Royal Princess Misses April 30 Disembarkation in LeHavre

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League City, TX
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Originally posted by Mendor
I wonder, what happens if someone has no UK visa in such case?
If I were on this cruise I would definitely make a schengen visa for the France and thats it.
Schengen visas is not valid in UK.
I assume based on where you live you are a USA citizen. As such, you do not need a visa to visit France or the UK.
Newport, South Wales, UK
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Originally posted by Milwaukee Eight
Hum.. why cant you visit the UK or France?


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Probably because they are still citizen of their original country and would need a visa for France or UK.

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Oakland, CA USA
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Originally posted by Mendor
I wonder, what happens if someone has no UK visa in such case?
If I were on this cruise I would definitely make a schengen visa for the France and thats it.
Schengen visas is not valid in UK.
This is what happened to those of us on board: We had to line up for a UK immigration inspection on board the morning we were supposed to disembark. Had to be done or we could not get off the ship. Then we had to go through EU immigration once again as we arrived in France, in our case at CDG airport. For those who had scheduled to board in LeHavre and who had to find a way to get to Southampton, they must have passed through UK immigration upon arrival. My understanding is that most of those stranded passengers got to the UK via ferry service from LeHavre. These immigration hassles just added to the stress and misery of this experience.
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Originally posted by DenSha
Recently returned from our European vacation and have filed our claim for the Le Havre diversion. What struck us was the lack of preparedness for this event - surely a large cruise line would have contingency plans? I can't believe this is the first time Princess has had a port diversion. A lack of customer service and plethora of misinformation made for a poor end to what had been a relatively enjoyable first-time TA cruise. Having spent most of my career in the transportation sector and in customer service, I know this event could have been handled much better and would give Princess a failing grade on this experience.

Our circumstances were somewhat different than those cited by most others. We were undertaking independent travel in Normandy upon disembarking at Le Havre, and arrangements had been made for a rental car, B&B stay and D-Day tour before then traveling to northern France. After the Captain's announcement, we received our stateroom notice between 2130 - 2200h providing more details. Besides the phone access and 30 minutes internet, the only other assistance was "All guests will be provided with a complimentary transfers (sic) from Southampton. More information...will be available tomorrow morning..."

Realizing we were on our own, and combined with the late hour and with neither of us having previously traveled to the UK nor any pre-planning since this was not part of our travel itinerary, we were scrambling to work out alternative arrangements. We made a decision to scrap the Normandy part of our vacation as there were too many unknowns and we chose to head to the next phase of our itinerary in northern France. After waiting in line for the internet then losing the connection a couple of times, it took us quite some time to cancel our various bookings and make new bookings for travel and accommodations. We made the assumption that since the Princess letter stated they would be flying people home from London, something would be offered in the way of a transfer to London. Back to our stateroom around 0100h after a quick nightcap.

Awake in the early morning for breakfast and then to head to UK immigration, and we find a letter from Princess in our mail slot. During the night Princess had booked us a flight to Paris. Confused, flummoxed, perplexed - you pick. At no point were we made aware this was being undertaken by Princess. Their explanation was "because you chose to make your original travel arrangements with Princess EZAir, we have booked alternative flight reservations on your behalf." It is unfortunate that someone had spent time and energy (and cost to Princess) in making these arrangements when we were not heading to Paris and as we were to find out shortly, many others would have begged to have that flight versus the option they were presented. We headed to Passenger Services to cancel the flight booking. At the same time I asked if there was more information regarding the transfers and if I could purchase British pounds. No on both accounts - he did not have any details re: transfers and pounds no longer available but I could get them in the cruise terminal. We then headed to our assigned disembarkation location - Casino to Club 6 to Casino to Club 6, yes everyone seemed to be confused - and again asked about transfers. While the staff person did not have details, they thought something may be offered since Princess was making transfer connections to Heathrow and Garwick, so it was likely transfers would be going to London. And there is an ATM in the cruise terminal so we could get some money.

Our time was up on the ship and we headed to the Cruise Terminal to pick up our luggage and hear the good news. The agent advised us there were no transfers other than the airport ones and no ATM. She did assist with providing travel options to London (we wish someone on the ship would have done so) and she booked for us the coach to London (which turned out to be a pleasant experience). No shuttle to the bus terminal and we were pointed in the direction of the taxi stand outside the cruise terminal. Outside and with no Princess staff in sight, we headed to the first taxi in the queue and he advised us he does not accept credit cards. I explained we had Euros and $US, would he accept either and what would be the cost to get to the bus terminal (which we found out is less than a 10 minute trip). He stated it would be 50 Euro. Realizing this was outrageous we exchanged a few choice words, and fortunately the next driver in line agreed to take us for 10 Euro. Welcome to the UK and thanks for your help Princess!

Catching up on emails upon our return, we were surprised there was no correspondence from Princess providing a further apology for this event nor offer of compensation. The standard survey was in the in-box but the two-week window had lapsed and we could not provide feedback using that forum.

Our priority was to file the claim for extra expenses we incurred and this has been done. We will correspond with Princess and await their response. If unsatisfactory, we will cancel our next TA trip with them in 2019. We are already researching other cruise options. And based on the experience of others, this may be the best thing to do.

An Update: After submitting our claim to Aon Affinity on May 24 we received notice on July 10 (after our follow-up email) advising they approved our claim other than a private tour we had booked. We exercised the option Princess noted in their apology letter to approach them with any expenses not covered by travel insurance and we sent our application on July 23. And on August 13 we were contacted with the positive message they would cover the tour expense. In summation, we eventually received reimbursement for all out-of-pocket expenses, and have a few stories to share with many friends and family, but unfortunately will have to say good-bye to our Normandy plans. I should also note we did receive a phone call from Princess customer service after providing our written feedback, and we had an opportunity to go over the issues in more detail. Still a bitter taste about the experience but at least financially we were not hurt.
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Originally posted by DenSha
An Update: After submitting our claim to Aon Affinity on May 24 we received notice on July 10 (after our follow-up email) advising they approved our claim other than a private tour we had booked. We exercised the option Princess noted in their apology letter to approach them with any expenses not covered by travel insurance and we sent our application on July 23. And on August 13 we were contacted with the positive message they would cover the tour expense. In summation, we eventually received reimbursement for all out-of-pocket expenses, and have a few stories to share with many friends and family, but unfortunately will have to say good-bye to our Normandy plans. I should also note we did receive a phone call from Princess customer service after providing our written feedback, and we had an opportunity to go over the issues in more detail. Still a bitter taste about the experience but at least financially we were not hurt.


Oh Im so glad!


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Cruising through life one ship at a time
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DenSha: Thanks for your update.

For us we have a little update. We did receive a nice phone call from customer service at Princess. The woman there emphasized that Princess considers this stressful end of our crossing as a "teachable moment" for the cruise line. She was kind and sincere, so I accepted her statement. But I also was firm in my description of that night and the total lack of customer service that we had receive on board. I also told her that we thought long and hard about taking advantage of the future cruise credit that Princess had offered us, and decided that we would rather stay home than travel on another Princess cruise, even with the generous future credit. So no Princess for us.
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I guess I should count myself lucky. We were on the Royal, several years ago, and she had problems with the propulsion system in the middle of the Mediterranean. We manage to slowly make it to Naples. In Naples, they disembarked the whole ship. Princess made all our arrangements to travel home. They bused us to Rome. They had arranged a direct flight home to Toronto. In compensation, we received all our expenses paid including private tours we had booked in various ports. They arranged for a hotel room and all our meals in Rome were covered., transportation, the following morning to the airport. On arriving in Toronto, we had arranged for limo transportation to our home, covered. In addition, we were reimbursed the cost of the entire cruise and 25% off the next cruise on Princess. Thank You very much Princess.
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TV24, after what happened to you I didn't even consider booking our 2019 Princess British Isles cruise out of Le Havre (or Dublin, which they have added as a third embarkation port next summer, for the same reason). We will stick with Southampton to avoid such a hassle. I know the Princess rep told you that your experience was a "good learning curve for them", but I can't risk something like that. With five of us the cost of rebooking flights and last-minute "catch-up" travel would be ridiculous, even if we did get reimbursed months later.
I hope you are able to cruise again someday and have a fabulous experience.
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Rocklinmom: Thanks for your message. We have cruised again; we took HAL Rotterdam back from Europe in July, and it was a good experience. Good enough that we have booked a HAL crossing for next spring. And we are on a Seabourn South American/Antarctica cruise beginning in Nov., 2018. So we have not given up on ships, we have simply given up on Princess. Tom
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Originally posted by caribill
I wonder what happened to the new passengers that were supposed to embark in Le Havre.
This is what I would like to know since we are booked for a round trip cruise from Le Havre next August!

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It sounds like they had to get themselves to Southampton to catch the ship. Apparently some were ferried over, but there were those who had to figure it out on their own (not to mention pay for it). I can't imagine how stressful that must have been.
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There are some stories on this thread from passengers who had been scheduled to embark at LeHavre. Look especially for Alaskagirl2010.
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Originally posted by sammybonny
I have never heard anything like this before. I would have expected Princess to organise an alternative arrangement for the passengers involved or at least said they would cover costs.

If a on a flight, and the plane couldnt land at an airport because of weather and was diverted to another airport the airline would make arrangements to take you to your expected airport. It may involve a coach transfer or posssibly hotel stay. They wouldnt charge you for it.

I think next year Le Havre is an option for embarkation on the British Isles cruises, maybe not a good idea.

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We are booked on this cruise embarking at Le Havre in June 2019. Sure hope its not a problem


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Originally posted by Crystabel
This thread makes me shudder. As many others thought, I was sure Princess would be responsible for getting those passengers to their disembarkation port. We have a cruise booked that embarks in Le Havre. If anything goes amiss, it sounds like were on our own. We did book a Princess transfer from Paris to Le Havre. I wonder if that would make any difference to Princess. Ive heard too many horror stories about EZ Air, so we always arrange our own flights. We have good insurance, but Id prefer not to have to use it.


We too are booked on this cruise. June 2019


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