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Bimini cruise July 11


happy5
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3 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

You are right, it does not seem fair, but it has been a common practice in the industry during the pandemic. I have had more than a couple of instances where it was painfully obvious the cruise was going to be cancelled, but had the client cancelled before it was, they would be subject to penalty, or would not get the "bonus" FCC the line awarded when it finally DID cancel.

I agree and totally understand why that happened before cruises were active again. Nobody was going anywhere anyway. 
 

But this is a bit different. The poster was just trying to change ports before the last minute on essentially the same cruise. And not for their own convenience, but because of the looming embarkation change that would cause havoc at the 11th hour. 

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9 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

You are right, it does not seem fair, but it has been a common practice in the industry during the pandemic. I have had more than a couple of instances where it was painfully obvious the cruise was going to be cancelled, but had the client cancelled before it was, they would be subject to penalty, or would not get the "bonus" FCC the line awarded when it finally DID cancel.

My experience as well.  I am a member of another social media blog.  This issue is one of the most frequently posted and reposted.  The landscape has changed.  The correct strategy is to let the cruise company cancel first.  Does anyone like it, NO.  Just the rules to the game. So no one feels I am being insensitive, as stated in other posts; I have been cancelled three times on another brand.  The one time was one week before flying out.  Not two days but I think you can see it had the same effect of frustration for me at the time.

 

There is a reason, every single Cruise Brand has a contract that we agree to that is 20 plus pages.  Fun read.  We all agree and hope things go well.  Not a good 16 months of going well though.  Again, not trying to have a lack of sensitivity.  

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Cruise-y said:

I think what Andiamo is saying is that once they found out the Bimini embarkation could be in jeopardy they tried to proactively change to Nassau to avoid last-minute panic, already-booked up flights, full hotels, etc. and were told if they changed before Crystal officially x’d Bimini, then they would have to pay the 50% penalty.  Given the circumstances, that doesn’t seem fair.
 

 

 

That's where I was going with that question.  If you had a hotel component in Bimini that would be a separate issue that's managed differently, but for the cruise itself, if Crystal is charging a 50% penalty to switch from Bimini to Nassau for the next couple of still-active departures, when they've cancelled the past couple of weeks, that would be HIGHLY irregular.  Not saying it's not what someone was told, but I'd love to see it in writing.  What someone was told may have been in error or miscommunicated, like we saw upthread.

 

If we're just talking about the cost to switch the air and such, that seems to be minimal.  I'm just trying to make sure if Crystal is being accused of penalizing, that we're providing the source info.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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I was notified by email TWELVE HOURS before my flight left to begin my pre package..

crystal says my cruise was NOT cancelled.. it is just an itinerary change. Apparently  embarking in a different port on a different day is just a change and not a cancellation.

it was up to me to purchase new air to and from Nassau and get a hotel on a days notice

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Let me see if I've got this right:

If Crystal wants to change the embarkation port, it's considered an itinerary change, and there is no cancellation.

 

If the passenger wants to change the embarkation port, it is deemed a cancellation.

 

Susan Robison Rojas, Crystal Cruise Director of Public Relations is onboard.  Perhaps someone can invite her for coffee and a chat.

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Sure sounds like a cancellation to me.  I guess Crystal really needs the money right now.  If this happened to me, i would challenge it with my credit card company, and contact the Florida Attorney General's office, as Crystal has its main office in Florida.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, happy5 said:

I was notified by email TWELVE HOURS before my flight left to begin my pre package..

crystal says my cruise was NOT cancelled.. it is just an itinerary change. Apparently  embarking in a different port on a different day is just a change and not a cancellation.

it was up to me to purchase new air to and from Nassau and get a hotel on a days notice

 

THAT part is customary, but what other options did they present you?  They're not forcing you to join the ship in Nassau, that's just an option in case you still want to sail that week.

 

NORMALLY, when an embarkation port is cancelled because of a reason OUT of the cruise line's control, you would receive the following options:

  • Rebook another week without penalty to the cruise fare.  (More about add-ons in a minute.)
  • Join the ship at an alternate port (usually at your own expense, unless you contracted that piece with the cruise line).
  • Receive a refund.  The cruise line will usually waive every penalty within its control but just like in the rebook scenario, any penalties in other supplier contracts (air, hotel) that are the guest's responsibility and not the cruise line's penalty should be claimable via travel insurance if the other two options don't work for you.

Is that not what the email offered?

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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Posted (edited)

What is also disappointing to me (if I’m reading the post correctly) is that Andiamo booked a few days before, when the Bimini issues were known to others. Their TA should have alerted them it was a risk. 
 

Edited by Cruise-y
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2 hours ago, BWIVince said:

 

THAT part is customary, but what other options did they present you?  They're not forcing you to join the ship in Nassau, that's just an option in case you still want to sail that week.

 

NORMALLY, when an embarkation port is cancelled because of a reason OUT of the cruise line's control, you would receive the following options:

  • Rebook another week without penalty to the cruise fare.  (More about add-ons in a minute.)
  • Join the ship at an alternate port (usually at your own expense, unless you contracted that piece with the cruise line).
  • Receive a refund.  The cruise line will usually waive every penalty within its control but just like in the rebook scenario, any penalties in other supplier contracts (air, hotel) that are the guest's responsibility and not the cruise line's penalty should be claimable via travel insurance if the other two options don't work for you.

Is that not what the email offered?

 

Vince

Vince.....

 

How about taking a job with Crystal.

 

These are three simple choices. Why don't they see this? And offer them to the guest more than 3 days before departure.

 

Would love to know how many guests are getting on in Bimini for each of the remaining cruises.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, travelwide said:

Vince.....

 

How about taking a job with Crystal.

 

These are three simple choices. Why don't they see this? And offer them to the guest more than 3 days before departure.

 

Would love to know how many guests are getting on in Bimini for each of the remaining cruises.

You are forgetting that Crystal notified them 1/2 day before their departure to a Crystal cancelled port, staying 3 nights at a Crystal provided hotel, owned by the same Company that owns Crystal and why should the OP be upset??    Am I missing something.. 

 

The fact that their docking at Bimini was slim to none based on the infection counts on the Island has no bearing on this -- or does it... 

 

I do think the OP needs to find a new TA.   Obviously they are not advocating for them.

Edited by PaulMCO
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35 minutes ago, bitob said:

We made it. Lol

in Nassau 

was not fun


 

Yay!!! Things can only get better from here😀

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, travelwide said:

Vince.....

 

How about taking a job with Crystal.

 

These are three simple choices. Why don't they see this? And offer them to the guest more than 3 days before departure.

 

Would love to know how many guests are getting on in Bimini for each of the remaining cruises.

 

Having been in the travel industry for over 25 years, I'm just speaking to what's customary and generally legal (since I only know of the situation what's being outlined here).  But given some of the incorrect information posted about what the cruise line is responsible for, and some gaping holes on what the story is that Crystal supposedly gave, I thought it would help to provide some context and ask some questions that might fill in those holes.

 

The timing is a legal issue.

 

If the cruise line cancels the port BEFORE they receive notification from the government that the port is closed, then they are legally cancelling it at their discretion without cause (no matter how likely it looks that it will be cancelled), and that has legal and insurance implications for EVERYONE -- vendors, the cruise line, passengers, hotels, port, etc..  Big, costly mess for lots of people.  (I can go more into that if anyone wants.)

 

Now to the government's end, they're not going to provide emergency containment guidance any further out than they can measure.  72 Hours is about as lucky as I've seen it, but as I said upthread, under Covid a lot of times it's "effective immediately" for specific geographic outbreaks. I know that seems odd, but restrictions for specific outbreaks don't work like the general phases our state governments do here.

 

So this is the jam.  The cruise line needs the port to say if they will be open or closed, and the government isn't going to make the call until the numbers actually rise or fall above or below a certain threshold in the immediate future.  So in the meantime, we wait.

 

Frustrating, I know, but there's a reason for it all.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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This should be how Crystal should handle it.....

 

Guest receives a personal phone call from them as follows:

 

Good afternoon Mrs. G. This is Mary from Crystal. I see that you are being impacted by the Bimini embarkation situation. I also see that this will be your first time sailing with Crystal. We are looking forward to having you experience our 6* cruising experience.  We are confident that once you experience the onboard Crystal lifestyle, you will want to continue sailing with us in the future. We are hoping you become one of our future loyal guests.

 

Since your original plans are being altered, we want you to know that we have options we would like to share with you. When will you be available to sail between now and (whenever their last Bahamas cruise is) on one of our other Bahamas Escape voyages? We are no longer booking Bimini embarkations until the situation in Bimini is resolved. (or have Bimini departures starting Sept. or a later month). Crystal is known for the way it treats its guests and we want to do what we can to make these changes as seamless to you as possible.

 

Now is where the rep LISTENS to what the guest has to say and see how they can make this a win-win situation for all involved.

 

There are so many fish, sorry, ships in the sea each vying for upscale passengers with the Retreat, Yacht Club, The Haven along with Regent, Seabourn, I don't understand why they are not treating their guests better.

 

Ok, since I am local, I need to call them to see if I can get a part time job with them. It will need to be very part time since we want to get out on the high seas as soon as possible.🙂

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, travelwide said:

This should be how Crystal should handle it.....

 

Guest receives a personal phone call from them as follows:

 

Good afternoon Mrs. G. This is Mary from Crystal. I see that you are being impacted by the Bimini embarkation situation. I also see that this will be your first time sailing with Crystal. We are looking forward to having you experience our 6* cruising experience.  We are confident that once you experience the onboard Crystal lifestyle, you will want to continue sailing with us in the future. We are hoping you become one of our future loyal guests.

 

Since your original plans are being altered, we want you to know that we have options we would like to share with you. When will you be available to sail between now and (whenever their last Bahamas cruise is) on one of our other Bahamas Escape voyages? We are no longer booking Bimini embarkations until the situation in Bimini is resolved. (or have Bimini departures starting Sept. or a later month). Crystal is known for the way it treats its guests and we want to do what we can to make these changes as seamless to you as possible.

 

Now is where the rep LISTENS to what the guest has to say and see how they can make this a win-win situation for all involved.

 

There are so many fish, sorry, ships in the sea each vying for upscale passengers with the Retreat, Yacht Club, The Haven along with Regent, Seabourn, I don't understand why they are not treating their guests better.

 

Ok, since I am local, I need to call them to see if I can get a part time job with them. It will need to be very part time since we want to get out on the high seas as soon as possible.🙂

 

 

 

 

That's exactly what the passenger's AGENT should be doing.  They're paid a commission to be Crystal's service intermediary.  

 

When Symphony's sailings were cancelled, I immediately got a call from my agent asking if I understood everything, had any questions, and wanted to take any action yet.

 

Vince

 

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FYI my agent called Crystal  several times on Wednesday and was told repeatedly the cruise was NOT cancelled.. then after 3 pm was told itenerary  and date had changed.

TA received a e mail at 8 PM saying we had received it earlier that day.. we received the e mail at 10 PM!

TA had been contacting them repeatedly for days with the same answer.. cruise going to Bimini. 
we are not new to Crystal.. having cruised for years with them singing their praises.

had 2 cruises cancelled last year with Crystal and one with Princess, all with great customer service.

This however has been an extremely different experience!

 

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Posted (edited)

As Vince has explained, I understand why they may not know until late in the game if the port is on or off. I totally get that.
 

But, given the ongoing uncertainty in this particular case, and the extreme difficulty in making last minute flight changes, they should allow cruisers to change embarkation ports ahead of time. JMO.

Edited by Cruise-y
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3 minutes ago, Cruise-y said:

As Vince has explained, I understand why they may not know until late in the game if the port is on or off. I totally get that.
 

But, given the ongoing uncertainty in this particular case, and the extreme difficulty in making last minute flight changes, they should allow cruisers to change embarkation ports ahead of time. JMO.

 

That's why I keep asking that question (and STILL haven't received an answer or any text of their written communication).  I would be _SHOCKED_ if they were not, for the July cruises.

 

12 minutes ago, happy5 said:

FYI my agent called Crystal  several times on Wednesday and was told repeatedly the cruise was NOT cancelled.. then after 3 pm was told itenerary  and date had changed.

TA received a e mail at 8 PM saying we had received it earlier that day.. we received the e mail at 10 PM!

TA had been contacting them repeatedly for days with the same answer.. cruise going to Bimini. 
we are not new to Crystal.. having cruised for years with them singing their praises.

had 2 cruises cancelled last year with Crystal and one with Princess, all with great customer service.

This however has been an extremely different experience!

 

 

Correct -- as I said above, until they get that notice, the port is NOT cancelled.  You can call them every 5 minutes if you want, but until it's cancelled, it's still operating.

 

I think part of the problem here is that we're comparing VERY different scenarios, and very different cases than we're all used to.  IME to this point, Crystal's responses pretty much mirror (or are better than) what you get from any premium or luxury line.

 

- If a hurricane is coming, the port closes in ADVANCE and the cruise line gets notification as the projected paths agree on likelihood, and they get to take action sooner.

 

- If an Azipod goes offline and a ship has to deviate from its itinerary because it's limping at half-speed, they may or may not get more notice, but it's the cruise line's responsibility to move guests around (to a greater degree), so it feels very different than this.

 

We don't have very many experiences yet of cruise line getting notification of a port being closed due to viral outbreaks on short notice, but for the reasons I listed in previous messages, I don't see it looking a whole lot different at other lines, despite what we're used to from other scenarios in the past.  Just my $.02.

 

Vince

 

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5 hours ago, happy5 said:

I was notified by email TWELVE HOURS before my flight left to begin my pre package..

crystal says my cruise was NOT cancelled.. it is just an itinerary change. Apparently  embarking in a different port on a different day is just a change and not a cancellation.

it was up to me to purchase new air to and from Nassau and get a hotel on a days notice

Are  they going to give you an 8 night cruise letting you disembark on Bimini on 18 July if not cancelled?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mrlevin said:

Are  they going to give you an 8 night cruise letting you disembark on Bimini on 18 July if not cancelled?

The 18th stop will be cancelled.  More cases reported.

Edited by PaulMCO
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1 hour ago, PaulMCO said:

The 18th stop will be cancelled.  More cases reported.

Where do you get your info--I am following the Ministry of Health and I try to google news about Bahamas Covid.

I am watching closely so I can make a decision regarding either making final payment or cancelling.

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Thank you all for your responses and comments.  Yes, a number of you got what I was saying, which we appreciated.  You have all shared some good comments and insights.  

I am happy to report that we were finally successful in getting moved from the Bimini sailing on July 25th to the Nassau on the 24th.  What a relief.  My husband sent our TA an email Thursday evening outlining our position again requesting we be moved to the day earlier sailing, no change penalty, and be refunded the waitlisted Bimini pre-cruise package.  We instead requested the Baha Mar pre cruise and post cruise package, so we could at least leave our cross country flights as booked since prices have naturally increased considerably over the past week since we booked, while availability dropped considerably.  

Our TA called early yesterday morning to say Crystal had “changed their tune” and was now willing to move the itinerary to the day before, no 50% penalty, and Bimini package would be refunded.

 We/(she) too was told only a Baha Mar waitlist available, but interestingly she fairly strongly recommended we not take it.  Naturally as with the Bimini waitlist we are on we would have been charged immediately.   We took her advice, having checked out hotels and availability the night before along with booking our MIA to Nassau flights while we could still find some room (but not much).

Our paperwork finally came through last night, so it is official, we are now booked on the July 25th sailing.  Hotel on Nassau before and after is booked.  Given the before hotel can only be cancelled until the 16th or there a-bouts, we opted for “nice” but not silly price to minimize our possible loss.  

Needless to say it is a huge relief and I hope all remaining July Bimini sailing guests will be moved to Nassau soon.  It seems we can pretty well guess how this will roll out the next few weeks.  My husband and I liken this whole virus ting like watching the tide come in and go out, ever rolling along.  We figure even the Nassau sailings have some risk of ultimately being cancelled.  For everyones sake we hope not.

We slept great last night and feel we can now move forward (yes, I have some things now set out to be packed) and are no longer held hostage in a limbo position.

 

Oh.  In answer to ? About getting things in writing from Crystal, we found it interesting that most everything was only communicated orally.  We think this may be contributing to a fair amount of the confusion, as people are being told different things depending on who at Crystal they speak with.  Our sceptic side also has some thoughts about the possible “benefits” to one party of not having things in writing, but we shall set those aside for now.   Having gone through the refund issue and process last year and following that extremely lengthy and sadly ongoing roll call, that came through routinely.  

 

Thank you all.  Happy sailing, much fun and joy.  The onboard sailing experience with Crystal has never disappointed us.  We would just like to do some major overhauling of the shore side operations.  

 

Bitob

Happy you are there.  We sailed with you on the O rt Australia cruise and I am pretty sure were on the same independent tour in PPNG to the small village.  I think you said you are on this as a b2b so it now sounds likely we will see you again.  Sleep well tonight!  You have had quite an ordeal.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, andiamo76 said:

Thank you all for your responses and comments.  Yes, a number of you got what I was saying, which we appreciated.  You have all shared some good comments and insights.  

I am happy to report that we were finally successful in getting moved from the Bimini sailing on July 25th to the Nassau on the 24th.  What a relief.  My husband sent our TA an email Thursday evening outlining our position again requesting we be moved to the day earlier sailing, no change penalty, and be refunded the waitlisted Bimini pre-cruise package.  We instead requested the Baha Mar pre cruise and post cruise package, so we could at least leave our cross country flights as booked since prices have naturally increased considerably over the past week since we booked, while availability dropped considerably.  

Our TA called early yesterday morning to say Crystal had “changed their tune” and was now willing to move the itinerary to the day before, no 50% penalty, and Bimini package would be refunded.

 We/(she) too was told only a Baha Mar waitlist available, but interestingly she fairly strongly recommended we not take it.  Naturally as with the Bimini waitlist we are on we would have been charged immediately.   We took her advice, having checked out hotels and availability the night before along with booking our MIA to Nassau flights while we could still find some room (but not much).

Our paperwork finally came through last night, so it is official, we are now booked on the July 25th sailing.  Hotel on Nassau before and after is booked.  Given the before hotel can only be cancelled until the 16th or there a-bouts, we opted for “nice” but not silly price to minimize our possible loss.  

Needless to say it is a huge relief and I hope all remaining July Bimini sailing guests will be moved to Nassau soon.  It seems we can pretty well guess how this will roll out the next few weeks.  My husband and I liken this whole virus ting like watching the tide come in and go out, ever rolling along.  We figure even the Nassau sailings have some risk of ultimately being cancelled.  For everyones sake we hope not.

We slept great last night and feel we can now move forward (yes, I have some things now set out to be packed) and are no longer held hostage in a limbo position.

 

Oh.  In answer to ? About getting things in writing from Crystal, we found it interesting that most everything was only communicated orally.  We think this may be contributing to a fair amount of the confusion, as people are being told different things depending on who at Crystal they speak with.  Our sceptic side also has some thoughts about the possible “benefits” to one party of not having things in writing, but we shall set those aside for now.   Having gone through the refund issue and process last year and following that extremely lengthy and sadly ongoing roll call, that came through routinely.  

 

Thank you all.  Happy sailing, much fun and joy.  The onboard sailing experience with Crystal has never disappointed us.  We would just like to do some major overhauling of the shore side operations.  

 

Bitob

Happy you are there.  We sailed with you on the O rt Australia cruise and I am pretty sure were on the same independent tour in PPNG to the small village.  I think you said you are on this as a b2b so it now sounds likely we will see you again.  Sleep well tonight!  You have had quite an ordeal.

 

 

Well outlined and well done.  This will help others communicate with their TA.  It will also allow others to see a positive light at the end of the tunnel.  So happy to hear this ending for you folks.  Cruise well.

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