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welshfamily

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Everything posted by welshfamily

  1. We should have been on the Riviera in Venice today. Sad
  2. Upwards Uk Thank you for your advise. I will check with our CC on Monday.
  3. We are Nat West Black. We have been told we are covered as booked before 18.3 20 however they are only the LAST port of call. first our TA must refund under ABTA rules. The TA has said 120 days ( our cruise was cancelled in June) Secondly we must then claim off our Credit Card. If all these fail we can then file a claim. It’s just a mess. Thank God we are not desperate for the money. Hopefully you are in the same position.
  4. I am with the same Chorley based TA as royallondon. We were well within 121 days when we tried to cancel. We were told we would lose our deposit of £4K. To be fair we did book a tailor made holiday with flights etc as well as the cruise. There were no circumstances in which we would have been able to get any of this back. We had to pay the balance and now are owed nearly 13k. This was due to the TA’s T&C’s. We had no worries as fully insured with cancellation insurance with an ABTA company. We paid with a CC so we should have been the most protected travellers in the Uk. Insurance not valid due to Covid 19 ( unless we can prove we will actually lose the money) cancellation not valid as TA is refunding the money even if it’s in the far distance future( 90+), ABTA .... still waiting for reply. CC not tried yet. Its just a big mess.
  5. I agree with all the Uk posts. Our TA always has been upfront about the 120 day payment date but 100 days is plain silly particularly giving the present UK Gov. no cruise advice. What date was given when u booked? I would 1. Find out if you can transfer your booking to Oceania direct. 2. Check the position with your travel insurance 3. Raise the issue with ABTA. 4. Get in touch with Martin Lewis or the like. I have read most of his blogs / media posts etc and cruses have barely been mentioned so you may have a good chance of success here. please let us know how u get on.
  6. Royal London, very good news that your CC has come through. As I have previously stated we will probably be in the same position. We are going to give them time to refund but will use section 75 the moment the 90 days are up. Makes me think we will have to book direct with Oceania or the one TA which ‘WHICH’ ( a uk British consumer magazine) has come out top for cruise refunds. strange really how the budget airline Jet2 have refunded incredibly quickly and acted honestly and yet the Luxury TA is busy ruining its reputation. Our holiday plan at the moment is to wait until the last moment before booking anything. Might not get the cabins we like but we will be better able to judge the risks involved.
  7. I was just setting out the questions asked by our CC provider. Did you act good faith ....... this basically means were you confidant you were dealing with a reputable company. C C ‘s don’t like reckless purchases. For example We lost a holiday in Tenerife at Easter. We booked separate villa and flights. Flights refunded within three days by Jet 2. Villa, which we have stayed in 4 years running twice a year is run by a management company which was taken over last October by a different person. We paid deposit a year in advance to original company. We stayed in October 2019 with no problem. Balance returned for Easter no problem. Deposit however is ......lost .....to original company, Santander is looking for proof new owner is ‘reputable’ before refunding deposit. Hopefully just a step we have to comply with. Certainly, the Chorley TA and Oceania are as solid a company as you could hope to book with. At least I thought this when we booked. We bought a tailor made package, Our cruise was due to depart in August. We received notification of the cancellation on the 17th of June and asked for a full refund the same day. I have been told 90 days before refund for the cruise element but in our case the flights may well depart therefore I have been told this refund will take longer. I hope you will get satisfaction soon as I am probably going to be in your situation soon.
  8. Surely the Section 75 law is between your CC ( eg Nat west, Santander etc) and yourself. The TA will have no say in whether or not your CC repays your money. CC’s just look at simple rules. Did you receive the services/products you purchased? Have you tried to liaise with the company to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Have you acted in good faith. I would also hope your TA is ABTA bonded. You should have an ABTA /ATOL certificate which should be attached to your original booking. I would advise you to fill in a claim/ complaint on their website. This is very easy to do. I would also start a travel insurance claim just to keep them in the picture as they usually ask you to try section 75 first. I also hope you are not using the Chorley based TA as I am waiting for approx£14,000 in refunds. Hope you get your money back soon.
  9. Very interesting. Our cruise, 2nd of August is still sailing, just 60 days away. At least it has not been cancelled yet. Here in Wales, we are still on lockdown which has started to be relaxed slowly. schools and shops are not open. We are not allowed to travel more than 5 miles from our home which is nowhere near an airport and the Uk government are bringing in a 14 day isolation for any one entering the country from the 8th of June. Numbers of cases/deaths are dropping but we are a long way off normal. Uk citizens are not allowed into Spain yet ( we fly into Barcelona) or Italy ( we fly out of Venice). Non essential travel has been banned. Today P&O cancelled all its cruises until 15th October.(worldofcruising.co.uk ) P&O Sails mostly from the Uk . I have also read the posts re the CEO of Norwegian ( which, I think, includes Oceania) Do anyone think Oceania will sail its ships to Europe and resume cruises? It’s website is still saying cruises will resume on the 1st of August therefore we would be on the 1st Riviera sailing. thank you
  10. Hi, we have a cruise booked on the 2nd of August. Tailor made, by this I mean we had chosen our own flights as we did not want to be at the mercy of Oceania. Previously we have been given flights which took 8-9 hrs for a 2 -3 hr flight due to stop overs in European hubs. We had paid a deposit of £4000. The 5th of April our balance of a further £8,5000 was due. Our TA said we WOULD lose our deposit. Our Credit card company would NOT cover this as it would be deemed our choice as no one knows what will happen in August. Our Travel insurance will only cover us if the cruise is cancelled but will cover us for the pandemic because we booked before their cut of point ( 16th of March). If the cruise is cancelled our credit card company will also cover us as will ABTA. Our TA was very sorry but those are the rules under which we booked. We paid. Considering our cruise goes around Italy, France and Spain I cannot see it happening. The Uk government still has a no nonessential travel in place and as our death rate is still in the 100’s everyday I can’t see the countries in question being keen to have travellers from the UK getting off a cruise ship. I am waiting for the cruise to be cancelled as this was my only option. hope this isn’t too hard to heard.
  11. Yes we are fully covered if there is a major change However We booked a Mediterranean Cruise, if a few ports are changed and yet the ship still sails in the Mediterranean I am not sure what would be classed as a major change. Whilst it is true most of our ports are in Italy we have visited most other ports in the Mediterranean. I think we would just go with the flow as long as it was safe to travel. If the cruise was moved out of the Med. we would have to look carefully at the itinerary. As we are in Education we are stuck to School holidays therefore it is very hard to fit in a longer cruise except in the summer months.
  12. We have a tailor made package with our Uk TA. This includes flights, hotels and transfers. All covered by ATOL We received the email which was forwarded from Oceania this morning. We have spoken with them to clarify a few points. If there is a change in Embarkation or Disembarkation the TA is responsible for getting us to the correct port. All transfers are still included however we will have to negotiate re hotel. This is perfectly reasonable because obviously we were involved in the choice and cost of the original hotel and who knows where we will be sailing from. Even though we are comprehensively insured we are very happy with the way both Oceania and our TA are dealing with this. If we end up having to have a FCC so be it.
  13. May I ask who you received this notification from? we are in the Uk and have a cruise booked late July early August, a large proportion of our ports are in Italy. However here in the uk we pay large deposits ( slightly over £4000 ) which is non refundable when we book and we have to pay the final balance by the 5th of April. If this is the case we will be very happy. July/ August is a quite a way off and In the present circumstances we wouldn’t be over picky regarding ports of call as long as we could get on and off the ship. More ships seem to being refused docking in difference countries every day e.g. the Grand Princess in Southern California ( 2 passengers and 19 crew confirmed cases this morning) and the MSC Opera in Malta. Source BBC news/ sky news (Mike Pence’s statement) Due to the almost daily changing circumstances we all now find ourselves in who knows exactly what the travel advice will be next week never mind in 4 months time. We are still hopeful that this virus will be like Flu and be nonexistent by the summer bring the world back on to an even keel and ourselves on a ship drinking a martini watching the scenery float by.
  14. Thank you all. We have docked in Barcelona 3 times in the last 4 years, once on the Sirena and it never occurred to me that we would not be at the World Trade Centre pier which is a minutes walk from the Christopher Columbus Stature. The schedule, as far as I can see, is only up to April and indeed it shows the Sirena at the Barcelona Word trade pier and the Riviera at Adossat which is the furthest away. I did not expect this as there are at least 3 huge ships ( eg Allure of the Seas , RCI, 8565 passengers) in on the same day as the Riviera and I would have classed the Oceania ships as medium,1250 passengers. Indeed my TA said the ship would be in the WTC East Terminal. Whilst sailing from New York the check in at 11.30 am was straight forward, quick and the Balcony cabin was ready at 2pm however the twice we have sailed from Europe the check in was slow, after 1pm and last year it was 3.15 pm ( Sirena at Venice ) before any cabins other than the suites were available. We did not enjoy waiting around and would much rather eat a pleasant lunch in Barcelona and arrive later to board the ship. We will probably keep our driver and go into Barcelona and then taxi back to the port. Out if curiosity what do people arriving from say,The States, do if they fly in the day of the cruise and have Oceania transfers?
  15. I have just started doing the planning for our summer cruise. Our Oceania flights are a direct flight from our home airport to Barcelona. Due to other commitments we can no longer travel before our cruise. It’s a short 2.30 hrs flight and we will arrive at 10.30 am. Short trip from airport to port (20mins at most, we have a private transfer ). Boarding does not commence until 1pm and we are not in a suite so I should image it will be 2.30 pm before Balconies start boarding. We are wondering what time we can drop off our luggage at the port? Our TA cannot find anyone at Oceania with an sensible answer. The ‘ ‘the long distance guests will arrive earlier and be transferred directly to the port.’ Does not really help. Surely few people will arrive early in the morning and stand around for hours waiting to board? we have never been in this position before as we have always boarded from a hotel and boarding has always started at around 11 am and we have arrived at about 1pm, short queue and straight onboard. We would prefer to drop off our luggage, and go out for lunch and a walk. Also if boarding starts at 1pm what time do more experienced Oceania cruisers think the Balcony rooms will be available ? This is our 4th cruise with Oceania but first on a O ship.I assume this accounts for the later boarding times. i have searched the boards and can only find answers about the port of Miami.
  16. I think you missed my point. The original poster wondered if the fact she was in an inside cabin mattered. If you are uncomfortable with something as simple as a pillow, particularly if you may be suffering from an allergy it should not matter what grade of cabin you are in. A polite request at guest services can work wonders. I believe only a small percentage of guests would make this type of request. Most would ask their TA to put in a special request. Oceania are excellent at meeting special request e.g. my husband has extremely impaired vision. We requested enlarged menus for the restaurants enabling him to read the menus, granted with help, allowing him to choose in advance and not suffer, for him, the embarrassment of having to have the menus read out allowed. All were delivered daily by guest services. It is true only the ‘ Named ‘ suites have a pillow menu certainly there wasn’t on in the PH suite neither is the menu listed on the amenities however Oceania thankfully isn’t the type of cruise line which segregates its guest by the amount of money spent on their cabin. If it was, we as a family would not use it.
  17. Gosh, why should it matter what grade of cabin you are in? I agree you were not to know that different pillows could be requested from your steward. I would have gone to guest services and asked nicely. I am sure no reasonable request would be turned down. If guest services didn’t help I would have written a polite note to the hotel director asking for assistance. Cruise companies want happy passengers.
  18. We have recently booked our 3rd cruise with Oceania. This time on the Rivera. Our first cruise on the Insigna ( August 2018), in need of a refit, was excellent. There were issues, mainly around getting drinks in the Terrace at Lunch, but on balance the cruise was as good as any we had taken. 5* review, not that I wrote one. Our second cruise on the Sirena ( August 2019) newly refurbished, was just not good from start to finish. Many things were different. Boarding was ...... an ordeal!!!! The Menu’s in the GDR had reduced, the Sommelier told us none of the included wines in the premier drinks package were drinkable and it was just as difficult to get a drink in the Terrace at Lunch time. To top all this we had ‘the meal from helll’ one night in the GDR. However, the Maitre de , listened and not only told us, 6adults, he would deal with the member of staff concerned but did everything he could to make sure our next night in the GDR was the best experience possible. 3* review, again not written. As you can see we are going with Oceania again. Our reasoning. We had a good time on both cruises. All the issues were with Staff. Even the best establishments have staff who should find a different career. Michelin restaurants have bad days, if wine Quality is an issue ( makes us cross ) we can buy better bottles or pay corkage, after all we get our moneys worth just from the other drinks we enjoy though the day. The ports are good, the dates perfect, the price is right and Oceania staff did try to right the wrong. The food was of excellent quality, only the choice had changed. We fancy trying the slightly bigger ship. All lines are cutting back. Cruising is not the same today as even 10 years ago. We still love to cruise.
  19. Hi, Also having a frugal husband and personally liking to be well informed may I suggest you either email Customsinfo@revenue.ie or call the advice line on +353 (0)1 877 6222. ( hope I have got the correct international code for you but please check.) If I remember correctly most shops in Dublin will have advice ready to hand and if applicable advice on how to reclaim taxes. Certainly here in the Uk many of our city shops have info on how to reclaim VAT for international visitors. Now the Uk is out of the EU we are also in the same position as you and any information you will find will become relevant to us.
  20. We too do a mixture. During the past 2 years We have taken Oceania’s excursions regularly as we have had 3/4 free with each cruise. On the whole they have been good to excellent with no more than 30 people. The only complaint we have is when the guide goes ‘off track’. For example stops for 20 mins instead of a hour due to traffic to make up time. On that occasion the passengers complained and a compromise was reached. Funnily enough the 16 passengers or less excursions can be more challenging particularly if a group books and monopolies the guide. However if there is a particular place you want to visit private is best. As for the roll calls. Very quiet.
  21. I have the amazon clear plastic luggage tags you are referring to ( thin rectangle with a sun embossed). We prepared them at home store them with our important documents and fix them on to our cases when we leave for the port. They are about 10 years old and have served me well. I have had tags ripped of by the car drivers or porters particularly when disembarking so these give me piece of mind. i too travel with iPad, iPhone, kindle, hair straighteners, husbands laptop if working, camera battery and medical equipment. We have adapters and USB ports. These work well. We are sensible and charge when in the room or overnight a couple of items at a time. The stewards will unplug, it is a ship rule but easily complied to. We we have only been on R class ships and are looking forward to our first trip on the Riviera this summer. I too bring a microfibre towel for bathing costumes. Rise, towel dry and hang of back of bathroom door if no clothes line. I travel with more than one costume as they don’t always dry over night. Please remember the stewards service the room twice a day and a wet costume would , I image, make their job difficult hence the towel drying. I do how ever recommend both the Landry service and the self washing. You can meet the most interesting people in the laundry room and its surprising how often you then see them around the ship. However R class only have around 680 Riviera is double and it’s about 8 years since we have been on a ship with more than 680 must admit we hesitated to book such a large ship but hopefully the queues won’t be too bad. enjoy your cruise.
  22. Gosh sorry. We would have two separate mini suites. One for us and one for the kids. Its an Alaska cruise. Balcony space is important to enable us to enjoy the views. Hadn’t thought of one of the larger suites as we find having a butler unnecessary. The midship location is important as the trip across the Pacific could be rough ( is it ?we have no idea). Saying that I was the one of the only people still eating whilst an Azamara ship went through the South China seas last December ,it was a bit like being in a washing machine but my husband really didn’t enjoy the rough sea. Not so bothered about having a separate bit of the MDR. Is it awkward? Use to cruises were everyone is the same out of the cabin.
  23. We are a family of 4 adults, two of which work in Education and therefore are limited to cruising to the UK’s six week summer holidays ( 18th July /29th August). We are parents and two adult children ( brother and sister ) so they need a decent sized cabin. we have cruised originally with Celebrity and for the past 8 years Azamara and Oceania. We have seen a cruise out of San Francisco. The Star Princess. We are looking at the mini suite’s (due to size ) and have stumbled across Club Class. Could anyone with experience of these categories please let us know your opinions. If anyone things mini suites are a waste of money please be honest. Thank you in advance
  24. Is this offer just in the States ? Here in the Uk Azamara are offering onboard credit, but have adjusted the price upwards. We find onboard credit very hard to spend as we mainly sort out are own excursions due to past disappointments, we don’t mind the additional payment for alcohol not included already but this doesn’t add up to much. We tend to stay in Club Continentals and have a high level of loyalty. We haven't been with Azamara for 3 years now due to their pricing. We have tried 3 other lines instead but have seen a few cruises we fancy for 2020 but not at Regent seven seas prices.
  25. I agree. Insigna last year was just so good. Sirena’s ports this year could not be beaten. Speciality restaurants superb. Excursions mostly excellent. Entertainment good for a R class ship, Menu’s regarding choice have changed for the worse not Quality although a lot of favourites were missing such as scollops and different fresh fish. Less staff. Wonderful fellow passengers , mostly excellent excursions. All cruises, as with all holidays, are what you make of them. Our expectations were based on last year. We found things had changed in 10 months as regards to the food. It was disappointing. It was not bad just not the amazing choices we had enjoyed before. This was just in the Grand Dinning room. Everything was repeated most nights with only a few dishes changed. The ‘ Wow ‘had gone. I can even say by the end of 10 days we were bored with the food choices. If enough people agree and use the comment cards Oceania will realise the changes are not popular and think again.
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