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NEED A FAIR REFUND POLICY DUE TO VIRUS


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1 hour ago, jmalux said:

I fully agree with you Samiam1. We live in Luxembourg but the situation is basically the same as in France.

 

I have a suspicion that Ponant is financially stretched due to all the new ships. Perhaps they can simply not afford to cancel the cruises.

 

Potentially spreading COVID 19 to uninfected islands with poor medical facilities outweights financial concerns, it is really bordering on criminal type corporate behavior.  No one in the US or Europe wants to travel under the current circumstances but Ponant is forcing people to travel or lose their vacation money.

Edited by samiam1
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Because New Zealand is essentially closed to visitors [mandatory 14 day quarantine for all arrivals], Ponant was forced to cancel the March 21 Best of New Zealand sailing.  Details about refunds not yet available.

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22 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Because New Zealand is essentially closed to visitors [mandatory 14 day quarantine for all arrivals], Ponant was forced to cancel the March 21 Best of New Zealand sailing.  Details about refunds not yet available.

 

Operative words "forced to cancel."  Is that the way to run a cruise line; we are going until we are forced to cancel regardless of the obvious perils to your customers in travelling during a pandemic?

Edited by samiam1
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20 hours ago, Ness71 said:

I am so disappointed by the response from Ponant re COVID-19. I have been planning and paying off my trip to the Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius for 18 months. My Dad passed away in 2018 and I now care for my elderly mother so I have been doing everything possible to keep her safe in the face of this virus. My travel insurance doesn’t cover pandemics, and Ponant insisted on going ahead with the  9 April departure and won’t even consider a postponement. I had no choice but to carry on with my plans - otherwise I would lose the lot. Australia yesterday recommended all o/s travel be cancelled and may yet move to a travel ban. If so, I will lose everything because I also have airfares and pre-paid accommodation, tours etc that won’t be refunded now. I could have salvaged something if Ponant had allowed me to postpone when I asked, but the response from Ponant was firm and very terse. It basically said the cruise will be leaving as planned and if you’re not on it, we’ll keep your money anyway. I also asked what would happen if I reached the Seychelles, developed a fever and was refused boarding and I was told it would be up to the captain and ship doctor as to whether or not I would forfeit the entire cruise fare. How unfair is that! If you are from Italy, China or Iran they will credit 115% of your fare without question. I am also concerned that Ponant has done a deal to be allowed into countries without COVID-19 when those same countries have closed down to all other cruise lines in efforts to protect their own citizens. The government might do the deal, but how happy will the locals be? Look what happened on Reunion Island with violent riots against cruise ship arrivals  - RI is also on our itinerary. The new serenity bookings look after new passengers, while the company leaves already loyal passengers out of pocket. I thought I had found the cruise line I wanted to sail with from now to my senior years, but friends who booked with Princess are being treated much better, with a full refund or credit on offer. If Ponant do not start behaving more ethically, and in line with other cruise lines, I will have no choice but to look elsewhere in future. When my dear Dad passed away, I had two future cruises booked, and I had to cancel them to look after Mum. One company sent condolences and repaid me the full deposit as a goodwill gesture - Ponant took the full deposit amount. I should have read the signs then...

I am on this same cruise.  Ponant customer service is clueless about this but the Seychelles announced on Monday the 9th that the port is closed to all cruise ships.  Sailing the ship will be impossible unless they totally change the voyage.  They are playing a game of chicken with their guests.  Most likely they will have to cancel the cruise and refund everyone who did not take a credit.  Hang tight and stare them down regarding this. 
 

we can pm about this if you like. 

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Ponant is owned by Artemis, which is the holding company of French billionaire Francois Pinault (married to Salma Hayek).    He is the 3rd richest in France and 27th richest in the world. 
 

I guess that is how you become a billionaire. It is disgusting! 

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2 hours ago, djasinsk said:

I am on this same cruise.  Ponant customer service is clueless about this but the Seychelles announced on Monday the 9th that the port is closed to all cruise ships.  Sailing the ship will be impossible unless they totally change the voyage.  They are playing a game of chicken with their guests.  Most likely they will have to cancel the cruise and refund everyone who did not take a credit.  Hang tight and stare them down regarding this. 
 

we can pm about this if you like. 

Thank you for the reply djasinsk.  I am sorry you are in the same boat - figuratively and literally.

 

I wrote to Ponant as soon as I saw that Seychelles closed the cruise season. The response I received was “Please be advised that PONANT received an agreement with Seychelles Port Authorities to go ahead with this cruise as we are a small ship. So at the day of today, your upcoming cruise is going ahead as planned.” When I queried whether they might extend their terms to include postponement, the response was “...As your upcoming cruise is going ahead as planned, and not going to an affected area, the cancellation fees will be as per our normal terms and conditions.” This was on 11 March.

 

I am already devastated about missing a long-planned break that I desperately needed. Losing all the money just adds insult to injury... 😪 Fingers crossed common sense prevails, and Ponant comes into line with all other luxury cruise lines, otherwise they may end up with no passengers to fill those beautiful new ships.

 

Good luck everyone!

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15 minutes ago, Ness71 said:

Thank you for the reply djasinsk.  I am sorry you are in the same boat - figuratively and literally.

 

I wrote to Ponant as soon as I saw that Seychelles closed the cruise season. The response I received was “Please be advised that PONANT received an agreement with Seychelles Port Authorities to go ahead with this cruise as we are a small ship. So at the day of today, your upcoming cruise is going ahead as planned.” When I queried whether they might extend their terms to include postponement, the response was “...As your upcoming cruise is going ahead as planned, and not going to an affected area, the cancellation fees will be as per our normal terms and conditions.” This was on 11 March.

 

I am already devastated about missing a long-planned break that I desperately needed. Losing all the money just adds insult to injury... 😪 Fingers crossed common sense prevails, and Ponant comes into line with all other luxury cruise lines, otherwise they may end up with no passengers to fill those beautiful new ships.

 

Good luck everyone!

 

So who will be on that cruise, French people who are carrying COVID 19 from locked down France to the Seychelles?

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10 minutes ago, Zeddog said:

Whilst Deep Diving on the Internet - I found this posted on a crew site - it should give everyone hope we should be hearing from Ponant soon:

 

http://crew-center.com/ponant-pause-all-cruise-operations-crew-will-get-financial-support?fbclid=IwAR0PLpExxWjF44WFqyn30lu8XrpkSKDUs_2PwjaP2J9Htm64JZQyZ_TWyCE

The luxury expedition cruise line Ponant will voluntarily suspend the cruise operations across the entire fleet as their ships are not able to continue sailing in the right conditions. Following this difficult decision the company sent a letter to all the crew members saying that a significant financial effort will be made out of solidarity to support disembarked crews.

 

Why not tell your passengers?

Edited by samiam1
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Thank you Zeddog and samiam1 . You have given hope to all or us out there with so much to lose as well as putting the local people of the Seychelles at risk .It is time for Ponant to act responsibly as have the other cruise lines  and tell their passengers . 

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26 minutes ago, samiam1 said:

The luxury expedition cruise line Ponant will voluntarily suspend the cruise operations across the entire fleet as their ships are not able to continue sailing in the right conditions. Following this difficult decision the company sent a letter to all the crew members saying that a significant financial effort will be made out of solidarity to support disembarked crews.

 

Why not tell your passengers?

Probably will in the next couple of days - thinking of their crew early is a good sign.  Many of them will return to poverty and no job prospects for many months.

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14 minutes ago, Zeddog said:

Probably will in the next couple of days - thinking of their crew early is a good sign.  Many of them will return to poverty and no job prospects for many months.

Thanks for the update Zeddog. COVID-19 is going to affect those in the world who can least afford it. Low income earners, casuals, hospitality workers etc will be hit the hardest. Sad and uncertain times for everyone 😪. Stay well.

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20 hours ago, luxury-lizard said:

Hello Ness71 - so sorry to hear of your situation - as a fellow Aussie also booked on a Ponant cruise from Cape Town to Durban then Durban to the Seychelles departing on March 17, I can certainly sympathise. This will be our first (and now probably last) Ponant cruise - they just don't "get it". We are already in Cape Town so even if allowed to cancel - not sure what we would do as we have an additional 8 days booked (hotels) in the Seychelles and 9 in Mauritius before flying home to Sydney (via Singapore).

 

Given the current situation I would not be surprised to see the Seychelles ban all cruise ships (like many other island nations - now even New Zealand) - who knows what would happen to your cruise then. I will post from time to time from our cruise.

If you haven’t already seen it Luxury-lizard, check out the crew post quoted at the end of this forum. I hope you can sort things out, and you stay safe on your journey home whatever you decide to do. 

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Thanks all for the update - just got up here in Cape Town and saw these posts - our cruise is "scheduled" to depart in 2 days - no word from Ponant as yet. Trying to find out more - we travelled to Cape Town  from Sydney 4 days ago for this cruise - now need to work out our options. As I stated in my earlier post we have pre-paid hotel bookings in the Seychelles and Mauritius post-cruise so it's not as easy as jumping on a plane home. Now Australia has announced all people entering Australia will need to self-isolate for 14 days (which I assumes means citizens as well). Difficult times - but no where near what people like cruise ship crew are enduing. Will post back when I have more specific information on Ponant.

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Thanks luxurylizard. You are certainly at the front of this horrendous fiasco . Stay safe and travel safely Here in Aus all arrivals including citizens have to self isolate for 14 days All cruise ships have been banned for 30 days which could be extended . 2 cases have been confirmed in the Seychelles They arrived back from Italy . Keep up dating when you have info particularly from Ponant Time for them to step up tp their responsibilities 

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OK all - I have received a text message stating that my cruise (details of cruise not specified)  is cancelled (presumably all cruises) and we'll be advised in the coming week "about options for postponing my trip" - no mention of a refund. The message asked to only try and contact Ponant for "urgent" requests - makes sense - the logistics of winding up current cruises etc must be extremely difficult. We would be satisfied with a future cruise credit - unless of course Ponant goes bankrupt (but that's what credit card chargebacks are for). I will call the Australian office when they open tomorrow morning (Ie Monday).

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11 minutes ago, luxury-lizard said:

OK all - I have received a text message stating that my cruise (details of cruise not specified)  is cancelled (presumably all cruises) and we'll be advised in the coming week "about options for postponing my trip" - no mention of a refund. The message asked to only try and contact Ponant for "urgent" requests - makes sense - the logistics of winding up current cruises etc must be extremely difficult. We would be satisfied with a future cruise credit - unless of course Ponant goes bankrupt (but that's what credit card chargebacks are for). I will call the Australian office when they open tomorrow morning (Ie Monday).

Good news, please keep the rest of us informed on their offerings for cancelled cruises 🚢 

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Got an e-mail from Ponant Australia confirming cancelling and stating that a future cruise credit valid for 18 months will be offered. Will wait and see on this - Ponant could change their mind. Booked flights back to Sydney with transit in Perth departing tomorrow.

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Great news Safe travels on your way back home . Hope Ponant really does come up with the credit  We will all be waiting for this confirmation . Thank you for the up date . Prepare for the lock down when you get back to Aus 

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Here is wording from US terms of agreement. Would think they would have to offer refund?? Any lawyers to confirm?

11.9 Where CDP is the Cruise Organiser, and no matter the reason for cancellation, no compensation is due to the Traveller, who will be able to choose between the following solutions:

(i) A full refund of the Contract price; (ii) Another Service at the same price; (iii) A Service at a lower price and a refund for the price difference between the two Services based on the

  

 advertised prices. Travellers must inform CDP of their choice as soon as possible and in any event before the deadline mentioned in the cancellation documents.

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