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Selbourne

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About Selbourne

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    England
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    P&O

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  1. The vast majority of the 2021 bookings will have been made prior to the crisis. To cancel now would result in a loss of deposit, so people will leave them untouched. The interesting time will be when the balances are due. I suspect that a large proportion will choose not to pay the balance when the time comes. People’s perceptions of cruises have totally changed as a result of this crisis - and not for the better. The damage will last for many years.
  2. Although it’s quite possible that no cruises will go anywhere before next year, nobody knows for sure. The trouble with the site that I suspect that this ‘story’ came from is that a large proportion of the content is at best speculation and at worst utter nonsense taken as fact. Classic example is all the ‘how to lessen your chances of catching coronavirus’ tips that the BBC debunked as being completely untrue the other day. The biggest issue as I see it is not the precise date when cruising will recommence but the numbers of people who will want to go on one when it does. I don’t think we should underestimate the damage that this whole affair will have on cruising, long after the restrictions are lifted. Those of us on this site are, in the main, seasoned cruisers and not representative of the target audience that cruise companies are all after with their new ships and increased capacity. We are already ‘the converted’, as evidenced by the low percentage of respondents saying that they won’t cruise again for at least a few years in the poll on this site. I think if that poll was taken by the wider population the results would be completely the other way around. There has been far too much coverage in the media every day since this crisis began portraying cruise ships as hot beds for the spread of disease and the worst possible ‘holiday from hell’ scenarios. Forget that we have all had lots of fabulous cruises over the years. We are no longer the target audience going forward. Just look at how many regular contributors on here won’t even consider the larger ships and, sadly, as a result of this crisis, that might be all we are left with. Some may point to the high levels of bookings for 2021 cruises as evidence that the industry is going to immediately bounce back. Many of those bookings were made prior to the crisis and a cancellation at this stage is money lost. How many of those bookings will result in fully paid balances won’t be known until next year.
  3. Wise words Andy. Even if the crisis were to end in a matter of weeks, which we all know it won’t, I fear that cruising will be damaged for many years to come. The constant horror stories played out in the media has seen to that and, for once, they aren’t exaggerated! The younger generation, who have been turning to cruising in their droves in recent years, will now pause for thought. The older generation, who have always seen cruising as a very safe form of holiday, will now be very nervous about the health risks. Insurance is a potential show stopper, but I’m sure I have read somewhere in the past that one or two cruise operators include insurance in the fare (Saga)? That might be a way forward for P&O, given that on our last half a dozen cruises on Aurora the average age of passenger has been mid 70’s. Without such an approach I fear for the adult only ships, especially if P&O can’t get out of ‘Iona 2’ as they will have an over capacity issue. It will pay them to get the ships as full as they can, as any profit will come from on board spend, so in either scenario I expect some very cheap cruises in the years ahead.
  4. That’s true. I’m just relieved that I have at last been able to apply for a 100% cash refund, but will be even more relieved when I actually receive it!
  5. Fully understand why they are doing it, but I’d have a lot more respect if they were honest about it rather than lying. That being said, their IT is so bad that it’s the most believable excuse that they can give, short of telling the truth!
  6. There is no IT issue. It’s a cover to help protect their cash flow. It’s been like that for weeks. Sadly you might have to wait until your cruise is cancelled before you can claim a refund and, even then, there’s a 60 day delay from when you request it to when you receive it. Whilst I have sympathy with P&O’s current plight, behaviour like this leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.
  7. Well done. A sensible move IMO. With everything that is going on at the moment it’s one less thing hanging over us! I’m sure that you will sleep better tonight!
  8. Very interesting clarification. Thanks for sharing. Sounds as though it would be very high risk to accept FCC unless you have a specific cruise(s) in mind that you can apply it to quickly.
  9. I cancelled 2 bookings yesterday using the online form in order to get 100% cash refunds. This morning I received cancellation notifications, but they contained no figures on them, just a note that when I do receive figures they will be wrong. Don’t you just love P&O’s IT 😂
  10. Although P&O is indeed part of Carnival Group, it would classify as a separate trading entity as far as I am aware, so the nightmare scenario that I described, whilst I admit is highly unlikely, could still happen. The ‘waiting two years for a refund’ scenario was widely reported in the press, so it’s no surprise that many of us were concerned about the prospect, but it referred to unused credit notes, not straight refunds or incentives, so may still apply to other travel companies. It’s important to reiterate that P&O is offering an incentive, rather than a 1 for 1 credit note and different rules will apply. A credit note, under the new proposals, would eventually expire and result in a refund. An incentive can be ‘use it or lose it’, so as I keep saying, it’s worth thinking it through long and hard before opting for a FCC. As you say, those who have had the next batch of cruises cancelled have until Mid November to request a refund, but with the current delays to refunds being paid that means not getting your money back until 2021. In the current World we live in that’s another risk that I’d rather not take. I shall be very relieved in 60 days time when (hopefully) I have all my cash back!
  11. You’re not being thick at all. It’s a really complex area and I don’t pretend to have all the answers. All I am suggesting is that those who don’t opt for a cash refund should read up very carefully on the law and how they would stand in any of several possible scenarios. All I know is that there is zero risk with a full cash refund whereas FCC is bound to carry a degree of risk, however small. If you had asked me a month or two ago whether P&O would go bust, then I would have said no way. Now I wouldn’t put money on it not happening. To be clear, I think that there will still be P&O cruise ships in a few years time, but nowadays when companies get into real trouble they have a habit of going into administration and then resurrecting as a new company having written off all their debts and liabilities against whatever assets they have remaining. It’s a legal (if immoral) way of starting again with a clean sheet. In these situations, customers are always the losers as we come at the bottom of the list, with financial institutions at the top. I still think this is unlikely (unless P&O wishes to unburden itself from contractual obligations for Iona 2, which they may now wish they hadn’t ordered), but it’s a risk that I wouldn’t be prepared to take. Add to this the fact that the extra 25% still makes the cruises that it can be used against more expensive than at launch, I struggle to see the point in accepting it. I think that you might get better value for money in the future, either as new season cruises are launched (as has always been the case) or when cruises resume but cannot be filled. That’s just my view. There’s no right or wrong. We each must do what we feel comfortable with.
  12. As I was saying earlier, P&O aren’t offering credit notes. They are offering an incentive. If I have read the various briefings correctly, the rules for the two are different. Once an incentive is accepted it cannot subsequently be refunded. A credit note can. Doesn’t apply to me, as I have gone for the cash refund, but anyone going for FCC needs to do some research and go into it with their eyes open.
  13. Yes I know - that’s what I was saying. My point was that you don’t ‘accept’ FCC and then have the option to change your mind, as was suggested. Everyone gets FCC by default unless you request a refund by November. Slightly different. As I say, maybe splitting hairs, but important distinction for those who haven’t had the email. Perhaps it’s just me!
  14. I think this is worth looking in to. As I have posted on another thread, I believe that if you accept an ‘incentive’ then you waive the right to a subsequent refund. FCC at an enhance rate (125%) would constitute an incentive, I would think. Too many ifs and buts and risks for me. I’ve gone for the 100% refund. Just hoping that P&O doesn’t go belly up before the 60 days that it can take for them to process the refund!
  15. I didn’t read it that you can change your mind. I thought that everyone got FCC by default, unless you opted for a cash refund, which you have until mid November to request. So, in other words, nobody accepts FCC. It’s given to you automatically unless you decline it and request a refund. Might seem like splitting hairs but that is different and might be important to those who have cruises beyond 15th May and didn’t receive the email. Happy to be corrected if I got it wrong.
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