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Everything posted by roninman

  1. Looks like a couple lines have finally stopped at Klawock, incl RSS Explorer. Wonder if anyone can share any impressions of their visit to this port?
  2. So far a couple of cruises have stopped in Klawock during its initial opening. Any feedback or experiences anyone can share of the Klawock visit?
  3. According to reports, Oceania indeed originally offered passengers some compensation, with a decision deadline for accepting some weeks in the future, and then unilaterally without warning, snatched that offer off the table, leaving passengers high and dry for believing Oceania's offer. And then Oceania completely ignored passengers asking for an explanation. Difficult to see how such behavior would not be a major marketing mistake.
  4. It seems the key here is the future tense- nothing appears to be really ready for prime time yet, everything still appears to be in future phases. Additionally, the focus on developing a tourist area with purpose-built attractions seems to make it more a disneyland than an organic, historic venue, as far as cruise passengers are concerned. Will be eager to here reports of the initial visitors, assuming the tender dock is completed on time for the first dockings in May.
  5. So sad. Also noteworthy is the silence from all those who disparaged passengers expressing sincere concern here over Red Sea traverses not too long ago.
  6. Received notice without explanation that RSS will replace the long-established scheduled port of Ketchikan in 2024 with the brand new and as-yet incomplete port of Klawock, Alaska. No excursions listed yet. Probably understandable, as the port has not yet set up a cruise tourist infrastructure. I hadn't heard of this port of call, so did a little research and posted results in a different forum (link below). Looking forward to reports once people actually visit Klawock. Until then, we can only speculate on why an established, historic port with a portfolio of excursions was summarily replaced.
  7. Klawock will be a brand new Inside Passage port starting in 2024. Oceania and Seabourn will be adding this stop to their itinerary. Regent Seven Seas, for its part, in some cases will entirely replace the Ketchikan visit with Klawock. Being new, Klawock doesn't seem to have much cruise infrastructure set up at this point. Opening was already postponed a year because facilities were not completed as planned. They need to build a new dock, but for now plan to have a "temporary tender dock," which seems to indicate a tender will be necessary. There are also plans this year to establish a "temporary" visitor center and "temporary" rest rooms at the temporary dock. The temporary dock is some ways from town, so I'm assuming a bus will run back and forth. The main attraction at this point seems to be a small hilly section of town park where 21 replica totem poles stand, with interpretive signs. Beyond that, guests can walk through the town along the river if they want. There are also plans to set up more dining options or gift shop options than currently exist. Also there seems to be a boat ride where one can watch for whales or otters, as one can also so watch from the cruise ship. Looking forward to actual port and excursion reports once anyone actually goes on any, assuming things are actually set up for temporary facility opening this May. No doubt this will be interesting as an added stop, in addition to the biggies (ie, Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneaus...). But completely replacing an established Ketchikan with Klawock on the part of ultra luxury Regent Seven Seas is an interesting and curious move. Perhaps they are saving on port fees.
  8. "1. A travel agent works for you. The cruise line agent works for them. " Travel agents collect revenue from the provider- in this case the cruise company. Therefore, the cruise company is the client, hence the customer of the travel agency. The product the travel agent sells to its client is me, the traveling consumer. Therefore, the travel agent works for its customer, the cruise line, and sells me- the product- to the cruise line in exchange for payment.
  9. Now UK warships involved in Red Sea missile attacks, and commercial freighters hit. Maersk suspends container ship traffic in the Red Sea. Yet no comment here from those who mocked consumers expressing serious safety concerns about cruising through the Red Sea.
  10. If only all the little people were as experienced global travelers as moi, they would realize corporations promising this or that, and then breaking their promises, are only doing it because of reasons.
  11. When cruise companies are concerned with visiting ports in Israel, despite missiles being deployed for decades, they are smart and right. When customers of cruise companies are concerned with cruising seas where missiles are deployed for decades, including today, they are big babies and need to go to Disneyland.
  12. US destroyer and commercial ships being attacked on the Red Sea today. "The attack potentially marked a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war." https://www.aol.com/news/pentagon-says-us-warship-multiple-155851994.html
  13. So that explains why O first offered, then without notice snatched back, it's offer of compensation to concerned customers. It's the customers' own fault.
  14. There are online applications and calculators that can give you costs for premium. I looked up a cruise with a $22,000 fare, and the premium was $5,000. If you don't use it, you are out $5000. If you use it, you are still out the $5000 premium, and also out the $5500 that represents the 25% of the cruise fare the insurance does not cover. So if say I did pull the trigger on that insurance, I would be out the equivalent of about half the original cruise fare. This is just one example I looked up, and doesn't necessarily represent anyone else's premium, but this type of insurance certainly isn't a panacea, just a help to at least recoup something.
  15. If a consumer doesn't like some merchant's product or practices, and lets the merchant know their disappointment, the merchant may- instead of understanding or communicating- punish the consumer by not letting the consumer purchase the disappointing goods or services anymore.
  16. I bet destination ports are the primary reason people pick this or that cruise over another. Cruise lines know that, hence the ads and websites and brochures celebrating the wonders of this or that port. If I just wanted to take a boat over the water I could just ferry ride back and forth from New Orleans to Algiers all day long, or back and forth on the Staten Island Ferry, then disembark and go see some show or bowling alley or casino or fancy restaurant on my own in the evening! 😎 And never have to look over my shoulder in trepidation over what unsuspected change the cruise line might impose next on my powerless self.
  17. Again, credit card companies will not read or enforce contracts- they aren't lawyers. From a legal point of view, they are obliged to follow the FCRA and credit card company by-laws, which indicate among other reasons that if goods or services vary significantly from the advertised products, there is a legitimate justification for logging a dispute. It's up to the consumer to provide web or brochure pages to show, for example, that this service was advertised and represented as a Holy Land tour with these number of port stops etc, and that the consumer made an honest attempt to resolve differences with the merchant. All that is being contested in a dispute is the payment transaction. If the consumer wins the cc dispute, the merchant can still sue or arbitrate or enter collections against the consumer. If the consumer loses, he can still enter action against the merchants. Under these after-the-dispute circumstances the actual language of the contract will determine the outcome. Would be curious if any pax pursuing this route would report back what happened!
  18. Just for clarification, the article says they asked for a $3000 cash refund to match the future credit offered because the company didn't honor the reservation of connecting cabins. (Note customer was not a FULL refund). This was a nice gesture by the company. But the card issuer declined because cruise credit is not a cash equivalent, and there was therefore no basis for requesting a cash refund, so the dispute was declined. The thrust of the article is not that there was a dispute, but that the pax were placed on a no cruise list.
  19. If you had a hotel reservation in Dallas and you show up and the hotel says sorry, we're full, but we transferred your reservation to our sister property in Houston, you will get a refund. If your airline ticket says you land in Atlanta and the airline says, no, we don't fly there anymore, you will get a refund. The cruise customer must be still and just enjoy life, because reasons. Meanwhile, the corporation keeps their money. This is what I love about the unique cruising business model!
  20. I'm aware of situations where a frustrated consumer did not feel they were getting what was expected, and perceived the merchant as non-responsive, and so subsequently reluctantly filed a dispute. Coincidentally or not, the merchant then contacts the consumer- communication is established, an understanding is agreed upon, and the consumer withdraws the dispute. A recent poster in Cruise Critic has posted an example of this. In this scenario, the dispute became an opportunity to come to a mutually agreeable outcome, such that a consumer and the merchant can do mutually beneficial business together in the future. No one got mad or sought retribution, it was just treated as an opportunity. It's just business.
  21. Could well be, but I haven't seen it in my dealings, nor in review of the legislation or the Visa Core Rules. Their question is mainly whether the language of the Act is met. I've dealt with major banks with consumer credit cards, and the "adjudication" of disputes is handled by a dedicated team of bank dispute analysts. Never seen them hand it off to the bank's in house legal department or contracted lawyers- even assuming they staffed industry specific expertise- to review contract language. Not saying it doesn't happen, and I have no experience with commercial procurement card accounts, but since the expense would be great, I have to wonder. In any event, my opinion doesn't matter, we'll see how things turn out if any people here that have gone that route report back.
  22. No worries! We really never know how these disputes will go. Sometimes I think it's a flip of a coin...
  23. The discussion was with regard to credit card chargebacks, and that a card issuing bank has a different standard than the cruise company. To the cruise company it's a contract. To the bank it's a financial transaction, in which consumer funds via the credit card are exchanged for goods or services, which are product offerings of a merchant. US Congress has laid out laws such that if, among other reasons, the bank finds that goods or services are not as described, the card issuer may issue a permanent credit to the consumer's account. This effectively reverses the financial transaction portion of the button press. It however does not address any contract portion of the button press. And that's why a merchant may still have recourse, in the form of lawsuit or arbitration, and collection, against the consumer. Hope that helps!
  24. You know, taking a step back, you really gotta admire the business model: 1) Charge consumers full price, in some cases several months before a single service is offered. 2) Unilaterally radically change the described and advertised service offering and letting the consumer know in no uncertain terms that they have no say or recourse. 3) While the corporation can at its whim change the service offering without compensation, the consumer has no such corresponding capability. 4) Ignoring or being snooty if consumers question business decisions of the corporation. 5) Finally offering sincere goodwill compensation to consumers for a certain time period. Then capriciously snatching away that compensation without notice or explanation. 6) Ignoring or being snooty when consumers question why the promise of future credit was broken, instead blaming consumers for not taking the offer immediately. 7) Retaliating against consumers who complain or seek redress by banning them forever. 😎 Maintain a loyal body of dedicated social media sycophants who will readily blame the consumer for being concerned ... all while offering lovely brochures and web pages advising how customers are treated like family, are pampered, and are given every luxury. No other industry comes to mind who could get off behaving in such a one-sided manner. It's a real tribute to cruise companies that they have convinced customers they must accept this arrangement, and I mean this sincerely.
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