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Everything posted by jland

  1. Hi Joyce, thank you for the gf update, I appreciate it. It’s a great start if the gf bread is even edible, so often it is not. If you get a minute could you ask if they have any gf crackers, it saves us having to drag them half way around the world. Enjoy your cruise!
  2. Joyce, I see in a previous post you mentioned gluten free bread. As my husband has coeliac disease could you possibly give us your opinion of the gluten free food on offer. Did you meet with the chef etc once on board to discuss your dietary requirements? Do they have even the basic requirements, like gluten free crackers to go with cheese? Please do not do interrupt your cruise to do this for us, when you get home is fine. We were very interested in this cruise line but the business with the laundry and internet have put us off somewhat. We will wait and see if management rectify the situation.
  3. How lucky and blessed are we when we can cruise on either line. So many people around the world do not know where their next meal is coming from. Either company would do me at the moment, in any cabin, even the lifeboat, crew cabin etc.
  4. It depends on whether the foreign company has an Australian office. Ponant has an Australian office and ABN therefore Australian consumer rules apply. Until ACCC intervened Ponant insisted they could apply French governments rules over ruling the refund clause in our contract.
  5. We had a contract with Ponant which stated if Ponant cancelled for any reason they would refund. They then proceeded to change that clause retrospectively and denied all passengers refunds. We would never trust them again.
  6. Honey49, did you get your refund? You started this topic off but never gave an update which is a shame. At least others were able to obtain their refund because of this thread. Good luck.
  7. I am really delighted you have received your refund, not before time but better late than never. You put in a lot of effort and deserved the result you got. As an aside, it always amazes me that banks take up to 72 hours before a refund appears in our account but payments come out instantaneously. Funny old world.
  8. Cruisingaussies if I was you I would not be waiting a week to get in touch with my federal mp. I am starting to get a bad feeling about this mob. I had a direct phone number for Liz Krstevski which I was going to pass on to you but just now I dialled the number only to be to told it was not connected. With jobkeeper ending at the end of the month you have to wonder if this travel agent is going to survive. Has anybody had any emails from them lately? I don’t think I have but I’m not 100% sure. Good luck and be very proactive, don’t sit around waiting for replies, I think it is the only hope you have.
  9. cruisingaussies, I have been waiting for your update. Did you email Liz Krstevski as I suggested? As you have now emailed Rod Sim and been ignored you should go to the next step. I read a while back in the escape section of the Sunday Telegraph a letter from a man in your situation. He also had written to ACCC and Rod Sims with no reply, so here is what he did. He contacted his federal mp, it has to be federal because ACCC is Australian wide, who then wrote to Rod Sims on his behalf, the matter was resolved very quickly and a refund obtained. When I had a problem with Ponant who were adamant they would not refund I took this advice and contacted my federal mp. It is his first term and at first was unsure if it was ethical for him to approach ACCC, he got advice, got back to me, asked for copies of all the emails I had sent and then wrote to Rod Sims on my behalf. I had my refund from Ponant within two weeks. I still have the letter from the escape supplement just not sure how to put in on here. I can only suggest you get in touch with your federal mp, that should get you your refund. Good luck, keep in touch.
  10. I am really sorry you still haven’t received your refund. I feel almost as determined as you are to get you a refund. So here is what I would do. First thing on Monday email and text Carl Frier so he knows you are on his case. Next email liz.krstevski@cruise1st.com.au she is the sales and operations manager. A moment ago I sent her an email and it went through so she is still working there. I was like you and emailed ACCC and got the same rubbish reply you got, not sure they even bothered to read my email so I then went straight to the top and emailed Rod Sims. Your third email on Monday morning is to him rod.sims@accc.gov.au telling him your problem and asking for his help. Keep in touch because if none of that works I have one more avenue we can explore, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. Good luck.
  11. There is an interesting topic on the Australian forum called Kimberly Cruising. A post on there from NSWP who has a son in the industry states that although Ponant has asked the government for permission to cruise so far no permission has been given. The post is worth a read.
  12. After all I have been through chasing refunds from travel agents I will be joining others on this forum and will never use a travel agent again. They have made getting my money back worse, I was stupid enough to think they were there to help me.
  13. Pleased your message got through. If my response is anything to go by, I got an email the next day not from Carl Frier himself but a girl, cannot remember her name, who said I would get my refund in three days. She was true to her word but it did take a few more days before I could see the payment on my credit card. Keep us up to date and good luck.
  14. I think you got the response you did because you emailed Carl Frier on the weekend, try again later today. Cruise cancellations started after March 2020 so he was definitely working there August/ September time when I emailed him. I cannot remember exactly when, I will have a look at my credit card statement later today to see the exact date I got my refund.
  15. A thousand apologies the correct email has a full stop between the first and second name. To make sure I have the address correct this time I have sent an email which he did receive. carl.frier@ cruise1st.com.au I’m sorry my lack of attention to detail has caused you problems. As he is in charge try him first if no luck get back to me and I will give you another email address. Good luck.
  16. Unfortunately this company wanted to hold my money for 12 weeks after they had received my refund from the cruise company. I would not allow that, I was terrified they would go bankrupt. Even more so once job keeper ends, I think that will be the end of many more TAs.
  17. Honey49, last year I and many others had the same problem with this company. I searched until I found the name of their MD, Carl Frier. A quick email to carlfrier@cruise1st.com.au and our money was returned within 5 days. Not sure if he is still at this company, if your email bounces back let me know and I will give you another name and email address. Good luck.
  18. If Ponant can do a refund so quickly for some why do they have to be so dam nasty to others. Their arrogant attitude in Australia is unbelievable, only with government agency intervention will they begrudgingly refund. I am so happy Host Jazz you had a good outcome.
  19. For me there is no bad cabin location on Silversea. A crew cabin would do me, anything just to experience the wonderful service, food etc once again. We who can afford to cruise on Silversea are truely blessed.
  20. Yes, I am from one side of London, my husband from the other side but we were very lucky to meet in Sydney and we love each other and this country very much. We are two very grateful people. Can life be any better than here, we think not.
  21. Thanks folks for all your kind words. I got our refund so all’s well. Happy 2021 to all and although 2020 didn’t turn out as expected we are still very lucky to live in Australia, life is still very good. As someone who came to live in Australia nearly 50 years ago I still say thank you for having me every day. I thank my lucky stars.
  22. Our contract with Ponant, at clause 11.9, stated if Ponant cancelled any cruise, for any reason, a refund was payable. We took them at their word. To us “any reason” mean just that. Ponant, at first, decided to bring force majeure into play but there was no mention of that in clause 11.9, many people around the world pointed this out to them. March 2020 French government changed the rules allowing cruise companies etc to offer FCC only, not refunds. Ponant Australia informed me the French ruling now applied to us. Our point was if we live in Australia and book with a company with offices in Australia and that company has an ABN then we come up Australian consumer law. Ponant would not budge, their emails were terse, arrogant and lacking in compassion. So much so they made me cry. Thats when I contacted my federal MP. He wrote to ACCC who informed Ponant they could be in breach of ACL. My refund came very quickly after that. As I said before I am only posting this so that other people know what they could be up against if they decide to book with Ponant.
  23. Good luck to anyone who decides to book with Ponant. We had four holidays booked in 2020 all cancelled. Some companies were very slow to refund but only Ponant flatly refused to refund, only offered fcc. Our deposit was $14155. After months of trying to negotiate with Ponant, we contacted our federal MP who wrote to the chairman of ACCC Rod Sims. Only then did they refund our money. Ponant are very unsympathetic and arrogant to deal with. After they way they treated us hell will freeze over before they see another penny of our money. I have only posted this to make others aware of what will happen if you book a cruise with them and it gets canceled.
  24. Happy to help, keep us informed with your progress. Never ever give up, that is what Ponant wants you to do, then they have won.
  25. crazydoc, sorry to take so long to reply. We were in the same boat as you, we battled so many companies to get our money refunded that we nearly gave up with Ponant. It was only their arrogance towards us which kept us going. Firstly let me tell you a little about our situation. My husband has, in the past, suffered heart failure, stroke and has type 1 diabetes. He really is in the high risk group as far as the virus goes. We are also over seventy. There is no way we can cruise within the next 18 months. We asked Ponant to show some compassion. When that fell on deaf ears, we started emailing Sarina Bratton she is the head of Ponant Asia Pacific, sbratton@ponant.com she did reply but still would not refund. I then emailed ACCC but got a standard reply telling me to read the website, as if I hadn’t already. I then emailed Rod Sims, rod.sims@accc.gov.au but got no reply. Then through an organisation I am a member of I was granted a free consultation with a solicitor who read the contract for me. But in the mean time I wrote to my Federal MP asking him to write to Rod Sims, chairman ACCC, on my behalf which he did. Things moved very quickly from there and within a little more than a week we had our refund. Ponant sent me an email stating they had decided to release a small amount of refunds to people like us suffering hardship. No mention of ACCC involvement, made it sound as if they were doing it out of kindness. I really do urge you to email Sarina Bratton first, if no joy, then get in touch with your Federal MP. It has to be your Federal MP as ACCC are a federal outfit. I have read on this board that people in the US have had success when they have contacted their Attorney General, I hope I have that correct. crazydoc, I have tried to keep this brief so I do not bore other people who are not from Australia, but if you need more help I am more than happy to help.
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