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Herman The Cat

Scenic River Cruise Coronavirus Cancellation Policy

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Posted (edited)

Anyone on a Scenic River cruise soon? We’re scheduled for mid-May on the Danube and booked over a year ago. They are offering rebooking protection AFTER June 1 which makes no sense at all when things are potentially worse before then. And of course when they announced that policy it was a farce because people booked that far out hadn’t made final payments, so all they’d lose is their deposit.

“Scenic has announced a new cancellation policy which will take effect immediately across the company’s portfolio of brands. 

The policy provides all currently booked guests with a departure on or after June 1, 2020, and guests considering a booking after that date, the option to transfer their booking to an alternate departure without penalty*, up to 30 days prior to departure.“ 

 

Nothing offered to those booked prior to June 1. 

 

We made our final payment a few days before Italy exploded. Right now we’re in the 35% penalty zone and next week it goes to 50%. They said we could transfer our booking for a fee and we booked our air through them and they said we have to pay the rebooking fee on that as well! The airlines haven’t extended their free rebooking policies to mid-May yet, only through 4/30.

 

TA is fantastic calling all levels at Scenic but is getting nowhere with them. Insurance doesn’t cover a pandemic. So right now we have 35% at risk and are waiting for them to revise their policy. Anyone every dealt with them before? They have totally missed the boat on this and we are very frustrated and of course don’t want to lose over $5000 per person nor do we want to wait until the penalties escalate. So frustrating and of course unfair And completely unreasonable. Oh, and we are supposed to go to Northern Italy beforehand (which of course has to be cancelled) and they updated their policy and are not letting any passengers board from Italy and all they can say is “You can rebook/transfer the booking for a fee.” I can’t believe how idiotic this company is acting and out of touch with reality. They are burning through any goodwill with their customers and at this point we don’t even want to rebook they have left such a bad taste in our mouths. [Which of course they might like because then they keep the money.]  Ideas/advice/suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Edited by Herman The Cat

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We have to decide to sale or cancel and loose 50 percent by the 15th. I have “heard” that they are looking at a policy for those of use sailing between now and June 1. We are just waiting to hear something. Other cruise companies have come out with some really decent choices. We are hoping 

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My TA has sent their documents to an attorney for review. I’m sure there’s no loophole in them but she is having them checked just in case. TA had heard a policy was to come out today but I suspect with yesterday’s meeting in DC it was delayed. 

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9 hours ago, Herman The Cat said:

My TA has sent their documents to an attorney for review. I’m sure there’s no loophole in them but she is having them checked just in case. TA had heard a policy was to come out today but I suspect with yesterday’s meeting in DC it was delayed. 

Wow - what a great TA.

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I’m very sorry this is happening, and I hope Scenic comes to their senses. The most pressing issue is for people cruising in the next month or two, and it’s terrible that Scenic has not addressed it.
 

This board is a wealth of important information about cruise lines and how they treat their guests, and Scenic, as far as I’m concerned, is generating a lot of ill-will by what they are doing (or not doing).  This is especially so when you look at what some of their competitors are doing. 
 

I’d heard very good things about Scenic’s cruises, but I’d be hard pressed to book with them after this. 

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Posted (edited)

Turtles06 ...

our TA has sent the policies of other cruiselines to theIr management to no avail. The policy makes no sense, other than they just want to keep the $$$ and not give it back. They are generating so much ill-will. We were so excited to try them and had heard great things about them but now are feeling like we want nothing to do with them. I’m sure there are thousands out there who feel the same. 

Perhaps the Eclipse cost more than expected after its delay, they had to give those booked so many credits that they really need the $$$$.

 

Edited by Herman The Cat

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We're sailing Emerald (one of Scenic's lines) in France in mid-May.  I'm wondering the same thing about the PRIOR to June 1.  My TA is working on getting an answer, but there's nothing yet.  

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My TA said they were supposed to come out with a policy last night and she would text me. No policy last night. She said the way the cruise contract reads is the only way you really get a refund is if they cancel. AND it is under Swiss law. So perhaps they are trying to move as many bookings as possible to another time because they think they may be cancelling. Then they won’t have to refund!! 

 

It seems there policy (or lack there-of) is the worst in the river cruise industry. 

 

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We are heading to the head office in Vancouver today.  This Is absolutely ridiculous.  We are to travel mid April, so at the stage where we will lose 50%.  Might have to get the media involved.   As you say they have our money, they don't care about our health or anyone elses for that matter!

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47 minutes ago, Baileytoby said:

We are heading to the head office in Vancouver today.  This Is absolutely ridiculous.  We are to travel mid April, so at the stage where we will lose 50%.  Might have to get the media involved.   As you say they have our money, they don't care about our health or anyone elses for that matter!

Please report back on how your appeal to the head office turns out. 

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Definitely!  I have printed out these comments, and the cruise critic update of all the cruise lines update of cancellation policies. Scenic/emerald still the worst!  Must say seeing a number of other river cruise lines that i didn't know about in the daily update ..... 

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Here is the update as of today:

Our cancellation policy for guest with bookings departing up to 31 May, 2020. 

For any guest departing up to 31 May, 2020 Scenic will waive all of our cancellation fees with the value of the bookings applied as a future travel credit. We are allowing guests to change or transfer their booking up to 14 days prior to departure for river and ocean cruise bookings, and up to 30 days prior to travel for land tours. The future travel credit is valid for travel up to 31 December 2020 for May departures, March and April departures for travel up to 30 April, 2021.  An administration fee of $200pp will be applicable, with any third party fees at the guests own expense.

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Thank you!  Yes just checked before heading out and there it was!  Am very happy!  Cheers everyone!

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being able to change up to 2 weeks prior is a good thing.  I am supposed to go mid-May.  I don't intend to cancel at this time.  There's still time for this to get better or worse.  I'm glad I don't have to decide immediately

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They have our money and they want more money! $200 per person to change...that is absurd. It took them all this time to come out with this policy?

 

Are any other river cruise lines charging to transfer a booking? 

 

They are playing hardball and this is not the time to play hardball.

 

The situation in Germany and Austria is going to get worse, so if you are a gambler, depending on when you are departing, you may want to roll the dice.

 

BaileyToby, If you see this, please confirm that if THEY cancel, they refund.

And what their plan is if Germany or Austria cases get worse. Will they still sail and not stop anywhere?!

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Saw this news item:

 

Germany warns that the worst is yet to come.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the coronavirus was likely to infect about two-thirds of the German population.

“Given a virus for which there is no immunity and no immunization, we have to understand that many people will be infected. The consensus among experts is that 60 to 70 percent of the population will be infected,” she said.

In her first public appearance to address the epidemic, which has already infected more than 1,200 people in Germany, Ms. Merkel said that her government was following the advice of medical experts. She urged citizens to do the same.

“We are at the start of a development that we cannot yet see the end of,” Ms. Merkel told reporters. “But we as a country will do whatever is necessary to do, working within the European bloc.”

That readiness includes flexibility on spending, to help especially the small and midsize enterprises that are losing business, she said.

“This is an exceptional situation, and we will do whatever is needed,” Ms. Merkel said. “We won’t ask every day, ’What does this mean for our deficit?’”

The chancellor urged Germans to accept that it was important to stay home whenever possible and take precautions, to ensure that the health system would be able to withstand the high number of people who could fall seriously ill.

Major events, including all large cultural performances in Berlin, Munich and elsewhere, such as many soccer games, have either been canceled or will take place without spectators. “How we respond matters,” Ms. Merkel said. “We are playing for time.”

 

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I have been speaking with my TA who informed me of the welcome change in policy. She thinks however that for my Vietnam/Cambodia cruise which includes air and a land portion that these might not be refundable under the condition “with any third party fees at the guest’s own expense”. She is calling Scenic/Emerald to clarify this and determine just what the future credit will amount to. 

 

However she did did inform me that another client with the same insurance plan as mine will have their claim for reimbursement for their cancelled Mekong cruise accepted because of the Canadian Government’s formal recommendation to avoid all cruise ship travel. So depending on the future credit, I will either accept it and claim the balance or cancel without a credit and claim the total loss. I will be speaking today with my insurer.

 

In any event I won’t be travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia this year (or perhaps ever, as I’ve done much of the trip before). 

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A brief update from my TA. If I cancel my trip I will receive a full credit less the $200 administration fee for trips completed by the end of December 2020. For trips ending in 2021 (until end April) I will receive a credit less the administration fee and airfare portion of my present trip. I think that’s fair considering I should be able to claim that balance from my insurer.

 

This is the policy from Scenic/Emerald Canada. It may vary in other countries. 

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Scenic needs to pick up their act. We had booked mid May on the Danube, they are saying we need to rebook and travel by Dec of this year! Plus pay $200 pp!
They need to check out Viking, they are crediting 125% , no fees and travel within 2 years, plus more benefits!
Our insurance will cover us but this certainly is making us rethink which company to use


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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They told our TA the same thing. They have updated the policy, allowing rebooking to 12/31/2021. They have been resistant to follow industry standards in regard to changes etc. Everyone needs to continue to put pressure on this as unacceptable, especially for a luxury line. 

 

 

Our cancellation policy for guests with bookings departing from May 1st to May 31st 2020

For any guest departing from May 1st to May 31st 2020, Scenic will waive all of our cancellation fees with the value of the bookings applied as a future travel credit. We are allowing guests to change or transfer their booking up to 14 days prior to departure for river and ocean cruise bookings, and up to 30 days prior to travel for land tours.


For current river cruise, ocean cruise and land journey 2020 bookings departing May 1st to May 31st 2020, the future travel credit is valid for travel up to December 31st 2021.*

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I fear Scenic is playing games and dragging their heels on cancelling to avoid having to issue credits, refunds etc. I can’t imagine they will be cruising in May on the Danube. 

 

Well, nothing yet from Scenic except a statement last Friday from their CEO saying they “However, as the situation continues to worsen in many countries, with Government lockdowns and border closures, it has become very difficult to plan with certainty the schedule of future operations. We are continually monitoring the situation and will do our best to provide you with timely updates on our cruises and tours, subject to the relevant Government travel advisories and associated restrictions.”

 

Somehow all the other cruiselines can plan but Scenic can’t?  Don’t they realize it makes them look incompetent?

 

According to my TA, Crystal will be cancelling all river cruises thru 5/31 today. 

AMA has cancelled to 5/31;

Avalon to 6/30

Viking to 6/30

 

Anyone out there have any May cruises on Scenic?

Has anyone done a river cruise with them before and what was their experience? The way they are handling this is a real turn-off.

 

 

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It looks to me like you can get the credit if you cancel for May, just not a refund at this point.  I have a May cruise on Emerald (same company), and I'm hoping they cancel before the 14 day deadline so I can get a refund.  Otherwise, I'll take the credit!

 

We cruised on Emerald last year and it was extremely well done.  It was my first river cruise, so can only compare it to ocean cruises.

 

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Yes, we can get a credit if we cancel but we would prefer them to cancel. I hope they are not playing games with this 14 day deadline — i.e., they cancel at something absurd like 12 days! Obviously they should know more than 14 days in advance if they are cruising. At this point I doubt Austria and Hungary will allow ships in that have come from Germany.

 

We were excited about Emerald’s new yacht but honestly this entire experience with them has left a very bad taste in our mouths. They seem to be playing hardball and this is not the time to be playing hardball or games with your customers.

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I think I just crossed Scenic off my list of future cruise companies. Hope Scenic sees this as it doesn't look favorable for them as a potential customer.

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I get that from a business perspective they are trying to “flatten the curve” In terms of cancellations but they are being unrealistic and just not being proactive or taking leadership role at all. Very strange that they could be so out of it. Think about it, all these countries (Germany, Austria, Hungary) have mandatory 2 weeks self-quarantines in place and are not allowing tourists. Are they expecting everything to be fine in a month? 

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