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Tour cancelled 2 days before sailing. Outrageous.


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1 hour ago, ak1004 said:

 

My TA just called Celebrity, and yes, they confirmed the tour has been cancelled. No explanation. No apology. Going to book the transfer now.

Glad it  will work out for you and esp your dtr,!

 

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5 hours ago, ak1004 said:

 

Thank you for the advice. This is probably what we'll do.

You can also go online and book a docent tour. We did that last year and had a 90 minute guided tour by and english speaking docent. It was very inexpensive too!

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I know I will probably be flamed to death for this but here I go anyway. Celebrity neither conducts tours nor cancels them. Celebrity offers tours for their customers who many times are  just too lazy, ignorant or afraid to plan and book on their own, or people who don’t want to pay out of pocket for their tours and want to use the onboard credit they received as a so called perk.  Celebrity is only too happy to offer a tour for you with the same company I have planned for myself, but Celebrity will gladly pocket the markup between what I pay and you pay and put it in their own pocket. They are already laughing all the way to the bank that you would use the alleged  * free perk*  that they say they gave you but that you already paid for by having it built into your cruise fare. And now you are paying an additional 20% just to use it towards one of * their* tours.

It is the tour company that sets thé minimum passenger guarantee, not Celebrity. Celebrity is probably just as annoyed as you are, because they lost the amount of markup that their sheeple are paying to get a * supposed *  guarantee of a safe tour that returns on time. In most European ports, the privately booked tours and the Celebrity tours travel the same path aswe do and are right behind or ahead of us wherever we go. 

And all of the other cruise companies do the same with the same tour companies. The Med, Russia, Hawaii and Alaska, they all do the  same. I  can’t miss their paddles or flags just ahead of or behind me, only they have a group of 50 and I have a group of 8.

 Hope this helps to explain what sounds like a first world problem.

Edited by Knolmom
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16 minutes ago, Knolmom said:

I know I will probably be flamed to death for this but here I go anyway. Celebrity neither conducts tours nor cancels them. Celebrity offers tours for their customers who many times are  just too lazy, ignorant or afraid to plan and book on their own, or people who don’t want to pay out of pocket for their tours and want to use the onboard credit they received as a so called perk.  Celebrity is only too happy to offer a tour for you with the same company I have planned for myself, but Celebrity will gladly pocket the markup between what I pay and you pay and put it in their own pocket. They are already laughing all the way to the bank that you would use the alleged  * free perk*  that they say they gave you but that you already paid for by having it built into your cruise fare. And now you are paying an additional 20% just to use it towards one of * their* tours.

It is the tour company that sets thé minimum passenger guarantee, not Celebrity. Celebrity is probably just as annoyed as you are, because they lost the amount of markup that their sheeple are paying to get a * supposed *  guarantee of a safe tour that returns on time. In most European ports, the privately booked tours and the Celebrity tours travel the same path aswe do and are right behind or ahead of us wherever we go. 

And all of the other cruise companies do the same with the same tour companies. The Med, Russia, Hawaii and Alaska, they all do the  same. I  can’t miss their paddles or flags just ahead of or behind me, only they have a group of 50 and I have a group of 8.

 Hope this helps to explain what sounds like a first world problem.

No flame, yet wanted to point out that most third (3rd) party companies will have a spread between the original operator and them, as the middleman. Economics not withstanding.

 

I agree, that often times one can book, economically, better by trying to go direct. Although, we have run into several situations where the tour operator will only accept bookings through X.

 

bon voyage

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2 hours ago, Knolmom said:

I know I will probably be flamed to death for this but here I go anyway. Celebrity neither conducts tours nor cancels them. Celebrity offers tours for their customers who many times are  just too lazy, ignorant or afraid to plan and book on their own, or people who don’t want to pay out of pocket for their tours and want to use the onboard credit they received as a so called perk.  Celebrity is only too happy to offer a tour for you with the same company I have planned for myself, but Celebrity will gladly pocket the markup between what I pay and you pay and put it in their own pocket. They are already laughing all the way to the bank that you would use the alleged  * free perk*  that they say they gave you but that you already paid for by having it built into your cruise fare. And now you are paying an additional 20% just to use it towards one of * their* tours.

It is the tour company that sets thé minimum passenger guarantee, not Celebrity. Celebrity is probably just as annoyed as you are, because they lost the amount of markup that their sheeple are paying to get a * supposed *  guarantee of a safe tour that returns on time. In most European ports, the privately booked tours and the Celebrity tours travel the same path aswe do and are right behind or ahead of us wherever we go. 

And all of the other cruise companies do the same with the same tour companies. The Med, Russia, Hawaii and Alaska, they all do the  same. I  can’t miss their paddles or flags just ahead of or behind me, only they have a group of 50 and I have a group of 8.

 Hope this helps to explain what sounds like a first world problem.

 

Yes, I'm one of those lazy (not ignorant) customers who just don't have the time to do the planning and the research. This is one of the reasons we like cruises more than land tours. We like everything to be done and planned for us. We like that someone else is doing the planning. We like that we don't have to worry about train schedules, traffic, taxis, potential strikes etc. I know we are overpaying, but at this point in our lives, convenience and comfort are more important to us than money.

 

That said, we did take mostly private tours in our Baltic cruise last year - mostly because we knew the company in St. Petersburg, it was very easy to plan and book, and the tours were virtually identical to ship tours. But more importantly, they picked us up from the ship and returned us to the ship. (As a side note, some of those tours had only 8-10 people, and they still happened.) I don't know if this option is possible in Dover and La Havre, and I don't really have the time to check out.  

 

This is why when I rely on a cruise company to do the job for me, and willing to overpay for it, and they let me down, I'm upset. I'm surprised that so many people are defending the cruise line (and it doesn't really matter which line it is, they all have the same policy). As a business owner myself, when I promise something to my customers, I stand behind my promise, even if I lose money in the process. I expect the same from cruise lines and other service providers. Some people might call it unrealistic expectations. I call it expecting higher standards. And yes, it upsets me when those standards are not met.

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33 minutes ago, ak1004 said:

 

Yes, I'm one of those lazy (not ignorant) customers who just don't have the time to do the planning and the research. This is one of the reasons we like cruises more than land tours. We like everything to be done and planned for us. We like that someone else is doing the planning. We like that we don't have to worry about train schedules, traffic, taxis, potential strikes etc. I know we are overpaying, but at this point in our lives, convenience and comfort are more important to us than money.

 

That said, we did take mostly private tours in our Baltic cruise last year - mostly because we knew the company in St. Petersburg, it was very easy to plan and book, and the tours were virtually identical to ship tours. But more importantly, they picked us up from the ship and returned us to the ship. (As a side note, some of those tours had only 8-10 people, and they still happened.) I don't know if this option is possible in Dover and La Havre, and I don't really have the time to check out.  

 

This is why when I rely on a cruise company to do the job for me, and willing to overpay for it, and they let me down, I'm upset. I'm surprised that so many people are defending the cruise line (and it doesn't really matter which line it is, they all have the same policy). As a business owner myself, when I promise something to my customers, I stand behind my promise, even if I lose money in the process. I expect the same from cruise lines and other service providers. Some people might call it unrealistic expectations. I call it expecting higher standards. And yes, it upsets me when those standards are not met.

 

The problem here is that the cruise lines do not promise you anything, so they have not failed to keep any promises.  We almost always go on private tours now, and find that they generally are better and much cheaper than ship tours.

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We tend to only do ship tours when we have all 4 perks and an excess of OBC. We've cruised enough that we no longer want any of the merchandise offered for sale on board, are indifferent about eating in specialty restaurants whose menus haven't changed in years, don't care if we visit the spa or not. In the case that we've got $1000 OBC only half of which is refundable, it's logical not to reach into our pocket for private tours and use some of the OBC. When they are then cancelled last minute, it is at the very  least inconvenient.

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If we can't walk back the pier on our own, we almost  ALWAYS book ship's excursions.  We are usually off the ship first, have had excellent tours and guides, and  nice mini busses, etc.

 

The ship waits ...have had late returns a few times but the ship waited..even when the bus  broke down in a forest in Costa Rica!   In Europe, X sent escorts along  in addition to the guides, to help with language and other issues.

 

Costs more and groups are larger but we don't mind! The few times we took local taxis to resorts, no guarantee they will return for you later ..stressful.

 

 

Edited by hcat
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16 hours ago, ak1004 said:

 

We sailed on Oceania, Azamara, Princess, Cunard, Holland, RCI, Costa and Carnival. 12 cruises in total. Never happened. On Oceania and Azamara, some of the buses were half empty. Maybe 20-25 people. The tours still happened.

Not accurate (except maybe for you). With Azamara this is not always the case. They do get cancelled. I've had it happen to me and have seen it done to others.  

 

Phil 

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Let us not forget that no one knows why the tour was cancelled.  There have been some posters, including the OP.,, who have assumed that the minimum number of participants was not met.  But there are many reasons the tour could have been cancelled -- the company offering it could have ceased business, the Louvre might have put on some new and unexpected restriction, the tour operator could have even passed away.  Stuff happens.  It's how we deal with it that matters.  Ranting on Cruise Critic gets rid of some ire, but is the anger against the cruise line in this case misplaced?  likely so.

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18 hours ago, ak1004 said:

Amusing to see all the responses from Celebrity fanboys. Obviously Celebrity can do nothing wrong. EVER.

 

Missing ports is completely different. It is usually due to weather conditions that cannot be controlled, and passengers safety is put first. Which I completely understand and support.

 

In this case, I suspect the real reason was they did not meet the minimum number of participants. Which might be legal - still doesn't make it right. They charge outrageous prices for those tours (much higher than Oceania for example), so making slightly less on one single tour shouldn't be a big deal. 

 

What is even more outrageous is the way it was done - 2 days before the cruise sail, and without even sending a simple notice. 

Several times I've had notices left in my cabin upon embarkation that a tour has been changed or canceled - this has nothing to do with X - it happens on all lines, so no fanboy here. I don't recall ever receiving a notice that a tour has been changed or cancelled until I arrived on the ship. Once on board there should be other options to do for that port. Just another reason I book independent tours if something is really important to me, but I do understand that not everyone is comfortable with that.

 

 Things happen and life goes on.  

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9 hours ago, ak1004 said:

 

Yes, I'm one of those lazy (not ignorant) customers who just don't have the time to do the planning and the research. This is one of the reasons we like cruises more than land tours. We like everything to be done and planned for us. We like that someone else is doing the planning. We like that we don't have to worry about train schedules, traffic, taxis, potential strikes etc. I know we are overpaying, but at this point in our lives, convenience and comfort are more important to us than money.

 

 

You willingly pay extra because you realize want the value-added features that booking a cruise-sponsored tour provides, and yet you previously said the tour prices were "outrageous."  If you see value in it and willingly and eagerly pay it, you can hardly say it's outrageous. 

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48 minutes ago, waterbug123 said:

 

You willingly pay extra because you realize want the value-added features that booking a cruise-sponsored tour provides, and yet you previously said the tour prices were "outrageous."  If you see value in it and willingly and eagerly pay it, you can hardly say it's outrageous. 

 

I think Mercedes prices are outrageous, and I'm still driving a Mercedes. Sometimes you know something is outrageously overpriced, and still willing to pay for it, for various reasons.

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Not sure if you already booked the new Louvre transfer or not, but if you're boarding the ship in the next few days check with the Destination Concierge and see if they can arrange a private journey for your family. We've done this in several ports over the years when traveling with a group of friends and it has been a wonderful experience. The price is sometimes a little higher than the ship's tour, but its your own driver/vehicle and you can help set the itinerary with the Destination Concierge when you make the request if they don't already have one set that you like. This is an additional option! 🙂

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22 minutes ago, s5cmh170 said:

Not sure if you already booked the new Louvre transfer or not, but if you're boarding the ship in the next few days check with the Destination Concierge and see if they can arrange a private journey for your family. We've done this in several ports over the years when traveling with a group of friends and it has been a wonderful experience. The price is sometimes a little higher than the ship's tour, but its your own driver/vehicle and you can help set the itinerary with the Destination Concierge when you make the request if they don't already have one set that you like. This is an additional option! 🙂

 

Excellent advice, thank you! Boarding tomorrow.

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17 hours ago, Kartgv said:

We had a snorkeling tour cancelled after we were on the boat ready to leave the pier - because there were 13 total people onboard and the boat operator said it was unlucky!  He asked for a volunteer to get off but no one was willing, so he simply wouldn't leave!      Luckily there was a ship's representative on the pier who quickly got us free day passes to a luxury hotel nearby, so the day was salvaged.   As others have said, 'outrageous happens' so just make the best of it.   

I thought I had heard it all.  

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15 hours ago, Knolmom said:

Celebrity offers tours for their customers who many times are  just too lazy, ignorant or afraid to plan and book on their own, or people who don’t want to pay out of pocket for their tours and want to use the onboard credit they received as a so called perk. 

 

lol

 

I research and plan nearly every detail of our vacations. It's extremely rare that we set foot in a restaurant or even a bar for that matter that I haven't at least partially vetted through my research. We walked past the hoards standing in line to see the Roman Colosseum because I learned before I left home that tickets were available at the Palatine Hill ticket office which has no lines. Whenever we took the kids to Disneyworld, they experienced every single major attraction with no to minimal waits and felt sorry for the other kids complaining on their way out about all that they missed. I paid extra for a premium tour of Ang Thong National Marine Park on a small, fast boat and felt sorry for the masses we saw crammed into slow, uncomfortable vessels which barely made it to a third of the sites (and sights) we experienced and got home later. I can give you many, many more examples.

 

We're neither lazy, ignorant nor afraid. Yet, we have and will continue to book Celebrity's overpriced, underwhelming excursions (whether we have OBC or not) for one simple reason - peace of mind. I'm not a seasoned cruiser and likely never will be. We've thoroughly enjoyed our two Celebrity cruises and very much look forward to our next - but, as we enjoy a variety of travel experiences, we'll likely always be "occasional" cruisers. So while many of you are comfortable taking the chance (no matter how minute) on missing the ship because you took a private excursion, we're not. While I'm quite happy to make my way around say, Old San Juan without Celebrity promising to wait for me, I'm just not comfortable with tours that require me to rely on someone else to get me back to the ship at the appointed time. We look forward to our vacations and the last thing we want to be doing is worrying whether we'll be unsuccessful pier runners.

 

You may laugh or scoff at my view on this but please don't suggest I'm ignorant, lazy or cheap.

Edited by wpgcycler
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Wpgcycler - I agree. We are seasoned cruiser and rarely take a ship’s excursion when it is just the two of the us. This cruise (to the Caribbean) we will have our 8 year old granddaughter with us. So, for peace of mind, we are taking Celebrity excursions in Tortola to the Baths and in Nassau to Blue Lagoon to swim with the dolphins. Both excursions require boat transportation. If it were just us and we got stuck somewhere and missed the ship we would be fine. But it will be much more relaxing not having to think about getting back to the ship on time with our granddaughter along. 

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Wpgcycler, There is absolutely nothing wrong with your point of view since it works for you :).  And you are not alone.  A few years ago, a couple knocked on our cabin door while we were on a long Med cruise.  They knew of me because of many DIY posts for Europe here on Cruise Critic and told us they were desperate for some shore planning help.  A few days prior to their trip it occurred to them that they were actually spending more money on their cruise line excursions (booked in every port) then the cost of the actual cruise :).   DW and I want to a lounge, we all had some drinks, and we eventually spent hours helping this nice couple plan alternative shore days (that pretty much duplicated their tours) that would have saved them several thousand dollars.  But alas, they still ended up taking all those cruise line excursions because they did not have the necessary level of comfort to venture off on their own.

 

That couple later told us they enjoyed most of their excursions (they had major issues with 2) .  We assured them that even those of us who routinely do things on our own have bad days when everything goes wrong.  Bottom line is when it comes to DIY versus cruise line excursions versus private tours...there is no right or wrong.  Whatever works for you is right :).

 

Hank

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I was walking with the people to the excursion boat and they were asking the health questions and I told them I take blood pressure medicine and they wouldn’t take me.  The Celebrity rep tried to sell me a more sedate snorkeling excursion but we declined.  Talk about last minute notice.  What we did learn that day is that it’s very easy to do an excursion on your own, even at the last minute (one of the best days ever), and not to tell anyone you take blood pressure medicine.

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38 minutes ago, AZ Ocean Lover said:

I was walking with the people to the excursion boat and they were asking the health questions and I told them I take blood pressure medicine and they wouldn’t take me.  The Celebrity rep tried to sell me a more sedate snorkeling excursion but we declined.  Talk about last minute notice.  What we did learn that day is that it’s very easy to do an excursion on your own, even at the last minute (one of the best days ever), and not to tell anyone you take blood pressure medicine.

 

I think as a general comment, it really depends on the excursion. When the destination is close to the port, in some cases it's pretty straightforward. When it's a 2-3 hours drive (like Paris or London), it could be more complicated and more factors involved. Planning for taxis, trains, risking potential strikes etc. could be tricky. 

 

In our last cruise with Azamara, we took a tour to Sao Paulo. Normal drive s around 2 hours, but on our way back there was a nasty weather and severe accident. The drive took almost 4 hours. We spoke to some forks who took a private tour, and it was very stressful for them. They barely made it to the ship on time. So it really depends on many factors. 

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1 hour ago, Jeal said:

Wpgcycler - I agree. We are seasoned cruiser and rarely take a ship’s excursion when it is just the two of the us. This cruise (to the Caribbean) we will have our 8 year old granddaughter with us. So, for peace of mind, we are taking Celebrity excursions in Tortola to the Baths and in Nassau to Blue Lagoon to swim with the dolphins. Both excursions require boat transportation. If it were just us and we got stuck somewhere and missed the ship we would be fine. But it will be much more relaxing not having to think about getting back to the ship on time with our granddaughter along. 

 

Just curious if the description said  8 is a good age for the Baths?  Seems a bit rugged which is why we have not booked that tour?

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The description doesn’t mention an age. We have been before and didn’t find it extremely difficult to manage. Are you traveling with a child or considering it for yourself? 

We are both over 65, walk about 4 miles daily and hike whenever we can. She gets hot quickly but since there is lots of water to cool off in I think we will be fine. 

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23 hours ago, ak1004 said:

Thank you everyone for your advice.

 

As I mentioned before, my complaint is not only for the cancellation itself, but also for lack of communication. Obviously, I can only guess why the tour has been cancelled because I didn't even get a notice about it.

 

I checked Celebrity website. The have the Paris "On Your Own" tour which is $179 CAD, but now they also have Louvre Transfer at $134 CAD. I guess the second one replaces the Louvre guided tour that has been cancelled.

 

But now I'm confused: what is the difference and why the first one is more expensive? They both include transfer only.

Maybe Louvre Transfer is only one way.

Edited by G.M.T.
Celebrity just cancelled my message.
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I can understand OPs frustration... given the distance Paris is from the cruise port and the short amount of time you end up having in Paris. One reason we have not done a European cruise is that there isn't enough time to do the larger cities justice. The film 'Rendevous' captures my impression of doing Paris on a cruise.... intended to lighten the mood.. not a criticism at all. Rendevous

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