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Cruise Critic News: 'The Company Is Not Going Out of Business:' Crystal Cruises Reassures Future Guests


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(12:16 p.m. EDT) -- Crystal Cruises has been reassuring future guests since last week that financial woes from its parent company Genting Hong Kong will not lead to the luxury cruise line going out of business. "It is important to understand that the company is not going out of business," the line said in a statement. "Whatever ...

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I just spoke with my TA on this topic.

She advised me that Crystal has advised her that they will NOT be taking any payments for future cruises at this time.

We are due to make final payment on our May 1 Rome/Rome on Dec 2.  She advised that we will not be making this payment until Crystal has cleared their financial issues.

We have travel insurance so our down payment is fully covered, however, insurance will not cover any future payments if the carrier has notified customers of financial uncertainty.

Good Luck out there!!

G

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My TA also said that Crystal is not taking payments. I give them credit for that as opposed to other lines that are offering a discount if the cruise is paid in full even though the cruise is 18 months out. She has clients who want to pay off their future cruises and Crystal told my agent that they don't want to get behind anymore in case they need to cancel future cruises. 

 

IMO -they are looking out for their clients by doing this. Otherwise, they would take money knowing that they may not be able to reimburse them later.

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8 minutes ago, Coral said:

My TA also said that Crystal is not taking payments. I give them credit for that as opposed to other lines that are offering a discount if the cruise is paid in full even though the cruise is 18 months out. She has clients who want to pay off their future cruises and Crystal told my agent that they don't want to get behind anymore in case they need to cancel future cruises. 

 

IMO -they are looking out for their clients by doing this. Otherwise, they would take money knowing that they may not be able to reimburse them later.

Legal counsel most likely advised them not to take any additional money from clients as there would be complications if they started “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul”

Other cruise lines don’t have their parent companies in technical default as per this article.

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/genting-defaults-and-suspends-payments-as-it-seeks-to-refinance

 

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This is also a cost saving measure, besides being an important customer service step.  
 

I know the conventional wisdom is that Crystal gets to borrow money interest fee from customers and then bank the interest, but that’s far from the case.  Crystal has to pay processing fees for the money every time they run a charge, and then again most of the time they post a credit.  Also the interchange fees that most companies at the higher end of the travel industry pay on those charges are hefty.  The fees are set by the card issuer and vary not by card brand like some people think, but by the issuer’s brand line.  (So the Chase Freedom card can have a different interchange fee from the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example.)  
 

Under similar merchant agreements, I have one client that pays just under 2% on average for their interchange fees, but I have another client whose participants are heavy in high end affinity cards (like a cruise line would be) and pays an aggregate closer to 3%.  
 

You can imagine if you’re just cycling reservations, and the reservations are for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, how that adds up quickly.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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15 hours ago, BWIVince said:

 Also the interchange fees that most companies at the higher end of the travel industry pay on those charges are hefty.  The fees are set by the card issuer and vary not by card brand like some people think, but by the issuer’s brand line.  (So the Chase Freedom card can have a different interchange fee from the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example.)  
 

Vince,

 

Although the gist of what you write is obvious, could you specifically define "interchange fees" for us civilians?  Thx.

 

Also, I've been reading a lot around here  about how  Crystal is Mega-Evil International Corp, Inc, siphoning money from poor unsuspecting peasants, who can no longer feed their urchins, because Mega-Evil won't give them back their muneez.  And now Mega-Evil won't even take my money?  I'm so confused.

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When Crystal reassures that the company will survive it reminds me of the owner of a sport team suggesting that the coach's job is safe. The coach is usually fired within two weeks of the owner's statement of support. I love the Crystal experience and pray that they survive!

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In the end each of us will need to make our own decision on this.

 

There is no guarantee when it comes to most businesses who hit a large bump in the road.  

 

For example, will any USA airlines go bankrupt?  How about individually owned Hotel companies?  How about additional stores?

Or will a buyer come along?

 

Something that makes me feel good is the Chairman and this includes his passion for the industry, his passion for Crystal, the fact that he is letting his actions speak for him and that includes all the stock he has put up.  I suspect he will get more creative if that is necessary.  At the same time there are other opportunities with respect to revenue from non-cruise businesses they own.  I also think all Chairman are not created equally.  There are some who wouldn't put their own skin in the game and their others who would.  There are some who will do everything possible to not fail and there are some who might look for a golden parachute.  Anyway each person can do their own due diligence as best they can.

 

Like most things time will tell.

 

I would never tell anyone what to do on this nor would I ever tell people what stock to buy when to buy and when to sell because no one ever knows for sure no most of this including the so called experts.

 

I know what I plan to do having come to some conclusion after doing my own research.

 

As to the deposits, do you all remember all the flack about Crystal offering cruises on Serenity in the Fall to get money from customers which is the furthest from the truth IMHO.  My continued belief is it was because they felt at the time they announced them there was a good chance it could sail and doing this would have allowed them to test out new procedure and protocols before the start of the World Cruise.  What changed?  Lots.  New cases in the USA of COVID-19 jumped significantly.  Many more deaths.  What else changed?  Because of all of this most countries don't allow USA citizens to enter their countries?  If Crystal started to promote future cruise and take normal deposits do you want to take a guess what the posts would be like?  I will.  People would accuse them of trying to take money so they could, in turn, use it to pay others back.  Don't you think.  So, this program avoids this.  This is my take.

 

Anyway, like most things each person will do what they think makes sense for them and whether or not people think Crystal will survive or not will vary by person.  Who is right?  Time will tell.

 

I have learned though over the years when times are bad that is when some people and some companies can figure out how to take advantage of that.

 

We have several cruises planned but not for awhile and we hope each one will sail and most importantly that there will be a solution(s) to COVID-19 allowing us to feel comfortable to travel again and allowing the travel, hospitality and several other industries too numerous to list to ramp up their businesses. 

 

Keith

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18 hours ago, Coral said:

My TA also said that Crystal is not taking payments. I give them credit for that as opposed to other lines that are offering a discount if the cruise is paid in full even though the cruise is 18 months out. She has clients who want to pay off their future cruises and Crystal told my agent that they don't want to get behind anymore in case they need to cancel future cruises. 

 

IMO -they are looking out for their clients by doing this. Otherwise, they would take money knowing that they may not be able to reimburse them later.

 

I like to know who her clients are.  Looks like they have a lot of money and don't know what to do with them.  

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3 hours ago, kent9xxx1 said:

I like to know who her clients are.  Looks like they have a lot of money and don't know what to do with them.  

 

Back when the NY bridges used tokens for the fastest lanes, they used to announce toll increases six months in advance.  I always stocked up on tokens from that moment until the increase – and regularly reaped 25% or more ROI.  These folks are maybe young enough to be sure they will keep cruising, and figure that by prepaying they are increasing the amount of 125% FCC – again, a much better ROI than you can get from the bank [with, of course, much more risk].

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4 hours ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

I like to know who her clients are.  Looks like they have a lot of money and don't know what to do with them.  

She is a cruise only agent who does high volume.

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On 8/25/2020 at 12:15 PM, gmarsh said:

I just spoke with my TA on this topic.

She advised me that Crystal has advised her that they will NOT be taking any payments for future cruises at this time.

We are due to make final payment on our May 1 Rome/Rome on Dec 2.  She advised that we will not be making this payment until Crystal has cleared their financial issues.

We have travel insurance so our down payment is fully covered, however, insurance will not cover any future payments if the carrier has notified customers of financial uncertainty.

Good Luck out there!!

G

I am confused with your post. Crystal is currently allowing you to book future cruises and select stateroom and accepting down payments. They have had a policy of allowing you to delay final payment until 60 days prior to departure due to the virus uncertainties and since no cruises are departing until January at the earliest, no final payments would be due until at least Nov. anyway. Not allowing final payment before it is due and not offering a discount to do so makes sense so not much of a change in policy as far as I can see. 

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7 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

 

 My continued belief is it was because they felt at the time they announced them there was a good chance it could sail and doing this would have allowed them to test out new procedure and protocols before the start of the World Cruise.  

 

 

 

You know, there's a certain "gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette" vibe to your point.

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32 minutes ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Perhaps "did" is more accurate?

I spoke with her the other day and she is doing a ton of re-booking people for 2021 and 2022.

 

It is all those people who have future cruise credits...... I am guessing this year has been miserable for her though.

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48 minutes ago, bob brown said:

The whole thing makes me wonder if Crystal would be better off today, if it was still owned by NYK...but probably not, as NYK  seemed to have lost interest in Crystal a long time ago...

I actually wondered if they would be ok to be on their own.

 

If it wasn't for the million directions by Edie - they probably may have been ok with proper leadership.

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36 minutes ago, Coral said:

I spoke with her the other day and she is doing a ton of re-booking people for 2021 and 2022.

 

It is all those people who have future cruise credits...... I am guessing this year has been miserable for her though.

 

Probably a busy time, but not a miserable time. Virtually all lines have protected agent commissions on the cancelled bookings, AND will pay commissions on the new bookings using the FCCs. In the past FCCs were non-commissionable! In my particular case, I have a much older clientele, and they elected refunds. Given the uncertainty, I can't say I blame them!

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19 hours ago, KenzSailing said:

Vince,

 

Although the gist of what you write is obvious, could you specifically define "interchange fees" for us civilians?  Thx.

 

Also, I've been reading a lot around here  about how  Crystal is Mega-Evil International Corp, Inc, siphoning money from poor unsuspecting peasants, who can no longer feed their urchins, because Mega-Evil won't give them back their muneez.  And now Mega-Evil won't even take my money?  I'm so confused.


FT’s link is perfectly valid, but just to close the loop I’d also recommend Wikipedia’s entry on interchange fees.  It adds a lot of context around the other fees that a merchant also has to pay on transactions.  Again, they sound small and we kind of forget about them, but when you’re talking about high dollar transactions and then churning the same money repeatedly, you can see where it adds up (besides the added expense of labor to process everything and the ill will from the delays.)

 

11 hours ago, bob brown said:

The whole thing makes me wonder if Crystal would be better off today, if it was still owned by NYK...but probably not, as NYK  seemed to have lost interest in Crystal a long time ago...


There isn’t a shadow of doubt in my mind that Crystal is better off under Genting than it would have been under NYK.  If NYK cut off financial support for Crystal during relatively good years, can you imagine how they would have handled a catastrophic cash crisis?  While Crystal was a vanity project for NYK, it didn’t have nearly the importance, prominence or profile that it does to Genting, that uses the brand as a marquee in multiple markets at this point.

 

Vince

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10 hours ago, Roland4 said:

 

Probably a busy time, but not a miserable time. Virtually all lines have protected agent commissions on the cancelled bookings, AND will pay commissions on the new bookings using the FCCs. In the past FCCs were non-commissionable! In my particular case, I have a much older clientele, and they elected refunds. Given the uncertainty, I can't say I blame them!

Yes, all credit to Crystal for allowing TAs to retain commissions on the cancelled cruises. Our UK TA advised me that the 25% FCC was non-commissionable but the 100% FCP was. Made sense to me and my TA also thought it was more than reasonable.

All we need now is for the cruise to happen😀

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I would have to disagree that Crystal is better off with Genting...Sorry but in my experience, Crystal is not the same company as when they were owned by NYK...Yes Crystal was just a Period...on NYK's balance sheet, however, it had a lot of pride in the cruise line it started...The problem was..Crystal had lost money for the last few years before it was sold.

 

There is a reason why Crystal was sold for only $500,000,000...That includes both ships and all the accounts receivable.  NYK is one of the largest containerized  shipping companies in the world and did not need Crystal...That is the reason another cruise line MSC is in excellent financial condition...MSC Shipping is also one of the largest containerized freight shipping lines in the world and does not have to depend on their cruise division for income, unlike Carnival, RCCL and Norwegian.  

 

It is very difficult to make money on a 2 ship line...Unlike the larger cruise lines...you do not have the buying power for food fuel and other supplies.  Instead of improving their ocean cruise  business with new ships, Genting decided to enter the highly saturated river cruise business...Sure...they have a fine river product,  having cruised on both the Danube and the Rhine, however, it is so difficult when you have compete with other established 5* river cruise lines like, Tauck, Uniworld and of course Scenic Cruises which I consider the best in the industry.   Also purchasing money losing shipyards in Germany does not help either...and of course Edie as the former president did the company no favors during her short lived reign of terror.

 

I wish the best for Crystal, however, I think it would be better off with another owner....Only time will tell.

Edited by Boozin n Cruizin
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20 hours ago, Jimmycruiser said:

I am confused with your post. Crystal is currently allowing you to book future cruises and select stateroom and accepting down payments. They have had a policy of allowing you to delay final payment until 60 days prior to departure due to the virus uncertainties and since no cruises are departing until January at the earliest, no final payments would be due until at least Nov. anyway. Not allowing final payment before it is due and not offering a discount to do so makes sense so not much of a change in policy as far as I can see. 

 

They are not accepting down payments at this time.  You can make a booking but no deposit until a later date.

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