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About Bkmat

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  1. This week we received a $200 credit on the credit card we used to pay for a FCD, We used this FCD to book a 9/20 cruise that was canceled. We canceled before the final payment was due anyway. I emailed my PCC that I was happy to see that credit, but asked about my refund of $1200 for 5/21 cruise we canceled about 45 days ago. She responded that it is taking up to 60 days for most refunds. I am keeping all my communication with HA and hopefully can use that as verification of my attempt to “deal with the merchant”. This is what the credit card company asks you to do. If HA files for bankruptcy, we all may be out of luck. My 5/21 deposit was paid way back in Feb, so I am over the 60 day “dispute” time with the credit card company. However, after 60 days, I do plan to try a dispute with credit card company, despite the time frame. What do I have to lose by trying...I guess my $1200. Still, when I read of what other people have lost, including full fares they paid, I know I am luckier than most. Sad situation for everyone...cruisers who have lost money, crews who have lost their livelihood, cruise employees who are now laid off...a slice of what the world at large is experiencing. Good luck to all who are waiting for their refunds!
  2. I cancelled a HA May 2021 cruise at the end of March. I was told it would be at least 60 days for my refund to be credited to my credit card. To be honest, I was afraid of the company going bankrupt and thought it best to try and get back our $1200 deposit, which we paid in early January. After reading many of the threads on Cruise Critic regarding the difficulty getting refunds, I send a message to my credit card company. There was a place on the credit card website that allowed me to do this. I basically asked what my options were if I did not receive my refund in 60 days. Lo and behold, they answered back that the charge was in dispute and the process would take about 45 days. There is a number to call and I plan to call and get more details about the process. I’m thrilled that I received such a quick answer from my credit card company and am more hopeful that I will eventually receive my refund. We also had a cruise planned for this September and I also cancelled that at the end of March. The deposit on that cruise was with a FCC that we bought onboard during a 2018 cruise. We have $200 in the balance with that cruise. Who knows if we will ever see that, but a loss of that money won’t hurt as much. I really feel for those who have LOTS of money tied up in cancelled cruises. I know we are in better shape than many others. Good luck to all who are awaiting refunds!
  3. Another Update: Thanks to all who responded to my questions. I received an email today from my PCC with an email noting cancellation of two upcoming cruises we had booked. She said not to expect a refund until 60 days. I wish it were going to be sooner, but we will be fine until it arrives. With so many real problems and challenges happening now, I really can’t complain. I am relieved that I did get a response from my PCC, who I can only imagine has been swamped with work. Her email was professional and she did wish us good health. She may be one of those who loses her job during this crisis. I wish everyone reading this continued health and as a retired nurse, offer a big shout out to those who are on the front lines, caring for those who are ill in our society.
  4. Update thus far: I used the “chat” feature on the HA website and was given a number to call. It ended up being the PCC number. My PCC did not answer and I spoke with another representative who told me my PCC needed to cancel my cruise. I called my PCC and left a second VM. In trying to lighten the load of all the requests she must be getting, I told my PCC to cancel my cruise and then email she had done that. I expect that won’t happen. I will call again this upcoming week and send another email. The emails are my proof that I have requested cancellation. It’s unfortunate that I have to go through these hoops to cancel, when all they need to do is add a “cancel” button to my booking. It would certainly make it easier for all involved. This week I was able to cancel hotels and tours I had booked for my Sept trip and the response was gracious and immediate. I was extremely impressed with these tour companies as they wished me best wishes and good health. These were companies in Turkey and Greece and I can only imagine how difficult this will be for their business. This is a crisis for the cruise industry and my heart goes out to all who will lose their jobs. But, I am disappointed enough in the industries response to keep me from cruising in the future.
  5. We have decided to cancel two upcoming HA cruises. Since we are doing this before final payment is due, I am grateful that we will get our deposit refunded. One of the cruises is for 9/20 and the other is 5/21. I was going to wait on the 5/21 cruise, but all in all I don’t see cruising in our future. I actually love cruising the smaller, older HA ships, but have not been impressed with how this current situation has been managed. After the Princess Cruise debacle in Japan, I am surprised that all the cruise lines did not put an immediate hold on further travels. In the long run, it may have saved them some money. Yesterday, I called my PCC to cancel and left a VM. I also emailed her about our plans to cancel. Originally I looked at our HA account to see if I could somehow cancel that way. I am sure the PCC’s are deluged with requests and I would be fine with some type of a button that said “cancel this cruise”. I do not feel the need to “speak” with someone and it would be easier if that option was available. I imagine the company does not want to make it “too easy” to cancel, thus not having a cancel feature on the account. After I left the VM for my PCC, I then realized she might not be working as all non-essential services are closed in the Seattle area. I am coming to this knowledgeable community, hoping to gain insight about the cancellation process. From reading other posts, I understand it will be awhile before we get our refund, but I am anxious to get the process going now. I never thought these companies would go bankrupt until reading some CC post about that possibility yesterday. I know many people love cruising and will continue to do so after this crisis pasts, but we will be looking at other options for travel in the future. Appreciate any info regarding my cancellation questions. Thank you and safe future travels to all!
  6. I am happy to hear the positive replies about future travel plans on this thread. I don’t want to live my life in fear of what most probably is an unlikely event. We have friends that were to leave on a cruise this week which included Japan, but that was cancelled. I’m relieved for them that they did not get caught up in most recent cruise ship problems. Final payment for our next cruise in Sept is not until June. I’m relieved for us that the decision does not have to be made right now. I do wonder if there has been an over reaction in the world, as influenza is much deadlier and more widespread. In our area, Asian restaurants have been hit hard, which seems absolutely crazy to me. It’s an unwarranted fear reaction for sure! For now, will keep traveling, wash our hands diligently, get our annual flu shots, and be grateful for each day of health.
  7. I have a SBP with an upcoming cruise and understand the $11 price point, 15 drinks max a day. What I am wondering is how the service charge is managed with each drink. My understanding is the service charge is included....does that mean you have to buy a drink less than $11 and the drink you purchase plus the service charge equals $11? Thanks for any info about this!
  8. Thank you, Karen, this is just the type of info I was looking for. Really appreciate it!
  9. Thanks, to the OP, for asking this question on the HA site. We will be on the Veendam this coming September and have read all the Santorini posts on the port forum. But, it is nice to hear about those who have sailed on HA and their experience in Santorini. Although I am excited to see this beautiful island, I can’t help but be concerned about “the crowds” that seem to ruin the experience for many. We are considering taking the ships excursion which tenders you to Athinios, then transfers you to Oia. We would have time in Oia on our own and then are bussed to Fira. We then (like everyone else) will stand in line (want to avoid walking down ) for the cable car after some time in Fira. Has anyone had experience taking this “on your own” excursion with HA? It is priced at $59PP and I am attracted to the fact that the transportation around Santorini will be one less thing to worry about. I do wonder, however, how much time we get to spend in Oia. Any info is much appreciated!
  10. My husband and I have one account with HA, my name is on it. We use one email for this account as well. On our next cruise I would like to use the Navigator APP to communicate with DH when we are doing different things on the ship. Do we have to have separate accounts to do this? Or, can we download the APP on each of our phones and communicate with the same APP? I’m not too tech savvy, so I’m not sure if I’m asking this correctly, but I think tech knowledgeable folks will understand what I am getting at! Thanks!
  11. I recently booked with Flight Ease for the first time for an overseas flight to Venice. I booked as soon as I could and still am in shock with the low price we were able to get. We have seats assigned (know that can change, though). It was very easy to do and as stated previously, I love not having to pay so far out (our trip is not until 9/20). When I verified the price by looking at our cruise booking info, I had to pinch myself!
  12. Thanks for the tip about the Oia Experience. I have been in contact with the company and they have been prompt with replies. We will arrive in Santorini at 10am and the company indicates the tour gathers at the old port area from 1115 to 1130, with tour starting at 1130. I have contacted the company again with the following question: in their experience, will those people on private tours be able to make that meet up time? I’m wondering what those of you who have taken private tours experienced. I know ships are different in how they manage the tenders, but I’ve also read that the ship’s tours get priority tender boarding. I had been thinking of taking the ship’s (Holland America Veendam) transfer only option to Oia, but after reading about the Oia Experience tour, I am now reconsidering, sounds like a great tour. Would appreciate time with tenders in Santorini! Thanks!
  13. I just used Flight Ease for the first time and was thrilled with the price. I booked it and it’s wonderful that I will not have to pay until final payment is due. I have read many of the threads about FE and still have a question about checking for flights. Although I don’t expect to get a better deal, I would like to check on what is available (especially in premium economy). When I go into my account I have gotten to the point of finding my flight. The options are to change flights or cancel flight. I know not to push cancel flights, but am a little hesitant to punch change flights, as I don’t want to lose the great deal I have. When people say they have “checked and received better deals”, how are they checking flights on the Holland America site without cancelling their original flights?
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