Jump to content

Just booked our first River Cruise: Danube on Emerald Waterways


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone-

First time poster, and looking forward to our first river cruise.  My wife and I will be celebrating our 35th anniversary in 2022 and we've been talking about a European river cruise for years.  With some big incentive pricing from Emerald (Super Earlybird pricing) we finally decided to go ahead and book.  We put our deposit down and intend to pay in advance to save the additional 10%.

 

One item that I asked about specifically is the guarantee mentioned in the article on this site:

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2256

In 2017, Emerald Waterways also introduced a guarantee that provides a refund of up to $475 per day for up to seven days, or $3,325 per person, for issues that include the ship being unable to sail due to high or low water levels, mechanical breakdowns or industrial action affecting the sailing. The guarantee is valid, regardless of what country you book in.

 

I noticed there was no mention of this in our Terms and Conditions so I called to inquire - and was told that that must be an outdated policy at this point.  So this is just a heads-up to others who might be thinking of booking on Emerald that the information in that article is dated.

 

I've asked some detailed questions and will provide information about what, to my cruising-newbie status, seems to be an outstanding value of the Super Earlybird pricing for 2022 sailings.

  • You can essentially choose from one of two deals: 1) $1000 per person off the cruise fare or 2) $295 airfare.  Note, however, that their airfare is capped at $1200 (if it's more than that, you pay the difference) so that airfare benefit is capped at $905.  We grabbed the $1000 per person and figured we would book our own airfare.
  • An additional 10% off if paid in full more than 12 months before you sail.  We opted for a more luxurious cabin so this was a pretty good chunk of money.
  • Free Deposit Protection Plan ($125 per person value).  It took me quite a few questions to get to the point where I understood the Deposit Protection Plan and the Flexible Booking program and how they work together.  I wanted to make sure I understood everything in detail because that will let me know my "gaps" that need to be covered by trip insurance.  I haven't yet decided whether I'll just play it safe and get CFAR insurance or whether I'll rely on the pretty good benefits embedded in the combination of Deposit Protection Plan and Flexible Booking.  Since I just booked two days ago, I still have a few days to decide.  But with Covid and the fact that I'd still have risk inside 60 days even with the above plans, I think I'm likely to do CFAR.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Emerald is a brand of Scenic.  When I booked a  Scenic cruise for next spring, my TA wouldn't let me take the Early Payment discount unless I buy a travel insurance policy that includes Supplier Default coverage.  This was no problem for us, as we always buy the Allianz Journey plan through her and Scenic is listed as a covered supplier.  But Emerald is not mentioned – you should check direct with the travel insurance company and make sure that it is covered as part of the Scenic group.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Chris_Texas said:

One item that I asked about specifically is the guarantee mentioned in the article on this site:

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2256

In 2017, Emerald Waterways also introduced a guarantee that provides a refund of up to $475 per day for up to seven days, or $3,325 per person, for issues that include the ship being unable to sail due to high or low water levels, mechanical breakdowns or industrial action affecting the sailing. The guarantee is valid, regardless of what country you book in.

 

I noticed there was no mention of this in our Terms and Conditions so I called to inquire - and was told that that must be an outdated policy at this point.  So this is just a heads-up to others who might be thinking of booking on Emerald that the information in that article is dated.

I will broaden that into a general warning:  Cruise Critic layoffs have really decimated the editorial staff, so they are not able to keep up as well as they used to.  It's always a good idea to double check at the horse's mouth.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you haven't already paid the full amount, I would be leery of doing that in these covid times.  We booked a Scenic river cruise for May 2020 and paid the full amount in Sept. 2019 so we could get the discount.  When that cruise was canceled, the gave us a future cruise credit, which we booked for June 2021.  It is looking like this cruise  may also be canceled.  If we want a refund we have to wait until the end of 2023.  So they will have had a substantial amount of our money for 4 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the comments and for a few other things to consider.  I hadn't thought of the risk that a company goes under.  I think the first thing to do would be to contact my credit card provider that I'll be using to pay for the cruise - they might provide protection.  Jazzbeau - does your TA have those concerns about all cruises, or just Scenic/Emerald in particular? 

 

I'm a little less worried about the Covid thing.  Even if we find we're uncomfortable in April 2022, we can cancel 90+ days ahead and use what we've paid towards a trip anytime in the following 24 months.  Since this is a trip we KNOW we want to take, I feel comfortable that sometime in the next 3 years we'll be able to do it.  

 

But I appreciate the food for thought from both of you.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris_Texas
Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't ask her about every cruise line.  She did mention that she views Scenic as smaller and less well funded than AMA, but that wasn't really an issue because AMA doesn't expect payment until 90 days (and doesn't offer a discount to paying earlier).

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Chris_Texas said:

Thank you for the comments and for a few other things to consider.  I hadn't thought of the risk that a company goes under.  I think the first thing to do would be to contact my credit card provider that I'll be using to pay for the cruise - they might provide protection.  Jazzbeau - does your TA have those concerns about all cruises, or just Scenic/Emerald in particular? 

 

I'm a little less worried about the Covid thing.  Even if we find we're uncomfortable in April 2022, we can cancel 90+ days ahead and use what we've paid towards a trip anytime in the following 24 months.  Since this is a trip we KNOW we want to take, I feel comfortable that sometime in the next 3 years we'll be able to do it.  

 

But I appreciate the food for thought from both of you.

 

Chris

I personally would not pay that far in advance for an Emerald Waterways cruise line cruise unless you have insurance that would cover the line and bankruptcy. I am not sure if I would pay that far in advance for any cruise at this point. This industry has been hit the hardest and maybe the last part of the industry to come back in full strength after COVID. I expect some lines to have fail. Large ocean cruise lines have had to shed ships in order to stay in business.

 

I would only do a deposit and if that was large, would insure it. 

 

I am not sure if I would count on credit cards either. Many credit cards are not providing protection for deposits made more than a year out. The best card is going to be AMEX. If you have read any thread on people trying to get their money back, you will hear that the credit card companies are often saying the charge was too far in advance.

 

Welcome to CC.

Edited by Coral
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Coral.  I've reached out (to Steve, a sponsor on this forum) about Supplier Default coverage - we've exchanged emails and are scheduled to speak by phone today.  This issue is my new #1 priority and I very much appreciate everybody highlighting it for me.  As it is now, all we have down is the relatively small $500 deposit for the two of us.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Chris_Texas, welcome.

 

Even before Covid, I was reluctant to pay any cruise line more than 90 - 120 days in advance.  Moreover, most of the time they want the advance payment a year or more out in the form of an e-check in return for a discount off the fare.  Not worth it to me.  Once the money is out of your checking acct., you have no protection, unlike a credit card.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Coral said:

I personally would not pay that far in advance for an Emerald Waterways cruise line cruise unless you have insurance that would cover the line and bankruptcy. I am not sure if I would pay that far in advance for any cruise at this point. This industry has been hit the hardest and maybe the last part of the industry to come back in full strength after COVID. I expect some lines to have fail. Large ocean cruise lines have had to shed ships in order to stay in business.

 

I would only do a deposit and if that was large, would insure it. 

 

I am not sure if I would count on credit cards either. Many credit cards are not providing protection for deposits made more than a year out. The best card is going to be AMEX. If you have read any thread on people trying to get their money back, you will hear that the credit card companies are often saying the charge was too far in the past.

 

Welcome to CC.

Just corrected my post.

 

If you have read any thread on people trying to get their money back, you will hear that the credit card companies are often saying the charge was too far in the past.

Edited by Coral
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chris_Texas said:

Thank you, Coral.  I've reached out (to Steve, a sponsor on this forum) about Supplier Default coverage - we've exchanged emails and are scheduled to speak by phone today.  This issue is my new #1 priority and I very much appreciate everybody highlighting it for me.  As it is now, all we have down is the relatively small $500 deposit for the two of us.  

He is a great resource.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Coral said:

He is a great resource.

Yes he is, and a super nice guy.  We spoke for a full hour today and he helped me sort through a ton of information and options.  I have a few more pieces to figure out (such as my credit card coverage, for whom I'm on hold now), but I'll certainly be using Steve's services to buy a policy.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Roz said:

@Chris_Texas, welcome.

 

Even before Covid, I was reluctant to pay any cruise line more than 90 - 120 days in advance.  Moreover, most of the time they want the advance payment a year or more out in the form of an e-check in return for a discount off the fare.  Not worth it to me.  Once the money is out of your checking acct., you have no protection, unlike a credit card.

With Emerald, I've already confirmed that I can pay via credit card so I have no issue in that regard.  The sole issue at this point seems to be whether my cc provider will cover a default by the provider and how long that look-back is.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Chris_Texas said:

With Emerald, I've already confirmed that I can pay via credit card so I have no issue in that regard.  The sole issue at this point seems to be whether my cc provider will cover a default by the provider and how long that look-back is.

Let us know what they say.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team: New Ship Ultramarine
      • Register Now for Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...