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Everything posted by roninman

  1. Different sailing, but also received email AM advising all Holy Land itineraries for 2024 are changed. Radical itinerary changes on May 15 Voyager, now more a Greek Island and Dubrovnik circuit.
  2. Memphis to New Orleans, finishing up today in NO. Good news, no excursions missed at all. But some minor deviations in docking locations. Memphis to Tunica. Vicksburg to 20 min south of Vburg. St Francisville docked across the river. Instead of Houmas House landed a day early in NO, but excursions still went back to Houmas, or had the option of spending the day in NO. Baton Rouge and Natchez docked at city original docks. They did a great job of seeing all the sites scheduled, though bus trips might have been a few minutes longer.
  3. Please don't take this the wrong way, and I mean no offense... do you sell travel insurance and receive any compensation for it?
  4. Thanks! Is this for those who pre-emptively cancelled, or for all those who joined regardless? If the latter, was it offered only once they were aboard, or beforehand?
  5. To close the loop, and understand the takeaways from this very long thread... a brief recap and then a question. Early on, RSS cancelled the Israel departure, maintained the Egypt ports, and almost simultaneously let customers know without a doubt there would be no refunds and no credit. Apparently at this same time other cruise lines indicated they would allow some forgiveness, and permit some future credit or refund. Some RSS cruisers didn't feel comfortable with the, at that time still scheduled, Egypt ports. Or maybe couldn't get viable connections for the new departure point from Turkey. Or didn't want what would now be in good part a Greek island cruise. For whatever reasons, apparently some number of these folks, understanding the consequences, felt it necessary to cancel anyway. Apparently others, although not liking the new itinerary, decided they could not take the financial bath and so joined the cruise anyway. All along some travel agents and others here would advise those showing concern to "be patient" and "patience is a virtue," the implication being that despite the up front denials from the cruise line, that some relief would shortly be granted, in the form say of credit or refund. So for the sake of future reference, would like to ask if that patience has since been rewarded? Has the cruise line offered some gestures to those who felt compelled to cancel? Or to accept a largely reimagined itinerary?
  6. FYI, received today for Lower MIss cruise departing Memphis 10/25: "Dear Guest, The Captain, Officers and Crew look forward to welcoming you aboard for your Lower Mississippi Cruise. Due to low water levels in the Mississippi River, American Melody is unable to dock in Memphis, TN and we must change your embarkation location to the American Cruise Lines Dock in Tunica Resorts, MS. This change will have minimal impact to your travel experience and we will take care of everything for you. For all guests participating in the two-night, pre-cruise package at The Guest House at Graceland: Your breakfast, excursion, luggage, transfer, and embarkation instructions will be included in the Welcome Packet you will receive at hotel check-in. For all guests staying at The Peabody Memphis: Your luggage, transfer, and embarkation instructions will be included in the Welcome Packet you will receive at hotel check-in. The comfortable ride from the hotel to the American Cruise Lines Dock is approximately 45 minutes. When you arrive to American Melody, please join us for lunch in the Restaurant. Travel safely and enjoy your cruise. Thank you. Customer Service American Cruise Lines"
  7. Actually, that's 100% exactly what they did. Or, per your analogies: If you book a flight to Dallas and the airplane decides to fly to Orlando instead, you will get a refund. Or if you show up with your ticket to Paris Disney and they tell you they decided you have to travel to Cedar Point instead, they'll owe you a refund. If you show up at a Hilton in Vegas and they tell you no, they decided to book you instead at a hotel in Reno, you can expect a refund. And once again, if you buy cancel for any reason insurance for $5000 for a $23,000 cruise and decide to pull the string because you see other cruise lines, but not yours, cancelling visits to sketchy places where you have a real concern, you'll typically get 75% back- assuming such insurance is even available in your geography. So you're still out 11k, and the cruise line still gets the 23k. Insurance is hardly a panacea. Bottom line, other cruise lines stepped up and listened to their customers, quickly offering guidance and refund and credit. Good for them! They could have simply waved a contract in their customers' faces. Bottomer line, please read the several hundred previous replies on this string. This topic has really been done. Why some feel compelled to wag their finger at folks who have real concerns about their own safety and their own pocketbook is beyond me.
  8. I can't think of many industries where a corporation gets to unilaterally substitute, at its own whim, one product or service with another, and customers are then routinely lectured that it's their own fault if they had preferred a different outcome. That being said, your points, and very valid counterpoints and examples of competitive cruise lines who took a more even-handed approach to pleasing their customers, have already been covered in great detail in this thread, and at this point it's getting repetitious. The cruise is underway, hopefully people on it are enjoying themselves to the max.
  9. Just to expand... no one is begrudging customers who willingly took this cruise anyway. Hopefully all their concerns are alleviated, and they enjoy it to the maximum. They deserve to enjoy themselves, they spent so much and faced so many last minute changes. But then on the other hand, why begrudge those who would have preferred things had been handled differently, perhaps more equitably, as other cruise lines have reportedly done?
  10. Why is a customer responsible to take a gigantic financial hit because of a war that breaks out in Israel? Because it does seem like a certain amount of customers have been disappointed in their expenditure one way or another, but the cruise line gets to keep the money anyway. Does this relationship maybe seem a little one-sided, with the weaker party sometimes finding itself making excuses as to how the stronger party is justified in its position? In this case, we cannnot call it Stockholm Syndrome. Perhaps Oslo?
  11. It would be up to a jury to decide what is puffery and what is misrepresentation, hypothetically speaking, but if the latter is found a contract can be voidable. But if a foreign company is doing business in your geography, you can bring an action against them locally. If contracts were universally self-explanatory and self-executing, there would be no need for contract suits, and then where would we all be? And of course not saying any of this applies here, and I'm certainly no lawyer. The most reasonable takeaways seem to be: a) Go on a cruise full of hope b) Go on the cruise as a magical mystery tour and be surprised if it goes where it said, c) Book a cruise at the very last minute to ensure no pre-cruise changes, d) Give up cruise vacations altogether. Since the contract is so heavily one-sided, as a minimum we should give up our hard-earned dollars with our eyes wide open.
  12. Businesses are always facing unforeseen events in the environment, from competition, to regulatory, to changing customer preference or demographics, to geopolitical events. Part of any executive's job is managing risk, which means having contingency plans in place. This should be S.O.P. for a well run business. Based on anecdotes, this is very rare, but it has happened in living memory.
  13. Absolutely. Yet plenty of firms challenge contracts on various grounds all the time (some example grounds can be listed, yet as they are not claimed to apply to anything here, no need to list any examples).
  14. NCL shareholding is at least 70% institutional (think: Blackrock, Vanguard, etc). You know, cruising would be a great business if we didn't have to deal with these annoying passengers all the time.
  15. For those defending the cruise line by stating that no one could have foreseen this tragic situation, and therefore the poor cruise line gets to keep passenger money, we should all understand that risk of unexpected geopolitical events is always part of the business environment, and contingency plans should have been developed long ago. This is not the cruise line's first rodeo. In this case, apparently contingency plans were not put in place (eg, no ability to dynamically expand airline travel department via third party contracts, or mandated weekend hours), or to introduce carefully staged flexibility toward refund/credit plans. At least to the consumer, it appears the line simply made a business decision to not implement not-unheard-of risk contingencies, and instead decided to go seat of pants. In other words, lack of planning was a conscious decision, most likely based on cost savings. To this day it doesn't appear there has been any public comment by management, either to current, or future, or potential passengers. Management has left its harried airline agents, or independent travel agents here, to speak for them but without even communicating with even them. It's hard not to believe management want to just ignore it until it all goes away, Until next time. Takeaway: Cruising is a great way to travel on sunny days. On not so sunny days, some lines reveal their true colors. Meantime, consumers here bandy back and forth about contract this or contract that. Management is content to sit back and let them bicker among themselves.
  16. Executive suites are notorious for being short-sighted and self-serving, quite often at the expense of shareholders, customers, business partners. Making number for this quarter makes my bonus for this quarter. What happens a year or two from now we'll handle then... or my successor will have to deal with, since my good numbers right now will land me a sweet offer from the next cruise line offering me a promotion.
  17. They need to make a reasonable effort to arrange flights as advertised to get you to the boat on time. If they are the ones who decided to change the location at the 11th hour, and cannot perform their responsibility in a timely and suitable fashion, while accepting and keeping money to perform these duties, they are certainly a target for any action, no matter how they try to absolve themselves by self-serving language. In this case it sounds like they knowingly refused to make alternate arrangements for a customer (I wanted to go home for two days not being a valid excuse). I'm not a lawyer, but would be interested to see how any decent lawyer couldn't pick through the contract they wave in the face of the customer and try to hide behind
  18. Technically I can understand that Regent is not responsible for the airlines- how can they be? However, Regent is responsible for arranging transportation to get you to your boat. In its brochures it states that airfare is included, hence they need to make suitable arrangements to transport you. When you pay $175pp for a deviation they are renewing the commitment. When you pay an extra $75 for the privilege of speaking directly with the air team, they are upping the responsibility again. If they can't get the pax to the embarkation port in a reasonable fashion, it seems a refund is due (at a minimum). Or, as Regent- and now Oceania- seem to like to tell people: "read the contract."
  19. I'd suggest they think long game and make their final offer now. Heck, make their final offer last week. Too many have already felt forced to cancel, or been made to jump through hoops to even arrive at the new debarkation that the cruise line assigned in the middle of a large city-wide sporting event, or have had stomach aches trying to understand what to do. If final offers had been clear by now people would have been much happier. And if final offers had been made by now, people who accepted intermediate offers, or believed in the cruise lines original final offer of (no credit, no refunds), would not feel cheated they did not wait for the next final offer. What is possibly gained by waiting to make a final offer?
  20. in response to: "Consumers are weird, in that they tend to apprehend this as one sided." That is, "apprehend" in the sense of "to understand or perceive." And I'm an even weirder one!
  21. You are losing far more that what they said they would deliver. Passengers that feel they must cancel are losing thousands, the company keeps their money. Yet the company wants you to feel sorry for them. While other posters jump in to wag their finger at you in defense of the company. How dare you simply request some kind of mutually beneficial arrangement in light of geopolitical events beyond anyone's control?
  22. What a treat if the cruise line had made gestures to indicate we were all in this together, how as a team can we deal with it, how can we demonstrate we care? How much better than repeated lectures here on how the carrier had every right to do everything they did (or did not do), approaching the point where passengers are being blamed for their own plight? At the end of the day, customers are bearing the brunt. The cruise line retains its dollars, albeit possibly incurring extra overtime by the air team. Consumers are weird, in that they tend to apprehend this as one sided.
  23. Man, there are so many B-school case studies doing post mortems on external inflection points... and how a timely and really sincere and appropriate reaction can actually lift a company... and alternatively on how failing to recognize it becomes one more step in succumbing to competition...
  24. Correct, the cruise company has passed the business risk to the consumer, and as consumers, for some reason, we have willingly accepted this somewhat asymmetrical assignment of risk- without of course being able to write off the loss as an expense of doing business. Unfortunately, cancel for any reason insurance isn't a panacea. Assuming it is even offered in every geography, it typically covers a percentage of the paid fare- say 75%... so if we say are paying $23,000 in fare, and $5000 in insurance premium, at 75% coverage we are still out $11,000 if canceling for any reason. So the Hobson's choice is, do I just eat the 11k, or do I unwillingly go on the cruise- hopefully not encountering other disgruntled customers at dinner, and only reinforcing and energizing our disgruntlements!
  25. Not according to folks who posted on the Celebrity board of Cruise Critic. They said they were offered credit/refund when they were first notified of the Israel port visit cancellation, definitely prior to the Egypt port cancellations.
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