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MightyQuinn

Crystal Cancels All River Cruises Thru Dec 2020

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Cruise Cancellations: River Voyages Through December 2020

UPDATED Friday, July 31, 2020 3pm EST

Like all travel enthusiasts, we are eagerly anticipating the day we can return to sailing the world again and welcome our guests back aboard. Unfortunately, the pandemic caused by Covid-19, coupled with differing restrictions regarding entry into the European Union (EU), continues to impact when and where this can happen. Given the continued uncertainty surrounding this global health crisis, it is with regret that we have had to cancel all River voyages aboard Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel through the remainder of 2020. We sincerely apologize for this disruption to our guests' travels and invite them to consider rescheduling their cruise with the two options shared here representing added value, choice and flexibility:

 

  • 2020 to 2021 River Rollover
    Move their current 2020 reservation, including all payments made, to an equivalent sailing during the same time period in 2021, with price protection on the cruise fare and port charges – representing a significant value for them.

OR

  • Reservation Transfer  
    If a guest chooses not to rollover their cruise to a 2021 river sailing, they may transfer their reservation to any Crystal experience (Ocean, River, Yacht or Expedition) embarking through December 31, 2023 at prevailing rates. All monies paid will be transferred to the new reservation.

 

If any guests do not elect an option by August 14, 2020, we will automatically issue a Future Credit, equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid, valid on any Crystal experience (Ocean, River, Yacht or Expedition) embarking through December 31, 2023 – along with a refund of port charges, taxes and fees paid, and any air and hotel packages booked through Crystal.

 

While our fleet is paused, the Crystal team has been developing new procedures and policies that will support all public health and regulatory requirements and to ensure our guests’ vacations continue to be not only relaxing and pleasurable but safe and healthy. Building on our stringent protocols already in place, we recently launched Crystal Clean+® 2.0 – an enhanced level of measures to help safeguard the well-being of our guests and crew. Each protocol will be continually evaluated as new information becomes available.

 

On behalf of everyone at Crystal River Cruises, we look forward to welcoming our guests on an enriching voyage aboard the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line.

 

RIVER ROLLOVER An equivalent sailing is defined as a 2021 voyage on the same river, of the same duration, in the same room category and as listed on our equivalent sailing list. This offer is valid through August 14, 2020.

FUTURE CREDIT is issued as a Future Cruise Payment (FCP) representing the cruise fare paid and may be applied to multiple future bookings and may be used towards deposit requirement on their new booking.

Future Credits are redeemable through December 31, 2023. Once Credits are issued, they are not eligible for a refund.

 

If a travel advisor or guest does not elect either of the options presented to them in their cancellation notification letter, they may request a refund by August 14, 2020 by visiting  crystalcruises.com/requestrefund  to submit the online form. Please allow a minimum of 90 days from receipt of the request for the refund to be processed.

 

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Thanks for posting.  This doesn't surprise me at all.  I expect the other cruise lines to do the same over the next couple of months.  Very sad.

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Interesting that there's no option for a refund, many lines seem to be doing this.  I wonder if the cost of a year's loss in income has put cruise line's finances in a precarious condition.

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7 minutes ago, KathyK13 said:

Interesting that there's no option for a refund, many lines seem to be doing this.  I wonder if the cost of a year's loss in income has put cruise line's finances in a precarious condition.

The last paragraph:

 

If a travel advisor or guest does not elect either of the options presented to them in their cancellation notification letter, they may request a refund by August 14, 2020 by visiting  crystalcruises.com/requestrefund  to submit the online form. Please allow a minimum of 90 days from receipt of the request for the refund to be processed.

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2 hours ago, Coral said:

The last paragraph:

 

If a travel advisor or guest does not elect either of the options presented to them in their cancellation notification letter, they may request a refund by August 14, 2020 by visiting  crystalcruises.com/requestrefund  to submit the online form. Please allow a minimum of 90 days from receipt of the request for the refund to be processed.

Thanks, I didn't see the small print!

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5 hours ago, KathyK13 said:

Thanks, I didn't see the small print!

 

If I was being uncharitable, I'd say Crystal may be hoping you'd miss the teeny, tiny print at the very bottom!

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1 hour ago, MightyQuinn said:

 

If I was being uncharitable, I'd say Crystal may be hoping you'd miss the teeny, tiny print at the very bottom!

Hopefully the person booked with an agent who would explain all their options to them!

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I thought some companies already restarted river cruise successfully.  Why is Crystal still cancelling?  They cannot get american guests to come?  Maybe do a little cheaper and get some new EU clients.  Show people they can restart successfully, then people will come back.  

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, kent9xxx1 said:

I thought some companies already restarted river cruise successfully.  Why is Crystal still cancelling?  They cannot get american guests to come?  Maybe do a little cheaper and get some new EU clients.  Show people they can restart successfully, then people will come back.  

It may be a lot of work to only sail for a few months. These ships have been laid up since last year. Amawaterways is sailing with Germans but I doubt it is that many ships. Most of these lines that cater to US do not have a name in Europe. For example - I think AMA had to market big time to get their passengers.

 

I think lines are sort of reluctant. Hurtigruten started sailing and it did not go well.

Edited by Coral

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Posted (edited)

Carol, as you point out, it is not that easy to accomplish. Crystal is marketing to the "top tier" and I am doubtful that they can or are willing to scale it down and/or keep it commercially viable with a European crowd. And it is not as if the 50plus people are all travelling... Nature and bicycles and camping are the big winners in this crisis in German tourism. Others try to find safe islands and the seemingly safe Greece. Other people choose the few ocean cruises running. Wellll... Hurtigruten have just announced that they are cancelling all upcoming sailings of the tourist route, Greece has seen a rise in cases and Mallorca has now the first positive case quarantined in a hotel together with his contacts. About a week ago a German family of four returned from there, all of them positive. Some folks beyond 60 are just to scared to travel anywhere beyond their region with such news especially.

 

With 60 percent of the river cruising market in Europe being North-American customers I doubt Crystal can generate enough interest with European customers. There are too many other companies. Those that can afford a yacht on the Rhine are on their yacht (social distancing in perfection)...

 

AmaWaterways indeed sails with only two ships from what I remember, the German online marketing included a phrase that suggested that North Americans pay a higher price for the cruises. I wonder if AmaWaterways used their German background to make this deal happen?

 

On another note, I can only speculate, but there is the question of paying, furloughing or laying off staff. This could well have played a roll in Crystal's early decision to cancel for the rest of the year. Depending on nationality, the crews might not even make the journey to the ships, even on the river cruising market.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
Correction

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16 hours ago, kent9xxx1 said:

I thought some companies already restarted river cruise successfully.  Why is Crystal still cancelling?  They cannot get american guests to come?  Maybe do a little cheaper and get some new EU clients.  Show people they can restart successfully, then people will come back.  

 

 

Given the patchwork of restrictions for international travelers, I imagine it would be difficult to continue to offer the current itineraries as they currently stand.  For example -  if Hungary isn't letting some international tourists in, how do you run a cruise that begins or ends in Budapest?  Do you tell your passengers that they need to come in early (that is assuming that you can get a flight into Budapest) and quarantine before boarding?  Do you ask the North American passengers to disembark a stop or two before the last port?  Or - will the port refuse the let the boat dock if they know there are passengers on board that are from a country that is prohibited from entering? 

 

For many (and, perhaps all companies that market to the North American market) it might be more financially feasible to cut their losses - and plan for next year.

 

Fran

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2 hours ago, franski said:

 

 

Given the patchwork of restrictions for international travelers, I imagine it would be difficult to continue to offer the current itineraries as they currently stand.  For example -  if Hungary isn't letting some international tourists in, how do you run a cruise that begins or ends in Budapest?  Do you tell your passengers that they need to come in early (that is assuming that you can get a flight into Budapest) and quarantine before boarding?  Do you ask the North American passengers to disembark a stop or two before the last port?  Or - will the port refuse the let the boat dock if they know there are passengers on board that are from a country that is prohibited from entering? 

 

For many (and, perhaps all companies that market to the North American market) it might be more financially feasible to cut their losses - and plan for next year.

 

Fran

 

 

I think it's hard for NA passengers to come at this point.  Like I said, they need to go after EU passengers now instead of waiting for NA passengers.  Start small again.  Most business adapt to new changes, reduce capacity, serving certain things only, doing smaller things, offering different things.  If Crystal wants to survive, it needs to do things differently as well.  The only way to get NA passengers to come back and book future cruises (when EU countries allow it) is if Crystal already runs successful trips with EU passengers.  

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3 hours ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

 

I think it's hard for NA passengers to come at this point.  Like I said, they need to go after EU passengers now instead of waiting for NA passengers.  Start small again.  Most business adapt to new changes, reduce capacity, serving certain things only, doing smaller things, offering different things.  If Crystal wants to survive, it needs to do things differently as well.  The only way to get NA passengers to come back and book future cruises (when EU countries allow it) is if Crystal already runs successful trips with EU passengers.  

I disagree. As a US individual - I commend Crystal for putting their employees and passengers first. Other cruise lines have cancelled the rest of the year (regardless where they are sailing) - Crystal can also. They are making it very attractive to switch to next year's sailings so I have no doubt they will be busy in 2021. 

 

It was the end of the year when I sailed on Crystal and speaking with the employees - it takes a month to get a ship ready after it has not been used for a few months. They usually come back in February for March sailings. There is a lot of safety checks that need to be done.

 

I also don't think there is a huge market for Germans. Viking pulled out of the German market - they used to have ships that were just for German passengers. 

 

After hearing about some nightmare stories of some ships that have started and now have COVID-19, Crystal made the right decision to keep everyone safe and just re-start next year. I don't think they want the bad press of having one of their river cruises with COVID-19. 

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15 hours ago, Coral said:

I disagree. As a US individual - I commend Crystal for putting their employees and passengers first. Other cruise lines have cancelled the rest of the year (regardless where they are sailing) - Crystal can also. They are making it very attractive to switch to next year's sailings so I have no doubt they will be busy in 2021. 

 

It was the end of the year when I sailed on Crystal and speaking with the employees - it takes a month to get a ship ready after it has not been used for a few months. They usually come back in February for March sailings. There is a lot of safety checks that need to be done.

 

I also don't think there is a huge market for Germans. Viking pulled out of the German market - they used to have ships that were just for German passengers. 

 

After hearing about some nightmare stories of some ships that have started and now have COVID-19, Crystal made the right decision to keep everyone safe and just re-start next year. I don't think they want the bad press of having one of their river cruises with COVID-19. 

 

I agree in general about the points you made, but this is Crystal river cruise specific.  Just like you said, it's hard to restart, they have to show they can restart successfully for new booking to come.  Right now, no one is going to give them anymore money until they see they can do it.  What's a better way to do it than doing these river cruise in countries that have low infection rates?  The crew are mostly European, the guests are normal time is probably 10-20% European.  If they market it right, they can get more guests and maybe reach 50% capacity on the river cruise.  Isn't that what the other line is doing with lower capacity.  The river cruise is easier to deal with Covid-19 since it is so close to town.  No one is going to be quarantined, they can just send you to the hospital immediately if you are positive. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

I agree in general about the points you made, but this is Crystal river cruise specific.  Just like you said, it's hard to restart, they have to show they can restart successfully for new booking to come.  Right now, no one is going to give them anymore money until they see they can do it.  What's a better way to do it than doing these river cruise in countries that have low infection rates?  The crew are mostly European, the guests are normal time is probably 10-20% European.  If they market it right, they can get more guests and maybe reach 50% capacity on the river cruise.  Isn't that what the other line is doing with lower capacity.  The river cruise is easier to deal with Covid-19 since it is so close to town.  No one is going to be quarantined, they can just send you to the hospital immediately if you are positive. 

I don't think Crystal is any different from any other line. North Americans understand why they are not sailing. I don't think less of any line that is not sailing. I actually think less of lines who are trying to sail when it is unsafe.

 

I am not fully sure the locals want to cruise locally anyway. I live within an 8 hour drive of the Mississippi river where Viking is scheduled to cruise in the future and have been to many of the ports (not on vacation). I have no desire to go on a cruise there. It is too close to what I see at home.

 

There are not a lot of lines cruising now. The majority of them are not and the lines that are it is only 1-2 ships. Kudos to Crystal for putting their employees guests and staff health first!

 

---

 

It appears regular cruising has not gotten a good start in Europe:

 

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article244684697.html  

Edited by Coral

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1 hour ago, Coral said:

I am not fully sure the locals want to cruise locally anyway. I live within an 8 hour drive of the Mississippi river where Viking is scheduled to cruise in the future and have been to many of the ports (not on vacation). I have no desire to go on a cruise there. It is too close to what I see at home.

 

Again, true during normal time.  But for a lot of people, they are taking vacation locally because they have no other choices.  People in FL are willing to go on a ship to nowhere just to be out of the house.  

I am taking local vacation for the first time in my life.  I know so many people who are doing the same.  

I think you will find the locals are willing to do a lot more in this hard time.  Again, business has to adapt to survive.  If Crystal is not adapting and showing they are willing to reach out for different customers and staying afloat, they will fold.  

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On 8/4/2020 at 9:52 AM, kent9xxx1 said:

 

I agree in general about the points you made, but this is Crystal river cruise specific.  Just like you said, it's hard to restart, they have to show they can restart successfully for new booking to come.  Right now, no one is going to give them anymore money until they see they can do it.  What's a better way to do it than doing these river cruise in countries that have low infection rates?  The crew are mostly European, the guests are normal time is probably 10-20% European.  If they market it right, they can get more guests and maybe reach 50% capacity on the river cruise.  Isn't that what the other line is doing with lower capacity.  The river cruise is easier to deal with Covid-19 since it is so close to town.  No one is going to be quarantined, they can just send you to the hospital immediately if you are positive. 

Crystal absolutely should not start early. Most Europeans prefer to take trains to their destinations and not river cruises. They prefer to spend several days in these port towns--- not one day. This is not their preferred way of traveling the rivers.

 

Besides - they have nothing to prove. They just was awarded #1 in Travel and Leisure for river cruises.

 

Did you see the disappointing Alaska Un-Cruise COVID-19 situation today. They tried to prevent everything and their cruise had to be aborted early.

 

I am glad they are putting employees an crew first. It is too early for river cruising to start. Next March is a good time to aim for. I hope they start then and are not further delayed.

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On 8/4/2020 at 10:52 AM, kent9xxx1 said:

The river cruise is easier to deal with Covid-19 since it is so close to town.  No one is going to be quarantined, they can just send you to the hospital immediately if you are positive. 

I don't follow this logic.  If a river cruise passenger shows signs of covid-19  then they can be sent to a hospital, yes,  but then everyone on board, guests and crew, must be quarantined for 14 days  because they may have been in contact with the person who is positive.  

I have heard that when a person contracts the disease they are most contagious on the 4th and 5th day, and yet they themselves might not show symptoms for up to 2 weeks, so who knows how many people they have come in contact with during that time.  

We are fortunate we have the financial stability to afford this type of vacation, even though it is upsetting we cannot do it now. 

RB 

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It's already passed the point of no return.  If you go to costco and you heard someone working in costco got covid, would you quarantine yourself for 14 days?  Most people don't do that right now.      

So if a passenger got it, well, the passenger got it.  The rest should carry on.  

 

Before, when they had limited cases, quarantine is a must.  Now, it's not feasible anymore.  

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1 hour ago, kent9xxx1 said:

It's already passed the point of no return.  If you go to costco and you heard someone working in costco got covid, would you quarantine yourself for 14 days?  Most people don't do that right now.      

So if a passenger got it, well, the passenger got it.  The rest should carry on.  

 

Before, when they had limited cases, quarantine is a must.  Now, it's not feasible anymore.  

It is all about the contact ... The passenger in Alaska tested negative before he left home - and had another test before he boarded the boat.  It was that 2nd test that was positive.  By the time he and and the cruise line were notified about the positive test, he had already been in contact with people on the boat.  So - anyone he came in contact with had the potential to be become positive - and spread the virus.  It was absolutely the right thing to do to return to Juneau and quarantine everyone. 

 

In the case of a cruise, it isn't just the passengers and crew who are at risk - it is the residents in the ports where the boat docks.  Some of the ports have limited medical resources - and to bring Covid to an area like that is irresponsible IMHO.

 

Fran 

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We are talking about Europe river cruise.  All ports are within reach from major cities.   Europe already opened.  The river cruise is not less safe than going to a local restaurant or going to the local store.  

 

As for USA, 5 millions people already got it.  A few cases here and there from the cruise don't make you run for the bunker.  I can tell you with absolute certainty that in CA, anywhere you go, it's less safe than on the boat.  Each days, thousands of new cases reported and no one really stops going to so and so just because someone actually got coronavirus there.  That is the reality.  

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8 hours ago, kent9xxx1 said:

We are talking about Europe river cruise.  All ports are within reach from major cities.   Europe already opened.  The river cruise is not less safe than going to a local restaurant or going to the local store.  

 

As for USA, 5 millions people already got it.  A few cases here and there from the cruise don't make you run for the bunker.  I can tell you with absolute certainty that in CA, anywhere you go, it's less safe than on the boat.  Each days, thousands of new cases reported and no one really stops going to so and so just because someone actually got coronavirus there.  That is the reality.  

They made a corporate decision. Live with it. I respect it.

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9 hours ago, kent9xxx1 said:

We are talking about Europe river cruise.  All ports are within reach from major cities.   Europe already opened.  The river cruise is not less safe than going to a local restaurant or going to the local store.  

 

As for USA, 5 millions people already got it.  A few cases here and there from the cruise don't make you run for the bunker.  I can tell you with absolute certainty that in CA, anywhere you go, it's less safe than on the boat.  Each days, thousands of new cases reported and no one really stops going to so and so just because someone actually got coronavirus there.  That is the reality.  

 

Sorry, but your last paragraph is the perfect example of why other countries have closed their borders to Americans.  We struggled to get our numbers down to where our medical facilities can handle an outbreak, we don't need tourists coming in and creating another outbreak.  

 

"The river cruise is not less safe than going to a local restaurant or going to the local store."    Our contact tracing is showing that going to the stores or meeting in larger groups without masks can enable you to catch Covid-19.  The more recent outbreaks we have had here are from large indoor private parties...shall I say sitting in the lounge or dining room on a cruise?

 

"A few cases here and there from the cruise don't make you run for the bunker".  Yes they do.  A few cases here and there will quickly add up to a lot of cases that we don't need.  We shut down our economy in order to keep ourselves healthy, and are slowly re-opening it, just like Europe.  We can't cope with both our health services being overloaded and another shut down.  

 

Crystal has nothing to prove with it's River Cruises.  They have an extremely loyal Ocean Cruise following that has moved over to the River Cruise side.  All they have to do is provide the same service expected from the Ocean line, which from all accounts I have heard they do.  There is absolutely no reason for them to lower their standards to encourage European clients, there are enough lines that are geared to the European markets.  Right now, very few (even the European lines) are sailing, due to border restrictions (Hungary for one is limiting who can come in without a 14 day quarantine) and other factors.  

 

As Coral says, it's their decision, and they obviously made it thinking not only about the cost it will involve, but their staff, passengers AND the ports that they would visit. Other lines are making the same decisions, just not so far in advance.  Avalon is cancelling 3 months in advance, so you don't have to make the final payment.  I really don't expect any lines sailing much this year - possibly for the late Christmas markets, but I really am doubting it.  

 

I don't think ANY line wants to have the consequences of having a Covid-19 outbreak on one of their ships.

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2 hours ago, Daisi said:

I don't think ANY line wants to have the consequences of having a Covid-19 outbreak on one of their ships.

I don't think it has done any good for Hurtigruten (which has stopped its expedition sailings after an outbreak) or for UnCruise in Alaska.

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