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Herman The Cat

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About Herman The Cat

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Fine cuisine, wine, gardening, golf.
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  1. Can you provide the link to the itineraries?
  2. Right, that explains why the contracts are based under the laws of the Canton of Zug, Switzerland. The thing is Scenic thinks their clients are not that bright and will just go along...at least 80% will. The other 20% will question their policies. If 80% go along, or the majority, that’s a win for them. Keeping 80% of the money, refunding about 20%, I’ll take that trade! A free loan to finance their new ships. Trip insurance covering the default of a provider would probably be a good idea.
  3. Not surprised T&Cs have already changed. Unfortunately, that’s a deceptive bait and switch Tactic—bait you to take the FCC and then change the terms. Perhaps hoping you won’t notice? That seems to be Scenic’s MO — change the Rules of the game after the game has started. Personally, given my experience, and my TA’s experience, I would not sign anything with Scenic. I would request tell them the terms are unacceptable and request a refund. The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away!
  4. People have to do what they are comfortable doing. And decide if you trust the company that you are giving your money to. It is a risk and you have to consider you may not see your money again for a long time...and what happens if they go out of business? Does your travel protection include financial default of an operator? You can’t rely on Credit card protection — typically, they provide for default if you buy an item and don’t receive it because the provider goes bankrupt, but not a service, such as travel. Consider: the shipyard where he Eclipse was being built went bankrupt; Scenic had to step in and pay to get the yacht finished. It didn’t saiL for many months; that’s lost revenue plus they had to compensate passengers. They lose a class action lawsuit and have to pay out $$$millions. Covid-19 happens and they have get passengers off the Eclipse/tours/river cruises home. No revenue coming in since probably February. They are having new ships built and have to pay the shipyard. I don’t care that the owner had a statement on the website saying how “well-resourced” they are, that’s a lot of outlay of $$$ and cash flow out, no matter how wealthy you are. As Warren Buffett said, “it is only when the tide goes out that you see who is swimming naked.” My partner is an attorney and no, force majeur does not override anything and means they can keep your money. In fact, if a force majeur happens, there is no reason for them to keep your money since they are not operating. Believe what you will, but keeping your money is a free loan for them, and they evidently need it otherwise they would offer a refund like most other cruise lines. After dealing with this company for several months, I would not give them any money. And I can see why that passenger won the case on them causing him emotional distress. And how they lost the class action lawsuit filed by 140 passengers. https://cruisepassenger.com.au/hundreds-win-compensation-after-scenic-loses-high-court-battle-over-flood-hit-cruises/ I wish everyone a positive outcome with this company and do hope for the best. We all want to get back onboard sailing/cruising ASAP. It is just important to consider as many factors and outcomes as possible before moving forward. It’s a personal decision, based on each person’s individual circumstances and risk tolerance (and gut feeling!), whether to give them your money for a future cruise...especially not knowing when or in what format, and with what protocols (I.e., will you have to wear a mask while onboard?), cruising will be operating. Lots of uncertainties on many levels to consider.
  5. I can tell you in the US version of our T&C it did not apply. Even with all the over-engineering of their T&C to cover so much, it did not contemplate a pandemic.It clearly states that if they cancel for whatever reason, they refund. Would be curious what the Aus/NZ versions say.
  6. Just because they say it’s a force majeur event doesn’t mean they get to keep your money...that’s not something I’m saying, that’s legally.
  7. They simply want to keep the money...and use it to finance their operations and their new ship. Almost an interest-free loan from their customers! Plus they are deceptive in their practices. You may recall the letter on their website from the CEO/owner talking about how they are a private company and “well-resourced.” Not sure if it is still there. If they are so well-resourced why don’t they refund? I do wonder who is actually making all these decisions and feel sorry for the customer service reps who are on the front lines dealing with travel agents and irate customers. They just lost a class action lawsuit in Australia and if they keep this up they may have another on their hands. All I know is my TA will never do business again with either Scenic or Emerald, nor will anyone in the agency. She has issued a “do not book” to all her agents.
  8. Thanks so much for the comments — very helpful. I think SeaDream will be too old, dark etc. Love the look of the Esprit. In terms of size and feel, can you tell me about the outdoor spaces...did it feel crowded, where there places to sit and enjoy the weather, etc.? Pool area? Did you mind not having a veranda in your cabin and only a window? And...it seems voyages in August 2020 are slowly shifting to “call for availability”...I.e., cancelled. I wonder if anything in September will happen. Though I suspect it’s dependent on if Greece opens for tourists in July. Thanks in advance.
  9. Greetings, I was just wondering if anyone has sailed on the Crystal Esprit in the past year and what their opinion was of the condition. We’re considering the Esprit and SeaDream for when things open up, and they are different in size and especially style. Obviously SDI is a much older ship with a lot of wood and smaller cabins.Any comments and thoughts on the condition of either or both, and what you liked/disliked about either or both would be greatly appreciated. The Esprit is only 60-something passengers, so wondering if it will feel too small? Would love to hear about your experiences on these super small vessels. Thanks in advance!
  10. Greetings, I was just wondering if anyone has sailed on the SDI lately and what their opinion was of the condition. I know it was supposed to be dry docked but can’t find any info on when and what the plans are. We’re considering both yachts for when things open up, and they are different in size and especially style. Obviously SDI is a much older ship with a lot of wood and smaller cabins. Any comments and thoughts on the condition would be greatly appreciated.
  11. Makes sense now...you requested a refund of the premium you paid because the trip was cancelled, not a refund for the cruise! All insurance companies seem to giving a voucher for a future policy or a refund of the premium paid if the trips were cancelled (depending on the resident state).
  12. Interesting...Allianz paid for cancellation due to a pandemic? Travelguard does not. So neither Viking nor Princess offered a refund, only a FCC and you decided to file a claim with the insurance company to get a refund?
  13. Unfortunately it seems the only way to get a refund of any sort from Scenic is to take legal action. This is a company that doesn’t believe it needs to abide by contract terms or do the right thing.
  14. If there is any doubt whatsoever in your mind about the trip happening—i.e., you cancelling or even Scenic cancelling—I would not make final payment. If you do, you are locked in — and won’t be able to get your money back for YEARS. And even in force majeur cases, that does not mean the cruise line is entitled to keep your money. To answer some of your ?s. Will Scenic still be in business in 1-2 years time? If not, a future credit is worthless. Unlike the behemoths of ocean cruising (Carnival, RCCL, NCL) they are a relatively small company. Who knows. They say they have deep pockets but I am wary of anyone saying that...especially when they haven’t even offered those on cancelled voyages the option of a refund. They are plowing a lot of money into new ships but no company’s resources are unlimited...Even Richard Branson’s. And yes, if defunct, a future cruise credit is worthless...unless you have trip insurance that covers bankruptcy when they go bankrupt. Do you want your money tied up and Scenic controlling your future cruise/travel options? Offering 110% value on future credits is all very well, but will their current price structure stay in place? Or will they recover this apparent generosity by applying price increases? No, prices go up every year. The extra 10% typically doesn’t cover their price increase. But you can do an easy comparison by looking at next year’s prices on their website. And by the way, other cruise lines are offering 125%, so 110% by Scenic is a bit stingy. So far we have only paid a deposit for the Douro cruise. What are our choices at final payment time next month? Make final payment and lock yourself in or lose your deposit. Will we be able to use the credit for the Douro cruise and apply it to the Russia cruise the following year? And if so, will they honour the price for the Russia cruise they have quoted? You can probably apply it to a cruise next year,, but no, I am doubtful they will honor this year’s price. Remember, even if you decide to defer, anything you book is subject to availability. Your TA should be able to help you with all these questions and provide Insight and advice...and also help to negotiate on your behalf.
  15. I think that’s a common perception. However, the scientific papers I have read say otherwise, and here is an excerpt. Though of course at the end of the day people have to go where they are comfortable going. So now let’s get to the crux of it. Where are the personal dangers from reopening? When you think of outbreak clusters, what are the big ones that come to mind? Most people would go to the cruise ships. But you would be wrong. Ship outbreaks don’t even land in the top 50 outbreaks to date. Ignoring the terrible outbreaks in nursing homes, we find that the biggest outbreaks are in prisons, religious ceremonies, and workplaces, such a meat packing facilities and call centers. Any environment that is enclosed, with poor air circulation and high density of people, spells trouble. Some of the biggest super-spreading events are: Meat packing: In meat processing plants, densely packed workers must communicate to one another amidst the deafening drum of industrial machinery and a cold-room virus-preserving environment. There are now outbreaks in 115 facilities across 23 states, 5000+ workers infected, with 20 dead. (ref) Weddings, funerals, birthdays: 10% of early spreading events Business networking: Face-to-face business networking like the Biogen Conference in Boston in March. The above being said, they may have buffets behind a barrier for display purposes, but no one will be serving themselves. Dining venues will have to have appropriate social distancing. They will have to expand outdoor seating as much as possible.
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