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TikiIslandGirl

Vantage just cancelled my river cruise

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ūüė™¬†I just received a call and Vantage¬†cancelled mine and parents river cruise. So disappointed. ¬†We were going on a Belgium/Amsterdam Tulips cruise the end of March 2020. ¬†The agent wouldn't ¬†say much but he kind of¬†casually said "it was chartered". ¬†Of course they offered us another date but that was the only date that worked for all of us. So this late in the game there probable isn't another cruise that fits our dates-combined with it being 3 of us and I was able to book a single cabin. ¬†Has this happened to anyone before (via Vantage)?¬† I have read on these boards that this has happened but was wondering if anything had experience with Vantage. I know I will get a full refund but did anyone get anything else for compensation? Like a credit off another cruise or free air or upgrade. ¬†Thanks for listening. ¬†

 

Roxanne

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Many river cruise lines offer Tulip Time cruises. ¬†Triple occupancy cabins are rare ‚Äď but AMA offers a cruise in 'late March 2020' [Mar. 30] on AmaKristina, which as one of their newest ships does have triple cabins ‚Äď and that sailing is presently offering 'free air.' ¬†It will probably cost more than your canceled Vantage cruise, but it is an option. ¬†Ama has three ships on this route [so three sail dates every week] ‚Äď only AmaKristina has the triple cabins, but you might be able to get 2 'Aquarium class' cabins on any of the ships at a reasonable fare.

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4 hours ago, TikiIslandGirl said:

ūüė™¬†I just received a call and Vantage¬†cancelled mine and parents river cruise. So disappointed. ¬†We were going on a Belgium/Amsterdam Tulips cruise the end of March 2020. ¬†The agent wouldn't ¬†say much but he kind of¬†casually said "it was chartered". ¬†Of course they offered us another date but that was the only date that worked for all of us. So this late in the game there probable isn't another cruise that fits our dates-combined with it being 3 of us and I was able to book a single cabin. ¬†Has this happened to anyone before (via Vantage)?¬† I have read on these boards that this has happened but was wondering if anything had experience with Vantage. I know I will get a full refund but did anyone get anything else for compensation? Like a credit off another cruise or free air or upgrade. ¬†Thanks for listening. ¬†

 

Roxanne

In reality, they only owe you what you've paid.  Vantage (like other river cruise lines) often offer free air on some cruises, as well as upgrades on those cruises that still have availability closer to the departure date.  I'm not sure whether they will offer any of those to you, especially since they did offer to move you to another date with no penalties.  

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What was the date of your sailing?  We're on the one you board 29 March on the River Voyager, and I believe there was another sailing leaving the next day?

Haven't heard anything yet.

 

Sorry to hear about this and hope you can rebook something that works, even on another line.  I know that's hard when you need 2 cabins.  Your airfare was through Vantage?  If you purchased your own airfare you can visit these places on your own, travel in this region is pretty easy.  I visited Keukenhof on my own last year, to me it was worth the effort, and nice when you can make your own schedule and get to the gardens first thing.  Lots of great towns to visit with superb public transportation.

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And yes, Vantage did something like this to us when we did their Budapest to Bucharest route.  After we booked (18 mths in advance), they dropped Constanta from the trip, and didn't add anything else.

 

With the trip now a day shorter, all the sailings slide to the left; we were supposed to sail mid October and were moved to 20 September as that sailing had some open cabins.  They basically prorated the days and we were refunded that amount.  We were given a cabin upgrade that was really nothing...moving forward in the same hallway about 5 cabins toward the bow, the room and amenities identical.

 

So the only thing we really got was sailing in nicer weather.

 

With Vantage (and any company), it never hurts to ask, maybe for the refund and a small credit for a future booking.  Again, sorry to hear about this and hope it works out.

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Ural Guy-it's the River Splender that leaves on March 30 (we also were doing the pre cruise in Brussels). They didn't call my mother yet. I called her and told her. We have airfare through Vantage so at least we don't have to deal with that.  Thanks for the suggestion about doing it on our own but my parents are older and my dad has some mobility issues so it would be completely up to me to do all of the planning and logistics and I really don't want to to that.  When it is just me and friends/hubby we do DIY. I've been on 2 river cruises with my mother-she wants my dad to go on one since this was probably be his last trip to europe. 

 

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58 minutes ago, TikiIslandGirl said:

Ural Guy-it's the River Splender that leaves on March 30 (we also were doing the pre cruise in Brussels). They didn't call my mother yet. I called her and told her. We have airfare through Vantage so at least we don't have to deal with that.  Thanks for the suggestion about doing it on our own but my parents are older and my dad has some mobility issues so it would be completely up to me to do all of the planning and logistics and I really don't want to to that.  When it is just me and friends/hubby we do DIY. I've been on 2 river cruises with my mother-she wants my dad to go on one since this was probably be his last trip to europe. 

 

 

Definitely stick with a river cruise in this situation.  Hope you can find a good substitute that works with the dates you need.

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12 hours ago, TikiIslandGirl said:

ūüė™¬†I just received a call and Vantage¬†cancelled mine and parents river cruise. So disappointed. ¬†We were going on a Belgium/Amsterdam Tulips cruise the end of March 2020. ¬†The agent wouldn't ¬†say much but he kind of¬†casually said "it was chartered". ¬†

I feel your disappointment. This is an all to common occurrence on cruises and a function of one sided contracts written by the cruise lines that (no surprise) favor the cruise lines. As a general rule if you cancel, you are penalized ALL the monies you have been required to pay the river cruise company up until that point (Viking with their pay years ahead policy will return some of your money, generally in line with penalties on other lines). On the other hand the cruise line can cancel (at least for North American customers) with no penalty (I do not consider returning YOUR money a penalty). 

Companies hate government regulations, yet persist with policies that beg for overriding by government regulation. I THINK (I hoping the German members of this forum will confirm or deny) that vacations sold in Germany mandate a penalty (50%?) on the seller who cancel for the convenience of the seller. Cancelling a passenger so that the whole vessel can be chartered is clearly for the convenience of the seller and not driven by an Act of God. 

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TravelerThom,

as regards river cruises (and package holidays in general) German, that is also to a great extend due to EU-regulation, rules are indeed more customer-friendly than North-American rules. But I do not know anything about the cancellation in connection with a subsequent charter by a large group. In fact, before reading about this here on the board, I did not know this was done. There is a ruling apparently that the passenger can claim a compensation on top of getting all the paid money back, if he can prove that the cruise lines has mistakenly put too many bookings on a cruise, i.e. plain overbooking and his booking has been cancelled. I think this is a different case from what has happened to the OP. Although of course the effect is the same, disappointment.

 

To the OP,

that is a great pity, especially seeing that you are tide by dates and health. I hope it will work out for you, perhaps as suggested by others, with another line. Look at CroisiEurope, A-Rosa or Riviera Travel for European lines. They all over dates in early Spring. Triple cabins are rarer, but Arosa does have them. See also if you can perhaps get a reduced single rate for the third traveller and book two cabins instead.

 

notamermaid

 

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Tiki-   I know this isn't the same cruise, but Teeming still has cabins for it's Rhone and Provence cruise sailing 2 Apr, Lyon to Lyon.  Viking has some cabins for their Tulip cruise on the 2 and 4 Apr dates, but you'll be out more $.  Grand circle (gct.com) says they have some Tulip cruise spots, check under the 'why grand circle tab', then 'last minute savings'.  It says $1495 for 30 and 31 March sailings.

 

And hopefully there are more than would work for you.  This is not nice, when you have a limited time slot that works for all, and loved ones health as a further concern.  TravelorThom is right on about this...you try and cancel and the cruise line has little sympathy for you, yet they can just cancel...because they were able to charter the cruise and make a few more $'s?  Thry That's bad.

 

Both sailings, 29 and 30 March, had Veteran's Day discounts and included airfare from 150 US cities when we booked just a month ago, so they went from trying to fill the ships that recently, to booking a charter on the 30 March sailing.  

 

 

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Thanks everyone for the replys.  The irony is that I received a email with my invoice just last week.  My parents haven't received a phone call so this all sounds funny.  I'm about to call and talk to someone else and just see if they say the same.  The person that called me doesn't work weekends and I talked to him late yesterday so  I haven't "officially" cancelled. So I have sailed with uniworld and avalon in the past.  How does grand circle and teeming compare?  I'm going to call AMA/Uniworld/Avalon/Viking and see what they have.  I've looked at emerald but It looks like they are all booked.  I'll keep you posted

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So, called to speak to someone different.  Apparently there is only one person in the cancellation department that I can speak to and they do not work weekends.  Well, I had a good experience with Vantage up to this point.  Just disappointed at the moment with them.  I don't want to book with anyone else until I get a full refund so I will have to wait.  I'm still going to call around and see what is available. 

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I had a cruise cancelled on me last November because of low water with GCT.  We were on the way to put our dog in a kennel on a Friday (Kennel closed Saturday & Sunday ) and we were to leave on Monday when I received a call on my cell phone that the cruise was cancelled.  We were disappointed but it is what it is. They offered us a discount for another cruise this year but we could make it happen. 

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3 hours ago, TikiIslandGirl said:

So, called to speak to someone different.  Apparently there is only one person in the cancellation department that I can speak to and they do not work weekends.  Well, I had a good experience with Vantage up to this point.  Just disappointed at the moment with them.  I don't want to book with anyone else until I get a full refund so I will have to wait.  I'm still going to call around and see what is available. 

FYI - no cruise lines have departments like this working on weekends. Usually the inexperienced agents work on weekends. Not defending Vantage but all lines seem this way. Sorry about this.

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Coral-it's ok. I just wished I had  more flexibility between my inflexible job and parents needs/wants. This combined with it being a tulip trip and a short season just adds to it.  I'll see what I can find.  Might postpone it another year.  

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I've done some calling today. There are availabilities but $$$ and when I booked parents got free airfare and mine was reduced and I had a single cabin.  I'm not currently seeing any good  promotions. And combined with it being 3 people makes it even more expensive. It would be nice if we could change.  I would probably get a upgrade since all the single cabins are booked. lol 

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It’s official now. Receiving my refund. Now working with a TA to find a replacement. Vantage rep said it was a management decision to charter out this cruise. 

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On 12/13/2019 at 6:35 PM, TikiIslandGirl said:

ūüė™¬†I just received a call and Vantage¬†cancelled mine and parents river cruise. So disappointed. ¬†We were going on a Belgium/Amsterdam Tulips cruise the end of March 2020. ¬†The agent wouldn't ¬†say much but he kind of¬†casually said "it was chartered". ¬†Of course they offered us another date but that was the only date that worked for all of us. So this late in the game there probable isn't another cruise that fits our dates-combined with it being 3 of us and I was able to book a single cabin. ¬†Has this happened to anyone before (via Vantage)?¬† I have read on these boards that this has happened but was wondering if anything had experience with Vantage. I know I will get a full refund but did anyone get anything else for compensation? Like a credit off another cruise or free air or upgrade. ¬†Thanks for listening. ¬†

 

Roxanne

How very disappointing. I hope you find a suitable alternative.

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1 minute ago, dogs4fun said:

How very disappointing. I hope you find a suitable alternative.

It wouldn’t be a big deal except there are 3 of us and vantage had  single cabins. I wouldn’t have even booked with them if there was a even number going. But hopefully it’s will work out in my favor. The more I thought about it-we were doing the brussels extension and the price we paid was way too much for what it included. So now looking to book the river cruise part and diy the rest. I have a ton of Hilton points and airline miles so will use those. Told mom to pack light because going to have to do some train travel. 

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Tiki-  Great attitude, this may work out well.  And you are correct, the pre-trip is overpriced.

 

 

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We have had three great trips/river cruises with them.

However, I know that they do overbook.  The key is did you get a cabin assignment when you booked?

 

On our China tour that included a four night river cruise, we got a call and an offer from Vantage to move our tour back three weeks.  The offer included a total savings of $1000.   We had no problem changing our dates and saved $1000.

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1 hour ago, TikiIslandGirl said:

I travel for work so I used my Hilton points to get us rooms at the Hilton Double Tree Central in Amsterdam-better and cheaper option than the Brussels extension fro Vantage. 

 

Glad it all worked out in the end.  You can't go wrong with Uniworld.  I'm also a Hilton Honors member, and checked out the Doubletree near Centraal Station for future reference.  Nice hotel in a very convenient location.  I'm probably stay there the next time I'm in Amsterdam.  Depending on how mobile your parents are, you can actually walk to the cruise port from the Doubletree while toting a suitcase.

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Thanks Roz-I really didn't know exactly where the ship would dock from the hotel but I liked that it's right next to the central train station.  I'm diamond in hilton honors so I just booked the cheapest point rooms and will get a upgrade if they are not full.  But I will automatically get to go to the executive lounge even if I'm not upgraded and free breakfast in the buffet or in the executive lounge . If  was just me and my mother I would just do train from airport and walk to the ship from the hotel. But my dad has had 2 knee replacements and and doesn't understand the concept of getting your a@@ on the train with luggage lol  And than I don't want to wear him out by walking from hotel to ship with luggage.  I'll see what is the  best non train option from the airport and will probably just have hotel call a taxi to the ship.  I think I can coral him enough to use the train without luggage to get around amsterdam lol

 

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