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Spirit of Adventure delayed again?


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Sorry local media led me to belive that the de Haan family still had a substantial interest in Saga (not particularly popular in Folkestone I have to say) 

However I think we both agree whether it be Roger de Haan or Euan Sutherland someone should be out there rallying the troops from the front not skulking in their Middleburg Square headquarters hoping no one can find them. 

Saga makes a big noise of being the caring family firm but they have a local reputation for not treating their staff very well so why would they treat their  passengers any differently. 

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Today there is no facility to book on SoD for 16th December this year on the web page.  There were nearly 200 staterooms available last week .    I think we can expect some announcement this week regarding this cruise and others up to the end of  this year..   J

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Thank you, I had feared the worst when I tried to pay the balance on the due date and was told they would be in contact when they needed it 😔

This will be the sixth cruise Saga have cancelled for us since March, five for this year and one for next. 

Each time they cancelled something we rebooked it for later this year or next but I'm loosing the will to live now. 

Let's hope the three rebooked for next year go ahead as two are now with "Fred" but booked thru Saga and Fred seems much more clued up. 

 

Edited by JMyrtle
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I am waiting for the official cancellation of the revised Inaugural cruise on the Adventure (which is still moored in Emden).

I expect that all announcements will be made after the general meeting 2nd October, as if the shareholders do not agree the proposed method of raising funds, Saga may be in serious problems with their creditors (that is my understanding of the press release from 10th September).

 

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Well, I was wrong about the timing 😁We got the letter this morning - along with a brochure introducing the Adventure's arrival into the fleet this month...

In my opinion (after 2 cruises on the Discovery with about 850 passengers) social distancing at 80% capacity is not going to be subtle, or even possible. The people who write this have obviously never seen the scrum outside the dining areas and bars at popular times.

We'll be taking the refund - I cannot see that the Inaugural cruise is going to sail in February 2021, either, and think I would prefer my money back under my control now.

 

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Well by March that will be a year since our Scandinavian cruise was cancelled the day before departure.

Wise advice on refunds, we accepted a credit note for a deposit paid to Cruise and Maritime only to discover we could not claim off our credit card when they went into admIn as a credit note is classed as a refund. 

I will wait for the post but we had a delivery yesterday and living in the "back of beyond"  we probably won't see Gary the postman again until Thursday or Friday. 

Edited by JMyrtle
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This very sad state of affairs was inevitable wasn't it?   Saga were a bit tardy in making the official decision as we all knew what it would have to be.     We too will be taking the money.  We haven't yet received our post today so as I write we haven't received the letter.   

 

I do feel for the management.   All these years Saga's ship's have been second hand and at last they have two beautiful new ships to sail.  How devastating it must be for this Company and all the cruise industry.   J  

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Letter received today together with email as follows:

 

This year, we have all faced unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For us at Saga Holidays, this has meant that we have not been able to take our guests on holiday since March.  

Sadly, there are still travel restrictions in place for most countries around the world and we do not see this changing in the near future. Therefore, against the backdrop of the further announcements and restrictions, I am writing to inform you that we are postponing our operations up to and including 31st January 2021 

I know how disappointing this news will be for many of you who were so looking forward to a much-deserved holiday.  

Many of our guests have already taken the opportunity to amend their travel plans to next year, without penalty, under our Peace of Mind policy. We have now extended this offer to our guests who were due to travel with us up to the end of January 2021. If you feel you are not ready to rebook your holiday to a new date by then and would prefer a full refund, then you do not need to do anything further as we will automatically process your refund by 13 October. If after this date you wish to rebook any holiday, we have extended our Peace of Mind Policy, which will still be available to you until 30 November 2020. As part of this, we will also offer: 
 
£50pp off any river cruise or European holiday.
£100pp off any long-haul holiday
If you would like to take advantage of the discounts above and re-book your holiday for a later date, please call one of our dedicated team on 0800 015 0767 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm) and quote POM1.

If you have already contacted us to request a holiday transfer, no further action is required. We are working through all requests to amend holiday plans and as would ask you to bear with us as this is taking a little longer than usual..

I would like to thank you for choosing to travel with Saga and for your understanding and continued support. We look forward to welcoming you on a holiday with us in the future.

Your sincerely,
Chris Simmonds
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We received 2 letters this morning. One is as copied above by Alcairns, and the other is headed up "boutique cruising SAGA" and gives dates for the expected cruise re-starts and their protocols, including the "Pre-departure Covid-19 testing at home" statement. There is no clarification about how this would be done.

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That letter and email is about Saga holidays, not about Saga cruises.

People booked on holidays get the automatic refund, unless they contact Saga to rebook.

People booked on cruises will wait for the telephone call from Saga, and will have to ask for a refund if they don't want to rebook or take the FCC.

Not sure why I got the letter & email from Saga holidays, as I do not have any land tours booked.

And wonder why they are telling their shareholders via trade news that all holidays (land based) are cancelled until April, but telling their customers only until February.

 

 

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Sorry to be pedantic but Saga cruises is part of the Saga Holidays group. The email is a direct copy of the advice Saga have today posted on  their website headed “Saga Cruises Coronavirus update”. The letters I received were both specific to the Saga Cruises and the cruise we had booked!

Edited by Alcairns
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We have been in touch with our TA and she is going to put the application for a refund in train.   She is suggesting it will take 60 days  for them to return the money.   Our TA so far has not kept any moneys after the cruise company has refunded.  We are satisfied with this so far.   Maybe we will cruise again, but for now we must wait and watch.

 

(PS walking around a ship in a mask does not appeal)

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I recd an email  this morning with the same wording as posted above even though our stated method of contact is by post as I have no printer. 

We also recd a letter along the same vein when our last Saga cruise was cancelled a couple of months ago and being the trusting little souls we are we waited for the promised automatic refund - zilch! 

So as like nosaphire has suggested we rang Saga only to be told vey curtly it was up to us to contact them, wait two weeks (which is the travel industry default) for the refund to be processed and a further week for the transaction to go thru, which rather destroyed my trust in Saga somewhat

Needless to say I will be telephoning for a refund this time. 

I agree  completely about masks and just to throw a further "spanner in the works", we are mainly of a certain age so how many of us are exempted from wearing  a mask for health reasons? 

I could claim an exemption because I am asthmatic but I don't bother because I hardly ever find myself in a situation where I need to wear one but 24/7 on a ship? I don't think so. 

I also hope this doesn't spell the end of the road for Saga as they are a major employer down here and believe it or not the extreme eastern tip of Kent is one of the most socially deprived areas of the country. 

Edited by JMyrtle
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Our TA phoned Saga as promised  to obtain a refund for us.   Apparently Saga will be phoning us in the next two weeks to  "discuss our options".  Our TA said our only "option" was a refund but to no avail   We will await the phone call so we can tell them a refund is the only option.   This seems to contradict what JMyrtle has experienced in  post 90 above.  

 

(PS    I don't think the FCO has changed its mind about UK citizens going cruising at the moment have they so why has Saga been so slow in getting their act together. ?)

Edited by Jay23
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Following the communication I received yesterday

 

I rang Saga to take advantage of discounts and to re-book another cruise.

 

At lunchtime yesterday I rang and spoke to a pleasant lady Jade I advised her I wanted to switch the booking to another cruise, sailing in June 2022. I gave her the details of the cruise and cabin number, which I checked was still available

 

Having failed to put me through to a “cruise specialist”, which was understandable, she advised me that I would receive a call back between 5 and 6pm to book the cruise. She also advised me I was number 10 on the call back list. 

 

At 6:15 last night I received a call from Paul who said it was a courtesy call and they would contact me in “due-course” to discuss my options. I advised him that I was led to believe that I would be able to book the cruise today. He advised that I should not have rang originally because people are being contacted in turn. Even though the letter signed by Chris Simmonds advised people to ring to rebook. I found Paul was particularly unhelpful and would not let me speak. Although I appreciate these are difficult times.

 

In view of the poor customer service I will opt for the refund when they do decide to ring

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I think I would feel the same as you.  It would seem that Chris Simmonds‘ letter was sent without checking whether call centre staff had adequate resources to deal with all the calls which would result.  This is not going to help Saga retain their customers.

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21 hours ago, nosapphire said:

That letter and email is about Saga holidays, not about Saga cruises.

People booked on holidays get the automatic refund, unless they contact Saga to rebook.

People booked on cruises will wait for the telephone call from Saga, and will have to ask for a refund if they don't want to rebook or take the FCC.

Not sure why I got the letter & email from Saga holidays, as I do not have any land tours booked.

And wonder why they are telling their shareholders via trade news that all holidays (land based) are cancelled until April, but telling their customers only until February.

 

 

Repeating my message yesterday. That letter is from Saga Holidays. Saga holidays and Saga cruises are two separate departments within the same company, and if you have a holiday (i.e, land based or river cruise) then there will be an automatic refund unless you contact the holidays department to transfer it to another land based holiday or river cruise.

The cruise department is not giving automatic refunds, they are contacting people in order to find out whether or not they want to transfer, take an FCC, or have a refund.

The Chris Simmonds letter has been sent out to cruise passengers by mistake - their IT dept and post room combined are not the most efficient - and it is doubtless causing a lot of extra work for an already very stretched call staff.

 

 

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Well, full marks to Saga this time.

Got the phone call about the cruise (Inaugural), I said that I wanted a full refund, told no problem at all, will be returned to the cards that were used to pay, excepting one that had expired so I would get a cheque in the post for that one.

She also said that the letter from the holidays section had indeed been sent out in error to every cruise customer..

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Again - full marks to Saga. After given the option to rebook the inaugural cruise we elected to cancel and request a refund. This was done quickly be telephone on Thursday. Afternoon. The full refund was received by my bank today, well sone Saga!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ten days ago Saga rang us and offered a refund or voucher.  We requested a refund and although Saga tried to encourage a voucher it wasn't difficult to secure a refund.  They promised to send the money to our TA within fourteen days.  Today we received a Cheque (yes, an old fashioned cheque) from our TA which is now safely in our Bank.   Very pleased with the outcome.

 We now have no holidays/cruises waiting for refunds and are seeing how this tiresome situation pans out before putting down any money.   Who knows if we will ever cruise again or even go abroad?    J

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We received our refund within three days and found a weeks all inclusive including drinks and tips going out of Dover in April with Fred Olsen for less than the five day cruise refunded by Saga in December 

We now have four crises booked for next year, one with Saga and the other three with Fred, and with  all three "Fred's"  we are paying for both of us what we would have paid each on Saga. 

My travel agent agrees with me that Saga have priced themselves out of the market for most of their existing customer base and apparently it is noticeable that Fred's bookings are up and Sagas are down for next year

Whatever or whoever we have chosen let's hope commen sense will prevail or the necessary pressure applied so we can actually set sail next year, I'm too old to spend years I may not have left  wasted sitting at home

 

 

Edited by JMyrtle
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1 hour ago, JMyrtle said:

We received our refund within three days and found a weeks all inclusive including drinks and tips going out of Dover in April with Fred Olsen for less than the five day cruise refunded by Saga in December 

We now have four crises booked for next year, one with Saga and the other three with Fred, and with  all three "Fred's"  we are paying for both of us what we would have paid each on Saga. 

My travel agent agrees with me that Saga have priced themselves out of the market for most of their existing customer base and apparently it is noticeable that Fred's bookings are up and Sagas are down for next year

Whatever or whoever we have chosen let's hope commen sense will prevail or the necessary pressure applied so we can actually set sail next year, I'm too old to spend years I may not have left  wasted sitting at home

 

 

I obviously have not looked at every cruise, but I have never found a balcony cabin cruise on Fred cheaper than on Saga. Plus, the included drinks and transport on Saga save  around £500pp for a 14 night cruise (depending on your tipple!)

I'm also interested to know how you can say that Fred's bookings are up and Saga's are down  - that is commercially sensitive information,  and I doubt that it is correct.  However, if you can give details I am happy to be proven wrong.

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