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1 hour ago, tring said:

 

You need to realise that ABTA are a trade body, set up to support the trade.  Consumer advice can be obtained from "Which",  as it is a consumer body and they have a website which can be visited, though some parts will be restricted if you have not paid for membership (not massive cost and is something we have kept on finding it useful when making purchases).

 

ABTA do have a section which is entitled "advice for customers" (or similar wording).  But that is obviously written with support for the trade in mind, so need to be read with caution.  If you have access to the trade section of the site, you would be able to see the advice given to the trade, otherwise you would not (there is a need for members to sign in).  Given what is written in the customer section I would not be at all surprised if the advice to the trade is as CMV says, though I do not have access to it personally.

 

I also understand from someone who runs a business that he and other business owners were advised by their accountants not to pay outstanding bills when all this lot kicked off and I am not surprised at that as the accountants after all are paid to support their customers (the business owners).  What advice has been given since then is not something of which I am aware.

 

As many will know, Simon Calder is the highly respected travel editor of the UK's Independent newspaper and also a regular expert contributor to BBC News - TV and radio - and Sky News. He is very well informed as to both consumer and trade guidance. This short clip about CMV and ABTA is taken from his Independent Facebook page.

Edited by london14
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5 minutes ago, marylizcat said:

Well, we aren’t talking large sums of money, just deposits, so insurance pretty irrelevant, with excesses meaning little would be covered anyway. Incidentally travel insurance is now available to cover COVID, if you want it. Look at Trailfinders insurance.

 

Your decision seems similar to ours then but I would not put large money on it.  Booking another one did perk me up a bit as well, so sort of worth it for the feel good factor 🙂 

 

Regards insurance a lot of comments have been made recently about COVID, Staysure being one mentioned.  When you look into it it seems they are only offering cover for medical and repatriation costs if you get ill abroad, but cancellation and curtailment still not included.  I have not looked at the one you mention, but if it were to cover cancellation and curtailment I do wonder what the cost would be and have a hunch it may not.  We have an annual policy with AXA and they only ever stopped cover for cancellation and curtailment, whist keeping on insurance for medical costs etc., so no advantage to us regards other policies - as far as I know.  In fact while the FCO are advising against international travel we would not be covered for anything if we were to book another holiday.  Given past experience we are not convinced that cover would change in the future when the FCO change the advice (must come soon), as in the past they have always taken insurance for a particular holiday according to what was in place at the time - hence we are still fully insured for holidays booked prior to mid March.

 

On a somber note, I have just read a comment on one of the P&O threads saying regards CMV,  "all ships impounded this morning by the MCA due to crew welfare concerns and apparently an emergency loan deal fell through yesterday".  I do not know where that info. came from and cannot find anything on the net, so I do not know how true it is.  Fingers crossed.

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36 minutes ago, london14 said:

 

As many will know, Simon Calder is the highly respected travel editor of the UK's Independent newspaper and also a regular expert contributor to BBC News - TV and radio - and Sky News. He is very well informed as to both consumer and trade guidance. This short clip about CMV and ABTA is taken from his Independent Facebook page.

 

 

 

Yes, you are right the Simon Calder is very reliable and he also seems to get a bit of advance knowledge about some things as well.  What he says here is that they do not have a right to not make payments (and yes the law has not been changed) so that is entirely correct, but at the same time no one seems to be enforcing anything either.  From your original comment you said they were following guidance from ABTA re not refunding until a later date.  My point was (and still is) that it is not known what  guidance/advice they may have received from ABTA (unless you have inside knowledge, which you may well have).  It is quite probable though that they have been in touch with ABTA discussing their situation and IMO they may well have had that guidance from ABTA so they do not fold.  I have no inside knowledge so cannot say what the case is though, or indeed that it is not.  I may have misunderstood your initial post, or perhaps your wording was not as you intended.

 

My overall point was that ABTA support the trade - not the consumer, so they are not a good place to get consumer advice.

 

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1 hour ago, tring said:

On a somber note, I have just read a comment on one of the P&O threads saying regards CMV,  "all ships impounded this morning by the MCA due to crew welfare concerns and apparently an emergency loan deal fell through yesterday".  I do not know where that info. came from and cannot find anything on the net, so I do not know how true it is.  Fingers crossed.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/19/uk-port-authorities-board-cruise-ships-amid-welfare-fears-for-crew-coronavirus

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17 minutes ago, tring said:

 

 

Yes, you are right the Simon Calder is very reliable and he also seems to get a bit of advance knowledge about some things as well.  What he says here is that they do not have a right to not make payments (and yes the law has not been changed) so that is entirely correct, but at the same time no one seems to be enforcing anything either.  From your original comment you said they were following guidance from ABTA re not refunding until a later date.  My point was (and still is) that it is not known what  guidance/advice they may have received from ABTA (unless you have inside knowledge, which you may well have).  It is quite probable though that they have been in touch with ABTA discussing their situation and IMO they may well have had that guidance from ABTA so they do not fold.  I have no inside knowledge so cannot say what the case is though, or indeed that it is not.  I may have misunderstood your initial post, or perhaps your wording was not as you intended.

 

My overall point was that ABTA support the trade - not the consumer, so they are not a good place to get consumer advice.

 

 

Thanks. Just to clarify. I was not relying on ABTA for consumer advice. Rather pointing out that CMV has been telling customers directly - also in telephone conversations - that the 90 to 120 day delay is a result of ABTA guidance to them. Having researched this extensively with various sources there is no evidence to back that up. ABTA has made representations to the UK government in general about extended refund periods but not - according to Simon Calder and others - direct to CMV. In any event this all appears, very sadly, academic given CMV's current position. Let's hope a rescue package can be put together and the company can go forward.

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40 minutes ago, london14 said:

 

Thanks.  Yes worth reading, but some is just about the fact that many crew are stuck on ships worldwide because their own countries will not accept their repatriation, though the article seems to be blaming CMV for that, which is not the case.  P&O and Fred still have crew on board ships who cannot get home and there are a number of ships off the coast of Manila and other places which are not being allowed to disembark crew.  I think some CMV ships came back late from far flung places so they had perhaps missed a window when they would have been able to send the crew home before borders closed.  

 

Astoria another matter as the intention is to send her to LIsbon, to return to her owners, so yes the crew would not have any easy way to get home from there either, so not sure what would happen - some other crew were transferred to another ship in Tilbury from Astoria earlier this week.   Apparently some Myanmar crew have now left the ships on their way home after action by their government to let them return.  I knew someone had died of a heart attack and stress of being stuck on the ship would not have helped, but otherwise I do not know if anything had triggered it. 

 

I am sure CMV would have preferred to send most crew home long ago. 

 

Edited by tring
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This appears to refer to CMV ships.  Someone posted this evening that 5/6 ships are currently detained, Magallen being the one that is not:-

 

https://maritime-executive.com/corporate/cruise-ships-in-tilbury-bristol-inspected-after-crew-welfare-concern

 

From BBC earlier:-  

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-53110744

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Statement from CMV on Saturday which I found posted elsewhere on the net:-

 

MEDIA STATEMENT FROM CRUISE & MARITIME VOYAGES
1500hrs Saturday 20 June 2020
Re. CMV RESPONDS TO RESULTS OF MARITIME & COAST GUARD AGENCY INSPECTIONS
Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) confirm that their vessels currently laid over in the UK in London Tilbury and Bristol Avonmouth were inspected by the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency on Friday 19thJune. CMV has been cruising from British ports since commencing operations 10 years ago without any detentions and cooperated fully with the MCA’s inspections. The Astoria, Astor, Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Marco Polo cruise ships were detained by the MCA following the inspections. The MCA has identified some issues relating to expired crew contracts and crew being onboard in excess of 12 months. Both issues occurred as a result of the enforced lockdown period and the Covid-19 travel restrictions for some countries. They also identified recent temporary delays in the payment of wages which were due within the last week and have already been corrected by CMV. The inspection onboard Magellan identified the same issues, but the vessel was not detained and was given 14 days to rectify them.
The health, safety and welfare of all their passengers and crew is CMV’s top priority. CMV, as have many other cruise lines, has faced an unprecedented emerging humanitarian issue as many crew members became stranded on cruise ships as borders closed as a result of the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. CMV has worked hard to repatriate as many crew members as possible and has been unable to repatriate all crew members due to the travel restrictions. Approximately 200,000seafarers around the world are still stranded on cruise and cargo ships and the issues CMV is experiencing in relation to crew contracts are the same for many other cruise lines.
Christian Verhounig, CEO, commented, “CMV has in the past and is continuing to work hard to cooperate fully with the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and to rectify the crew contract issues which have largely contributed to the detention of five CMV ships. We hope this issue has raised awareness of the plight of our crew with the various embassies and that they will now assist CMV with the repatriation of crew members, remaining countries have fully engaged in supporting CMV over the past two days. We are confident that with the sudden increase in support and help we will be able to repatriate the remaining crew ideally before the end of the month. CMV apologises for any inconvenience or disruption that these issues may have caused for their highly valued crew.”
“CMV’s number one priority is to care for and repatriate crew members as is the case for all CLIA cruise line members, especially in light of the complexities involved due to travel restrictions and differing policies and approaches imposed by local and national governments around the world. The vast majority of our European crew have already been repatriated and CMV has flown home a large number of International crew on specially chartered flights. CMV has been in high level talks with the Indian High Commission to obtain special landing permits and other international governments, to help facilitate and expediate our crew’s safe return
back home to their families. Our crew have endured a pro-longed period quarantined on board our ships during lockdown and are understandably anxious and distressed as a result. We fully sympathise with and understand our crew’s frustration and upset at being held under quarantine conditions onboard our ships due to the local restrictions imposed.”
ENDS
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I hope this is not regarded as political: Poor crew, our hearts go out to them. Surely humanitarian aid in the form of land based detention centres could have been offered perhaps on rotation so that the ships ran on skeleton crews? All through this pandemic there have been problems with the inequality of treatment between differing groups of people from front line staff to the aged. I really hope that CMV do not become a casualty in what so many describe as a war. 

Edited by teedam
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