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roninman

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Everything posted by roninman

  1. Good point, no refund for Regent customers! Fortunately for customers of Celebrity and other lines, customers were offered refunds and credits immediately last weekend. What a humane way for a cruise company to have actually worked with valued consumers. And Celebrity's cruise didn't even require massive flight disruptions, simply missed ports in Israel!
  2. Points well taken. If an airline is unable to transport you to your destination, you get refunded. If a delivery company can't make a delivery, you get refunded. If your clothing is not as advertised, you get a refund. If the hotel can't give you the room, you get refunded. It's well established in the world that if an advertised good or service can't be delivered, whether beyond the control of the corporation or not, you get refunded. They can't come to you and say, hey, our plumbing broke, our truck broke down, our plane had a mechanical, so we'll just keep your money. Other cruise lines immediately offered refunds and credit last weekend when Haifa was cancelled. This was great, because customers didn't have to anguish over travel arrangements, or risk forcing disgruntled customers aboard lest they lose their payments. It's a little late to offer those credit or refund when they would rather not have been their in the first place, especially when Regent told customers right from the start you will NOT get a refund or credit.
  3. As I said, yes, cruise lines do this and we have come to accept it as a natural law of nature. In what other enterprise can a corporation get away with refusing to compensate the consumer when a well-advertised feature is not forthcoming? When you promote yourself as the world's most luxurious cruise line, claiming "all the other cruise lines do this" is not a good look. Especially when NOT all the other lines are doing this, as see below. Corporations, too, can have insurance to mitigate risk. Most do. But why would a corporation bother to purchase extra insurance when they can get customers to bear the burden? If port cancellation due to geopolitical events is beyond the control of a corporation, it is certainly beyond the control of the consumer, who is paying the cruise line to make port arrangements. As I also mentioned, there are other ways to help mitigate risk, such as being generous with refund or credit, just as other lines have done. Your reply didn't mention this.
  4. Exactly. WE risk it, as the risk is passed to the customer, not the vendor. We have become accustomed to being lectured about this rule as though it is a law of nature, not simply a corporate decision to pass business risk to the customer. Still, there are ways a corporation can help mitigate the risk so that it is not so one-sided, such as by freely offering refunds or future credit should half the "Holy Lands" voyage been cancelled, as in this case. But such gestures need to be done up front, right away, before customers are put through the "alternate flights" dance. To their credit, competitive cruise lines did exactly that. Whereas this, the self-proclaimed "world's most luxurious cruise line" did exactly the opposite- immediately announcing "no refunds, no credit."
  5. No these are two cruises are on a large ship, very short ones that are round trips from Haifa like the round trips RCL and Carnival do out of US ports. Where as Regent and others are much longer cruises. My understanding from over on the Celebrity board is that the Apex is ex Athens Monday 10/16 for ten days, and cancelled its Israel port visits right away over the past weekend, and almost at the same time, per some posters, began offering refunds or credits. That was its business decision. Apparently Regent's business decision at almost the same time was to announce that no credit or refunds will be given. A day or so later, apparently out of an abundance of caution, Apex also cancelled its Alexandria, Egypt port visit.
  6. I believe the RSS cruise we are talking about also embarks in Haifa (and the preceding cruise debarks there as well. So the same situation, yet a different choice? Supposedly also the Celebrity Apex was scheduled to shortly embark in Haifa, yet is offering refunds / credit.
  7. It's also a nightmare situation for Celebrity et al 😉 What earns loyalty is how a firm *reacts* to nightmare situations...
  8. This is actually a good point. No doubt the agents ARE doing all they can, because they are acting within the guidelines of management, who apparently told customers days ago no refund, no credit, don't ask us any questions, just sit back and take whatever we give you. So while the agents may be doing all *they* can- and sadly for them they are the ones stuck delivering the message to customers- the question is, is corporate, in its back room- where it doesn't have to face customers- doing all *it*can? Apparently, and to their credit, management in competitive cruise lines is somehow able to do so. much. more. That being said, there is never an excuse for rudeness in a customer-facing job. Regent management needs to get control of that right now, because- anecdotally here at least- CSR frustration is evident and growing. [
  9. I would suggest it's not the size of a customer service department that matters, but the ratio of customer service agent to passenger, and that companies that position themselves as luxe would be expected to have a lower number of customers per agent, so as to provide a more personalized level of service. And that if customers are told they should have known areas of the Near East are known hot spots, then all the more reason companies should know, thereby having contingencies such as corporate insurance, and contracted business travel companies who can handle sudden overloads resulting from unexpected events resulting in the need for many immediate travel changes. In this case, however, the decision to make customers whole through refund or credit is not left up to CSRs, but to executives, who can make a decision in minutes. It's very much the job of executives to make important decisions even when all the information is not in; to their credit, other cruise companies did just that, and offered their customers refund and credit. On the other hand, according to some posters here, Regent, too, made a quick executive decision, but in their case it was to immediately inform customers there would be no refunds and no future credit.
  10. It may well be true that RSS may eventually do the right thing in the end- we all hope for that. But their challenge is that competitive "non-luxury" lines, have apparently already proactively stepped up to show flexibility to their own similarly concerned customers, as far as refunds or future credits. And given that people have already reported here that RSS had told them they will NOT receive refund or future credit, how long should customers wait for an unlikely change of heart... which puts the customer in the difficult position of possibly voluntarily cancelling now, whereas if they had just waited awhile possibly RSS might have relented and offered refund/credit. Would not want to be on that cruise with a lot of people unhappy with what they perceived as uncertainty, lack of communication, fear, and disappointment. Not a great way to start a cruise. I feel bad for those cruisers, and not so bad for the company, which at least at this point still will receive full fare.
  11. Exactly! The business risk of not fulfilling what was promised has always been passed to the paying customer, rather than being absorbed by the business, to the point where customers now assume that this is some reasonable law of nature. And the customer assumes it is up to them to insure against that risk, rather than the business. So for a $23,000 cruise the customers pay $5000 for cancel-anytime insurance that covers 75%, and if invoking the cancellation the customer is now still out $11,000 (cost of the insurance plus the 25% deductible)... so about half the cruise fare in exchange for nothing. How much nicer if the cruise lines were more generous in sharing the risk, or the customer more discerning in the future about whether a cruise even makes any sense. Given the goofiness of the last few years, it's a wonder people even bother with the potential overhead and asymmetrical risk involved in cruising!
  12. Valid point. And in conducting business there is always risk, especially when servicing known hot spots. Regent knows this is a risk, but rather than absorbing or accessing contingencies (business insurance?) the business risk is apparently being passed on to the customer. While certainly valid in that this is SOP for cruise lines, it's not a law of nature, simply a business decision. At some point, customers will decide to stop being victimized by businesses who tell the customer they should have known better; at that point business will suffer. Let's all hope RSS takes care of their customers over these tragic world events.
  13. Been seeing reports lately of low levels on the river, and the effect on barges and other river traffic that must ensure it stays in certain channels. Additionally, the low levels allow saline seepage from the Gulf estuary up into the river near N.O. Anyone notice any effects on the Mississippi cruise sailings? (Cross posted in ACL board),
  14. Been seeing reports lately of low levels on the river, and the effect on barges and other river traffic that must ensure it stays in certain channels. Additionally, the low levels allow saline seepage from the Gulf estuary up into the river near N.O. Anyone notice any effects on the Mississippi cruise sailings? (Cross posted in AQ board),
  15. I've heard conflicting reports about ACL's onboard alcohol (wine/beer/spirits) policy. I do see their website mentions beer and wine with lunch and dinner and at cocktail hour, but nothing about open bar or drinks room service outside those occasions, and I don't see an alcohol package offered as an option. Nor have I come across a section in their website or brochure saying their cruises are all-inclusive with regard to wine/beer/spirits. One travel agent mentioned all alcohol is free at any time, you just need to ask your room attendant, since they don't staff continual bars. Is this true? I guess the question would apply in general to ACL policy, but particularly wondering about their lower Mississippi cruises.
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