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I posted a few days ago about a problem that Carnival’s fathom line had run into – regulations in Cuba prohibit Cuban-born US citizens from arriving by sea. As a result fathom was not accepting bookings from would-be passengers for their Cuba cruises if they were Cuban born, even those who were US citizens. There were protests about this, and it looked as if it could turn into a cause célèbre.

Carnival Corp have now announced that they are now accepting bookings on fathom cruises to Cuba from all passengers regardless of their country of origin. They are continuing discussions with Cuba and are “optimistic that they will treat travellers with fathom the same as air charters today”. (The regulation only applies to travellers arriving by sea.)

However, Carnival Corp go on to say “….should that decision by Cuba be delayed past May 1 [the date the first fathom cruise to Cuba leaves Miami] Carnival Corporation will delay the start of its voyages accordingly.

That’s a neat strategy by Carnival Corp – they’ve removed the discriminatory booking practice and they’ve urged Cuba to accept their passengers, but they’ve also made it clear that if there’s no agreement cruises will be cancelled and it will be Cuba’s fault. However, if I was a passenger interested in going on a fathom cruise to Cuba, I might delay making a booking until this had been finally resolved.

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