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Coronavirus and Seadream Med itineraries


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Anyone have any insight into whether these  itineraries will still operate this spring?  A number are out of Italy, which is not looking too great for flying into and out of. 
 

First itinerary is out of Lisbon in May 7 and cancellation windows are rapidly approaching. 

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We don't sail until the end of June, but of course we are thinking about it. I think our final payment is due this month. We embark from Croatia, and end in Venice. While we wouldn't go to Italy now, who knows what will be in a few months? Things seem to be changing very rapidly. 

I am wondering whether SD might be responsive and make some changes to itineraries to keep them out of Corona virus areas, whatever those areas turn out to be at the time. In the last few days we have received emails from several other cruise lines addressing the issue.

And I'm also wondering whether our travel insurance covers us if SD does not cancel, but we do. These are questions we're going to be asking SD, and our travel insurance provider,  before we make that final payment.

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Good luck, Zimmy. 

 

While not on an Italian Cruise on Sea Dream we are on in the fall out of Malaga Spain. I have been exploring the Travel Insurance question, as I do have a policy booked for our cruise, but haven't yet purchased the air..  The answer seems to be that if you cancel because of your "fears" you will not have a case for reimbursement unless you purchase a "Cancel for any reason" policy.    I think that basic coverage would apply if SD would cancel the cruise.  And also there seems to be an issue of coverage if you are traveling into an area of a known problem.  I am sure that this might vary from company to company, it does make sense to ready the policy fine print of your policy.  

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My wife and I were planning to go also, but I put a hold on plans for now due to potential itinerary changes.

 

I'm a physician, and I'm not worried about the corona virus. I am however worried about airline and cruise company responses to the outbreak (i.e. date changes that I can't accommodate), as well as government travel restrictions.

 

It's impossible to predict at this date, but I have the impression that by April the fluctuations will be more modest.

It's in a state of flux, that's for sure.

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Good points Blindeye.  We have been discussing the same things.  The responses seem to be out of control for trying to make any travel arrangements.  As a Physician you know better than us the things we humans are exposed to on a daily basis.  People don't seem to be scared about those things as much as this new one.    One medical person on the news says we are all going to be exposed sooner or later.  One thing I do know is that epidemics are part of living on this strange planet and this one will not be the last.  We love travel but really do not like the idea of being stuck in quarantine in a foreign land.  Or worse, on an anchored cruise ship.  Hopefully this will settle down when a vaccine is finalized.  

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Thanks to everyone for their comments. I saw the US State Dept just weighed in:

 

The U.S. State Department and federal health officials have advised U.S. citizens, especially those with underlying health conditions, to avoid traveling on cruise ships. (WSJ)


I agree that the most worrying thing would be to get on and not to be able to get off.  
 

Were I Seadream, I might be tempted to let those ships go into dry dock in Lisbon and stay there, getting the updates I have heard are planned.  It would be nice if they were more proactive at communicating with booked passengers. 

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Our cruise is not until the summer, but it goes along the Italian coast and ends in Rome. Yesterday Italy closed its borders so I doubt that any cruises will be docking there for the next few weeks at least.  I would expect cruise lines that are affected to either reschedule or offer credit notes since no one will be able to visit to Italy for the foreseeable future.  If anyone has a cruise due to sail in the next month or so I would be getting in touch with Seadream to ask what they are doing.

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So yesterday I called Seadream to ask about my concerns.

 

I explained I'm not worried about CoVid-19, I'm worried the excursion dates will change and then I will be unable to make the trip (since I'm locked into the dates I take off from the hospital).

 

I wanted to find out if they would refund the purchase (not just give credit) if they are the ones who change the date of the cruise.

They were very polite (and I suspect they've been asked this before) but said they can't offer that guarantee.

My only option at this point is to wait and see how this evolves.

It's definitely not Seadream's fault, but it won't be the first time that mother nature in Italy screws up business and pleasure (thanks Mount Vesuvius).

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Now both Spain and Italy are completely locked down.
 

While I know the situation is rapidly evolving, I do wish Seadream would be more proactive with their communication to booked passengers. I feel like we are all playing a game of chicken, deciding whether to cancel or waiting for them to cancel.

 

Smaller companies are supposed to be more nimble, not less.

 

 

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Those of us long in the tooth will remember we and SD went through a similar situation about 10 years ago during and after the financial crisis.  This seems a bit worse I confess.  Either way we all endured but it was a close call.  Then as now SD is not as open with communications as they should be.  Are they repeating the same mistake now?  While perhaps unfair, especially to the crew we all love as family, everyone here has to make difficult decisions on their own as to how much money in future deposits one is willing to leave at risk.

Edited by JES4845
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Unfortunately, SD has never been open and overly communicative about many things.  I guess that being a private, family owned, company, they are often missing a beat in terms of keeping their current passengers out of the loop.  And because they are a smaller line, they have a smaller customer base. which I feel that sometimes the corporate office takes for granted.  And, I'd guess that their balance sheet is a little more fragile to events like this. 

 

Fortunately, the deposit for our next cruise on SD isn't due for a few months.  All of the other lines we had planned trips on have given us an option to cancel with short notice.  Most are offering a credit towards a future cruise and one (Windstar) is even offering a refund,   SD should issue such a policy to help to give their customers some assurances.  We love the SD cruises because of the service given by their outstanding crew.  

 

And it has been mentioned in another posting, they have postponed the Dry Dock plans for SD2 until October.  They were initially scheduled for April.  Is this because of Virus issues in Lisbon, or is there some other reason (financial?)?

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18 minutes ago, BeignetBoy said:

Unfortunately, SD has never been open and overly communicative about many things.  I guess that being a private, family owned, company, they are often missing a beat in terms of keeping their current passengers out of the loop.  And because they are a smaller line, they have a smaller customer base. which I feel that sometimes the corporate office takes for granted.  And, I'd guess that their balance sheet is a little more fragile to events like this. 

 

Fortunately, the deposit for our next cruise on SD isn't due for a few months.  All of the other lines we had planned trips on have given us an option to cancel with short notice.  Most are offering a credit towards a future cruise and one (Windstar) is even offering a refund,   SD should issue such a policy to help to give their customers some assurances.  We love the SD cruises because of the service given by their outstanding crew.  

 

And it has been mentioned in another posting, they have postponed the Dry Dock plans for SD2 until October.  They were initially scheduled for April.  Is this because of Virus issues in Lisbon, or is there some other reason (financial?)?

Sadly, I would think they put it back to see if they even need it in October.  Right you are about communication.  Always a complaint point about SD.  Back "in the day" SeaDream actually allowed cancellation with no penalty right up to near sailing date.  Haha, the Good Ole Days....🍸

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I think SD is being obtuse about this situation.  Our cruise is 5/11 Barcelona to Rome.  Although they are offering the ability to cancel and take another cruise, our travel agent was told we have to rebook a 2020 itinerary.   They could at least make it 12 months if not longer.  Ideally a refund would be best option.  SD keeps posting on Twitter like nothing is going on.  Not a smart approach on this.  We have never used this cruise line and this lack of communication is not impressing us. 

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Any updates on SD Italy Itineraries? We are fully paid and they are sticking to their existing cancellation policy. Seems like they should be a bit more flexible given the circumstances?

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1 hour ago, MerryKelly said:

Any updates on SD Italy Itineraries? We are fully paid and they are sticking to their existing cancellation policy. Seems like they should be a bit more flexible given the circumstances?

You are absolutely right.  SD seems to be the only travel company not making things right for their customers.  Imho, SD will pay a price for this dragging of their feet.

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15 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

You are absolutely right.  SD seems to be the only travel company not making things right for their customers.  Imho, SD will pay a price for this dragging of their feet.

I am amazed by SD’s handling of this situation and I agree with you as to the fallout, Jim.  Their response is not what I would expect from SD.  I wonder how they will react to the recent State Department Level 4 Travel Advisory.

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This is seemingly an extension of something I have always disliked about SD.  Now first, this has nothing to do with the great onboard crew.  The only time I got good results with SD shore staff was when James Cabello was "my guy".  SeaDream has always been where you are on your own.  Getting there.  Hotels, etc.  You get to start the SD experience at the gangway.  This hesitation of giving refunds sort of sounds like desperation on their part?  As much as I have loved being aboard SD, we have never booked far out as somehow I just didn't want to give them money early.  Sorry to see it.  

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I wonder, and I doubt, that someone from SeaDream is monitoring these comments and valid concerns.  If they were, I would think that they take the "high road" here and do what is right.  Otherwise, as Jim suggest, they may pay a price for this lack of sensitivity.  But, unfortunately, I am not surprised with their reaction, or non-reaction.  We have deposits on 4 cruises over the next few years, and have booked them while on-board to secure the discount.  All have independent Travel Insurance securing the deposits that we have paid.  We will make the appropriate decisions on continuing on these as the due dates for final payments come up.  

 

What has kept us coming back is the experience while on-board and on the service provided by their outstanding crew.   I hope that they do the "right thing" on these cruises to protect their future, both in terms of positive customer reactions and in terms of maintaining their outstanding crew.

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BeigentBoy - best to you and Mrs.  Your post above is well stated and we agree.

 

As I just posted on another thread, I am sadly getting reports that the crew has not been treated fairly as any of us would define the term.  Perhaps to the letter of their contracts, but not in terms of treating them as human beings given their long service to SeaDream.  Totally agree with you the outstanding crew is what brings us all back - and for good reason.  Not sure what to do but welcome suggestions.  Some have relationships with individual crew members to reach out to.  Am told those left on SD2 are subject to quarantine up arrival in Lisbon at the end of the month, and may be subject to same again upon arrival in their home country, such as the Philippines.  Time will tell.  They need and deserve any support anyone can provide, financial or moral or whatever.  Please keep them all in your prayers.

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I see now that SD has announced on website that they are pausing operations until May 7 and are "pro actively reaching out to travel agents and guests". Could this mean a policy change? I am still only being offered re-booking or a 25% cancellation penalty.

Edited by MerryKelly
misspell
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As of a few minutes ago (Sat 3/21 at 1230 PM EDT) the web site showing SD1 making the crossing from Barbados to Malaga departing April 27 and arriving May 9.  The Med season would start on May 7 with SD2 per the latest posting here.  Some of you are on the crossing as I recall so any insights from you all as to whether the crossing is really a go or not would be welcome.  Hard to figure out how one easily gets to Barbados these days, what the quarantine restrictions might be there and in Spain upon arrival, etc. but there you have it.  Not aware of any change in SD policies.  We were on a mid-May SD2 voyage subject to the 25 percent penalty and have yet to receive anything.

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59 minutes ago, JES4845 said:

As of a few minutes ago (Sat 3/21 at 1230 PM EDT) the web site showing SD1 making the crossing from Barbados to Malaga departing April 27 and arriving May 9.  The Med season would start on May 7 with SD2 per the latest posting here.  Some of you are on the crossing as I recall so any insights from you all as to whether the crossing is really a go or not would be welcome.  Hard to figure out how one easily gets to Barbados these days, what the quarantine restrictions might be there and in Spain upon arrival, etc. but there you have it.  Not aware of any change in SD policies.  We were on a mid-May SD2 voyage subject to the 25 percent penalty and have yet to receive anything.

We are not on that transatlantic voyage.  However, the email we received yesterday notifying us that our earlier voyage was cancelled, lists all SDI voyages cancelled as follows:

 

2020 SD I Sailings impacted:
March 22
March 29
April 5
April 11
April 27

 

Also, I heard yesterday from a senior crew member of SDI who indicated that the current voyage is their last in the Caribbean this season and then they will be taking the yacht to Portugal.  So, it appears that SD inadvertently neglected to remove the crossing from their website.

Edited by ctbjr1309
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41 minutes ago, MerryKelly said:

Does anyone know what they are offering guests on these cancelled cruises? I really don’t want to pay the 25% penalty and cancel mine if they are fully refunding as they cancel.

Here is an email we got regarding our April cruise cancelled on SD1

 

Dear Valued Guest, 

We want to thank you for your patience and continued support as we navigate unprecedented circumstances. The COVID-19 situation along with the travel restrictions being implemented by governments worldwide have presented many difficulties for travel. 

Due to the recent announcement by the US State Department stating the US is now at a level 4 warning, as well as the most recent restrictions imposed in our industry, we are pausing operations of cruises through May 7th, 2020.  We will be offering you a future West Indies sailing anytime through the end of 2022 at an equal paid value.  In addition, we are providing you 50% of the value of your current cruise to be used on another voyage through 2022 for any destination.  Both options must be selected by 12/31/2020.  We will be cancelling your upcoming voyage and recording your paid credit to be used in the future.  When you are ready to select your voyages, please contact info@seadream.com or call us at 800-707-4911.

2020 SD I Sailings impacted:
March 22
March 29
April 5
April 11
April 27

Terms

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