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Celebrity's Handling of their Millennium Sailing is SHAMEFUL!


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My family and I are booked on the Celebrity Millenium, March 14, 2020; now departing Tokyo instead of Hong Kong.

 

Although due to the Coronavirus “storm”, it has not been a pre-cruise sailing as smooth as I have normally experienced in the past. 

 

This said, I would like to thank Celebrity and its personnel, working really hard to provide us a safe and enjoyable holiday while attempting to take in consideration various passengers requests, concerns while adhering to legal contractual responsibilities.

 

It’s not ideal conditions for anyone, especially in the travel industry. The evolution if the situation is still very fluid and hard to predict.

 

I would encourage politeness and respect to be the norm when discussing with Celebrity representatives. They are working really hard! 

 

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, cachouonacruise said:

My family and I are booked on the Celebrity Millenium, March 14, 2020; now departing Tokyo instead of Hong Kong...

 

What a refreshing difference in attitude. Bravo!

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14 hours ago, terrydtx said:

I learned the lesson of the need to have travel insurance first hand 12 years ago when my parents had a terrible mishap on a River cruise in Europe. [...] The final bill for everything the insurance paid was over $100,000. Their out of pocket expenses were less than $1000.

On a slight tangent, which travel insurance did they use?  😄

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On 2/7/2020 at 9:34 AM, BelloMundo said:


Denial is yet to be determined. We did our due diligence documenting every step, and there were many, this is not a frivolous claim. There’s a dire global emergency, the likes of which have never been seen before, there is no cure and a vaccine is several months in the future. We’ve taken many cruises and this is the first time we’ve taken steps to cancel. We’ve had less than a handful of issues in over 30 years with my credit card company, they have come through every time. They either negotiated an acceptable resolution or a full refund. 
 

Thank you, we’re not about to give up on our hard earned money. It is true that the virus is not Celebrity’s fault, but neither is ours. They have miss handled this whole situation. There is no news yet for the 2/15/20 sailing, mere days before passengers travel out with two ports closing to cruise ships.  

 

I empathize with the OP's dilemma and I am certainly glad that I am not traveling to that part of the world in the near future.

 

However, I don't think it helps to spread panic which has unfortunately been driven by the media.  I have to take issue terms like "dire global emergency" and "the likes of which have never seen before".  Try googling "black death".  Or, currently, how about googling "the flu"?

 

According to the Washington Post, the flu has killed as many as 25,000 in the U.S. alone this flu season & averages about 400,000 worldwide.  There is no cure for the flu either and the vaccine has not been very effective this season.  Yet, currently you hardly hear boo from the media about this serious health threat.

 

This corona virus is a strain of a virus that causes the common cold.  So think of it as causing a bad cold.  People have died from pneumonia as a result of the cold migrating to the lower respiratory tract, mostly elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

 

Although there have been complaints about Celebrity and other cruise lines' slow response, they have to think about their employees who depend on the gratuities from passengers who in most cases support their families.  And yes, loss of revenue ................ the cruise lines are businesses, not charities.

 

I hope the situation with the OP and other cruisers to that region is resolved satisfactorily and this virus, like others, fades away with the warmer weather.

 

 

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13 hours ago, mpk said:

On a slight tangent, which travel insurance did they use?  😄

I have no idea and doubt they remember. It was probably one offered through the river cruise company which I think was Uniworld.

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13 minutes ago, JKHawaii said:

According to the Washington Post, the flu has killed as many as 25,000 in the U.S. alone this flu season & averages about 400,000 worldwide.  There is no cure for the flu either and the vaccine has not been very effective this season.  Yet, currently you hardly hear boo from the media about this serious health threat.

 

This corona virus is a strain of a virus that causes the common cold.  So think of it as causing a bad cold.  People have died from pneumonia as a result of the cold migrating to the lower respiratory tract, mostly elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

At least with the Flu anti virials like Tamiflu work pretty efficiently. My Son got the Flu in January and he did Tamiflu in the first day of symptoms and it cut his case down to only 4 days. They gave Tamiflu to my granddaughter as soon as he tested positive and she never got the flu. From what I have read there are no anti-virials that can be used with the Coronavirus and no vaccine. I saw an interview with a CDC doctor this morning and he said an effective vaccine could take 6 months or longer to develop and test. 

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On 2/7/2020 at 9:56 AM, Bo1953 said:

Clearly I must not be seeing the same thing you are, yet on X's website there is news for this sailing and sailings through 17 March 2020.

 

Have I missed something there, the official 'information outlet' of what is going on with sailings?

 

Or, do you have another X 'official source' that you would care to share so we can verify your information?

 

bon voyage

 

Bo, and may I say we are contemporaries (1953).  You seem to me a reasonable person. With all due respect, some on these boards have been drinking the Celebrity "Kool-Aid".

 

Please, the Celebrity published itinerary for the February 1, 2020 cruise on the website is inaccurate, it was never updated. Over the past 9 days it changed multiple times, two closed ports and two diverted ports, please read the 2/1 Roll call. Ultimately these new ports turned the Millennium away, leaving no choice but to cut the cruise short at 9 days because there was no where to go. This sent the ship to Singapore 2/9 and everyone was to go home 2/10/20. This is all over the Millenniums Roll Calls for February and March.

 

There were passengers (several reporting on CC) on B2B cruises, meaning they were also on the 2/15/20, that posted that they were told by the ship's costumer service "go home the 2/15/2015 sailing is cancelled", the crew reported that the ship is being re-routed to America".

 

Yet other posts quoting Celebrity officials are asking for "names" and denying the sailing is cancelled. I've been monitoring Millennium Sailing, 2/1 through 3/14, our sailing. The bottom line is that if I/you cancel they only have to offer FCC, if Celebrity Cancels, they must refund, the math is simple as to what they prefer, keep our money. They don't care about inconveniencing passenger in favor of doing the right thing by their costumers in favor their interest.

 

Celebrity continues to make bad decisions, risk the uncertain itinerary, the cost of the failed cruise, full refund PLUS FCC, (this is what they offered the 2/1 sailing) rather than just cancel the cruise to begin with and save their costumers the aggravation and bad press.

 

Celebrity is about to do the same thing to their 2/15 sailing AND the ship is about half full. Many have cancelled for FCC, Celebrities preference, maybe it all works out for them, I truly don't understand. 

 

All in all, it makes no sense, Celebrity sent a letter (read the 2/1 roll call) giving these passengers a full refund and 100% FCC. This makes no sense, Celebrity is willing to take a chance in case events turn in their favor and willing to pay double plus rather than offer viable options.

 

China is underestimating all statistics, there is no doubt about this and most responsible sources are in agreement about this, it is not my opinion. This crisis is far from over. 

 

In view of huge financial loss, China is grossly under reporting new cases, deaths and over reporting those "recuperating". This is not over. 

 

Celebrity is waiting until the very last minute and does not care about the anxiety their costumers are going through, nor care about the safety of their costumers or crew. Many costumers traveling out, missing a once in a lifetime vacation and Celebrity has so far refused to cover above and beyond expenses for the 2/1/20.

 

Wait till Monday and read the Roll Calls, the 2/1 scenario WILL play again for the 2/15 sailing. 

 

What Celebrity is doing is IRRESPONSIBLE. Time will prove me correct. How many more sailings need to be impacted before they make the right decision?

 

DISCLAIMER: I will not read or respond FLAMER'S  posts. Save your time.

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6 minutes ago, BelloMundo said:

Bo, and may I say we are contemporaries (1953).  You seem to me a reasonable person. With all due respect, some on these boards have been drinking the Celebrity "Kool-Aid".

While Bo has been active on this thread and responsive to your situation, he is not the only one who feels for your plight or the others who are in similar, albeit even more dire situations.  As this situation is fluid and ever changing, I hope you get a favorable outcome...whatever that me be for your circumstance. 

Edited by Georgia_Peaches
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39 minutes ago, BelloMundo said:

All in all, it makes no sense, Celebrity sent a letter (read the 2/1 roll call) giving these passengers a full refund and 100% FCC. This makes no sense, Celebrity is willing to take a chance in case events turn in their favor and willing to pay double plus rather than offer viable options.

Just to correct what Celebrity's compensation is to 2/1 cruisers:  it's a full refund, plus 50% FCC.   Not 100% FCC.

 

For what it's worth, I'm on the 2/15.

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3 minutes ago, mpk said:

Just to correct what Celebrity's compensation is to 2/1 cruisers:  it's a full refund, plus 50% FCC.   Not 100% FCC.

 

For what it's worth, I'm on the 2/15.

 

I'm upset at Celebrity for what they have done to the 2/1 and about to do to the 2/15. I hope it works out for you, honestly. 

 

My initial assessment stands: Greed.

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We were supposed to be on the millenium 2-1 sailing.   Found out about 35 hours before we were supposed to board  there was a change of itinerary through a 2 am-ish Singapore time call from the stateside concierge.  She seemed surprised we were already in Singapore.   We changed our air reservations to accommodate the new itinerary. 
 

Then our travel agent informed us around 10 am Singapore time because we connected through HK we would be denied boarding.   Which the 2am caller didn’t bother to tell us.   They sent our travel agent the “official letter” which I still have only to see on other posts. 
 

We are supposedly getting a full refund of cruise fare.   So far we have received about 75%.   I know celebrity has different profit centers which refund different times so I’m assuming we will eventually get it all back. 
 

If we had been given the option before leaving for Singapore we would have gladly taken FCC and the $500 airfare deviation fee. We did get insurance but didn’t have the cancel for any reason. I’m guessing we will be out for airfare and hotel and food etc. 

 

I don’t know what the answer is, but wish we had booked 2-14 so at least we had the option before we left.      And I feel I’m more fortunate than those on the 2-1 cruise because the change of itinerary and ports was crazy. Add that to the stress of airline changes and wondering if you will be quarantined when you return. 
 

We have always said if you can’t handle things going completely out of your control don’t travel. But this one is extreme for even us!

Edited by cindivan
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Doesn’t your Travel Insurance cover for reimbursement of costs when the cruiseline cancels on you though? It isn’t exactly ‘cancel for any reason’ because in reality you were prepared to travel. 
 

All this has been such an eye opener. Not so much the virus but the cruise lines response to it. Or the Ports response to it 

Edited by Pushka
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16 minutes ago, Pushka said:

Doesn’t your Travel Insurance cover for reimbursement of costs when the cruiseline cancels on you though? It isn’t exactly ‘cancel for any reason’ because in reality you were prepared to travel. 
 

All this has been such an eye opener. Not so much the virus but the cruise lines response to it. Or the Ports response to it 


I’m not sure. I need to sort all that out this week.   We only get insurance for “big” trips (or for my older parents). We have only had to file claim once so don’t really know the details and process. And my TA handled this insurance so I’m not familiar with what exactly will be covered.   Our purpose for getting insurance is for needing to cancel for health or family emergencies, not situations like this.  

 

This week I plan on finishing my self-imposed quarantine with a bunch of house projects and figuring out what is possible for reimbursement and what forms and receipts I need etc. 

 

But we are back and healthy. And I agree. A definite eye-opener as to what I need to look at future insurance and how ports will just completely shut down. 

Edited by cindivan
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17 minutes ago, Pushka said:

Doesn’t your Travel Insurance cover for reimbursement of costs when the cruiseline cancels on you though? It isn’t exactly ‘cancel for any reason’ because in reality you were prepared to travel. 
 

All this has been such an eye opener. Not so much the virus but the cruise lines response to it. Or the Ports response to it 

 

Most travel insurance policies exclude all losses due to epidemics/pandemics.  So any losses here might not be covered. 

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1 hour ago, BelloMundo said:

 

Bo, and may I say we are contemporaries (1953).  You seem to me a reasonable person. With all due respect, some on these boards have been drinking the Celebrity "Kool-Aid".

 

Please, the Celebrity published itinerary for the February 1, 2020 cruise on the website is inaccurate, it was never updated. Over the past 9 days it changed multiple times, two closed ports and two diverted ports, please read the 2/1 Roll call. Ultimately these new ports turned the Millennium away, leaving no choice but to cut the cruise short at 9 days because there was no where to go. This sent the ship to Singapore 2/9 and everyone was to go home 2/10/20. This is all over the Millenniums Roll Calls for February and March.

 

There were passengers (several reporting on CC) on B2B cruises, meaning they were also on the 2/15/20, that posted that they were told by the ship's costumer service "go home the 2/15/2015 sailing is cancelled", the crew reported that the ship is being re-routed to America".

 

Yet other posts quoting Celebrity officials are asking for "names" and denying the sailing is cancelled. I've been monitoring Millennium Sailing, 2/1 through 3/14, our sailing. The bottom line is that if I/you cancel they only have to offer FCC, if Celebrity Cancels, they must refund, the math is simple as to what they prefer, keep our money. They don't care about inconveniencing passenger in favor of doing the right thing by their costumers in favor their interest.

 

Celebrity continues to make bad decisions, risk the uncertain itinerary, the cost of the failed cruise, full refund PLUS FCC, (this is what they offered the 2/1 sailing) rather than just cancel the cruise to begin with and save their costumers the aggravation and bad press.

 

Celebrity is about to do the same thing to their 2/15 sailing AND the ship is about half full. Many have cancelled for FCC, Celebrities preference, maybe it all works out for them, I truly don't understand. 

 

All in all, it makes no sense, Celebrity sent a letter (read the 2/1 roll call) giving these passengers a full refund and 100% FCC. This makes no sense, Celebrity is willing to take a chance in case events turn in their favor and willing to pay double plus rather than offer viable options.

 

China is underestimating all statistics, there is no doubt about this and most responsible sources are in agreement about this, it is not my opinion. This crisis is far from over. 

 

In view of huge financial loss, China is grossly under reporting new cases, deaths and over reporting those "recuperating". This is not over. 

 

Celebrity is waiting until the very last minute and does not care about the anxiety their costumers are going through, nor care about the safety of their costumers or crew. Many costumers traveling out, missing a once in a lifetime vacation and Celebrity has so far refused to cover above and beyond expenses for the 2/1/20.

 

Wait till Monday and read the Roll Calls, the 2/1 scenario WILL play again for the 2/15 sailing. 

 

What Celebrity is doing is IRRESPONSIBLE. Time will prove me correct. How many more sailings need to be impacted before they make the right decision?

 

DISCLAIMER: I will not read or respond FLAMER'S  posts. Save your time.

I really try to empathize with you.  However, the more strident your statements become, the harder it is.

 

You have a strong opinion of how Celebrity should handle this situation, but Celebrity must consider that for every customer (not costumer) that wants to cancel, another wants the cruise to go forward.  Witness the fact that on the current cruise, there are many passengers in place to receive the full refund plus 50% cruise credit. 

 

You decided early on what you wanted, and confused your desire with the best possible resolution for all.  That's a textbook example of entitlement.

 

You repeatedly complain that others on this message board - the very forum you chose to publicly address this issue - are "flaming" you.  In fact you've repeatedly insulted many who offered insight.  The fact that someone sees that the cruise line has a huge stake in the outcome, and is taking measured steps to respond as events unfold does NOT mean they have "drank Kool-Aid".  your first post accused Celebrity of criminal activity.  If you make unreasonable claims, why would you expect others to think you are a reasonable consumer?

 

You have complained that Celebrity has not treated you the way you wanted.  You also claimed that you feel travel insurance is a bad deal, and thus didn't purchase any.  As is true in any case, if one chooses not to insure something, they are accepting the risk.  Many people do this, but then - as you are doing - want someone else to make them whole when their gamble results in a loss. 

 

Your feeling that Celebrity is driven by greed hardly bears up under reasonable scrutiny.  I can assure you that regardless of your (uninsured) investment, Celebrity, the other cruise lines, airlines, and countless other businesses have lost untold amounts of money, and will lose more.  This is the nature of an unforeseen event. 

 

Harris

Denver, CO

Edited by omeinv
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My position on this is do what the rest of the industry is doing.  When I refer to the rest of the industry this means flights and motels.  Give a 100% refund.  FCS perhaps but may be not.  You don't want to TO your customers.

 

There is a customer service model here somewhere.  Perhaps Celebrity has forgotten about that.

 

When disaster occurred, I appreciated that the industry refunded my money.  I can appreciate the OPs disastisfaction.

 

There are too many Celebrity cheerleaders on this site.  

 

The better players in industry refund your money and do not make excuses.  They realize that they will have customers for life if they do what is right!

 

I have not read all of the pages on this thread nor do I intend to.

Edited by NMTraveller
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Now at the crossroads, I would appreciate receiving feedback from experienced cruisers.

 

Booked on the March 14, 2020 cruise leaving from Tokyo to Singapore. Love the revised itinerary. However, Celebrity says the cruise is not cancelled; meanwhile, feedback from passengers on board Millenium on B2B cruises were notified that the Feb 15 cruise was cancelled and that the ship was repositioning to America...

 

My options are:

 

Waiting for Celebrity to cancel the cruise. If it occurs, based on past experiences, will the cruise fare and airfare booked via Flights by Celebrity fully refunded?

 

Try to use our window of leave from work, to change to another cruise. In that scenario, will Celebrity normally support the change? Will our flights be re-directed at no additional cost?

 

If the cruise is cancelled and the only option is FCC, will Celebrity have a bit of Flexibility on the 12 months period ( for example, our next cruise was planned 14 months after this cruise). In that case, will our existing perks and OBC be transferred to our next cruise?

 

I have never been in that scenario before and I am trying to keep an open mind while assessing my options. On that level, infirmation received so far from Celebrity representatives ir my TA were not ... extremely helpful.

 

Re cancellation insurances, my DD opted not to take any, while mine is useless since ports on the revised itinerary are not assessed as « avoid travel » by our regulatory body and the cruise is not yet cancelled? 

 

Any suggestions or insights to share? 

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43 minutes ago, cruiserchuck said:

 

Most travel insurance policies exclude all losses due to epidemics/pandemics.  So any losses here might not be covered. 

I’ve been in touch with my Aussie policy and as long as it was purchased prior to January 29 I think it was, we will be covered as we took out Natural Disaster as well. 
 

I would not want an FCC in lieu of a cruise cancelled by any cruise line. I don’t think in Australia anyway and maybe UK that is acceptable under our consumer laws where if the product or service isn’t provided then a full refund is required. Interestingly we also have a clause of being Substantially different to that which is purchased. 

Edited by Pushka
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7 hours ago, JKHawaii said:

According to the Washington Post, the flu has killed as many as 25,000 in the U.S. alone this flu season & averages about 400,000 worldwide.  There is no cure for the flu either and the vaccine has not been very effective this season.  Yet, currently you hardly hear boo from the media about this serious health threat.

I agree that the threat from flu is getting less media coverage this year, but that's hardly surprising given the sudden arrival of the previously unknown coronavirus and the mounting death toll in such a short period of time, already surpassing SARS. Also, while there is no question about the lethal nature of flu, the Washington Post's numbers, as cited in your post, are way off. The CDC's summary for the week ending February 1 provides the following numbers for the US, less than half of the number of deaths claimed by the Washington Post:

 

  • CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 22 million flu illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths from flu.
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53 minutes ago, NMTraveller said:

My position on this is do what the rest of the industry is doing.  When I refer to the rest of the industry this means flights and motels.  Give a 100% refund.  FCS perhaps but may be not.  You don't want to TO your customers.

 

There is a customer service model here somewhere.  Perhaps Celebrity has forgotten about that.

 

When disaster occurred, I appreciated that the industry refunded my money.  I can appreciate the OPs disastisfaction.

 

There are too many Celebrity cheerleaders on this site.  

 

The better players in industry refund your money and do not make excuses.  They realize that they will have customers for life if they do what is right!

 

I have not read all of the pages on this thread nor do I intend to.

+1

 

I think you have two parties here, neither of which is to blame for this virus. One is a publicly owned multi-billion company that runs commercials day and night about the "experiences" they offer. The other party is a family that may have saved for year to go on this cruise. The virus is certainly not their fault and as others have noted, travel insurance is useless.

 

If the cruise line can not provide a the cruise experience their customers paid for, then the cruise company should make it right. Its not about pointing fingers, its about valuing your customers. A company that doesn't value their customers will never get my business. 

 

Watching a cruise line's response to a crisis tell you a lot about a cruise line. If they don't treat customers correctly here, will they threat YOU correctly when problems arise? 

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Let's just assume that I book a hotel and plane tickets to Kansas City to go to a Chiefs game versus Denver next year from my home in SC. Massive storms are predicted, and have begun as I fly to KC two days before the game, and go to my hotel. There is great concern about whether the  game will be played, but the Chiefs say it will be, so I go to the stadium in a huge storm to watch the game, paying $25 for parking. But after a 3 hour delay, the refs rule the field at Arrowhead stadium is unplayable.  So, the NFL to protect the entire league's schedule reverses the home games the two play against each other. The Chiefs reissue my ticket to me, and give me a parking voucher, both dated 6 weeks later for the rescheduled game at Arrowhead. They also give me a voucher for $25 for food and beverages. But I cannot go that weekend.

 

Who here wants to explain to me why the Chiefs should not only refund my money but also pay for my wasted air fare and hotel from the first trip?

Edited by mayleeman
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I'm booked on the 2/15 sailing - Or should I say,  I was - I'm sailed with Celebrity many times (Elite Actually) - I do not have an issue with a FCC - Would I prefer a cash refund - of course - But I understand its a business - I am pissed that I can not use the FCC on Azamara - I think that is Absurd - They want to bank our $$ collect interest and hope we do not use the credit in the future - Thats how big corporations work - Its all about their stockholders.

 

If the rumor that the 2/15 sailing being cancelled comes to fruition - meaning they knew they were going to cancel the cruise, but waited to tell customers until the last minute to avoid refunds becomes true, I may swear off RCCL and all their brands in the future - But again this is only a rumor and a game of telephone.

 

Celebrity's  communication has been deplorable - But, at least when I call Celebrity I can speak with someone - Calling Cathay Pacific, their phone system just hangs up on you - To cancel my flights I gave up on phone after 2 hrs and resorted to waiting in a Chat room for 4 hrs.

 

This has been an experience to say the least .. And I'll have some stories to tell..

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1 minute ago, mayleeman said:

Let's just assume that I book a hotel and plane tickets to Kansas City to go to a Chiefs game versus Denver next year from my home in SC. Massive storms are predicted, and have begun as I fly yo KC two days before the game, and go to my hotel. There is great concern about whether the  game will be played, but the Chiefs say it will be, so I go to the stadium in a huge storm to watch the game, paying $25 for parking. But after a 3 hour delay, the refs rule the field at Arrowhead statium is unplayable.  So, the NFL to protect the entire league's schedule reverses the home games the two play against each other. The Chiefs reissue my ticket to me, and give me a parking voucher, both dated 6 weeks later for the rescheduled game at Arrowhead. They also give me a voucher for $25 for food and beverages. But I cannot go that weekend.

 

Who here wants to explain to me why the Chiefs should not only refund my money but also pay for my wasted air fare and hotel from the first trip?

LOL, Y? Because they love You!

 

Of course this is a rhetorical question, which I Am sure one or two will disdain for sure...

 

What about your travel insurance, might that cover some of your expenses? 😉

 

Thanks...

 

bon voyage

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