Avalon ...not off to a good start!

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#1
278 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We arrived yesterday for our Budapest Prague river cruise which begins Sunday aboard the Luminary. We booked an extra night at the Intercontinental and paid for transfers on both ends. We usually do our own transfers but after a long day of flying thought it would just be easier to have a ride waiting for us. Our flight was pretty much on time . No one came to pick us up. We waited for 30 minutes or more .There were the signs from Viking and Tauck but no Avalon. I called the operations number we were given and was told to take a taxi! Now if I had wanted to take a cab I wouldn't have arranged transfers. The Intercontinental is beautiful. We just didn't start off positively with Avalon. Hope it gets better. I will keep you informed.
#3
Tasmania, Australia
654 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Hope everything else is fine for you and you have a fantastic cruise
We stayed at the Intercontinental as well, loved it.
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Avalon Panorama, Magnificent Europe, Budapest to Amsterdam August 15 -29th 2012
Avalon Scenery, Grand France , Cote D'Azur to Paris, 30th June - 8th July 2014
Avalon Creativity, Grand France, Paris-Normandy Beaches-Paris, 8th - 15th July 2014
HAL Oosterdam, Mediterranean Dream , Venice to Rome , 17th -29th June 2016
#4
158 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I'm curious if you have heard anything about the broken lock between Budapest and Bratslavia. We leave from Budapest on Monday and were told that we will be bussed to Bratslavia from Budapest.
#5
292 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Just a thought for those going to or from Budapest or Prague. No need to do the tour arranged transportation. The taxis are reasonable and reliable and they should take euros. Just confirm the price before starting off.
#6
Denver, CO
265 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by KEN31VA
Just a thought for those going to or from Budapest or Prague. No need to do the tour arranged transportation. The taxis are reasonable and reliable and they should take euros. Just confirm the price before starting off.
We stayed an extra night in Budapest post cruise. Avalon wanted to charge us $50 each for the AP transfer. We hooked up with fellow cruisers and the cab the hotel got us cost $16 For us as a couple!
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#7
Florida
18,902 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
I hope it gets better ..
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#8
278 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We were reimbursed for taxi from airport . Now my travel agent must try and get our$100 transfer fee back.

We are still in Prague now and have had a fabulous time and wonderful weather. We were very happy with our cruise director, Hendricks Jan. He was professional, organized and very pleasant. I think the cruise director has a big influence on your whole cruise experience. Ours exceeded our expectations.

Can't say the same for our contact\ hostess here in Prague. Isabella has been less than helpful and downright rude to many of us. Missing Hendricks and his easy manner. Wish he had continued with us to Prague. ( he stayed on ship as it continued to Trier and then Paris)
#9
Tasmania, Australia
654 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by kreemmer
We were reimbursed for taxi from airport . Now my travel agent must try and get our$100 transfer fee back.

We are still in Prague now and have had a fabulous time and wonderful weather. We were very happy with our cruise director, Hendricks Jan. He was professional, organized and very pleasant. I think the cruise director has a big influence on your whole cruise experience. Ours exceeded our expectations.

Can't say the same for our contact\ hostess here in Prague. Isabella has been less than helpful and downright rude to many of us. Missing Hendricks and his easy manner. Wish he had continued with us to Prague. ( he stayed on ship as it continued to Trier and then Paris)
Its great that you enjoyed your cruise, I am glad that the pre cruise problems didnt affect your experience on board.
You are right a CD or in your case a hostess can make or break a trip..if the Prague section was through Avalon I'd be letting them know how your experiences.
Looking forward to our next Avalon cruise next year
Deb
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Avalon Panorama, Magnificent Europe, Budapest to Amsterdam August 15 -29th 2012
Avalon Scenery, Grand France , Cote D'Azur to Paris, 30th June - 8th July 2014
Avalon Creativity, Grand France, Paris-Normandy Beaches-Paris, 8th - 15th July 2014
HAL Oosterdam, Mediterranean Dream , Venice to Rome , 17th -29th June 2016
#11
New York
7,109 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by kreemmer
I think the cruise director has a big influence on your whole cruise experience. Ours exceeded our expectations. Can't say the same for our contact\ hostess here in Prague. Isabella has been less than helpful and downright rude to many of us. Missing Hendricks and his easy manner. Wish he had continued with us to Prague. ( he stayed on ship as it continued to Trier and then Paris)
That's one of the nice ideas that AMA uses: the cruise director stays with the post-cruise extension. This may not work with all itineraries, where some guests join and leave the ship at different points, but it seems to be their usual practice.
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#12
CA
2,100 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by kreemmer
We were reimbursed for taxi from airport . Now my travel agent must try and get our$100 transfer fee back.
Since you did your transfer paid for why would you want it back? You got your money for the taxi so they did give you your transfer. Why do you expect money back?
#13
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by Donray
Since you did your transfer paid for why would you want it back? You got your money for the taxi so they did give you your transfer. Why do you expect money back?
We may be reading this differently but the way I read the OP's post was that prior to their arrival they had paid Avalon $100 to be picked up and transferred to the Hotel. That did not happen so they paid an additional amount to have a taxi do what they had already paid Avalon for. Avalon has reimbursed the OP for the Taxi fare but they still owe the OP for the transfer fee that they did not supply transport for.

By my accounts they still owe the OP a further $100.
#14
CA
2,100 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by Ozjohnno
We may be reading this differently but the way I read the OP's post was that prior to their arrival they had paid Avalon $100 to be picked up and transferred to the Hotel. That did not happen so they paid an additional amount to have a taxi do what they had already paid Avalon for. Avalon has reimbursed the OP for the Taxi fare but they still owe the OP for the transfer fee that they did not supply transport for.

By my accounts they still owe the OP a further $100.
By my account Avalon paid for the transfer to the hotel by reimbursement for the taxi.

Tell me that they did not receive transport from airport to hotel paid for by Avalon. If Avalon did not pay for the taxi I would agree with you, but they did. What is the OP out????? They got to the hotel and Avalon paid.
#15
North Carolina
5,481 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Guess it depends on what the difference between the taxi fare and the transfer fee is?
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#16
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
I believe the OP not only paid for the transfer but the real product being purchased was "peace of mind" knowing that someone from Avalon would be at the airport with a sign when they got off a long "International" flight. It was the ease of not needing to worry and have someone else there to handle the details.
While the transfer technically was paid for by Avalon, the peace of mind and worry free arrival was a huge part of the service that was not delivered.

JMHO
#17
Australia
1,144 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by nana541
I believe the OP not only paid for the transfer but the real product being purchased was "peace of mind" knowing that someone from Avalon would be at the airport with a sign when they got off a long "International" flight. It was the ease of not needing to worry and have someone else there to handle the details.
While the transfer technically was paid for by Avalon, the peace of mind and worry free arrival was a huge part of the service that was not delivered.

JMHO
I agree with Nana. Peace of mind is worth everything. We always pre-pay transfers when we travel. After getting off a long flight or needing to be at the airport at a certain time for long queues of processing, knowing someone is waiting for you is definitely worth it.
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#18
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by Donray
By my account Avalon paid for the transfer to the hotel by reimbursement for the taxi.

Tell me that they did not receive transport from airport to hotel paid for by Avalon. If Avalon did not pay for the taxi I would agree with you, but they did. What is the OP out????? They got to the hotel and Avalon paid.
We really do read this differently. I'll try another way. You pay $10000 for your cruise and if you want a transfer from the airport it's an additional $100. So you pay the company $10100. You arrive at the airport and your $100 (paid) transfer does not show up so you take a taxi and pay the driver the $50 for the fare. Now in essence you've paid $150 for your transfer ($100 as part of the package and an additional $50 from your own pocket). The company refunds your taxi fare of $50 dollars BUT it still owes you a refund of the original transfer fee of $100 that it did not supply. If the company hands over another $100 the problem is solved.
#19
1,569 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by Ozjohnno
The company refunds your taxi fare of $50 dollars BUT it still owes you a refund of the original transfer fee of $100 that it did not supply. If the company hands over another $100 the problem is solved.
Try this, you need to get from the airport and it is going to cost you either $50 for a taxi or $100 to have the transfer arranged for you.

There is no option that leaves you traveling for free ...

Now personally I'd have paid the taxi fare and claimed back the $100 transfer that was not provided.

I would not have let them keep their $100 and refund me the $50.

... but I don't see how you expect to get both the $50 and the $100 back as transport was provided ...
#20
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by Mark_T
Try this, you need to get from the airport and it is going to cost you either $50 for a taxi or $100 to have the transfer arranged for you.

There is no option that leaves you traveling for free ...

Now personally I'd have paid the taxi fare and claimed back the $100 transfer that was not provided.

I would not have let them keep their $100 and refund me the $50.

... but I don't see how you expect to get both the $50 and the $100 back as transport was provided ...
You and I must be destined to butt heads Sir. Where was transport provided? The paid for transfer did not show up. The OP then paid for a transfer out of their own pocket and that was refunded by the company. What happened to the original $100? It's still in the companies coffers. The OP pays out $150 for a transfer and the company refunds $50. By my math the OP is still out of pocket $100.