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Cancel now or wait for Crystal to cancel


Pearl64
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We are booked on the August Black Sea cruise round trip Athens. At this point we only have paid the deposit which is sizable. We will probably not be on this cruise as much as we want to do this itinerary. We would need to get flights and a Russian visa. Final payment is first part of June. If I read Crystal’s website correctly, penalties do not incur until 60 days out. Is this correct? Trip insurance won’t kick in unless Crystal cancels. To minimize monetary losses, do we cancel now or wait for Crystal to cancel? I am not sure the cruise will be a go but if it goes the itinerary may be totally different. We are fully vaccinated but do not know how we would get a Covid test in Athens to fly back to the US. We are so ready to cruise but this area but not be the best at this time. So, get your Crystal balls out and share your thoughts.

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I agree, from the website it sounds like since your booking is for 2021 all penalties, including the admin fee, are waived until 60 days before sailing.  So you can cancel and ask for your money back until then.  If you are sure you don't want to go on the cruise, why wait?  One reason might be if you want to see if Crystal will give you a 25% or 15% bribe to accept FCC instead of a refund.  At this point, they may not do that any more and cash is worth a lot more than FCC, assuming you do eventually get your refund.

 

If you want to do so, you can transfer your deposit to anther cruise and maintain its status as a cash payment.  I have done this several times, including once when I was waiting for a refund.  And then I successfully got the refund after all when I subsequently cancelled the later cruise also.  (I had to file a dispute with my credit card to get the actual money back.)  If you want to transfer your deposit to another booking but don't see one now you want to invest in, you could wait until closer to 60 days to see what new itineraries might come out by then.

 

If you just want the cash back, the sooner you do it the better your chance to get your credit card company to file a dispute on your behalf.  That is probably the only way you will see the money in your account any time soon. 

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Pearl64, why do you think you need to get a Russian visa ahead of time? In the past, which of course may or may not be the same as the future will be, the ship arranged for  tourist visas on board which were then charged to one's shipboard account. These were only good for those going on ship's tours. To go ashore independently, one needed to obtain a regular tourist visa pre-cruise. But as currently we can't go ashore independently...

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We are also on the Black Sea cruise.

 

I spoke to our TA who said to hold off and see him in May (before the final balance is due in June).

 

We think that either the cruise will be cancelled or the cruise will go ahead but will not resemble the itinerary described in the brochure for which we paid a deposit.

 

We live in Europe and with very exceptions all countries are nowhere near vaccinating half their populations let alone everybody.   Recent reports are saying that some European countries many not complete their vaccinations until sometime in 2023.  And France may never given the large number of their citizens who are against vaccinations, especially British ones !           

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Does your insurance cover carrier default? 

 

If it does, your cancelling could put that coverage at risk. Most travel insurance policies terminate if you cancel the trip. If you wait for Crystal to cancel, then you likely will still be covered for carrier default. And, sad to say, given its exceptionally poor track record on refunds, Genting's default on debts, and the general opaqueness of the company's finances, that risk seems very real.

 

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8 hours ago, wishIweretravelling said:

Does your insurance cover carrier default? 

 

If it does, your cancelling could put that coverage at risk. Most travel insurance policies terminate if you cancel the trip. If you wait for Crystal to cancel, then you likely will still be covered for carrier default. And, sad to say, given its exceptionally poor track record on refunds, Genting's default on debts, and the general opaqueness of the company's finances, that risk seems very real.

 

Good points.  However, if you transfer the deposit to a new booking you might be able to transfer the insurance as well and still be covered.  Just check with the insurance company first to make sure they still cover for default by Crystal.  For example, Travelex does not for new policies.  I think they might allow you to move your policy once with the original terms, but I know they will not let you do it twice.  Other companies do still cover for Crystal default.

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7 hours ago, SusieQft said:

Other companies do still cover for Crystal default.

I should have said "Some other companies" still cover it.  I did not mean to imply that all other companies do.  You should find out about your particular company and policy if this is of concern to you.

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It’s a tough call deciding whether to cancel beforehand or wait for the cruise line to cancel. I spent days agonizing over this decision last March on a river cruise. Ended up waiting for the cruise line (not Crystal) to cancel...and they did, with lots of strings attached to getting our money back...i.e., wait until 12/2023. Long drawn out story but eventually I did get a full refund.

 

Based on yours and the comments on this thread, uncertainty surrounding the ports (this is not the Med!), Crystal’s and its parent company’s current condition, some insurer’s not covering Crystal anymore, I would cancel rather than wait for them to cancel. The cash on hand is worth more than a FCC.

 

Just my opinion. 

 

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