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Cunard's Cancellations/Refunds Update 23rd April 2020


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On 4/25/2020 at 10:56 PM, Tingaling0 said:

We were on the QM2 when the cruise was cancelled and have yet to hear anything from Cunard. I followed up late last week and am waiting. We do not know whether a refund is possible as when on the ship an FCC for a pro-rated amount was the only mention made. Has anyone else on the ship at that time heard from Cunard. Thanks 

We also had to disembark in Fremantle. We haven't heard anything about a refund of our tour purchased through the Voyage Personaliser, or for the refund for the rest of the cruise. I was told they would start working on these after the cruise has officially ended - August 18th. I'm interested to hear what the others in our situation have heard so far.

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2 hours ago, Canuker said:

To cdwise: sorry to nit-pick on a matter that has been repeatedly mentioned on CC, but Cunard has no reserves. Cunard is merely a brand; it is not a company. It is Carnival, of which Cunard is a part, that the NASDAQ article is discussing. Equating Cunard with Carnival, when discussing financial matters, may be misleading.

I'm merely quoting what the article says. If Carnival who apparently made the comment said that the can keep Cunard idle for 6 months if necessary then who am I to dispute it?

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On 4/26/2020 at 6:48 PM, JuniorCruisers said:

Whilst we have not received the official notification/email concerning the further cancellations (for which we are again affected with QE in Alaska), we feel extremely fortunate and grateful that for us at least, the process to get our money back appears to be, through self-guidance, rather straightforward and we will not be out of pocket. We are supposed to be aboard QM2 right now on the eastbound transatlantic and have decided to take a refund on that voyage but cop the FCC for the Alaska voyage, for which we have until November to change our mind to refund if it becomes obvious that it will be impossible to sail again next year.

 

We were so looking forward to introducing our one-year-old daughter to Cunard for the first time, and to experience QE for the first time in June (the only Queen we've yet to sail), but we can only be disappointed along with the hundreds of thousands of others who were looking forward to a Cunard voyage this year. As long as the opportunity returns as soon as possible we will be satisfied to sail again when we can, except that we will now have to pay for our daughter as she will be two-years-old by then and no longer free. 😱

 

Today we can only sit at home safely and be grateful for the memories of our previous voyages and look even more forward to the next (FCC might get us into the Grills this time!).

 

image.png.1a774be2713ca0898fa0a565cc8bd24d.png

This is very sweet and brought a smile to my face.

 

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Looking for advice.  The balance is due in June for our October sailing but we don't want to give Cunard any more money at this point in time.  We would, however, like to transfer the deposit to a booking for September 2021

But

The travel firm we booked with has closed down the phone lines (understandable) and all correspondence is now online.  The site has (apart from the ability to book a new cruise) just two forms to fill in, either to cancel or to amend the booking.  Obviously we want to amend but the form is very basic, ie name, address, booking reference and date of departure.  There is no option to add anything further.  The website states that they are dealing with people in order of departure date but this, for us, could mean after the due date to pay the balance.

 

I'm slightly reluctant to fill in the form in case it commits us to paying a quite sizeable amount of ££££ so what is your best advice.  Fill in the form and see what happens?  Wait until just before we have to pay the balance?  Or is there a third option I haven't thought of?

 

Please bear in mind that I am in the UK and the company I'm dealing with is a co.uk firm

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12 minutes ago, babs135 said:

Looking for advice.  The balance is due in June for our October sailing but we don't want to give Cunard any more money at this point in time.  We would, however, like to transfer the deposit to a booking for September 2021

But

The travel firm we booked with has closed down the phone lines (understandable) and all correspondence is now online.  The site has (apart from the ability to book a new cruise) just two forms to fill in, either to cancel or to amend the booking.  Obviously we want to amend but the form is very basic, ie name, address, booking reference and date of departure.  There is no option to add anything further.  The website states that they are dealing with people in order of departure date but this, for us, could mean after the due date to pay the balance.

 

I'm slightly reluctant to fill in the form in case it commits us to paying a quite sizeable amount of ££££ so what is your best advice.  Fill in the form and see what happens?  Wait until just before we have to pay the balance?  Or is there a third option I haven't thought of?

 

Please bear in mind that I am in the UK and the company I'm dealing with is a co.uk firm

 

I know this is an old fashioned solution, but do you have an actual address for them? Could you write, perhaps marking FAO the person who did the original booking, so it is less likely to get lost. Send it recorded delivery perhaps?

 

The other possibility is to fill in a form booking a new cruise, but make nonsense of it so they have to ring you?

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We are also booked for October and due to pay balance in June.

 

I'm taking the view that if I do pay, then Cunard will give me 125% if they cancel and that will allow me to book something for early next year, as we already have a November 2021 trip booked.

 

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3 hours ago, exlondoner said:

 

I know this is an old fashioned solution, but do you have an actual address for them? Could you write, perhaps marking FAO the person who did the original booking, so it is less likely to get lost. Send it recorded delivery perhaps?

 

The other possibility is to fill in a form booking a new cruise, but make nonsense of it so they have to ring you?

Good point, fellow-ex-londener. The physicality, immediacy and (these days) relatively uncommonness of a mailed letter is not to be underestimated. Recorded delivery - all the better. As you say, marking it to exactly the right person is enormously helpful. All this puts you 'on top of the pile'!
Good thinking.

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4 hours ago, exlondoner said:

 

I know this is an old fashioned solution, but do you have an actual address for them? Could you write, perhaps marking FAO the person who did the original booking, so it is less likely to get lost. Send it recorded delivery perhaps?

 

The other possibility is to fill in a form booking a new cruise, but make nonsense of it so they have to ring you?

Is there any assurance that the person who did the original booking is still employed? The person I dealt with at an OTA for an August sailing (I canceled prior to final payment) was no longer working there when it came time to cancel. Admittedly, conditions are different here in the US than the UK, but we are seeing an unemployment rate of probably around 20%. That gives reasonable odds any one person would not still be employed in the same capacity as they were in March.

 

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1 hour ago, ExArkie said:

Is there any assurance that the person who did the original booking is still employed? The person I dealt with at an OTA for an August sailing (I canceled prior to final payment) was no longer working there when it came time to cancel. Admittedly, conditions are different here in the US than the UK, but we are seeing an unemployment rate of probably around 20%. That gives reasonable odds any one person would not still be employed in the same capacity as they were in March.

 

 

Obviously no assurance whatsoever (how could there possibly be?), but someone has presumably taken over their work. And, just at the moment, though perhaps not in the future, travel agencies seem so overstretched they are probably not firing people.

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4 hours ago, BigMac1953 said:

We are also booked for October and due to pay balance in June.

 

I'm taking the view that if I do pay, then Cunard will give me 125% if they cancel and that will allow me to book something for early next year, as we already have a November 2021 trip booked.

 

Whilst I realise that this is another option we cannot make up our minds whether we want to part with more cash at the moment especially as even if the cruise went ahead we would prefer to wait until next year. The balance represents a large sum of money which I can't help feeling would be better in our bank rather than Cunard's.  I also have to take into consideration the fact that we are both in our 70s and who knows what the situation will be even next year.

We've still got a few weeks to make a decision.  I have no doubt we will change our minds several times yet.  🤣

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47 minutes ago, babs135 said:

Whilst I realise that this is another option we cannot make up our minds whether we want to part with more cash at the moment especially as even if the cruise went ahead we would prefer to wait until next year. The balance represents a large sum of money which I can't help feeling would be better in our bank rather than Cunard's.  I also have to take into consideration the fact that we are both in our 70s and who knows what the situation will be even next year.

We've still got a few weeks to make a decision.  I have no doubt we will change our minds several times yet.  🤣

We are very similar and we are heading towards either cancelling and losing deposit, we cannot book any more cruises as we already have 3 booked for 2021 or book a cruise in March 2022 but it is more than what we would want to pay for a 12 nt cruise. Do not think there cancellation policy will change before balance is due and dont want to pay that and then wait months for a refund if it is cancelled at a later date.

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If you are in the situation of having paid your deposit but not your final balance then things become difficult as Cunard are cancelling cruises every 4-6 weeks at the moment. I am due to pay balance for world cruise in October for January 2021 departure. It looks like my choice will be pay the balance and hope the cruise is cancelled( consider too dangerous to cruise too early) or cancel and lose £11,300 deposit. Not a great position to be in!

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Sadly not without paying the balance money. In addition we have to spend as much on a cruise or cruises as we were originally going to pay namely £64,000. I have been told this by Cunard so I will not be spending any large sums with them again in the future.

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On 4/29/2020 at 4:48 AM, exlondoner said:

 

I know this is an old fashioned solution, but do you have an actual address for them? Could you write, perhaps marking FAO the person who did the original booking, so it is less likely to get lost. Send it recorded delivery perhaps?

 

Are you sure their office is physically open or that they have made arrangements to redirect post? With so many people working from home, a letter could be sitting in a letterbox for some time.

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For UK people the CMA are looking into companies that are flouting the law and failing to refund people for cancellations due to Coronavirus. 

We booked a package through a UK cruise company and have just filled in the CMA form to notify them of the company concerned.

The CMA don't act for individual cases but they are prepared to put pressure on companies flouting the law. 

 

https://www.coronavirus-business-complaint.service.gov.uk/

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We also are in our 70s and don't want to cruise for at least a year.

We have a cruise booked for September (Southampton to New York then second week to Quebec) and because we wanted to return from Toronto instead of Quebec we had to pay Cunard the full airfare as well as the cruise deposit which makes it a bigger amount than we are prepared to lose by cancelling.

Like others we can either transfer the booking to next year or pay the balance and hope the cruise is cancelled . 

I am feeling that we are pressured into committing to cruising next year because they won't say if the cruise is cancelled until after our final payment is made.

 

 

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Catch 22

 

My refund was requested on March 16th and the 45 days is up today. Customer services couldn't tell me when it would come. I have decided to gIve Cunard a few weeks longer. 

 

However I  rang my credit card company  to find out how to make a section 75 request for a refund and what information they required.

 

THE FIRST THING THEY WANT IS PROOF OF WHEN YOU ASKED FOR A REFUND .

 

The problem is that when you fill in the Cunard web form all you get is "thank you for filling the form , you will get  your refund in 45 days (initially ) or 60 days now" . It does not have a reference number, name or date. Thus it is NOT PROOF OF WHEN YOU REQUESTED A REFUND. 

 

Luckily when we recieved our email on 15th March announcing the cancellation of our April 1st cruise Capetown to Southampton,  all it mentioned was a 125% FCC, no mention of a refund or link to web form. I immediately emailed Cunard customer services demanding a full refund as required by law. The next day I was pointed to the web form by this forum.   My credit card company will take my email as the date of request for a refund. 

 

However if you only have the undated response to the web form you may have a problem. 

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Reading the comments following my post I'm curious to know if this is how other lines are treating their customers?

 

Much as we love Cunard they are fast leaving a sour taste in our mouths.  Yes, the situation is unprecedented but they need to remember we are their lifeblood and if we stay away then they have a bigger problem than they realise.  We will be looking at other cruise lines.

Perhaps one solution would be to move the date of the final balance from over 100 days before the sail date to something like 60 days?  Small steps but it could help some people if not all.

Edited by babs135
Added an afterthought
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20 hours ago, Trevor33 said:

Sadly not without paying the balance money. In addition we have to spend as much on a cruise or cruises as we were originally going to pay namely £64,000. I have been told this by Cunard so I will not be spending any large sums with them again in the future.

That's different to the advice on their website

 

IMG_20200430_184101.png

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8 minutes ago, Host Hattie said:

That's different to the advice on their website

 

IMG_20200430_184101.png

The problem is that we can transfer up until the 31 August BUT we have booked a full World Cruise in a Grills Suite as we wanted to do a full circumnavigation of the earth in one trip. To explain bit more we originally booked with Thomas Cook, when they finished Cunard took on all their bookings and honoured the discount they gave us which was about £6,000. There is a circumnavigation cruise in 2022 at same price as 2021 BUT it will cost us the £6,000 Thomas Cook gave us as a discount plus we feel that in 2021 the World Cruise is likely to have parts of the world still closed to cruise ships and may not be the circumnavigation that we set out to do. The booking conditions state that we would be entitled to a refund if there is a "Significant Change in Itinerary" - I have asked Cunard for a written explanation as to what "Significant Change" would mean in relation to this 108 night cruise but they having waited 4 months for a promised reply we have heard nothing. We are advised that the excursions for the trip will be released in 2 months time - we estimated a £20,000 spend on these which if same situation applies as now we would be given the £20,000 as an OBC. Problem if we dont pay the balance in October we forfeit the £11,300 deposit already paid. To compound this we have been told by Cunard that any transfer we make then we must spend a total of at least the original fare namely £64,000. As we booked specifically to do a full Circumnavigation cruise we do not want to pay Cunard this amount for a mix of other cruises having first cruised 48 years ago I have been to a lot of the places. 

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16 minutes ago, Host Hattie said:

But the part of the website I copied above says 

Transfer your booking to a voyage of higher or lower value (and not just of a higher value, as is usually the case).

 

 

16 minutes ago, Host Hattie said:

But the part of the website I copied above says 

Transfer your booking to a voyage of higher or lower value (and not just of a higher value, as is usually the case).

 

Yes you can transfer to a higher or lower value cruise BUT your OVERALL spend MUST be at least equal to your original fare. So we could transfer to say "6" other cruises but the sum total of these "6" other cruises must equal the sum of £65,000. I have had this information from Cunard. The Offer is written very carefully as you would expect but does not focus on the downsides. No disrespect but we booked to do a circumnavigation by sea so not to do this is meaningless. Nor do we want to do a "World" cruise and risk not seeing perhaps major parts of the world. It is a different scenario if let's say someone booked a 2 or 3 week cruise because there will perhaps be many choices of doing that same trip again e.g. Canaries etc. So in all Cunard are happy for you to spend the same or more but as long as you spend the same. You will be aware that brochure prices have increased - in turn this will make the FCC less attractive or perhaps a bit cynical use up the cruise credits faster so new cash can flow sooner into Cunard's coffers.  

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