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AlisonB1978

Why are P&O no longer docking in Amsterdam

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I agree. The only thing left to our discretion to show our frustration is removal of auto gratuities, but that would be taking it out on the staff and it’s not their fault. We were seriously considering booking Iona for next summer, but after this will definitely think again. They don’t deserve the custom!!

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3 hours ago, sogne said:

a new sea lock is being built at Ijmuiden which may or may not have a bearing but if P& O automatically billed all ship board accounts for8£ how long might the queue be at the purser's desk? 19 and 20 cruises were probably arranged before the new charge was announced.

A charge of 8 Euros per passenger, about £7, would hardly break P&O. The profit margin on the cruise affected is hardly that slim. I would have thought that the correct business decision from a PR point of view would have been to absorb it and make a virtue of doing so. But I suspect that this is really Carnival trying to make a point to the Amsterdam authorities, and trying to deter other ports from following suit  and to hell with the customers!

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9 minutes ago, Haza said:

Do you think this change would be covered? They say we’re still going to Amsterdam, but it’s not as it was advertised at the time of booking and significantly reduces the flexibility we would have had. It is the main port of call on the cruise

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3 minutes ago, AlisonB1978 said:

Do you think this change would be covered? They say we’re still going to Amsterdam, but it’s not as it was advertised at the time of booking and significantly reduces the flexibility we would have had. It is the main port of call on the cruise

 

Not sure but will call them again tomorrow....

I will also be on to my insurance company if i can cancel due to the change.

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37 minutes ago, AlisonB1978 said:

I agree. The only thing left to our discretion to show our frustration is removal of auto gratuities, but that would be taking it out on the staff and it’s not their fault. We were seriously considering booking Iona for next summer, but after this will definitely think again. They don’t deserve the custom!!

Removing Grats, does not effect the staff. But does effect the company. As long as you pay cash to the staff you found helpfull.  (its actually better for them) . The Company have to make up the difference of an agreed tips pool. The more deducted the more

P&O have to make up.

Edited by Pennbank

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11 minutes ago, Haza said:

 

Not sure but will call them again tomorrow....

I will also be on to my insurance company if i can cancel due to the change.

Let us know how you get on. Hadn’t thought about the insurance company option - but they’re notoriously difficult too!! So short sighted by P&O

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There is one aspect most people have overlooked. Over the past few years a good proportion of cruises with Amsterdam as a port have failed to get in. This is due to strong winds at the lock.  It has been discussed many times on here and other boards. By betting in Ijmuiden the lock is avoided and so the call at Amsterdam has a much greater chance of happening. The TT of €8 is a factor but not a major one as someone has to pay for the shuttle buses. They are free to passengers. So there is a cost there possibly more than the €8 pp. 

 

I however tend tend to agree with those saying it could be Carnival trying to make a point.

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Hi ...I too have been affected by this change of POC...my second cruise to be affected this year so I am really disappointed. I know that they are offering free shuttles but I wonder at the logistics of that. How many shuttle buses are they going to use to transfer 3000 passengers? How long is one going to have to queue for if there is an inadequate supply of coaches. If there isn't enough room on the initial coaches you are going to have to wait for at least an hour and a half for the coaches to return....could be the same on the return journey....I envisage spending a considerable amount of time queuing and travelling to and fro to Amsterdam ....not what I had in mind when I booked this cruise...I thought we would be having 2 full days in Amsterdam to enjoy this cultural city....not messing about with coaches.

Don't think we will be " jumping through this hoop"

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27 minutes ago, daiB said:

There is one aspect most people have overlooked. Over the past few years a good proportion of cruises with Amsterdam as a port have failed to get in. This is due to strong winds at the lock.  It has been discussed many times on here and other boards. By betting in Ijmuiden the lock is avoided and so the call at Amsterdam has a much greater chance of happening. The TT of €8 is a factor but not a major one as someone has to pay for the shuttle buses. They are free to passengers. So there is a cost there possibly more than the €8 pp. 

 

I however tend tend to agree with those saying it could be Carnival trying to make a point.

 

Agree there has been many failed attempts during Winter Months to get into Amsterdam Cruise terminal,  Many By P&O and A few with Cunard.

When I have been on board with failed attempts due to wind at no time did they utilise the Felison Cruise terminal.

This can only be Carnival being stubbon and not thinking about their passengers. 

For the sake of 8 Euro there is no comparison to berthing in the Centre of Amsterdam. 

After all not long ago they were happy to add a fuel surcharge  ! So why not 8 euro ?

 

Edited by Pennbank

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You know what? You *may* benefit... we’ve tried to get into Amsterdam three times, finally managed it at the third time at Christmas. It’s notorious for being cancelled as it requires entry into the sea lock (difficult in anything other than good weather) The alternative was once a trip to Rotterdam, the other was an extra two days avoiding a North Sea storm, by circling off the Norfolk coast!!!

 

We docked ‘in town’, but actually this was a fair walk to and from the town centre (can’t remember how long, but we walk fast and I think it took us at least 20 minutes) 

 

The ports tend to run a lot of shuttle buses. Our experience in other ports is that the shuttle buses arrive in convoy, fill fast then leave. Not had an issue so far with waiting. They tend to be frequent for returning too.

 

Sounds like the shuttles will drop you more in the centre than the ship would dock... 

 

GBM

 

 

 

Edited by Goosebear Mum

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3 minutes ago, Pennbank said:

 

Agree there has been many failed attempts during Winter Months to get into Amsterdam Cruise terminal,  Many By P&O and A few with Cunard.

When I have been on board with failed attempts due to wind at no time did they utilise the Felison Cruise terminal.

This can only be Carnival being stubbon and not thinking about their passengers. 

For the sake of 8 Euro there is no comparison to berthing in the Centre of Amsterdam. 

 

I don’t think the €8 is that much of a factor. 

 

With regard to what has has happened in the past re. Failing to get to Amsterdam. I doubt the cruise terminal would be available at such short notice not to mention the vast number of shuttle buses needed.

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Known as planning, The staff at the failed cruise terminal could easy make their way further West.

Its not difficult,    They are known as the Amsterdam cruise terminals. The Captains usually know in advance if they are going to get through the lock due to weather. 

As for coaches, no different then rail replacement,

Edited by Pennbank

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I think docking in Ijmuiden will add a few hours to the length of time in port as they won’t have to sail the two to three hours into Amsterdam. Whilst it isn’t ideal at all having to dock there, there should be more guarantee of being able to successfully dock. With the overnight calls the port tax actually doubles to €16 per person so P and O or Carnival have chosen to save the approximately €52000 euros it would cost for a ship the size of Ventura to dock in the city centre. 

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I'm sure MSC, P&O and Carnival are trying to make a point. MSC The Netherlands' director even said that that was of the reasons (besides having to tax the pax) in a (Dutch) article. https://www.parool.nl/amsterdam/cruiserederij-woedend-over-belasting-vertrekt-naar-rotterdam~a4607992/

 

The popcorn is waiting for the discussions in the Counsil of Amsterdam when they find out the majority of the pax will be transported by bus to Amsterdam anyway.

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1 hour ago, Goosebear Mum said:

You know what? You *may* benefit... we’ve tried to get into Amsterdam three times, finally managed it at the third time at Christmas. It’s notorious for being cancelled as it requires entry into the sea lock (difficult in anything other than good weather) The alternative was once a trip to Rotterdam, the other was an extra two days avoiding a North Sea storm, by circling off the Norfolk coast!!!

 

We docked ‘in town’, but actually this was a fair walk to and from the town centre (can’t remember how long, but we walk fast and I think it took us at least 20 minutes) 

 

The ports tend to run a lot of shuttle buses. Our experience in other ports is that the shuttle buses arrive in convoy, fill fast then leave. Not had an issue so far with waiting. They tend to be frequent for returning too.

 

Sounds like the shuttles will drop you more in the centre than the ship would dock... 

 

GBM

 

 

 

I agree it is easily 20 minutes brisk walk from the cruise terminal to the centre of Amsterdam.

We got into Amsterdam on our new years eve cruise 2017 on Ventura but the previous new years Cruise 2016 on Ventura we couldn't because of the wind.

Any ship like Ventura who don't have Azipods will always struggle in the canal.

DFDS ferry's have used Ijmuiden for years and we personally experienced this twice and the transfer was pleasantly interesting.

 

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9 hours ago, DS_Dean said:

 

Interesting indeed. P&O are not a customer service centric company that for sure. Customer care post booking is almost non-existent. Not sure if this is a Carnival brand wide thing, or just P&O.

Interesting topic. Some on Marella forums say they have awful customer care. Now I have proof that it is not just Marella!

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7 hours ago, davecttr said:

Interesting topic. Some on Marella forums say they have awful customer care. Now I have proof that it is not just Marella!

Also I now have proof that customer service of MSC isn't as awful as some say...I have just experienced the same problem with a cruise booked with MSC BUT they have given me a full refund PLUS our extra  costs incurred to join the cruise

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Unfortunately we seem to get a lot of our opinions second hand. I stayed away from P&O because everyone said it was very formal. I tried it eventually and a lot of what was said was just not true, even stuff written on the P&O site does not match the reality on the ship. I have now cruised with P&O over 20 times.

 

My advice to new cruisers I meet on board is don't listen to the moaners, you will meet some. Make up your own mind at the end of the cruise. If people moan to me I can always say " other cruise lines are available"

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I too am on this cruise and very unhappy about the change.  If it had been just a one-day call, it would not have been so bad but the fact that we are there overnight makes it a poor decision imho.  Who wants a return coach journey of 80 minutes to go for a night out when on a cruise?

 

Of course, we don't know for certain that it is the new tourist tax that has caused this but it is highly likely.  The problem is that P&O shore-side are very poor communicators and using the cover-all "operational reasons" only winds people up.  Sadly, I don't think we stand a hope in hell of getting a goodwill gesture as P&O will just say that they are fulfilling their contract by providing free transfers into Amsterdam.

 

The problem is that they never think out of the box.  They could have written to all pax stating that a new tax had been introduced by the Amsterdam authorities and so they would need to add the equivalent of €16 to our on-board accounts but by way of a goodwill gesture will credit our accounts with £15 obc - which would of course cost them far less than £15.

 

In general, UK companies are far less customer care oriented.  I'm sure any of the USA -based cruise lines would deal with this in a much better fashion.

 

I am going to write a complaint too and would encourage anyone on this cruise to do the same.  They are inconveniencing us so let's inconvenience them!

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We are not on this cruise but completely agree that the change is very disappointing. When we went to Amsterdam (on Ventura) the walk into the city centre was dead easy and flat, even pushing a wheelchair (as I was). Whilst we had missed the sail in to Amsterdam, the nighttime cruise out was spectacular as all the buildings close alongside the waterfront (commercial and residential) were lit up with no blinds or curtains drawn and it was fascinating seeing families sitting having dinner and waving to us as we passed. It reminded me of the Alfred Hitchcok film 'Rear Window'! Also, I had been unaware that there was a sea lock and I found the transit through that to be fascinating. Amsterdam is far from being one of our favourite places, but I would have considered another cruise there for these aspects alone, so if I had booked, only to find out that all of that would be sacrificed for a long bus transfer then I too would be extremely irritated. P&O are very poor at handling planned itinerary changes and do nothing to pacify irritated customers. Compensation is often possible if you persevere.

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43 minutes ago, Selbourne said:

We are not on this cruise but completely agree that the change is very disappointing. When we went to Amsterdam (on Ventura) the walk into the city centre was dead easy and flat, even pushing a wheelchair (as I was). Whilst we had missed the sail in to Amsterdam, the nighttime cruise out was spectacular as all the buildings close alongside the waterfront (commercial and residential) were lit up with no blinds or curtains drawn and it was fascinating seeing families sitting having dinner and waving to us as we passed. It reminded me of the Alfred Hitchcok film 'Rear Window'! Also, I had been unaware that there was a sea lock and I found the transit through that to be fascinating. Amsterdam is far from being one of our favourite places, but I would have considered another cruise there for these aspects alone, so if I had booked, only to find out that all of that would be sacrificed for a long bus transfer then I too would be extremely irritated. P&O are very poor at handling planned itinerary changes and do nothing to pacify irritated customers. Compensation is often possible if you persevere.

I agree on both those points.

To illustrate what other companies do,

We were on a RCI cruise which wasn't allowed into Let Havre so they took us to Rotterdam instead.

New year's eve 2016 Ventura couldn't get into Amsterdam through high winds so they let us sail around the channel for a couple of days

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They've done this to ALL their Amsterdam visits, as I understand it - all shifted to Ijmuiden, so the planned shortish walk from the port to the centre of Amsterdam now becomes a coach trip which will probably take almost an hour.  Wrecks all the plans we had in place for being able to get back to the ship and out again in the evening so easily.

 

'Operational reasons' is all the complaints people will say, but it's not as simple as that.  Here's one of the most relevant parts of the T&C - note the word 'reasonably'.  That's a word capable of wide legal interpretation, but if this was to save P&O the relatively small extra cost of docking at Amsterdam I doubt the courts would interpret that as reasonable - given the huge disruption it will cause to passengers.  This is going to hit a few travel headlines, and probably end up being challenged in court if they stick with this plan.  Quite a few people will be happy to challenge this, particularly if they have (as most do) a legal expenses add-on to their household insurance cover.

 

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.

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Nice one docco 

I'm going to ring them now to see if I can get through to the complaints dep't,

 

 

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Just rang them,

As its not a significant change this paragraph doesn't count.

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20 minutes ago, Haza said:

Just rang them,

As its not a significant change this paragraph doesn't count.

 

What is the case law on that??

 

Annie

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