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Cruise cancelled with 4 days notice - Balmoral


Eglesbrech
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Well I’m devastated. My cruise in 4 days time has been cancelled as the Balmoral has a technical issue and has to go into dry dock.

 

I am all packed, my fridge is almost empty, OHs annual leave booked, insurance paid etc.

 

They offered alternatives with a discount going out at around the same time  - at the other end of the country 500 miles and 8 hours plus drive away from Rosyth.

 

They offered 20% off anything else in 2022. We are already booked for other cruises so that is pointless, no other compensation offered. They will look at out of pocket expenses on a case by case basis but I’m not holding my breathe.

 

I now have to unpick various booking we had made independently for galleries, restaurants etc, unpack my case and do some food shopping.
 

Really peeved. While I appreciate that things happen the offering to compensate is poor imo given the very short notice and lack of viable alternatives. I have started looking at other lines but very little left with just 4 days notice.

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Yes I was meant to be on that sailing too… absolutely gutted. Apparently Balmoral has a cracked propeller. 
 

Not been able to get through on the phone yet to find out the price of the Dover cruise to see if it’s even worth the hassle. 

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Oh no Eglesbrech!  I read a post on another social media site from a passenger on Balmoral a couple of days ago, saying that the ship was having to go slow and miss ports due to technical issues, so Fred. Olsen have known about this problem for a while.  
 

I agree that the compensation offered is poor.  
 

There are cruises on Saga’s ships departing in the next few days, but they start at Southampton and Dover, so may not be of interest.  I hope you manage to find a replacement holiday which suits.

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Well I have spent the entire afternoon looking to see what is available and basically - nothing.

 

Everything involves long journeys, long flights and any cruise from the U.K. - there no car parking  left available.

 

If I cancelled a cruise with Fred 4 days before I would get absolutely nothing back. They do it 4 days before and it’s just tough luck for the passenger who has to run around sorting everything out and has little to no chance of getting an alternative. Totally one sided and unfair.

 

And to add insult to injury  I tried to book a shopping delivery for Monday and the cc company has a note that I am at sea!!!!!

 

 

Edited by Eglesbrech
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4 hours ago, Eglesbrech said:

Well I’m devastated. My cruise in 4 days time has been cancelled as the Balmoral has a technical issue and has to go into dry dock.

 

I am all packed, my fridge is almost empty, OHs annual leave booked, insurance paid etc.

 

They offered alternatives with a discount going out at around the same time  - at the other end of the country 500 miles and 8 hours plus drive away from Rosyth.

 

They offered 20% off anything else in 2022. We are already booked for other cruises so that is pointless, no other compensation offered. They will look at out of pocket expenses on a case by case basis but I’m not holding my breathe.

 

I now have to unpick various booking we had made independently for galleries, restaurants etc, unpack my case and do some food shopping.
 

Really peeved. While I appreciate that things happen the offering to compensate is poor imo given the very short notice and lack of viable alternatives. I have started looking at other lines but very little left with just 4 days notice.

 

I made my previous post about the propeller quickly as I was out at the time, but I would also like to say how sad I am to hear that this has affected you (and others) in this way.  I hope you find something else to replace your lost cruise, considering you are so well prepared for going on the cruise.

 

Barbara

Edited by tring
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We were booked on this cruise ,got a phone call from travel agent at lunchtime telling us that the cruise was cancelled and what our options were, we contacted Fred Olsen as when we booked the cruise we were given free tips and drinks packages they confirmed this would be transferred to the new cruise so we booked VISTAS & VOLCANOES OF AZORES & MADEIRA at 50% discount ,we were also able to book parking at CPS Dover

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7 minutes ago, lanarkshire lad said:

We were booked on this cruise ,got a phone call from travel agent at lunchtime telling us that the cruise was cancelled and what our options were, we contacted Fred Olsen as when we booked the cruise we were given free tips and drinks packages they confirmed this would be transferred to the new cruise so we booked VISTAS & VOLCANOES OF AZORES & MADEIRA at 50% discount ,we were also able to book parking at CPS Dover

I’m glad you have something that suits you.

 

Fine if you want to travel for 8 hours plus to Dover and the cruise offered is of interest.  Not quite the same as a French river cruise however from a port a short distance away.

 

Have a wonderful cruise.

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10 minutes ago, Eglesbrech said:

I’m glad you have something that suits you.

 

Fine if you want to travel for 8 hours plus to Dover and the cruise offered is of interest.  Not quite the same as a French river cruise however from a port a short distance away.

 

Have a wonderful cruise.

We were looking forward to a cruise before winter and had never cruised the Azores before we got a terrace balcony for the price of an outside so we thought we would give it a try 

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I was sorry to hear this.   Although I don't work at Rosyth personally, I'm part of the volunteer hospitality team on the Firth of Forth.   We still have a NCL ship on Monday, but are disappointed for those - like yourselves - who appreciate the convenience of embarking / disembarking at a Scottish port.

 

Is Borealis doing anything of interest from Liverpool (I know it's not as convenient as Scotland, but I did the journey there last September to join Virtuosa, and it was relatively painless on the train?

Edited by showingdiva
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3 hours ago, showingdiva said:

I was sorry to hear this.   Although I don't work at Rosyth personally, I'm part of the volunteer hospitality team on the Firth of Forth.   We still have a NCL ship on Monday, but are disappointed for those - like yourselves - who appreciate the convenience of embarking / disembarking at a Scottish port.

 

Is Borealis doing anything of interest from Liverpool (I know it's not as convenient as Scotland, but I did the journey there last September to join Virtuosa, and it was relatively painless on the train?

Unfortunately we have to fit this one in between various other appointments, social engagements, shows we have booked etc so it has to be in the same foorprint time wise. Thanks though for the suggestion.

 

I do wish more ships would depart from Scotland or the North of England.

 

We have come into Rosyth and South Queensferry as “ tourists” on cruises stopping there and thought the warm welcome given was a credit to those volunteering. Same up in Invergorden, very welcoming.

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I just saw the 7 night Borealis one, also leaving Monday, but from Liverpool.  To Shetland and Norway though.

 

Between the Balmoral cancellation and dry docking, and Bolette's autumn schedule being cancelled, Fred haven't had the greatest week.

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4 minutes ago, showingdiva said:

I just saw the 7 night Borealis one, also leaving Monday, but from Liverpool.  To Shetland and Norway though.

 

Between the Balmoral cancellation and dry docking, and Bolette's autumn schedule being cancelled, Fred haven't had the greatest week.

I checked the location for Balmoral todays and it seemed to be in. Copenhagen which was not a scheduled stop as I recall  (unless I have that wrong of course).

 

I wonder if they will let a ship which is limping back into the Keil canal?

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My info was that she made for Copenhagen last night instead of Szczecin and that she left Copenhagen late this afternoon and is heading in the direction of the North Sea and then to Rosyth and is due to be there early on the morning of the 29th.

 

It may be that the channel to and from Szczecin and the Kiel Canal were considered too risky for the ship in its current state. 

 

Really sorry that your cruise is off and hope that you do find something to make up for it.

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From someone on the ship, no Kiel canal and Copenhagen was a new stop added as a bit of a bonus on the long way back.  They announced that change about an hour before the announcement of the next cruise being cancelled.

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Just seen a newspaper report of a Scottish couple in their 70s who were due to be on the following cruise that's been cancelled. They were to celebrate a very special occasion. There is no way that, at their age, they can make a 1000 mile round trip to an alternative cruise from Southampton by public transport in the midst of rail strikes... without the fear of missing the boat on the way out or being stranded on the way back.

 

It really brings home the problem that so many people may have and we really do emphasise with their position. Perhaps if coach transfers had been included in the compensation package it would have made a real difference.

 

When things go wrong... even if it's not the cruise-line's fault... if the management just put themselves in the position of some of their passengers and asked themselves... "What would be really helpful?" it might do a great deal to reduce the level of disappointment and to make people feel that they were being looked after... as if they were family. 

 

 

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So sorry to hear of your nightmare scenario Egelbrech, it’s a horrible situation to be in.  When the same problem happened to us on that ship our maximum speed was just  10 knots and we had to use a deep way harbour in San Diego to get it fixed.  The ship was crippled basically.

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Looking at her track on Marine Traffic, after leaving Copenhagen she was at one point doing 13 knots and for a while was doing mid-12 knots.  So she's had to slow down even more now.

 

According to a book I have the White Star Line Homeric, once converted to run on oil in 1923 was able to achieve 1.5 knots higher in speed, and that reduced her time to cross the north Atlantic by 24 hours!

 

Although not the same distance, this reduced speed must be costing so much extra time to get back to Rosyth.

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33 minutes ago, richard_london said:

Looking at her track on Marine Traffic, after leaving Copenhagen she was at one point doing 13 knots and for a while was doing mid-12 knots.  So she's had to slow down even more now.

 

According to a book I have the White Star Line Homeric, once converted to run on oil in 1923 was able to achieve 1.5 knots higher in speed, and that reduced her time to cross the north Atlantic by 24 hours!

 

Although not the same distance, this reduced speed must be costing so much extra time to get back to Rosyth.

 

The Balmoral is certainly not having a good time.

 

She's currently experiencing a 29/30 knot north westerly wind... virtually a near gale... in rough seas and a 2.7 m swell. Not surprisingly, her speed has dropped to 10 knots... although it may pick up a little overnight after most of the passengers are safely in bed! However, may make for a few interesting "moves"in the silent disco if it's on tonight!

 

The good news is that... the wind will moderate to about 20 knots over the next 24 hours,

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19 hours ago, twotravellersLondon said:

Just seen a newspaper report of a Scottish couple in their 70s who were due to be on the following cruise that's been cancelled. They were to celebrate a very special occasion. There is no way that, at their age, they can make a 1000 mile round trip to an alternative cruise from Southampton by public transport in the midst of rail strikes... without the fear of missing the boat on the way out or being stranded on the way back.

 

It really brings home the problem that so many people may have and we really do emphasise with their position. Perhaps if coach transfers had been included in the compensation package it would have made a real difference.

 

When things go wrong... even if it's not the cruise-line's fault... if the management just put themselves in the position of some of their passengers and asked themselves... "What would be really helpful?" it might do a great deal to reduce the level of disappointment and to make people feel that they were being looked after... as if they were family. 

 

 

While I fully appreciate that Fred Olsen are not at fault for a technical problem (which are never completely avoidable) they have done themselves no service with regard to retaining customers.

 

Offering 50% off a cruise may look generous but it’s not if it’s at the other end of the country. Dover is a nightmare to drive to, we did it once and never again. Trains (if available) are very expensive as are plane journeys and onward travel costs. They are doing passengers no favours and simply filling up a ship which clearly had space left to fill anyway.

 

Offering 20% off anything else in 2022 is much the same as there is nothing out of Scotland for those who can’t / don’t want to travel further like the couple you mention. Personally I only every book a Fred cruise for the local departure, if we have to drive further afield then I would always select a newer ship with more facilities unless it was an bucket list  itinerary. 

 

Add to that the fact that not everyone can just change the timescale of holidays at 4 days notice. We have busy lives and plan our time accordingly.

 

Well we have managed to (hopefully) make a silk purse out of a sows ear. Booked a suite in the Yacht Club on MSC and will be meandering down with stops to Soton taking in the sites on the way at various locations over a few days. This will be very much a ship based rather than location focused holiday to try out MSC which we have never been on before. There was precious little choice left so we were lucky to get this.
 

I hope Fred don’t take too long to refund the cruise fares. We are fortunate in that we can go ahead and book an alternative, who knows if others are in a position to book anything until they actually have the money back in their account.


I don’t feel as if we have been looked after at all. I feel we have been told you are cancelled and tough luck if you can’t / don’t want to take the limited offer we have made and left to sort out any personal fallout (try cancelling restaurants and tours in French - mine is limited). As you say putting on a coach might have appealed to some folks and prompted them  to take up the offer.

 

A very small gesture would have made all the difference but it has not been forthcoming. In the long run it will probably cost them more in lost future bookings. 

 

 

 

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Well the Bordeaux tourist board have refunded our tour, the money is back in the bank already. I have to say they were very nice about us cancelling and clearly prompt in refunding.

 

We have had to pay small currency transaction fees both ways, not enough to bother even writing to Fred about but annoying on principle.

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