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NEED A FAIR REFUND POLICY DUE TO VIRUS

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This cruise line needs to look at what the rest of the industry is doing and allow for refunds for those who are booked who will be at risk if they travel or cruise which is anyone over 60 according to the CDC. This cruise line needs to change its policy now.

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Posted (edited)

Especially because of the exotic itineraries and expense involved getting there.  I would also worry about the French flag if France goes the way of Italy as it appears to be going as far as spread of COVID 19.  They appear to have no concern at all for their customers' anxieties.

Edited by samiam1

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I agree and if they do not change policy I will take to social media to warn others of their lack of concern. At this time I would never book with them again.

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I wholeheartedly agree! I've sent countless emails and having been calling every day.   I've also been posting on Facebook and Twitter.   They don't seem to be budging.  At this point, we have to decide whether we just go ahead and hope for the best.  

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By the way, Paul Gauguin now seems to be allowing postponement by providing a voucher for future cruise.   I think the TAs have been pressuring them.  So far, nothing from Ponant.

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Ponant still claiming it is doing Miami to Lisbon on April 25 and will not compromise.  They did respond quickly, to email in the negative, but that is the French way.  I hope that cruise is cancelled because I needed to make a decision on two other cruises.

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9 hours ago, Seabiscuit68 said:

By the way, Paul Gauguin now seems to be allowing postponement by providing a voucher for future cruise.   I think the TAs have been pressuring them.  So far, nothing from Ponant.

 

Ponant Brand "Ambassador" in USA    info@edierodriguez.com

 

Ponant is not doing itself any favors by coming across as inflexible.  If they want to get bigger, they need to stop acting like the corner French cheese shoppe and accomodate reasonable requests in the face of a crisis.  No one wants to cancel their cruises but I have elderly parents I am caring for, I am over 60, and can't sail off into the unknown against the advice of the US government.  I had no trouble cancelling my Crystal cruise at all.

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I just received this new COVID19 accomodation policy from PONANT.  Looks they will do everything possible for new bookings but nothing for existing ones that are actually effected?

 

https://wordpress.ponant.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/WORRYFREE_PONANT_09032020_WEBSITE_EN.pdf

 

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Send your emails here, be nice but explain the circumstances if they are letting new booking cancel on 30 days notice, why not one's actually effected by the COVID 19 crisis?

 

Edie Rodriguez <erodriguez@ponant.com>
 SAWHNEY Navin <nsawhney@ponant.com>

Theresa Gatta <tgatta@ponant.com>

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Ponant still refusing to provide any accomodation for the April 25 Miami to Lisbon TA. 

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Wow that is crazy!  Yesterday morning Navin offered to transfer our sailing to another 2020 date. I’m glad I didn’t jump on it. Later that day PG posted that French Polynesia advised over night that it has now closed all ports to cruise ships until April 11th.  They only offer you something when it is in their best interest. Despicable company!!! 

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2 hours ago, Seabiscuit68 said:

Wow that is crazy!  Yesterday morning Navin offered to transfer our sailing to another 2020 date. I’m glad I didn’t jump on it. Later that day PG posted that French Polynesia advised over night that it has now closed all ports to cruise ships until April 11th.  They only offer you something when it is in their best interest. Despicable company!!! 

 

this is what I got from Navin:

 

At present we are handling the next 30 days of departures and all the guests sailing in that time frame. This is a rapidly developing situation and I want to refrain from speculating. I request your patience until we get to determining what we do with the 30 days that follow the first 30, which includes your sailing. Someone will be in contact with you, soon.

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31 minutes ago, samiam1 said:

 

this is what I got from Navin:

 

At present we are handling the next 30 days of departures and all the guests sailing in that time frame. This is a rapidly developing situation and I want to refrain from speculating. I request your patience until we get to determining what we do with the 30 days that follow the first 30, which includes your sailing. Someone will be in contact with you, soon.

 

Our sailing is April 24  in Norway so I guess we’ll just have to keep waiting. Many other lines are being much more accommodating. This will make me not want to do future bookings on Ponant 

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We know that FP is closed to cruise ships and Ponant has not provided any communication with respect to our March 20th cruise being cancelled.  Worst cruise company! 

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We have been calling and e-mailing for a week now. Our sailing is March25th out of Cape Verde. The airlines keep cancelling the flights and re-booking them but I think they will be cancelled. Its very unfair that they are not offering a future cruise credit at the very least. I have another booking on L'Boreal in November which I shall definitely be cancelling regardless because they refuse to budge on their policy. We will lose thousands on this trip, they need to do the right thing.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, BC1533 said:

We have been calling and e-mailing for a week now. Our sailing is March25th out of Cape Verde. The airlines keep cancelling the flights and re-booking them but I think they will be cancelled. Its very unfair that they are not offering a future cruise credit at the very least. I have another booking on L'Boreal in November which I shall definitely be cancelling regardless because they refuse to budge on their policy. We will lose thousands on this trip, they need to do the right thing.

 

You would be mad to fly into a third world country like Cabo Verde in March as Presdiet Trump just declared a state of mergency.

Edited by samiam1

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I am so disappointed by the response from Ponant re COVID-19. I have been planning and paying off my trip to the Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius for 18 months. My Dad passed away in 2018 and I now care for my elderly mother so I have been doing everything possible to keep her safe in the face of this virus. My travel insurance doesn’t cover pandemics, and Ponant insisted on going ahead with the  9 April departure and won’t even consider a postponement. I had no choice but to carry on with my plans - otherwise I would lose the lot. Australia yesterday recommended all o/s travel be cancelled and may yet move to a travel ban. If so, I will lose everything because I also have airfares and pre-paid accommodation, tours etc that won’t be refunded now. I could have salvaged something if Ponant had allowed me to postpone when I asked, but the response from Ponant was firm and very terse. It basically said the cruise will be leaving as planned and if you’re not on it, we’ll keep your money anyway. I also asked what would happen if I reached the Seychelles, developed a fever and was refused boarding and I was told it would be up to the captain and ship doctor as to whether or not I would forfeit the entire cruise fare. How unfair is that! If you are from Italy, China or Iran they will credit 115% of your fare without question. I am also concerned that Ponant has done a deal to be allowed into countries without COVID-19 when those same countries have closed down to all other cruise lines in efforts to protect their own citizens. The government might do the deal, but how happy will the locals be? Look what happened on Reunion Island with violent riots against cruise ship arrivals  - RI is also on our itinerary. The new serenity bookings look after new passengers, while the company leaves already loyal passengers out of pocket. I thought I had found the cruise line I wanted to sail with from now to my senior years, but friends who booked with Princess are being treated much better, with a full refund or credit on offer. If Ponant do not start behaving more ethically, and in line with other cruise lines, I will have no choice but to look elsewhere in future. When my dear Dad passed away, I had two future cruises booked, and I had to cancel them to look after Mum. One company sent condolences and repaid me the full deposit as a goodwill gesture - Ponant took the full deposit amount. I should have read the signs then...

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Hello Ness71 - so sorry to hear of your situation - as a fellow Aussie also booked on a Ponant cruise from Cape Town to Durban then Durban to the Seychelles departing on March 17, I can certainly sympathise. This will be our first (and now probably last) Ponant cruise - they just don't "get it". We are already in Cape Town so even if allowed to cancel - not sure what we would do as we have an additional 8 days booked (hotels) in the Seychelles and 9 in Mauritius before flying home to Sydney (via Singapore).

 

Given the current situation I would not be surprised to see the Seychelles ban all cruise ships (like many other island nations - now even New Zealand) - who knows what would happen to your cruise then. I will post from time to time from our cruise.

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Hi Luxury-lizard - I too have accommodation booked in the Seychelles and Mauritius, but I think it is highly unlikely I will be going anywhere now. At least you are thousands of miles away from the ridiculous toilet paper shortage! Seychelles announced a closure of the cruise season several days ago, but Ponant did a special deal because of the small size of their vessels so at this stage your journey should still go ahead. I expect they won’t cancel because Ponant already has our money so even those of us who can’t travel have paid our way. More cruise lines today cancelled all cruises until the end of April so who knows what will happen in the next week or two. COVID-19 is such a moving feast. Whatever happens, I just hope you both stay safe and well, and enjoy the locations you can visit.

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Currently booked to go on Le Bougainville in the Seychelles on March 29 2020. Australian government has advised not to travel.  The Seychelles has closed its waters to ALL cruise ships as of 12 March . Ponant refuse to accept Le Bougainville is a cruise ship and say it is an Expedition Ship and will be leaving as scheduled  No communication from Ponant at all Bitterly disappointed in Ponant particularly as they seem to be looking after new bookings  Our cruise has been booked for 14 months and they have had a very large chunk of our money for a large part of that time Come on Ponant it is time to look after your loyal clients  now or when the cruise market returns as it surely will in the future your ships will be empty and floundering at sea  as they deserve 

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So essentially Ponant is using the PAX threshold exemption to potentially spread COVID19 during a pandemic?  The Canadian and brazilian president have been exposed but PONANT takes no notice. Everyone knows cruising is a terrible idea the next 60 days but Ponant? Ponant is acting an intentionally reckless manner not just for passengers but people in the remote regions they may be bringing COVID 19 to. There is no way Ponant can assure its PAX and crew are COVID 19 free.

 

Contact:

 

Cruise Line International Association - info@cruising.org

 

International Maritime Organization - info@imo.org

 

Your MOFA - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

French Flag Registry - rif@developpement-durable.gouv.fr

 

French Diplomatie - https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/navigation/email-us/

 

European Union External Action - https://eeas.europa.eu/diplomatic-network/foreign-affairs-council/3020/contact-eeas_en

 

European Maritime Safety Agency - tren-emsa-info@emsa.europe.eu

 

Secrétariat Général de la Mer SGMER - sm2.dgmt@equipement.gouv.fr

 

Mauritius Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade mfa@govmu.org

 

Seychelles Department of Foreign Affairs  - ps@mfa.gov.sc 

 

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Nonads said:

 

Currently booked to go on Le Bougainville in the Seychelles on March 29 2020. Australian government has advised not to travel.  The Seychelles has closed its waters to ALL cruise ships as of 12 March . Ponant refuse to accept Le Bougainville is a cruise ship and say it is an Expedition Ship and will be leaving as scheduled  No communication from Ponant at all Bitterly disappointed in Ponant particularly as they seem to be looking after new bookings  Our cruise has been booked for 14 months and they have had a very large chunk of our money for a large part of that time Come on Ponant it is time to look after your loyal clients  now or when the cruise market returns as it surely will in the future your ships will be empty and floundering at sea  as they deserve 

 

We are booked on the same cruise, and we also find it unacceptable that Ponant doesn't offer some kind of flexibility. We live in Europe, where the situation constantly is getting worse, and we simply cannot take the risk of flying to the Seychelles and possibly not be able to return due to cancelled flights and/or closed borders. At the same time I find it very difficult to accept losing all that money.

 

We do not necessarily want a refund, just the possibility to reschedule. 

 

This would be our first Ponant cruise, but I honestly don't think that we will book another Ponant cruise considering the way they treat their passengers. 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, jmalux said:

 

We are booked on the same cruise, and we also find it unacceptable that Ponant doesn't offer some kind of flexibility. We live in Europe, where the situation constantly is getting worse, and we simply cannot take the risk of flying to the Seychelles and possibly not be able to return due to cancelled flights and/or closed borders. At the same time I find it very difficult to accept losing all that money.

 

We do not necessarily want a refund, just the possibility to reschedule. 

 

This would be our first Ponant cruise, but I honestly don't think that we will book another Ponant cruise considering the way they treat their passengers. 

 

 

 

 

If you are coming from France, there are over 2000 cases there, schools have been closed - the islands in the Indian Ocean have not yet been effected, why would Ponant deliberately want to risk spreading disease?

 

https://www.connexionfrance.com/French-news/Covid-19-in-France-What-impact-on-travel-Trains-airport-airlines-SNCF-flights-ferries-ferry

 

And since the majority of Ponant's passengers are French who wants to risk cruising with passengers coming direct from a major source of the virus?

 

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I fully agree with you Samiam1. We live in Luxembourg but the situation is basically the same as in France.

 

I have a suspicion that Ponant is financially stretched due to all the new ships. Perhaps they can simply not afford to cancel the cruises.

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