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We are due to travel in August 2020 but given the international travel situation, we know we will not be able to do this.  I contacted our UK travel agent as we would be prepared to move the booking to Spring 2021 but we have been told that the cruise line require a change fee of $500 to do this.  Has anyone else made such a booking move and if so were you asked to pay this change fee.  It may of course be because we are UK guests we are being penalised.

Thanks

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I'm not sure this helps much but at least it gives you an idea of what they are doing for domestic customers:

 

NEW CHANGE POLICY (for domestic reservations only)
 
For all 2020 sailings after June 21, 2020, guests can cancel up to 30 days before sailing or up to June 15, 2020, whichever comes first. Reservation is subject to standard cancellation penalties and guests will receive a future cruise certificate for the penalty amount.
 
Any reservation may move to another sail date in 2020 and their current cancellation penalty applies to the new sail date. New sail date must be of equal or greater value and guest is responsible for any increase in fare. AQSC will cover flight change fees for those guests that immediately move to a new sail date.

Terms:
- The future cruise certificate will include voyage fare, hotel packages, city stay packages and insurance.
- Port fees will be refunded as normal.
- Applicable to 2020 voyages only.
- Future Cruise Certificate must be used by the original booked travelers only.
- Future Cruise Certificate is valid for travel in 2020, 2021, or 2022.
- This policy is in effect until 6/15/2020.
- Valid on domestic reservations only.

International guests please contact your travel professional or our International Sales Department at international@aqsc.com.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ericosmith said:

I'm not sure this helps much but at least it gives you an idea of what they are doing for domestic customers:

 

NEW CHANGE POLICY (for domestic reservations only)
 
For all 2020 sailings after June 21, 2020, guests can cancel up to 30 days before sailing or up to June 15, 2020, whichever comes first. Reservation is subject to standard cancellation penalties and guests will receive a future cruise certificate for the penalty amount.
 
Any reservation may move to another sail date in 2020 and their current cancellation penalty applies to the new sail date. New sail date must be of equal or greater value and guest is responsible for any increase in fare. AQSC will cover flight change fees for those guests that immediately move to a new sail date.

Terms:
- The future cruise certificate will include voyage fare, hotel packages, city stay packages and insurance.
- Port fees will be refunded as normal.
- Applicable to 2020 voyages only.
- Future Cruise Certificate must be used by the original booked travelers only.
- Future Cruise Certificate is valid for travel in 2020, 2021, or 2022.
- This policy is in effect until 6/15/2020.
- Valid on domestic reservations only.

International guests please contact your travel professional or our International Sales Department at international@aqsc.com.

Thanks, we are international guests.  We contacted the email address but they have responded to our agent who won’t let us see their response but is saying we have to pay a $500 change fee

Edited by uktog
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The policy is confusing - it says any reservation may move to another date in 2020 and, I think, you will not lose the $500 fee. 

 

Then it says the future cruise certificate can be used in 2020,2021 or 2022.  Not sure what happens with the fee if you choose to move to 2021 or 2022.  I think you lose it.

 

Our issue is that we are booked in August for the Mighty Mississippi trip, which is the longest and most expensive trip. This is offered only once a year, in the summer, so we would have to book it for next year.  

 

I do not think we want to cruise this year, nor are we sure at this time about booking for next year, so I am afraid we will just bite the bullet and lose the $500 fee.

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2 hours ago, LDVinNC said:

The policy is confusing - it says any reservation may move to another date in 2020 and, I think, you will not lose the $500 fee. 

 

Then it says the future cruise certificate can be used in 2020,2021 or 2022.  Not sure what happens with the fee if you choose to move to 2021 or 2022.  I think you lose it.

 

Our issue is that we are booked in August for the Mighty Mississippi trip, which is the longest and most expensive trip. This is offered only once a year, in the summer, so we would have to book it for next year.  

 

I do not think we want to cruise this year, nor are we sure at this time about booking for next year, so I am afraid we will just bite the bullet and lose the $500 fee.

Thanks a lot - I was only going to try and move it to be loyal etc however I might be as well just to cancel out as I am going to have to put an insurance claim in anyway.  Its a shame because other organisations are allowing a lift and shift at no charge.  I can see your problem, ours in a way is straightfoward, we were on a 7 night New Orleans to Memphis so have a range of options next year.

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There is a Mighty Mississippi on the new boat American Countess that departs Minneapolis on September 20, to New Orleans arriving Oct 4.  The later sailing might make a 2020 still feasible. 

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1 hour ago, diplomats said:

There is a Mighty Mississippi on the new boat American Countess that departs Minneapolis on September 20, to New Orleans arriving Oct 4.  The later sailing might make a 2020 still feasible. 

 

I did not know this, so thank you, but we just do not think cruising this year will be a good idea for us. 

 

Plus, we really only want to sail on the American Queen and on the Countess there is no free hotel night nor free wine with dinner.  Not to mention that you have to get yourself from Minneapolis/St Paul to Red Wing.  I understand a car will be $180 and the AQSC shore excursion is $299/pp! Yikes!

 

I was just looking today and I see the AQ will do the trip next year at the end of July.  I plan to call soon and see what our options are.

 

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12 hours ago, LDVinNC said:

 

I did not know this, so thank you, but we just do not think cruising this year will be a good idea for us. 

 

Plus, we really only want to sail on the American Queen and on the Countess there is no free hotel night nor free wine with dinner.  Not to mention that you have to get yourself from Minneapolis/St Paul to Red Wing.  I understand a car will be $180 and the AQSC shore excursion is $299/pp! Yikes!

 

I was just looking today and I see the AQ will do the trip next year at the end of July.  I plan to call soon and see what our options are.

 

Hope you get a solution, if they do move the reservation, would you mind sharing what terms they do it on as I would like to be able to try and persuade them to be as fair to international guests.  Thanks a lot

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To LDVin NC and uktog, I hope LDV is not correct about wine with dinner, I have not seen that in any of the literature, But he/she is correct about the pre cruise hotel stay at least for 2020, and that is a bummer especially for a cruise that physically starts in Red Wing.  BUT, I have learned, since earlier posts, that AQSC will run a shuttle from the Radisson Blu Mall of America to the boat on embarkation day.  I have managed to book into Radisson Blu for a very reasonable rate on the HOT site and have booked the shuttle.  The stimulus for this change in my plans were the new health screening procedures that, according to AQSC, can ONLY be accomplished at the "pre cruise hotel" (which technically there is not one on American Countess this year), go figure!

 

For uktog, I suggest you have someone in a similar situation but resident in US to question your situation on your behalf with AQSC head office in US.  I would not think, in these times when cruise operators are struggling, they would want to make rescheduling more difficult or onerous.  Could the UK TA be trying to get a windfall?

 

Marshall

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This is from the FAQ section of the website:

 

American Queen® and American Empress® cruise fares cover almost everything during your voyage, including a hotel stay prior to embarking (excludes American Countess™ in 2020), dining and select beverages (soft drinks, coffee, filtered water and select beer and wine with dinner). On the American Duchess™ in 2020, an Unlimited Beverage Packages is included, as are prepaid gratuities. 

 

I read this - perhaps incorrectly - that the Countess does not get free select beverages.  Also, if you look at each vessel from the main page under Distinctions, the American Queen specifically mentions wine and Countess does not.

 

PS. I'm a she!

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5 hours ago, diplomats said:

 

 

 

For uktog, I suggest you have someone in a similar situation but resident in US to question your situation on your behalf with AQSC head office in US.  I would not think, in these times when cruise operators are struggling, they would want to make rescheduling more difficult or onerous.  Could the UK TA be trying to get a windfall?

 

Marshall

I will try and do that - I do share your suspicions as the TA will not share with us in writing what AQSC said and is very vague about it verbally

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10 hours ago, LDVinNC said:

This is from the FAQ section of the website:

 

American Queen® and American Empress® cruise fares cover almost everything during your voyage, including a hotel stay prior to embarking (excludes American Countess™ in 2020), dining and select beverages (soft drinks, coffee, filtered water and select beer and wine with dinner). On the American Duchess™ in 2020, an Unlimited Beverage Packages is included, as are prepaid gratuities. 

 

I read this - perhaps incorrectly - that the Countess does not get free select beverages.  Also, if you look at each vessel from the main page under Distinctions, the American Queen specifically mentions wine and Countess does not.

 

PS. I'm a she!

I would suggest that the placement of the comma after the parenthetical would exclude only the hotel stay and not the beverages.  To read it otherwise would exclude even coffee and water.  

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I suppose we could argue this all day.  Anyone who cares could call AQSC and ask, but here is what I see on the website:

 

American Queen:

 

DISTINCTIONS

  • The largest, most opulent riverboat in the world
  • Included deluxe hotel stay before your voyage - including breakfast, taxes, porterage and transfers to the American Queen
  • Complimentary wine and beer with dinner
  • Regionally inspired fine dining
  • Broadway-caliber entertainment and enrichment
  • Comprehensive, guided shore excursions
  • Authentic Paddlewheel Riverboat

American Countess:

DISTINCTIONS

  • Brand-New Paddlewheeler
  • Forward-Facing Windows
  • Port-Side Bar with 80-ft. Windows
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On 5/26/2020 at 10:06 AM, diplomats said:

 

To LDVin NC and uktog, I hope LDV is not correct about wine with dinner, I have not seen that in any of the literature.

Marshall

 

Alas, LDVinNC is indeed correct about not getting wine with dinner on the Countess.  And you don't get prepaid gratuities, pre-cruise hotel stay, or an unlimited beverage option either.  Source:  Chart on the inside front cover of the AQSC "2020 Voyages" catalog.  I think it's a real bummer that they don't keep uniform options across all ships.  ACL does.

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This is an excerpt from AQSC general FAQ page. 

  • American Queen® and American Empress® cruise fares cover almost everything during your voyage, including a hotel stay prior to embarking (excludes American Countess™ in 2020), dining and select beverages (soft drinks, coffee, filtered water and select beer and wine with dinner). On the American Duchess™ in 2020, an Unlimited Beverage Packages is included, as are prepaid gratuities. 

  •  

  •  As Ericosmith stated above, the placement of the comma suggests that "select beverages" are included on all boats.  I have not found that calls or emails to AQSC has been very  helpful in eliciting information. 

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On 5/26/2020 at 7:59 AM, uktog said:

Hope you get a solution, if they do move the reservation, would you mind sharing what terms they do it on as I would like to be able to try and persuade them to be as fair to international guests.  Thanks a lot

 

uktog, I called AQSC today and changed our Mighty Mississippi cruise on the American Queen from this August to next July.  Reservation agent was iffy about whether or not this year's trip on the AQ would actually take place.  From what I read on the next thread, I think it will not.

 

So, here's the deal.  We had booked when the deposit was $500pp, totalling $1,000.  We will get $250pp back in cash and the rest will be in the form of a Future Cruise Credit.  The booking we have now for next year is really just a hold on the cabin for 90 days until the FCC comes through.  Then we will pay $1500 (with the FCC it will be $2,000) as a deposit until final payment is due.

 

We were on last year's Mighty Mississippi which was diverted due to high water and they gave us 25% of that fare to be used as FCC.  They will apply that to the changed cruise we just booked.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you so much - we are being told if we cancel today we lose all the deposit £1250 for 2 people (c$1500)  - thats for the cruise there is no airfare in it.  

If we want to save the deposit, we may be able to move the cruise to another date in 2021 but we have to pay a further $500 administration fee, its not a further deposit towards the new cruise its $500 lost.  

The story I am getting is they have different rules for different markets which seems really harsh.  I will keep you updated

Edited by uktog
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Does not seem fair to me.  These are unusual times and I think businesses should be doing their best to keep their customers happy.

 

Don't get me started on how we are waiting for a very large refund from Princess for a 42 day B2B cruise that did not take place.  Promised a refund in 60 days, now they are saying it could take more than 90 days.  We are at day 74. Likely will not travel with them again.

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On 5/23/2020 at 5:23 PM, uktog said:

We are due to travel in August 2020 but given the international travel situation, we know we will not be able to do this.  I contacted our UK travel agent as we would be prepared to move the booking to Spring 2021 but we have been told that the cruise line require a change fee of $500 to do this.  Has anyone else made such a booking move and if so were you asked to pay this change fee.  It may of course be because we are UK guests we are being penalised.

Thanks

 

We have moved our June/July reservation to next October at no charge.  We booked directly through the AQSC though, so maybe its a UK Travel Agent cost.  I would certainly question it in any case, as most companies are waiving cancellation costs in view of the current circumstances.

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Shineson said:

 

We have moved our June/July reservation to next October at no charge.  We booked directly through the AQSC though, so maybe its a UK Travel Agent cost.  I would certainly question it in any case, as most companies are waiving cancellation costs in view of the current circumstances.

Brilliant that’s the smoking gun I needed!  Though the fact it was quoted in dollars was strange.  I give this internet agency who specialises on holidays on the water a lot of business having switched from direct bookings.  I’m changing my booking methods for the future 

Edited by uktog
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We the gun only slightly smoked.  They agreed to move us to next April or May for no fee and protecting our price BUT they want the balance paid in full by Monday which was the original due date for payment.  If we don't we are to lose all our deposit.  I have just spoken to our insurers and they would not look at a claim at this stage as it is too far ahead.  They would accept a claim from 1st August onwards and it would have to be based on FCO advice re overseas travel at that date.  Sadly a much wanted trip is turning into a nightmare!

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Darn it.  They have got you over the proverbial barrel. 

 

We always book direct with AQSC for no particular reason.  For ocean cruises we use an online TA that gives a lot of OBC.  But they have done nothing for us to get back what we are owed from Princess.

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