Jump to content

Crystal Refund Roll Call


SusieQft
 Share

Recommended Posts

I remember reading the the US Federal Maritime Commission is proposing a uniform refund policy of 180 days (a half year!) for cruise companies to refund fares when cancellations by the companies are due to government action like we had with Covid-19.  A refund in four+ months isn’t looking so bad now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Guiderlong said:

I remember reading the the US Federal Maritime Commission is proposing a uniform refund policy of 180 days (a half year!) for cruise companies to refund fares when cancellations by the companies are due to government action like we had with Covid-19.  A refund in four+ months isn’t looking so bad now.

That will be then - if it comes to pass- but this is now.

And for now Crystal stinks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it’s worth, I disputed our deposit on our credit card.  Our deposit was made in June for an October sail date, so I was still in the window of dispute opportunity.   To compound the situation, I followed the link to request a refund that was on the email Crystal sent.   I did not receive any confirmation once I pushed the “send” button.  I like to have a paper trail, and this made me a bit anxious.  Having read this thread daily, I decided that a timely refund was not in the stars.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s Day 146 of my patience with Crystal and I am still waiting for a refund. And according to Crystal, it may take up to 180 days for my refund to arrive!! YES, 180 days.

I found this mind-boggling admission of incompetence by Crystal on the website of the Better Business Bureau of Los Angeles, which currently has 20 complaints about the luxury line.

We all know that Covid has not been kind to the cruise industry, but some cruise lines have gone out of their way to be kind to customers and to refund money in a reasonably timely fashion – less than 90 days. However, there are other lines, Crystal at the forefront of them, that have decided to share their financial pain with their customers and to treat them in a cavalier manner.

I have cut and pasted below some of the more graphic complaints and pathetic responses. If you want to read more, I have pasted the link to BBB website below for your reading enjoyment.  Unfortunately, this time I am not being sarcastic or making fun. But I promise to return to my silly frame of mind tomorrow.

https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/los-angeles/profile/travel-agency/crystal-cruises-inc-1216-28000508/complaints

Complaint 

07/21/2020

Crystal Cruise Refund Still Not Received After More Than Four Months My husband and I booked a Crystal Cruise through a Virtuoso travel agent in Oct 2019 for a November 2020 Caribbean cruise. We made a $***** deposit that was supposed to be fully refundable if we cancelled any time before July 2020. Fearing the spread of COVID, we contacted our agent and cancelled at the beginning of March. She assured us that a refund would be processed within a few weeks. It has now been 18 weeks and no refund. We recently received the following from *** *****, President of Crystal: "Because Crystal is a privately held company, you may not read about our positions or financials in the news as with larger lines, but we have undertaken the necessary measures to remain financially sound and are committed to honoring our contractual obligations to guests and partners. While we strive for a 90-day refund turnaround, the reality is this has been challenging to achieve. We continue to push to get refunds out as soon as we can, but unfortunately, we will miss this deadline throughout the summer in some cases." Since we passed the 90 day period weeks ago, we have to wonder if Mr. ***** is being truthful in his explanation about Crystal's financial soundness. More disturbing, we keep getting unsolicited brochures for future Crystal cruises all indicating that deposits on them will be refundable. This sounds a bit like a classic ponzi scheme - new deposits to refund old deposits. Hopefully we will receive our refund, but I do think that people considering a Crystal cruise should be aware of this.

Crystal Cruises, Inc. Response

08/03/2020

RE: ***** ******** Crystal Cruises,LLC ("Crystal") has refunded Crystal has refunded Mr. ********, on July 23, 2020, the amount of $******* and has retained a $100 administrative fee per guest, which was agreed to in our ticket terms and conditions. As the Covid-19 virus keeps impacting social and economic life around the globe, it also continues to impact Crystal Cruises more severely than we could have imagined. This global pandemic has also lasted much longer than anyone anticipated. Our policies have always erred on the side of our guests, as that is the philosophy of our brand. While some guests have taken our generous Future Cruise Credit offer, many guests have requested a refund at a higher percentage than expected. This steep volume, as well as the continued cancellation of voyages, has severely put our system under strain and delayed the process of refunds, which in a normal environment works efficiently and smoothly. All credit card processors are in a similar place and are affected by the sheer volume of refunds, which is further constraining the process and causing delays on their end as well. While we strive for a 90-day refund turnaround, the reality is we are now around 180 days. We do apologize for the delay and believe the matter should now be settled with Mr. ********. Best regards, Crystal Cruises, LLC

Complaint 

06/10/2020

Deposit refund request. They want to take 90 days to do it; a full financial quarter. Sent 2 emails and made phone calls that were ignored. On 4/17/20, due to COVID-19, I was forced to cancel my voyage; ********************, made on 10/10/19, which would have been my 7th Crystal Cruise. I requested that my deposit of ******** be credited back to my ***************************. They said it would take 90 days, a full financial quarter, in which they have use of my money & I don't. When I make a reservation with Crystal, the deposit charge to my credit card appears within the hour. Holding my money for three months is unconscionable, especially for a company that professes to make the welfare of its clientele a priority, and calls into question their solvency as a company. I sent two e-mails to guest relations on the subject, (5/2 & 5/11) which were ignored, and spoke to ****** ****, a manager at Crystal Cruises, who flatly refused to help me. She stated that they are overwhelmed with refund requests, but a month earlier they managed to return my deposit on a different cruise within a week. In my conversation with Ms. ****, she even intimated that Crystal needs the money more than I do. I stated in my communications that I would file this complaint, and it produced no results.

No response yet from Crystal Cruises

Complaint 

04/20/2020

Italy Cruise was cx for May 2020 I was offered a partial refund and future cruise credit. I have been requesting a full refund for $****. My husband and I cx our Crystal cruise when I heard about the rapid spread of Covid in Italy. Cruise was from Rome to Barcelona in May. I was offered a 50 % refund with a future credit of ******* I have lupus, stage 3 Kidney disease, hypertension, and an auto immune blood clotting disorder. I take medication to suppress my immune system. All of this makes me at a very high risk if I get Covid. If I was completely healthy I would be hopeful that I could travel with Crystal in the future, but that is an unknown for me now with Covid and I can't afford to loose ******* I am a nurse with 3 young daughters. I have literally pleaded with Crystal for a full refund. They refuse to do this because they say that I canceled due to Covid before they decided to cancel the cruise due to Covid. This really doesn't make any sense to me other, than they are trying to keep MY money. I am only asking that I get the same compensation that was offered to all the other customers which was a full refund! However, I am currently being penalized for canceling before Crystal canceled. I sent Crystal multiple emails with letters from 2 doctors and I am still hitting a brick wall. There responses are very scripted, not addressing my concerns for my heath at all! They keep saying their policy states that I don't get a full refund, because I canceled, but that if they cancel for the same exact reason (Covid) they can then offer a full refund. I even reached out and sent two messages to the CEO *** ******* I am only asking for the same compensation that was offered to the other customers going on the same exact cruise as me. I feel that with a World Wide Pandemic and my heath issues, offering me a full refund is the right and ethical thing to do. I am a nurse and I always have my patients (customer) best interest at heart. It's it shocking to me the way I am being treated by Crystal a luxury cruise line! Honestly, it is quite shocking that they have no regard for my health concerns and isn't it quite arbitrary who canceled first?!? The bottom line is the cruise was canceled. I have heard from my travel agent who has been working to get my money back that other Cruise lines are treating their customers much better, by doing the right thing and offering a full refund. I have spent a lot of time and energy on this. It has been causing me a lot of sleepless nights and stress as I just cannot believe how Crystal is treating me. Fellow cruise takers please beware of Crystal Cruises! I hate to go public, but I have reached out multiple times with absolutely no resolution except a scripted response! I know Crystal hopes I will give up and stop pursuing, but that will not happen until I get MY money back that they have no right to keep according to the Consumer Protection Act. Shame on them for taking advantage of a customer during a Worldwide Pandemic.

Crystal Cruises, Inc. Response

05/18/2020

Hello BBB, As a general process, we respond to the guest with what our process and terms and conditions allow. THis guest canceled and has a penlty yet Crystal allows for a replacement. She has done a chargeback for it, and we have also been contacted by the media. Mrs.***** feels we should not give the credit. Unfortunately, we are not able to refund and her cruise value is available. *************i -Manager Guest Relations -CCI

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, forgap said:

I did not receive any confirmation once I pushed the “send” button.  I like to have a paper trail, and this made me a bit anxious.

Without a confirmation, it might be wise to assume it did not happen.  Recently Hawaiian Airlines cancelled a flight we were to be on.  I filled out the online form for a refund about an hour after I got their email.  Several days later, I called on the phone and was told that they had not received any refund request.  So I ended up requesting it over the phone at that time.  That was almost a month ago, and so far we have received only a partial refund, for the upgrade to Extra Comfort, but not for the base fare.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/10/2020 at 12:13 PM, USC Adventurer said:

The time I've been waiting for my refund is just a little over three months which pales in comparison with what most of their passengers are experiencing but I decided today to file a dispute with my credit card company visa and I did it over the phone with them and they were very nice about it they do not charge a fee for disputes either I did read where somebody said that American Express was charging them a $200 administrative fee for filing a dispute Solis visas doing good by me and hopefully by filing the dispute it'll get Crystal moving along and issuing me a refund I have a second refund coming from Crystal but I only requested that June 16th so I have to wait until at least September 16th before I can file a dispute for that one but I assure you all that I will file a dispute it September unless I receive a refund from Crystal before then

Sorry, I wasn't clear. The $200 "administrative fee" was a cancellation fee from Crystal($100/pp), and it was in the terms and conditions for the cruise. It applied if the cancellation of the booking was made 120+ days before the departure date.  We canceled at 173 days prior.

 

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, SusieQft said:

Without a confirmation, it might be wise to assume it did not happen.  Recently Hawaiian Airlines cancelled a flight we were to be on.  I filled out the online form for a refund about an hour after I got their email.  Several days later, I called on the phone and was told that they had not received any refund request.  So I ended up requesting it over the phone at that time.  That was almost a month ago, and so far we have received only a partial refund, for the upgrade to Extra Comfort, but not for the base fare.

When I got the notification from Crystal that our Esprit cruise, scheduled for 8/30/20, had been cancelled on June 16 I requested a refund on the following day. I too did not receive a confirmation that the refund had been requested so I emailed them immediately and received an email confirmation that our refund request had been received on June 17. I felt that it might be needed if/and when we file a dispute with our credit card company. 

This is our first and probably last dealing with Crystal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/3/2020 at 1:59 PM, YWW said:

We cancelled our August 2020 Crystal Symphony cruise on March 21, 2020, a few days before our final payment was due. It's been over 210 days (today is Aug 3) and still no refund for our deposit. Crystal customer service did say they had just finished processing refunds for people who had cancelled on March 19 and they said it should be "soon" for us. However, we are not going to hold our breath because we had called Crystal on June 15 about the refund and we were told they had just finished processing refunds for people who had cancelled on March 15. It took them a month and a half to move from March 15 to March 19 so my guess is it'll take them likely another 1.5 to 2 months to process our March 21 refund if they have any cash left. What a joke! There's simply no way in hell we'll sail with Crystal again with this experience.

 

Cancelled August 2020 cruise on March 21, 2020

Called Crystal multiple times about the refund. Same answer each time ..."refund is coming soon".

Filed dispute with credit card company on August 6, 2020.

Received conditional credit of full amount from credit card company on August 11, 2020.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, SusieQft said:

Without a confirmation, it might be wise to assume it did not happen.  Recently Hawaiian Airlines cancelled a flight we were to be on.  I filled out the online form for a refund about an hour after I got their email.  Several days later, I called on the phone and was told that they had not received any refund request.  So I ended up requesting it over the phone at that time.  That was almost a month ago, and so far we have received only a partial refund, for the upgrade to Extra Comfort, but not for the base fare.

Our Swissair flight was cancelled and the airline booked us on the same one  for the next day. Their notification only allowed me to accept the new flight or a voucher good for a year. The phone number was for Zurich. I emailed Swissair to ask for a refund and got a reply that they were not offering refunds at this time and to get in touch with them again after the date of departure. 
     Two weeks later, I got another email that the new flight was cancelled and the only alternative was a flight three days later. This time, I called Swissair in the US. An agent picked up within two minutes and issued the refund, telling me it would take up to 60 days to process. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the refund on my credit card app two days later. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah! Let the bells of St. Mary’s ring out! May the fireworks be set off and soar into the skies! Let the marching bands parade to the town square! Praise be upon Neptune. May the clouds part and golden confetti rain down upon us. Good tidings to all. Hosanna in the highest.

After a long and disappointing wait, my patience has been rewarded. My dreams have come true. My persistence has paid off. Today, after 147 days, Crystal finally repaid my deposit to my credit card. It was just US$3,347. But given the length of time it took for Crystal to pay it, I hope it doesn’t put them into bankruptcy!

Frankly, Crystal and its management team should be ashamed of their performance with respect to their handling of refunds and the lack of associated communications. It has been pathetic and unprofessional, and it has blotted the copy book of this once proud and distinguished luxury cruise line. Many customers and travel agents will not forget this fiasco, and some may never return to Crystal (I will certainly think long and hard before booking with Crystal again).  It may even cost Crystal’s President his job and potentially sink the cruise line for good. If only Genting (a billion dollar company) had stepped up and given Crystal some of the additional support it needed to properly fund and staff refunds.

I’m not sure why I finally got paid. It could have been my regular stream of sarcastic and irreverent posts that parodied Crystal’s inept management that they simply got tired of seeing. Perhaps the Crystal Faithful donated their own money towards my refund just to shut me up. Or maybe it was just my boyish good lucks and charm that Crystal couldn’t resist!  Whatever it was, I now have my refund. And I want thank SusieQft for starting the refund timeline chart and thread, and to everyone who posted on it and especially those who responded to my posts.

With my refund in hand, I will not be lurking on this board for much longer. Good luck to everyone still waiting for a refund. I will soon be off to fight cruise line injustice, incompetence and bad breath on other boards. It was fun while it lasted. I hope we meet again, but next time over a martini rather than a refund issue!

- CD

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it interesting that so many assume that Genting is flush with money, if only they would give (or loan) it to Crystal. I'm just not so sure of that. And, how much would they want (or are they even able) to borrow? I'm hoping that Crystal will come back better than ever, but I am not at all sure that will happen. As my fellow Houstonian sang, "you gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em" ! I'm still waiting for 2 refunds and I will either get them (eventually) or not. Might as well be chill about the situation as getting my knickers in a twist just makes everything uncomfortable. Peace out! 😜🙄🤩

 

Patty

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, commodoredave said:

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah! Let the bells of St. Mary’s ring out! May the fireworks be set off and soar into the skies! Let the marching bands parade to the town square! Praise be upon Neptune. May the clouds part and golden confetti rain down upon us. Good tidings to all. Hosanna in the highest.

After a long and disappointing wait, my patience has been rewarded. My dreams have come true. My persistence has paid off. Today, after 147 days, Crystal finally repaid my deposit to my credit card. It was just US$3,347. But given the length of time it took for Crystal to pay it, I hope it doesn’t put them into bankruptcy!

Frankly, Crystal and its management team should be ashamed of their performance with respect to their handling of refunds and the lack of associated communications. It has been pathetic and unprofessional, and it has blotted the copy book of this once proud and distinguished luxury cruise line. Many customers and travel agents will not forget this fiasco, and some may never return to Crystal (I will certainly think long and hard before booking with Crystal again).  It may even cost Crystal’s President his job and potentially sink the cruise line for good. If only Genting (a billion dollar company) had stepped up and given Crystal some of the additional support it needed to properly fund and staff refunds.

I’m not sure why I finally got paid. It could have been my regular stream of sarcastic and irreverent posts that parodied Crystal’s inept management that they simply got tired of seeing. Perhaps the Crystal Faithful donated their own money towards my refund just to shut me up. Or maybe it was just my boyish good lucks and charm that Crystal couldn’t resist!  Whatever it was, I now have my refund. And I want thank SusieQft for starting the refund timeline chart and thread, and to everyone who posted on it and especially those who responded to my posts.

With my refund in hand, I will not be lurking on this board for much longer. Good luck to everyone still waiting for a refund. I will soon be off to fight cruise line injustice, incompetence and bad breath on other boards. It was fun while it lasted. I hope we meet again, but next time over a martini rather than a refund issue!

- CD

Speaking of Presidents, I think it would be a good idea if Mr. Wolber came out of hiding and did a Facebook Live.  The new President of Seabourn is doing one on August 20.  Good thing to keep past and potential new guests engaged.  Congrats on your refund.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Texas Tillie said:

I find it interesting that so many assume that Genting is flush with money, if only they would give (or loan) it to Crystal. I'm just not so sure of that. And, how much would they want (or are they even able) to borrow? I'm hoping that Crystal will come back better than ever, but I am not at all sure that will happen. As my fellow Houstonian sang, "you gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em" ! I'm still waiting for 2 refunds and I will either get them (eventually) or not. Might as well be chill about the situation as getting my knickers in a twist just makes everything uncomfortable. Peace out! 😜🙄🤩

 

Patty

Just curious:  You have not filed credit card disputes for the two refunds due you?  You will definitely get them back if you file credit card disputes.  I don’t understand why you think Crystal having your money is better than you having your money and you want to continue waiting.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Poof! Just like magic, four business days after filing a dispute with my credit card the credit we’ve been waiting for since March 23rd came through, including interest charges. Emails, online requests and several phone calls to Crystal and my TA did not work. A big thank you to SuzieQft for starting this thread and thanks to posters who suggested the credit card company route.  Unfortunately, there are plenty of cruisers out there who do not read Cruise Critic and are still waiting. I used to tell people that once I discovered Crystal, I became a cruise snob because I couldn’t imagine ever using any other line. Now, I’m not so sure they’ll survive this dysfunctional mess. It’s sad to see this happening to a company that got everything else right. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, commodoredave said:

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah! Let the bells of St. Mary’s ring out! May the fireworks be set off and soar into the skies! Let the marching bands parade to the town square! Praise be upon Neptune. May the clouds part and golden confetti rain down upon us. Good tidings to all. Hosanna in the highest.

After a long and disappointing wait, my patience has been rewarded. My dreams have come true. My persistence has paid off. Today, after 147 days, Crystal finally repaid my deposit to my credit card. It was just US$3,347. But given the length of time it took for Crystal to pay it, I hope it doesn’t put them into bankruptcy!

Frankly, Crystal and its management team should be ashamed of their performance with respect to their handling of refunds and the lack of associated communications. It has been pathetic and unprofessional, and it has blotted the copy book of this once proud and distinguished luxury cruise line. Many customers and travel agents will not forget this fiasco, and some may never return to Crystal (I will certainly think long and hard before booking with Crystal again).  It may even cost Crystal’s President his job and potentially sink the cruise line for good. If only Genting (a billion dollar company) had stepped up and given Crystal some of the additional support it needed to properly fund and staff refunds.

I’m not sure why I finally got paid. It could have been my regular stream of sarcastic and irreverent posts that parodied Crystal’s inept management that they simply got tired of seeing. Perhaps the Crystal Faithful donated their own money towards my refund just to shut me up. Or maybe it was just my boyish good lucks and charm that Crystal couldn’t resist!  Whatever it was, I now have my refund. And I want thank SusieQft for starting the refund timeline chart and thread, and to everyone who posted on it and especially those who responded to my posts.

With my refund in hand, I will not be lurking on this board for much longer. Good luck to everyone still waiting for a refund. I will soon be off to fight cruise line injustice, incompetence and bad breath on other boards. It was fun while it lasted. I hope we meet again, but next time over a martini rather than a refund issue!

- CD

I see from Susie's spreadsheet you requested your refund March 19th.  That's the third one from the mid-March batch.  So maybe (now) there is some sort of truth to Crystal's statement that they are being processed in the order received.

Edited by crickette
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, USC Adventurer said:

CD. Did you file a dispute with your cc company or did you just sit back and wait for the refund from crystal?

Filed my CC dispute a week ago, but I don't think  one week would have been enough time for the process to have had any impact. But I encourage others to file a dispute if their refund request is several weeks or more away from 145 days.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, cruisr said:

Speaking of Presidents, I think it would be a good idea if Mr. Wolber came out of hiding and did a Facebook Live.  The new President of Seabourn is doing one on August 20.  Good thing to keep past and potential new guests engaged.  Congrats on your refund.

100% agree and support your suggestion. It would be a nice gesture that many would appreciate. Thanks.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Texas Tillie said:

I find it interesting that so many assume that Genting is flush with money, if only they would give (or loan) it to Crystal. I'm just not so sure of that. And, how much would they want (or are they even able) to borrow? I'm hoping that Crystal will come back better than ever, but I am not at all sure that will happen. As my fellow Houstonian sang, "you gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em" ! I'm still waiting for 2 refunds and I will either get them (eventually) or not. Might as well be chill about the situation as getting my knickers in a twist just makes everything uncomfortable. Peace out! 😜🙄🤩

 

Patty

The only thing we know for sure is that Genting has more money than I do, and for that matter, more than everyone on this board!!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, crickette said:

I see from Susie's spreadsheet you requested your refund March 19th.  That's the third one from the mid-March batch.  So maybe (now) there is some sort of truth to Crystal's statement that they are being processed in the order received.

Yes, it would appear that the 2 people working in the refund department are handling refunds in order of receipt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, commodoredave said:

Yes, it would appear that the 2 people working in the refund department are handling refunds in order of receipt.

Actually I think they are throwing all the refunds up in the air and whichever land face up they start working on.  So All those waiting 120 days plus, your refund request always landed face down LOL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: PONANT Cruises & Expeditions
      • Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with American Queen Voyages
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...