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The new cruise contract - a legal question.


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RCG has now published a new cruise contract. I am aware that under the old contract the Line has the right to change an itinerary, etc., but I don't believe it entitled them to forgo any and all financial responsibility for Covid related illness/deaths,  or entitles them to require that passengers adhere to new protocols that were not in place at the time of the initial booking, etc.  

Are people who previously booked NRD cruises entitled by law to request their full deposit back (and not have to wait for RCG to cancel) as RCG has changed the terms of their contract to include exclusions that were not in place at the time of the "good faith" booking? 

 

Edited by MaritimeR&R
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13 minutes ago, MaritimeR&R said:

RCG has now published a new cruise contract. I am aware that under the old contract he Line has the right to change an itinerary, etc., but I don't believe it entitles them to forgo any and all financial responsibility for Covid related illness/deaths,  or to require that passengers adhere to new protocols that were not in place at the time of the initial booking, etc.  

Are people who previously booked NRD cruises entitled by law to request their full deposit back (and not have to wait for RCG to cancel) as RCG has changed the terms of their contract to include exclusions that were not in place at the time of the "good faith" booking? 

 

What does the contract say? It's all in the fine print. I would be quite surprised if Royal didn't have language in the old contracts allowing them to adjust the terms and conditions to account for things like an unprecedented health emergency like COVID.

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1 minute ago, klfrodo said:

Are you asking for true legal advice for free?

Or, are you looking for a knuckleheads (like me) opinion?

I have friends that are lawyers, so I am not really looking for a "freebee." I just thought there might be someone on this board that had knowledge specific to contracts, esp. as they apply to cruises.

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1 hour ago, MaritimeR&R said:

RCG has now published a new cruise contract. I am aware that under the old contract the Line has the right to change an itinerary, etc., but I don't believe it entitled them to forgo any and all financial responsibility for Covid related illness/deaths,  or entitles them to require that passengers adhere to new protocols that were not in place at the time of the initial booking, etc.  

Are people who previously booked NRD cruises entitled by law to request their full deposit back (and not have to wait for RCG to cancel) as RCG has changed the terms of their contract to include exclusions that were not in place at the time of the "good faith" booking? 

 

I would say that this is pretty standard for a maritime contract of carriage (though certainly not an admiralty lawyer).  It sets the "duty of care" parameters, including mentioning requirements set by government agencies, etc.  Then, if the carrier is shown to have met the "duty of care" or "standard of care" (as set by government), they cannot be found to be liable.

 

As far as requiring passengers to adhere to new protocols, I'm certain there was language to the effect, and it is still there that passenger agrees to abide by all laws, and rules, policies and regulations of the carrier, without specifically calling those out (so the new covid requirements could have been lumped into this clause, without specific mention, but they broke them out to highlight them.

 

As for getting refunds, that is something else, and I'm not sure of the consumer protections covering this situation.

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1 hour ago, klfrodo said:

Are you asking for true legal advice for free?

Or, are you looking for a knuckleheads (like me) opinion?

I never realized until this year how many scientist, lawyers, physicians and statisticians follow cruise critic.  Here I am just looking for a cruise secret or a good deal.

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5 minutes ago, Merion_Mom said:

I believe that you don't actually SIGN a contract until you are filling out the online check-in, which has been available 90 days before embarkation date.

That's what I thought as well. You need to check the boxes and agree to give up your first born child before you can print or save your boarding pass.

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25 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

That's what I thought as well. You need to check the boxes and agree to give up your first born child before you can print or save your boarding pass.

Pretty much the same as we have always done.

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2 minutes ago, ipeeinthepool said:

 

I hope you realize that it is possible for someone to be a lawyer and a Knucklehead.  

It’s probably more difficult to find one who’s not.😉

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I am not a lawyer and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.  

 

I did have one of the TA's I've used in the past introduce a new COVID waiver that covers them (not a Royal document).  It was a 2 page document that indemnified nearly everyone including them, their suppliers, the clinic that did their last pedicure, bigfoot, snoopy and the abominable snow monster of the North. 

 

I requested the cruise I had just transferred to them before they introduced the waiver for signature pulled back to Royal direct.  I don't know that there was unreasonable verbiage in the waiver but I don't know what I don't know.  I do know my other TA's aren't requiring a waiver (yet) so I am avoiding this particular TA for now.

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they need specific elevator distancing in the contract. there has to be some kind of plan for it, you cannot mandate distancing in an elevator from a practical standpoint with 6000 people on the ship. unless it's one of those rules they really dont intend to enforce

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20 hours ago, Iamcruzin said:

I never realized until this year how many scientist, lawyers, physicians and statisticians follow cruise critic.  Here I am just looking for a cruise secret or a good deal.

Oh, yeah, we all went to to Facebook Medical or Facebook Law School. 😁

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It actually takes a lot of work to parse the contract that was in effect when you put down the deposit and compare it to today's contract to see if there really is something new.  Also, there was likely something in the original contract about "force majeure" which might cover the pandemic. FYI, most contracts have a choice of law section that covers what jurisdiction the contract language is interpreted under so that is the jurisdiction that covers how the contract is interpreted.  All of this goes towards the point that the question is not that easy to answer.  In the end it would take several court cases (unless the contract has an arbitration clause, I hate arbitration clauses) to get a final answer as to what everything means.  

 

If you really do not like the new contract and really want to cancel and get all of your money back you could call and raise a fuss about the new contract, etc. and see what happens.

 

 

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On 2/16/2021 at 12:15 PM, Merion_Mom said:

I believe that you do, don't actually SIGN a contract until you are filling out the online check-in, which has been available 90 days before embarkation date.

However, I imagine that there something/somewhere that say by putting down a deposit for a cabin priced at the NRD rate, you may forfeit the deposit if you decide to cancel for any reason.

 

Also, whenever the CDC decides more in-depth policies to the cruiseline, the cruise lines can always point to the Gov't policies and hide behind them

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On 2/16/2021 at 11:20 AM, Iamcruzin said:

I never realized until this year how many scientist, lawyers, physicians and statisticians follow cruise critic.  Here I am just looking for a cruise secret or a good deal.

 

You place these folks in high? 

Scientists are tax funded thus are for hire to the highest bidder... lawyers are snakes for hire, physicians are difficult to reach, and statisticians slant numbers for effect. Knuckleheads? ...at least you know where they stand! 😆

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On 2/16/2021 at 12:20 PM, Iamcruzin said:

I never realized until this year how many scientist, lawyers, physicians and statisticians follow cruise critic.  Here I am just looking for a cruise secret or a good deal.

Ha ha. I’m thinking the same thing. I seem to be in such prestigious company. 
 

m

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On 2/16/2021 at 12:21 PM, Iamcruzin said:

That's what I thought as well. You need to check the boxes and agree to give up your first born child before you can print or save your boarding pass.

Just a silly question--how many actually read the contract.

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If I correctly recall what I learned in my business laws classes (got A's), negligence is never waivable. Last hotel I stayed in was the Sleep Inn and Suites in Galveston, not quite a Holiday Inn but not bad. 

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On 2/16/2021 at 12:20 PM, Iamcruzin said:

I never realized until this year how many scientist, lawyers, physicians and statisticians follow cruise critic.  Here I am just looking for a cruise secret or a good deal.

Now you know.i came to that confirmation today looking at some comments on a certain other social media site.i m glad I didn't waste money on a university and went to trade school instead

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