Coronavirus concerns leave Southwest Florida cruise ticket holders in limbo

Published: Updated:
Cruise ship

As coronavirus cases grow, cruise lines are taking a hit.

One Southwest Florida couple canceled their trip to the Bahamas because of the concern, and now they’re trying to get their money back.

Michel Durocher and Normand Gamache were supposed to be on a cruise ship today, heading to Nassau and MSC Cruise Line’s private island, a trip they booked a year ago.

Then the coronavirus happened.

“We were not so much afraid at the beginning,” Durocher said.

They canceled once they received a warning from the U.S. Department of State and the Canadian government, telling them not to travel on cruise ships.

“We were not so concerned about being sick, but we were concerned about being around people that could be sick,” Durocher said.

Since they canceled outside of the cruise line’s 48-hour window, they’re wondering if they’ll be reimbursed.

Georgene Malovich, owner of Concierge Cruises, said it’s a tough call to make – even if you have travel insurance.

“You can’t just say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go on the cruise because I’m afraid of the virus,’ because you’re not gonna be covered with insurance, so that’s why the cruise lines stepped up to the plate,” said Malovich.

Many have offered vouchers.

Durocher said he’s just hoping for some kind of accommodation.

“It’s not like we decided by ourselves because we didn’t want to go on the cruise anymore,” he said.

Durocher and Gamache are looking forward to planning their next trip – once coronavirus concerns decrease.

Travel agents recommend getting travel insurance if you’re booking a trip, but make sure you read the fine print and that a situation like COVID-19 concerns is covered.

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