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Royal Princess Misses April 30 Disembarkation in LeHavre

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We were on the Royal Princess and had expected to disembark in LeHavre on April 30. Unfortunately due to severe weather, the ship's captain skipped LeHavre and went on to Southampton. About 300 passengers had to change their arrangements, including us. We had intended to continue on to Paris. Just curious what the experience was for others????

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I was suppose to be on your cruise but I took the move over offer so am sitting at home. I did see, first on Marine Traffic, that the Royal skipped Le Harve. There have been only a few posts on the roll calls but not much info other than high winds and one couple who were suppose to disembark in LeHarve had to pay their own way to Paris. They didn't use EZ-air.

 

I was wondering what sort of assistance Princess was providing for stranded passengers both in France and in UK.

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My understanding is that Princess does not guarantee reaching a port. So they are not financially responsible,

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My understanding is that Princess does not guarantee reaching a port. So they are not financially responsible,

True, but they were very generous to us in the past with assisting their passengers who are having a dilemma that wasn't their fault. They don't have to, but maybe they will.

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A friend and her husband were among those who were supposed to disembark on Sunday. They made it to Paris today--missing two of their four days.

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My understanding is that Princess does not guarantee reaching a port. So they are not financially responsible,

This was more than a port of call, Princess sold this as a 14 day Transatlantic ending in Le Harve and a 15 day Transatlantic ending in Southampton. The 14 day was actually more money than the 15 day, at least when I booked. They also sold an April 30 British Isles cruise beginning and ending in Le Harve. That may still mean they don't have any financial responsibility. I was actually wondering if they were assisting passengers finding transportation between to/from Le Harve, not necessarily paying for it. The op mentioned about 300 passengers wound up in Southampton instead of Le Harve, there must have been about the same number left behind in Le Harve.

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there must have been about the same number left behind in Le Harve.

There is no way to know how many passengers were scheduled to board in LeHavre. Yes, the cruise was sold with the possibility of embarking there, but it was also sold with an embarkation at Southampton the next day. There could have been up to 300 passengers embarking in France....but there also could have been far fewer. It would have depended on what sold!

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I would guess that passengers who had booked the cruise ending in Le Havre would have received assistance from Princess in reaching their final destination. Although ports of call on a cruise are never guaranteed, the embarkation and disembarkation ports are expected to be reached.

 

Those who had booked to end the cruise in Southampton but made arrangements to disembark early in Le Havre would likely receive no help from Princess in this case as Princess did get them to the booked disembarkation port of Southampton.

 

We were on a cruise two years ago that ended in Southampton and there were a number of passengers who had arranged to disembark a day early in Le Havre. Due to a strike by port workers, the ship could no go to Le Havre and went instead to Zebrugge, Belgium. These passengers were given the choice of leaving the ship in Zebrugge and needing to make their own arrangements to reach France or continuing on to Southampton and needing to make their own arrangements to reach France.

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Surely if your cruise ends in Le Harve and that’s how the cruise was sold and booked Princess has a responsibility to get you to Le Harve. Otherwise why not leave passengers in Princess cays on a Fort Lauderdale Caribbean cruise.

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So here's our story: We bought the Princess Royal cruise as a crossing that would allow us to disembark in LeHavre. We had independent plans to travel to Paris, stay in Paris for a month, and then move on to Amsterdam with an eventual return to the States on HAL's Rotterdam.

 

The Captain announced at 9:30 the night before arrival in LeHavre that LeHavre would be missed due to severe weather and that passengers scheduled to disembark would receive a letter offering options. We received our letter that offered us a free shuttle to Heathrow Airport, 30 minutes of internet time, and codes that would allow us to use the ship's phones to make international calls. In the chaos that ensued, we struggled to buy air tickets for the 30th to fly Heathrow to Paris. The internet didn't work, probably because of too many users. The phones didn't work. The concierge was not on duty. So I joined the chaos at Passenger Services and was told that since I had not booked return air on Princess Air, I was on my own. Finally a staff person hooked me up to a house phone in the lobby where I was able to call British Air to buy 2 tickets to fly to Paris CDG. Because we have luggage, a low-cost option was not possible. The cost was $1,053. We did make it to Paris, but totally exhausted and stressed out. Hardly the "Return New" that the Princess motto promises.

 

I started this thread to ask what happened to the others. On the shuttle to Heathrow we heard a few bizarre tales of the Princess Air arrangements, of folks offered flights to Paris with stopovers in Zurich, Milan, and Moscow. One disabled couple was to arrive in Milan very late and told to sit in the airport overnight for a connecting flight early on the morning of May 1.

 

I plan to file an insurance claim. Not sure what the result will be. Right now I am not happy with Princess, but maybe my attitude will change if I get some insurance money.

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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.[emoji848]

 

Sent from my SM-T580 using Forums mobile app

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Im sure the passenger contract guarantee is that it will get you to the final destination, if the cruise was sold as ending in Le Harvey then Princess is responsible to get you there. Now if you left early that' aa different story

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Well, this is a surprise. I know in former passage contracts the cruiseline was obligated to get you to your original disembarkation point. In reading the current contract, it appears that is now only in case of mechanical failure on the part of the ship...weather being out of their control and specifically listed in the contract as being not their obligation.

 

Using Princess insurance and/or EZ Air may have more sway, but as noted above the Air routings last minute can be absurd. For future reference, what I would have done in this case is take the train from Heathrow to St. Pancras and then the Chunnel direct to Paris. That may not have worked for the OP due to luggage. But it would have been faster and less stressful than these crazy air routings some people were given.

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Well, this is a surprise. I know in former passage contracts the cruiseline was obligated to get you to your original disembarkation point. In reading the current contract, it appears that is now only in case of mechanical failure on the part of the ship...weather being out of their control and specifically listed in the contract as being not their obligation.

 

Maybe I wont be so fast to check that have you read the conditions/passenger contract box next time I book.

I did read it once. But as you have shown things do change. :o

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Well, this is a surprise. I know in former passage contracts the cruiseline was obligated to get you to your original disembarkation point. In reading the current contract, it appears that is now only in case of mechanical failure on the part of the ship...weather being out of their control and specifically listed in the contract as being not their obligation.

 

Using Princess insurance and/or EZ Air may have more sway, but as noted above the Air routings last minute can be absurd. For future reference, what I would have done in this case is take the train from Heathrow to St. Pancras and then the Chunnel direct to Paris. That may not have worked for the OP due to luggage. But it would have been faster and less stressful than these crazy air routings some people were given.

 

Wow, that is a complete surprise to see that change in the contract. Not a change that is good for us passengers, that's for sure.

 

Like you, I would have taken the Eurostar direct to Paris which we have done a few times.

 

OP, I'm so sorry to hear this happened and that your cruise ended this way. Hopefully your insurance covers this and that you enjoy the rest of your time in Europe. Envious of your summer!

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Wow, that is a complete surprise to see that change in the contract. Not a change that is good for us passengers, that's for sure.

 

Like you, I would have taken the Eurostar direct to Paris which we have done a few times.

 

OP, I'm so sorry to hear this happened and that your cruise ended this way. Hopefully your insurance covers this and that you enjoy the rest of your time in Europe. Envious of your summer!

 

I would like to think Travel Insurance may help off set expenses in this situation. Not entirely sure though.

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It is unbelievable that Princess would act in this way.

 

You booked to disembark at Le Havre.

I would have thought Princess would have offered a much more realistic package...they effectively 'kidnapped' you.

 

Others must have had return tickets from France...what if they had tickets that they were unable to change ?

 

Our insurance has Cruise Cover but not sure this sort of deviation from itinerary would be included.

 

Think I would contact Princess Corporate offices and demand some sort of refund (airfare) and compensation (undue stress). Certainly after that experience you would not 'Come back New ' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Would be interested to know what transpires.

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I've filed my insurance claim and have spent time with my TA, who is looking into all of this. I promise to let everyone know what happens. I'm still curious what happened to the other passengers and if they are comfortable with service from Princess.

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Interesting that Marine Traffic shows 81 ship movements in and out of Le Harve on April 30th...including at least one cruise ship.

 

Wondering whether Nick (Crash) Nash is still at the helm of the Royal...

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Posted (edited)
My understanding is that Princess does not guarantee reaching a port. So they are not financially responsible,

The exception to that is for embarkation and disembarkation ports. Princess is responsible for getting them to their scheduled disembarkation port.

 

I am pretty sure that even though it may not be in the contract, it is in the passenger bill of rights that princess as part of ccl agreed to a few years back.

 

You can do a search for passenger bill of right cruise line

Edited by RDC1

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Interesting that Marine Traffic shows 81 ship movements in and out of Le Harve on April 30th...including at least one cruise ship.

 

Wondering whether Nick (Crash) Nash is still at the helm of the Royal...

 

 

In the end of March, 2018, it was Antony Draper.

 

Pooh

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Posted (edited)
In the end of March, 2018, it was Antony Draper.

 

Pooh

My pre-cruise email from the captain was from Tony Draper, so am pretty sure you are correct.

 

tv24, thank you for the details. I am sorry this had to happen and am sure it was a nightmare for you and all the other passengers. I'm glad you reached Paris safely.

 

I am also sure this was a logistics nightmare for princess. Especially passenger services onboard. But it sounds like they could have handled it better.

Edited by yoyosma

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Posted (edited)
True, but they were very generous to us in the past with assisting their passengers who are having a dilemma that wasn't their fault. They don't have to, but maybe they will.

From what I just heard, EMBARKING LeHavre passengers with EZ Air were re-booked with air they couldn't possibly adhere to (too far away from airport, flight connections too tight, sent to airports way out of the way and late arrival to the ship). They had to purchase ferry tickets to England, then do the trek to Southampton on their own if they wanted to get to the ship in time. Princess said they couldn't put people with EZ Air on ferries since it's not an air booking which seems ridiculous to me but makes sense to them. Sure hope these people had outside insurance.

 

BTW - you can take quite a good amount of luggage on the Eurostar train. We've done that without a problem but in first class which seemed to have a little more room. The passengers above should've boarded the train in Calais to England. Would've been easier I think.

Edited by DrivesLikeMario

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The exception to that is for embarkation and disembarkation ports. Princess is responsible for getting them to their scheduled disembarkation port.

 

I am pretty sure that even though it may not be in the contract, it is in the passenger bill of rights that princess as part of ccl agreed to a few years back.

 

You can do a search for passenger bill of right cruise line

Just found and read the full version. It also includes language limiting to mechanical failure only.

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The exception to that is for embarkation and disembarkation ports. Princess is responsible for getting them to their scheduled disembarkation port.

 

I am pretty sure that even though it may not be in the contract, it is in the passenger bill of rights that princess as part of ccl agreed to a few years back.

 

You can do a search for passenger bill of right cruise line

 

Uhhh... Nope.

 

The ship's scheduled disembarkation port for the cruise.

 

CAUTION! Lawyers at work. CAUTION! :(

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I seem to remember something similar happening a few years ago during the Japan tsunami where passengers boarded a Princess ship only to be told after they were already on board that the disembarkation port had been closed and the cruise was going to end early and/or end in a different port. IIRC Princess took no responsibility for that one, either, unless passengers had EZ Air. I remember thinking at that time that, really, all the Passenger Contract promises is the ship will pick up up and keep you for X number of days. What it does and where it goes in the meantime, and where it drops you off is totally at their discretion...except in the case of mechanical failure.

 

If my memory is correct, then this change in the Passenger Contract wording has been in place for awhile.

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Posted (edited)
Uhhh... Nope.

 

The ship's scheduled disembarkation port for the cruise.

 

CAUTION! Lawyers at work. CAUTION! :(

 

It was the ships disembarkation for the cruise for the 300 passengers that booked the cruise that way. It was not a case of them just wanting to get off early. Their booked cruise ended there.

 

LaHavre was their scheduled disembarkation for their entire cruise. Princess sold the cruise with either LaHavre or Southampton as the final termination point. It was not just a mid cruise port stop. There were also passengers schedule to embark from there.

 

However, as it turns out even the passenger bill of rights that was put in place after the Carnival problems in the Gulf, still is restricted on to mechanical problems. So in this case if, for example, the cruise ship could not make it into Southampton and went to another port due to weather, the passengers would also not have any guarantee for the cruise line to get them to Southampton.

Edited by RDC1

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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 we’re on our own. We did book a Princess transfer from Paris to Le Havre. I wonder if that would make any difference to Princess. I’ve heard too many horror stories about EZ Air, so we always arrange our own flights. We have good insurance, but I’d prefer not to have to use it.

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IMO - Princess should make this right for those involved. They may not be legally responsible but it would be the right thing to do.

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This is absolutely frightening. They are saying that they can take a passenger anywhere Princess chooses and unless they booked their transportation thru Princess, they will receive no assistance getting to their originally scheduled termination point--or the original embarkation point.

 

So...if I flew into FLL to board a cruise and due to weather, the ship docked instead at Port Canaveral, Princess would have no obligation to arrange transportation, hold the ship to allow me to get there, or anything else, and that it wasn't their fault they weren't at Port Everglades. WOW!

 

That's not the way Disney did business when a similar situation actually happened! Port Canaveral was closed due to a hurricane. Our cruise was re-routed to be going out of Port Everglades 3 days later. We were offered the ability to cancel our cruise with a full refund, do the shorter cruise at a 40% refund, and provided with transportation from MCO or WDW to Port Everglades and from Port Canaveral to WDW or MCO when the ship disembarked. I believe they later added some OBC to the benefits as well when the embarkation was delayed later than they'd thought it would be. They also re-routed air for those who had booked air travel thru DCL.

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That's not the way Disney did business when a similar situation actually happened! Port Canaveral was closed due to a hurricane. Our cruise was re-routed to be going out of Port Everglades 3 days later. .

 

Honestly - I don't think this is the same Princess as it was 20 years ago when I first started cruising. I am appalled that this happened but I doubt it would have happened under previous leaderships. Sorry, not a Jan Swartz fan.

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That’s awful! What’s crazy to me, too, is that a ferry would even be considered when a gigantic ship isn’t even deemed safe to dock?? I wondered how Le Havre would go this year now that it’s an actual embark/disembark port; I thought that would increase the likelihood of making it there, but maybe it won’t. I really hope Princess made/makes it right for all affected!

 

 

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Several years ago we did B2B2B 14 days Caribbean cruises. On the 2nd and 3rd there were several hundred under capacity. What they did was on day 11 of the 2nd cruise was have about 300 Puerto Ricans board there and they were scheduled to get off in PR on day 11 of the 3rd cruise. In other words the the Puerto Ricans had a unique 14 day itinerary. On the 3rd cruise a near cat 1 hurricane was in the PR area and we bypassed it. Princess flew all those passengers back to PR from the next port - Princess likely sold the cruise to those customers quite cheap as it took the cabin out of US stock for 2 14 day voyages so by the time they had to pay the extra air Princess sure did not make anything from them.

 

Sounds like Princess would not do that again.

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Many years ago we were booked on the Aurora (P&O) for a World Cruise. The ship boarded many in Southampton only to develop engine problems. After a few attempts to get going; we got to the channel and back for 4/5 days; I'm not sure just how long; cruise was canceled and there were lots of headaches. We were to meet daughters in Asia and instead made major to all meet in Australia and took the Sapphire Princess from Sydney to Hong Kong. P&O took care of our airfare and returned all cruise fares. We were able to convert the airfare to get us to Australia. There was some other compensation (cash) but we were just happy to find a cruise that fit the daughters plans (Their jobs had limits on vacation time)

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I was able to call British Air to buy 2 tickets to fly to Paris CDG. Because we have luggage, a low-cost option was not possible. The cost was $1,053.

 

Did you check into taking a Chunnel train?

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I've filed my insurance claim and have spent time with my TA, who is looking into all of this. I promise to let everyone know what happens. I'm still curious what happened to the other passengers and if they are comfortable with service from Princess.

 

I wonder what happened to the new passengers that were supposed to embark in Le Havre.

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changed my mind about posting a ramble on a few things. it's late.

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This was more than a port of call, Princess sold this as a 14 day Transatlantic ending in Le Harve and a 15 day Transatlantic ending in Southampton. The 14 day was actually more money than the 15 day, at least when I booked. They also sold an April 30 British Isles cruise beginning and ending in Le Harve. That may still mean they don't have any financial responsibility. I was actually wondering if they were assisting passengers finding transportation between to/from Le Harve, not necessarily paying for it. The op mentioned about 300 passengers wound up in Southampton instead of Le Harve, there must have been about the same number left behind in Le Harve.

 

There is a ferry that runs between Le Havre and Portmouth and back. It departs Portsmouth at 23:30 and arrives LeHavre at 8:30. The Le Havre departure is 22:00 and arrives in Portsmouth at 07:15. It may mean an overnight trip in a reclining seat, but at approximately $60 one way. A pretty cheap cost for those needing to get to Southampton from Le Havre as long as the ferry was running.

 

Cruise ships have a very large wind surface. So they may be impacted by strong winds when other, ships such as ferries are still running.

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Did you check into taking a Chunnel train?

 

We thought of the Chunnel train, but there were several problems. First, there have been rolling strikes in France that have affected lots of transport including SNCF, the intercity trains including the Chunnel (Eurostar), so we were not sure if April 30 would be a strike day. Next, the internet on board did not work and the telephone codes for using the ship's phones did not work so we were unable to explore options. Finally, we are growing old and have lots of luggage so the prospect of schlepping 4 suitcases and 2 carry-ons from Southampton to Heathrow (via Princess's shuttle), and then from Heathrow to St. Pancras Station, then on to the Eurostar train (which isn't easy; we've done it), was more than a bit overwhelming. So when I finally succeeded at buying air tickets from BA that got me to Paris CDG direct on the 30th, I jumped at the opportunity. Not a good time and space to be shopping around for the cheapest alternative.

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Well, this is a surprise. I know in former passage contracts the cruiseline was obligated to get you to your original disembarkation point. In reading the current contract, it appears that is now only in case of mechanical failure on the part of the ship...weather being out of their control and specifically listed in the contract as being not their obligation.

 

Thank you for posting this.

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