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As expected, further suspension announced to September

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We had already decided that the majority of our international travel was over,  by the time this has settled down I think it will definitely be the case.

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28 minutes ago, Bloodaxe said:

We had already decided that the majority of our international travel was over,  by the time this has settled down I think it will definitely be the case.

Yes. You keep telling us your Azamara days are over. Frequently. You have to do what is right for you. There are too many unknowns for me to yet make a decision. Will see how it pans out, but I have some amazing memories and photos and not everyone can say that. I feel incredibly fortunate. 

 

Phil 

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We’re just hoping that one or more of the vaccInes being developed is successful, preferably one of the ones that is well advanced now. One of the UK teams has said that if their trials are successful they may have something available towards the end of the year. Fingers (&toes) crossed!

If a successful vaccine is found we will be happy to travel again. The UK government has said that after NHS staff, all over 50s will be able to be vaccinated - that includes us.

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19 minutes ago, Grandma Cruising said:

We’re just hoping that one or more of the vaccInes being developed is successful, preferably one of the ones that is well advanced now. One of the UK teams has said that if their trials are successful they may have something available towards the end of the year. Fingers (&toes) crossed!

If a successful vaccine is found we will be happy to travel again. The UK government has said that after NHS staff, all over 50s will be able to be vaccinated - that includes us.

Agree however from what I am hearing "on the inside" it will take about six months from the start of the process in late Autumn to hit all that group.  Given how the logistics has not been the forte of the administration up to now in this outbreak, I can see why six months might well be the time line

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6 hours ago, hamrag said:

An interesting outline of what safeguards Ponant cruises will be introducing, upon returning. Bear in mind they are 'boutique' ships, between 180ish and 260ish passengers, with acres of space! This is direct from the Ponant CEO, not the opinion of any travel agency or similar.

 

There is no way we would be sailing, with these restrictions in place!

 

 https://fr.calameo.com/read/00013242371fe0f908d85?authid=ekgNT5Wj7RSN

Different, yes.  Awkward, surely yes.  Egregious to the point of rejection?  Perhaps not for everyone, but this does present a sort-of-sailing holiday for those who don't object to wearing a mask in a corridor, and going through a foot bath to transit the sports deck.  It appears that "external" contacts in port will not be permitted - I wonder if this will mean no 'tours by locals?"

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3 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Yes. You keep telling us your Azamara days are over. Frequently. You have to do what is right for you. There are too many unknowns for me to yet make a decision. Will see how it pans out, but I have some amazing memories and photos and not everyone can say that. I feel incredibly fortunate. 

 

Phil 

 

I agree about the memories and photos of which I also have plenty.

I will always do what is right for myself and family thank you for reminding me. 

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On 6/24/2020 at 12:59 PM, uktog said:

It is ambiguous the wording of the email, it could even be 10-12 weeks from when they get the money from the cruise line!

 

Azamara team, I asked before for an explanation of the process so we could work out where the delays might be but that remains unanswered, I appreciate its not a good news post but I think it could put Azamara in a better light if we could get a sense of Azamara's time lines vs the agents activities.

 

My agent has confirmed that no port taxes are due back if you opt for a future cruise cert -  is that correct, it may be but its part of the confusion, some are saying we got it back from our agent, some say we got it back from Azamara and some say we don't get it at all.  For me the taxes would be so small but I wouldn't like to think they are hanging on to them.

Azamara will be refunding taxes on all options available for the guest except of course Lift and Shift.

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8 minutes ago, Azamara Team said:

Azamara will be refunding taxes on all options available for the guest except of course Lift and Shift.

Thanks

Are you paying it direct to us or is the agent paying it over that is the question though as there is confusion on that one.

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19 minutes ago, uktog said:

Thanks

Are you paying it direct to us or is the agent paying it over that is the question though as there is confusion on that one.

Hello, taxes would go back to the form of payment used on the booking.

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5 minutes ago, Azamara Team said:

Hello, taxes would go back to the form of payment used on the booking.

Thanks, sorry I am not making myself clear, is it coming to that form of payment direct from Azamara or is it going via the travel agent   This is the issue for many of us trying to work out what is happening

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1 minute ago, uktog said:

Thanks, sorry I am not making myself clear, is it coming to that form of payment direct from Azamara or is it going via the travel agent   This is the issue for many of us trying to work out what is happening

For example, we refund taxes back to the credit card used on the booking whether travel partner or guest.  If the refund goes back to the travel partner's form of payment then the travel partner would then return the taxes to the guest.  Hope this helps.

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26 minutes ago, Azamara Team said:

For example, we refund taxes back to the credit card used on the booking whether travel partner or guest.  If the refund goes back to the travel partner's form of payment then the travel partner would then return the taxes to the guest.  Hope this helps.

In the UK, when we book, we use a credit card, but the payment is made to the travel agent, it is their name that appears on our credit card statement.  This will not be the travel agents form of payment to Azamara.

So I think you are saying, in the UK our tax refunds will come from the travel agent if we made the booking with them using our credit cards, however if we made the booking on board and then transferred it to the agent, the refund will come from Azamara.  And is it the card you booked with or the card you paid the full balance with?  

Is that correct = how do others read this?????  

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  • It sounds to me like you're understanding it correctly 🙂
  •  

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6 minutes ago, laurieb said:
  • It sounds to me like you're understanding it correctly 🙂
  •  

If that is the case, the tax refunds are not being passed back to the customer. 

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52 minutes ago, uktog said:

If that is the case, the tax refunds are not being passed back to the customer. 

Here in the states, most Travel Agents will charge their clients card directly to Azamara; I wouldn't be happy having the agent get the refund and having to wait on them to get it back to you.

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When I book with my UK agent the payment is taken directly by Azamara/Celebrity and this appears as such on my statement. I think it might depend on the cruise fare type and if the agent is packaging a cruise with other travel elements. 

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Our ports, fees & taxes appear to have come directly from RCCL to our credit card.

 

Many cruisers have reported both here and on Facebook they have discovered after contacting Azamara directly, that their refunds had been paid to Travel Agents up to six weeks before the cruiser contacted Azamara!

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, laurieb said:

Here in the states, most Travel Agents will charge their clients card directly to Azamara; I wouldn't be happy having the agent get the refund and having to wait on them to get it back to you.

In the UK TAs ask for the money well ahead of the Azamara (or other) final balance date. In many cases (but not all) that money goes into their bank (usually into a client account) then they pay the balance from their bank to Azamara (or other travel company). The interest on the money for those 2-4 weeks can be worth a lot to them if they are a large company - more so in the past when interest rates were higher. In the UK many TAs are large companies, or work on a self employed basis in a sort of ‘franchise’ arrangement, where the franchise operator handles all the payment side of things. There are a few small independent TAs, but increasingly fewer.

Edited by Grandma Cruising

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, john1970 said:

When I book with my UK agent the payment is taken directly by Azamara/Celebrity and this appears as such on my statement. I think it might depend on the cruise fare type and if the agent is packaging a cruise with other travel elements. 

There is no packaging with the cruises I had cancelled.  I always book cruise only.  I have booked many cruises through the agency up to now and transferred other bookings made on board to them.  Always the charges on my card is made to the agency never the cruise line (except the onboard deposits). 
In this instance for three cruises over 21 days Having opted for FCCs  they are saying we are due £6 each back in total.  Their cancellation paperwork is not broken down showing fares and taxes.  Two cruises show zero refunds due, one £12.
It’s useful to know now part of the process.  
Needless to say I will never be using that agency again, but how many others are being duped with the taxes not being returned? 

 

Edited by uktog

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I am still owed £517 refund for my B2B cruises in June.  Azamara email just refer me back to my TA.  My question is, could this amount actually represent port taxes etc.  In the UK I have never seen them shown separately so I have no idea what the remaining refund amount actually represents.  Could £517 for 16 days in the Western Med be a possible amount for taxes ?

 

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1 minute ago, Mrs Miggins said:

I am still owed £517 refund for my B2B cruises in June.  Azamara email just refer me back to my TA.  My question is, could this amount actually represent port taxes etc.  In the UK I have never seen them shown separately so I have no idea what the remaining refund amount actually represents.  Could £517 for 16 days in the Western Med be a possible amount for taxes ?

 

You were to be on the same cruise as me for one of your cruises. That cruise (4 June) is one I am being told is zero taxes! (Which I don’t believe). 
I wish someone in Azamara would take over the communication and get a grip of it. They’ve had several months to practice! 

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2 hours ago, uktog said:

There is no packaging with the cruises I had cancelled.  I always book cruise only.  I have booked many cruises through the agency up to now and transferred other bookings made on board to them.  Always the charges on my card is made to the agency never the cruise line (except the onboard deposits). 
In this instance for three cruises over 21 days Having opted for FCCs  they are saying we are due £6 each back in total.  Their cancellation paperwork is not broken down showing fares and taxes.  Two cruises show zero refunds due, one £12.
It’s useful to know now part of the process.  
Needless to say I will never be using that agency again, but how many others are being duped with the taxes not being returned? 

 

I have never understood the benefits of transferring an onboard booking to a local travel agent. I did it once and made no benefit from it in fact had to make final payment earlier than if I had left it with the cruise line. I have asked a local travel agent what benefit I would get by transferring to them - there was no benefit except someone local looking after the booking.

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2 minutes ago, Belfastman said:

I have never understood the benefits of transferring an onboard booking to a local travel agent. I did it once and made no benefit from it in fact had to make final payment earlier than if I had left it with the cruise line. I have asked a local travel agent what benefit I would get by transferring to them - there was no benefit except someone local looking after the booking.

There were benefits, extra OBC etc.  However in the future if I was ever booking again I would forgo these benefits.  Many people do this transfer, I found all agents were willing to offer something  else.  But as I won't be onboard for a year at least if at all its an academic one now.

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10 minutes ago, Belfastman said:

I have never understood the benefits of transferring an onboard booking to a local travel agent. I did it once and made no benefit from it in fact had to make final payment earlier than if I had left it with the cruise line. I have asked a local travel agent what benefit I would get by transferring to them - there was no benefit except someone local looking after the booking.

It's quite simple really. If you have a travel agent who gives a cheaper price than the standard Azamara offering then transferring it to them you can take advantage of a lower price. As an example, if I booked onboard and paid a total of say £4000 on a cruise as detailed in the Azamara invoice and had it transferred to my agent the price my agent then quoted me on his invoice would be £150-£200 cheaper (depending on the cruise).  I'm not into extra OBC and prefer the bottom line to be adjusted. Sometimes on pricier cruises I saved £400.  That's why I did it. 

 

Phil 

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