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View Poll Results: In response to Europe's flooding, what is the best course of action for river lines?
Cancel affected cruises, offer refunds and/or credits 122 89.71%
Keep sailing, just alter accommodations, itineraries and port visits 8 5.88%
None of the above (details below) 6 4.41%
Voters: 136. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old June 5th, 2013, 04:20 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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Default Poll: Should river cruise lines cancel voyages?

No question, the unprecedented flooding in Europe has caused river cruise lines to really scramble, and put a lot of pressure on all, from crew to passengers to the folks who work in corporate. Still we wonder what you're thinking: Was it the right thing to do to cancel voyages and send travelers home (or prevent them from arriving)? Or should the lines (at this point, best we can tell, only Vantage and AMA did not cancel) still cruise and use buses and hotels?

Please vote, and feel free to discuss below.

Carolyn

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  #2  
Old June 5th, 2013, 04:37 PM
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Carolyn,

This situation is going to make all involved a bit unhappy. But in all fairness, I think that passengers who have paid a lot of money for their cruises and may have saved a long time for them, should have the option. Cancel and get a full refund or go with the understanding that the cruise is no longer a cruise but a bus trip with hotels. I think I read somewhere that at least one of the lines was doing this. Unfortunately, those that boarded their ships last week never had that option. Just one person's opinion!


Quote:
Originally Posted by editor@cruisecritic View Post
No question, the unprecedented flooding in Europe has caused river cruise lines to really scramble, and put a lot of pressure on all, from crew to passengers to the folks who work in corporate. Still we wonder what you're thinking: Was it the right thing to do to cancel voyages and send travelers home (or prevent them from arriving)? Or should the lines (at this point, best we can tell, only Vantage and AMA did not cancel) still cruise and use buses and hotels?

Please vote, and feel free to discuss below.

Carolyn

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  #3  
Old June 5th, 2013, 04:45 PM
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We are travelling from New Zealand in 3 weeks for a cruise starting mid July. We would prefer that if the cruise couldn't take place that alterative travel arrangments from start city to finish city were put in place, our trip to the otherside of the world is for over 4 weeks so we still need to get from point A to B with or without a cruise
A kiwi point of view
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  #4  
Old June 5th, 2013, 04:48 PM
mannster mannster is offline
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I agree with Peacemkr59. If the cruise line is offering options (either cancelling or continuing with busing and hotels), I think the passengers should have the option to choose how they would like to proceed.
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  #5  
Old June 5th, 2013, 04:50 PM
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I've done a coach / hotels tour; never again.
When I book a river cruise that's what I expect to have. If the cruise has to be cancelled for whatever reason I would prefer to reschedule.
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  #6  
Old June 5th, 2013, 05:18 PM
SeattleDA SeattleDA is offline
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Default No to the Bus

I completely agree with those who have said that refunds should be offered in cases where a cruise becomes a bus/hotel trip, and/or when cruise itineraries are altered significantly. I hope cruise customers pay close attention to how the river cruise companies handle this crisis and keep that in mind when making future plans.
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  #7  
Old June 5th, 2013, 05:20 PM
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I am not a bus person. I book a river cruise to sail peacefully and tour leisurely on foot thus I would prefer Option #1. It takes us up to a day and a half to travel to Europe so we would prefer to have the holiday we paid for or have our money refunded so that we could make alternate holiday plans ourselves.
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  #8  
Old June 5th, 2013, 05:24 PM
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I think you should be able to cancel

If you want to continue with a tour by bus it should be your choice

If I wanted a bus tour I would have booked one in the first place

YMMV

At this point in time I think it will be months before some of the areas recover river cruise line need to be more flexible in light of the circumstances happening now
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  #9  
Old June 5th, 2013, 05:28 PM
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I so agree with you SeattleDA!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleDA View Post
I completely agree with those who have said that refunds should be offered in cases where a cruise becomes a bus/hotel trip, and/or when cruise itineraries are altered significantly. I hope cruise customers pay close attention to how the river cruise companies handle this crisis and keep that in mind when making future plans.
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  #10  
Old June 5th, 2013, 05:53 PM
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I would not like a coach tour. I booked flights with Avalon. I still want to go to Europe and would like to be able to use the air tickets and get the cruise portion refunded
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  #11  
Old June 5th, 2013, 06:13 PM
Shebely Shebely is offline
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Default Ditto to SeattleDA's statement

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleDA View Post
I completely agree with those who have said that refunds should be offered in cases where a cruise becomes a bus/hotel trip, and/or when cruise itineraries are altered significantly. I hope cruise customers pay close attention to how the river cruise companies handle this crisis and keep that in mind when making future plans.
I also completely agree with SeattleDA.
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  #12  
Old June 5th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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Carolyn,

Interesting poll and thoughts of posters. If cruise line cancels, then we should be able to get money back. If they say for next 2months there will be bussing not sailing, then pax should be able to cancel with full refund. Don't know of anyone who would say I'll take the bus.
This is a very emotional issue with all the devestation and more rain predicted. Most of us have to travel by air to get to a European river cruise, so it is a great investment of time, effort and money. Hopefully the business end of the cruise line doesn't win out. Pat
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  #13  
Old June 5th, 2013, 07:11 PM
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I also agree that a cruise should be cancelled and a refund offered.

We have a river cruise booked with Scenic in August, and I will be very angry and upset if it turns out to be a motorcoach tour. We paid a lot of money for this cruise and for our flights. If I had wanted to do a motorcoach tour, I would have booked a motorcoach tour.
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  #14  
Old June 5th, 2013, 07:18 PM
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I've done a bus tour, and they're too much work! I understand that what we will see and do on our upcoming trip cannot help but be different than expected. However, if I'm not sleeping 7 nights on a river boat that changes ports at least occasionally, I want a refund. We leave for Europe two weeks from today, with independently booked air and pre and post. If our cruise is cancelled, we will most likely go ahead with our plans, and create our own itinerary for those middle 7 days. I do hope it doesn't come to that. We've planned for this trip for more than a year, and are just as excited about our first river voyage as the ports.

Our trip is Nuremberg to Budapest, and if our cruise was altered to extend our stay in Vienna a few days, I could be a happy camper.
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  #15  
Old June 5th, 2013, 07:22 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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I agree with you -- best to give all passengers the option to make a choice but don't know that that will always be possible. It's a tough one. But psychologically, if a cruise line tells me, look before you come you should know that ... it's natural to be more willing to go with the flow. As long as you have the option to cancel penalty-free (if not with credit, too).

By the way, what is YMMV?

Carolyn


Quote:
Originally Posted by LHT28 View Post
I think you should be able to cancel

If you want to continue with a tour by bus it should be your choice

If I wanted a bus tour I would have booked one in the first place

YMMV

At this point in time I think it will be months before some of the areas recover river cruise line need to be more flexible in light of the circumstances happening now
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  #16  
Old June 5th, 2013, 07:25 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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As always, Pacmom, you have excellent insights!

God, I hope there's no more rain in central Europe for some time. From someone who survived first Hurricane Irene then Hurricane Sandy, I have to say that my thoughts are especially with the residents who are affected by the flooding. We had some monsoon-like conditions the other day here in NJ and I had anxiety-inducing flashbacks. It's hard. At the same time, river cruises are special...and if you've paid the price for one, you should get one.

Carolyn

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacmom View Post
Carolyn,

Interesting poll and thoughts of posters. If cruise line cancels, then we should be able to get money back. If they say for next 2months there will be bussing not sailing, then pax should be able to cancel with full refund. Don't know of anyone who would say I'll take the bus.
This is a very emotional issue with all the devestation and more rain predicted. Most of us have to travel by air to get to a European river cruise, so it is a great investment of time, effort and money. Hopefully the business end of the cruise line doesn't win out. Pat
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  #17  
Old June 5th, 2013, 07:27 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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As river cruising becomes more mainstream, and I predict it will become more mainstream because cruise travelers love it -- and river lines are building a lot of new ships so have to fill 'em -- I think this week's events, and the individual lines' reactions to them, will be a (forgive the pun) watershed event.

This flood was unusual but the fact is: One of the unique things about river cruising is that rivers can sometimes change, and it can change your experience. It's not the same with oceans.

Carolyn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shebely View Post
I also completely agree with SeattleDA.
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  #18  
Old June 5th, 2013, 07:51 PM
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Default Bus Tour Isn't Really An Option Now

In prior years when water levels were (a little) too high or too low, river cruise lines would substitute bus tours for part of the cruise. That wasn't optimal, but at least when you got to the destination city it was fully functional.

At this time, some of those cities are under water -- where are you going to be bussed to? And some residents of those cities have been evacuated to hotels -- where is the cruise line going to be able to put you up?

So the situation for some river cruises right now is completely different from the prior situations. I feel that these cruises should be cancelled. Only if the disruption is going to be at the level of those prior years should the cruise go on.

But that's easy for me to say, because I'm retired and if my cruise gets cancelled I can easily change my plans to another destination or take this cruise later. But some folks have made plans that can't be changed, even with all the make-goods a cruise line might want to offer (especially if you're locked into these vacation weeks). So it would be nice if the lines could offer each passenger the choice.

On the third hand, I don't want the river cruise lines to go out of business. The losses must already have been enormous, and lots of potential passengers are going to think twice about river cruising in general and these devastated destinations in particular.

So I agree with the poster on another thread who concluded that nobody is going to be made whole. Everybody on all sides is going to have to roll with this and make the best of the situation, and we have to accept that the cruise lines (which have more detailed information than any of us armchair pundits) are doing their best to evaluate each cruise and offer the best compromise they can.
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  #19  
Old June 5th, 2013, 07:54 PM
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I would want the opportunity to cancel if the cruise line felt there was a significant chance that I would have to take the coach and stay in hotels for parts of the journey that were advertised as by boat.
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Old June 5th, 2013, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by editor@cruisecritic View Post
One of the unique things about river cruising is that rivers can sometimes change, and it can change your experience. It's not the same with oceans.
Carolyn
Of course, until last week the news was all about problems on ocean cruises (hurricanes and equipment failures).

I've been thinking that a lot of people (myself included) take it for granted that travel is no longer dangerous. It may not be as risky as when St. Paul was shipwrecked, but there are still no guarantees and even trip insurance doesn't protect against every possible problem.
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Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-1-2015
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AMA Provence 9-3-2015
Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-11-2016
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-8-2016

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Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-7-2014 / Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-19-2014 / AmaCello Rhine 8-30-2013 / Coral Princess Alaska 6-26-2013 / Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-28-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-17-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-18-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-18-1974
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