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“Cruise With Confidence”- cancellations up to 48 hours before sailing


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My lawyer advises initiate credit card chargeback against travel agent immediately. The risk is that of either agent or cruise line goes bankrupt then you will be out of pocket. His legal view was that supplier can not provide the product or deliver goods - ie. The cruise line is unable to provide the cruise in a  safe and sanitary environment.

His words to me "Many cruise companies survive on the cash flow from forward bookings and that if a protracted downturn occurs, which it will, there is a real risk that some may fail financially and this would make any FCC your loss"

 

Edited by Flying is for Planes
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5 hours ago, edgekid said:

We booked our March, 2020 Caribbean cruise thru an online agent. We want to cancel utilizing Celebrity's new Cruise with Confidence program where we'll get a future cruise credit. Can we cancel thru Celebrity directly or do we have to go through our T.A.?

I know the hold times on the phone are incredibly long at this time, and I'd rather spare my T.A. from doing this, if possible. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

You need to cancel through your TA. They can cancel without calling Celebrity according to the online TA I spoke with yesterday. 

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We used 100K BOA reward points to reduce the cost of our cruise in May.  Has anyone checked to see how BOA and Celebrity will handle the reward points and if they will also transfer towards a future cruise?  

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Flying is for Planes said:

My lawyer advises initiate credit card chargeback against travel agent immediately. The risk is that of either agent or cruise line goes bankrupt then you will be out of pocket. His legal view was that supplier can not provide the product or deliver goods - ie. The cruise line is unable to provide the cruise in a  safe and sanitary environment.

His words to me "Many cruise companies survive on the cash flow from forward bookings and that if a protracted downturn occurs, which it will, there is a real risk that some may fail financially and this would make any FCC your loss"

 

I'll give a different viewpoint as a lawyer.  At this time, a consumer can't insist on a refund based on a claim that the cruise line can't provide a safe and sanitary environment.  If someone wants to cancel their cruise and tries to have the charges credited back to their credit card instead of a FCC, that's going to be up to the credit card issuer and the TA to sort it out but I would expect the TA to push back.  No one knows now what the situation will be in a month, or three months, or even a year, but it's premature to say all future cruises are inherently unsafe. 

 

As far as the risk of cruise lines going bankrupt, it's a possibility but there are ways to manage that risk.  Denying FCC to people would be one of the dumbest moves by a cruise line because they are so dependent on maintaining the loyalty of their customers.  That's why they have things like the Captain's Club - to increase loyalty and encourage repeat customers.  Offering FCC is a smart move in this ever-changing travel environment.  I think there will be some reductions in bookings but I don't think it's going to put the cruise lines at risk of insolvency.

 

We're cruising in five weeks.  At this point, Celebrity says we can cancel up to 48 hours before the ship sails.  We're beyond any refund period, and we have plenty of time to change our plans.  I'm fine with the FCC.  If we were booked far enough out to get a full refund I'd consider that, but that's not where we are.  Since Celebrity and others have said we can cancel up to that 48-hour window, it would be a PR disaster for them to change that policy.  They've guaranteed, "Your cruise is covered by our new Cruise with Confidence cancellation program. Cancel at any time up to 48 hours before your sailing, for sailings departing up until 7/31/2020, and you’ll get 100% of your cancellation penalty as a Future Cruise Credit."  They can't, for example, announce on June 30, 2020, that the cancellation program no longer applies to July 2020 cruises.

 

FWIW, the Covid-19 is much more hype than reality.  No doubt it can be deadly, but here in the US we've had just 260 cases and 16 deaths.  Compare that with the typical flu.  CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.  The mortality rate for Covid seems to be higher than the typical flu, but I don't expect it to be nearly as wide-spread.  Be smart and protect yourself with good hygiene, but there's no reason to panic about it.

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Glad we did not use any BOA pts  to make final payment on cruise we may cancel,  or for onboard use this time,  but we are very interested in the answer!

 

Hopefully you will get your points restored.

 

I expect when our refund hits, we will lose accrued pts.

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44 minutes ago, Tanker said:

We used 100K BOA reward points to reduce the cost of our cruise in May.  Has anyone checked to see how BOA and Celebrity will handle the reward points and if they will also transfer towards a future cruise?  

 

 

I used Aeroplan to do the same, very interested as well how it works with any point booking.  Cancel through Celebrity or through Aeroplan? Credit returned as celebrity FCC or points? My cruise is mid April so still some time to work this out. 

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GOOD EXPERIENCE WITH CANCELLATION ...SO FAR!

 

We called the reg U.S. Cruise Res tel no at 7:50 am NY time today, Sat March 7 th.    Very short wait on hold.  The rep was pleasant and very helpful throughout the process

 

It was helpful that we cancelled our excursions and dining res ahead of time but she would have done that as well. Turns out, we are 63 days out from our now cancelled Summit cruise so we were in the 74 to 61 day bracket which is  usually a 50% penalty. She sent through the credit card credit amt which should take 3 to 5 days,  and also sent through the request for the  future cruise credit paperwork, 7 to 10 days.  Will follow up here when those are completed.

 

The fcc amount will be perfect for our Jan 2021 cruise which should be a go by then...(Still mulling over Nov 2020  on APEX)

 

Some may want to wait as long as they can to assess, but you may do better if you pull the plug earlier! If your fcc exceeds cost of cruise you apply it to you will get fcc with same exp date for the balance!

Edited by hcat
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1 hour ago, LMaxwell said:

Stick to law. This is real. 

I never said it wasn't real.  My point is the hype is way out of proportion to the reality.  People are stocking up on supplies as if there's a hurricane on its way, even in states with no known cases of the virus.  That kind of panic is creating more panic. 

 

If panic is your thing, go ahead and let the fear drive you, but you might want to consider how past world events have created world-wide fear and in the end came nowhere near the what the fear-mongers were predicting.  You're much more likely to catch the flu or die in a car crash than die from Covid 19.

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3 hours ago, Flying is for Planes said:

My lawyer advises initiate credit card chargeback against travel agent immediately. The risk is that of either agent or cruise line goes bankrupt then you will be out of pocket. His legal view was that supplier can not provide the product or deliver goods - ie. The cruise line is unable to provide the cruise in a  safe and sanitary environment.

His words to me "Many cruise companies survive on the cash flow from forward bookings and that if a protracted downturn occurs, which it will, there is a real risk that some may fail financially and this would make any FCC your loss"

 

Typically travel agents do not charge your card directly. Normally it is the cruise line who charged your card. To initiate a chargeback for a charge which you authorized while the cruise line is still offering to provide the booked service to you is ethically questionable at best. 

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HELP.  Tried many times to call travel agent (Costco). They are swamped. Can't get through. As some folks have taken the offer Celebrity has just offered. One point is unclear to me. Hoping someone in an identical situation that has either spoken to a Travel Agent or Celebrity can answer. Celebrity's FAQ says when you are past final payment, the DEPOSIT (whether refundable or non-refundable) goes to a FCC. The FAQ says the CANCELLATION PENALTY goes to a FCC. 

QUESTION. Assuming you would normally be charged a 25%, 50% or 75% cancellation penalty, is the remaining fare (TOTAL FARE - DEPOSIT - NORMAL CANCELLATION PENALTY ) refunded to your credit card? This is not totally clear. 

I know prepaid excursions, prepaid dining is refunded to credit card. I am talking about the balance of the cruise fare.

If you get part of the cruise fare, refunded to your credit card, if you cancel earlier rather than 48 hours before, some folks might be inclined to accept Celebrity's offer sooner. If the same amount of money goes to the FCC, 48 hours before versus 2 months before, more folks would be inclined to accept the offer later.  This is a basic question. Hoping folks that have gotten through on phones, know the answer. THANKS IN ADVANCE.

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The way I'm reading the policy is that anyone who cancels in the allowed time will be refunded any part of their deposit/payment that is in the refund window.  Any part of their deposit/payment that is not in the refund window would be given as a FCC, with no cancellation penalty.  They're even allowing people to book now and still cancel up to 48 hours before their cruise, at least through 7/31/20, with the understanding that they're subject to same time limits for refunds.  It's a clever way to get people to sign up and pay for a cruise that they might not take.  If you're confident you'll be able to take a cruise before the end of 2021 it's a pretty safe bet.

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43 minutes ago, JudgeKnot said:

I never said it wasn't real.  My point is the hype is way out of proportion to the reality.  People are stocking up on supplies as if there's a hurricane on its way, even in states with no known cases of the virus.  That kind of panic is creating more panic. 

 

If panic is your thing, go ahead and let the fear drive you, but you might want to consider how past world events have created world-wide fear and in the end came nowhere near the what the fear-mongers were predicting.  You're much more likely to catch the flu or die in a car crash than die from Covid 19.

I agree but using what happened in China and Wuhan in particular as a template for what can happen makes this incredibly scary and frankly our government isn't handling this very well at the moment.   It seems that depending on which news channel you watch it's either non existent or everywhere.  All that being said, my understanding is that if you're under 50 this will likely be slightly worse than a cold It's the older folk and those who are compromised that need to be concerned.

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48 minutes ago, DD said:

Typically travel agents do not charge your card directly. Normally it is the cruise line who charged your card. To initiate a chargeback for a charge which you authorized while the cruise line is still offering to provide the booked service to you is ethically questionable at best. 


Actually NO. The cruise line wrote me and avised that because I am a Doctor and will have been in contact with coronavirus patients in the 14 day period prior to the cruise that I am automatically denied boarding. They also advised of a 100% REFUND. Accordingly I am within my rights to charge back.

image.png.d313872a7aea6c502f4e30112c76bd87.png
 

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1 minute ago, Flying is for Planes said:


Actually NO. The cruise line wrote me and avised that because I am a Doctor and will have been in contact with coronavirus patients in the 14 day period prior to the cruise that I am automatically denied boarding. They also advised of a 100% REFUND. Accordingly I am within my rights to charge back.

image.png.d313872a7aea6c502f4e30112c76bd87.png
 

First, thank you for your work as a doctor to help people who are sick. Second, I hope you stay healthy. If the cruise line has written to you offering you a full refund under your specific circumstances, why would you initiate a charge back? Also, again, unless your circumstances are unique, your travel agent probably did not directly charge your card - the cruise line did. So, again, why would you initiate a chargeback against your travel agent?

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6 minutes ago, Flying is for Planes said:


Actually NO. The cruise line wrote me and avised that because I am a Doctor and will have been in contact with coronavirus patients in the 14 day period prior to the cruise that I am automatically denied boarding. They also advised of a 100% REFUND. Accordingly I am within my rights to charge back.

image.png.d313872a7aea6c502f4e30112c76bd87.png
 

Really?  My wife is a Doctor and we received no such email, and she works in a very high risk environment.  Did you get refund or future cruise credit?  We cancelled and took future cruise credit but that is due to having one that has an only exam final 3 days after we were due to return and the University implemented a non essential travel advisory yesterday.

 

Edited by i-m-ed
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12 minutes ago, i-m-ed said:

Really?  My wife is a Doctor and we received no such email, and she works in a very high risk environment.  Did you get refund or future cruise credit?  We cancelled and took future cruise credit but that is due to having one that has an only exam final 3 days after we were due to return and the University implemented a non essential travel advisory yesterday.

 


They sent an email a few days ago . Wording as such "Boarding will also be denied for any person who within 15 days prior to embarkation, has had contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who are currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19. All guests who are denied boarding due to these restrictions will receive full refunds."

The reason for the charge back is simple. There are contractual limits on the time that can expire and if I do not initiate a charge back I may miss out,. Trying to call the TA or cruise line now is just impossible as they are engaged constantly.  They have now attempted to weasel out of the refund and only offer a FCC. .

Sorry I have no more time to contribute here. Other battles to contend with 

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Oh, okay then you were in contact with a known carrier.  That makes sense and generally applies to anyone having had contact with someone known to be infected.  I interpreted your initial post as saying you were denied because you were a doctor (edit) and may have had contact.  Fortunately we haven't had any known cases yet but screening tents are being readied at her place of employment.

Edited by i-m-ed
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1 hour ago, JOHN474 said:

HELP.  Tried many times to call travel agent (Costco). They are swamped. Can't get through. As some folks have taken the offer Celebrity has just offered. One point is unclear to me. Hoping someone in an identical situation that has either spoken to a Travel Agent or Celebrity can answer. Celebrity's FAQ says when you are past final payment, the DEPOSIT (whether refundable or non-refundable) goes to a FCC. The FAQ says the CANCELLATION PENALTY goes to a FCC. 

QUESTION. Assuming you would normally be charged a 25%, 50% or 75% cancellation penalty, is the remaining fare (TOTAL FARE - DEPOSIT - NORMAL CANCELLATION PENALTY ) refunded to your credit card? This is not totally clear. 

I know prepaid excursions, prepaid dining is refunded to credit card. I am talking about the balance of the cruise fare.

If you get part of the cruise fare, refunded to your credit card, if you cancel earlier rather than 48 hours before, some folks might be inclined to accept Celebrity's offer sooner. If the same amount of money goes to the FCC, 48 hours before versus 2 months before, more folks would be inclined to accept the offer later.  This is a basic question. Hoping folks that have gotten through on phones, know the answer. THANKS IN ADVANCE.

As I mentioned in my post above :

 

We were in the 50% penalty period,  Half will be a  future cruise credit,  and half goes back on credit card plus maybe some fees( not sure) The earlier you cancel the more you get back on your card..Someone has posted the chart of what time periods result in what percent refunds etc,,  We were 63 days out  and fell into the 74 to 61 day category... our 50 % penalty goes into future cruise credit and 50% back to your card.  If you cancel earlier you get more if in the eligible time frame.  If we cancelled  after 74 days..penalty would have been 75%  future cruise credit and 25% back to credit card,.  So without this offer we would have lost 50% by cancelli g at this time,,.assuming no insurance issues.

 

We did not have a trvl agent so no idea if they will charge any fees?

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2 hours ago, hcat said:

The fcc amount will be perfect for our Jan 2021 cruise which should be a go by then...(Still mulling over Nov 2020  on APEX)

@hcat, can you clarify a point for me? Was your Jan 2021 cruise already booked and did Celebrity let you apply the FCC to the existing booking?

 

The reason I ask is because I originally understood that FCC's could be applied to both new and existing bookings, based on this wording from the RCCL press release yesterday:

 

The “Cruise With Confidence” policy allows guests on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea to cancel up to 48 hours before a sailing. Guests will receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of the guest’s choice in 2020 or 2021. The policy applies to both new and existing cruise bookings. (emphasis added)

 

On the other hand, the Term and Conditions listed on Celebrity's Cruise With Confidence webpage says that the FCC can only be used for new bookings:

 

The FCC certificate’s value may be applied toward the cruise fare due on a new booking on the brand originally purchased. 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Flying is for Planes said:

They sent an email a few days ago . Wording as such "Boarding will also be denied for any person who within 15 days prior to embarkation, has had contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who are currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19. All guests who are denied boarding due to these restrictions will receive full refunds."

 

Apparently Celebrity always intended to mean "credit" rather than "refund"; that's being discussed on another thread.

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Thanks HCAT.  I am a senior citizen. I would prefer to cancel sooner rather than later, as I have 5 B2B cruises. I would prefer to cancel sooner, if that means additional monies will be refunded to credit card versus FCC. I finally got in the queue with COSTCO Travel. Expected wait time in queue is 131 minutes and they will call me back. I will confirm that I got a portion in FCC and a portion of fare in CC refund.

FOUREMCO.  As I read the new policy, when it says new policy applies to existing and new bookings, starting yesterday, I take that to mean if you book a cruise now, leaving before July 31, you will have the option of cancelling up to 48 hours before cruise leaves, in which case you would get FCC on the cruise you booked after today.

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5 minutes ago, JOHN474 said:

FOUREMCO.  As I read the new policy, when it says new policy applies to existing and new bookings, starting yesterday, I take that to mean if you book a cruise now, leaving before July 31, you will have the option of cancelling up to 48 hours before cruise leaves, in which case you would get FCC on the cruise you booked after today.

Thanks, I suspect you might be right, although I question how many people they thought were going to book and then cancel cruises within that short time span given the current situation. I really find the lack of writing skills by the cruise lines to be appalling. A simple edit would eliminate any confusion.

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