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Desert Cruisers

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  1. cruiseindustrynews.com Article dated 10/30/20 is titled "Cruising is Back: Key Takeaways from New CDC Framework".
  2. Per an article re CDC Framework for Conditional Sailing Order on Cruise Industry News website: Cruises from the US can be no longer than seven days. The CDC reserves the right to shorten cruises.
  3. You may have gotten a temporary credit while the CC company contacts Crystal for a response.
  4. Schedule was released except for month of April.
  5. Princess website is blank for the Crown Princess next April. I know that it needs to get from Ft. Lauderdale thru the Canal to LA. Does anyone know when the schedule will be released?
  6. Hope that they have improved the Medallion system while there's been no sailing. Prior experience not positive. Even though we had our Medallions prior to the sailing, they didn't work at embarkation. Had to do everything the old-fashioned way. Half the time the drink ordering system did not work. Drink menu very limited. Forget about ordering a dirty martini. One time our drinks were delivered to our cabin, not our table. I normally always carry my phone with me. However, I like being "free" while on the ship. Who wants to carry a phone around on formal night?????
  7. We have had 9 cruises with different cruise lines cancelled this year. Crystal has been the slowest in refunding our money. We put down $200 refundable [$100 pp] for a 12/2 sailing on the Serenity. Crystal cancelled this sailing on 7/30. We submitted a refund request which was verified by a customer representative on 7/31. As of 9/26, we had not received a refund. Filed a CC dispute 9/26. Crystal has until 11/24 to respond. In comparison, we cancelled a Celebrity cruise for December on 8/3 and the refund [$900] was back in our CC account on 8/5. An earlier Celebrity sailing was cancelled by the cruise line 3/24. Even given the complexity of unraveling a "paid-in full" fare [taxes, commission, etc.], we received full CC credit on 5/10.
  8. Based on what's happening with cruises starting up in Europe, the cruise lines looking to sail out of USA ports may require passengers to take ship-sponsored shore excursions in order to get off the ship in port. This requirement would likely make us rethink whether we would cruise. We aren't interested in having to take a shore excursion in a place like Honolulu in order to get off the ship. We have been there many times and like to do certain things that aren't offered as a ship tour. How do people feel about having to take ship-sponsored shore excursions? Would it change your likelihood of taking a cruise?
  9. We had nonrefundable tickets on Air Canada for a June Las Vegas - Vancouver flight but were eventually able to get a refund. Initially, Air Canada cancelled and would only give a travel voucher. The AC agent acknowledged the US-DOT position but said "it didn't matter and all you are getting is a voucher". She did offer to refund the seat fees. US-DOT has been very clear that COVID-19 is NOT a valid reason for refusing a refund when an airline cancels or substantially changes a flight. US-DOT has been getting a ton of complaints about Air Canada. Here's what I did: Filed complaint with US-DOT. Filed complaint with Air Canada. Received the standard "it's COVID-19...." response. Filed dispute with credit card company. Air Canada responded with "well, we are giving out a voucher so that is delivering the service that the customer paid for." Updated US-DOT with Air Canada response. Lo and behold - on Canada Day - we received permanent credit on our card for the tickets. So, it's worth the effort to file a complaint with the US-DOT (and anyone else that you can think of). Be persistent. How about your political representatives? There's always an election just around the corner.
  10. Re the "extra air points" option...Air Canada is offering a bonus if you take the Aeroplan miles instead of a future flight voucher. I forgot about using the Aeroplan miles on partner airlines. As you mentioned, award inventory and having enough miles to be of use are also important. Add in the difficulty of using awards during peak seasons - e.g., Alaskan cruising.
  11. If you are getting a voucher for future travel, it will be tied to your ticket number. Upon cancellation, you will receive an e-mail with your booking locator and ticket numbers confirming the voucher amount. It will take 6-8 weeks to get the actual voucher. I don't thinks that it is necessary to have an "account" set up. If you are going to choose the "extra air points" option...Make sure that you understand the award ticket rules and how easy/hard it is to you use those points especially during peak travel seasons. Also consider the likelihood of you flying Air Canada again.
  12. I might check with the US Department of Transportation regarding whether involuntarily changing the day of a flight might still require the airline to refund a nonrefundable ticket upon request. You have nothing to lose. I would also consider filing a dispute with your credit card company. You paid for a flight on a specific day and you are not getting what was promised. Again, worth a try.
  13. Diamond has done cruises in Australia/New Zealand so that would not count as a "maiden market". Wondering if there will be another ship covering Japan or is Princess giving up. We were on the Sun Princess for the inaugural season in Japan and loved it. It's a great way to see a lot of Japan outside of Tokyo and Kyoto.
  14. We had a June flight Las Vegas to Vancouver cancelled by Air Canada. The tickets were nonrefundable. When I finally got thru to someone on their 800 line, I referenced the recent US Department of Transportation notice re cancellations and COVID-19 ("the rules haven't changed"). The agent acknowledged the rules reinforced by this notice but said that it didn't matter and that all I would get is a future travel credit. I did the following: Put in a complaint to Air Canada (again citing the USDOT notice). Put in a complaint with the US Department of Transportation emphasizing the Air Canada agent's response to my refund request. Filed a dispute with my credit card company. Air Canada did respond to the credit card company with the same "COVID-19 is different, the rules don't apply, and we are giving compensation in the form of a voucher" message. I expected this but decided to update the USDOT with this response. On July 1(Canada Day), I received permanent credit for our tickets from our credit card company. I don't know who blinked first. I do know that the USDOT is getting a lot of complaints about Air Canada not refunding tickets for flights which Air Canada cancelled. It's definitely worth waiting to see if Air Canada does cancel and then you will be in a much stronger position.
  15. How many bottles of wine and champagne can we bring onboard? Is there a fee for doing this? Am I correct in thinking that alcohol/spirits can't be brought onboard for consumption in the cabin?
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