Travel cruise industry booming

ABC News' Phil Lipof has more on what it all means if you're booking a vacation.
2:10 | 06/03/23

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Transcript for Travel cruise industry booming
- Back now on GMA. And it wasn't long ago that the cruise ship industry was laid high and dry by COVID, but now things are much different, with many people eager to set sail. ABC'S Phil Lipof has more on what it all means if you're booking a vacation. Phil, good morning. - Good morning to you, Wit. Eager indeed. And eager, as you know, can lead to more passengers on-board a ship. More passengers can lead to overcrowding. And that's leading the cruise line industry to do some overbooking. And it is not a new practice, but just like the airline industry, it can be just as frustrating. This morning, the cruise industry is in the midst of a robust recovery. - 2023 is actually pacing to be the strongest year of cruising ever. PHIL LIPOF: Industry leaders are expecting 31.5 million passengers to sail in 2023, 106% of pre-pandemic levels. Two of the biggest cruise lines are reporting more than 100% occupancy in the first quarter of 2023. According to Royal Caribbean's earnings report, the company saw average occupancy rates of 102.1%. Norwegian Cruise holdings also saying it's seeing 101.5% of bookings, January through April. - It does happen. Just like the airlines, cruise lines also overbook their ships. And they do it on purpose because they know that people ultimately will be canceling. PHIL LIPOF: Diane Gainey says Celebrity Cruises bumped her off a cruise she and her family had been planning for more than a year. - When you get the contract, it should clearly state that they do overbook. And, in that case, what would happen to your deposit. PHIL LIPOF: Experts say be prepared to be flexible when making your plans, as most cruise companies will offer you a full refund or vouchers for travel at another time. And if you're on a packed vessel, there are still ways to make the most of it. Royal Caribbean Group, the parent company of Celebrity Cruises, telling ABC News in a statement, "To avoid potential oversell issues, guests are provided with the opportunity to voluntarily choose another sailing should their plans be flexible." A lot of people are already looking at Spring Break 2024. I don't know about you, I don't know what's for dinner tonight. So that's a bit too far out for me, but that's what experts are saying. - All right. Thanks, Phil.

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