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Antarctic Cruise 1/2021 Cancelled SS NOT honoring price for a rebooking


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FYI,

Our Silversea Antarctica cruise was cancelled (itself a rebooked cruise from 11/20). Not a huge surprise but, unlike our first cancellation/rebooking, Silversea will NOT rebook us on a like cruise later in 2021/2022 at the same price. Even with the "15%" discount, the price was about 20% MORE than our current cruise. Cancelled instead. I happen to think they should honor a price for the same itinerary/month but that is obviously not what Silversea is going to do. Others may think this makes sense and that is fine but we are unlikely to ever look to Silversea unless it is a EXCEPTIONAL deal. You reap what you sow I guess. Best to all. 

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If the cancellation were caused by circumstances under SS's control (dry dock, charter, mechanical issues), I would wholly agree with you that price for initial booking should carry forward.  But COVID is well beyond the control of cruise lines, and it may be more reasonable for them to insist on new fare for forward booking. 

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41 minutes ago, Observer said:

If the cancellation were caused by circumstances under SS's control (dry dock, charter, mechanical issues), I would wholly agree with you that price for initial booking should carry forward.  But COVID is well beyond the control of cruise lines, and it may be more reasonable for them to insist on new fare for forward booking. 

Not too mention that there is a distinct possibility that future cruises will have a lower capacity to take passengers, while cost of travel will be around the same.  This would mean that the fare needs to increase.

 

I've actually been watching the fares on several journeys into next year increase in price. The one I cancelled has risen about $500, although I strongly suspect it is moot as no one will be sailing in January in Australia

 

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Hi,

 

What you both say is both true and reasonable when applied to all customers booking a cruise without an FCC. 

 

However those that have trusted and supported Silversea should be treated differently from those paying new cash.  Those with FCC are locked in.  Unless there is some recognition that the risk they loyally took by leaving their cash with SS has placed them in a situation where they are obligated to take a future cruise and that their extra credit as reward for trust and risk has effectively been neutralised.  That is a breach of at the very least the spirit of the FCC and is self-harm when SS needs to be trusted by their existing customers.  Those with FCC will see it as nasty and exploitative and very unfair and SS are in danger of losing those who are the most loyal of their customers for good.  If those customers had listened to the warning and taken a refund they may not have decided to pay these new prices  now with fresh cash if they had that choice now.  Many will not unreasonably feel duped.

 

I have stated regularly that 15 or 25% of unknown future prices isn't a real discount and makes choosing FCC bewildering and unwise, locks customers in to unknown experiences and unknown prices and acceptance of an avoidable and pointless unrewarded risk.  It is therefore also self defeating because as SS continue to cancel cruises less people in future will trust them and take FCC in favour of a refund.  This is extremely short-sighted, self-harming  and will be seen as a breach of trust however much SS want more of their cash, because as time progresses they need more and more people to take more FCC rather than less and less to extend their operating runway. 

 

On this we disagree but I'm sure many will understand that those imprisoned with FCC should be treated differently from those who many say and claim are the latent pent-up demand for future cruises with new cash.

 

Jeff 🙂

Edited by UKCruiseJeff
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Totally agree with your excellent summary of the FCC or refund policy which is the main reason why after 22 consecutive years  of super cruising with Silversea we for the first time have nothing booked .Thank goodness.The main objective of SS is to maintain cash flow to cover ongoing costs and hope the wretched Pandemic disappears before the cash in hand does which would only have one result which does not fill us with confidence.

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Our Antarctica cruise (Jan 2021) was cancelled by Silver Seas.  We moved it to a Seabourn cruise.  Much lower per diem than Silver Seas.  And when Seabourn cancelled our original booking (for Jan 2021) they offered us the same booking  for the same price just one year later.  And the deposit was minimal compared to Silver Seas.  So we have a February 2022, 24 day cruise booked.

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44 minutes ago, brimary said:

Totally agree with your excellent summary of the FCC or refund policy which is the main reason why after 22 consecutive years  of super cruising with Silversea we for the first time have nothing booked .Thank goodness.The main objective of SS is to maintain cash flow to cover ongoing costs and hope the wretched Pandemic disappears before the cash in hand does which would only have one result which does not fill us with confidence.

 

Thanks. 

 

It's all a matter of sound judgement and no one envies the decisions that have to be taken when in these unchartered waters where cruise line senior managers finds themselves. These are really difficult management issues where no one has experience to call on.  But as the crisis moves forward so does those increasing numbers of grey areas of seemingly conflicting choices that need to be made.  Often small decisions have enormous unforseen consequences. This is where sound mature and sensible judgement is critical.

 

At the moment the managers of cruise lines are not on the bridge navigating waters they know well and in bright sunshine that are clearly marked on a chart.  They are navigating places they have not been before and are in the dark and without any charts.  So now they not only have to navigate survival but also how to manage the fastest of recoveries if as they hope - it happens.  This implies reconciling tough conflicts between over-harvesting for short-term cash-flow and customer loyalty retention. 

 

They have claimed they have enough cash to see them through.  If this claim is genuine then it means that this should be enable them to focus on the fastest of recoveries and on loyalty retention.  Having all those loyal customers who you have spent very large sums of cash finding should be the imperative.  If they do not make that an imperative it calls into question their claims of having enough cash to survive.  You have to be either desperate or dumb to cheat your loyalest of customers.

 

On this topic  I think they have made the wrong call.

Edited by UKCruiseJeff
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1 hour ago, UKCruiseJeff said:

 

They have claimed they have enough cash to see them through.  

Which is like saying we have enough petrol in the tank to reach our destination without knowing if that destination is 10,  100 or 1000 miles away. 

 

I still can't get my head round why, when a cash refund is on offer, anyone would go all-in for a possible small saving from a company whose future must be in question. 

 

And also why anyone would wait for a cruise x months hence to be cancelled rather than cash in their chips now and walk away for the loss of a relatively tiny admin fee. When the world economy let's go it's going to be very bloody, many big names won't recover and any company stretched by unsustainable debt will simply shut up shop. Especially those, such as cruise companies, who are effectively using customer payments  for future services as unsecured debt. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Tothesunset said:

Which is like saying we have enough petrol in the tank to reach our destination without knowing if that destination is 10,  100 or 1000 miles away. 

 

I still can't get my head round why, when a cash refund is on offer, anyone would go all-in for a possible small saving from a company whose future must be in question. 

 

And also why anyone would wait for a cruise x months hence to be cancelled rather than cash in their chips now and walk away for the loss of a relatively tiny admin fee. When the world economy let's go it's going to be very bloody, many big names won't recover and any company stretched by unsustainable debt will simply shut up shop. Especially those, such as cruise companies, who are effectively using customer payments  for future services as unsecured debt. 

 

 

Good points. Now in our case, we took a rebooking after the first cancellation because it was an exceptional price for an Antarctic cruise and SS honored the price PLUS a 10% discount. To us that was more than fair for the inconvenience of rescheduling our life.  Given that, we  took the shot and left our money tied up with SS. On THIS go around of cancellations, they are no longer honoring the price;  our only reason to leave our money with them is gone so refund for us. I fully agree that a FCC is a bad play almost all the time and especially in this environment.

Edited by VACruiser123
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Is Silversea actually going to provide you with a cash refund, even though this cruise was booked with FCC?  Or was the cruise booking simply transferred without the application of FCC?

 

Sorry to hear of your situation, but it does reinforce our decision to demand a cash refund for our cancelled cruise and look elsewhere for cruise options once cruising returns to some semblence of normal.

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11 minutes ago, alexandria said:

Is Silversea actually going to provide you with a cash refund, even though this cruise was booked with FCC?  Or was the cruise booking simply transferred without the application of FCC?

 

Sorry to hear of your situation, but it does reinforce our decision to demand a cash refund for our cancelled cruise and look elsewhere for cruise options once cruising returns to some semblence of normal.

We were a rebooking with a paid in full fare that they applied a 10% discount off our paid price. So in our case there was no FCC involved. I would NOT recommend a FCC at this point for anybody. There are no real pluses, especially when the "10%" extra credit may be illusory give the current rack rates for cruises. I think the rates EVENTUALLY will have to go down quite a bit in order to reestablish the business...I have a hard time believing that an industry can  charge a premium for a damaged product/brand...makes no sense.

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Thanks.  I read their FCC terms and conditions to provide that once FCC was accepted and applied to a future booking, you could not longer receive a cash refund for any cruise purchased with FCC, whether cancelled by the customer or Silversea.  So it doesn't appear that policy has changed.

 

Appreciate your update.

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