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laserboi

Appalling behavior by Oceania management

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I am writing this in an effort to sensitize the CC community of the appalling response of Oceania in light of the pandemic.  We are Canadian citizens and based on the travel advisory issued by our FEDERAL government, as a result of a PANDEMIC, we were advised to cancel our cruise scheduled to take place in April 2020.  As responsible citizens of our country, and in consideration of the worldwide health concerns and events taking place, we complied with the government-issued travel advisory and cancelled the trip.  Of course at that time Oceania had collected the full payment of the cruise.  After requesting a refund we were recently informed that Oceania has REFUSED the request, but will instead hold our full payment as a credit toward a future cruise.  In addition we were also informed that when we book the subsequent cruise we would be required to leave an addition amount of money as a deposit!  As of March 31 (two weeks prior to our cruise) Oceania cancelled all cruises, including the one I am writing about.  Passengers informed by Oceania as of March 31 of the cancellations are receiving a full refund, which is completely unfair.  What Oceania is suggesting by taking this approach is that intelligent passengers, who are heeding the advice of Federal authorities, should in fact ignore this advice and risk the possibility of being exposed to a contagion, which is ravaging almost every part of the globe.  We have made numerous requests to our TA, the President of the agency as well as Oceania with no suggestion of refunding our money similarly to all other passengers on our cancelled cruise.  I find this behavior socially IRresponsible and reckless.  Other cruise lines such as luxury line Seabourn is offering guests a full refund as well as discounts on future cruises. If there are other social media tags for Oceania you are aware of please include them in your reply.  I hope to blanket their social media pages.

 

https://www.facebook.com/oceaniacruises/

 

https://www.instagram.com/oceaniacruises/?hl=en

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, laserboi said:

Other cruise lines such as luxury line Seabourn is offering guests a full refund as well as discounts on future cruises

I feel your pain and agree with you in principle.

That said, Oceania has the law on their side. When you cancelled the cruise before it was cancelled by Oceania you essentially accepted the rules in effect at that time - i.e. no refund, only FCC.

Interesting that you mention Seabourn.

I have the exact same situation with them - I cancelled a 30 day cruise before they did and got only FCC (100% only as that was the offer then).

Subsequently they cancelled the cruise and offered a choice of refund or 125% FCC. Needless to say, I did not qualify for either of those later offers for the above reason - I have to live by the rules in place when I cancelled.

You could try disputing the charge with your CC on the basis you mention (Government ban on travel).

Good luck.

Edited by Paulchili

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Paragraphs please

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

You could try disputing the charge with your CC on the basis you mention (Government ban on travel).

Good luck.

Would that not amount to fraud  since they accepted  the FCC ?

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16 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

I feel your pain and agree with you in principle.

 

But think of the goodwill they would generate it they did the ethically correct thing rather than the legally correct?

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2 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Would that not amount to fraud  since they accepted  the FCC ?

Can they refuse the FCC IF & WHEN they receive the refund from CC as that is what they prefer?

I agree that keeping both is double dipping (fraud).

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Just now, clo said:

But think of the goodwill they would generate it they did the ethically correct thing rather than the legally correct?

Again - I agree but what if they don't have the cash to be "nice" and generate goodwill.

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1 minute ago, Paulchili said:

Again - I agree but what if they don't have the cash to be "nice" and generate goodwill.

Not have the cash or don't want to part with it? I haven't seen a balance sheet (not that I would likely understand it!)

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We cancelled an April 7, 2020 Air Canada flight booking from Mexico to Canada on March 14 in response to the Candian Global Travel Advisory.  We received a $ credit for a future flight that expires in Dec 2020. Not justifying O's position on this but it seems to be standard travel industry practice?

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33 minutes ago, CruseKrazy said:

We cancelled an April 7, 2020 Air Canada flight booking from Mexico to Canada on March 14 in response to the Candian Global Travel Advisory.  We received a $ credit for a future flight that expires in Dec 2020. Not justifying O's position on this but it seems to be standard travel industry practice?

so how did you get home or are your still in Mexico?

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32 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

so how did you get home or are your still in Mexico?

We had to book an earlier AC flight online at much higher cost as our travel insurance  would be terminated after March 23.  Home safely and in quarantine.  Sorry to hijack this posting about this.

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Normal standard cancellation policies work in normal times. Unfortunately times are not normal.  When a government issues travel warnings, you should get a refund if you cancel any travel. At the moment, aside from cruises, most other travel operators are refunding money if requested.  Everyday I get emails from operators detailing how to get refunds whether or not you booked refundable or nonrefundable. Refunds are the right thing to do. Holding people's money in the form of future credit is not acceptable. Some cruise lines offer a small bonus % as fcc .   You should have a choice of getting refund or fcc.  Not refunding money paid for a cancelled cruise is theft.  

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2 hours ago, laserboi said:

What Oceania is suggesting by taking this approach is that intelligent passengers, who are heeding the advice of Federal authorities, should in fact ignore this advice and risk the possibility of being exposed to a contagion

No.  What intelligent people should do is read the Travelers Assurance Program and realize that they can cancel up until 48 hours prior to departure and get a FCC, so they can wait to see if the cruise is cancelled and when it is request a refund.  That is what I am doing for our mid-May cruise.  I anticipate Oceania will cancel the remaining May cruises, which includes our cruise, at the end of April at which time I will cancel and request a refund.  If they don't cancel, then once we're at 3 or 4 days before the cruise's departure date we'll cancel for the FCC.  This way you (and I) can still heed the advice of federal authorities and also protect our financial interests.

 

But, yes I do agree with you that Oceania is shady in trying to keep people's money and that they are not being more transparent in this regard. This issue and the above strategy have been discussed in passing in a few threads over that past few weeks.  Bottom line is Oceania made an offer back in March, which you accepted and now you want a do over but unfortunately it doesn't work that way.  Accept it and move on to more pleasant things, or continue your frustration which in all likelihood is being exacerbated by current isolation and associated anxiety surrounding the whole Coronavirus uncertainty.     

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2 minutes ago, Fam_Cruise said:

This issue and the above strategy have been discussed in passing in a few threads over that past few weeks.  Bottom line is Oceania made an offer back in March, which you accepted and now you want a do over but unfortunately it doesn't work that way.  Accept it and move on to more pleasant things, or continue your frustration which in all likelihood is being exacerbated by current isolation and associated anxiety surrounding the whole Coronavirus uncertainty.     

plus 1

Yes, "what you agreed to is what you get" is SOP by the cruise lines, the suggestion to wait is often given by TAs to their clients, more so the airlines are trying to rewrite policy and change refundable to credits only (I got my money back today - hurray to AA) and the last part is great advice. So much anxiety over just day-to-day and with little else to do (other than be bombarded with more bad news and speculation on unsociable media) focusing on things one cannot change and striking out might not be the stress reliever one is hoping for.

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I didn't get the impression that the OP, I've re-read the post three times.  When the Canadian Govt issued a statement that people should cancel cruises in light of the pandemic, they did so, and requested a refund at that time.  The post seems to indicate that it is just now that they've exhausted all the avenues they know of to obtain that refund.  That's not requesting a do-over (as other posters on other threads have done)

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Posted (edited)

I should add that I am pretty sure that the Canadian Govt made that statement well before O canceled the cruise they were on, therefore, only FCC was in play with O at that time - the OP feels (and I have a lot of sympathy for that view) that because their own govt was telling them to do something, a refund, not FCC was warrented.

Edited by Kate-AHF

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1 hour ago, CruseKrazy said:

We had to book an earlier AC flight online at much higher cost as our travel insurance  would be terminated after March 23.  Home safely and in quarantine.  Sorry to hijack this posting about this.

Sorry could you not just  use  the change fee option & book the earlier flight ?

Sorry just  confused  as to why you paid for  a whole new fare

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3 hours ago, clo said:

Not have the cash or don't want to part with it? I haven't seen a balance sheet (not that I would likely understand it!)

I have read the balance sheet,  I understand it, and NCLH (and all the major cruise line holding  companies) are bleeding cash and doing everything legally possible to avoid bleeding to death, including taking lines of credit at very high interest rates in an attempt to stay afloat (no pun intended).

 

 If this crisis goes on long enough, and I suspect it will even though I hope it won't, you're going to see major changes in the industry... bankruptcies, mergers, vastly reduced fleet sizes among the possibilities.

 

Right now they're all hoping that the overwhelming majority of customers will take the FCC offers. It would accomplish two major goals...first lessen the cash bleed,  and second retain customers who will return to cruising after the crisis abates if for no other reason than to recover the value of what they're owed from their cancelled cruises. The hope is once you get the passengers back on board they'll start feeling comfortable with cruising again and book more cruises for the future. 

 

It's not a pretty picture, but the human toll that will be taken...indeed that already has been taken... by COVID-19 is far uglier.

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28 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Sorry could you not just  use  the change fee option & book the earlier flight ?

Sorry just  confused  as to why you paid for  a whole new fare

 

That's exactly what I tried to do but the online change flight tool only allowed moving it up 3 or 4 days (not sure why). I could not reach AC by phone - they would not even add you to the queue. With borders closing, flights being cancelled, I booked anew flight online to be safe. Still, we had another week on the beach after the change and it was great lol.

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13 minutes ago, CruseKrazy said:

 

That's exactly what I tried to do but the online change flight tool only allowed moving it up 3 or 4 days (not sure why). I could not reach AC by phone - they would not even add you to the queue. With borders closing, flights being cancelled, I booked anew flight online to be safe. Still, we had another week on the beach after the change and it was great lol.

Maybe ins would refund  you??

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1 hour ago, njhorseman said:

 

 

 If this crisis goes on long enough, and I suspect it will even though I hope it won't, you're going to see major changes in the industry... bankruptcies, mergers, vastly reduced fleet sizes among the possibilities.

 

It's not a pretty picture, but the human toll that will be taken...indeed that already has been taken... by COVID-19 is far uglier.


We cancelled our June cruise before final payment and received a refund for our deposit less a $250 pp administration fee which I am told can be used as a FCC.  We also lost our custom flight fee of $350 which I consider a total rip off.  So our total potential loss is $850 assuming that we never use the FCC due to many worst case scenarios, i.e., health limitations, bankruptcies, or the Coronavirus finding us.  If we survive this crisis healthy and our investments and 401(k)s are not totally plummeted, we will be blessed.  Cruising is not required for us, it is simply a wonderful diversion.

 

 

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We have an Alaska cruise on O this June and a TA in August, final payment made for both. We will wait for O to cancel then use the 125% FCC for other cruises.

 

I’m in the camp of “read and understand the fine print” and make an informed choice. A choice is a choice regardless of any “advisory” and booking a cruise is a contractual, business relationship. Make the choice, accept the consequences and move on.

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4 hours ago, Classiccruiser777 said:

I’m in the camp of “read and understand the fine print” and make an informed choice. A choice is a choice regardless of any “advisory” and booking a cruise is a contractual, business relationship. Make the choice, accept the consequences and move on.

An "informed choice" can only reasonably be made if one has available to them ALL OR MOST of the current information necessary to make that reasonable and intelligent choice.  When the "conditions" for making an original choice changes - the decision and options, as originally stated in the contract, are probably no longer "reasonable" and should be modified.

 

I will also state at the outset, that I do NOT believe that a "Future Cruise Credit - FFC" - even one that is reported to have a "value" of 125% of a previously paid amount of money, is not the "contractual equivalent" of an actual cash refund. I believe that many other Oceania customers also hold that same belief.  In the next 2 years, if Oceania raises all it's fares by 25%, the value of that advertised FFC is of no particular added benefit. 

 

In our case, we are booked on the 16-day "Riviera" Rome to Miami  T/A, departing Rome on 28 Oct 2020.  We booked that cruise in November 2018.  The "conditions of cruising" in the world today are greatly different from what they were, when we first booked that cruise 18-months ago.  Our final payment date is May 28, 2020 and our cancellation date (without any charged admin fee) is on or before April 30.  At the moment, Oceania's "Travelers Assurance Program" only applies to cruises that begin by September 30, 2020, so for now our cruise is not "covered" by that program.  It may, or may not be included by the time we enter our "penalty phase" (which I define as either having to pay an admin fee, or a percentage of my final/full payment).  There's no way of knowing that right now.

 

As I stated above, I do not consider a 125% FCC to be the "equivalent" of a full cash refund, in the event that I decided to cancel on my own, before the cruise embarks.  I have no idea at this point, whether I would ever be cruising on Oceania ever again, or any other cruise line, either due to health or personal preference reasons.  I certainly would have no idea in 2020, whether I would want to take another cruise - on any cruise line - before December 2022.  So, in order for me to make a final and more "informed" decision, would you happen to know the answers to the following questions?

 

What will be the "state" (from a Corona Virus standpoint) be in October/November in Italy, France, Spain, and Bermuda (the countries/ports for our planned itinerary), and the U.S.?  Will Italy be admitting airline flights, tourists, and cruise passengers from the U.S. in mid/late October?  Will Italy (and specifically, Rome, Florence, and Naples area ) be "open" for tourism - the Hotels, Restaurants, tourist sites, etc?  Will international flights actually be flying on a regular and frequent schedule between the U.S. and Italy?  Will Oceania actually be operating that particular cruise at all? - Oceania doesn't even know that at the moment!  I realize that if Oceania actually cancels that cruise on their own - that I will receive a cash refund - but that would be a "gamble" on my part, and not an "informed decision" to make.  And under present "policy", cash refunds are only given if Oceania cancels the cruise - not the passenger.  They are in complete control.  Will any mandatory quarantines be imposed on travelers arriving in Italy or returning back to the U.S. from a cruise ship in October/November?  No one knows.

 

No one, including Oceania, has actual answers to any of those questions - either now, on April 30,  on May 28 (when our final payment is currently due), or perhaps even in late July.  That is not Oceania's fault.....but it's not mine, either!  Under the present set of circumstances, the would-be passengers are having to take ALL THE RISK of these decisions on their own, with Oceania accepting none of the risk, at all.  These are not the conditions under which a passenger can presently make an "informed decision".

 

The most equitable thing, would be for Oceania to put off the "final payment date" for this cruise until perhaps August 28 - 2 months before the cruise departs, and give passengers who chose to cancel on their own the CHOICE (the passenger's choice - not Oceania's) to request a full cash refund, or accept the 125% FCC.  Oceania, right now, should announce that their "Assurance Program" is extended until the end of the calendar year.

 

Absent those revised conditions, I will be more inclined at this point (and with regret) to cancel our booking before May 28 (the final payment date), and just "eat" the $250 pp admin fee - to "buy myself" a bit more time to see "what's happening" in the world.  For us, if Oceania's travel options/offers don't change/improve within the next 2 months, Oceania gives us no opportunity to make a final "informed" decision that is closer to our actual cruise/travel date, and under the present "rules", Oceania would most likely and unfortunately lose us as customers, rather than possibly keeping us.    😟   Regards

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Where's the 'Appalling Behavior By Oceania Cruise Passengers' thread?

 

So many people think that after THEY decide to cancel, the cruise line has any obligation to backdate their offer when they cancel the cruise for whatever reason - and they want MORE than they paid, too!

 

Sorry, but it doesn't work like that. You decided to cancel so you got the current offer of FCC. Your booking no longer exists, so when O cancelled the cruise, you had made your choice and they have no further obligation to you. End of.

 

You paid the money expecting to cruise. O was generous enough to extend an offer of a FCC, but that's not good enough. They should bend over and take it up the rear because you're not happy with your choice. Sorry, doesn't work like that.

 

I had a cruise booked to Alaska on Princess, supposedly leaving Vancouver on May 17th. We know it's not happening, but P hasn't yet cancelled it - in fact it's still possible to book. However, we had until March 22nd to cancel and get 100% refunded (less $200 deposit in FCC) before it went to 50/50 refund/FCC. We took it and have no more to do with it. If P offers 200% FCC tomorrow, we can be disappointed if we would rather have held on and taken it, but we have what we got and no more.

 

If people weren't so self-centered and greedy, perhaps the threads about cruise lines going bankrupt wouldn't be needed!

 

 

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If you cancelled after final payment and O gave you a FCC of 100% of what you paid that was generous at the time they did it.

 

Circumstances changed and when they cancelled they changed the offer to other people. This is no difference to you paying full price for an item which subsequently gets discounted in a sale. 

 

If you had travel insurance and you had a government advisory not to cruise would that not kick in?

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