Would you book with a struggling cruise line?

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#1
NJ
867 Posts
Joined May 2004
Today, TravelPulse.com reports that small-ship cruise line Cruise West, which operates in regions like Alaska, British Columbia and Costa Rica, has secured a $1.5 million loan to continue operations. The same story indicated that the line would no longer accept cash payments from customers without third-party travel insurance, though Cruise West counters that's not quite the case. Read the full story.

Either way, we want to know: Would you book with a cruise line that might be in financial trouble (especially if it's a line you love) in the hopes of supporting the company and having a great trip to boot? Would you wait it out? Or would you just spend your vacation dollars elsewhere? Tell us!
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MelissaP
Director, Product Development
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#2
988 Posts
Joined May 2009
I've seen the pain that comes through booking a holiday and the company subsequently goes bust.

I would never ever ever contemplate risking my hard earned money with a company that I believed to have financial difficulties, even if I had a loyalty to that company. My first loyalty is to myself.

Sorry.
#3
1,871 Posts
Joined May 2002
Originally posted by Garyorient
I've seen the pain that comes through booking a holiday and the company subsequently goes bust.

I would never ever ever contemplate risking my hard earned money with a company that I believed to have financial difficulties, even if I had a loyalty to that company. My first loyalty is to myself.

Sorry.
Spot on.
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#6
Kansas
1,389 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I wouldn't do it with a cruise, but I did book my mom's flight for our
Alaska cruise on Frontier Airlines and it is on the list of companies that are not covered under our travel insurance if they go bust.

It surprised me how many companies are listed as not-covered for default. Hope they hold out for at least another couple of weeks or she will be mad at me!
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#7
107,598 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
No -- I would not book a cruise on a line that is struggling to stay afloat.
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#8
4,586 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
No way would I risk my vacation to someone who is in trouble. I work in a field where we have seen companies that we would have considered bankrupt proof who are now listed as a high risk for bankruptcy. If it's a sinking ship (no pun intended), I don't want me and my vacation to be onboard. They can suddenly file papers right up to the day you are getting dressed to head to the port to board. Don't chance it.
#9
82,474 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
No.....
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#10
1,819 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
No way! We attempted to book a cruise on the Columbia-Snake River last summer with Cruise West. They could never square away a definite reservation for us & our friends because of "re-organization concerns". They were constantly going to "get back to us". We finally told them to just forget it. Turns out the small ship on which we WOULD HAVE had reservations was sold completely!

RUN! RUN! RUN!
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#11
Vancouver Is, BC, Canada
71 Posts
Joined May 2010
If a company is in financial trouble as this one seems to be, ask your self what things you do not know about that they are 'short cutting' behind the scenes? There are a lot of little cuts that we, the cruiser, most likely would barely detect. Aside from possibly having your trip cancelled think deeper about health/sanitation, staff unrest, the small touches we have seen in the past, etc etc. - and no I would avoid vacationing with them.
#12
Second City
5,239 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
No, I would not knowlngly book a trip with a company experiencing serious financial woes.

As an aside ... we spent 3 glorious weeks in Alaska back in 1997 on Cruise West, and I am saddened to read this news. The now-departed senior Dick West must be spinning in his grave to see what his family has done to/with his legacy.
#13
New York, USA
639 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Originally posted by camp637
No, I would not knowlngly book a trip with a company experiencing serious financial woes.

As an aside ... we spent 3 glorious weeks in Alaska back in 1997 on Cruise West, and I am saddened to read this news. The now-departed senior Dick West must be spinning in his grave to see what his family has done to/with his legacy.
I also had a good experience with Cruise West, though in general they are out of my price range unless someone else is paying (thanks, Mom!). I am sorry to hear of the company's financial woes.
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#14
183 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Hard to answer yes or no.

If you really like the line then do so with your eyes open and buy insurance against them cancelling out.

Be prepared for such an event including loss of airline fares if that is how you will reach the ship plus hotel reservations and loss of vacation days.

If you can cope with all of that plus as others have mentioned, possible lessening of amenities, service, quality of food and possible safety violations then do it.
#15
286 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Just returned Monday from a wonderful trip on the Spirit of Yorktown in Alaska. I heard no rumors at all and everything went smoothly. The ship, however, was only half full.

I would never ever book with a cruise line having difficulties unless I paid by credit card and even then I would think twice about it. I experienced a problem last year with a New York based company which eventually went under and of course gave no indication to booking customers. My canceled cruise was to be in April, 2009 and they were taking money for cruises up until August, 2009 and as far as I know no cruises were completed.

I was very fortunate to get my $10,000 back in August and I am sure it came from other people paying for bookings or had paid for bookings from April to August. They were trying to get financial support but evidently it never happened. My insurance would not cover because the company never declared bankruptcy. I consider myself extremely lucky and feel sorry for those who didn't receive a refund.
#16
Fox Point, WI, USA
3,589 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
We did--unknowingly. About nine months in advance, we booked a cruise on Renaissance for late September, 2001. They had, I later heard, been having financial difficulties, and 9/11 put them under. We got a call from our TA three days before a Med cruise. We wrote to Visa, who refunded all of our money within three weeks. We did have insurance, but didn't have to use it. In fact, the insurance cost was the only money we lost.
#18
NJ
1,957 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
If it was close to the sailing date and if I could get insurance that would get me my money back if the cruise line cancelled.
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#19
82,474 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
It wouldn't only be a matter of worrying about getting our money back if they went under but it would also be a matter of what corners were they cutting? Were all safety issues current and in order? What would they be serving in the dining room? Fresh veggies, fish, chicken? A decent menu? Would there be enough crew to provide a good experience?

If they are in financial trouble, how can the cruise be 'up to standard' would be a concern for me.

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#20
Pahoa, Hawaii
120 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Not me.
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