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Travel mad

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About Travel mad

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Hampshire, U.K.
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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    QM2, Holland And America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. I am pleased to report back that Costa acknowledged the issue and provided compensation which was appreciated. Will we cruise Costa again, yes we sure will. Thanks again for all contributions, it made for interesting reading indeed.
  2. They gave us an extra day in Seychelles and Reunion plus another sea day. . Some passengers managed to get compensation . I've had nothing but a lame apology.Costa are still advertising this cruise on some of their websites knowing full well that they are not going to Madagascar. Also heard that the itinerary we eventually did is now offered at a much lower rate. I don't have a problem with price reductions as I accept that when I book, it's at a price I am happy to pay however when I book for 5 stops and get 2 I do feel short changed. I fully appreciate the fact that many contributors to this blog find this acceptable but that doesn't mean it's A-ok for me right now.
  3. Here are the facts which affected the 1,000 plus passengers who were affected by the actual cruise in question:- 1- The cruise was sold as a 5 ports of call stop. 2- Incorporating Madagascar was what most considered to be a highlight given that it's never been on the mainstream tourist destination route. 3- The outbreak of the plague became apparent weeks before the cruise ship was due to sail. 4- Enquiries were made to both the Travel Agents and Costa themselves who both insisted that the cruise was definitely going to Madagascar despite everyone's Heath concerns. Some Americans even got their Doctors to prescribe antibiotics so that they could start taking them immediately if required. We read that the plague is curable with antibiotics however unfortunately not readily available for locals hence the seriousness of the dreadful disease. 5-The WHO did not advise against going to Madagascar and therefore we accepted Costa's stance that there was no reason for concern and that it was reasonably safe to travel to the northern parts of the massive land as the outbreak was in the capital and southern part of the country, 1,000s of miles away from our ports of all. 6- With this knowledge we boarded the ship and only that night we got a change in itinerary for one of the ports which nobody appeared too bothered about. 7- A few days later we received an update through our stateroom to say that the other 2 ports were now also cancelled and we were offered €150 each person onboard credit which could not be used to pay for the compulsory service fee aka gratuity. 8- The WHO did not raise the health risk during this period and as far as we as laymen could gather nothing had changed other than Costa probably considered the potential impact stopping in Madagascar may have had. We only wish that Costa had thought about this before and shared their thoughts with paying passengers . 9-Some 300 French speaking passengers got together in the theatre to discuss the issue which lead to the "Leader" being asked to leave the ship in Seychelles and was flown home to his country in Reunion rather than spend 3 sea days to get there. This was not the way to address the issue however Costa themselves could have perhaps handled the communication differently. 10-The customer service desk onboard the ship were told to give passengers the email address of their head office as they would deal with further compensation decisions. The expectation thereafter was to expect Costa to enter into a form of dialogue sooner rather than later given the heat of the disappointment from those who actually paid and travelled for the trip. 11- Each cruiseline has their own rules and lines and lines of fine print however there is an expectation of getting bang for ones Buck . We have experienced a political unrest position looming in the Suez area which lead to the cruiseline changing the itinerary BUT they did give passengers the option of full cancellation . We accepted the change in itinerary with an adjustment to the package price. This is probably what lead me to expect something more but clearly based on the responses to my blog from those in the know, we should just be happy to have paid for 5 ports and only stopped at 2. We had a brilliant cruise overall with great company and do hope that the next time we have a similar experience we will be more understanding and not feel deceived by the cruise line. Costa was and will not be our cruiseline of choice but ports of call will remain the decider. Thanks again to evryone for your points of view. It's good to put them all in perspective and learn from the experience. Happy cruising everyone !
  4. Strange that airlines under their own insurance pay compensation for delayed flights etc, yet it's just my bad luck that cruise ships aren't responsible for compensating for not calling on a particular port. I guess it only hits home when it's you who have been affected. I guess if I heard that QM2 on a TA from Southampton to NY turned back halfway my reaction would be " oh no" but if I was on the ship my reaction would have been a lot more than "Oh no". WHO provided the same advice before the cruise as they did during the cruise. Costa could have been more honest upfront then nobody would have had a problem. I have annual travel insurance but did not take out specific cruise port cancellation. Lesson learnt I guess. Thanks again to everyone for interesting views when I get time I will see if I can get hold of Simon Calder Travel guru for BBC Travelshow and seek his view. Costa and our TA remain tight lipped on the matter.
  5. Had Costa not insisted that we were definitely stopping at the 3 ports in Madagascar despite all the warning signs, I would have accepted this , however they chose to wait for us to board the ship before cancelling one port and then a few days later the other 2. They knew very well that passengers would have wanted to cancel the cruise. This is what upset most on board. and lead to the story making headlines across the world. Thanks again for everyone's feedback
  6. Thanks everyone, €150 each in total was what we got in total.mMy main point is that Costa purposely insisted we were going to Madagascar and only once we were onboard did the break the news to us. Unfortunately I missed the 300 passenger meeting which lead to a Reunion couple being taken off board with a Police escort. I gues you need to have been onboard to experience the disappointment people were expressing. The bulk of passengers booked the cruise because of the Madagascar stops. I agree health wise not a good idea but Costa could have pre planned different stops like Zanzibar or Commores . At least we could have tendered off Praslin for a day for example . Seychelles and Reunion were awesome stops however we did expect 5 stops. The onboard staff told us to email their head office to resolve the issue.Perhaps the Captain could have held a few " for info." Meetings which may have lead passengers to understand and accept the position.
  7. Costa NeoRiviera cancelled all ports in Madagascar but only confirmed this once we were onboard and no chance of cancelling. We got €150 each as compensation which basically covered forced gratuities regardless of service satisfaction etc. Surely we are entitled to full compensation as it is highly unlikely many people would have agreed to a 2 port stop after paying for 5. Does anyone know of a precedent ? I have written to Costa as instructed by the onboard staff however no response !
  8. Go back on Glory and support Edd Carr the soloist . he is great and a guys burger a day will make the cruise even better !
  9. One of the best excursions we've done. Would not have enjoyed Belize had we not fiound this excursion. Our bus kept having stops to fix something in the engine but all on time and great experience . We paid $135 for two of us to do zip line , cave tubing and lunch too.
  10. We booked "butts up" through cave-tubing.com for 23 June . Reviews seem very good and email response was good too. Priced at least half of even cruise excursions.com who are meant to be half the price of the cruise ship excursions.
  11. We had a "just ok " experience on MSC Splendida and weren't keen to book MSC again. However we did and are very pleased. We sailed on MSC Armonia and it was a great ship. We will definitely sail on MSC again , and if it's MS Chee Urmoneeea then that will be wonderful. I think any cruise experience depends on the ports of call, the weather , fellow passengers and if they all tick the box, the ship choice is secondary.
  12. [quote name='papcx']Christmas on a cruise. Now that's an idea! Btw, you seem to have gained a night for the Armonia cruise in your sig.[/QUOTE] You're right, one night was in a hotel in las palmas , only 11 onboard MSC. Now where are the 2015 bargains?
  13. we have just booked Royal Princess in Carbbean from 9 December to 29 December 2014 but are already missing MS Chea Urmonea. a 2015 repo sounds good, I've just got to learn how to do the avios thing and read Skipper T's guide properly. I saw Amex BA card with avios offering 25,000 bonus point but the card costs £150 pa so I don't know. my current cards don't cost me anything and I think I get 1.5% cash back on Amex and 1% on MasterCard and visa. The only ports I don't really want to are Casablanca and Tunis. MSC Armonia exceeded my expectations which is good. We preferred her to Splendida.
  14. [quote name='Wilbur1961']yes, what a shame - but there is always the next one to look forward to. Loved the itinerary, the company (people) and the ship was great too. We had a fantastic time. Thanks to all who contributed to the time away.[/QUOTE] Looking forward to our next cruise together. We had heaps of fun.
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