Posted April 10th, 2009, 10:47 AM
On 2 March 2009 my wife and I received confirmation of our cruise booking on Hebridean Spirit, on the 20 March they wrote to us to tell us that the ship had been sold and our cruise cancelled!
They went on to offer us a cruise on Hebridean Princess or full refund of our payment, we elected for the refund. We have now learned that the administrators will not honour this promise and that we have, in all probability, lost our £7000.
I am furious, not least because they must have known that their company was failing when they accepted our cheque. I am also furious with the mistakes that we ourselves made - I hope that our experience will act as a warning to all your members.
We are experienced cruisers with around 35 cruises behind us (most of them hugely enjoyable!) and we still made the following classic mistakes:-
We trusted a cruise company when they asked for the full fare to be made at the time of booking in order to ensure a discounted fare.
On this occasion of all occasions we paid by cheque - always pay by credit card!
We didn't make our booking through an ABTA member company.
Please tell your members to be very careful, especially now that cruise lines are having a difficult time!