9:27 AM PT -- 4/2 -- Royal Caribbean claims they have offered the NURSECON participants a refund, telling us, "Royal Caribbean has been extremely flexible with Nursecon and has provided them with the option to offer their guests a refund on their cruise fare plus taxes and fees, or a 125% future cruise credit."
They continue, "Royal Caribbean deeply appreciates the efforts of our nurses, doctors and health-care professionals working on the frontlines during this public health crisis, and we applaud their sacrifices to help protect our communities."
This statement seemingly places the responsibility on NURSECON organizers to dish out refunds to participants.
The no-refunds rage continues -- this time it's folks on the frontlines helping us fight coronavirus who are getting screwed, and it's all because a cruise line won't budge.
TMZ has learned ... Royal Caribbean Cruises is NOT refunding a bunch of nurses who were supposed to board one of its behemoth boats this year for a networking convention called NURSECON at Sea, which was canceled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It sucks, 'cause it's left a lot of cash-strapped RNs pissed off and wanting their money back. They're getting a rain check for another event down the line, but that's not cutting it with some of the heroes who want their money back, and STAT.
According to a letter NURSECON brass sent to ticket holders for the conference, it's spelled out pretty clearly ... anybody who was going to NURSECON 2020 (which was at first postponed, later canceled) will get to join any NURSECON voyage in the future through 2023. They'll also get cruise ship spending credit -- up to $100 worth.
And, if nurses who were going ended up shelling out cash for extra vacay packages -- excursions, drink and meal plans, etc. -- Royal Caribbean WILL refund them for that -- but not for the big-ticket item ... the cost of the cruise.
That's about it ... no mention of a refund in full for the trip itself this year. It wasn't NURSECON's decision, however, as sources familiar with the negotiations between that company and Royal Caribbean tell us, it's actually RC Cruises honchos who wouldn't give the cash back. So, if there's someone to be mad at, it's the cruise line.
For the record, a rep for NURSECON doesn't see any blame to go around for anybody involved, insisting the rescheduled cruises and cruise credit was the best option for all parties, insisting that most of their patrons (the nurses) are actually pleased with the deal.
That's not how some of the nurses we spoke with directly felt. We're told the no-refund policy is a slap in the face -- and a promise for a future sail isn't making up for it either.
Fact is ... nurses, too, are having a hard time to make ends meet ... and every penny counts right now. They also deserve every break they can get these days, frankly. So, yeah ... they would like their money back, 'cause they didn't cancel ... the bigwigs did.