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Just got our cancellation email, from HAL not our agent

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Dear Valued Guest, 

Due to unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19, and in an abundance of caution, Holland America Line has made the difficult decision to voluntarily pause global operations of its 14 cruise ships for 30 days, starting March 14, 2020, impacting sailings scheduled to depart through April 14, 2020.

As we’ve seen throughout the course of the past week, the global situation continues to get increasingly more challenging for cruise ships to operate in. As a company, we decided we must take a leadership position as a global citizen and do what we can to help stabilize the situation.

For more information on Holland America Line’s voluntary 30-day pause, please visit our News page.

We know that you were looking forward to your cruise and are very sorry to be bringing you this disappointing news. At the same time, we know that you support our strong commitment to the health and safety of our guests, our crew, and the communities that we visit.

We are offering two forms of compensation for you to choose from:

Option #1 — Please give us the chance to welcome you on board a future cruise. Defer your refund and receive a future cruise credit for 125% of the base cruise fare paid plus an onboard credit of US$250, which can be applied toward any future cruise through December 31, 2021. Non-cruise fare purchases through Holland America Line will be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services. The terms and conditions of the Future Cruise Credit appear below.

Option #2 — If you do not choose the 125% future cruise credit plus US$250 onboard credit, a 100% refund of all monies paid will be reimbursed to the original form of payment. This includes Holland America Line’s Flight Ease air, Cancellation Protection Plan, Holland America Line pre- or post-cruise hotel packages or transfers, prepaid shore excursions and amenities purchased through Holland America Line, and taxes, fees, and port expenses back to the original form of payment.

To inform us of your compensation preference, please visit https://book2.hollandamerica.com/cp/between March 15 and April 1, 2020. Guests who do not select an option prior to April 1, 2020 will be automatically refunded.

If any portion of your travel was not booked through Holland America Line, other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may apply. Please consult with your Travel Advisor or Tour Operator for more information.

We recognize this cancellation may cause you to incur other unexpected expenses, such as air change fees. Reimbursement of reasonable non-refundable expenses will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A Change Fee Reimbursement Form is available at http://*****/HAL_CHGFEE; please complete this form and submit it, along with any relevant receipts and documentation, for review by our corporate office. If you purchased a Cancellation Protection Plan or independent vacation travel insurance, please submit your claim through your carrier before submitting a reimbursement request.

Should you have any questions, please contact us at the appropriate office:

Seattle Office (USD/CAD currency):
Contact us at 1-800-577-1729 or 206-626-7385. We are available Monday – Friday,7:00am – 5:00pm PT.

 

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We got an email directly from HAL  as well and not our TA. I'm assuming we can click on the link in the email and select our preference without going through the travel agent. Thoughts?

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I just got this email too.  We decided to book the Zuiderdam again in November.  We will take the offer #1.

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I will want to clarify some of the wording.  

 

The refund specifically mentions that everything, including port fees, taxes, Cancellation Plan, and Air add-on will be refunded to the credit card used.  

 

The FCC gives 125% of the base fare, plus$250 OBC, and the air refunded to credit card.  It does not specifically mention port fees, taxes and Cancellation Plan.  I will want to confirm with them that those charges will be refunded as they come to around $500 each for us.  

 

For both choices we lose the OBC we had on the  original cruise booked.  I don’t suppose there is any recourse there. 

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Received this tonight.  When the phone lines open Monday, I’ll be rescheduling the same itinerary I had, for November.

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"Defer your refund and receive a future cruise credit for 125% of the base cruise fare paid plus an onboard credit of US$250, which can be applied toward any future cruise through December 31, 2021."

 

I'm so confused............     Is the base cruise fare the entire price you paid for your cruise? 

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7 minutes ago, Sharon in AZ said:

"Defer your refund and receive a future cruise credit for 125% of the base cruise fare paid plus an onboard credit of US$250, which can be applied toward any future cruise through December 31, 2021."

 

I'm so confused............     Is the base cruise fare the entire price you paid for your cruise? 

No, it does not include the port fees and taxes, or the Flight Ease Air, if you booked through Hal, or the Cancellation Plan if you bought HAL's insurance.  Those will all be refunded to the credit card you used to pay for them.  It is just the "Cruise/Journey Fare" listed on your Booking Confirmation.

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1 minute ago, Vict0riann said:

No, it does not include the port fees and taxes, or the Flight Ease Air, if you booked through Hal, or the Cancellation Plan if you bought HAL's insurance.  Those will all be refunded to the credit card you used to pay for them.  It is just the "Cruise/Journey Fare" listed on your Booking Confirmation.

Ok, that makes me feel better.  I just wanted to make sure I would be getting the port fees and taxes back.  Doesn't matter to me if they are for a FCC or refunded to my CC. 

 

Thank you!

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I think that HAL was wise in sending e-mails to everyone.   Not all TA's work on the weekends and their clients wouldn't get the e-mail from them until Monday or Tuesday.

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4 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

I think that HAL was wise in sending e-mails to everyone.   Not all TA's work on the weekends and their clients wouldn't get the e-mail from them until Monday or Tuesday.

 

Agree.  The TA’s have been overloaded as it is.

HAL’s decision so HAL should be sentencing out the notices.

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Posted (edited)

We were told the emails would come in order of sail date. We were set to leave on April 5 and received our email last night. If your sail date was later, I think you will receive a later email. @projecthandbag  @elkay68

Edited by Teresa!

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I was booked on a cruise that was set to depart April 4th....who knows😀

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We have a HAL cruise booked to sail from Vancouver on 3rd June i.e. within the closedown that Canada is enforcing. Dates are important as we wanted to concentrate on whale watching, which is seasonal, so cruise credit and the option to re-book doesn’t really work for us. What are your thoughts on whether a refund will be offered in this circumstance i.e. the cancellation is caused by the Canadian closedown, rather than HAL decision?

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Have not gotten email yet for cruise starting on April 2 from Buenos Aires. It’s a  part of the larger trip from Ft Lauderdale to Vancouver (48 day South America) That group got money refund plus 100% FCC I believe (don’t quote me..) Hope to get our email and offer soon!!

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33 minutes ago, kjjrnm said:

Have not gotten email yet for cruise starting on April 2 from Buenos Aires. It’s a  part of the larger trip from Ft Lauderdale to Vancouver (48 day South America) That group got money refund plus 100% FCC I believe (don’t quote me..) Hope to get our email and offer soon!!

Fingers crossed! Thanks. 

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I responded to the email via the website specified just now.  Because I was supposed to be boarding in six days, it makes sense to send it out to me before someone who has an April boarding.  It is super-simple to use, you just click on choice #1 or #2, then you enter your reservation number, name, phone number, and email.  Takes about 30 seconds to do.  I chose number one because....

 

At the same time, I took advantage of the current deal (prepaid gratuities, reduced deposit, and gift card) to book the same ship, same itinerary, for November.  When my 125% credit comes available, that will pay a significant amount of the new cruise.  I also upgraded to a VA balcony from the VC I had before.

 

All this done online.

 

Will let all know how the application of credit goes when done.  I'm sure it's going to take a bit because of the current situation.

 

Happy sailing!  I just have to wait eight more months to get my next taste of it....

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1 hour ago, jeremystevens said:

We have a HAL cruise booked to sail from Vancouver on 3rd June i.e. within the closedown that Canada is enforcing. Dates are important as we wanted to concentrate on whale watching, which is seasonal, so cruise credit and the option to re-book doesn’t really work for us. What are your thoughts on whether a refund will be offered in this circumstance i.e. the cancellation is caused by the Canadian closedown, rather than HAL decision?

I am sure you will receive a refund in due course-I am sailing a couple of weeks before you to Alaska and regardless of the reason the ship is not sailing so I think they will have to pay us back. If not you have a good case to have your cc company request the $ back.

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I'm just wondering if some of the cruise lines are holding out for an early re-opening of the Canadian ports?

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3 minutes ago, daisy-mae said:

I'm just wondering if some of the cruise lines are holding out for an early re-opening of the Canadian ports?

Yes that's possible, but not helpful where flights and hotel bookings have also been made. We need a concrete decision so that we can  re-arrange other parts of the holiday, or  seek refunds as appropriate.

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1 hour ago, jeremystevens said:

Yes that's possible, but not helpful where flights and hotel bookings have also been made. We need a concrete decision so that we can  re-arrange other parts of the holiday, or  seek refunds as appropriate.

 

I agree wholeheartedly. We have decisions to make regarding airfare and hotels, and we would rather have things settled sooner than later.

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Posted (edited)

We were booked on the April 8, 2020 sailing on Zuiderdam - 11-day partial transit of Panama Canal.  We didn't buy insurance this time so we were going to sail (reluctantly) if the cruise wasn't cancelled.  When the coronavirus stuff started, I kept checking HAL's website for guidance and finally saw that they were offering 100% credit for a future cruise (nothing additional). On March 10 I immediately re-booked us for April 7, 2021 even though it costs $252 more next year; at least we didn't lose money.  Little did we know that four days later the cruise line would offer the better deal shown at the beginning of this thread to those who were still booked on affected cruises.  I contacted our booking agent and asked them to negotiate with HAL to give us the same deal since I rescheduled only four days earlier and had no way of knowing they'd make a better offer.  Holland America said nothing was retroactive.  I called HAL directly and got the same response.  The amount of money that we're losing is not a fortune, but to me the point is:  1. They changed the rules mid-stream;  2. we are long time HAL cruisers and have taken 1 Grand Voyage and 2 Voyages of the Vikings, as well as several short Caribbean cruises.  Because the long sailing were rather expensive, they have received many thousands of dollars from us, yet couldn't honor the request.  Obviously, we mean nothing to them.  I feel offended by this; my travel partner could care less.  I'm thinking that HAL won't get my business after the 2021 sailing.

Edited by lovethebeach1951
Left out information

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And the post above, from Love the Beach, is a business-case study of how a company can alienate long-time customers. Especially when right now experienced cruisers are uncertain about whether and when to return to cruising ("is it safe?", "is it sanitary?", etc.) and potential new customers are running for the hills, with lots of new-build capacity to soon hit the market, now is the time for all cruise lines to be sensitive to their customers, not to annoy them. Has anyone seen the CCL stock price? 

 

In this case the above poster is only asking for the same deal that all others obtained. He or she is not asking for "the sun, moon and stars". If I were that poster, now that I have a 2021 cruise, so purportedly long outside the new cancellation-without-penalty date, I would explore cancelling it and making new plans when and if the time is right.   I would also send either an email or letter to HAL corporate, or post on their Facebook page, advising them of my decision, and why I made it.

 

Good luck to all who are currently in cruise-limbo.

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