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Everything posted by ryndam

  1. From an article in Maritime Executive today., the MV Werften shipyard has received emergency aid from a consortium of banks and expects to receive additional aid from the German government sometime in September. https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/german-shipbuilder-mv-werften-receives-200-million-in-emergency-aid Rob
  2. From USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/06/19/us-cruise-ban-cruises-suspended-until-sept-15-industry-group-clia/3222379001/
  3. Seatrade Cruise News just posted this article about John Stoll. We met him as he greeted guests all around the world during the world cruise special events. So many talented people in so many industries have had their careers prematurely ended. We wish John all the best in his future plans. Rob https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/people-opinions/desert-soirees-northwest-passage-crystals-john-stoll-made-lasting-memories
  4. FWIW, this is the guidance received from HAL. It doesn't alter how/when/why Crystal is processing its refunds, but it may help to ease the anxiety/frustration of those anticipating refunds from Crystal if a much larger operation than Crystal is also experiencing challenges processing their refunds. Rob "As previously announced, Holland America Line extended its pause of global cruise operations and cancelled all Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England cruises for 2020. In addition, Amsterdam will not operate the 79-day Grand Africa Voyage. Please note: Refunds are being processed by sailing date of the cancelled voyages with the earliest departures being refunded first. We ask for your continued patience in affording us the time to work through the refunds properly. Because we are not able to use our usual automated process, our team is manually handling a large volume of requests while working from home. As always, we thank you for your understanding and hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe. Should you have any questions, please call your travel advisor or contact us at the appropriate office."
  5. There is an opportunity to rank a refund option as part of Question #12. I've cut-and-pasted below. 12. How important are the factors listed when considering taking your next cruise? Please rank the following factors in order of importance with 1 being Not Important to 9 being Most Important. Only one selection per ranking and you must rank each statement listed. 9 A vaccine for Covid-19 becomes widely available A full cruise fare refund available a week prior to departure Very attractive promotions and discounts News that the Covid-19 virus is contained Instant Covid-19 testing for everyone Upgraded air filtration system/s on ship/s Detailed information on new health and safety protocols Stay-at-home orders lifted in your state/country of residence Onboard social distancing protocols
  6. I did not receive an error message. After submitting the survey, an automatic “thank you” screen came up. Perhaps Crystal’s server(s) crashed with an abundance of replies at the same time! Rob
  7. I just received an email from Crystal. It is a link to a 18-question survey asking about our future travel plans and "what would it take for you to travel on your next cruise". Check your email in-boxes for the link to the survey. Rob
  8. I just looked at Serenity's position on Marine Traffic, still anchored in Manila Bay with 25 other cruise ships! Another 2-3 cruise ships appear to be circling just off-shore. In addition, there are 50+ freighter/cargo vessels also anchored in the bay. Rob
  9. This address is on Crystal's website for their corporate headquarters. The accounting/business office functions may, or may not be located there. Crystal Cruises1501 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 500Miami, FL USA 33132
  10. And therein lies the inconsistencies of refunds these days. Thanks for sharing your rapid refund experience. I'm sure our refund is in the queue, somewhere. Rob
  11. Pizza is delivered around 11:30pm+/- in the Avenue, the Cove, Stardust/Starlight, and the disco (Serenity only) along with other savory and sweet snacks. It changes every evening. We find a couple of pizza slices at midnight a bit addicting.... Rob
  12. FWIW, we are in the process of requesting refunds from Qatar Airways. The airline canceled our flight in early May. We received this email about 2 weeks ago. The bold, underlined and italicized text is my editing, not the airlines. (I also redacted our personal reservation information from the cut-and-pasted text.) Qatar Airways is fully owned by the Qatari government. If government-owned entities are experiencing refund delays, it may serve as an illustrative barometer of the challenges experienced by privately-owned operators. Rob Thank you for submitting a request for a refund to Qatar Airways and apologies for the delay in responding. If you have requested your refund at least 72 hours before your scheduled flight departure, your refund will be accepted. It may take up to eight weeks to get the money back into your bank account or card depending on who you bank with. We are currently processing an unprecedented volume of requests. Our ability to do this swiftly has been made more challenging by government lockdown measures, however we are working through all of the requests and will complete the task. Despite these challenges, we are processing your refunds as quickly as we can. Additionally, if you do not hear back from us by the time your scheduled flight has departed, do not worry. Your refund request will be accepted and processed in due course. You can help us to process refunds more quickly by refraining from submitting multiple requests, or calling us to follow up, as this slows down our processing time. To review the status of your request and add additional comments, follow the link below: http://qatarairways.zendesk.com/************ We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. We are grateful to you for your patience and understanding at this time. Sincerely, Qatar Airways Support
  13. FWIW, there are several YouTube videos online from staff currently still onboard Princess and HAL ships. On some of the 160000 ton Princess ships, it appears that there are 150+/- essential crew remaining onboard. Rob
  14. Maybe this. Rob
  15. We just received the same email. We appreciate Crystal’s efforts, assurances, and the early “heads-up-we-can’t-predict/control-itineraries-out-of-our-control”. However, we would actually prefer a change in the final payment due date rather than a “pay now and we will refund later if the itinerary changes”. Our final payment due date without incurring significant cancellation penalties for the 2021 WC is 8/23/20. We are not quite ready to gamble a very significant cash advance to any cruise line, nearly five months in advance, for a lengthy voyage departing in January 2021 that will likely be altered. We couldn’t even make international flight arrangements right now, with the world’s borders still closed. Even though there is an assurance of a full refund, this is not a $799/pp, 7-day trip. It is a significant cash advance. We’ll see what transpires during the next couple of months before making a final commitment. Rob
  16. Marine Traffic now shows Symphony in/at/returning to Singapore at 11.5 knots, as of 6 hours ago. Rob
  17. Resumption of any cruising will likely require an international coordinated effort. It's only one issue to assure health safety aboard the ships. It's another issue to assure health safety ashore, or when port authorities and governments will re-open their airports and seaports to international visitors. Rob
  18. The August Symphony cruises are showing "call for availability" on the Crystal website.
  19. This is a similar protocol that we've seen for some booked international airline flights later this year that have already been canceled by the airline. The default, online link takes one to a "request-for-voucher" page. I had to hunt for it, but there were links to a "request-full-refund" page. Once entered, I received an almost instantaneous email from the airline that stated "We registered your request for a refund. You will receive confirmation when our support team processes your refund. This may take several weeks due to the increased volume of requests." Rob
  20. Exactly. We will make our decision to proceed, cancel or defer before the August penalty date kicks-in, pending further guidance from Crystal concerning the expected itinerary for the WC. Which may not be possible to accurately predict by August. Rob
  21. We cautiously await how events progress, both nationally and internationally. At this time, we have no interest in any discretionary travel or events (cruises, airlines, airports, trains, buses, taxi's, terminals, theme parks, museums, galleries, hotels, resorts, restaurants, concerts, et.al.) where we need to wear a modified hazmat suit (if only just a face mask, albeit for hours) and/or be served/attended to by staff also wearing modified hazmat suits. Discretionary travel should be enjoyable and a stress-reliever. We have reluctantly determined that our discretionary travel plans through the end of 2020 and likely through mid-2021 (or beyond), will be limited to locations that we can reach on a full tank of gas in the car. Rob
  22. Our cookbook just arrived today. It's big. And heavy! It's more of a coffee-table-type book than a stove-side kitchen recipe book. It is very nicely illustrated. Since we were on one of the only scheduled 30th anniversary cruises that actually sailed this year, perhaps it will become a collector's item...in about 50-70 years! 😃😂 Rob CELEBRATING THIRTY YEARS OF CRYSTAL CUISINE.pdf
  23. On a related note, Marine Traffic shows Symphony no longer moored in the shipyard in Singapore and is currently sailing at 16 knots in the Singapore Straits to a not-as-yet-named-destination "awaiting orders". Rob
  24. Thank you for the update. We always looked forward to Ken's presentations. He will be missed.
  25. We are booked on the same three segments as you. It is still 90 days before final payment is due in August. Without any additional guidance, we are just waiting until the August due date to see if: a. The WC is canceled completely; b. The WC's itinerary is altered (partially or completely); c. The world's ports are reopened and the WC sails as planned; d. Any of the above; e. None of the above. We will decide in August whether we request a refund of our deposit or move the already paid deposit to the 2022 WC, which we already have on reserve. IMHO, the 2021 WC will likely not be the experience that we had expected when we originally booked it 2 1/2 years ago, Rob
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