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Still refusing refunds.


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It has now been widely reported that Paul Gauguin Cruises/Ponant continues to refuse refunds to their passengers. I was one of them

 

In the past 15 years, my husband and I have sailed on the PG 5 different times, totaling 59 nights onboard. They have all been wonderful experiences. We were scheduled for our 6th voyage on her in late March. Two weeks before our departure, PG canceled our cruise and offered a 100% future cruise credit. Only a credit.

 

Since we've already experienced her other routes (Cook Islands and Marquesas Islands) and our missed voyage was an unusual itinerary (Papeete to Fiji), we did not want a FCC. We wanted a refund.

 

We contacted our travel agent, who has sailed on PG 40+ times. We asked that he request a refund on our behalf. He did and was denied, although the PG did add to their offer...up from 100% to 120% future cruise credit. Again, not what we wanted.

 

Our TA was trying to both maintain his status with the PG and keep us happy as well. It did not work. This was a BIG trip. A special birthday trip for my husband. Through our TA, the PG had handled everything. Our entire travel package...

 

Business Class flights on Air Tahiti Nui from LA to Papeete.

3 nights hotel pre-cruise in Papeete.

13 night voyage in a category B stateroom.

2 nights hotel post-cruise in Fiji.

Business Class flights on Air Fiji returning to LA.

 

This was a $37k vacation and we wanted our money back! Still, PG Cruises refused. For 2 months they refused, although eventually they told our TA that we were "on a list for refund" but nothing was in writing. At this point we lost all faith in our TA as well as the PG. Finally we called out credit card company to inquire about a chargeback. They were very helpful and ready to file at that moment but we decided to give our TA and the PG some more time. More refusals. As the days wound down we realized our opportunity to file a chargeback was closing. We were told we needed to file within 60 days of the canceled trip. We called the CC and our 3 chargebacks were filed. 3 separate chargebacks...1 for our initial deposit, 1 for the 1st installment, 1 for our final payment. Our CC could not have been more helpful but they warned it could take up to 120 days. It took almost 120 days but we did get every penny back.

 

My advice is to carefully consider doing business with the PG, now owned by Ponant. Also carefully consider who you book your trip with. Your TA is supposed to be your advocate. Plus, don't underestimate your credit card company. They can help you. We had no idea what a chargeback even was and they helped us through every step.

 

French Polynesia is our favorite place in earth and we hope to return sooner rather than later. We just won't be sailing on the PG as long as she's owned by Ponant.

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3 hours ago, poolechick said:

French Polynesia is our favorite place in earth and we hope to return sooner rather than later. We just won't be sailing on the PG as long as she's owned by Ponant.

 

You've expressed our sentiments exactly. We're somewhere over 60 nights, and although each trip  has felt like the last, we always lived in hope of one more visit.  Not now, although I'd love to go back to FP--it's our favourite place too.

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I was holding my breath hoping your chargeback would be successful... so glad it was. We went the chargeback route also; also successful. Never had to do that before and surprised that our beloved PG would be the first. 

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While we love the PG their changes in the terms and conditions is disheartening. We moved our June 2020 trip to April and still look forward to it.  Ponant’s business practices have helped us as we are reserving an Antarctica Cruise this week for next December and we’re strongly leaning towards Ponant. Now Ponant is out of contention for a cruise that costs $25k per person. Just an example as to how short sighted they are. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

122 days full deposit refund..my TA/friend and his contact at PG Cruises got it done....plan B was always an Amex reversal and as a 40 year customer I was not worried

 

We would of been on our second PG cruise now and I am sad at all the past developments that have taken place since March 


I honestly have never seen a company go from the absolute best to this ...and thank you to the surviving PG staff for seeing this thru !  

Edited by Supertuscan99
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We, too, have over 50 nights on the PG. Have moved our Marquesas cruise twice now. Fortunately I never made final payment, but I have been advised it's my final time I can move the date.

Now, this seems restrictive during a pandemic with no foreseeable end date. They have thousands of my dollars, and a loyal customer...for now! Time will tell. So happy you and others have had refund success!

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  • 2 weeks later...

You can add my voice to the chorus of those royally . . . worked . . . over by PG/Ponant and their greedy, customer-unfriendly practices.

 

We reserved a Category B stateroom on the March 28 Papeete-Fiji cruise that fell victim to Covid & was cancelled by PG Cruises.  They refused us a refund though refunds were “being considered on a case by case basis”, and even though the cruise docs sent to us stated that it was their responsibility to REFUND in the event that THEY CANCELLED a cruise.  
 

No matter.  
 

Like Poolechick, we waited patiently until months had passed (the difference being that our travel advisor was wonderful!).  Our fear that the company would go under, taking our money with it, finally drove us to file a dispute with our credit card company.  I have written before about how PG lied to our card company, stating that they had already issued us a refund, knowing full well that the $540 PARTIAL REFUND on a $666 single post-cruise hotel night was not the refund in question! (! We cancelled the minute they revealed the outrageous price, but they kept $126 for their “trouble”.)  The credit card company cancelled the credit on the basis of the....misinformation.  We explained and they reinstated it.  There was then another 90 day wait until our dispute, finally, was honored.  


Another $500, our original booking deposit, has never been disputed....or refunded.  

We had our travel advisor request that refund but, while PG had originally stated that they couldn’t refund our money only because we had filed a dispute, she was now told that, “NOTHING associated with that booking number will be considered for refund!”  Such liars.

 

We had a glorious time on our first Paul Gauguin cruise.  HOWEVER.....it was no MORE glorious than our experience aboard VIKING, REGENT, or any other luxury line!  Yes, there’s the French Polynesia vibe.  But, merci beaucoup, I’ll get mine on any other cruise line - without the side dish of merde!

Edited by Candlesmith
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We were booked in a Cat B cabin on the Fiji to Bali cruise just after Candlesmith. It would have been our 4th PG cruise, with all of our previous cruises in Cat B. We loved the Papeete to Fiji PG cruise last September, and were excited that we were already booked on the Fiji to Bali trip for April 2020. We would have celebrated my birthday at the IC in Bali.

We held on to the end with our bookings from Florida to LA until PG cancelled it. We had paid PG for upgrades on our flights, with pre and post hotels. They cancelled our vacation, and were not willing to give us a refund. There is no cruise from Fiji to Bali that we can take on PG or Ponant that we can use our future cruise credit, and it's hard to tell what credit we have for our December 2021 cruise.

So if anyone else feels bad, we have already paid well over 30 thousand dollars to PG, and have not been able to get our money back. We had to rebook on a cruise itinerary that we've already done, and would not have booked again. We haven't been able to get a real number for what we have as a credit for our pre and post hotels, which we had already paid for.

We have loved our 3 previous PG cruises, but we feel very screwed by PG. I blame Ponant for this, and wish we had cancelled our April trip after meeting the Ponant rep who was so arrogant and obnoxious when he boarded the PG tender last September in the Cook Islands.

 

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