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Ancient Wonders Of The Black Sea. May 2022


woodcritic
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I haven't read  about mines in black sea, surely as Russia navy  dominates the Ukraine coast it will be endangering own ships.

 

Realistically can see any danger in staying in Turkish waters , hundreds of miles away. Also should be safe in Bulgaria and Georgia. Perhaps drop Romania as it borders Ukraine.

 

Saga should follow government advice , not other cruise lines. Presume they are talking to FCO, MOD

 

We can but wait and see.  Ours is a minor problem in the face of things

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Apparently it is almost impossible for ships to get insurance for the Black Sea and certainly not at "normal" rates. I can't see any insurance company willing to insure a cruise ship for anywhere in the Black Sea at the present time.

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An added complication for Saga, when considering destinations and routes, is that so many of their passengers (probably a substantial majority) will be insured via the Saga included insurance - so they not only have to consider the ship insurance, they also have to consider the passenger travel insurance likely risks, including medical air lift extraction in an emergency.

 

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Given that the majority of passengers are like us, elderly and cruisers who have been to all or most of the other ports but booked this cruise for the Black Sea part, it would give Saga a lot more time to rebook cabins in the event of cancellations if they make the necessary announcements sooner rather than later.

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36 minutes ago, Banjo an said:

Given that the majority of passengers are like us, elderly and cruisers who have been to all or most of the other ports but booked this cruise for the Black Sea part, it would give Saga a lot more time to rebook cabins in the event of cancellations if they make the necessary announcements sooner rather than later.

I couldn’t agree more. Not surprisingly, it it is looking as though passengers who booked this Saga cruise to the Black Sea might have differing views as to what options Saga should now pursue. Having replaced Odessa with Canakkale the current itinerary still includes 6 ports in the Black Sea. However, if the Spirit of Adventure is expected in Limassol on the 7th June she obviously can’t also be in Sinop on 7th June as stated in the current itinerary. One also doesn’t need to possess too many navigational skills to work out that if the information in Limassol is correct then the Spirit of Adventure cannot possibly be in Trabzon on the 6th June or Varna on 9th June. Some passengers booked this cruise solely for the reason that it was going to the Black Sea and would, like ourselves, cancel their booking if that portion of the cruise was curtailed. Others might be content to accept a new itinerary and happily spend a month exploring alternative ports of call in the Eastern Mediterranean. It might well be the case that Saga still intend going to the Black Sea and Limassol is part of a “contingency plan” in the event that the Government ultimately advise against cruises to the Black Sea area.  Time will tell. We feel sure that whatever Saga decide to do they will still be offering a memorable cruise. The Spirit of Adventure is a lovely ship and the crew are exceptional. Our recent cruise Christmas cruise on Spirit of Adventure was undoubtedly the best of our 35 cruises to date. However, we particularly wanted to go to the Black Sea and if this is nor possible then we would rather know sooner rather than later. Personally, we are not interested in alternative itineraries nor would we be tempted by any offers of OBC or FCCs.

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Seriously, with all the mines and war ships in the Black Sea who thinks there is still a chance for Spirit of Adventure to go up there? Let's be logical. The only company that left Bulgarian ports is Azamara and I'm pretty sure closer to that date of the cruise they will cancel them too.

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48 minutes ago, SummmerInKefalonia said:

Seriously, with all the mines and war ships in the Black Sea who thinks there is still a chance for Spirit of Adventure to go up there? Let's be logical. The only company that left Bulgarian ports is Azamara and I'm pretty sure closer to that date of the cruise they will cancel them too.

Like yourself, being realistic, I  don’t think there is the slightest chance of any cruise ships going into the Black Sea in the foreseeable future. Perhaps I could pose a question to any “legal minds” who might be following these posts. It is my understanding that if Saga, on their own initiative, alter the itinerary of their “Ancient Wonders of the Black Sea” cruise such that the ship does not even enter the Black Sea this would constitute a significant change allowing passengers to cancel and obtain a full refund from Saga. If, on the other hand, Saga waited for the Government to advise against travel to the Black Sea and Saga then change the itinerary does this affect Saga’s liability with regard to a refund?  Does cancellation then become an insurance issue?

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2 minutes ago, Truro001 said:

Like yourself, being realistic, I  don’t think there is the slightest chance of any cruise ships going into the Black Sea in the foreseeable future. Perhaps I could pose a question to any “legal minds” who might be following these posts. It is my understanding that if Saga, on their own initiative, alter the itinerary of their “Ancient Wonders of the Black Sea” cruise such that the ship does not even enter the Black Sea this would constitute a significant change allowing passengers to cancel and obtain a full refund from Saga. If, on the other hand, Saga waited for the Government to advise against travel to the Black Sea and Saga then change the itinerary does this affect Saga’s liability with regard to a refund?  Does cancellation then become an insurance issue?

On past form Saga will offer a refund to anyone who does not wish to go with a revised itinerary which excludes the Black Sea. I doubt if they are waiting on Government advice but perhaps they have not yet finalised a revised itinerary.

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One must have some sympathy for  Saga between a rock and a hard place.

 

Saga have 3 options.

 

Propose an alternative  cruise of same length. This will please some ( me) , but not others. Depends on how many cancel , then will it be viable. If they then try selling cancelled cabins cheap, logical to take refund and rebook.

 

Continue iwith restricted black sea , depends on where if anywhere is considered safe and insureable. Would please perhaps more people, except those who would not feel safe, Saga should at least offer them FCC if not a full refund

 

Cancel and propose alternative shorter intineries for say 2 med cruises or even med and fjords . I expect a lot of peope will just take refund.

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1 hour ago, Truro001 said:

Like yourself, being realistic, I  don’t think there is the slightest chance of any cruise ships going into the Black Sea in the foreseeable future. Perhaps I could pose a question to any “legal minds” who might be following these posts. It is my understanding that if Saga, on their own initiative, alter the itinerary of their “Ancient Wonders of the Black Sea” cruise such that the ship does not even enter the Black Sea this would constitute a significant change allowing passengers to cancel and obtain a full refund from Saga. If, on the other hand, Saga waited for the Government to advise against travel to the Black Sea and Saga then change the itinerary does this affect Saga’s liability with regard to a refund?  Does cancellation then become an insurance issue?

 

According to SAGA's current T&Ss...  in Unavoidable and Extraordinary Circumstances beyond their control... including actual or expected war, riots, civil strife, terrorist activity, Government action or restraint they will arrange for bookings to be terminated and for a full refund. 

 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Windsurfboy said:

Propose an alternative  cruise of same length. This will please some ( me) , but not others. Depends on how many cancel , then will it be viable. If they then try selling cancelled cabins cheap, logical to take refund and rebook.

If the price drops Saga say they will give you the value of the difference back, so it may not pay to cancel and then rebook. This does not apply however to the price of guarantee cabins where you take pot luck on your cabin ie you don't get anything back if the guarantee offer is cheaper.

Edited by david05
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1 hour ago, david05 said:

On past form Saga will offer a refund to anyone who does not wish to go with a revised itinerary which excludes the Black Sea. I doubt if they are waiting on Government advice but perhaps they have not yet finalised a revised itinerary.

Very impressive. Saga are obviously even better than I thought. In the past other cruise companies have argued that what I considered a significant change of itinerary was not sufficient grounds to cancel. I have also experienced cases with other cruise companies whereby changes in the itinerary were only announced when the ship had actually sailed. On occasion it was later discovered that these changes had been made weeks before the sailing date. Bravo Saga

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3 minutes ago, Truro001 said:

Very impressive. Saga are obviously even better than I thought. In the past other cruise companies have argued that what I considered a significant change of itinerary was not sufficient grounds to cancel. I have also experienced cases with other cruise companies whereby changes in the itinerary were only announced when the ship had actually sailed. On occasion it was later discovered that these changes had been made weeks before the sailing date. Bravo Saga

Well let us hope I am right!

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I think, in all this, we should be grateful to be in a position of being able to avoid potentially dangerous waters. Whether that means a different itinerary or a refund is a privileged position to be in compared to those millions who suddenly have nothing. 

 

 

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Firstly  our problems are  trivial we are lucky. 

 

1 hour ago, david05 said:

If the price drops Saga say they will give you the value of the difference back, so it may not pay to cancel and then rebook. This does not apply however to the price of guarantee cabins where you take pot luck on your cabin ie you don't get anything back if the guarantee offer is cheaper.

 

If for example saga offer only guarantee cabins to fill vacancies that are created. It might make good sense  to cancel and take a guarantee.  In my case there is no midship suite I wouldn't be happy with. So I'd take a guarantee if it saved a few thousand pounds

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It looks like everything has been said about this cruise now. The ball is firmly in Saga’s court now.

in the meantime, if the cruise does go ahead we look forward to meeting all you guys

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Posted (edited)

Phoned Saga earlier today, no waiting answered straight away. Asked when the excursions would be released, she stated within the next ten days.

Also asked about the Black Sea situation,  stated we would receive a phone call to discuss the cruise itinerary soon.

Edited by Nelson PK
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21 hours ago, Truro001 said:

I completely with Vivaldi who has made some excellent points. The discussions and issues raised in previous postings are obviously of interest to many other Saga customers who are not actually booked on this particular cruise. I seem to recall that before these posts were relegated to Roll Call they had several thousand viewings. Surely this reinforces the fact that these were issues that people wanted to know more about. I personally feel that moving these posts to Roll Call imposes a form of censorship in that it effectively reduces the number of people who would view the posts. Some might feel that was the whole point of the move.

We have been avidly following everyone's posts on this topic as we were desperate for any information about the likelihood of this cruise going ahead.  I was frantic on Thursday evening when the thread had completely disappeared!  Thanks to all of you for starting a new thread which pointed me towards Roll Call, however I had to register so that I could view it - I too am convinced that this is a form of censorship!  

Interestingly, I was looking on Saga website this evening and saw that they are now advertising the cruise again (it has not appeared on the website for the past year or so) - there are 81 cabins still available! That says to me that Saga still intend to go ahead with this itinerary.

I just wish that they would tell us what their intentions are so that we all know where we stand!

We have never been keen to cruise so this was a massive turnaround decision for us and now, for obvious reasons, we're not keen to be going into the Black Sea!  I have to say that we're NOT at all impressed with the lack of communication from Saga.

Screenshot_20220325-202522_082539.png

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We have been avidly following everyone's posts on this topic as we were desperate for any information we could get!

Interestingly, I was looking on Saga website this evening and saw that they are now advertising the cruise again (it has not appeared on the website for the past year or so) - there are 81 cabins still available! That says to me that Saga still intend to go ahead with this itinerary.

I just wish that they would tell us what their intentions are so that we all know where we stand!

We have never been keen to cruise so this was a massive turnaround decision for us and now, for obvious reasons, we're not keen to be going into the Black Sea! 

I have to say that we're NOT at all impressed with the lack of communication from Saga

Screenshot_20220325-202522_082539.png

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Thank you for this info. I have just tried to get on the Saga website to check it out and I can’t get on. 
Maybe Saga are in the process of changing things? I’ll try again tomorrow.

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