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Harry Peterson

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

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Are you affected by the decision of P&O, Cunard and other Carnival brands to change cruises already booked so that ships call at Ijmuiden instead of Amsterdam?

 

Wanting to tackle P&O, Cunard etc on this change (they're currently saying no compensation and no cancellation rights) effectively, and win?

 

I'm setting this thread up to allow people to discuss the best ways of tackling them on this.  Ideas so far (on different, but related, threads) involve publicity (Radio 4's You and Yours for example), complaints to ABTA (some already underway) and legal action for compensation.

 

This is a major change to most cruises, and P&O cannot rely on their usual get-out clause because of the wording of that clause.  It allows them to make certain changes, but not anything of this nature - essentially because it's totally within their control and is being done purely to save them money.

 

Please feel free to add any views, suggestions or comments - the more people that take P&O on the more likely they are to listen to reason and offer some sensible solutions, instead of their usual tactic of just ignoring all their customers and assuming nothing will happen.  Believe me, P&O, this one's going to run and run.........

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I've been watching this thread with interest.  We once booked a cruise with Thomson and between the first and second edition of the brochure two destinations we'd especially wanted to visit had disappeared and the itinerary only had 2 ports of call the same as the original.  (No notification from Thomson - my friend noticed the change in the brochure!!!).  They weren't sympathetic but we argued the case on the basis of a 60% change in the itinerary compared with what we'd booked.  That constituted a significant change in my book.  Eventually we were allowed to cancel with no admin fee.  The % change iin the short cruises involved here are highly significant changes imo.  Good luck all. 

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2 hours ago, docco said:

Are you affected by the decision of P&O, Cunard and other Carnival brands to change cruises already booked so that ships call at Ijmuiden instead of Amsterdam?

 

Wanting to tackle P&O, Cunard etc on this change (they're currently saying no compensation and no cancellation rights) effectively, and win?

 

I'm setting this thread up to allow people to discuss the best ways of tackling them on this.  Ideas so far (on different, but related, threads) involve publicity (Radio 4's You and Yours for example), complaints to ABTA (some already underway) and legal action for compensation.

 

This is a major change to most cruises, and P&O cannot rely on their usual get-out clause because of the wording of that clause.  It allows them to make certain changes, but not anything of this nature - essentially because it's totally within their control and is being done purely to save them money.

 

Please feel free to add any views, suggestions or comments - the more people that take P&O on the more likely they are to listen to reason and offer some sensible solutions, instead of their usual tactic of just ignoring all their customers and assuming nothing will happen.  Believe me, P&O, this one's going to run and run.........

 

There appear to be some assumptions here which may or may not be true. Any money saved may be more than negated by the cost of providing free shuttle buses for a couple of days for example.

 

Before anybody affected by this change decides to follow the advice, they may be keen to know your qualifications and experience of British law docco.

Edited by pete14
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2 minutes ago, pete14 said:

 

There appear to be some assumptions here which may or may not be true. Any money saved may be more than negated by the cost of providing free shuttle buses for a couple of days. 

 

Before anybody affected by this does decides to follow their advice, they may be keen to know your qualifications and experience of British law docco.

Can't see where docco is claiming to be a lawyer he/she is merely setting up a platform for those affected to discuss options.

 

I'm actually on this cruise with my disabled wife and son so have followed the Amsterdam threads with interest, we specifically booked this cruise for the Amsterdam stopover and are extremely disappointed that we now face a hour and half return trip just to visit the city itself, that in itself may mean we have to spend both days on board or at best have a potter around Ljmuiden and that really isn't what we were sold.

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16 minutes ago, pete14 said:

 

There appear to be some assumptions here which may or may not be true. Any money saved may be more than negated by the cost of providing free shuttle buses for a couple of days for example.

 

Before anybody affected by this change decides to follow the advice, they may be keen to know your qualifications and experience of British law docco.

A perfectly fair point - but the point of the thread, as you'll see from the original post, isn't for me to give advice.  It's to share experiences with P&O over this issue, discuss the best way forward, and allow people to make informed decisions on the best course of action for them.

 

Shared information is far better than having just a little information, and since P&O at the moment think they hold all the cards (they're still refusing to say what the 'operational reasons' for the decision are, for example - even though we all know) a pooled information source such as this might help some people.

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1 hour ago, docco said:

A perfectly fair point - but the point of the thread, as you'll see from the original post, isn't for me to give advice.  It's to share experiences with P&O over this issue, discuss the best way forward, and allow people to make informed decisions on the best course of action for them.

 

Shared information is far better than having just a little information, and since P&O at the moment think they hold all the cards (they're still refusing to say what the 'operational reasons' for the decision are, for example - even though we all know) a pooled information source such as this might help some people.

 

Shared information is better than little information but only if it is correct. It is quite possible that this is in the control of P&O and that it is a money making exercise but do you have evidence that this is correct. I posted a link on another thread about possible closure of the cruise port. It may not have happened and may not be due to happen, but if it is right, it is out of P&O’s control and is not a way of making extra money. Are you booked on a P&O cruise affected by this change docco?

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11 minutes ago, pete14 said:

 

Shared information is better than little information but only if it is correct. It is quite possible that this is in the control of P&O and that it is a money making exercise but do you have evidence that this is correct. I posted a link on another thread about possible closure of the cruise port. It may not have happened and may not be due to happen, but if it is right, it is out of P&O’s control and is not a way of making extra money. Are you booked on a P&O cruise affected by this change docco?

Yes, I am booked on an affected cruise, and I have spoken to P&O about the reasons given. They say it’s for ‘operational reasons ‘ but refuse absolutely to give any details whatever as to what those reasons might be.

 

I have put it to them that the sole reason is the new passenger charge of 8 Euros and they do not deny it.

 

ABTA are now involved, but that’s only the start.

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1 hour ago, docco said:

I have put it to them that the sole reason is the new passenger charge of 8 Euros and they do not deny it.

 

They would just pass the 8 Euro charge along to the passengers (its classed as a Port Charge, isn't it?), which would mean little to me as a passenger if they did - i certainly wouldn't complain or threaten to cancel if they said that port charges have increased by 8€. I think there's more going on behind the scenes then the lines not wanting to pass the fee along or absorb it.

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9 minutes ago, Underwatr said:

I think there's more going on behind the scenes then the lines not wanting to pass the fee along or absorb it.

 

Multiple lines are flexing their muscles. I think that if they wouldn't, a tourist tax on top of port fees will become "free money" for every city counsil. 

 

They are absorbing costs, not a lousy 8 euro, but many people complaining, cancelling and legal threats. With the current local counsil in Amsterdam, which removed the iconic "I amsterdam" letters as it was not "inclusive enough", I think the lines will lose this battle. This counsil doesn't care how much this policy will cost the city or how many buses will travel from Rotterdam/IJmuiden to Amsterdam and back. 

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8 hours ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

Multiple lines are flexing their muscles. I think that if they wouldn't, a tourist tax on top of port fees will become "free money" for every city counsil. 

 

They are absorbing costs, not a lousy 8 euro, but many people complaining, cancelling and legal threats. With the current local counsil in Amsterdam, which removed the iconic "I amsterdam" letters as it was not "inclusive enough", I think the lines will lose this battle. This counsil doesn't care how much this policy will cost the city or how many buses will travel from Rotterdam/IJmuiden to Amsterdam and back. 

 

Many thanks for your insight. As you are based in Holland, can you please confirm whether or not the local council are going ahead with building a couple of bridges for pedestrians and bicycles which will have the effect of closing the present cruiseport to all but the smallest of ships. There was a report that this was likely to happen in a link on one of the other threads about this. Thanks

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We did a very similar cruise on this ship 3yrs ago, one highlight was the 2-3hr sail through the canals from Ijmuiden to Amsterdam it was amazing going through the locks and the canals on a ship of that size, we will miss that due to the change. When docked in the city it was a pleasant level 10 minute stroll to the station or a short 5 min taxi ride. For passengers unable to manage an hour and a half round trip on a busy shuttle bus a taxi from Imjuiden to Amsterdam is 75 - 100 euros each way depending on traffic. P & O are still insisting this is not a ‘significant’ change to the itinerary. If like me you consider this a very significant change to the itinerary, please register your complaint with P & O.

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19 minutes ago, Lizzie53 said:

We did a very similar cruise on this ship 3yrs ago, one highlight was the 2-3hr sail through the canals from Ijmuiden to Amsterdam it was amazing going through the locks and the canals on a ship of that size, we will miss that due to the change. When docked in the city it was a pleasant level 10 minute stroll to the station or a short 5 min taxi ride. For passengers unable to manage an hour and a half round trip on a busy shuttle bus a taxi from Imjuiden to Amsterdam is 75 - 100 euros each way depending on traffic. P & O are still insisting this is not a ‘significant’ change to the itinerary. If like me you consider this a very significant change to the itinerary, please register your complaint with P & O.

Well put.  It may be that not everyone affected by this yet knows about it, or perhaps what a major change this is - and the greater the part that Amsterdam plays in the overall cruise the greater the impact, and the more likely it is that the change is a 'significant alteration' under Clause 40 of the booking terms and conditions.  And under Clause 1 'a significant alteration' means 'major changes to your Package'.

 

If this doesn't amount to 'major changes to your package' when looked at by an arbitrator or a court (depending on the part that Amsterdam plays in that overall package) I'd be very surprised, but P&O are presently still toughing it out on the basis that not many of us will push this to its logical conclusion.  I certainly will, and I hope that others will do the same.

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I would have thought it is more the cost of going through the locks than an 8 Euro tourist tax?

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Docco - many thanks for collating this. We are also lodging a complaint with ABTA with the reason being 'significant change'. We're appalled that P&O knew about this change but continued to sell the package on the basis of docking in Amsterdam.  We feel we've been totally misled. We've also complained to various individuals / departments at P&O etc. So far being fobbed off but will post on here any replies we receive.  Good luck to all. 

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1 hour ago, SandraMeyer said:

Docco - many thanks for collating this. We are also lodging a complaint with ABTA with the reason being 'significant change'. We're appalled that P&O knew about this change but continued to sell the package on the basis of docking in Amsterdam.  We feel we've been totally misled. We've also complained to various individuals / departments at P&O etc. So far being fobbed off but will post on here any replies we receive.  Good luck to all. 

Thanks for your contributions too - You and Yours may well be getting a few emails on this!  BBC1's Watchdog is off-air at the moment, but they do 'collect' stories in advance of the new series.

 

You've already discovered, I think, just how cavalier an attitude P&O adopts towards its customers, even when it's wholly at fault, as it is here.  It assumes, I think, that they haven't got the ability or the desire to take things further, and in most cases they're probably right, but you and I, and hopefully others, will prove them wrong on this one.

 

The line they're taking is that they're protected by their T&C, but they must know that they're not - not in this situation where it's entirely within their control, the change isn't 'reasonably necessary', it's a 'significant change' and they're not fulfilling this key term which appears in the contract too:

 

"Whilst P&O Cruises will do its best not to cancel or to make any significant alteration after a booking has been made........"

 

Very clearly P&O is not doing 'its best' not to make this 'significant alteration' - far from it, in fact: it's actually doing completely the opposite of that, and for these reasons I think the County Court will find very clearly against them when/if it goes to court.  The compensation will depend on the particular facts of each affected cruise, and what actually happens on that cruise, but the sums could be substantial.

 

 

 

 

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we are on QV for a 7night cruise next year and are affected by this. If however the weather when we arrive in Ijmuiden is such that we would have been prevented from entering the locks I will happily accept the compromise rather than spending a day cruising the North Sea.

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Points to note regarding this situation. 

 

1. It is not as clear cut as certain people are saying it is.

2. Amsterdam has always been a difficult port to get to particularly in windy weather. Many posters have experienced this.

3. The €8 mentioned as the reason for the change is not as solid as some think. The cost of providing shuttle buses for 3k to 5k passengers will be above this amount or if not very close to it.

4. I suspect that there are other factors that we know nothing about.

5. The company are offering free shuttles to Amsterdam which will drop off nearer the city than the other cruise terminal.

6. The stay in Amsterdam will not be reduced in time as the ship will arrive earlier and leave later.

7. Ijmuiden is classed as a port/berth for Amsterdam.

 

With any luck this will sorted by the time we have our cruise there in October. At least we can be guaranteed that we will get into the berth however strong the wind is. When we went there last time we got in but were 15 hours late in departing. This was the middle of October.

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10 hours ago, pete14 said:

As you are based in Holland, can you please confirm whether or not the local council are going ahead with building a couple of bridges for pedestrians and bicycles which will have the effect of closing the present cruiseport to all but the smallest of ships. There was a report that this was likely to happen in a link on one of the other threads about this. Thanks

 

There are reports of needing moving the terminal, but it's still vague as to what will happen. Anyway, if all ships cancel, there won't be a passenger terminal left to move.

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11 minutes ago, daiB said:

Points to note regarding this situation. 

 

1. It is not as clear cut as certain people are saying it is.

2. Amsterdam has always been a difficult port to get to particularly in windy weather. Many posters have experienced this.

3. The €8 mentioned as the reason for the change is not as solid as some think. The cost of providing shuttle buses for 3k to 5k passengers will be above this amount or if not very close to it.

4. I suspect that there are other factors that we know nothing about.

5. The company are offering free shuttles to Amsterdam which will drop off nearer the city than the other cruise terminal.

6. The stay in Amsterdam will not be reduced in time as the ship will arrive earlier and leave later.

7. Ijmuiden is classed as a port/berth for Amsterdam.

 

With any luck this will sorted by the time we have our cruise there in October. At least we can be guaranteed that we will get into the berth however strong the wind is. When we went there last time we got in but were 15 hours late in departing. This was the middle of October.

You’re missing some key points though.

 

1 If it isn’t clear cut, why are Carnival refusing to say what the operational reasons they keep quoting actually are?

2 Nothing has changed in the Amsterdam weather conditions, and P&O were well aware of that before they advertised these cruises. What has changed, however, is the new 8 Euro charge. And the number of cruises affected by the weather has always been quite small.

3 There will be some cost in running the buses, but this is all about Carnival firing a shot across the bows of the Port of Amsterdam, using its poor passengers as the ammunition.

4 If there are, why are Carnival refusing to say what they are?

5 The buses are dropping off in the museum quarter, a mile and a half from the centre. Far less convenient than a short walk or tram ride from the Port of Amsterdam.

6 Whatever extra time is available in port will be nothing by comparison with several hours on a bus if you want to go into the city two or three times. That would have been perfectly feasible from Amsterdam but well nigh impossible from Ijmuiden.

7 Ijmuiden is still not Amsterdam, and that’s what was sold.

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17 minutes ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

There are reports of needing moving the terminal, but it's still vague as to what will happen. Anyway, if all ships cancel, there won't be a passenger terminal left to move.

 

Thank you for the information. Whether the uncertainty is a factor behind cruise ships changing to Ijmuiden is unclear but there must be something going on behind the scenes that is causing this problem. It cannot just be a small extra charge as some appear to think. It is of course possible that the reluctance of all the cruise companies (not just Carnival lines) to give more detailed information may be due to issues of confidentiality  between the port and the local city authorities.

Edited by pete14
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26 minutes ago, pete14 said:

 

Thank you for the information. Whether the uncertainty is a factor behind cruise ships changing to Ijmuiden is unclear but there must be something going on behind the scenes that is causing this problem. It cannot just be a small extra charge as some appear to think. It is of course possible that the reluctance of all the cruise companies (not just Carnival lines) to give more detailed information may be due to issues of confidentiality  between the port and the local city authorities.

It's not just this charge, I agree.  It's the charging principle they're trying to block, because it could damage their business.  And as for the refusal to say why, there would be no reasons of confidentiality preventing Carnival from explaining, as they will have to at some point, why they've chosen to switch ports at vast inconvenience to all their passengers.

 

It's an argument between the city and the cruise companies, and the CLIA are making it perfectly plain that they see it as a battle - sadly, though, they're using the passengers as the cannonballs.

 

There can be no doubt whatever, particularly when you look at CLIA comments (and Dingle's the head), that there is one reason for this, and one reason alone - a vendetta by the cruise companies against Amsterdam, and we're just pawns in that vendetta.

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40 minutes ago, pete14 said:

 

Thank you for the information. Whether the uncertainty is a factor behind cruise ships changing to Ijmuiden is unclear but there must be something going on behind the scenes that is causing this problem. It cannot just be a small extra charge as some appear to think. It is of course possible that the reluctance of all the cruise companies (not just Carnival lines) to give more detailed information may be due to issues of confidentiality  between the port and the local city authorities.

Other cruise lines are still (apparently) docking in central Amsterdam. Why?

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31 minutes ago, Eglesbrech said:

Other cruise lines are still (apparently) docking in central Amsterdam. Why?

The list of those not going is increasing. There is another post on here. Princess, Costa and aida

Edited by daiB

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26 minutes ago, Eglesbrech said:

Other cruise lines are still (apparently) docking in central Amsterdam. Why?

 

I would imagine because they are debarking passengers at end of Cruise , (No passenger tax applies) or Passengers starting Cruise, again no passenger tax applies. Or other cruise companies are paying the €8 passenger tax for those staying overnight

 

Edited by Pennbank

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