Posted September 16th, 2017, 04:59 PM
Last edited by Observer; September 16th, 2017 at 05:12 PM
We are booked on the Esprit St. Martin/BVI cruise in November. As those islands have been tragically destroyed by Irma, that route is no longer feasible. Crystal has not yet determined if or where Esprit may be repositioned. They are offering those who are booked 3 ridiculous options:
1. Crystal Serenity 14 day Caribbean. This cruise is currently priced at $780 per person less than the price we paid for Esprit.
2. Crystal Bach - choice of 2 14 day river cruises in November. The current pricing on that is roughly the same as paid for Esprit, but airfare to get there is about $1,000 in coach and $5000 in business class. Passengers booked on Esprit are unlikely to want to fly coach. And anyone who has a job is not likely to be able to add 9 days ( including travel days) to a planned one week vacation.
3. Credit for a future cruise. Not a refund, a credit.
Here's what the "mass" cruise lines are doing for their cancelled cruises:
Norwegian- full refund PLUS 50% discount on a future cruise PLUS up to $300 for fight change fees.
MSC and Disney - full refund PLUS 25% discount on future cruise.
RCI and even Carnival are giving full refunds, not credits.
New management is not off to a good start. I do hope they reconsider this decision. There's a lot of competition in the luxury cruise industry, and this is certainly not the way to retain loyal customers.
Do you really think that the new CEO made this decision during his first afternoon on the job? I think this is very unlikely.
As I understand the situation, the Esprit cruise has NOT been cancelled. Nor were the islands "destroyed." They were severely damaged but are still there.
The itinerary of the November sailing may (probably will) be changed, but there may very well still be a Caribbean sailing. (UPDATE: In another thread a guest on the yacht today confirms that Esprit will sail the Caribbean with itineraries TBA.)
As I understand your message, Crystal is simply offering options for those who do not want to live in uncertainty about the November cruise and its itinerary and would like to move now to other options (including booking air, hotels, etc.). If the November sailing is cancelled, further options will probably be offered. In any case, I think it is misguided to compare what other lines are doing with cancelled
sailings and Crystal is doing with a sailing that is likely to have a different itinerary
from that advertised (and could, in the end, be cancelled -- in which case other compensation may be offered.)
BTW: You mention Serenity and Bach possibilities and calculate the value of the offers. Does Crystal specify the kind of cabin offered? C? A? PH? Those values would be different.