Many cruise companies will include a clause in their T&Cs that allows them to make changes to your cruise itinerary, so you may not always have the right to a refund.
Changes before departure
If changes to your itinerary are made before departure then regulation 12 and 13 of the Package Travel Regulations should apply.
If the changes are significant and you're no longer happy with your cruise - for example you're booked on a Mediterranean cruise and it can no longer travel around the Mediterranean - you have three options.
You can either:
- Request a refund
- Request a substitute package of equal or greater value
- Request a substitute package of lower value with a price adjustment
Depending on the circumstances of the changes you may also be able to claim compensation.
Changes after departure
If changes happen to your cruise itinerary after departure, then regulation 14 of the Package Travel Regulations applies.
Many cruise companies will include a clause stating that they are able to make changes to the itinerary.
But this doesn’t mean you have no rights where changes are made.
An example of where changes may need to be made would be due to adverse weather conditions, such as a hurricane in the Carribbean, for example.
Significant changes to the cruise
If a significant proportion of services cannot be provided you will be entitled to compensation.
For example, if you're on an eight-stop cruise and because of an engine fault you can only stop at five destinations missing out key highlights of the tour, then this would qualify as a significant proportion of services not being provided.
The organiser has a duty to make suitable alternative arrangements for the continuation of the service and compensation for the difference.
You can use our guide to how to complain when a package holiday is not what you expected if your cruise holiday has been changed significantly.
Smartphone app for passenger rights
The European Commission has launched an app for passengers travelling in the EU.
The application covers your rights for all modes of transport, and is available on the following platforms - Apple iPhone and iPad, Google Android, RIM Blackberry and Microsoft Windows Phone 7.