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Cunard Booking Cancellations Legal Background / Response


drschibi
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10 hours ago, LibertyBella said:

My recommendation is to take the full refund, use it to go somewhere else equally as enjoyable, and also start planning a future Cunard cruise with the FCC.  

As it's such short notice maybe the OP doesn't have the option to do this due to other commitments or work.  For those of us retired or with flexible work patterns that would be okay but not everyone will be so fortunate.  Following a recent cancellation by P&O my BIL found himself with two weeks booked holiday from work which he could not change and also unable to alter the carer arrangements for his father that he had put in place.

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6 hours ago, Megabear2 said:

As it's such short notice maybe the OP doesn't have the option to do this due to other commitments or work.  For those of us retired or with flexible work patterns that would be okay but not everyone will be so fortunate.  Following a recent cancellation by P&O my BIL found himself with two weeks booked holiday from work which he could not change and also unable to alter the carer arrangements for his father that he had put in place.

The suggestion was that they took the money and used to have alternative holiday in the time frame of the original cruise. Given its Alaska - there are other  cruises doing that route - or they  could do a land based holiday 

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My situation for being bumped is a bit of a problem as I have back-to-back linked cruises and they have only “cancelled” the first.  I understand why they have reduced cabin capacity, but my insurance will only cover the effected cruise and not the one still standing.  Trying to find 10 days accommodation in Vancouver, during school holidays with two weeks notice is $500+ per night at a minimum. There is no availability for moving our flights, (but we are able to cancel).  US Cunard said Cunard would cancel the second booking (as it is back-to-back linked sailings) so we could just wipe the whole holiday but I needed to talk with Cunard Australia (where the booking is held) to confirm. Four days and four hours of phone calls (Cunard Aust), three emails and still no one can tell me if we are able to cancel or FCC the second cruise or not.  This is for Queens Grill and we are Platinum WC, they just keep saying that they have to escalate it as (customer service) can’t make a decision.  We just want someone to tell us if we have to go or not. (We would prefer ‘not’ at this stage as the shine has very much gone off this holiday).

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7 hours ago, lissie said:

The suggestion was that they took the money and used to have alternative holiday in the time frame of the original cruise. Given its Alaska - there are other  cruises doing that route - or they  could do a land based holiday 

That’s ok if the refund comes back in time, but I’ve heard it can take months to get the money back 

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1 hour ago, Archaeologygig said:

My situation for being bumped is a bit of a problem as I have back-to-back linked cruises and they have only “cancelled” the first.  I understand why they have reduced cabin capacity, but my insurance will only cover the effected cruise and not the one still standing.  Trying to find 10 days accommodation in Vancouver, during school holidays with two weeks notice is $500+ per night at a minimum. There is no availability for moving our flights, (but we are able to cancel).  US Cunard said Cunard would cancel the second booking (as it is back-to-back linked sailings) so we could just wipe the whole holiday but I needed to talk with Cunard Australia (where the booking is held) to confirm. Four days and four hours of phone calls (Cunard Aust), three emails and still no one can tell me if we are able to cancel or FCC the second cruise or not.  This is for Queens Grill and we are Platinum WC, they just keep saying that they have to escalate it as (customer service) can’t make a decision.  We just want someone to tell us if we have to go or not. (We would prefer ‘not’ at this stage as the shine has very much gone off this holiday).

That's very poor service on the part of Cunard [Aust.].If the bookings are linked onto one booking ref., if one part fails [cancelled in your situation]  then the whole will [should] be sorted out  i.e. the Vancouver accommodation paid for or more .pertinently, the whole cancelled.

In a similar scenario, that's why we have any long distance flights onto our booking ref. If one part of the booking fails eg flights out to join the ship, it becomes Cunard's problem to sort and not ours. More expensive but we look upon it as an insurance.

As to hanging on the phone and getting nowhere fast, we have an agent and it's his  job and area of expertise to manage our booking.

 

Good luck.

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9 hours ago, lissie said:

The suggestion was that they took the money and used to have alternative holiday in the time frame of the original cruise. Given its Alaska - there are other  cruises doing that route - or they  could do a land based holiday 

I appreciate that but the OP may not have spare cash until Cunard repays him.   They are short staffed in accounts as well and there is very little time to reorganise if the money is not received quickly.

 

On the boards there is often an assumption that those who sail Cunard are  well heeled but there are also many who are not and no one knows the personal circumstances of an individual which is the point I was making about shortness of time.

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12 hours ago, Archaeologygig said:

My situation for being bumped is a bit of a problem as I have back-to-back linked cruises and they have only “cancelled” the first.  I understand why they have reduced cabin capacity, but my insurance will only cover the effected cruise and not the one still standing.  Trying to find 10 days accommodation in Vancouver, during school holidays with two weeks notice is $500+ per night at a minimum. There is no availability for moving our flights, (but we are able to cancel).  US Cunard said Cunard would cancel the second booking (as it is back-to-back linked sailings) so we could just wipe the whole holiday but I needed to talk with Cunard Australia (where the booking is held) to confirm. Four days and four hours of phone calls (Cunard Aust), three emails and still no one can tell me if we are able to cancel or FCC the second cruise or not.  This is for Queens Grill and we are Platinum WC, they just keep saying that they have to escalate it as (customer service) can’t make a decision.  We just want someone to tell us if we have to go or not. (We would prefer ‘not’ at this stage as the shine has very much gone off this holiday).

You didn't really ask for alternatives in Vancouver/BC, but as a local I feel obliged to suggest some ...

 

With 10 days, you don't have to stay in the Vancouver region.  If you are comfortable driving on the "wrong" side of the road, hire a car and explore.  Take the ferry over to Vancouver Island and explore the Island (price up renting the car from the Island side, can be expensive to take the car on the ferry but walk on passengers are really cheap).  Look for interesting B&B accommodations to stay in (they're a lot cheaper than $500 a night) - you might even be able to find some eclectic cabin or glamping options.  Take the ferry to the Sunshine Coast (north of the urban area), or drive up to Whistler.  If you don't want to drive, take the ferry/bus over to the Victoria area and relax there for a while - some great wine tasting tours available that start from Victoria.  If you choose to drive around the Island, it might look a little familiar to you.  I spent 10 days on a bus tour around Tasmania in 2019 and there are certain similarities in some ways.  I 💖 Tazzy, and would love to go back again ... it's definitely on my list of place to repeat!

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11 hours ago, westcoasttech said:

You didn't really ask for alternatives in Vancouver/BC, but as a local I feel obliged to suggest some ...

 

With 10 days, you don't have to stay in the Vancouver region.  If you are comfortable driving on the "wrong" side of the road, hire a car and explore.  Take the ferry over to Vancouver Island and explore the Island (price up renting the car from the Island side, can be expensive to take the car on the ferry but walk on passengers are really cheap).  Look for interesting B&B accommodations to stay in (they're a lot cheaper than $500 a night) - you might even be able to find some eclectic cabin or glamping options.  Take the ferry to the Sunshine Coast (north of the urban area), or drive up to Whistler.  If you don't want to drive, take the ferry/bus over to the Victoria area and relax there for a while - some great wine tasting tours available that start from Victoria.  If you choose to drive around the Island, it might look a little familiar to you.  I spent 10 days on a bus tour around Tasmania in 2019 and there are certain similarities in some ways.  I 💖 Tazzy, and would love to go back again ... it's definitely on my list of place to repeat!

Thank you very much for that! We are more thank happy to drive, but hire car is crazy expensive everywhere and that is a further $1500+ we didn’t want to spend, neither is the accommodation costs during school holidays which in Vancouver is $600-$700 per night.  We did find a room available in someone’s house for $2800 (shared facilities), for 10 days, or a camper van in someone’s garden for $1800 (no shower or bathroom). It is the short notice that is the problem and the premium that goes with it. If we were going to Canada as a trip in itself, we wouldn’t do it with two weeks notice in peak season, during school holidays. 😕

Tassie is lovely, we are very lucky to live in a very pretty part of Australia. 😊

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22 hours ago, Victoria2 said:

That's very poor service on the part of Cunard [Aust.].If the bookings are linked onto one booking ref., if one part fails [cancelled in your situation]  then the whole will [should] be sorted out  i.e. the Vancouver accommodation paid for or more .pertinently, the whole cancelled.

In a similar scenario, that's why we have any long distance flights onto our booking ref. If one part of the booking fails eg flights out to join the ship, it becomes Cunard's problem to sort and not ours. More expensive but we look upon it as an insurance.

As to hanging on the phone and getting nowhere fast, we have an agent and it's his  job and area of expertise to manage our booking.

 

Good luck.

Thank you for your support, it is really poor form as no one in front line customer service has the authority to give me an answer.  This means that each of the six times I have called, they have to escalate it. Cunard US offered to cancel the second voyage immediately, but couldn’t as it was booked in Aus. We just needed a “yes we have to go”, “no, you don’t”

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On 5/18/2022 at 3:46 PM, Victoria2 said:

That's very poor service on the part of Cunard [Aust.].If the bookings are linked onto one booking ref., if one part fails [cancelled in your situation]  then the whole will [should] be sorted out  i.e. the Vancouver accommodation paid for or more .pertinently, the whole cancelled.

In a similar scenario, that's why we have any long distance flights onto our booking ref. If one part of the booking fails eg flights out to join the ship, it becomes Cunard's problem to sort and not ours. More expensive but we look upon it as an insurance.

As to hanging on the phone and getting nowhere fast, we have an agent and it's his  job and area of expertise to manage our booking.

 

Good luck.

Thank you for your support, it is really poor form as no one in front line customer service has the authority to give me an answer.  This means that each of the six times I have called, they have to escalate it. Cunard US offered to cancel the second voyage immediately, but couldn’t as it was booked in Aus. We just needed a “yes we have to go”, “no, you don’t”

 

update: Finally got through to a supervisor after on hold for an hour as I refused to get off the call. 
 

Supervisor:”Thank you for your patience, Cunard has agreed to…*click… beeeep, beeeep, beeeep* (call disconnected) 

Me: “Nonononononononono” *Sigh* *calls back*

40 mins later… 

(customer service person continually trying to reach the supervisor I was disconnected from) “I can have them call you back in a few hours?”

Me: “No thank you I don’t want someone to call me back in a few hours as I have been waiting 8 days for 4 call backs.  I will hold until the end of time if I have too, I need an outcome to this problem today”

20 mins later…

Customer Service Officer: “Ma’am, I can now see that your file has been updated and that Cunard will be refunding the cash component of your second cruise, your FCC will go back to credit and you will receive a 25% additional FCC on the cash component of your cruise. Thank you for holding” 

Me: “Thank you, thank you, thank you, I can now move forward with flight cancellations etc…” 

*Leaves positive feedback for CSO, with the additional mention of escalated enquires are very poorly managed by senior staff and I should have been called back when disconnected at the senior level. Gets off the phone*

 

It’s over… But I am having nightmares involving their hold music… 

 

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Excellent result. You shouldn't have had to have any angst over the protracted communication but you got there in the end.

 

If there is a next time, use an agent. They can deal with your booking and also any enquiries you might have. Saves you wasting time trying to connect with someone who can help. 🙂

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On 5/17/2022 at 9:33 PM, delondin said:

That’s ok if the refund comes back in time, but I’ve heard it can take months to get the money back 

I got cancelled SF-Van. Was in an interior deck 7 forward so not a ton of money TA said Cunard typically refunds within one billing cycle—so up to 60 days.

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10 minutes ago, paulco said:

I got cancelled SF-Van. Was in an interior deck 7 forward so not a ton of money TA said Cunard typically refunds within one billing cycle—so up to 60 days.

That’s ok but it still doesn’t mean you can replace your holiday in the original timeframe as suggested 

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My cancelled cruise was very early on, when they were just starting to deal with Covid. Things were changing rapidly, at at that point, the choice was full refund or FCC at 125% of the cost. I took the money back, so I didn't get any more than I had paid them. I doubt anyone got more than the 125%. 

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On 5/14/2022 at 11:28 PM, Lakesregion said:

And this is why travel insurance will be going through the roof premium wise as more and more people are shorted their vacations and file claims. Cunard is not looking good right now. Sad for such a long term company to come up aganst poor planning and poorer customer relations.

I thought it had already: Insurance going through the roof that is.

 

Wait, if you haven't already, passed the 75 year mark: standby for the big bang. 👿

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On 5/15/2022 at 3:24 AM, LibertyBella said:

Yes, sometimes the cruise lines contact their passengers before they send notice to the agent.  That happened to me just this year when one of my cruises was cancelled (also by short email) because the entire ship was chartered by a single group. Lucky for me I had not yet booked my air, so I just had to move the cruise and dates. I actually called the agent and notified them so they could move my travel insurance.

 

I have been a traveler my whole life and even worked in the industry when I was much, much younger.  We are still in the covid and post-covid stages and travel is NOT back to normal.  Traveling now means anticipating change and having patience and flexibility. Travel insurance is a MUST if one cannot afford the loss of funds or the inconvenience of rescheduling.  

 

Thinking about trying to create some kind of legal action for a situation in which nobody is really responsible, and nobody is really suffering any significant loss, is almost a waste of time and effort.  Of course with cruises, ports and itineraries are ALWAYS subject to change, and sometimes ships as well!

 

Being upset is understandable, but don't burn yourself out on issues that have no real solution. 

 

The cruise industry is struggling--Carnival has been sending me offers for FREE cruises almost monthly (they just want bodies on the ship who will buy SOMETHING!). Cunard does not want to lose passengers, but obviously there are significant issues so they had to take this serious step.

 

Also, travel insurance filing requires careful paperwork and accurate representation of real financial loss--if everything can just be rebooked (and you receive a full refund AND FCC) the only real loss is the disappointment of not going on the originally planned trip.

 

Best wishes for future travel adventures.

What an outstanding response.

 

Well said.

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I have seen reports that some passengers were being given back vouchers for greater amounts.  Sometimes equal to 100% of the value of the original cruise plus their money back.  Can anyone confirm?

 

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25 minutes ago, drschibi said:

I have seen reports that some passengers were being given back vouchers for greater amounts.  Sometimes equal to 100% of the value of the original cruise plus their money back.  Can anyone confirm?

 

No. Maybe some other holiday provider or a totally different case?

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Definitely Cunard for the Alaska Voyage.  Apparently some were offered to have their Cruise rescheduled for same price plus 100% credit.  Anyone else can confirm?

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