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No Refunds with New Protocols?


magictam
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I’ve been watching a bunch of YouTubers speculating on the what we’ll see when cruising resumes. I wanted to check others feelings about cruise lines not giving refunds if you opt out on going on cruise due to new protocols. Hear me out please. I booked my November 2020 cruise in early June. Of course at that time none of us thought this ban would go on for so long or antipcated the possible changes. If (and I say that loudly) this cruise sails, based on European cruises the entire experience will probably change. Possible changes that may affect my planned sailing, 

1.       Pre-Testing: If I test positive I will be denied boarding (I understand and support this). But I won’t get a refund for not being allowed on the ship nor will the ship be responsible for any costs incurred due to not being allowed to board.  So they will really be encouraging purchasing insurance . I know many of you do, but I never do. But now I’m second guessing myself.

2.       Limited number of ports: I picked a cruise that went to 4 ports I have never been too. Now there might be only 1 stop (probably Carnival's private island).

3.       Have to book an excursion through the cruise line. I NEVER do that because I like the local explore it on your own experience.

4.       Shorten number of days of the sailing. My cruise is for 8 days and I have to fly across country to get there. It’s not worth the expense to travel to Florida for a 3-5 day cruise.

5.       Masks (eek) Personally I have no problem with this, but for those of you who do, are you going to give up your cruise with no refund?

 

I know the contract says they can make changes, but I mean geez, this is total not what I booked and paid for. How do others feel. I know it’s all speculation at this point, so I’m not getting upset or anything like that.  Just my mind wondering.

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I am booked for a Nov cruise also, we live in Florida, so the travel is not that far, I understand your

concerns, hopefully the cruise lines have some form of insurance or such to help people that

test positive not forfeit everything they invested in their vacation. and help them out 

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Carnival has been  letting you move the funds to another date. At least right now, that's some flexibility. Move it to next year if you are worried. Might expire end of month with no sail order.

 

Btw you say you should get a refund if you dont like the new protocols. I sailed on conquest when ike was headed to Galveston. Actually it was supposed to pass us by. Boarded sunday, no refund offered. Get on or dont, your choice unless you had cancel for any reason insurance. . .made a dog leg last 24 hours. Never saw my car again.

 

Carnival is a lot more flexible right now. I'd have taken the choice to move to another date if carnival offered it at the time.

Edited by firefly333
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1. If you are flying from anywhere - especially across the country - it might be a good idea to have                  travel insurance.  You never know when you will need it.  2.As far as testing positive at the port and                  being denied boarding.  I do not think any insurance covers that yet - possibly not even cancel for                    any reason, as they are putting in covid exclusions on most policies.  However, with the "new                        normal" companies may have to re-think their stand on this.  Even before covid you were not guarenteed stopping at any port.  We have missed several ports due to weather, mechanical  issues on a ship, medical emergencies, etc.  No port is a definite when  cruising.  3:  We have not taken a ship excursion in many moons. We use the ship as a floating hotel, getting off for an hour or 2 to  walk around. However, I do know many people like taking private excursions,   tours, or going off on their own.  This will be a deal-breaker for many.   4:  I agree!   5:  We are so used to wearing masks around here I don't think I would cancel my cruise if I  had to wear one in common areas.  I would not cancel my cruise at this point if sailing is "safer" than it is now.

We have had many changes in my neck of the woods that seem to be working in getting covid knocked down.  We are adapting - slowly- to the way things are.  I will do the same when cruising resumes!

Edited by pe4all
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I'll probably get flamed but I agree with the OP. With these changes that were not part of your original booking then you are not getting what you thought you were buying and should be entitled to a full refund. I wouldn't care if it was just changing the itinerary but changing the rules for excursions or being able to leave the ship on your own, masks, etc, is quite different. Many folks would have never booked with the restrictions that appear to be coming, us included, and therefore would not have paid those deposits to start with.

That being said, I canceled a November cruise a few days before final payment was due because I expect the restrictions and don't feel that is the kind of cruise we would want to take nor would we have booked. Carnival told me no refund unless they canceled the cruise so apparently we're SOL. If restrictions are still in place for our April cruise we will be canceling that one as well.

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I feel your pain. I do believe that cruise lines should give passengers at least the opportunity to change their travel plans without penalty (not necessarily a refund, but the ability to make changes).
 

In my humble opinion, it all boils down to how much I want to go on a cruise. Am I willing to put up with the safety protocols? Am I willing to take excursions? Am I willing to sail on a modified itinerary? Am I willing to take insurance? If I’m hesitant about some of all of these questions, I many need to reconsider taking a cruise at this time. 
 

I’m personally choosing to cruise, but what I’m doing is modifying the type of cruise that I’m willing to take at this time. Instead of a longer, port intensive itinerary from a port I need to fly to, I’ve canceled that cruise and switched to back to back (4 night followed by a 3 night) cruises to the Bahamas, visiting a private island twice and Nassau twice. I’ve also chosen a port that I can drive to. This way, I’m minimizing the impact of the excursion regulation and travel logística. I hopefully will be able to roam around the private island without excursions, and in Nassau, one day I’ll treat it as a sea day, and on the next one I’ll do a snorkeling excursion (something that I would’ve done anyway). 
 

Needless to say, these are some trying times, and cruising the way we knew it won’t be back for a long time. All I can personally do is adjust accordingly until that day comes. Good luck with your travel plans. 

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I wanted to do Panama canal and I thought this isn't the time. Radiance had some bookings, all cancelled now I could have booked. I told myself be patient. 

 

I would think cancel for any reason would cover you for cancelling for any reason? It's more expensive but you could buy it in the past.

 

I've missed 2 out of 3 ports before sailing during hurricane season. That's why hurricane season is generally cheaper. Agree with tapi, if you choose to book now modify your expectations. 

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Agree, if you book now you know restrictions are coming and should plan for them. I'm referring to those of us that booked before the restrictions. A future cruise credit is useless if you don't plan on cruising until the restrictions are lifted, if they ever are.

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8 hours ago, magictam said:

I’ve been watching a bunch of YouTubers speculating on the what we’ll see when cruising resumes. I wanted to check others feelings about cruise lines not giving refunds if you opt out on going on cruise due to new protocols. Hear me out please. I booked my November 2020 cruise in early June. Of course at that time none of us thought this ban would go on for so long or antipcated the possible changes. If (and I say that loudly) this cruise sails, based on European cruises the entire experience will probably change. Possible changes that may affect my planned sailing, 

1.       Pre-Testing: If I test positive I will be denied boarding (I understand and support this). But I won’t get a refund for not being allowed on the ship nor will the ship be responsible for any costs incurred due to not being allowed to board.  So they will really be encouraging purchasing insurance . I know many of you do, but I never do. But now I’m second guessing myself.

2.       Limited number of ports: I picked a cruise that went to 4 ports I have never been too. Now there might be only 1 stop (probably Carnival's private island).

3.       Have to book an excursion through the cruise line. I NEVER do that because I like the local explore it on your own experience.

4.       Shorten number of days of the sailing. My cruise is for 8 days and I have to fly across country to get there. It’s not worth the expense to travel to Florida for a 3-5 day cruise.

5.       Masks (eek) Personally I have no problem with this, but for those of you who do, are you going to give up your cruise with no refund?

 

I know the contract says they can make changes, but I mean geez, this is total not what I booked and paid for. How do others feel. I know it’s all speculation at this point, so I’m not getting upset or anything like that.  Just my mind wondering.


If I was worried about the possibility of COVID protocols impacting my enjoyment of the cruise, I would change the cruise to a later date today. I completely understand people who don’t want to cruise under the CLIA protocols that will be implemented when cruising resumes from US ports. If these protocols are an issue for you I would be proactive and change the cruise dates now. 

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5 minutes ago, Pyrate13 said:

Agree, if you book now you know restrictions are coming and should plan for them. I'm referring to those of us that booked before the restrictions. A future cruise credit is useless if you don't plan on cruising until the restrictions are lifted, if they ever are.


I think the cruise line’s should treat passengers differently based on when you booked the cruise. For example, someone who booked a cruise prior to the pandemic should be provided more flexibility than someone like the OP who booked a cruise in June, when it was already known cruising would be significantly different whenever cruising resumed. However, most of the cruise line’s have implemented very flexible booking rules for cruises booked during this pandemic. 

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I got curious about cancel for any reason insurance.  I have used TravelGuard for over 15 years for all my trips - land, sea, air, etc.

Never travel without it, but do not get cancel for any reason.  This is what I found about cfar insurance: 

Am I covered if I have Cancel for Any Reason coverage? If you purchased Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, you could be covered for a percentage of the loss, depending on the level of CFAR coverage purchased, and provided the trip is cancelled more than 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure date.  Refer to your insurance policy (or Description of Coverage) for details. Please click here to access a copy of your policy.

Can I purchase a policy with CFAR coverage? CFAR coverage is only available at the time a plan is purchased and, unless otherwise noted on your policy, must be within 15 days of your initial trip deposit.  As a result, if you have an existing insurance policy, you are not eligible to add on CFAR coverage.  

Key words: "you could be covered for a % of the loss."  CFAR insurance is far more expensive than regular insurance, and if they do not cover covid cancellations I would be hesitant in even booking a cruise at this point if the cruiselines are sailing and I am not comfortable in doing so with restrictions they may put in place.

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I'm generally pretty understanding of policies. However, if I am denied boarding from some test after being asymptomatic, I would be pissed as hell if I didn't at least get a credit. 

 

I'll still never buy CFAR. Protecting 75% of a vacation purchase is almost never a good investment. As more people freak out and utilize it, the cost of it also has no where to go but up.

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OP. I 100% agree with your assessment and am not interested in cruising right now. But I also think that all of this was foreseeable back in June so not sure why you booked any 2020 cruise? Theres really 2 strategies you can take at this point, playing chicken in the hopes they cancel (think it's better than 5050 that they will) or get on the phone right now to see if you can move the money you have paid to a 2022 cruise. I think any possible 2020 and most of 2021 will have these restrictions.

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The one thing that bothers me is the testing.  My son in law was going to have a colonoscopy so he had to have a COVID test. Keep in mine he felt great, running 3-5 miles a day in south Louisiana humid heat but tested positive.  Had to reschedule the colonoscopy. He went straight to another clinic for another COVID test and what do you know —-negative. So how many will be denied boarding and not be sick (or really positive)

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Rcl board has a discussion about the next big thing will be about false positives and being denied boarding.

 

Rcl also has cwc for any cruise booked before sept 30, where you can lift and shift it to any date, plus lift and shift. Carnival seems to have a unwritten cwc policy as many have been allowed to move their money to a later date.

 

I think cruiselines have gone over and above being flexible. If it's now sept 30th and cruises start, only yourself to blame if you didnt move your cruise and had the opportunity. Cant now claim you had no idea what the new possible protocols might be ...just my opinion. You had to be living in a cave if they caught you by surprise..

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46 minutes ago, cruisinmeme said:

The one thing that bothers me is the testing.  My son in law was going to have a colonoscopy so he had to have a COVID test. Keep in mine he felt great, running 3-5 miles a day in south Louisiana humid heat but tested positive.  Had to reschedule the colonoscopy. He went straight to another clinic for another COVID test and what do you know —-negative. So how many will be denied boarding and not be sick (or really positive)

I thought the recommendations say there will be a second test if someone tests positive. 

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I apologize that I haven't read all these replies. But I made a silly comparison before. Say I ordered a full sized sofa in blue but when the delivery was made it was a love seat and it was red. I wouldn't be paying for that, right? So if a cruise is significantly different that what I paid for,why wouldn't I get a refund? 'Course who gets to decide how different.

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1 hour ago, sanger727 said:

OP. I 100% agree with your assessment and am not interested in cruising right now. But I also think that all of this was foreseeable back in June so not sure why you booked any 2020 cruise? Theres really 2 strategies you can take at this point, playing chicken in the hopes they cancel (think it's better than 5050 that they will) or get on the phone right now to see if you can move the money you have paid to a 2022 cruise. I think any possible 2020 and most of 2021 will have these restrictions.

I think most of us was still pretty hopeful in June that the pandemic would pass after the summer months. It was still thought of as the "flu". 

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1 hour ago, firefly333 said:

You had to be living in a cave if they caught you by surprise..

No need to be rude. I not surprised at all. As I said in my post, I'm not upset was just wondering what others thought of the no refund policy with all the changes that will be implanted. 

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I don't know.  We came home early from Mexico in mid/late  March because our Gov't advised us to.   It was certainly a pandemic in March where we live.  The numbers were low but the forecast numbers were not.   That forecast was the issue.   Countries were closing down, air services were being cut.  CDC, mid March, was actually warning the public not to take cruises.  We have known for quite some time that an effective vaccine would not be widely available until early/mid 2021.....despite what any politician was claiming.

 

We are not booking anything until we know with certainty what the product will be.  Will it sail, will the ports be open, what is the on board environment, etc.   Not interested in any FCC's.  No intention of buying a pig in a poke so to speak.   

Edited by iancal
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