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Cruises canceled in Asia, but travel agent says interest in U.S.-based cruises increases

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 11:10:30-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Regional travel conditions are causing cruise lines to cancel upcoming trips in Asia and concerns of being quarantined over coronavirus on a ship are real.

Cruise ships keep dishing out discounts in the middle of what travel agents call "season" for booking cruises.

"It's the best value. If you catch it right, you can go for $100 a day," said Barry Ridel of Nashville.

Ridel said he's been on 10 cruises in his life. He's somewhat retired from his sailing days and prefers road trips now, especially after hearing about the two-week quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess ship due to a coronavirus outbreak.

"I feel bad for the people because, I mean, you can go on healthy and get off dead," added Ridel.

Annie Davis, owner of Palm Beach Travel, said she's having to re-book clients whose cruises in Asia were canceled, but she's still seeing a huge interest in cruising.

"We've seen a definite increase in traffic from South Florida to Alaska," said Davis. "We've also seen a request for smaller ships, they don't see the coronavirus spreading on these smaller ships"

Cruise lines are not allowing any guests or crew members on board if they have traveled to and from China 14 days before their departure.

"They're adding additional medical staff on board their ships, complimentary medical exams on their ships, and these are all their ships worldwide." added Davis.

Davis recommends checking with your travel agent before booking any overseas trip and knowing the fine print of the cancellation terms.