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Silver Wind re-fit (conversion)


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1 hour ago, cruiseej said:

And having posed the various questions above, it's now all moot: this morning, I received an email from Silversea that our  December 19, 2020 Silver Wind cruise is canceled. (Even though it's still listed for sale on the website.)  We're trying to decide whether to move our booking to the comparable December 2021 cruise or to get our cash back and wait to see how the world develops over the next few months. If we move to a new booking, we get a 110% FCC; when did they stop doing 125% for canceled cruises?

 

The email indicates that the Silver Cloud will be sailing the Antartica itineraries this winter. We're not interested in traveling this year, so we're not considering that option.  I wonder how realistic it is that those cruises will actually sail.

 

The big question for us is whether to gamble that Silversea will survive the uncertain future of the coronavirus, or to take our money off the table. It's a lot of money to have at risk!

The U.K. website still very specifically states a FCC of 125%. No exceptions and no other conditions.

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36 minutes ago, cruiseej said:

The Silversea website has also been updated since my post last night: it appears all Wind cruises have been scrubbed until June 14, 2021. So maybe they're pushing the dry dock from this August until next March or April? They still list Antarctica cruises for next winter, so they must be planing the refurbishment before then.


Whether they start the dry dock in August or later it sounds like the Wind is going to be laid up for several months either before or after.   A little surprised but maybe that means they see a slower restart than once hoped for.  

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Today I received my Wind Cancellation email for the December 5 2020 sailing. This matches the other reports today.

 

I have options to sail on the Cloud 2020 or 2021. Or something different.

 

Yesterday I used an online ship location service: it reported the Wind to be in Marseilles. I am not sure if it is correct or not.

 

Good luck to all "Wind Riders" as you evaluate your many options.  

 

Jerry

 

 

 

 

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Doesn’t surprise me that the Wind is in Marseille.  We were on the Wind in March 2012 and one of our stops was Marseille.  It is a good sized port and I was surprised at the number of cruise ships docked there as we were very early in the Med season.  I was to find out later that many of the ships had wintered there waiting for the Med season to start up.

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I just got off the phone to Silver Seas.  Though the Book with Confidence policy says if Silver Seas cancels a voyage through April 2021, passengers would receive a 125% credit, they are only offering a 10% discount.  the agent could not explain the discrepancy.  Only that I was not eligible.  Huh?

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1 hour ago, scottjeanne said:

I just got off the phone to Silver Seas.  Though the Book with Confidence policy says if Silver Seas cancels a voyage through April 2021, passengers would receive a 125% credit, they are only offering a 10% discount.  the agent could not explain the discrepancy.  Only that I was not eligible.  Huh?

I really do not think that is acceptable. I suggest you screenshot the web page and insist that they honour what is clearly stated.

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The Wind has been berthed in Marseilles for weeks. It was scheduled to begin the dry dock in Malta on August 21, and it was supposed to take two full months. It seem like they've pushed the dry dock to begin in late March/early April, as it would need to sail from Malta by early June to be in London for the first-scheduled cruise on June 14.

 

If anyone gets and answer from Silversea (or a knowledgeable TA) about why those of us cancelled are getting 110% FCC instead of 125%, I'd be interested. My guess is that the 125% applies to cruises canceled for COVID-19, and they will claim the cancellation of Wind cruises is instead due to an unavoidable delay in the dry dock/retrofit. Of course, that delay is caused by COVID-19, but maybe because it can be blamed on either financial delay or shipyard delay, they claim these trips aren't eligible for the 125%?

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19 hours ago, scottjeanne said:

I just got off the phone to Silver Seas.  Though the Book with Confidence policy says if Silver Seas cancels a voyage through April 2021, passengers would receive a 125% credit, they are only offering a 10% discount.  the agent could not explain the discrepancy.  Only that I was not eligible.  Huh?

That’s not what it is committed to do.Ask them to honour their promise or face the consequences.Is it not possible to have FULL refund?

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Yes, I have been offered a full refund.  Or a 110% FCC or a transfer to another cruise with a 10% discount.  Not the 125% they are advertising.  Very disappointed.  Enough such that I may transfer the cruise to another cruise line.  Given that Regent and Seabourn are much cheaper at this point, it is making the choice much easier.

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20 minutes ago, scottjeanne said:

Yes, I have been offered a full refund.  Or a 110% FCC or a transfer to another cruise with a 10% discount.  Not the 125% they are advertising.  Very disappointed.  Enough such that I may transfer the cruise to another cruise line.  Given that Regent and Seabourn are much cheaper at this point, it is making the choice much easier.

 

Many customers seem to miss the obvious risk that as time goes on, the greater the capacity of future cruises will be taken by customers with FCC and less and less customers will be competing for the remaining cabins and paying cash and presumably this means that cruise prices could be increased.

 

So what exactly does 110% or 125% mean exactly?

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45 minutes ago, scottjeanne said:

Yes, I have been offered a full refund.  Or a 110% FCC or a transfer to another cruise with a 10% discount.  Not the 125% they are advertising. 

 

That is the same deal I was offered when my Cloud World Cruise segment was postponed to 2021.  I was offered the same cruise, just one year later, with a 10% discount.  I assumed that was why the FCC benefit was 110%,, not 125%.  I did elect to use the FCC at 110%, but on another voyage, because I had a conflict with that period in 2022.

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On 7/30/2020 at 7:34 AM, scottjeanne said:

Yes, I have been offered a full refund.  Or a 110% FCC or a transfer to another cruise with a 10% discount.  Not the 125% they are advertising.  Very disappointed.  Enough such that I may transfer the cruise to another cruise line.  Given that Regent and Seabourn are much cheaper at this point, it is making the choice much easier.

 

We were booked on a Wind trip to Antarctica in December. And I wish the Seabourn equivalent were cheaper, because I'd take it in a second! Unfortunately, at least from what I see, Seabourn hasn't lowered their pricing at all on their new expedition ship, and it's considerably more expensive than Silversea.

 

For us, this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip which is longer and more expensive than any cruise we've done previously, because we want to do one of the itineraries that include South Georgia Island. Silversea has just one trip in the 2021-22 season that goes to South Georgia: December 22 for 18 days, for $23,670 per person for the lowest level classic veranda suite, including economy air to South America, with the 10% early booking bonus. Seabourn's comparable trip is December 15 for 20 days, for $26,999 + $716 port fees = $27,715 for the lowest category veranda suite, which does not include air to South America. And Seabourn doesn't have the 10% prepay discount that Silversea does. So $23,670 for Silversea versus about $29,000+ for Seabourn -- or about 25% more on Seabourn. If the cost was even somewhat close, I'd love to sail on the new Seabourn Venture. Add insurance, and the Seabourn cost would sail past $60k for two of us, and $10k more than Silversea -- and we just can't bring ourselves to do it.

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We opted for a February 2021 Antarctica cruise on Seabourn.  Per diem it is $608 per day versus over $1300 on Silver seas.  It is on the Quest, not the Venture.  It is 24 days and includes South Georgia.  It is a verandah for $14,998.  They have  a $500 air credit and OBC of $500.  And they do have a pay in full discount of 10%. With business class air and a 7 day extension to Iquazu falls and Rio, and a pre night hotel it is $48908 for two for 32 days.

 

Not that I have any reason to promote another line, it is just an option.

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AS OF JULY 20, 2020

SILVERSEA “CRUISE WITH CONFIDENCE” OUR NEW CANCELLATION POLICY

 

NOW EXTENDED THROUGH 30 APRIL, 2021

 

 

YOU CAN BOOK YOUR CRUISE WITH CONFIDENCE

You will be allowed to cancel your cruise for any reason up to 48 hours prior to departure and receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit with a 2 year validity, for all voyages departing prior to 30 April, 2021.

 

VOYAGES CANCELED BY SILVERSEA

- Guests will receive up to 125% Future Cruise Credit* for cruises canceled by Silversea.  .....   (from Silversea website:)

https://www.silversea.com/temporary-amendment-to-cancellation-policy.html?cid_email=em_USA_EM2007062590_VS_OTHER_CON_DEM_LINK&IndividualId=15192695&utm_campaign=USA_EM2007062590_VS&utm_source=USA&utm_medium=Email&cid=48448&mid=148960874

 

The wording states "UP TO". 

 

In the case of the Wind cancellations, there were Cloud voyages that were available in Antarctica. Silversea made those available at favorable pricing terms. I too was confused by not being offered 125% FCC, but when I looked up the email from a week ago saw this. 

 

It could all have been handled better; however, with the pandemic, working from home, and all the moving parts in a company of this size I can understand lack of perfect communication. It is still a fine line and I opted for the new January 30, 2021 18 day with South Georgia. 

 

Keep smiling and stay healthy.

 

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It is a little confusing but I thought I would post the actual cancellation wording because it does say only 110% Future credit it also has another option that matches pricing with a 10% discount. So see wording below:

Dear Esteemed Guest,
 
I am writing to inform you that to guarantee the high experience level to which our guests have become accustomed, we have taken the very difficult decision to cancel your 2020/2021 Expedition Cruise on Silver Wind departing on December, 2020 from Ushuaia.   A variety of factors driven by the global pandemic instigated this change. 
 
To compensate for this cancellation, which has been beyond our control, we are providing you some options for your consideration:
 
Option #1: As this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we are offering you the possibility to move this voyage to a similar Expedition cruise on the Silver Cloud between November 2020 and February 2021. We will guarantee the same price with a price match (a) . Plus, we are offering an additional 10% discount.  View Silver Cloud sailings here.

 

Sail Date

Voyage #

Voyage Days

Embark Port

Debark Port

20201116

E4201116015

15

USH

USH

20201201

E4201201010

10

USH

USH

20201211

E4201211010

10

USH

USH

20201221

E4201221015

15

USH

USH

20210105

E4210105015

15

USH

USH

20210120

E4210120010

10

USH

USH

20210130

E4210130018

18

USH

USH

20210217

E4210217010

10

USH

USH

20210227

E4210227010

10

USH

USH

20210309

E4210309010

10

USH

USH

 
Option #2: You can opt for a 110% Future Cruise Credit (b) (FCC) to be used to make a booking within 2 (two) years of the issuance date. Future Cruise Credits are transferable to family and friends, and can be used partially and applied to more than one new booking. 
Added Benefit for Venetian Society Members:  when selecting either the proposed alternative voyage or a  Future Cruise Credit by August 31, 2020, Venetian Society members will accumulate cruise days on the cancelled voyage as well as on the new voyage. ^
 
Option #3: A cash refund (c) option is also available. Please check the terms and conditions.
 
  We ask that you please contact your Travel Partner, at your earliest convenience, with your choice of compensation. 
 
IMPORTANT: If you booked your Silversea Cruise as part of a package with a Tour Operator or Travel Agency, then please refer to them for the full terms and conditions of your overall package and any elements other than the cruise.
 
We are deeply sorry to have to cancel a trip you were surely looking forward to and hope to welcome you aboard soon. 
 
Best personal regards,
 
 
BARBARA MUCKERMANN
Chief Marketing Officer
 
*TERMS & CONDITIONS
 
 
^ The Future Cruise Credit (from now on FCC) : 
 
- FCC has 2 years of validity from the issuing date.
 
- FCC will be issued in the amount of the booking value paid. Booking value refers to the cruise fare plus any other purchased via Silversea such as air upgrades, deviations, transfers, insurance, hotel, land tours and pre and post and tours.  The FCC issued will be net of any penalties imposed to Silversea by these suppliers. 
 
- The FCC is computed on booking value paid on the day the cancelation is communicated by Silversea. NO additional payment will be accepted on cruises that Silversea has already announced to be canceled.
 
- For Net Rates, the FCC will be issued at 100% of what was paid.
 
- The FCC can be applied towards land programs, hotels, air and other non-cruise component of the new booking, excluding Insurance. Ad hoc exceptions can be evaluated by Silversea. 
 
- The FCC can be moved voyage to voyage towards any other 2020 voyage.
 
- If the value of this certificate is applied to a cruise fare of less than its assigned value, a new FCC for the remainder of the certificate’s value will be issued subject to the same terms and conditions as stated herein. Once applied toward future cruise(s), the FCC will be rendered null and void.
 
- The FCC will be honored in the name(s) of the Guest(s) included on the FCC, or as a one-time exception the FCC can be transferred with a notarized letter from the FCC holder, naming the friend(s)/relative(s) the Credit is being transferred to.
 
- The FCC cannot be used for a past booking or a booking that has been paid in full.   
 
- If guests have an FCC that was applied to the cancelled booking, this FCC will be reinstated with expiration date to December 31, 2020. Guests must sail by December 31, 2021. Once re-activated, it can be combined with the Cruise with Confidence FCC on the new booking. 
 
 
^ The cash refund of the booking cruise fare paid to be credited to the original method of payment, to be received within 30 to 45 days of guest’s request, due to exceptional workload Silversea is facing. The refund of 3rd party items purchased via Silversea such as air upgrades, air deviation fees, transfers, insurance, hotel, land tours, pre/post and overlands will be net of any penalties assessed by the suppliers. Regarding the refund of 3rd party items purchased independently such as such as air upgrades, deviations, transfers, insurance, hotel, land tours and pre and post and overland tours; please reach out to the airline carrier, tour operator, or hotel supplier/chain directly to discuss options.  In the case of sailings cancelled by Silversea, the refund of cancellation costs of any independent air arrangements will be evaluated upon presentation of the expenses to our guest relations department. Unless the refund has already been processed, clients can change their mind and ask for the FCC at any time. On all insurance items: no refunds allowed; guest should file a claim with the insurance company first, prior to any refund/FCC given.Specific about insurance in the US market:  AON & Allianz insurance policies are now fully refundable in the event that Silversea cancels the voyage and the guests active booking is thus cancelled due to our cruise cancellation.  
 
^^ The double Venetian Society Days promotion is only applicable to FCC associated to cruises cancelled by Silversea. The guest will accumulate Venetian Society days of the original cancelled booking and the ones associated with the new booking, in case the new booking is done within August 31, 2020. It is combinable with all public fares and promotions excluding reduced rates and net deals. Only eligible for the Guests included in the original booking.
 
Other restrictions may apply.
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20 hours ago, scottjeanne said:

We opted for a February 2021 Antarctica cruise on Seabourn.  Per diem it is $608 per day versus over $1300 on Silver seas.  It is on the Quest, not the Venture.  It is 24 days and includes South Georgia.  It is a verandah for $14,998.  They have  a $500 air credit and OBC of $500.  And they do have a pay in full discount of 10%. With business class air and a 7 day extension to Iquazu falls and Rio, and a pre night hotel it is $48908 for two for 32 days.

 

Not that I have any reason to promote another line, it is just an option.

 

@scottjeanne  Thanks. I forgot that we had looked at the Seabourn option back two years ago when we started talking about Antarctica. We love Seabourn, and the Quest! With two of our party of four not yet retired, we found the 24 days to be several days too long. And while the Quest never feels large or crowded, we decided that for Antarctica, a smaller ship that offers more landings was what we wanted.

 

And you're right, Seabourn does offer 10% off to pay in full -- but only on "selected voyages" (e.g. ones which aren't near capacity). When we look at trips for next winter -- where the smaller Venture is replacing the Quest in Antarctica -- there's no 10% off. My TA noted that the Venture is selling well enough on its own that they haven't needed to offer any discounts to drive bookings.

 

In the end, we decided we are not ready to travel this winter, which is why we're looking at trips next winter. And its not surprising the brand new, purpose-built Seabourn expedition ship Venture compares unfavorably price-wise to the converted old Silver Wind.

 

I hope you get to go on your trip! It will be interesting to see if they can get sailing by November. (Quest is scheduled to resume operations sailing from Miami on November 7 to head down the west coast of South America before beginning with winter Antarctic season.) Right now, having enough flights between the US and South America seems a daunting problem. And will they be able to re-hire a full crew and get them to ports of embarkation? And I wonder how comfortable the cruise line feels about travel in a remote part of the planet where there's no nearby hospital to offload anyone who becomes ill.

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The re-fit is postponed to Q1 2021 and the first scheduled Wind cruise is now 14 June 2021 from Tower Bridge to Reykjavik. We are booked on that cruise and we are not happy. We don't like being 'guinea pigs' on a 'shakedown' cruise, and so we are looking to cancel or transfer to the Cloud. Anyone booked on the Wind for the Antarctic season will now face definite cancellation.

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We did the 24 day trip on the Quest a couple of years ago , the ship was great, food good, service great, but lots of sea time, short 90 minute trips to shore in Antarctica, Rough sea in the drake area. Would do it again on the venture, if it is built and operational as promised. 
 

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@PAllinson  The larger passenger count on the Quest, and thus shorter and less frequent landings, is the main reason we decided not to do the Quest in Antarctica -- even though we love that ship for other cruising. I badly wanted to book the Seabourn Venture, but the cost (including air) was so much higher than Silversea that we just couldn't rationalize it. We did an expedition cruise in Greenland on the Silver Cloud two years ago and had a great time, which is why we feel comfortable booking the Silver Wind for Antarctica.

 

Who knows if the Wind renovation will happen early next year? And who knows if the building of the Venture is on time for next summer either?

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Here's another example of having a good TA experienced with working with the luxury cruise lines…

As I wrote above, we were booked on a Wind cruise to Antarctica this winter that SS recently cancelled. We were offered a 110% future cruise credit or cash refund. We wanted to book the same cruise for December 2021 -- but we didn't want to accept the future cruise credit because then we wouldn't be able to cancel that cruise should we wish to next year and get our money back. So we told our TA to decline the FCC, make a new booking for next year, and shift our prepayment from the cancelled cruise to the one next year.

 

I just found out that she was able to do that and get an additional 10% off from SS (this is on top of the 10% early booking discount we already received) -- basically the same as the 110% cruise credit, but this way it's refundable for cash. So that's roughly a $5,000 discount, which will nearly pay for the business class air upgrade option. I don't know how our TA got that deal from SS, but I feel confident I wouldn't have gotten that if I booked direct with SS.

 

For others reading this with recently-cancelled Wind cruises, I wanted to share that in some cases SS will give the "extra" 10% equivalent of the FCC (but in lieu of a FCC) as an additional discount on a new booking, which maintains your option to cancel and get your money back until 120 days from your sailing.

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We were scheduled to sail on the Wind in March/21-Ushuaia to Cape Town.  Happened to go onto MySilverSea & noticed the date had changed.  Then I noticed that the ship had changed!  We are now sailing on the Cloud from March 19/21.  I have not been officially informed but when I called to find out what was going on, they said TA would receive notice of the change the next day with passengers shortly thereafter.  Still waiting.  No option of canceling was mentioned.  My first cruise with SilverSea & we are off to a rocky start!

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23 hours ago, northsouthgal said:

We were scheduled to sail on the Wind in March/21-Ushuaia to Cape Town.  Happened to go onto MySilverSea & noticed the date had changed.  Then I noticed that the ship had changed!  We are now sailing on the Cloud from March 19/21.  I have not been officially informed but when I called to find out what was going on, they said TA would receive notice of the change the next day with passengers shortly thereafter.  Still waiting.  No option of canceling was mentioned.  My first cruise with SilverSea & we are off to a rocky start!

 

Understand your frustration.

 

We were to board the Wind in Cape Town on the next segment, to Accra.  Well, I noticed on the Silversea website about a week ago that our cruise is no longer listed.  However, the NEXT segment from Accra to Lisbon is listed, on the Cloud.  Called our TA and simply had her inform Silversea that we wanted a refund.

 

We still have not received any official notification from Silversea, and were told to expect a 90 day window for the refund to process.  We'll see.  Like you, this was to be our first Silversea cruise.  Disappointed.

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41 minutes ago, RJ2002 said:

 

Understand your frustration.

 

We were to board the Wind in Cape Town on the next segment, to Accra.  Well, I noticed on the Silversea website about a week ago that our cruise is no longer listed.  However, the NEXT segment from Accra to Lisbon is listed, on the Cloud.  Called our TA and simply had her inform Silversea that we wanted a refund.

 

We still have not received any official notification from Silversea, and were told to expect a 90 day window for the refund to process.  We'll see.  Like you, this was to be our first Silversea cruise.  Disappointed.

Same to us. But we received an email explaining how it works. You must have missed the email. If you want to see what we got, go up to post 66 and you can see your options.

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3 hours ago, carefreecruise said:

Same to us. But we received an email explaining how it works. You must have missed the email. If you want to see what we got, go up to post 66 and you can see your options.


We have not received an email yet, perhaps because there is apparently no alternative to our cancelled CPT-ACC sailing on the Wind. At any rate, we hope our refund doesn’t take 90 days - but we are prepared to wait. 

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