Can cruise lines change my itinerary?

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What happens if my cruise itinerary is changed?

This question was answered on our Cruise IQ show on October 11, 2017.
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While cruise lines open itineraries for booking a year or two before the actual sailing date, many unforeseen circumstances can arise that force them to alter the itinerary. If something like stormy weather on the scheduled route or a cruise ship requires unscheduled maintenance, a sailing can be altered or canceled altogether. When you book a cruise, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions set out by the particular cruise line. Within these passenger agreements, it will state that the cruise line has the right to alter your itinerary and unless the cruise is canceled, no compensation would be provided. The good news is that major changes to itineraries don’t happen that often and when they do, most of the major cruise lines, do offer some type of compensation like onboard credits or discounts on future cruises as a gesture of good will towards their guests. The reality is that cruise lines do not want to change your itinerary at all. In fact, they do whatever they can to ensure things stay as scheduled. Any changes to ports of call, especially closer to the departure date, will affect their ability to find alternative ports. In instances where port stops are eliminated or substituted with less desirable options, cruise lines stand to lose significant revenue from booked shore excursions. Of course, there is no way to know when book a cruise if you will be affected by itinerary changes, but your chances will increase for cruises departing within hurricane season June through November. Remember to always purchase travel insurance to cover your cruise, air and any other travel arrangements.