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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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On 3/12/2019 at 8:39 AM, docco said:

It’s Ijmuiden now, of course. Yet more deceit from this untrustworthy company.

 

I am on the 'Amsterdam' cruise next weekend and am very angry about the change.  I do however think you need to give them the benefit of the doubt over this brochure issue.  I suspect the brochure had to go to print before the decision had been taken.  If you look on the website, all those 4 night 'Amsterdam' cruises are now labelled as 'Netherlands' cruises and do state that the port is Ijmuiden.

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7 minutes ago, Britboys said:

 

I am on the 'Amsterdam' cruise next weekend and am very angry about the change.  I do however think you need to give them the benefit of the doubt over this brochure issue.  I suspect the brochure had to go to print before the decision had been taken.  If you look on the website, all those 4 night 'Amsterdam' cruises are now labelled as 'Netherlands' cruises and do state that the port is Ijmuiden.

Looking at it from a consumer’s point of view, though, as against that of the Carnival accountants running the show, they could have taken two alternative courses of action.

 

Hold back the decision to change ports - that was entirely within their control.  Or sent out amendment slips with the brochures - also entirely within their control.

 

But why bother, if you know most of your customers will just moan, sit on their hands, and do nothing.

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12 minutes ago, docco said:

Looking at it from a consumer’s point of view, though, as against that of the Carnival accountants running the show, they could have taken two alternative courses of action.

 

Hold back the decision to change ports - that was entirely within their control.  Or sent out amendment slips with the brochures - also entirely within their control.

 

But why bother, if you know most of your customers will just moan, sit on their hands, and do nothing.

 

I am happy to criticise P&O and have done so on a number of occasions but I will give them the benefit of the doubt this time. Just on the brochure - not the decision to change berthing arrangements!

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On 2/24/2019 at 12:37 PM, jemal said:

We are on Ventura N907.  We have registered a complaint through "Resolver."  Resolver is endorsed by Martin Lewis. It is a free online tool. Very easy to use. 

Thanks so much for this.  We have just registered our complaint with them too.

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Just a quick heads-up for those on the 22nd March sailing.  There are now two or three excursions available on the afternoon of 23rd March in addition to 24th March.  They seem to be departing the ship at 1330.

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We are on the 22nd March trip and had the holiday information brochure, all excursion to Amsterdam have a 1 hour coach trip their and back ...2 hours for one visit, if you want to go to Amsterdam in the evening as well that’s 4 hours...go the next day that’s 6 hours travel. From the original berth to Amsterdam central 20 minutes leisurely stroll along the river or a 1 mile taxi ride for a few Euros, from Ijmuiden somebody did post on this thread the taxi fair and it was not cheap. Just a thought on the lock gates theory if this was true P&O would be all over the media saying they can’t dock in Amsterdam due to this problem and if true myself and most passengers would accept it.  Because they haven’t the passenger tax must be why so many cruise lines are trying to make a stand...The honourable thing for P&O to do would have been to fulfill the cruises advertised as berthing in Central Amsterdam Passenger terminal and berth at Ijmuiden docks where this was and will be advertised.  I will post how the process unravels.

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1 minute ago, hansol1966 said:

We are on the 22nd March trip and had the holiday information brochure, all excursion to Amsterdam have a 1 hour coach trip their and back ...2 hours for one visit, if you want to go to Amsterdam in the evening as well that’s 4 hours...go the next day that’s 6 hours travel. From the original berth to Amsterdam central 20 minutes leisurely stroll along the river or a 1 mile taxi ride for a few Euros, from Ijmuiden somebody did post on this thread the taxi fair and it was not cheap. Just a thought on the lock gates theory if this was true P&O would be all over the media saying they can’t dock in Amsterdam due to this problem and if true myself and most passengers would accept it.  Because they haven’t the passenger tax must be why so many cruise lines are trying to make a stand...The honourable thing for P&O to do would have been to fulfill the cruises advertised as berthing in Central Amsterdam Passenger terminal and berth at Ijmuiden docks where this was and will be advertised.  I will post how the process unravels.

Please do update us all on how it goes. It’s all very unclear at the moment.

 

Hope you enjoy yourself, despite P&O’s usual efforts to spoil things.  It didn’t have to be this way, and they should (but of course won’t) be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

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This is our latest complaint response from P&O. Note the shuttle bus drop off location has changed. 

 

Thank you for your e mail. I was sorry to learn that the phone call you received from my colleague did not answer all of your concerns. Where possible, we do like to call guests in order to discuss their issues but I appreciate that you would have welcomed a response in writing. 

I do appreciate your disappointment that it has proven necessary to change the berth for the overnight call in Amsterdam to Ijmuiden. As soon as we were aware that it was necessary to change from Amsterdam to another port, the alternative arrangements were made. Once everything was confirmed, guests were advised of the amendment not only to the cruise that you are booked on  but also to all of the other cruises that included Amsterdam as a port of call.

We are constantly looking for the best travel options for our cruise guests as we visit more than 700 ports around the world each year,  weighing a wide range of factors that include guest enjoyment and experience, tourism options, operations, port fees and other related costs, geopolitical factors and guest safety. Based on this information, the decision was made to change the port from Amsterdam to Ijmuiden. 

Please be aware that the drop off and pick up point in Amsterdam for the shuttle busses has changed. It is now De Ruijterkade-Oost, which is located close to Central Station in Amsterdam.  Whilst specific times of the shuttle busses will be provided on board, the last shuttle bus from Amsterdam to IJmuiden will get guests back to the ship approximately 30 minutes prior to sailing.   

Without wishing to underestimate your disappointment in any way, we do mention in our booking conditions that we reserve the right to amend the berthing arrangements and itineraries, should it be necessary, for any reason. P&O Cruises do not consider the amendment of the berth to be a significant alteration of the overall cruise itinerary because we are still taking our passengers to Amsterdam. We are therefore not offering any compensation or waiving cancellation charges. 

I do appreciate that this is not the answer you were hoping for but hope that despite your current disappointment, you will have an enjoyable cruise on board Ventura.

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11 minutes ago, AlisonB1978 said:

This is our latest complaint response from P&O. Note the shuttle bus drop off location has changed. 

 

Thank you for your e mail. I was sorry to learn that the phone call you received from my colleague did not answer all of your concerns. Where possible, we do like to call guests in order to discuss their issues but I appreciate that you would have welcomed a response in writing. 

I do appreciate your disappointment that it has proven necessary to change the berth for the overnight call in Amsterdam to Ijmuiden. As soon as we were aware that it was necessary to change from Amsterdam to another port, the alternative arrangements were made. Once everything was confirmed, guests were advised of the amendment not only to the cruise that you are booked on  but also to all of the other cruises that included Amsterdam as a port of call.

We are constantly looking for the best travel options for our cruise guests as we visit more than 700 ports around the world each year,  weighing a wide range of factors that include guest enjoyment and experience, tourism options, operations, port fees and other related costs, geopolitical factors and guest safety. Based on this information, the decision was made to change the port from Amsterdam to Ijmuiden. 

Please be aware that the drop off and pick up point in Amsterdam for the shuttle busses has changed. It is now De Ruijterkade-Oost, which is located close to Central Station in Amsterdam.  Whilst specific times of the shuttle busses will be provided on board, the last shuttle bus from Amsterdam to IJmuiden will get guests back to the ship approximately 30 minutes prior to sailing.   

Without wishing to underestimate your disappointment in any way, we do mention in our booking conditions that we reserve the right to amend the berthing arrangements and itineraries, should it be necessary, for any reason. P&O Cruises do not consider the amendment of the berth to be a significant alteration of the overall cruise itinerary because we are still taking our passengers to Amsterdam. We are therefore not offering any compensation or waiving cancellation charges. 

I do appreciate that this is not the answer you were hoping for but hope that despite your current disappointment, you will have an enjoyable cruise on board Ventura.

Thanks - so they still won't admit that they're doing it to save themselves some money, and carry on their fight with Amsterdam then.

 

Their view of 'significant alteration' varies from mine, given that their own T&C define it as follows:

 

“a significant alteration” means major changes to your Package

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Just had a reply from P&O.  Slightly different wording, but it does clarify that the shuttles will run throughout the night......

Thank you for your email. 

For overnight calls the complimentary shuttle service will run all throughout the night. The frequency of the buses at night may differ from the daytime service. 

Specific timing's will be available on board. The last shuttle bus from Amsterdam to IJmuiden will get guests back to the ship approximately 30 minutes before sailing. 

This is not classed as a significant change as our passengers will still have the same amount of time in Amsterdam as we will be arriving earlier and departing later to allow for the transfer time. 

There is no compensation P&O are offering for this as it is not a significant change. 

I hope this information has helped to answer your enquiry and we look forward to welcoming you on board soon.

Kind regards
 

Guest Services 
 P&O Cruises 

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Very nice to see P&O have moved the drop off point to much better location near the Central Station which provides easier access to Amsterdam. The canal cruises are a short walk away and cost us 8 euros now might be 10 euros...P&O are charging £34 each....you can easily do it yourself for 10 euros and a 300 yd walk straight opposite Central Station. It’s still 2 hrs each trip there and back, if this stays the same with Ijmuiden docks it is possible Amsterdam will become like any coach based product a day visit with no overnights. 

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There's a letter asking about this change in today's Observer (page 62, the "Cash" letter section). The resident expert doesn't hold out much hope of recompense.

Edited by AnnieC

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17 hours ago, AnnieC said:

There's a letter asking about this change in today's Observer (page 62, the "Cash" letter section). The resident expert doesn't hold out much hope of recompense.

It's an interesting article, but I'd say it was very positive, with some very negative comments about P&O, such as "Disgracefully, P&O was still advertising the package as a cruise to Amsterdam this month."

 

P&O refused to comment on that, and also refused to tell even The Observer what the 'operational reasons' are that they're using as an excuse.  We all know what they are (the tourist tax) but P&O is still concealing that for its own purposes.

 

The Observer writer doesn't accept the 'significant alteration' argument that P&O are using to try to wriggle out of their responsibilities, saying that as Amsterdam is the only port of call on the trip, it's pretty significant.  As they also say, a court would have to decide what counts as “significant”.

 

Those of us planning to take this to the county court will be encouraged by the piece (but not surprised, because P&O are very clearly on shaky legal ground) - though what's going to count is the proportion of days in Amsterdam (Ijmuiden now) as against the total number of port days.

 

Bear in mind that under the P&O terms and conditions “a significant alteration” means major changes to your Package - and if a court decides that your holiday has had major changes P&O will lose the case.  If Amsterdam was a major part of the total package, the chances of success must be very good indeed, and I'd be surprised if P&O allow things to go that far.

 

So far as ABTA is concerned, anyone who's had the recent brushoff (and bear in mind that P&O/Carnival is a major funder of ABTA) might want to go back to them as I have to ask them to look again at the facts, and the actual terms and conditions, rather than just pushing out the P&O line - the paragraph above is the point they're choosing to ignore.  Ask them too what the further route is within ABTA to pursue the complaint.

 

This is not going to go away.  Only a few of us, probably, will pursue P&O on this, but the bad publicity in the Observer isn't going to gain them any customers, and that's only the start.

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Like a dog with a bone, I have gone back to P&O.  This is their latest response.......

Thank you for your recent email.  I have now escalted this for you.

Your comments will be logged and a Guest Relations Executive will now carry out any investigations required and respond to you directly.  Whilst we endeavour to respond as soon as possible, this may take up to 28 days dependent on the level of investigation.

In the meantime, please accept this email as our acknowledgement of receipt. 
  
Once again, thank you for contacting us.  If there is anything further we can assist with, please let us know. 

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This seems to be a copy of the article further above your post, but in The Guardian rather than The Observer.

 

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27 minutes ago, CCFC said:

Someone went to the Guardian on this.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/mar/20/amsterdam-p-and-o-cruise-berth-moved-bus

 

Seems they didn't get anywhere.

It's the Observer piece referred to above - but it's now attracting even more bad publicity for P&O with an even wider audience.

 

They didn't get anywhere with the Observer/Guardian, partly because P&O refused to comment, and also refused to tell even The Observer what the 'operational reasons' are that they're using as an excuse.  

 

Some pretty positive comments, though, about the prospects of winning against P&O in the courts if they ever allow it to go that far.

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There are comments on Facebook this afternoon about the shuttle buses. Hard to know which are accurate, one poster suggests 18 shuttle buses in operation and "only" a 1 hour wait from joining a queue onboard to leaving the port. That was a fairly upbeat, positive viewpoint.

A more negative post suggesting 60% of passengers "stuck" onboard at 3:10pm (though how they could accurately calculate this percentage I don't know) and displaying pictures of long queues.

Either way it does not sound great.

 

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1 hour ago, DamianG said:

There are comments on Facebook this afternoon about the shuttle buses. Hard to know which are accurate, one poster suggests 18 shuttle buses in operation and "only" a 1 hour wait from joining a queue onboard to leaving the port. That was a fairly upbeat, positive viewpoint.

A more negative post suggesting 60% of passengers "stuck" onboard at 3:10pm (though how they could accurately calculate this percentage I don't know) and displaying pictures of long queues.

Either way it does not sound great.

 

Communication has been exceptionally good. Regular announcements stating wait times and number of passengers shifted.

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1 minute ago, molecrochip said:

Communication has been exceptionally good. Regular announcements stating wait times and number of passengers shifted.

Are you there now?  Some accurate information on this situation would be very useful.

 

How does one access all the Facebook posts? P&O seem to be doing a good job of hiding them.

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7 minutes ago, molecrochip said:

Communication has been exceptionally good. Regular announcements stating wait times and number of passengers shifted.

 

I once lost my cool to a staff member on Queen Victoria when he refused to give me information about the size of the tender queue at Lahaina Hawaii or the expected wait. I suppose I could have escalated my complaint. We ended up spending the day onboard with a phenomenal view from our balcony.

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6 minutes ago, docco said:

Are you there now?  Some accurate information on this situation would be very useful.

 

How does one access all the Facebook posts? P&O seem to be doing a good job of hiding them.

In laws are there now and have waited 2 1/2 hours at the dock for the shuttle bus. They are just boarding now. Announcement just made on ship that all buses have now left and 2000 passengers are enjoying Amsterdam, but sounds like plenty haven't bothered to go as Azura holds 3,000 passengers....

Andy

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Just now, AndyMichelle said:

In laws are there now and have waited 2 1/2 hours at the dock for the shuttle bus. They are just boarding now. Announcement just made on ship that all buses have now left and 2000 passengers are enjoying Amsterdam, but sounds like plenty haven't bothered to go as Azura holds 3,000 passengers....

Andy

2 and a half hours is an absolute disgrace and they will presumably face something similar on the way back.

 

The walk in from the original port was 20 minutes, surely the difference between one and the other is a “significant” change. It is in my opinion.

 

It would be interesting to hear how long they have to wait on the way back.

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12 minutes ago, AndyMichelle said:

In laws are there now and have waited 2 1/2 hours at the dock for the shuttle bus. They are just boarding now. Announcement just made on ship that all buses have now left and 2000 passengers are enjoying Amsterdam, but sounds like plenty haven't bothered to go as Azura holds 3,000 passengers....

Andy

Thanks for the update.  I'm sure P&O will improve on this, but as things stand now:

 

As booked:  walk off ship whenever you like, and a 20 minute walk, or a frequent tram, to Centraal station.

 

After modification by P&O:  3.5 hours to get to Centraal Station, and maybe another 3.5 hours to get back.

 

And this isn't a 'significant alteration' (meaning 'major changes') to your Package?  Cloud cuckoo land, P&O, and I wonder how many non-disclosure agreements this is going to give rise to so that it's kept out of court.

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2 minutes ago, Eglesbrech said:

2 and a half hours is an absolute disgrace and they will presumably face something similar on the way back.

 

The walk in from the original port was 20 minutes, surely the difference between one and the other is a “significant” change. It is in my opinion.

 

It would be interesting to hear how long they have to wait on the way back.

Totally agree, the best bit about Amsterdam for us was the convenience of a short stroll to the centre, especially overnight. We certainly wouldn't bother booking for there now, so definitely a significant change in my opinion.

 

Andy

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