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Everything posted by gr'aunt

  1. When you are legitimately wearing the NCL/Regent CEO’s “outfit”, I’ll consider your opinion. Until then, my questioning is as valid as your opinion. The current worldwide economic free-for-all has no comparison. No hate. Just truth.
  2. The first post on this subject was about 11 hours ago as I write this, per “Carol from California”s comment above. Where are the ubiquitous Regent cheerleaders? The ones who reveled in shooting down anyone and everyone who early-on questioned Regent/NCL’s ability to survive this world-altering event? The ones who dismissed any ideas that Regent might be in financial trouble...usually followed by Wall Street “insider knowledge”, predictions or even speculation on how Regent was above it all since they had no ships with reported Covid cases. As for the original question regarding credit card refunds, it all depends on the fine print. Both cards we used give us SIXTY days to resolve a dispute. So for those who made any payment toward a cruise within the last 60 days, you might get help from your card company. But for others, including me, who paid in full last December for an April cruise that was cancelled in March, we are in “wait and see” mode. Another concern is Travel Insurance...if you had any. Will they be the next bankruptcy? What a mess.
  3. I just did the online request yesterday. No response and I don’t expect one just yet. If they deny my request, then I’ll keep the policy in place for my cancelled cruise. That way, if heaven forbid Regent files bankruptcy, I will turn to the insurance company for my full refund instead.
  4. I took this screen shot 4 days ago , March 28th. When I went on Regent earlier today, I couldn’t find it. Instead, lots of new announcements under the Reassurance heading. The specific “Pre-embarkation Public Health Questionnaire” referenced in the March 23, 2020 General Travel Advisory (and still on the website 4 days ago) is no longer part of the updated March 30, 2020 General Travel Advisory.
  5. I looked on the Regent website for the 70 and over questionnaire. It seems to have disappeared. Am I imagining this?
  6. I don’t know where you live. Where I live, if you submit your claim first, it supersedes anything that comes later.
  7. I hope this will be the last page of this post that I started eight pages and thousands of views ago. * Yes, Regent has finally done “the right thing”!* Regent even went so far as to announce on their webpage that they will give 2 weeks notice regarding any future cancellations. So, despite comments that our weary pleas and tales of woe were falling on deaf ears (because supposedly no one at Regent had the time or was interested/paying attention to their customer-base on Cruise Critic), I’ve heard just the opposite. Thank you Regent.
  8. I worked in the Claims Department of a multi-State Insurance company for 10 years. I can tell you from personal experience (a subpoena to testify in a lawsuit filed against the “company” by a disgruntled insured) that many times, case law comes into effect as the result of a ruling in a lawsuit. The current situation that cruise lines and travel insurance companies find themselves in, is unprecedented. Most prior Covid-19 insurance policies did not address coverage or necessarily exclude coverage for cancellation by a CRUISE LINE due to a pandemic. (I guarantee ALL policies are being re-written as I write this). Almost all prior reasons for a cancellation refund were for covered reasons on the part of the INSURED or close family members (critical illness, death, loss of job, etc). In my particular policy, the only coverage afforded the insured in regards to the travel provider (ship, tour company etc) is due to insolvency on the providers part. In other words, if the cruise line were to go belly up before the departure date, I would be eligible for a refund through the travel insurance company. There is no mention of “what would happen” if the cruise line cancelled and offered the customer a 100% refund before the scheduled departure date. Again, in reference to my particular situation (policies and circumstances are quite diverse), not only did my cruise line (with included air) cancel, but my hotel and private tour purchased outside of Regent also cancelled. All three were covered by my travel insurance policy. All three have said in writing that my money will be refunded. So, in essence, there’s nothing left for the insurance company “to cover”. I bought the travel insurance (last October when I booked the cruise) in good faith for travel that was to commence in April 2020. I have asked for a full refund of the travel insurance policy payment since, due to no fault of my own, there is nothing left that the insurance policy can afford coverage for. The current “out” for the insurers is to offer a voucher that can be rolled over for future travel within a specified time limit. What if one cannot travel during the specified time limit due to other constraints? What if an insured has underlying health issues that were once considered run-of-the-mill issues but are now considered “unfit to travel” issues by their doctor? How can the insured truthfully book a future cruise and roll over a travel insurance policy for said cruise when the insurance policy language CLEARLY STATES THAT COVERAGE WILL NOT BE AFFORDED TO THOSE WHO ARE UNFIT TO TRAVEL. The new world of cruising post-Covid 19 will surely be more restrictive, until or if a vaccine is developed. Most experts predict an 18 month wait. But there is no guarantee of this timeline. All of the above is to say: if my travel insurance company denies my (and other similar) requests for refund of policy payment due to the cancellation by all venues named on my policy, I foresee a class action lawsuit. The outcome will then become the applicable law moving forward. And if a suit is settled in favor of the insured, the insurer is usually exposed to payment of punitive damages. Most insurers settle before things ever reach this stage...because the last thing they want is the expense of paying punitive damages. (In the case I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the “company” lost the case; the insured was awarded a large sum beyond the disputed amount). It sounds to me like travel insurer Allianz is ahead of the pack, just like Viking was ahead of Regent in the cancellation-dance. Those of us with worthless and expensive travel insurance policies are surely in choppy seas looking for a safe harbor.
  9. Thank you!!! Since I started this post, I‘m jumping back in (momentarily) even though I promised to stay quiet on page one. I’ve read all the responses. I’m encouraged by people who felt the freedom to express their opinions...even as they risked possible ridicule from a handful of those who think cruise deposits/full payments should be treated as a charity contribution to the cruise line, as a way to keep them “afloat” so the booster-club can complete their multiple pre-booked future cruises. Dilly dilly. I just read Regent’s most recent “update” as of March 22nd. One thing that has NOT changed-their April 11th “expiration” date. A new protocol announced is that passengers will need to fill out a form prior to embarkation; if the answers don't justify allowing passengers on board, they will be denied access. Interestingly, the passengers will THEN get a full refund for CRUISE ONLY. So if the passenger booked their own air, now they have to scramble to find a place to stay while arranging a return flight. If the passenger took Regent’s air, Regent will be responsible to get them a return flight. Okay...but in both cases, the no-longer-passengers have had to take a trans-Atlantic flight (US passengers) or longer (Aussie passengers) for no reason. As already pointed out, some of the pre-embarkation questions appear ridiculous! There will be a potential denial of embarkation if you’ve flown into an airport in certain countries, for starters? In my particular situation, Los Angeles is already on virtual lockdown, London is heading there, and Barcelona was a day too late and is now paying a heavy price while in full-blown lockdown. These are the 3 cities I would be in within 48 hours of embarkation. So I already know ahead of time (as would Regent) that there is no way I could “pass the test” of admittance, but I would still be required to fly to Barcelona in order to be turned away and then cancelled? (I haven’t even factored in that my pre-cruise hotel has already cancelled my reservation; they are closed down until the end of April). In the daily-changing-travel-drama, I’ve been paying particular attention to Barcelona. On March 25th, Spain closed all airports, ship ports and Spain’s border to all but Spanish citizens and legal residents for 30 days (and possibly longer) according to the British Airways website (the airline carrier I am booked on). Do the math: Spain’s 30 day announcement is WAY past Regent’s current April 11th expiration “date”. Does anyone believe the Explorer will be docking in Barcelona any time in April? Is it ethical to leave passengers with April reservations hanging like this until the last minute? Yes, these are trying times. But purposefully... knowingly...saying it will be “business as usual starting April 12th” leaves me with no confidence that this is a reality-based statement, for Spain at least. Those heading to the moon... or another planet...will surely have better luck.
  10. My breathing is fine, thank you. Seriously...worry about more important things? I’m hardly wringing my hands or gnashing my teeth. I know better than to get into any kind of meaningful conversation with veteran “posters” on this board. There’s a lot of people who read the comments but never say a word...and for good reason. My post is for them. I’ll be quiet now. That should make the 20 regulars happy campers.
  11. I’m writing this in case Regent execs are monitoring the mood of Regent customers...past, present and future. Spoiler Alert: I am not an experienced Regent “cruiser”. In fact, I’ve never been on a Regent cruise. I can’t boast about how many Regent cruises I’ve been on, what my frequent cruiser status is, or how often I get insider information from my “contacts“. But, I do have a fully-paid-for (not cheap!) cruise scheduled in April. Unfortunately, the embarkation date is beyond the April 11th date that Regent believes their current suspension will end. On what alternative planet is the CEO and Board of Directors living? Covid-19 is extremely contagious and spreading worldwide. Cruise ships have been labeled “floating petri dishes” by some news media. No one in their right mind wants to get on a transcontinental flight or embark on a possible cruise-to-nowhere right now. I don’t believe this sentiment will suddenly evaporate on April 11th. Yesterday, I received an email from the hotel in Spain where I was booked for two nights pre-cruise. The hotel is now closed until the end of April. Meaning: no where to stay. The death toll in Spain is climbing. Yet, Regent has not cancelled cruises beginning and ending in Spain past April 11th. Today, a Level 4 travel alert was issued by the US State Department. The death toll in Italy has exceeded China’s. Today, the Governor of my home state of California issued more far-reaching social-distancing rules as the Covid-19 virus continues to multiply exponentially. The computer models suggest that if we can’t stop this virus NOW, 52% of our millions of residents are at risk of catching this highly contagious virus. Do you really want this potential exposure on your ship? The sound of silence from Regent is disturbing to me. My TA has no updates. The Regent website hasn’t changed. People who have some pretty serious decisions to make for next month (and beyond) need to know what’s really being discussed in the halls and offices of Regent. I purchased Regent Air with deviation so I could go to Barcelona early. But now I don’t have a hotel. Why should I even go through the exasperation of trying to find a new one (pssst-Spain is closed!) if the cruise will actually (eventually) be cancelled, but nobody in charge wants to admit it just yet? And please, don’t anyone reading this bother to bully me into the voucher option. Isn't that what the 48 hour time limit to take a voucher is all about? I purchased a cruise. Not a voucher. If I can’t take a safe cruise with the advertised luxury experience on board included, I just want my money back. Regent: do the right thing! Follow the example of other cruise lines who have actually admitted there will be no cruising until at least June!
  12. Thank you for the laugh! Funniest thing I’ve seen all day. The TP rolls were a nice touch too😂😂😂
  13. If this is Regent’s approach to weed out those with high risk factors who are of a “certain age”, IMHO they are using poor logic. What about those who are booked on upcoming cruises that happen to be BELOW a certain age? The CDC has come out, verbally and in writing, that people SIXTY AND OVER should NOT cruise right now. Period. So why (rhetorical question) would Regent pick 70 as the starting point? Why not 70 and a half? Or 72? Heck, why not just push it to 80 and eliminate two entire decades. The fact is, many underlying conditions do not begin or end at a magic age. I believe the form should either be sent to EVERYONE...or no one. This new procedure could be viewed as discriminatory in certain circles.
  14. It changed late yesterday from 30 days to 48 hours.
  15. Thank you so much! I actually found this online map yesterday. Your explanation helps a lot. 74 days and counting...
  16. While I’m sure this question has been asked...and answered...numerous times, I really don’t have time to read the hundreds of previous posts. So I apologize in advance! On embarkation day, we will take a taxi from our hotel near Placa Catalunya to board our ship, the Regent Explorer. I’ve seen mention on this board of a “shuttle” that can take us to our ship for a few euros. I’ve seen someone warn about being dropped off in the wrong location, and then having to walk a great distance to the ship. My question is: Is it possible for a taxi driver to take us directly to the ship for drop off? If yes, where do we tell him to take us? If no, where should the taxi driver take us to get us as near to the ship as possible, OR, where should we be dropped off to catch the shuttle mentioned above? This is my first visit to Barcelona. And my first attempt at being transported to a cruise terminal outside of a ships’ transport bus.
  17. Did you have to contact Regent direct (as earlier mentioned) to be wait-listed? Debra
  18. FlyerTalk...there's another possibility...Regent error! I chose the Custom Air Deviation and paid via credit card. Regent sent a confirmation email of my flight choices (confirmed) and payment. A day or two later, I sent a copy of this particular email and some others to my husband for his review. He asked why we were charged $350 EACH (total of $700), when I had told him the the fee was $175 p/p. I hadn't scrutinized the charge as I was immersed in travel insurance details. An email and 2 phone calls later, and I finally got confirmation acknowledging Regent's error and a credit back to my card. Moral of the story? Human error happens.
  19. Hi Snorkle Lover: sorry it has taken me awhile to reply. I've been spending WAY too much time trying to get my ducks in a row...or perhaps I should say my flight/cruise/hotels/travel insurance in a row. Things are moving along. Yes, maybe we'll meet on the ship. Some friends we met 10 years ago on an Oceania cruise (and subsequently traveled again with 2 years later) are also taking this cruise. I looked last week to see if there was a roll call for our dates, but I didn't notice one. I would imagine that since the tours are for the most part included, there isn't really as much need for the "roll call". BTW, that's how I met the couple I mentioned above. We were trying to plan our own small excursions and asking if others wanted to join and share costs. It worked out fantastic. We were able to see twice as much for 1/2 of what the ships tours were. And, no huge busses. Plus, we had a driver at our disposal. I will miss that luxury on this cruise...but, I don't have to spend the months we did planning things either. I'm kind of looking forward to just showing up. LOL!
  20. rallydave and Flyer Talker, just...wow!!! Who knew that I could get the ball rolling with Regent, hold the stateroom, and transfer to TA within 30 days? Excellent suggestion. I don’t expect a 10% kick-back this time, but it will be in the back of my mind for future planning. Flyer Talker- Thank you, thank you, thank you, (did I say thank you?😆) for your detailed explanation concerning the included air versus the Custom Air program. I predict that your explanation will help countless future Regent cruisers with the same perplexing questions/decisions to make. I fall right in the middle of manic-need-to-control and take-care-of-this-for-me. I can’t comfortably wait to hear at the last minute whatever air arrangements Regent will provide. But, unlike previous cruises, I’m finally willing to pay more for a cruise that provides the excursions, even though I won’t be drinking the included booze. I sure hope Diet Coke is an option for the mini-bar! I will most likely read and re-read your suggestions above. I’ve got a lot of work to do. And I wouldn’t have been able to wrap my head around your suggestions had I not stayed up very late last night reading past posts on this subject, which helped me ask the questions. My gut is telling me to go the Custom Air route. It’s a no-brainer in today’s age of potential political unrest that could mean unpredictable travel. If a flight booked through Regent is cancelled or interrupted, (correct me if I’m wrong) they have to find a way to fix it. If I made the plans, I might be SOL. ps-I feel confidant in my ability to make reasoned decisions regarding everything EXCEPT how to choose an airline with newer planes/more comfortable seats. Lay-flat business class seats from LAX to European airport and back is the objective. How does one acquire the info on which plane has what??
  21. Thank you Travelcat2, UUNetBill and rallydave for your thoughtful replies. UUNetBill summed up my dilemma...cost vs value. As far as the TA trying to push an air/land package, I don’t think that’s the case. I believe/hope that she’s trying to accomplish an earlier arrival and hotel stay so we can actually have time to see some of Barcelona before boarding, without paying Regents exorbitant fee for their hotel of choice. The extra night in Lisbon at the end of the cruise isn’t necessary for us, but the TA claims a 3-day land package sweetens the deal for air choices. Travelcat2 touched on an issue I’m grappling with. I’ve never met the TA I’m corresponding with. There has been no mention of any perks being thrown our way. I have no idea how prolific her prior bookings have been on Regent. She seems very knowledgeable otherwise; she grew up in a household with parents who had their own travel agency. I feel somewhat indebted to book through her because she worked on previous cruise plans (another line) that we ended up cancelling before any money changed hands. The reason was legitimate/urgent and not simply us changing our minds. And here’s the biggest dilemma I’m currently facing. We just decided to book this cruise on Saturday (2 days ago) and sent her an email about it that afternoon. Unfortunately for us all, it was after-hours for Regent. AND, the TA was not only booked on a flight Sunday for a 2 week vacation in Egypt, but Regent is closed on Sunday. So here it is 1pm west coast time on Monday. It’s 10:00 pm in Egypt. She emailed me last night asking for info to reserve a stateroom, which I sent this morning while she was probably having dinner. It’s her vacation. I get it. I don’t want to ruin it for her by making her choose work over her own plans. Our friends told us to just book it direct with Regent under these circumstances, and she would understand. (Talking to self now)...But what if she already emailed her Regent contact and booked something for us. What if her internet in Egypt isn’t working. What if I lose the last available decent stateroom and flight because I’m trying to be nice and give her the booking. Yikes. I know we can’t share TA info on these Boards, but right about now I wish I knew a So Cal based TA who is a stellar Regent booking agent. Sigh.
  22. Hello Regent experts. This is my first post here, so I’m asking for kindness and patience in advance🙂 Hubby and I have not traveled internationally or cruised since 2011. (There are valid reasons including an accident with injuries and multiple surgeries). Our previous 3 cruises were on Oceania and also a horrible first-cruise experience on Holland America. We are now ready to re-enter the world of cruising. We are seriously considering an April 2020 7-day itinerary from Barcelona to Lisbon. Friends on the east coast who booked this cruise months ago recommended their TA to us. (We live near LA; the TA we used years ago has retired). The east-coast based TA uses Delta a lot since she (and our friends) are in the Atlanta area. The TA booked a Delta air/land package for our friends in lieu of Regents “included” air. The TA explained that A) the Business Air advertised by Regent is for the trans-Atlantic portion, B) Regent can have up to two additional stops besides the destination, so C) we on the west coast could potentially be routed from LAX on a 5 hour flight to an east coast airport in economy, then Business from east coast airport over the Atlantic to a European airport, then economy again for approximately a 2 hour flight from European airport to Barcelona. The reverse would be similar from disembarkation point in Lisbon. The horror of spending more time on two potential economy legs than on one leg in Business over the Atlantic is a deal breaker for us. I’ve read many, but not all, of the threads in this post to try and get a grip on the many ways around economy hell. I think I finally (?) understand there is an available air deviation fee for $175 pp. Can someone please explain what that buys you from Regent? It doesn’t sound like you can automatically choose your preferred flights, but rather you let them know your preference to avoid the east coast stop and then they tell you whether they’ll let you do it within their air allowance (plus the $175 pp for the peace of mind of knowing that you get what you want rather than waiting on pins and needles to find out which airports you’ll be shuffling through and how many hours you’ll actually be in Business class and economy hell). Is that it in a nutshell? The TA is steering us to get an air/3 day land package through her. She says we can usually get a break on purchased roundtrip Business Air if we also buy a 3 night hotel stay through the airline. (We always have come in a day before departure “just in case” and also to get some sleep before the fun begins). However, we really don’t want to come in 3 days early. One day would be ideal. I saw on Regents website that you can purchase 1, 2, or 3 night pre and/or post hotel stays through them. I assume this includes transfers to/from ship and/or hotels?? In this scenario, you would automatically NEED the air deviation...but is the deviation fee waived, built-in to the hotel price or charged separately? Any insider knowledge on an approximate nightly cost to stay in Regent-booked hotel package in Barcelona and Lisbon? If it made economic sense, we would stay one night pre and post cruise. There’s a lot to consider here. Ugh. The cruises and airlines shuffle the peanut in so many different ways that if one is not paying attention, you could actually end up paying more for less. I don’t mind spending money for more value, but I know smart travelers are the ones who know how to do it. Thank you in advance for your suggestions, knowledge and experiences.
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