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Seabourn Deception


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We were originally booked on the Quest Antarctic cruise on December 11, 2020. As the COVID-19 epidemic spread we decided that the February 21, 2021  cruise was more likely to go and changed our booking and paid in full. Both bookings were OB Veranda guaranteed . The February 2021 cruise was ultimately cancelled and we received the following notice from Seabourn: 

"Your booking has been transferred in the same suite at the same rate as your original booking. ...

 

If you would rather sail on an alternate Seabourn Quest 2021/2022 South America & Antarctica voyage, please contact us or your travel advisor and we will transfer your payments and onboard credit to the sailing of your choice.

We contacted our travel agent and requested that our booking be transferred to the December 2021 cruise. Seabourn refused unless we paid an additional $12,000+ for a veranda suite. Seabourn claimed that there were no OB rates on the December 2021 cruise. Two significant facts: The rates on the December 2020 and February 2011 cruises were identical and the rates on the December 2021 and February 2022 rates are identical. The February 2022 cruise has no OB rates either. This is directly contrary to the promise that they would transfer our payments to the cruise of our choice and is a terrible way to treat passengers with almost 100 days on board. This may be our last Seabourn cruise.

 

 

 

Edited by hoya68
posted before I finished
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2 hours ago, hoya68 said:

"Your booking has been transferred in the same suite at the same rate as your original booking. ...

 

If you would rather sail on an alternate Seabourn Quest 2021/2022 South America & Antarctica voyage, please contact us or your travel advisor and we will transfer your payments and onboard credit to the sailing of your choice.

Seabourn's offer was to transfer your booking (same category & same rate) to the sailing they selected (you didn't mention that date). They also offered you the option to select your own preferred date and they would transfer the payments and OBC to that date - no mention of the same category and rate. It's pretty clear what they offered you ... and not really "deception" on their part.

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I had to read your post a couple of times but think I managed to understand the situation.

 

First, your original Dec 11, 2020 booking is irrelevant, as you had voluntarily changed it to Feb 21, 2021.  So let's drop that off the picture.

 

As I understand, you had a confirmed OB booking and paid rate X on the Feb 21, 2021 sailing, which was involuntarily pushed out a year by SB.  Alternately, you can cancel and get a full refund.

 

(BTW, did SB rebook you on their Feb 3 or Feb 24, 2022 sailing?  Was it a like-to-like change, i.e. you're getting the same duration of 21 or 24 days pre- and post-change?)

 

So, SB honored your original OB booking and rate X for the new rebooked Feb 2022 sailing, even though OB is not available for that booking to the public.  I'm also guessing the Feb 2022 sailing costs X or greater; otherwise, SB would owe you the difference.  However, you now prefer the Dec 2021 sailing which has no OB inventory, and so SB is asking you to pay a price differential.

 

Is my understanding correct?

 

SB's policy is, if you prefer not to get a full cash refund, to protect your sailing by rebooking you to the same or similar sailing a year later.  If you choose to make further changes, isn't it fair for you to have to pay the price difference, if any?  It seems that SB has already opened up OB inventory for you for the protected change; why would you expect SB to do so for a further change of your choosing?

 

In any case, good luck.  OB inventory comes and goes.  Who knows, OB may open up for the Dec 2021 booking, in which case SB may allow you to make the change without a surcharge, if the OB is the reason for the surcharge.  I don't think SB's offer and policy is a carte blanche for you to change to any dates.

Edited by sfvoyage
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Then Seabourn's offer was a hollow one since they raised the rates on all the cruises, so one could never change without paying more. In fact, the new cost of a veranda on the February cruise to which they transferred me gratis is the same as a veranda on the December cruise, so it should be no skin off their back if they transfer me to a suite for which they are charging $X to a suite on another sailing for which they are also charging $X.

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When SB cancelled your cruise with plenty of notice, they obviously owe you a full refund.  They have also offered you an alternative - by moving you to the same cruise a year later, at the same cost (even though the new cruise has a higher price) and at the same category (even though OB is not offered to the public).

 

Isn't that more than fair?  We cannot expect SB to entertain and grant exceptions to their rule so that any and all of us can choose another itinerary of our choosing, can we?  It'll then be a free-for-all - every guest asking for something uniquely suited to their wish and circumstance...

 

Regarding pricing, yes, we all have noticed higher listed prices for future cruises.  We also know, from years past, that pricing tends to fall over time for less popular cruises.  However, who knows what will happen in the future under these unprecedented times?  Prices may fall, or they may stay the same or even increase, especially if cruise lines (not just SB) will have to limit occupancy levels due to social distancing rules or guidelines.

 

I think we all need to go with the flow and expect the unexpected in the coming months.  The whole cruise - and travel - industry is facing major - and existential - challenges.  I for one will be happy to still have as wonderful a cruise line as SB to sail on in the coming years.

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2 hours ago, bigmjh said:

Seabourn's offer was to transfer your booking (same category & same rate) to the sailing they selected (you didn't mention that date). They also offered you the option to select your own preferred date and they would transfer the payments and OBC to that date - no mention of the same category and rate. It's pretty clear what they offered you ... and not really "deception" on their part.


Agree. Deception is the wrong word. Seabourn acted precisely in accordance with its offer. The opp is clearly disappointed in the offer but that’s something else. 

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