Of the 2,700 rooms sold, Mr Campbell said only 35 have been canceled since January 1.
For guests unable to travel due to government restrictions or closures, Atlantis is showing greater flexibility and issuing credits for future cruises, Mr Campbell said. Due to the rapidly changing circumstances of the pandemic, he said, the company is approaching cancellation requests on a case-by-case basis and is trying to accommodate as many people as possible.
“We’re here to take care of people and we’re doing our best,” he said. “But if someone comes up to us and just says they want their money back because they don’t feel comfortable going on the cruise, then we recommend against ‘cancel for any reason’ travel insurance to close.”
Since the restart of operations in the United States in June, many cruise lines and tour operators have adopted flexible cancellation policies, offering credits or refunds to customers who wish to change their itinerary due to the coronavirus.
Before the pandemic, Atlantic Events hosted more than 25,000 guests each year and hosted special gay and lesbian events on cruise ships and resorts around the world. Last year it had to cancel or postpone several events, including its 30th anniversary cruise.
“We had no income for almost two years and we are a small, self-financed business. It was a huge challenge to survive,” said Mr. Campbell.
While the company offers no refunds, it says the health and safety of its guests is a top priority and will enforce Royal Caribbean’s health and safety protocols, including an indoor mask mandate, except when eating and drinking and in crowded outdoor areas. . Royal Caribbean officials say that while the Omicron variant has increased the number of cases aboard its ships in recent weeks, most infections have been mild and have not led to serious illness. But with a growing number of crew and passengers contracting the virus, the cruise line, like other cruise lines, has canceled several trips this month in what it said was “an abundance of caution” due to “ongoing Covid-related circumstances.”
Passengers booked on the Atlantis cruise are keeping a close eye on the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship, which was chartered this week by another LGBT travel company for a seven-night Caribbean cruise. The capacity for that ship is much smaller, carrying 2,218 passengers, but cases of coronavirus have been reported to the CDC, reaching their threshold for an investigation.