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norm2002

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Hi

 

I asked this in another thread but did not get an answer. I am thinking ahead about how the FCC works if I accept one when I may cancel our cruise. I have seen a helpful post pointing out some potential issues. Accepting an FCC in itself does not seem to be a problem but choosing a later cruise might.

 

It seems very odd to me that the FCC cannot be used for the deposit where the cost of the later cruise is no more than the value of the FCC. But if that's so, when/how do you get your deposit back when the FCC covers the whole cost? You must get it back, surely?

 

And what happens if you have to cancel the substitute cruise? Do you lose the FCC PLUS the deposit you paid? In the current climate, that would be risky.

 

Our cruise starts October 14 so we are still subject to the 30 day cancellation policy. If things don't improve significantly over time, I imagine that will be converted to the 48 hour policy. I just hope that happens before we are liable to make the final payment. Ours is a UK booking. We don't have to make any decisions until just before the final payment is due.

 

Does anyone know the answers to my two questions?

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2 minutes ago, Laylam said:

 

I have already ready seen that and, no. it doesn't help at all. It is very vague and uncertain. It says the FCC cannot be used towards the deposit, which sounds ridiculous to me, and does not address either of my questions. As a set of Terms and Conditions, it is one of the most useless I, being a lawyer, have read. To quote 'FCC may be subject to additional terms and conditions as provided by Seabourn (my italics) and may not be used for deposits, TF&PE, or SeabournShield.' A set of terms and conditions are supposed to be comprehensive! These leave more questions unanswered than just the two I have raised.

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I don't think anyone can answer your question.  I have bookmarked the above link and I check daily for any updates.

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You may be right but I thought someone might know because FCCs are not something new but have been in use in the past. Maybe this one is different.

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Posted (edited)

If Carnival declares bankruptcy, what good is a FCC?  Would it still be valid. Stock is now down to $8.90

Edited by wesport
spell

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, wesport said:

If Carnival declares bankruptcy, what good is a FCC?  Would it still be valid. Stock is now down to $8.90

Please allow me to re-post something I wrote elsewhere on the Seabourn board and add a thought to try and bring life into perspective:

 

One of the most thought provoking pieces I ever read came from George Orwell's "Down and out in Paris and London". He describes being a night porter in a London hotel and bemoans getting left the same meal every night for days on end. The man cleaning the lobby floor pulls up his shirt sleeve to reveal the tattoo from a Nazi death camp. He then suggests that George learn the difference between a problem and an inconvenience. It's always something I've tried to keep in mind and pass on to our son.

 

We all have to take some responsibility for our actions. Of course we as consumers didn't anticipate a situation like this when we signed a contract for a cruise, hotel, flight etc. but then neither did the supplier. They are trying to stay in business to preserve not only the ability to be there when all this is over but also the jobs of their employees, their suppliers etc.. Speaking only for myself  if I lose the price of a cruise, an airfare or whatever that will not make me happy but it's the loss of a vacation, not my livelihood  and hopefully, in this crisis, not my life.

Edited by Dusko

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13 minutes ago, Dusko said:

Please allow me to re-post something I wrote elsewhere on the Seabourn board and add a thought to try and bring life into perspective:

 

One of the most thought provoking pieces I ever read came from George Orwell's "Down and out in Paris and London". He describes being a night porter in a London hotel and bemoans getting left the same meal every night for days on end. The man cleaning the lobby floor pulls up his shirt sleeve to reveal the tattoo from a Nazi death camp. He then suggests that George learn the difference between a problem and an inconvenience. It's always something I've tried to keep in mind and pass on to our son.

 

We all have to take some responsibility for our actions. Of course we as consumers didn't anticipate a situation like this when we signed a contract for a cruise, hotel, flight etc. but then neither did the supplier. They are trying to stay in business to preserve not only the ability to be there when all this is over but also the jobs of their employees, their suppliers etc.. Speaking only for myself  if I lose the price of a cruise, an airfare or whatever that will not make me happy but it's the loss of a vacation, not my livelihood  and hopefully, in this crisis, not my life.

Absolutely spot on comment , at the end of the day the overriding factor is our long term health and well being . Here in New Zealand we have not closed the  borders but insist any New Arrivals self isolate for 14 days . A few new arrivals have not done so as they saw it as a  problem  , those people have been deported by NZ Authorities . Their so called problem really did escalate into one ! 

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We've made 2 different responses to this issue:  We have a series of back-to-backs booked on Seabourn for the Fall and have not cancelled those, and do very much want to sail.  But we were also to have sailed next week on the Odyssey to Europe and that crossing was cancelled.  At the recommendation of our TA, we chose the option of a full refund, which we are waiting for.

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Another FCC quandary.

Let's say you have $10K/pp FCC and the cruise you book with that FCC is only $8K/pp.

What happens to the $4K of the remaining FCC? Can it be OBC, or can it be used for another cruise?

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I too am trying to decide on the FCC or the cash back. Paulchili had this question:

Let's say you have $10K/pp FCC and the cruise you book with that FCC is only $8K/pp.

What happens to the $4K of the remaining FCC? Can it be OBC, or can it be used for another cruise?

 

I too want to know if we can carry over FCC if total is unused. Hoping someone with past experience can answer this.

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

In my deliberations for our cancelled cruise I put together a question sheet to Seabourn via my TA and they responded to both of us in writing. I asked that very question and yes …

 

If your FCC is more than the cruise fare you are considering you can break it up within as many cruise fares as you wish within the life of the FCC.

 

Also, as a client with Booking Number, I have had no issues whatsoever is getting timely responses to emails from Seabourn via their contact us page on their website.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by Cantara24
typo

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54 minutes ago, Cantara24 said:

Hi,

In my deliberations for our cancelled cruise I put together a question sheet to Seabourn via my TA and they responded to both of us in writing. I asked that very question and yes …

 

If your FCC is more than the cruise fare you are considering you can break it up within as many cruise fares as you wish within the life of the FCC.

 

Also, as a client with Booking Number, I have had no issues whatsoever is getting timely responses to emails from Seabourn via their contact us page on their website.

 

Hope this helps.

Thank you - that is very helpful.

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I am fairly certain Seabourn has changed the wording of the Terms and Conditions of the Book with Confidence policy. I wish I had saved a copy of the previous wording. It is now much clearer. In simple terms, the FCC will be equivalent to the non-refundable part of the normal cancellation fees so that, for example, for those of us booking from the UK where the deposit would be non-refundable immediately after booking, if we cancel before final payment, the FCC would be equivalent to the deposit paid. In those circumstances, it would make sense that the FCC cannot be used for the deposit on a new cruise. However, IMO, it still does not make sense that, if you cancel a week before the cruise and get FCC for the full price, you still have to pay a deposit on a new cruise.

 

Also, for anyone thinking of cancelling a cruise in the second window of 1 August to 15 October, you have to fill out a short form requesting the FCC. For those cancelling a cruise in the window up to 31 July, that is not necessary.

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If and when I am given the choice between a FCC and a monetary refund, I will select the refund. A Seabourn cruise, for me, is expensive (and generally, worth it), so the loss of $15,000 is more than an inconvenience for me.

 

Respectfully, comparing this to "life and death" ala surviving the death camps, pursuant to post # 7 above, is in my view very much of a false equivalence to which I am entirely unable to relate. The loss of much monies to many people can have devastating consequences on its own. It is likely more than a mere inconvenience to many.  It sure is to me.

 

My cruise to Alaska was to leave at the end of May, from Vancouver (roundtrip). Given the Canadian governments' prohibition on cruise ships until July, and also given that Alaska is requiring a 14 day quarantine period, clearly, our cruise will not be taking place. Yet, puzzlingly, it has not yet been cancelled. It should be, as should be any others that are obviously not able to proceed.

 

This is not about fault or blame. Nobody that I know of is asserting that the cruise lines caused this horrific virus. Yet, in my view, it is the obligation of the cruise lines to admit defeat when certain itineraries are just not workable, and offer their customers on such cruises a refund and, if they wish to extend a FCC in addition to or instead of a refund, to do that. Others in the CCL family of brands are doing just that: Princess, for cruises which it cancels, is offering a 100% refund or a 125% FCC. Seabourn should be doing that, and doing it promptly.   

 

For those who urge "patience", having not yet made final payment, I disagree. It is those who made payment who are potentially out lots of monies, at a time when portfolios are plunging and many are facing uncertain employment. If the cruise is clearly not to happen, no doubt many people would find a monetary refund (or on the credit card, etc.) helpful. Moreover, again, if Seabourn is unable to deliver the promised product, in that case a refund must be offered. It is not for the customer to share in the sorrow, or about being responsible, etc., as a poster above suggests. My deal with the cruise line was for a certain product. If it cannot be delivered, then, as the customer, I am entitled to a refund, full stop.  

 

As for me, having made final payment on my credit card, I was not eager to pay my credit card on the impending due date and see the large price of my cruise, which is obviously not going ahead, leave my bank account. Then I would have to wait, and possibly fight, to get the refund to which I am indisputably entitled (as are any others similarly situated). Happily, my credit card issuer was more than willing to offer me a satisfactory solution: do not pay the amount charged for the cruise until my June statement without any interest charged for that amount (and pay the rest of my balance as usual)--and by June either Seabourn will have processed the refund or, if for some strange reason not, I can then dispute the charge through my credit card.

 

This solution may not work for everyone, depending on your relationship with your credit card issuer (in my case, my long-time bank). But it may be worth asking.

 

Don't get me wrong. I hope that Seabourn and all the cruise lines come through this, as we will cruise again. Yet, pursuant to a thread on the HAL board entitled "Solvency of Cruise lines", things are up in the air ("under water" a better analogy for cruise lines?) at this time. Who knows which entity may have to avail itself of US bankruptcy protection proceedings (Chapter 11). Hopefully this is not the case, but the last thing I want is to have to fight to get my refund from a trustee, or find I have FCC certificates that would be lovely wall-paper, like the Eastern Airlines Stock certificates.

 

Hopefully, better times soon prevail for all. I hope to see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel (and also hope that it is not an oncoming train).

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22 minutes ago, ON cruiser said:

Happily, my credit card issuer was more than willing to offer me a satisfactory solution: do not pay the amount charged for the cruise until my June statement without any interest charged for that amount (and pay the rest of my balance as usual)--and by June either Seabourn will have processed the refund or, if for some strange reason not, I can then dispute the charge through my credit card.

An interesting question. Would your credit card be able to dispute the charges if SB offers you only FCC but not a refund. IMO, if SB offers you a FCC Then they have offered you full value product in the amount you paid for.

I don’t have the answer but would like to know it.

We have been offered only a FCC for our cancellation as it was before the cruise line cancelled the cruise. I wonder if I could ask my CC to dispute the charge and reverse it?

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1 minute ago, Paulchili said:

We have been offered only a FCC for our cancellation as it was before the cruise line cancelled the cruise.

 

Unfortunately, I think this is Seabourn's tactics. Particularly for those of us with cruises in the second 'window' (from August 1 to October 15) who have to cancel more than 30 days before departure, we cannot wait to see if the cruise will be cancelled if we are convinced cruising will not be safe enough by then. We have to cancel and opt for FCC. It would be too risky to wait to see if Seabourn will cancel it. So there is no practicable way of getting a refund. We are just waiting until just before we have to make the final payment before making a final decision what to do.

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2 hours ago, ON cruiser said:

My cruise to Alaska was to leave at the end of May, from Vancouver (roundtrip). Given the Canadian governments' prohibition on cruise ships until July, and also given that Alaska is requiring a 14 day quarantine period, clearly, our cruise will not be taking place. Yet, puzzlingly, it has not yet been cancelled. It should be, as should be any others that are obviously not able to proceed.

Cast your mind back just a few weeks to when Seabourn was frantically rescheduling cruises in Asia. I don't recall exactly which itinerary it was, Singapore to somewhere I think, however, before they cancelled the cruise entirely they changed the embarkation port, changed the dis-embarkation port and changed all the ports in between and turned many of them into sea days. They expected people to take the rescheduled cruise because the cruise contract lets them change ports as needed. 

While unlikely, I don't think it's beyond the bounds of possibility that by May they will be cruising from somewhere to somewhere, neither somewhere being Vancouver nor going anywhere near Alaska and will again be telling people this is the revised itinerary and they can sail where the ship is going or possibly get cruise credit. 

I have no inside information that would lead me to believe this is happening, but this was their initial response to rerouting cruises in Asia a few weeks ago and I wouldn't be surprised to see them do it again, set up some kind of spring and summer itinerary and then tell people the ship will sail on the booked dates. 

I think the one think can you be assured of is that they aren't going to tell you anything until the absolute last minute possible, and you can be fairly assured that when they do tell you something, what they tell you isn't going to be to anyone's liking. 

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Responding to both PaulChilli and Rols, thanks for your comments.

 

  • I am not certain what position my bank/credit card issuer would take if Seabourn insisted on only offering FCC. I know that I would argue strenuously, both with Seabourn and with my bank, that this is not equivalent or acceptable for reasons I stated in my original post above. If need be, the matter could be pursued legally.
  • As for Seabourn taking the purchased Alaska cruise, departing from and returning to Vancouver, and twisting it all out of shape into something else entirely, to me that would be unacceptable. We had Seabourn air on this cruise because of the air subsidy offered, and a key reason, for us, are the many non-stop flights daily (during normal times) between Vancouver and Toronto. Moving the cruise to Seattle, a Covid hot-spot, is clearly not on. Moving it out of Alaska, when that is what we wanted and booked, is also not on. Moving it to something that requires longer and connecting flights, also not on.

Frankly, I am not as cynical as Rols in the above post. Substituting a port(s) does not mean entirely changing the product purchased into something not recognizable. I doubt that Seabourn would insist on that. They may offer it, they may try to make it enticing, but I doubt that, even with the most favourable contractual terms re substituting ports, etc., they can change any cruise that fundamentally, insist that it is "their way or the highway", and make it stick.  

 

Moreover, if Seabourn does that, so the cruise ends up being something that "isn't to anyone's liking", as Rols described, then they are shooting themselves in the foot. Right now, the industry needs to build goodwill with existing customers, not alienate them so even if those customers are compelled to take a vastly different cruise from what they booked, they leave the ship saying, "never again".

 

All cruise lines also will, once the crisis has past, need to re-start trying to persuade all those who have been thinking of a cruise, but who have not yet gone. This situation has, in my view, set the entire industry back by at least 5 years, in terms of outreach to monied potential clients who enjoy luxury yet who have not cruised yet, but were considering it.  Those people are likely considering it an awful lot less, currently, if even those of us who enjoy cruising are hesitant. And many regular cruisers are, with good reason, hesitant. The sooner the cruise lines (all of them) accept this, and treat customers fairly, the sooner that goodwill starts to be re-built.

 

Moreover, if other CCL brands, and other brands (RCCI for example) are being more flexible to and respectful of customers, then why would Seabourn treat its customers any differently, and offer less choice? That would be simply not acceptable, at least not to me.  

 

In recent years, higher end cruising has been something of a sellers market, even with Ritz coming on stream. Capacity has been limited and the cruise lines, Seabourn and Regent in particular, can "name the tune". Yet, the combination of lots of capacity on lots of ships, including the new-builds coming on stream, coupled with much hesitation amongst existing customers to want to cruise ("will it be safe?", "will we be stuck somewhere?") let alone nervous newbies, along with people suffering from the economic impact so turning to less expensive holidays, all will turn cruising generally, and higher end cruising specifically, into a buyers market. If the lines want to fill their ships, not just once but ongoing, they will need to woo their potential customers, not alienate them.  That includes treating customers well, shoreside and on the ship.

 

Hopefully most cruise line executives will soon realize that they are living in and must adapt to this paradigm shift.  Of course, business school is full of case-studies of companies and executives who just "didn't get it". Time will tell...

 

    

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2 hours ago, ON cruiser said:

I am not certain what position my bank/credit card issuer would take if Seabourn insisted on only offering FCC. I know that I would argue strenuously, both with Seabourn and with my bank, that this is not equivalent or acceptable for reasons I stated in my original post above. If need be, the matter could be pursued legally

Please let us know the outcome - good luck.

TIA

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14 hours ago, Paulchili said:

An interesting question. Would your credit card be able to dispute the charges if SB offers you only FCC but not a refund. IMO, if SB offers you a FCC Then they have offered you full value product in the amount you paid for.

I don’t have the answer but would like to know it.

We have been offered only a FCC for our cancellation as it was before the cruise line cancelled the cruise. I wonder if I could ask my CC to dispute the charge and reverse it?

Paul, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by filing that dispute and based on history even should Seabourn reject your dispute, you can request your credit card company file the dispute with Seabourn again.  I know this works as I did it the same way several years ago with a different cruise line that while they responded to the credit card company, the response made no sense and then the cruise line failed within the 60 day requirement to respond again and the credit was automatically applied to my credit card based on the non-response.

 

No guarantee but, what do you have to lose by trying??

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28 minutes ago, rallydave said:

Paul, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by filing that dispute and based on history even should Seabourn reject your dispute, you can request your credit card company file the dispute with Seabourn again.  I know this works as I did it the same way several years ago with a different cruise line that while they responded to the credit card company, the response made no sense and then the cruise line failed within the 60 day requirement to respond again and the credit was automatically applied to my credit card based on the non-response.

 

No guarantee but, what do you have to lose by trying??

Thanks Dave - may give it a shot.

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9 hours ago, ON cruiser said:

I am not certain what position my bank/credit card issuer would take if Seabourn insisted on only offering FCC. I know that I would argue strenuously, both with Seabourn and with my bank, that this is not equivalent or acceptable 

 

It has been accepted practice in the airline industry , right? If you cancel a flight you purchased, the airline will give you a credit for air travel within a year, subject to pricing that may be higher, plus and administrative fee. I'm pretty sure if you protest with your credit card company that you want your money back, you would lose that fight. Now, cruises cost a lot more than airline tickets, but I'm not that the larger amount changes the paradigm. 

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Posted (edited)

Yes, Cruiseej, if I cancel then that is one thing. But, in these circumstances, I am not cancelling; it is not my initiative or decision---rather, Seabourn is being forced to cancel the cruise due to government edicts.  Those edicts make my cruise, and likely the cruise of others to various places that are now "no-go" zones, impossible. In such circumstances, I believe I am entitled to a refund or can choose to accept (or reject) any FCC offer that a cruise line wishes to propose.

 

Anyway, let us see how the cruise lines handle this. Smart companies will handle this well and earn plaudits.

 

My fallback will be trip cancellation insurance that covers due to the government travel advisories, etc.   

Edited by ON cruiser
forgotten word

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On 3/28/2020 at 8:09 AM, norm2002 said:

I am fairly certain Seabourn has changed the wording of the Terms and Conditions of the Book with Confidence policy. I wish I had saved a copy of the previous wording. It is now much clearer. In simple terms, the FCC will be equivalent to the non-refundable part of the normal cancellation fees so that, for example, for those of us booking from the UK where the deposit would be non-refundable immediately after booking, if we cancel before final payment, the FCC would be equivalent to the deposit paid. In those circumstances, it would make sense that the FCC cannot be used for the deposit on a new cruise. However, IMO, it still does not make sense that, if you cancel a week before the cruise and get FCC for the full price, you still have to pay a deposit on a new cruise.

 

Also, for anyone thinking of cancelling a cruise in the second window of 1 August to 15 October, you have to fill out a short form requesting the FCC. For those cancelling a cruise in the window up to 31 July, that is not necessary.

Our cruise was in the second window, August 1 - August 12 Barcelona to Monte Carlo. Having paid our deposit, and booked a number of tours we decided to cancel through our TA. Had we waited until April 4 they would have imposed a 15% cancellation fee of the gross amount of the cruise. However, we do have an excellent TA who immediately contacted SB to cancel. Received notification from Seabourn of our cancellation with no cancellation charges by them. We could not see this cruise being a go and didn't want to be on the hook for the balance due plus the inherent delay time in getting a refund, plus possible hassle. 

 

We did check to see if they offered a similar cruise next year, they do, modified and not as appealing . Oh the shock, the going price had been jacked up to $8999 pp, as opposed to our current base price of $5254 pp. No doubt that is what their crystal ball is hoping for, next year these prices will plummet as will all cruise line prices.

 

Stay safe everybody, there are a lot more deadly things going on in this big bad world than second guessing the cruise industry.

😎😎

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