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The Value of FCC


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We expect our August Stockholm to Southampton cruise to be cancelled soon. 

Regent will then offer us a long wait on the 100% refund or 125% FCC.

What could we do with the FCC? Well, perhaps the most obvious thing we could do is try and replicate the cruise we had already booked, and indeed we very nearly can. On 25 July 2021 there is almost exactly the same cruise. There are just two differences, firstly Splendor instead of Explorer, secondly the port in Latvia is not Riga (unfortunately).

There is a third difference, the price. For the same cabin we had booked, a D Concierge, there would be an additional £2,400 each which equates to a rise of 130%.

The wait for the refund is looking the more attractive especially given the practical consequences of whatever precise new regulations will be in force, none of which would appear to enhance the “luxury” of the overall experience.

 

I would have expected Regent to ensure that passengers having to use FCC would not be financially disadvantaged as well. Perhaps they may discount the price accordingly. Would welcome any confirmation that this has happened

 

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Belfast Taxman just wondering is the 2021 Splendour cruise exactly the same number of days?  It does look quite a big price increase but I’ve always noticed that new ship has higher price tag ? 
It’s difficult to know what to do in these times re wait for the money refund or take the FCC.  Don’t think there is a right or wrong answer here. 
We are waiting fo money refund for our April cruise, but are considering taking the FCC for our November cruise.  The cruises we considered with the FCC were completely different itineries and also on Voyager or Navigator so we would have had no comparison If the prices had been increased from this year, but I expect they will be.

Hope things work out for you, but possibly you could speak in advance to your TA to give you a price for the next year cruise and see if it is better than what is advertised? No harm in asking ?   Jean

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It is exactly the same, apart from the differences I have mentioned. 

I have approached my TA as we had included a 2 night pre - stay in Stockholm, expanding on the one night that was part of the Regent package. The additional £2,400 does not include that additional element.

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Our cruise in april was cancelled and, before this happened Regent said that if we did not cancel and kept our booking they would give us 25% FCC that we could use for another cruise that we had booked. The amount offered was about £2500 which is much less that 25% of what we paid, they said that the FCC was only for the actual cruise portion of the holiday not the flights or port taxes, transfers, hotel or anything else that we had paid for. We decided to wait until they cancelled and asked for a refund which we are still waiting on. So I would take the money not FCC ( if you ever see it of course! )

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Yes, it is a conundrum.

We have similar similar decisions to make on two cruises later this year. Today we are mulling over whether to make the final payment on one of them.

As regards FCCs, as well as the value of them we also have the following concerns that are swaying our opinion:

  • FCCs are on a time-limited "use it or lose it" basis
  • Are FCCs covered by ATOL/ABTA guarantees? Probably not
  • If Regent delays/defaults on a cash refund then you can always pursue your credit card or travel insurance. 

Decisions, decisions ................. but we would rather be cruising 🙂

 

Edited by flossie009
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For me, it's an easy decision. I will take the refund and wait to see how the industry (and related industries) and specific cruise lines weather the storm. Some won't make it or the product might be different. I can then later choose to cruise (or not) based on a known environment vs. the significant unknowns of the future. I can also choose the cruise line and itinerary that best suits my requirements. I know that others' value cruising much more than I do and I respect that choice. Like a lot of other decisions we all make, one can only deal with the limited facts in hand and a sense of the future risks and your tolerance for those risks, to make a decision. I've made mine. Good luck with your decision.

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We are taking the Refund.  Our Navigator cruise in June was cancelled and we plan to rebook, likely in 2022.  The 2021 sailing is similar but at least 3 ports the we were most interested in have are not on the itinerary.  Additionally it is very full at this point so cabin selection is too limited.  When the balance of 2022 schedule is released we will look at it.  But as Pappy1022 said, taking the refund will allow us to pick a cruise line that offers the best itinerary.  We have a cruise booked in Nov. 2021 from Tokyo to Sydney.  Right now, we are simply considering switching the deposit if we find the 2022 cruise we want.  Not sure yet. 

As for price increases, Regent has been increasing the price yearly for a while.  And as much as I'd LOVE a "price guarantee," that would be "death" to the cruise line.  They have lost hundreds of millions so far an counting.  They have thousands of passengers with FCC who would sail "free."  Likely, without restrictions (none on FCC yet) they could end up going out of business.  So the price is the price.   I know I'll pay more for the same or similar cruise in 2 years.  The `125% FCC would have mitigated that cost a fair amount.  But that was my choice.  I think, personally, that 125% FCC is a very fair offer under the circumstances.  I also understand that the offer, like all other cruise lines, is to keep cash flow as well as keep people cruising.  It benefits both parties.   

Edited by papaflamingo
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I was thinking that the cruise lines will have another set of costs to consider when they get up and running. There will probably be a significant number of people who will prefer to stay on board and just enjoy the ship experience wherever it may go. As a rule, most people are off touring when in port which not only gives the crew some slack time but also cuts way down on the food and liquor consumption as people make their own dining plans when off the ship. There would obviously be an upward spike of product consumption.

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I have a July 28th cruise booked on the Navigator. So far Regent has not canceled this cruise. From all the articles I've read I have decided to take a refund if possible. There is no way to foresee what is going to happen in the future regarding cruising.

With most Regent cruises costing upwards of $10,000 per person I would not want to spend that kind money on a cruise that

does not offer me the experience we had in the past. A refund works for us!

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4 minutes ago, flossie009 said:

I see that Regent Reassurance has now been extended and tweaked:

Return with Regent

Regent Reassurance FAQs

I am looking at these on the Regent UK website. I am sure there are subtle differences in the US and elsewhere.

 

 

There is a strange quirk with the new Return with Regent policy; you are allowed to cancel 15 days before sailing for all sailings through 31 December 2022 IF you have booked between 18 May and 31 July 2020; what about those of us already booked?  The 48 hour cancellation seems to expire 31 December 2020; is there a Catch-22 in the middle?

 

Marc

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For us, the 125% FCC’s encouraged us think of booking a more expensive cruise than the one that was canceled.  However, we first booked a cruise that I felt would be cancelled and then transferred the FCC’s to a cruise that we typically would not book due to the cost (and our desire to stay in a certain suite category).  While I cannot say what the FCC’s are worth for everyone, for us it was great.

 

However, with four Regent cruises on the books currently, if our November sailing is cancelled, we will ask for a refund (that we will patiently wait for).

Edited by Travelcat2
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I also took the FCC.  I have not booked a cruise yet though because I am waiting to the rest of 2022 schedule to come out.  And I am not so patiently waiting for the money I paid for an overnight mid-cruise excursion in Israel to show back up as a credit to my credit card.

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3 hours ago, fizzy said:

I was thinking that the cruise lines will have another set of costs to consider when they get up and running. There will probably be a significant number of people who will prefer to stay on board and just enjoy the ship experience wherever it may go. As a rule, most people are off touring when in port which not only gives the crew some slack time but also cuts way down on the food and liquor consumption as people make their own dining plans when off the ship. There would obviously be an upward spike of product consumption.

Fizzy - A very interesting thought!  I don't know whether small or moderate changes in passenger behavior (more onboard eating/drinking rather than going ashore) would result in a significant difference (increase) in Regent operating costs (the difference might be in "the weeds), but with more people choosing to just stay onboard in many ports, it may have somewhat of an impact (either "good" or "bad") on the "onboard experience", from what we've had in the past.

 

We're booked on an 18-day Mariner Dec 18, 2021 Miami to San Francisco itinerary.  I know already that I'll be staying onboard during some/most of the 9 port visits we'll have on that itinerary.  And the itinerary already has a substantial number of "sea days", which I'm really looking forward to!   For me, this will just be a (hopefully enjoyable) "sit by the pool/lounge/balcony/dining room/Constellation Theater cruise!  Best Regards.

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3 hours ago, mrlevin said:

 

There is a strange quirk with the new Return with Regent policy; you are allowed to cancel 15 days before sailing for all sailings through 31 December 2022 IF you have booked between 18 May and 31 July 2020; what about those of us already booked?  The 48 hour cancellation seems to expire 31 December 2020; is there a Catch-22 in the middle?

 

Marc

Reading through the UK links as posted it appears we are stuffed on the face of it. We booked October 2019 paid the 20% deposit, we are supposed to sail January 15th so there appears to be no recourse. Adding to that is the flight issue as we went through Regent Air so it further complicates matters. I really don’t understand what Regent are playing at here.

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9 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

For us, the 125% FCC’s encouraged us think of booking a more expensive cruise than the one that was canceled.  However, we first booked a cruise that I felt would be cancelled and then transferred the FCC’s to a cruise that we typically would not book due to the cost (and our desire to stay in a certain suite category).  While I cannot say what the FCC’s are worth for everyone, for us it was great.

 


Excellent advice.  
Book a cruise that will be cancelled.  Get the 125% FCC and transfer to a more expensive cruise.  

That’s almost as good as getting free cruises, generous upgrades, and exclusive upsells back in the good old days...

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1 hour ago, pdaniel said:


Excellent advice.  
Book a cruise that will be cancelled.  Get the 125% FCC and transfer to a more expensive cruise.  

That’s almost as good as getting free cruises, generous upgrades, and exclusive upsells back in the good old days...

 

This is exactly what Regent does not want to happen.  Those of us that receive FCC’s should book another cruise with the intention of actually taking the cruise. Otherwise, in my opinion, it is people trying to take advantage of Regent.  

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I forgot an important point in my last post.  If you book a cruise with FCC’s and it is canceled, you do not receive additional FCC’s.  You can book another cruise which is what we have done with our FCC’s.  We still have hopes that the cruise that we booked with our FCC’s will sail.  It is out of the hands of Regent as it is dependent upon whether the two countries that we will be visiting will open to cruise ships by January.

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Given the current economic condition of the cruise industry combined with the uncertainty of the virus reoccurring, my strong opinion is to take the refund. Your money is back in your pocket and you can do what you want with it. Don't be swayed by the 25% bonus for taking a FCC which enables the cruise line to hold on to your money for up to two years and then possibly discharge it in bankruptcy.

 

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20 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

For us, the 125% FCC’s encouraged us think of booking a more expensive cruise than the one that was canceled.  However, we first booked a cruise that I felt would be cancelled and then transferred the FCC’s to a cruise that we typically would not book due to the cost (and our desire to stay in a certain suite category).  While I cannot say what the FCC’s are worth for everyone, for us it was great.

 

However, with four Regent cruises on the books currently, if our November sailing is cancelled, we will ask for a refund (that we will patiently wait for).

I think that Mr. Levin mentioned a similar strategy some time back, which I thought was brilliant, and then he was chastised for it. This looks like a similar and also brilliant move on your part to try and game the system. Bravo! I wish I had the discretionary time and desire  to get into this game.

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Regent is “gaming” with our refunds, delaying them likely for cash flow reasons, so I don’t see why customers can’t also be in the game. I don’t condone this approach and I opted to get my refund and wait it out. There is risk that your booked cruise won’t qualify for FCC’s or refund and/or you may have to take a cruise in the future that isn’t the experience that you are accustomed to. But if you are willing to take the risk then there is no reason why you should be chastised for it. 

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3 hours ago, fizzy said:

I think that Mr. Levin mentioned a similar strategy some time back, which I thought was brilliant, and then he was chastised for it. This looks like a similar and also brilliant move on your part to try and game the system. Bravo! I wish I had the discretionary time and desire  to get into this game.

 

You clearly misunderstood my posts (going back 2 months). To be clear, we were booked on the March 14th cruise that was cancelled 24 hours prior to boarding.  We obviously expected to take that cruise.  Rather than a refund, at the time, we believed that we could cruise in May so we used the FCC’s for a May cruise.  When it became clear that that cruise would be cancelled we took the SAME FCC’s and transferred them to a January cruise.  Not 1 cent was made by us - no games.  Regent still has our fully paid November cruise, the FCC’s for the January cruise and deposits on two other cruises that were booked last year.

 

In terms of booking a more expensive cruise, it seems that FCC’s are used by many to book a higher suite category.  In our case, we decided to book the same category as we had on our canceled Splendor cruise and book a cruise that would use all of our FCC’s and left us with a balance to pay (that we fully intend to do unless Australia and New Zealand decide to keep their borders closed to cruise ships beyond the end of this year.)

 

There are always people that will try to make gains off of others losses but we are not one of them (and would not want to associate with anyone that does).

 

 

Edited by Travelcat2
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Here's another question...somewhat related.

Suppose you have a 2021 cruise booked. Regent cancelled a 2020 voyage so "X" amount of FCCs were applied to the 2021 booking.  The rest of the 2021 cruise was paid with a credit card.  Suppose Regent cancels the 2021 cruise - will they refund the amount paid by credit card & then allow the "X" amount of FCCs to be used on a different/future cruise?

Edited by Kwaj girl
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