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SWFLAOK

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Posts posted by SWFLAOK


  1. To all of those saying why not just use the credit on the card; the refund is for 2 segments of next year's world cruise, so it's a very significant amount for us. We are not going to be spending that amount of money in the next 3 or 4 months at least. For almost 2 weeks, we've been asked to self isolate, and expect that to be mandated for everyone in our county early next week. There's no place other than the grocery store to charge anything for an undetermined amount of time. We're losing a significant amount of money on another cruise, and have rebooked what's left of that as a cruise credit for a shorter cruise next year. We won't be making any additional travel plans until things stabilize, and we still have several chances of losing money on other non-cruise vacations through the summer.

    The other thing is that the credit card company already plans to refund what we received back from SS. But they can no longer tell us when they will do it. I don't want to start charging on that card, and then end up owing more to them during the next cycle because they finally give me the refund I requested. It's our only Mastercard, and didn't have trouble with a large refund on a Visa card. At this point, we would feel better having some cash on hand.


  2. 21 hours ago, Tahitianbigkahuna said:

    I think you all need some more happy pictures   ...

     

    Taken on March 18, 2020 from the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort

    DSC06325-2.jpg

     

    We've stayed at the Intercontinental Tahiti quite a few times at the beginning and ending of cruises. I really like it. I felt a little sad that we wouldn't be staying there on our Fiji to Bali cruise. I love both pools, the view of Moorea, the great breakfast, and the lagoon. But now I have it to look forward to again next year.

    And we've always enjoyed our lunches on Motus, especially with Patrick's tour; lobster, champagne, and delicious Tahitian dishes like chicken and greens, and banana cassava pudding.  We've experienced lunches on small islands in the Caribbean that were not always enjoyable, especially the time that rats came out of the brush to join us when the food was served.

    Thanks again for the pictures.


  3. 3 hours ago, jrmuk said:

    Refund update:

    Originally I was told a week to ten days.

    Last week I was told up to three weeks.

    Today I’m told 30 working days, which is almost 7 weeks if you factor in the Easter holidays.

     

    If SS want customers to return when all this is over they should consider how they are treating customers now and the effect that will have on their future decisions.

    Earlier this month, SS processed my refund request for a cancellation next year,  much more quickly than I was told. I was very pleased with that. But I have been unable to get my credit card to give me anything other than a large negative balance. While I was originally told by the credit card company to call back when there are shorter wait times, I was able to get through early in the AM on Saturday. I was told at that time that I would have a refund check in 7 to 10 business days. The large negative balance is still there, so I called again. I am now told that because of the amount, they need permission from the special processing department to give me a refund of my negative credit balance. They have no time estimate as to when that will occur. But after that, it should take 7 to 10 business days. We might all want to read our contracts with our credit card companies to see what our options are when we are lucky enough to get a large refund back on our credit cards.


  4. Beautiful pictures as usual TDK. We stayed 3 nights post cruise at the IC a few years ago, and rented a car for the day. We drove around Tahiti and stopped at the Water Gardens. It was very peaceful, with some beautiful flowers, that you've captured much better than I did. We drove out to Tahiti Iti, as far as we could on both sides, as well as to the highest point of Tahiti Iti which has a spectacular view. I would love to take an excursion on the roads that you can't drive on to the far coast of Tahiti Iti, as well as to the top of the highest part of Tahiti, which we were afraid to try.

    We hung in until our Fiji to Bali trip was canceled, hoping that something would change for the better, and that we could still go. We were even expecting to be quarantined in Australia or LA on the way back, and were hoping it would be Sydney and not LA. We'll be booking another cruise with our FCC, and are looking forward to another PG cruise. We'll have some work to do to figure out how we can use air and hotel credits for Bali when we won't be going there, but we'll try to work out something. Currently, there's nothing open in Florida except for grocery stores, and they don't have much to sell. We're staying in our condo as much as possible as requested by our governor, so as soon as we hear what our flight and hotel credits are, we have plenty of time for planning.

    It's good to know that PG took care of those of you who were on board the last cruise to sail, and that you were able to get home safely in these hard times.


  5. 4 minutes ago, SWFLAOK said:

    We put in our formal cancellation request on March 11th, so it was much faster than we expected. Getting a refund back from our credit cards is going to take a few more weeks, but we have been able to get them to answer us this weekend and start that process.

    Checking the calendar, it took 7 business days for our SS refund to show up on our credit card accounts.


  6. 13 hours ago, jrmuk said:

     

    How long did it take from cancelling to receiving your refund?

    I totally agree with the sentiment that there are greater things to worry about at the moment.

    I don’t know what the next few months will hold but cancelling a wedding anniversary cruise won’t be top of my worry list but it would be nice to get my money back sooner rather than later.

     

    We put in our formal cancellation request on March 11th, so it was much faster than we expected. Getting a refund back from our credit cards is going to take a few more weeks, but we have been able to get them to answer us this weekend and start that process.


  7. 2 hours ago, wendy_woo said:

    I think it could be a while, we had a cruise with SS booked in May and have tried to re-book on next years sailing and not heard anything, its been over a week and a half now, ours was a 70th Birthday and we too blew the budget for it, shame, lets be thankful we are well I guess?

    While I was pessimistic about SS in my last post about getting our money back, today we received a credit on the credit card that we used for the down payment, as well as the one that we used to make the final payment. We were told it would take 1 to 3 billing cycles, and it was probably 1 (about 3 weeks). We received everything back that we had paid, except for our insurance. I doubt I will ever buy cruise insurance again since it has proven to be totally worthless. I'm hoping for the best for you with SS, and we will take a look at their cruises in the future, if we can still afford it.

    My 65th Birthday cruise was also a big splurge that we blew the budget for on another cruise line that we thought we could trust. Now I expect that I will be cooking something from the freezer at home, but if I have another birthday next year, then that's OK with me. And we will consider ourselves lucky if the cruise credit that other cruise line is giving us let's us pay for a much shorter cruise next year,  rather than losing the entire cost of the trip.

    And more importantly, we hope that everyone can be safely cruising again next year.

     


  8. 1 hour ago, Travelcat2 said:

     

    It has not been my experience that booking a cruise using FCC’s happens overnight.  In our case it is taking up to 3 weeks (Regent is holding the suite).  Before a cruise can be booked using FCC’s, they need to be calculated.  As I understand it, this is not straightforward and Regent is backed up.  We also need to consider that Regent salaried employees just took a 20% pay decrease (until June) and are working a 4-day workweek.  This slows the process even more.  I would rather wait than put any more pressure on the employees at Corporate.  

     

    So, (and I’m guessing here), one would assume that before a refund can be made, there are still calculations to be done.  

     

    RIck, I just wanted to share our experience with booking a new cruise with “FCC’s.  I think that we all wish that things would happen quickly but, for the reasons mentioned, we need to be more patient than normal.  

    That's the same as our current experience with Paul Gauguin, and we understand the problems that all cruise lines are facing at this point. Airlines for domestic flights don't want to hear from us anytime soon for rebooking, and we can only cancel flights that close enough to do so online.


  9. 3 hours ago, HotRoot said:

    We cancelled a SS cruise to Japan five weeks ago.  Two weeks ago our TA inquired about our refund (14K).  They showed he had called to cancel but nobody "processed" the cancellation.  Said they would do it that day.  We still do not have a credit.  They might talk the talk but they do not walk the walk.

    We cancelled a SS cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Auckland next January about a month ago. We had paid for it in full last fall to get a 10% discount (and we could still afford to do that back then). We were told that it would take 2 or 3 billing cycles to get our money back, minus the 200 administrative fee (which can be used as a future cruise credit). We haven't seen it, and recently told it would still be 1 or 2 billing cycles. Our refund is much more then 14K. And we weren't offered a refund on our April 11 Paul Gauguin cruise from Fiji to Bali, and the FCC doesn't include the pre or post hotel and transfers, or the included airfare and our business class upgrade. They can't tell us if we will get a voucher or credit on those, but if we want to book another cruise, and use the cruise only credit being offered, we need to make a decision soon to find availability before the FCC expires. Our next Regent cruise is well over a year away, and the full payment isn't anytime soon, so we are trying not to worry about it at this time. Cruising shouldn't be this stressful.

    For any Regent return cruisers traveling on a cruise that you can no longer look forward to since you are pretty sure it isn't going to sail, and you can still do so without a significant penalty,  then I would just rebook for a future cruise. That will let you look forward to it in the future, and give the cruise line a better chance of surviving. If you have never cruised before at all, or not on Regent, and are still out far enough to cancel with just a minimal administrative fee, I would do that. It gives you a chance to start over at a better time, and choose a cruise line and an itinerary with ports that have survived the covid-19 cruise vacation apocalypse.


  10.  

    4 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

    But surely if your imminent cruise is cancelled, you could choose a full refund, right?

    No, we cannot. And we don't really know what our future cruise credit is for our cancelled cruise which makes booking a future cruise harder. PG cruises has not been able to determine what the hotels and airlines are going to do for the reservations they booked along with our cruise. Is this all PG cruises fault? No, it's not. If they fail financially and can't provide a future cruise, then that's much worse than not being able to get a cash refund. Is it possible to speak to an airline or hotel chain at this point? We've tried for our other travel plans, and no, we can't do that either. We're just trying to stay calm and hope for the best. We had travel plans for all of April, and most of May, with 2 cruises part of that. All of that has fallen through. We suspect our more local plans in June will all fall through as well. We're hoping 2021 is a much better year than 2020.


  11. 14 hours ago, G2G said:

    I think that is unfair, what constitutes effective screening? However it is irrelevant, you have cancelled and will get a full refund.

    Oh...sorry, I thought the topic was "who is cancelling, and who is not". Maybe it was supposed to be just a poll with a yes or no answer, and not the reason why we chose to do that. Effective screening looks twice at those that have a better chance of bringing it onboard, and stops them from boarding, even if they don't like it. But I gave my additional reasons for cancelling, which added together, were the basis for our decision.

     


  12. We cancelled our 2 segments of next January's world cruise  because we could still get a refund. At this point, we're trying to reschedule a different cruise that was cancelled to that timeframe since we don't want to lose all of our 40k on a cruiseline that won't give a refund, and won't tell us what they'll give us for a rebooking in the next 18 months, and has no equivalent cruise during that timeframe.

    But we had already cancelled the Silversea FLL to Auckland next year before we found out about the other cruiseline cancelling at the last minute. That was based on the experiences that those onboard posted this year when it came to Lima to French Polynesia and beyond. The weather was bad on the way there, and if I couldn't go ashore on Easter Island, while others who had flown there were picked up by tender, I may have jumped overboard and tried to swim ashore. Also, there have been way too many Silversea ships with coronavirus onboard. That's not acceptable going forward. It shows that just as with the Princess cruises, they're either not effecitively screening those who are boarding, not following effective isolation and cleaning procedures onboard, or they're allowing crew members to move between ships at a time when that is no longer an acceptable practice.

    We enjoyed our Silvesea experience on Silver Whisper a few years ago, and were looking forward to our next cruise,  but we just couldn't do it.


  13. 9 minutes ago, azdrydock said:

    The cancellation or change of ports in most cases is not initiated by the cruise line. It is weather, docking conditions logistics or other technical reasons.  I don't know PG's policy but on other lines when there is a port change after embarkation there is a small OBC or the port taxes is refunded,

    Normal times I would expect a cash refund for a cancelled cruises but Ponat or PG simply does not have the cash on hand for refunds. Borrowing cash is possible ,but I imagine with no income and the merger debt FCC's is there only choice.

    I'm sorry azdrydock, but this cancellation was required to keep the passengers safe since there are covid-19 cases in Papeete and Fakarava, and not any of the reasons you've listed. They finally realized that we had no chance of getting from Figi to Bali, and getting home on any airline, without being quarantined in Australia for 2 weeks, and possibly another 2 weeks in the US on return. Is that something you would like to experience? Do you think a cruise line should force us to take this cruise? If so, it's time for everyone to rethink taking any cruise.

    We're hoping that Ponant had the funds to continue since we have been offered no other choice, and if they don't have cash on hand to continue, then that will really stop us from ever booking a cruise again. While others thought Ponant was a good thing for Paul Gaugin, we never did. After meeting the Ponant rep who came onboard at Aitutaki in September, we were not confident about the future of the Paul Gauguin, and should have cancelled our April booking after that.  There were many people onboard our last PG cruise who were interested in Ponant's other cruises, but PG cruisers aren't allowed to use our cruise credit on Ponant, so they seem to be trying to stay separate. We would  have felt much more confident if IHG still owned the PG.


  14. 1 hour ago, CAL7 said:

    I'm likewise confused. If a cruise company changes the itinerary (e.g. cancels ports of call), then that is not unusual and I believe we passengers are without recourse.  However, canceling the entire cruise, for whatever reason, should entitle us to a 100% cash refund.

     

    Can anyone explain if that is wrong? And why? 

    We can't. It seems very wrong to us, but we are willing to use the future cruise credit. But we don't want it exclude the airfare to Fiji from LAX, or the pre and post hotels that they booked at exorbitant rates. They booked it, and they should be responsible for it, and add that to the future cruise credit for our rebooking.


  15. 5 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

    Wait, I'm confused.  Was your cruise cancelled by PG?  In that case don't you get a 100% refund?

    Yes, our April 11th cruise was cancelled. And we were not offered any refund unless we rebooked on a cruise with less value in the next 18 months. We were also warned that they cannot tell us if we will get any credit for airfare, or our pre and post hotels, which supposedly is out of their control.

     

    Here's the excerpt from the e-mail:

    "Fully aware of the complexity of the situation, the Company offers you a Future Cruise Credit* in the amount of your cruise fare paid, valid on a cruise departure in the next 18 months from the departure date of your cancelled cruise. You will be receiving your Future Cruise Credit in the mail in the next few weeks.

    *If the amount of the future cruise is lower than that of the original cruise, the difference will be refunded, or carried over to another booking. For any services booked by Paul Gauguin Cruises (i.e. flights and hotel programs), cancellation fees will be applied at the cost that travel partners will charge."

     

    Our cruise TA, that we always book through did not receive any notice of the cancellation.


  16. I was referred to Crew-center.com for info on Ponant cancellations, and tonight we received a cancellation notice for our April 11th Paul Gauguin cruise. While we would have loved our original Fiji to Bali itinerary, at this point we were only looking to rebook  another PG cruise (or a Ponant cruise)  without suffering a severe penalty. Hopefully those on Ponant hear the same news.


  17. I think that they could have anticipated that a cruise heading to Fiji, and then to Bali no longer had any other ports that they could expect to stop at. All of the small islands did not want to take a chance of having any cruise ship stop at their ports, bringing them something that they had no ability to handle.

    And as I was typing this, we were notified of the cancellation of our April 11th cruise. It's a future cruise credit, but we were only looking to rebook in the future without a penalty. Maybe I'll be able to sleep tonight.

    Thanks for the head's up Emdee. You've got a good source at that website.

     

     


  18. 2 minutes ago, Emdee said:

    I heard that they were aborting the current and cancelling the next two.

    So not sure if yours is the one being cancelled or not.

     

    Suggest you call PG and ask directly...they are the nicest people and will help you any way you can. 
     

     

    I'll ask again, where did you hear this?

    At this point, the people who answer the phones at PG are not at all nice. I can attest to that based on my own experience this past week. They were quite clear that they will not be cancelling the next 2 cruises. When confronted with these cruises being repositioning cruises that they won't cancel because even a few  passengers are better than no passengers, we were told that this was not a repositioning cruise. A person I will not name online told us very rudely that we were wrong, and that there were other cruises between our arrival in Bali, and the ship sailing to Singapore for drydock. We told here she was wrong. She told us that there was a charter from Bali to Fiji, and we said "Yes, we're aware of that charter,  but it's after drydock in Singapore.  It doesn't sail from Bali until May 20th, and our cruise ends on April 27th".  After that, she no longer said anything rational, and we were tired of her attitude.

     


  19. 1 hour ago, Emdee said:

    Ponant is stopping all cruise operations and has promised to support disembarked crew financially. 
    Kudos to them.

     

    May our PG family be safe and well during this troubled time.

    Where did you see this? I couldn't find it on Ponant's website, and the only cancellation that I could find searching the internet was the cruise to New Zealand, which obviously can't proceed at this point.


  20. 1 hour ago, Friscorays said:

     

    Sort of like the politicians here in the United States are strictly doing?

    Not sure what you're referring to in the US, but I think this is a political comment that doesn't belong on cruise critic.


  21. We had been planning to take a chance and go, but then we received a dire sounding e-mail from PG cruises on March 11th, that mentioned more lenient cancellation fees, and on the PG website we found this:

     

    March 12, 2020, Update

    We were informed overnight that the French State and French Polynesian authorities have decided to suspend all cruise calls in French Polynesia until April 11, 2020. We will be communicating throughout the day with our travel advisors and guests booked on affected sailings and will be sending out notices and updating our travel advisory as our plans are introduced.

     

    At 6 AM Pacific time on March 12 we were able to speak to a PG rep. She was not pleasant to deal with. Maybe she's not a morning person, but she told us we would get a future cruise credit for 90% of the cruise only fare, and it needed to be used by the end of 2021. She said the airfare and pre and post hotels were out of their hands, and there was no cruise credit for them.

    Our TA spoke to them today, and we offered to rebook for 2021 rather than cancel, but they're sticking to the no credit for airfare or hotels. We can't negotiate with the airline or hotels on our own since PG cruises booked them. They were booked at a much higher price than we could have booked them on our own. But we mistakenly thought that they would be handled as one package if we booked them through the cruiseline.

     

    In that March 12 update, there is this statement:  "We will be communicating throughout the day with our travel advisors and guests booked on affected sailings and will be sending out notices and updating our travel advisory as our plans are introduced."

    Since neither we, nor our travel advisor has heard anything, we can only assume that only cruises prior to April 11th are affected,  which would only be the current cruise, a cruise that I assume is a charter between the current cruise and the March

    28th to Fiji, and the March 28th cruise itself that brings the ship to Fiji. If the March 28th cruise is affected, will it still end up in Fiji on March 28th?

     


  22. A total refund and 125% FCC for 2 year?. I' am totally appalled by that. We can't even rebook our April Fiji to Bali cruise for another cruise in 2021 without losing all of the money paid to PG for airfare and the pre and post hotels.  Not that they gave us any bargain on either of those items as we could have booked them for much less than we were charged, and would have a chance to get some of our money back ourselves (or a future credit) by being able to deal with the airlines and hotels ourselves.

    If we cancelled instead or rebooking, we would lose another 10% off that, and still only receive a FCC that's only good through 2021, and not 2 years.

    Something is very wrong with this picture when we compare our offer to those currently onboard. We dont' even know how or if the ship will get to Fiji, and it's unlikely to stop at any port on it's 16 days to Bali. Bali has already had a tourist death, and the hotels have had tourists staying there who have had close contact with corona positive travelers (the family of the tourist who died, as well as travelers who flew to Bali sitting next to people who continued on to Australia and New Zealand and tested positive there). We will be boarding a similar flight from Bali through Australia back to the US, where we have a chance of being exposed. Our airline already has a list of flights on their website identifying flights with coronavirus positive passengers, and the row they sat in, and it's quite long. The PG passengers currently onboard are being well compensated, and the only risk of coronavirus they will have from the French Polynesia PM in Papeete, and at the airports they return home to (and they knew that risk when they left).


  23. Hopefully no one currently on board the PG picks up coronavirus while in Papeete. The French Polynesia MP picked it up in Paris from another MP, and brought it home to Papeete. I doubt she went there alone, or flew back on a private charter, so plenty of other people were exposed. It's ironic that they were so worried about the tourists, and that's not where it came from.

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