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Host Jazzbeau

New Host on Ponant Board

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I am writing to introduce myself as the new Host of the Ponant board on Cruise Critic.

 

I have been a participant on this board for a while since I am very interested in Ponant, but until now I have only been officially hosting the River Cruising boards [since 2015]

 

We were recently informed that, due to the coronavirus, Cruise Critic has been forced to lay off half its paid staff.  This is especially sad for those of us who have worked with them and have seen how much they did 'behind the scenes,' but it will affect every aspect of Cruise Critic as the remaining staff can’t take up all the slack.  Therefore a number of Hosts have volunteered to take responsibility for additional boards that didn’t have a host in place.

 

A little about myself, which may help put some of my comments in context.  My wife and I have been cruising since 1974 [Costa Italia rt San Juan], but there was a gap called ‘children’ until 2011 when we began cruising in earnest.  Altogether we have taken 21 cruises on 12 cruise lines, including ships in every size category from the largest [MSC Seaview] to Ponant [180 pax] and AmaWaterways [28 pax on the Zambezi Queen].  DW and I do a blog after each cruise, and you can find the links in my signature.

 

We were booked on Windstar Star Legend Spanish Serenade for September 2020, but that cruise was cancelled when the Star Plus Initiative was delayed; and on Ponant Le Lapérouse Best of New Zealand for March 2020, but that cruise was cancelled at the last minute by the coronavirus.

 

We currently have two cruises planned for 2021: on Ponant [using FCC for the same New Zealand itinerary], and Noble Caledonia [b2b from Mallorca to Malta with a focus on Sicily]  In addition to those cruise lines I also actively follow new offerings on Azamara and Windstar, and river cruises.  As you can see, small-ship cruising is where my heart is.

 

I know that there is a great deal of anxiety and anger throughout Cruise Critic about the cancellation and refund process [on many cruise lines].  Please remember that Cruise Critic is still [and with fewer Admins, more than ever] an old AOL chat room.  We are each expected to police ourselves to maintain a friendly atmosphere. I have also added a Sticky about dealing with ‘difficult’ posts which includes links to the Cruise Critic guidelines.

 

This has always been one of the more congenial of Cruise Critic boards, and I am sure that this friendly community will keep it that way.  I look forward to reading all the new posts, and hope that that is all I will need to do!

 

Here’s hoping we’ll all be on a ship soon,

 

Host Jazzbeau

 

PS – you can reach me at my Cruise Critic email, which is in my signature

 

PPS – a word about my Cruise Critic handle and icon:  Al 'Jazzbo' or 'Jazzbeaux' Collins was a DJ and terminal hipster on various stations in NYC and SF back in the day.  You could look it up: https://bayarearadio.org/audio/al-jazzbeaux-collins-jazzbo

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Thanks for taking the time to post your introduction, HostJazzbeau. It will be good to get a moderating influence in place on this board. 

 

Like you, I was booked on Le Laperouse (should be en route to Darwin right now on the way back from swimming with whale sharks in West Papua). I had my first sail on the explorer class Le Laperouse at Christmas, having been on all of the 4 sisterships at least once). She's quite different, but retains the culturally distinct French flair that permeates all of Ponant's ships. My favourite remains Le Soleal despite the fact she is larger with more capacity for annoying passengers 🙂

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Who decides who is an annoying passenger? I also hope HostJazzbeau that you will be fair with your comments. Your reply to one of my posts was insulting, although you did have the good grace to almost apologise. I think most people on this Ponant forum are of the same opinion, changing the terms and conditions after we have booked is totally unacceptable. 

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12 hours ago, jland said:

Who decides who is an annoying passenger? I also hope HostJazzbeau that you will be fair with your comments. Your reply to one of my posts was insulting, although you did have the good grace to almost apologise. I think most people on this Ponant forum are of the same opinion, changing the terms and conditions after we have booked is totally unacceptable. 

 

Let me try to fully apologize.  Your situation is unusual, and Ponant has treated you very badly.  When I made the comment that insulted you, I didn't have the facts of your situation in mind [my fault].  After reviewing them, I quite understand your position.  If I have it straight now, you had already made a significant deposit on an extremely expensive cruise scheduled for late August to a delicate ecosystem in the Arctic.  Final payment [large enough to buy a very nice car!] was due on April 13, and Ponant refused to give you a delay [a very reasonable request on your part].  I absolutely agree that you should not have been expected to make that payment toward a cruise that probably wouldn't/shouldn't take place.  And I understand your outrage over the way you were treated both by Ponant and by some posters here on Cruise Critic.  And I especially apologize for being one of those posters.

 

On the other hand [and I hope that you can understand the position I am in], as a Host I am charged with enforcing the Guidelines– including Cruise Line Bashing:  'Cruise Critic considers constantly and persistently "bashing" a cruise line disruptive to other members. Therefore, you may receive a single warning regarding this behavior. In the sole opinion of Cruise Critic Community Management, you may lose access to that cruise line forum after the first warning.'

 

There are several posters across Cruise Critic who have embarked on vendettas against different cruise lines for various reasons [often but not always related to the current refund issue].  And there are others whose extreme pessimism about the survival of the cruise industry or of particular cruise lines has become their own hobby horse.  Your posts have not risen to this level, especially in light of the treatment you have received.  But my judgment was clouded by those other cases and I over-reacted to your post.  It is still my fault, but I hope this gives you reason to expect that I can be fair to you [and everyone] in the future.

 

You have my promise that I will do my best.  And please, if you feel that I am not living up to this, email me at hostjazzbeau@cruisecritic.com or report me to the Community Manager at community@cruisecritic.com

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