cash?

“Here’s the scoop: Before, I said, ‘Hey, they’re offering you 20% or whatever extra, why don’t you take it?’ Now, I’m not really thinking that way. What I’m suggesting instead is that you take the money,” he says.

“The reason is that we just don’t know — since the cruise lines have been proven not to be eligible for any [U.S.] government assistance — who’s going to make it and who’s not. So I’d rather you have the cash.”

But Clark says the certainty of having those dollars in your pocket versus credit for future travel isn’t the only reason he’s taking this stance.

“There’s another factor, too,” he says. “The cruise lines may well inflate the cost of future cruises — doing funny money accounting — knowing that so many people have bonus money sitting in their accounts. They’ll just charge higher retail prices for the cruises.”

If you’re not sure what your cruise line is offering, here are links to their individual cancellation and refund policies:

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