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Celebrity, Why Can't You Be Reasonable?


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I have reservations on the Solstice for a 17 day trans-pacific cruise leaving from Honolulu on September 28, 0220.  Very soon our final payment will be due.  I am certain in my own mind that this cruise will be cancelled as officials in Australia where the cruise terminates are signaling that tourists won't be allowed in until 2021.  My travel agent tried to get me under the delay program but was refused by Celebrity.  So it seems that even thought the 2021 cruise leaves from Honolulu as the 2020 cruise does and terminates in Sidney as the 2021 does, and is in the same time period (September 29, 2021), and is the same class of ship, it is 18 days instead of 17.  They refused because the 2021icruise s not the same number of days.  There are no alternative cruises of 17 days (an odd cruise length) anywhere that I could qualify for.  I don't know how long the 2021 cruise has been scheduled but I almost wonder if it wasn't made 18 days so that none of us on the 17 day cruise would qualify.  In this situation why can't Celebrity be reasonable?  I am 78 and who knows what the future will bring.  I think my agent tried but of course, Celebrity won't talk to me directly. Any suggestions? 

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There have been others reporting that they Were able to move to a cruise that was a day or 2 longer when all other criteria were met.  They paid extra for the additional day (s).  I would ask the TA to escalate this to a supervisor or resolutions. 

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The alternative that occurs to me is put a refundable deposit on the 2021 cruise (all deposits are refundable right now).  Then, if the 2020 cancels, take the 125% future cruise credit, and use it when the final payment is due on the 2021.  That way you lock in the current pricing for the 2021, and take advantage of any price drops before final payment. 

 

The only way this wouldn't be a logical way to proceed is if you got some type of amazingly low price on your current booking.  If that's the case, your travel agent definitely shoudl be going to bat for you. 

 

Harris

Denver, CO

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I'm not sure that anyone really knows future itineraries for 2021.  Each country is going to be making their own rules and this may present bigger problems for trans-Pacific or trans-Atlantic cruises.   I would cancel and get a refund.  There will be deals when all of this gets sorted out.   One of Celebrity's recent sales soured me on the FCC concept because you were not allowed to combine the FCCs with the promotion.  The additional 25% may not end up being a big advantage.  I would take my money now and wait for future sales when sailing actually resumes.

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We had a reservation on the exact same cruise as the original poster here. We tried and tried to get this cruise rebooked but Celebrity would not budge. Despite what some have posted here, even with written letters, Celebrity's Resolution desk would not allow a Lift and Shift change to the 2021 cruise that was one day longer. 

The current price for the 18 day 2021 cruise is so much higher that hoping for just waiting this out, making the final 2020 payment and using the 125%FCC would not have any benifit. 

We decided to just cancel our 2020 reservation before the final payment due date.  Celebrity is losing a loyal client because of their unreasonableness.

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One alternative is to ask the TA to do a 3 way call with you and Celebrity.  1) Celebrity may be a bit more yielding as they have the customer on the line.  2) you can get a sense of how hard your TA is going to bat for you.

 

If TA is unwilling to do this then I would ask them to release the reservation back to Celebrity so you can argue your own case.

 

In any event it will need to end up in the resolutions department as they seem to be the only ones who are empowered to make reasonable exceptions.

 

If you exhaust these 2 strategies I would forward a concise description of your request and justification as well as the steps you have taken to date to CelebrityOneTouch@celebrity.com.  They generally respond within a few days.   It's important to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to get resolution using the normal chain of command.   If you strike out there the last alternative is office of the CEO as a last resort.

 

Good luck.  I think your request is quite reasonable as long as you are willing to pay a prorated upcharge for the extra day.

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It Celebrity the problem or is it your travel agent.  We have postponed cruises and just cancelled and rebooked the new cruise. Of course, we booked directly with the cruise line.

 

We did a great transpacific on Royal C. from Sydney to Seattle in 2018.

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I was just able to L & S three bookings:  8 days, from this year to 9 days in 2021. As in OP'scircumstance, there was no identical itinerary for next year. There was no additional charge. I did take over 6 hours of phone contact, but was finally completed.

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Unfortunately, from what I have read on this thread as well as other threads and other Facebook posts, it seems to be quite arbitrary who gets an exception and who doesn't.  As is always the case with Celebrity, if you don't like the first answer, call again (and in this case again and again).  I understand why this can be difficult for them to handle - they can barely keep up with cancellations, refunds, and changes as it is (and some would argue they are in fact NOT keeping up with them in any reasonable fashion).  I wouldn't expect them to just give me an extra day's cruise - but it would be nice and reasonable if they let you just pay the difference for that one or two extra days.  Someone on FB wanted to move to a cruise one day shorter, and they wouldn't allow that either!  An email to the CEO is a good idea once other avenues have been pursued.

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6 hours ago, ipeeinthepool said:

 I would cancel and get a refund.  There will be deals when all of this gets sorted out.     I would take my money now and wait for future sales when sailing actually resumes.

Prudent advice given the O.P's circumstances.

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8 hours ago, ipeeinthepool said:

I'm not sure that anyone really knows future itineraries for 2021.  Each country is going to be making their own rules and this may present bigger problems for trans-Pacific or trans-Atlantic cruises.   I would cancel and get a refund.  There will be deals when all of this gets sorted out.   One of Celebrity's recent sales soured me on the FCC concept because you were not allowed to combine the FCCs with the promotion.  The additional 25% may not end up being a big advantage.  I would take my money now and wait for future sales when sailing actually resumes.

Good advice..

.please don't give them any more money., that might be tied up...you might have a long wait for a refund or fcc, 

Cancel before final payment if there is no penalty,  start fresh after the dust settles.  There will alway be deals and interesting itins

Edited by hcat
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I agree with those recommending that you ask your TA to call back, and escalate, if necessary. 

 

I have a B2B2B booked for this fall, starting with a Trans-Pacific. That one was easy to Lift & Shift, however, the next two cruises are not the same length as this year's, have different intermittent ports, and are currently significantly more expensive than our booked prices. They are not eligible for L&S. My TA talked to his marketing guy at Celebrity. He agreed that it's not a fair situation, and that X did not take into account situations like this when devising L&S. My TA now has, in writing, a commitment from his marketing guy at X to set aside $$ from his marketing budget to "make us whole" and allow us to essentially Lift and Shift to next year's cruises at this year's rates.

 

Granted, not all TAs have the sort of relationships with the cruise lines to be able to pull off something like this, but I'd wager that many of the better ones do. It pays to have an excellent professional TA in your corner. 

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This is all probably "reasonable" from Celebrity's perspective.  The company is hemorrhaging cash, CLIA just cancelled all cruises through at least 15 September, countries/ports are unable to commit to any scheduling, and even which ships they will have available following restart is unknown.  Money is critical to the company - all cruise companies at the moment.  Additionally, travel agencies have no incentive to assist and in some cases appear to be more on the side of the cruise line instead of the customer.

 

Best option is likely cancellation, but remember monies back will take months or longer.

 

We are in a similar situation with Uniworld for a river cruise in France, one that we should be on right now.  Final payment caught up in the COVID-19 pandemic - paid it just before everything collapsed.  We are in our mid/late 70s with some of the "underlying" health issues mentioned early on by CLIA and others pointing towards limiting cruising.  Uniworld only wants to provide FCC, which we likely will not be able to use as health concerns mitigate against flying and cruising.  So its wait and wait and wait.  It's their ball and they set the rules.  Possibly will come down to legal action if Uniworld stays solvent.  That again implies years of waiting and frustration, which these cruise lines fully use to their benefit.

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11 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

This is all probably "reasonable" from Celebrity's perspective.  The company is hemorrhaging cash, CLIA just cancelled all cruises through at least 15 September, countries/ports are unable to commit to any scheduling, and even which ships they will have available following restart is unknown.  Money is critical to the company - all cruise companies at the moment.  Additionally, travel agencies have no incentive to assist and in some cases appear to be more on the side of the cruise line instead of the customer.

 

Best option is likely cancellation, but remember monies back will take months or longer.

 

We are in a similar situation with Uniworld for a river cruise in France, one that we should be on right now.  Final payment caught up in the COVID-19 pandemic - paid it just before everything collapsed.  We are in our mid/late 70s with some of the "underlying" health issues mentioned early on by CLIA and others pointing towards limiting cruising.  Uniworld only wants to provide FCC, which we likely will not be able to use as health concerns mitigate against flying and cruising.  So its wait and wait and wait.  It's their ball and they set the rules.  Possibly will come down to legal action if Uniworld stays solvent.  That again implies years of waiting and frustration, which these cruise lines fully use to their benefit.

 

Yes, a conundrum for sure...good luck!

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That's ridiculous. Our reservation was for a 19 night cruise going in the opposite direction in April 2021 on the Solstice. The next cruise is April 2022 on the Eclipse for 18 nights. Some members of our roll call said their TA's could not re-book them on the 2022 Eclipse voyage because it was *less* nights, and that they could only get the November 2021 Honolulu-Sydney segment, instead. I was able to Lift and Shift to April 2022 without a problem. I was prepared to do battle, but only had to hold about half an hour with a nice Captain's Club rep. I made the reservation directly with Celebrity. I would b!tch, and fire my TA if I were you.

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One day before final payment and still getting a no from Celebrity.  They are totally unreasonable as there are no "lift and shift" cruises I am eligible for,  NONE!  I am not going to make the final payment as I can't afford to let them have my money for 6-8 months.  I sure wish someone with Celebrity would read this post and do something.  Dreaming' I suppose.

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After I booked a Dec/20 holiday cruise on the Reflection my husband decided he wasn't comfortable getting onto a ship unless there is a vaccine.  I decided to move to 2021 sooner rather than later to get what we wanted   The Reflection isn't doing the same itinerary next year.  We were to stop in Cartagena, 2 ships next year stop there but are 11 night, not 12 night cruises.  The Celebrity agent told me they were not eligible for lift and shift because they were a night short but had a list she referred to of cruises she could offer.  I agreed to the 12 night on the Equinox.  It is supposed to be the same price and perks as this years cruise.  That is not what is showing on my booking but I'm giving them another week before I chase them.  I'm sure they are overwhelmed with cancellations and re-bookings.  It's currently showing as $1500 more per person than the 2020 sailing.  Also have friends who cancelled a cruise 3 days before the cruise line cancelled.  Their agent, who has made a lot of money with them over the years - they typically do 4 cruises a year - told them they were out of luck for a refund.  He called the cruise line himself, got all the money refunded and a 50% FCC.  They are looking for a new agent.  You should absolutely call again.  Different agent might be a more favorable response.

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For sure you are not getting into Australia in Sept.  I've been trying to find a way to get into Australia this Sept and have been shut down at every turn. They are CLOSED!  Even with a doctors note, Covid screening etc, they don't care.  I would just cancel.  I just canceled a Panama cruise I had booked for Nov this year because I was concerned that some of the ports would be closed. And spending $8k to sit on a boat for 2 and a half weeks isn't my idea of a great vacation.

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8 hours ago, cruisen cracker said:

One day before final payment and still getting a no from Celebrity.  They are totally unreasonable as there are no "lift and shift" cruises I am eligible for,  NONE!  I am not going to make the final payment as I can't afford to let them have my money for 6-8 months.  I sure wish someone with Celebrity would read this post and do something.  Dreaming' I suppose.

Hoping you've had a last-minute change of mind from Celebrity?  So ridiculous that they are being totally inflexible with the lift and shift.  Why on earth can't passengers pay the extra couple of days at a pro-rata rate!

As TFLG says, Australia is closed, we can't get out and latest news is we may not be able to travel internationally until July 2021!  (Praying that a vaccine will be available way before then so things can change).

Am keeping an eye on the 28 September Solstice voyage HNL-SYD, for if it doesn't happen, there surely won't be an AUS/NZ season 2020/21.  And from how things are turning, it doesn't seem very likely.

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If the cruise line survives there will be deals until the cows come home as they are going to need passengers. I think it is asfe to say though that the numbers of passengers especially on the larger ships is going to be significantly reduced in order to maintain social distancing. I think there is going to be a lot of upheaval on the first few cruises whilst a new NORMAL is established hence I wont be a guinea pig.

There is always the possibility that the cruise line may not survive in which case all deposits etc will be treated as unsecured creditors. As cruise lines are losing millions of dollars a day chances of getting ones money back are near nil.

Take your money now and wait

 

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This might have something to do with an email I got from the Florida Attorney General, last week....I sent a letter to the NC attorney General in June about Celebrity not willing to refund money on cruise with confidence cancellation rebooks that were also cancelled...I could not find other suitable  and affordable cruises to work with our schedules. celebrity did not respond to NC....so they sent it on to FL.......I got a reply from FL saying they were looking into the thousands of complaints on price gouging, bait and switch, non refunds by the cruise lines....it appears to be a blanket letter.....not just about Celebrity......I imagine this could lead to some sort of class action  taken about these same problems.....

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