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machotspur

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About machotspur

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    The Cotswolds, England
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Silversea, Seabourn, Cunard

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  1. As already stated the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is one of the senior UK governmental departments - more commonly referred to as 'The Foreign Office'. In the context of travel the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK gives advice - to quote their website :- “about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings”. Their website https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice lists advice about each country individually, in addition to more general advice. The implications of this ‘advice’ is that :- - most Travel Insurance policies may be voided, if one travels against FCO advice. - the FCO advice is generally accepted by the travel insurance industry as a justifiable reason for a consumer to cancel a trip, and claim on insurance. The USA & Canada are included in the FCO's ‘advise against all but essential travel’ category.
  2. Refund for this cancelled cruise received today - 117 days since Crystal cancelled it !
  3. I was just carrying out some basic analysis of the the informative spreadsheet that SusieQft has helpfully compiled in the thread Crystal Refund Roll Call. A couple of key points :- 20 out of 45 have received their refunds, with 11 of these taking longer than 90 days 62% had to wait, or are still waiting longer than the 90 days ! As many probably know the 90 days is a pipe dream for most !
  4. I respect your useful 'heads up' on this, however for the avoidance of any doubt this statement doesn't apply in the UK . Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which is the piece of legislation that covers credit card chargebacks in the UK, has a time limit of 6 years I believe.
  5. I've noted on the Regent board that the very extensive post Covid-19 cruising protocol for Costa Cruises has been posted. (See link below) This is the first detailed protocol i've seen from a major cruise line. Whilst it is specific to one cruise line, Costa is of course a Carnival brand and must surely give an indication as to what to expect on most other cruise ships. http://www.sailcosta.com/8115_Safety/8115.03_FAQs.pdf
  6. I can answer that ! The BA flights I had booked, associated with the cancelled Crystal cruise I refer to in Post 353, were refunded to me (not future flight credit) - within 7 days. Admittedly it was - conveniently - a BA cancellation, but then so was the Crystal cancellation. So, as Sopwith has stated, if BA can do it why not Crystal ? As is seen on the various CC boards, everyone has an opinion on this. As stated above, mine is that Crystal are taking so much time, because they can !
  7. I have a refund outstanding from a cruise - cancelled by Crystal in March 2020. Today the '90 days since cancellation' clicked in, so I asked my TA to chase. (My TA in London is probably the largest customer of Crystal, and also has 'other' significant connections to Crystal's UK Office). I received a response from the UK office, an extract from which really sums up the situation with Crystal - in the UK at least :- At this time I do not have the refund for machotspur but I am repeatedly asking for this refund along with many others which have already passed the 90 day deadline. One can of course form one's own opinion as to the reason for 'many others' not receiving refunds, even within 90 days. I will of course file a Section 75 with the Credit Card company however, in the UK at least, this is often not as straightforward as it seems. I have made a filing with regard to another land based travel cancellation. The CC company state 6 weeks to deal with it. Then you chase it and find they've not got round to it yet. After 8 weeks - in the UK at least - one can file a complaint with the financial regulator, however I am advised that the regulator/ombudsman is taking at least 12 weeks to determine complaints. So that's 140 days, on top of the 90 that the cruise operator has already taken (assuming they don't cough up in the meantime of course). In the UK this whole situation has led to many pieces of consumer protection becoming worthless. There is a piece of legislation that states that in the event of a cancellation the operator must return the full sum paid within 14 days (and yes I do believe it applies to cruise companies). In reality there are hundreds of tour operators around the UK refusing refunds, stating that they don't have the money. The Government won't step in for fear of being accused of destroying an industry. In my opinion the cruise operators - like the tour operators - are fully conscious that the majority of customers are unlikely to take any action against them, or withdraw their future custom, so they have little motivation to take action to accelerate the refund process.
  8. Sail Date 18th May 2020 Crystal Cancelled 19th March 2020 Requested 100% refund 20th March 2020 No refund received yet (68 Days)
  9. I had a similar story to you. Cancelled 2 Silversea cruises through my TA in Mid March. One refund took 84 days, the other 63 - a total of £45k tied up. This was with much pushing from me and the TA. I understand that the TA's I use are Silversea's largest customer, with strong relationships with the UK team, but still no ability to accelerate the refunds. The reality is that the luxury cruise companies know that very few of their customers will desert them - even those who may be angry with the refund process at the moment.
  10. As an occasional poster, but a relatively frequent lurker of the Silversea, Regent & Seabourn boards (and a cruiser of all three cruise operators) I’d add the following observations. The Silversea ‘Watercooler’ thread is to me - as freddie has stated above – a rather peculiar exercise in self-indulgence. (In short a massive ego trip !!) Initially this irritated me a little, however I soon valued the thread for keeping the individual poster who appeared to offend so many away from the main thread. Since the creation of Watercooler thread he/she rarely posted on the ‘normal’ threads, which is fortunate as it was clear that they appared to have not set foot on a cruise ship for years ! So – a ‘Watercooler’ thread may perform a service, however as an occasional browser of the boards I don’t see the type of behaviour observed on the Silversea thread, on the Regent board. Yes – on all boards you find those that are more dominant/prominent, and those that don’t articulate their point in a manner that one approves of. That’s life ! However, I rarely see the drift away from Regent ‘cruise chat’ in the way that occurred on the Silversea board. I’m personally relaxed either way about the creation of this ‘Watercooler’ thread – as has already been said one can just ignore it ! However – I would draw attention to the fact that the greatest number of ‘likes’ on this thread appear to be given to the posts that detest the Silversea thread, and don’t wish for it to be created on the Regent board.
  11. As is often stated on these boards these statements are only applicable to US (& Canadian ?) guests. For European, and Aussie/NZ guests I believe - the MINIMUM you will lose when cancelling - at any point after making the booking - is 20% of the value of the cruise. And Regent have never offered me any FCC when i've cancelled. The cost of us cancelling our December 2020 Voyager cruise today would be around $9,000, compared with $200 for those on the other side of the Atlantic.
  12. Great post - thanks ! I'm most certainly not in the 'optimism' camp, being pretty risk averse, so i'm unable to contribute in the manner requested. However - earlier I read a comment on another board, from the CEO of NCL/Regent which gave an insight into his views on how some of his guests think. Quote - Frank DelRio... I don’t believe for a minute that the mature audience is not going to cruise anymore,” he said. “These are the most loyal customers. They’ve got the time to cruise. They’ve got the money to cruise and, quite frankly, they’re pissed off that they can’t cruise right now. They’ve got a bucket list. They’ve got a short time left on this planet, and they want to make the most of it.” In short I think he is saying that many of his guests are happy to take the 'leap of faith', with less concern as to the financial risk. Some regular posters on that forum are saying that 'he's got it in one' !
  13. Currently I have four cruises at various stages of the cancellation process – 2 with Silversea. In all cases I’ve requested a cash refund, rather than re-book or take a bonus inclusive FCC. The primary reason is that at the moment I feel happier holding my own cash, rather than it being in the care of a cruise company. There is however one other key issue of concern for me – travel insurance. In the UK it is no longer possible to purchase a travel insurance policy that includes any cover for Covid-19/Coronavirus related claims. This applies to single trip policies, or renewed annual policies. The implication of this is that one can find oneself booked on a future cruise, or holding a FCC with an expiry date next year, but is unable to obtain travel insurance for what may still be a significant risk. Now of course nobody knows how this is all going to play out, and at what point if any the insurers will again include Covid-19 in their policies. I’ve made the decision not to book anything non domestic, on land or sea, until I know what is going on with the UK insurance market, with regard to this cover. There is little or no comment on this issue on various boards – am I alone in being concerned ? I recognise this is UK-centric but maybe the issue applies elsewhere ?
  14. Apologies as I've posted this on another thread but I do feel this to be relevant to this thread also. The UK offices of all luxury cruise companies are still quoting 90 days for the refund to be made. This compares to 30-45 days for USA. I have yet to identify why the difference, other than we in the UK are seen as a soft touch. The two - as yet not refunded - cancellations I have made with Silversea are :- 3rd March (61 days ago) 25th March (39 days ago) I also have a cancellation with Crystal made by them on 19th March (41 days ago). This is despite my using a very strong, experienced and well connected travel agency. They are unable to achieve any acceleration of these refunds.
  15. You may be waiting a fair bit longer ! The UK offices of all luxury cruise companies are still quoting 90 days for the refund to be made. This compares to 30-45 days for USA. I have yet to identify why the difference. The two - as yet not refunded - cancellations I have with Silversea are :- 3rd March (61 days ago) 25th March (39 days ago) I also have a cancellation with Crystal made on 19th March (41 days). This is despite my using a very strong, experienced and well connected travel agency. They are unable to achieve any acceleration of these refunds I was going to file a Section 75 Credit Card Chargeback for these however the credit card companies are showing at least a 6 week delay before they get to look at an application. Equally legal action is a non starter at this stage, due to the long lead times, particularly in the current situation. The total value of the three bookings is £57,000 so my patience is running out, but realistically I have little option but to sit and wait !
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