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CarlaMarie

Ventura N907

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Hello everyone,

 

I just wondered if anybody on the above cruise has received official confirmation  that the Amsterdam overnight stop has been changed to an overnight in Ijmuiden (for Amsterdam) instead?

 

My parents are sailing on this cruise and booked their excursions only yesterday. One was to see the tulip gardens in Amsterdam (a reason why they booked this cruise for this time of year).

 

Today they received an email to say the excursion had been cancelled and refunded. They didn't know why until we checked the website to see that the port had been changed, they have had no confirmation of this change from P&O. 

 

Best Wishes

 

Carla

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Hi all, my first post on here!

 

Not the same cruise but I am booked onto N924 at the end of August. Here is the email received from P&O regarding the port change which has been sent to most passengers booked onto various cruises due to call into Amsterdam, without speculating it appears it is more to do with the recently applied port tax & the possibility that strong winds has previously prevented ships from passing through the locks into the canal that links Amsterdam to the North Sea. 

 

Our cruise has also seen the dates of our call into IJmuiden brought forward 24 hours leaving us now with a sea day between Ijmuiden and Bruges. 

IMG_1360.jpg

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We’re booked on this cruises and have had the same itinerary change notification. Seemingly the new port is a 40 minute drive from Amsterdam (as opposed to being on the doorstep as we would have been originally). I phoned to complain today - along with many others I believe. They’ve said no goodwill gesture, no compensation and no relaxing of the cancellation charges. Looks like we’re stuck with it. All P&O ships look like they’re docking at the other port rather than Amsterdam from the website now. They couldn’t tell me why - only that it was for operational reasons. Clearly lots of people booked this cruise because of the overnight in Amsterdam and close proximity of the usual port, but P&O don’t seem to care!!

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What a shame, I’ve docked twice in Amsterdam on a cruise, once overnight and the location is brilliant. 

I’ve  noticed next year’s cruises when they normally do Amsterdam and Bruges had changed to just 4 night cruises to Amsterdam, that will be even more frustrating If they go far out and there’s no other port either.

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Thank you for all of your replies. We knew some had been changed for later in the year, but where this one departing April 12th still stated Amsterdam overnight my parents decided to book it only 3 weeks ago.

 

Although we understand why P&O have made this change, regarding the new cruise passenger tax, the fact it has been changed with very short notice is disappointing.  I wonder why they changed it so late when others later in the year had already been changed? Also, I believe that Ventura was in Amsterdam only last week. 

 

All the excursions have now been amended to say that they are from Ijmuiden and I believe the times have also changed. 

 

Best Wishes 

Carla 

 

 

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All P&O Amsterdam calls where changed and then announced yesterday at the same time, so all the cruises in question would have said Amsterdam until yesterday when they changed to IJmuiden 😊

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I’ve sent a formal complaint to P&O tonight. Has anyone else?  I guess the more complaints they receive, they may consider some goodwill gesture. Interestingly I received an email from them today asking me to respond to a customer satisfaction survey!! Surely when we booked a cruise advertised as docked at Amsterdam - not somewhere for Amsterdam, there’s a breach of trade descriptions or something (unless the reason for change is completely outside their control)

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Yes, I complained by email to Paul Ludlow yesterday and got a reply yesterday from his office.  No fee-free cancellation or transfer and no OBC.

  It’s their business and it’s up to them to make business decisions.  In this case, I hope it’s such a poor, penny-pinching, decision that they actually lose.

These various cruises stressed o’night IN Amsterdam, not a half-hour shuttle bus ride away.

 

I would happily have paid the blimmin’ €8.  I can’t be the only one?  How much will all those shuttle buses cost?

 

 

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1 hour ago, eddie11 said:

Yes, I complained by email to Paul Ludlow yesterday and got a reply yesterday from his office.  No fee-free cancellation or transfer and no OBC.

  It’s their business and it’s up to them to make business decisions.  In this case, I hope it’s such a poor, penny-pinching, decision that they actually lose.

These various cruises stressed o’night IN Amsterdam, not a half-hour shuttle bus ride away.

 

I would happily have paid the blimmin’ €8.  I can’t be the only one?  How much will all those shuttle buses cost?

 

 

The cost of the shuttle buses does make me think the TT cannot be the operational reason for the change. It is more likely to be the problem of wind at the lock preventing the ship getting to Amsterdam at all. This has happened a number of times recently.

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12 minutes ago, daiB said:

The cost of the shuttle buses does make me think the TT cannot be the operational reason for the change. It is more likely to be the problem of wind at the lock preventing the ship getting to Amsterdam at all. This has happened a number of times recently.

We couldn't get into Amsterdam on our New years cruise on Ventura 2016 because of high winds.No Ozipods on Ventura for steering so we ended up sailing slowly in the English Chanel instead.

DFDS ferry's from Newcastle- Amsterdam have docked in Izmuiden for years.

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3 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

We couldn't get into Amsterdam on our New years cruise on Ventura 2016 because of high winds.No Ozipods on Ventura for steering so we ended up sailing slowly in the English Chanel instead.

DFDS ferry's from Newcastle- Amsterdam have docked in Izmuiden for years.

 

So in that case much better to go to the cruise terminal at Ijmuiden. But logistics would mean it would have to be pre planned as they are doing now.

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55 minutes ago, daiB said:

 

So in that case much better to go to the cruise terminal at Ijmuiden. But logistics would mean it would have to be pre planned as they are doing now.

I agree.

It would be a cheaper option for P&O and it is a reasonably easy transfer to the centre of Amsterdam from Ijmuiden.

We would have been delighted to dock there on the new years eve of 2016 cruise rather than sail aimlessly in the channel all day and night.

Any ship without azipods struggle in the canal in windy conditions.

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They've done this for all the cruises calling at Amsterdam (see separate thread).  

 

Whether they can get away with it is another matter - they'll almost certainly be breaking their contract:

 

40. Whilst P&O Cruises will do its best not to cancel or to make any significant alteration after a booking has been made, it shall nevertheless be entitled at any time prior to departure to cancel the Contract or to change and/or curtail the Package where this reasonably becomes necessary on operational, commercial or other grounds. P&O Cruises will inform the Guest of any such cancellation or change of Package as quickly as possible (with, where appropriate, written confirmation as soon as reasonably possible thereafter). If P&O Cruises makes a significant alteration to the Package it will inform the Guest or his/her travel agent as soon as reasonably possible. The Guest will have the choice of either accepting the alteration, accepting an offer of an alternative Package of comparable standard if available (P&O Cruises will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value) or cancelling the Package and receiving a full refund of all monies paid. The Guest recognises and agrees that it will not normally be possible for P&O Cruises to offer an appropriate substitute Package which is available at about the same time as and/or with a similar itinerary to that originally booked, but P&O Cruises will do its best to provide a suitable alternative Package of similar duration and value. The Guest must notify P&O Cruises of his/her decision as soon as reasonably possible and in any event not later than 14 days of being informed of the significant alteration.

 

It's very difficult to see this as covered by the 'where this reasonably becomes necessary' getout clause, when it's a decision solely based on cost, and one which is going to cause substantial inconvenience to thousands of customers who expected an easy, short journey into the centre of Amsterdam.

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The "boycott" of Amsterdam seems to be at least Carnival Corporation wide.  If there is a E8.00 charge per passenger P&O are not going to make compensation in my view because it would be cheaper to pay the original charge.   I think the cruiseline corporation's overall concern is that this might be the thin end of the wedge with a multitude of local authorities putting a town tax on for their port.  This would hit the cruise lines hard and in particular UK cruisers.

 

Regards John

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Whether they pay compensation or not depends very much, as always, on how strong the legal arguments, how well they're put, and how far the complainant is prepared to take it. We shall see...... 😉

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I am on this cruise and another at Christmas and although disappointed in the change it seems Carnival are making a stand which I support. A cruise ship is bringing a lot of money into each place it visits, I know we usually spend around £50/100 in a port. The cruise ship has to pay berthing charges and provides jobs for people in the port.

 

From what I understand Amsterdam have increased their port charges and implemented a cruise passenger tax. Even €8 per person is still a lot when multiplied by all passengers and if they start at 8 it will soon increase and other ports will look at Amsterdam and think they should do the same. Before long it will become increasingly expensive and this will be passed on to the passengers.

 

No other tourist sector was levied with this tourist tax which is unfair, especially considering the amount of money each ship brings in. This stance by the cruise lines might make Amsterdam reconsider and hopefully put other ports off doing the same thing.  

 

The new port will probably be interesting in its own right and as there are free shuttle buses into Amsterdam I look at it as a free excursion. The shuttle buses work very well in Zebrugge and we often prefer just getting into Blankenberge than going all the way into Brugge.

 

I read it was a good 20 minute walk into the centre of Amsterdam from the ship so an extra 20 minutes to be dropped right in the centre is ok by me. I was also worried that our Christmas cruise into Amsterdam might not happen if there are strong winds so at least I know we will definitely get in.

 

 

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Had this response from them

 

Further to your recent telephone conversations with our Contact Centre, I am sorry for any disappointment caused due to Ventura's berth in Amsterdam being changed.

I would like to advise that we have extended Ventura's stay in Amsterdam to factor in the travelling times. Therefore, you will still have the same amount of time in central Amsterdam and we will be running complimentary shuttle buses for the duration of our time in the port of call. The times of the shuttle buses will be confirmed on board and the service will be running throughout the day and night. The last shuttle bus will arrive back to the ship approximately 30 minutes prior to Ventura's scheduled departure on 15 April.

The shuttle buses will be operating once Ventura has docked into IJmuiden and once clearance has been granted by the port authority. The pickup and drop off point will be at the Museum Square underground parking lot in Amsterdam. The shuttle buses will be running frequently throughout the day and the times during the overnight call may differ slightly. However, as mentioned above the times will be confirmed to you on board.

We do mention in our booking conditions that we reserve the right to amend the berth arrangements and itineraries should this be necessary for any reason. Although we naturally avoid making such changes, I am so sorry that this condition has become so relevant in your case. P&O Cruises does not consider the change of the berth to be a significant alteration, therefore no gestures of compensation are being offered.

I do hope the above information has assisted with your concerns and we do look forward to welcoming you on board soon.

Kind Regards

Emily Cole
Guest Relations Representative

 

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1 hour ago, FluffyFiFi said:

I am on this cruise and another at Christmas and although disappointed in the change it seems Carnival are making a stand which I support. A cruise ship is bringing a lot of money into each place it visits, I know we usually spend around £50/100 in a port. The cruise ship has to pay berthing charges and provides jobs for people in the port.

 

From what I understand Amsterdam have increased their port charges and implemented a cruise passenger tax. Even €8 per person is still a lot when multiplied by all passengers and if they start at 8 it will soon increase and other ports will look at Amsterdam and think they should do the same. Before long it will become increasingly expensive and this will be passed on to the passengers.

 

No other tourist sector was levied with this tourist tax which is unfair, especially considering the amount of money each ship brings in. This stance by the cruise lines might make Amsterdam reconsider and hopefully put other ports off doing the same thing.  

 

The new port will probably be interesting in its own right and as there are free shuttle buses into Amsterdam I look at it as a free excursion. The shuttle buses work very well in Zebrugge and we often prefer just getting into Blankenberge than going all the way into Brugge.

 

I read it was a good 20 minute walk into the centre of Amsterdam from the ship so an extra 20 minutes to be dropped right in the centre is ok by me. I was also worried that our Christmas cruise into Amsterdam might not happen if there are strong winds so at least I know we will definitely get in.

 

 

Carnival are making a stand, certainly, but entirely for their own purposes - their attitude towards their customers is very clear indeed from the way they're handling this.

 

The charge levied here does no more than mirror the tourist tax which would be charged if you were staying in a hotel, and tourists staying in hotels spend hugely more than tourists hopping on and off cruise ships.

 

Take a look at Ijmuiden if you think it will interesting in its own right, as against Amsterdam.  Think of Brentwood, for example, as against London - same sort of distance and comparison.

 

And the 40 minutes quoted is very likely to prove a gross underestimate - it assumes little traffic.  Add to that the queuing time in all weathers, at both ends, and this is not going to be a pleasant or reasonable alternative to docking, as promised, in Amsterdam itself.  The location for the drop-off is about a mile and a half from Dam Square too!  It's certainly not central.

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39 minutes ago, Haza said:

Had this response from them

 

Further to your recent telephone conversations with our Contact Centre, I am sorry for any disappointment caused due to Ventura's berth in Amsterdam being changed.

I would like to advise that we have extended Ventura's stay in Amsterdam to factor in the travelling times. Therefore, you will still have the same amount of time in central Amsterdam and we will be running complimentary shuttle buses for the duration of our time in the port of call. The times of the shuttle buses will be confirmed on board and the service will be running throughout the day and night. The last shuttle bus will arrive back to the ship approximately 30 minutes prior to Ventura's scheduled departure on 15 April.

The shuttle buses will be operating once Ventura has docked into IJmuiden and once clearance has been granted by the port authority. The pickup and drop off point will be at the Museum Square underground parking lot in Amsterdam. The shuttle buses will be running frequently throughout the day and the times during the overnight call may differ slightly. However, as mentioned above the times will be confirmed to you on board.

We do mention in our booking conditions that we reserve the right to amend the berth arrangements and itineraries should this be necessary for any reason. Although we naturally avoid making such changes, I am so sorry that this condition has become so relevant in your case. P&O Cruises does not consider the change of the berth to be a significant alteration, therefore no gestures of compensation are being offered.

I do hope the above information has assisted with your concerns and we do look forward to welcoming you on board soon.

Kind Regards

Emily Cole
Guest Relations Representative

 

Thanks for that.  That's a very inconvenient drop-off point for most people, half an hour's walk from Dam Square, and P&O are inevitably underplaying the time that's going to be wasted queuing for buses in all weathers and waiting for them to fill up before leaving. 

 

It's likely to add a couple of hours to each visit into the city centre, and if P&O aren't prepared to compensate customers for that, bearing in mind that their T&C don't allow them to do this, it's going to cost them when a number of us take this to court.

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I've set up a separate thread on this issue, in case anyone wants to share information with each other in one specific thread:


P&O, Cunard +all Carnival brands changing Amsterdam to Ijmuiden: how to win your case

 

 

 

 

 

 

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