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NavArch64

Veendam ex-Cuba Pricing and Itinerary

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Waiting for Nov 6 2019 Veendam  sailing revisions from HAL … why is it taking so long … is Jun 15 still the expectation?

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57 minutes ago, NavArch64 said:

Waiting for Nov 6 2019 Veendam  sailing revisions from HAL … why is it taking so long … is Jun 15 still the expectation?

 

Be patient. It's probably a mad scramble at HQ. Remember, HAL wasn't the only cruise line going to Cuba, so all the cruise lines are trying to lock in alternate ports. I suspect they're trying to keep the non-Cuba ports the same and just substitute for Cuba. That's the least drastic revision, but given the limited options for ports not already on the schedule and in that area, it's going to be difficult. Lots of variables. For example, changes in itinerary could mean more sailing and more fuel consumption. HAL can't announce ports and prices until they've got everything figured out. 

 

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Thank you for an excellent answer to my post … I guess Orlando has had an interesting week. My main annoyance with HAL right now is that they have already decided not to help with direct booked non refundable airfare to/from FLL in any way. 

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2 minutes ago, NavArch64 said:

Thank you for an excellent answer to my post … I guess Orlando has had an interesting week. My main annoyance with HAL right now is that they have already decided not to help with direct booked non refundable airfare to/from FLL in any way. 

 

By "help" do you mean covering some or all of the price of airfare if you cancel the trip? They may be not helping with that, at least for now, in order to discourage instant cancellations. They might do something as a gesture of goodwill. However, if the cruise departs as planned but with changes in itinerary, they aren't obligated to do anything about your airfare if you didn't book it through HAL. 

 

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Good points … I understand HAL's reasoning. However, it does put the guest in an uncomfortable situation. Perhaps Orlando is trying to share the "pain" with the loyal customers on this one.

 

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I am rather anxiously awaiting the verdict as well.  Our cruise is for December 18 on the Veendam.  Thankfully, I had not done anything about flights, so they are also waiting in the wings.  However, I have an AirBnB booked for after the cruise as a placeholder between cruises (we depart again on Jan 5 for South America), so if we change cruises or cancel the Veendam altogether, we'll be in a bit of pickle.

I'm sure the whole thing is a logistical nightmare for the cruise lines.  It's a mess for me, and we're just two people planning one trip.

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Everyone just has to be patient.  I don't think HAL's loyal customers are going to get special treatment in this situation.

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I'm anxiously waiting on the revised December 18 itinerary.  I thought that the October/November standard itineraries would be available by now.  Since ours is a 10 day cruise I was giving them a bit more slack.  I was just hoping to get some ideas on what they are planning.  

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I'm waiting too; we are also booked November 6.   If the itinerary is acceptable to us, we will not cancel because we like the Veendam and also the date worked well for us. 

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My PCC called today, but says she is still waiting for deals, due on 15th June. Why Saturday was picked she did not know. So far all they know is what we all received in email - $100 pp OBC if you stay with a Caribbean cruise, $50 pp OBC to rebook something not in Caribbean. Our cruise was not until April 2020, so depending on what they decide to do with , we may or may not be cruising. Hopefully HAL will offer something much better to keep our booking.

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1 hour ago, CruiseShelly said:

My PCC called today, but says she is still waiting for deals, due on 15th June. Why Saturday was picked she did not know. So far all they know is what we all received in email - $100 pp OBC if you stay with a Caribbean cruise, $50 pp OBC to rebook something not in Caribbean. Our cruise was not until April 2020, so depending on what they decide to do with , we may or may not be cruising. Hopefully HAL will offer something much better to keep our booking.

 

That’s a better OBC offer than we received when our cruise itinerary was suddenly switched from Caribbean to a Cuba itinerary the year these cruises started. $50 PP period whether you took the new itinerary or switched.

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9 hours ago, NavArch64 said:

Thank you for an excellent answer to my post … I guess Orlando has had an interesting week. My main annoyance with HAL right now is that they have already decided not to help with direct booked non refundable airfare to/from FLL in any way. 

Did you buy insurance or did you go with the decision to self insure and eat the cost of any financial losses?

 

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For the air tickets booked by the passenger direct with the airlines, there isn't really anything HAL can do.   That is a personal contract that is between the passenger and the airline, and the airline has no idea what you will be doing in FLL.  And they really don't care.   That is one of the problems of booking your own airfare.  Yes, you may save money on domestic flights, but there's always the chance that the cruise will be cancelled, or you will cancel due to a personal reason.   You have to deal with the airline directly, trying to move the flight or cancel it.  In many cases, you will be hit with a change fee, or lose the total cost of the ticket.   HAL offers it's Flight Ease for exactly this reason.  If there is any change, you are not on the hook for airfare losses.   This situation is a great example why travel insurance is necessary.  Either a 3rd party policy for just your cruise, or insurance through your credit card.   It is a must for travel these days.   

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I know it may be hard, but be patient and avoid rash actions.  Several times things disturbed our itineraries and we ended up with financially good deals.  If you do not like the deal - then cancel.  Just my suggestion,

 

Our most extreme example was our 24ish day cruise for early November the year of 9/11.  We were to sail from Spain, through the Med and then into the Suez canal.  As the canal was not a place for cruise ships to be at that time, and it was an integral part of the cruise heading for India the whole itinerary had to be changed.  Cruise critic role calls went wild, with even wilder speculations for various cruise lines similarly effected,  In my specific cruise caee, hundreds of CC passengers cancelled  almost immediately - fearing that the cruise line would force them to sail in dangerous waters, etc.  For these folks there was NO refund, no future cruise credit, etc. Wow, the language folks used about being "forced" to either lose their money or possibly risk their lives.  My question to them was - did they really think the cruise line wanted to risk our lives, crew lives and damage to the ship?  I think not, but can you imagine the logistics of planning a new route AND arranging all the necessary logistics - like food shipments, securing dock space, shore excursions, etc?  All in less than 2 months?

 

So sometime in the middle of October we got the new itinerary and the terrific perks offered.  We were re-routed around Africa with several ports on the west side of Africa, South Africa, Namibia, and then numerous "new" ports on our way to Singapore.  This involved 14 more cruising days, tips paid for us, AND credit for some shore excursions - ALL at NO ADDITIONAL COST.   or, if someone could not do the extended itinerary OR did not want to sail - FULL refund if they had held on to see the new itinerary.  They also had a shorter option for those who needed to get home close to the original cruise ending date. We were retired, flexible and took the new offering - and what a fantastic experience on a ship that was only half full.  On a per day cost - the cheapest cruise we ever sailed on..   

 

 

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Good advice backed up by an interesting experience. We are continuing to wait for HAL but have Island Princess (10d) or Caribbean Princess (14d) also sailing PEV on Nov 6 as possible replacements. So, 3 options that use existing DL to FLL on Nov 5 ... would have to "eat" DL from FLL on Nov 13 … then purchase new EZAIR DL from FLL for either Nov 16 or 20. Does anyone think that, under these unique circumstances, Stein Kruse (Group CEO) might "help"?

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I just logged into my HAL account.  My December itinerary has been updated.  The title remains the same and no excursions for the new ports.  Honestly not horrible.

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I realized that I hadn’t checked pricing.  That has not yet been updated nor has the extra OBC been added.  So they should meet tomorrow’s deadline.

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23 hours ago, cowmilker said:

I am rather anxiously awaiting the verdict as well.  Our cruise is for December 18 on the Veendam.  Thankfully, I had not done anything about flights, so they are also waiting in the wings.  However, I have an AirBnB booked for after the cruise as a placeholder between cruises (we depart again on Jan 5 for South America), so if we change cruises or cancel the Veendam altogether, we'll be in a bit of pickle.

I'm sure the whole thing is a logistical nightmare for the cruise lines.  It's a mess for me, and we're just two people planning one trip.

I logged in this morning and the cruise starts the same and then has the following new ports, pricing is not updated yet.

 12/22 San Juan, Puerto Rico

12/23 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.  

12/24  Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis  

12/27 Key West, Florida, US.

 I think this is a good alternative

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3 minutes ago, Crazy For Cats said:

I logged in this morning and the cruise starts the same and then has the following new ports, pricing is not updated yet.

 12/22 San Juan, Puerto Rico

12/23 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.  

12/24  Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis  

12/27 Key West, Florida, US.

 I think this is a good alternative

 

Those are good ports. Except for St Thomas, which I've been to more times than I need, I'd be happy to go to the others. If you haven't been to St Kitts, take the Sugar Train. It's a great excursion, especially at Christmastime. I remember seeing a house with "icicle lights" and I thought that icicles in the Caribbean were funny.

 

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1 minute ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

Those are good ports. Except for St Thomas, which I've been to more times than I need, I'd be happy to go to the others. If you haven't been to St Kitts, take the Sugar Train. It's a great excursion, especially at Christmastime. I remember seeing a house with "icicle lights" and I thought that icicles in the Caribbean were funny.

 

We have been to St Thomas too many times as well.  Been to St Kitts once.  I will look at theSugar Train. Thanks for the tip.

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Yes … I see the new itinerary for the Nov 6 sailing … Key West replaces Havana and Half Moon Key replaces Cienfuegos. Not bad, but not worth a premium price. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

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Crazy For Cats, thank you so much for the heads up. I am delighted.  We will almost certainly just stay on this cruise. Holland has done a great job under very adverse circumstances.

This is a huge relief.  Any price reduction will just be gravy at this point.

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