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Cancellation of cruise in the Middle East


Hill Country Dakota
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Indeed so, Mary229. I was responding to the comment that "Turkey is dangerous". Nothing more or less. I'd be happy to holiday on land or cruise near the western parts of Turkey, as I would to be just a few kilometres away in the Greek islands. But I certainly accept that there are many people in the Eastern Mediterranean area who don't like people like me. Everywhere can be a risk. Even small towns like Lewiston, Maine. 

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To clarify things about the Oceania cruise on November 29th:  I spoke with Oceania three different times to different people and was told we had until November 10th to request a future cruise credit (FCC) and that we had to apply it to a cruise that sailed by December 31, 2025.  I was told the same thing by all three Oceania reps on different days.  I spoke with my travel agent on Oct 23 and said that I would select a future cruise and let her know in a day or so.  I had to make the change through the travel agent.  I thought I had a few days, but they rescinded the offer on October 24th; I was told this by my travel agent.  And it was without any notice given to the travel agent.  I assume that other people that accepted the credit, got it by the fact that availability started showing up for rooms that were full before.  We didn't jump on this immediately because I was told in no uncertain terms that I would not receive any credit for my upgraded airfare, which I DID purchase through Oceania.  I tried with the airline, and others to see if, even with a change fee, I could get an airline credit and not loose all the $9400+.  I could not get an answer from the airline (they did not know they told me) and was told no by Oceania but I could pursue it with the airline.  They said that they purchased nonrefundable tickets so too bad. It was a penalty I was told.  That was over $9400.  So I am thinking, I lose nearly $10,000 on this cruise when you add the visas that I bought (because Oceania sent emails requesting them), and if I book another cruise that I have to buy air tickets again for a lot of money, it could conceivably cost us close to $20,000 to forgo this cruise and take another one.  That's a lot of money to waste.  This was supposed to be a once in a lifetime luxury vacation and it is turning into a nightmare.  And as someone pointed out, how do you plan when everything is a changing target? Given what is going on in the Red Sea, and how close we get to some countries, etc. in my opinion (and it is only in MY opinion) that the cruise ship will not sail through the Red Sea, and probably has tentatively decided that, but they don't know where they will go.)  There are a lot of cruise ships scrambling for ports to replace the Middle Eastern ports, so I am sure it is a mess.  At lot can still change in a month, for the better or for the worse.  I was told by Oceania that upper management made the decision to rescind the offer and there was nothing they would say other than "I'm sorry."  If I had to venture a guess, Oceania was facing a half empty ship (again just MY opinion) and wanted to stop that by cancelling the offer.  In my opinion none of this is fair to its longstanding customers.  Somebody has to loose and Oceania is trying to minimize their loss.  Lesson learned:  1. Don't by air fare upgrades through the cruise company.  Buy your own airfare and make sure it is changeable for a little more money. I used to think you were protected when you purchased through the cruise company, apparently no so.  2. Do you think we will ever sail on Oceania again?????  Not me.

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One more thing to add on the November 29th Oceania cruise from Istanbul:  The uncertainty still remains that if, even once the cruise starts,  they decide not to sail through the Red Sea, where will they go, and how do they get everyone to Dubai?  Or get everyone home?  Given Oceania's track record so far, will they even rearrange travel to get us home?  Or say it was upper management that made the decision, say "I'm sorry" and leave us on our own somewhere in the Med?    Unfortunately I don't have a lot of confidence in them right now.

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5 hours ago, Rhett789 said:

One more thing to add on the November 29th Oceania cruise from Istanbul:  The uncertainty still remains that if, even once the cruise starts,  they decide not to sail through the Red Sea, where will they go, and how do they get everyone to Dubai?  Or get everyone home?  Given Oceania's track record so far, will they even rearrange travel to get us home?  Or say it was upper management that made the decision, say "I'm sorry" and leave us on our own somewhere in the Med?    Unfortunately I don't have a lot of confidence in them right now.

You would likely just get left somewhere in the Med, maybe back in Istanbul. You will be on your own.

 

Depending on the airline you are ticketed on, you could approach them direct to see if you could change your ticket home from where ever you are from Dubai. What airline did O book you on? If you have a PRN try calling that airline now and ask them about your options if you end up somewhere other than Dubai. In times of war most airlines are willing to work with pax, no matter who paid for the ticket.

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7 hours ago, Harters said:

The British government advice is only not to travel to very limited parts of Turkey, which border Iran, Syria and Iraq. Many thousands of Britons will be continuing to enjoy their beach holidays in the western parts of the country. Similarly, Cyprus (included the part occupied by Turkey) is also very much open to tourism, in spite of being a major operational base for the Royal Air Force. 

Could not agree with you more. Except....

We did an escorted trip in Turkey some years ago and went nowhere near the south. Never had a moment's concern. However not as many years ago IIRC there was a terrorist bombing in the Istanbul airport. AND if someone figures out just how bad a true war could be than all bets are off...as far as I'm concerned.

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33 minutes ago, Harry Lake said:

Could not agree with you more. Except....

We did an escorted trip in Turkey some years ago and went nowhere near the south. Never had a moment's concern. However not as many years ago IIRC there was a terrorist bombing in the Istanbul airport. AND if someone figures out just how bad a true war could be than all bets are off...as far as I'm concerned.

 

If a true (by which I assume you mean larger) war erupts, all bets will be off anyway, not just in Turkey.

 

However, let me add that the 2015 bombing was linked to ISIS, and the security at the Istanbul airport is now very thorough. All passengers and luggage are screened AT THE ENTRANCE to the terminal, as well as all the normal security screenings plus an additional screening at the gate where all carry-on luggage is opened and searched.

 

Edited by cruisemom42
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We are booked on Lufthansa going home.  I called them and spoke with someone for nearly an hour trying to figure out our options.  I had the record locator and they found the listing but they just could not tell me anything. They said my travel agent should call their travel advisory office. We shall see.  I don't like the uncertainty of all this.

 

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I too am booked in the Nov 29 sailing Istanbul -Dubai. 28 cruises behind us, and this was by far the most expensive one for us. With air $30,000.  Last week our travel agent spoke to 2 different people and each time were offered the full cruise credit with requirement  to book new cruise by Nov 30.  We spent next day going through 2024 cruise catalog to pic another cruise, and when travel agent called to accept this offer was told sorry no longer offered. Cruising through the Red Sea, gulf of Aden ,Egypt, Jordan, past Saudi Arabia .Yemen ,Oman on the way to Dubai, is definitely not safe, as displayed by many US destroyer ships in the water. Not to mention Saudi Arabia just shot down a rocket coming from Yemen. How could they think that is safe and appropriate to sail a luxury cruise ship past war ships ? Obviously Oceania doesn’t care they are just looking at dollars since they need to get the ship to Dubai for the next sailing.

the biggest problem I see for most of us is that there was a secret offer for a full cruise credit that was secretly discontinued.  
oceania worries  about losing money on this sailing if they give passengers the option to get a full credit and not sail, rather than the bigger money they will lose with either law suits or bad public relations since people won’t want to ever cruise with them in the future 

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26 minutes ago, Elless100 said:

oceania worries  about losing money on this sailing if they give passengers the option to get a full credit and not sail, rather than the bigger money they will lose with either law suits or bad public relations since people won’t want to ever cruise with them in the future 

I hope people actually do these things, don't just talk about it.

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33 minutes ago, Elless100 said:

Cruising through the Red Sea, gulf of Aden ,Egypt, Jordan, past Saudi Arabia .Yemen ,Oman on the way to Dubai, is definitely not safe, as displayed by many US destroyer ships in the water.

 

The US destroyers have been in the Gulf of Aden for many years   it is not something new

 

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2 hours ago, LHT28 said:

The US destroyers have been in the Gulf of Aden for many years   it is not something new

 

That is very true.
The Pentagon has deployed two aircraft carriers, and their supporting ships, to the Eastern Mediterranean since Oct 7. France deployed one LHd, two Frigates last week. USS  Carney shot down three missiles and approx 8 drones in the Suez Canal on 10/18…I would imagine that there is much more involved than these examples. 
The current events are, IMO, certainly more than enough reason for some passengers to feel uncomfortable, and maybe even unsafe, with this new itinerary. I won’t judge that position. 
I think the big point is Oceania going back on their word to multiple passengers regarding FCC…..that is a really big issue that can leave one to think twice about where the honorable are amongst the decision makers in this. 

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This has all been hard to read! Since there have been so many ways cruise travel has been up-ended thru the years and most recently…A worldwide devastating pandemic, wars, weather disasters of various forms…well, you all know all of this!? I would think by now…there might be some plan…for when the next crisis happens. Some sensible/reasonable ways to handle these issues of compensation. To be fair and provide responsible customer service. It’s seems like these decisions are being panic driven?  

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1 hour ago, Vineyard View said:


I think the big point is Oceania going back on their word to multiple passengers regarding FCC…..that is a really big issue that can leave one to think twice about where the honorable are amongst the decision makers in this. 

This is where I am at. I am an EX-O cheerleader (not an X-cheerleader! Sorry, couldn’t help myself!)

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1 hour ago, Vineyard View said:

...
I think the big point is Oceania going back on their word to multiple passengers regarding FCC…..that is a really big issue that can leave one to think twice about where the honorable are amongst the decision makers in this. 

Well said!

... unfortunately.

Trust is a very, very big deal.

 

(I wonder if anyone actually got any FCCs at all.  One should NOT need to question that!)

 

GC

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I can compare Oceania to other cruise lines and I conclude I will not ever use Oceania again.  We were fully booked and paid for a cruise on Royal Carrib. that was going to stop in Cuba.  When the government forbid this, RC changed the ports.  They said we could go on the revised cruise or take a full refund.  They had the legal right to alter the itinerary, but since the main reason for the cruise was removed (going to Cuba) they did the right thing and gave everyone's money back.  We were on another RC cruise and because of weather we lost a day.  They gave everyone a hefty on board cruise credit to make up for it.  We were on Celebrity in the middle of a cruise and it was cut short because of the pandemic.  They sent us home first class on Emerites and we had not even bought the air tickets through Celebrity.  And they refunded the cost of the entire trip, except for the excursions we had already taken, and paid us cash for any remaining on board credits -- even the free promotional ones.  And didn't charge for any of the expensive wines we had purchased on the cruise.  Now, given all this, which are the better cruise companies?  One that advertises the "finest cuisine" on the sea and then that changes their offers without notice? That appears to care only for their bottom line?  Or the other two I mentioned? The Oceania cruise is entitled Holy Land and the Arabian Jewels.  They are not going to the ports for which the cruise is titled.  Seems like if they are not going to provide what they advertised they should at least give their customers the option of transferring everything purchased through them to another cruise.  Or refund it all.

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On 10/28/2023 at 7:17 AM, Harters said:

The British government advice is only not to travel to very limited parts of Turkey, which border Iran, Syria and Iraq. Many thousands of Britons will be continuing to enjoy their beach holidays in the western parts of the country. Similarly, Cyprus (included the part occupied by Turkey) is also very much open to tourism, in spite of being a major operational base for the Royal Air Force. 

News of the last 24 hours regarding threats by Turkey to enter the war against Israel and Israel recalling its Ambassador from Turkey, raise the level of concern about travel there IMHO.

 

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14 minutes ago, edgee said:

News of the last 24 hours regarding threats by Turkey to enter the war against Israel and Israel recalling its Ambassador from Turkey, raise the level of concern about travel there IMHO.

 

 

Agreed. Although Erdogan is often overly fond of making bold statements to curry favor with his base, without any subsequent follow-through.

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1 hour ago, edgee said:

threats by Turkey to enter the war against Israel

I havent seen any such threats reported in British media. I have seen that Erdogan has condemned current Israeli action. That's obviously not the same at all. There seems to me to be not the slightest chance that Turkey, a NATO member, would actively engage in armed conflict with Israel. Not least with the US, the UK and a number of other western countries green-lighting the current Israeli action.  

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2 hours ago, Rhett789 said:

I can compare Oceania to other cruise lines and I conclude I will not ever use Oceania again.  We were fully booked and paid for a cruise on Royal Carrib. that was going to stop in Cuba.  When the government forbid this, RC changed the ports.  They said we could go on the revised cruise or take a full refund.  They had the legal right to alter the itinerary, but since the main reason for the cruise was removed (going to Cuba) they did the right thing and gave everyone's money back.  We were on another RC cruise and because of weather we lost a day.  They gave everyone a hefty on board cruise credit to make up for it.  We were on Celebrity in the middle of a cruise and it was cut short because of the pandemic.  They sent us home first class on Emerites and we had not even bought the air tickets through Celebrity.  And they refunded the cost of the entire trip, except for the excursions we had already taken, and paid us cash for any remaining on board credits -- even the free promotional ones.  And didn't charge for any of the expensive wines we had purchased on the cruise.  Now, given all this, which are the better cruise companies?  One that advertises the "finest cuisine" on the sea and then that changes their offers without notice? That appears to care only for their bottom line?  Or the other two I mentioned? The Oceania cruise is entitled Holy Land and the Arabian Jewels.  They are not going to the ports for which the cruise is titled.  Seems like if they are not going to provide what they advertised they should at least give their customers the option of transferring everything purchased through them to another cruise.  Or refund it all.

I hope you're sending these comments all the way to the top at O.

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41 minutes ago, Harters said:

I havent seen any such threats reported in British media. I have seen that Erdogan has condemned current Israeli action. That's obviously not the same at all. There seems to me to be not the slightest chance that Turkey, a NATO member, would actively engage in armed conflict with Israel. Not least with the US, the UK and a number of other western countries green-lighting the current Israeli action.  

I agree that it is likely just rhetoric, but rhetoric helps inflame tensions and thus leads to a less safe environment for travelers.

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3 hours ago, Rhett789 said:

I can compare Oceania to other cruise lines and I conclude I will not ever use Oceania again.  We were fully booked and paid for a cruise on Royal Carrib. that was going to stop in Cuba.  When the government forbid this, RC changed the ports.  They said we could go on the revised cruise or take a full refund.  They had the legal right to alter the itinerary, but since the main reason for the cruise was removed (going to Cuba) they did the right thing and gave everyone's money back.  We were on another RC cruise and because of weather we lost a day.  They gave everyone a hefty on board cruise credit to make up for it.  We were on Celebrity in the middle of a cruise and it was cut short because of the pandemic. 

Are you implying Oceania  did nothing when the same situations   happened to their  cruises?

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3 hours ago, Rhett789 said:

I can compare Oceania to other cruise lines and I conclude I will not ever use Oceania again.  We were fully booked and paid for a cruise on Royal Carrib. that was going to stop in Cuba.  When the government forbid this, RC changed the ports.  They said we could go on the revised cruise or take a full refund.  They had the legal right to alter the itinerary, but since the main reason for the cruise was removed (going to Cuba) they did the right thing and gave everyone's money back.  We were on another RC cruise and because of weather we lost a day.  They gave everyone a hefty on board cruise credit to make up for it.  We were on Celebrity in the middle of a cruise and it was cut short because of the pandemic.  They sent us home first class on Emerites and we had not even bought the air tickets through Celebrity.  And they refunded the cost of the entire trip, except for the excursions we had already taken, and paid us cash for any remaining on board credits -- even the free promotional ones.  And didn't charge for any of the expensive wines we had purchased on the cruise.  Now, given all this, which are the better cruise companies?  One that advertises the "finest cuisine" on the sea and then that changes their offers without notice? That appears to care only for their bottom line?  Or the other two I mentioned? The Oceania cruise is entitled Holy Land and the Arabian Jewels.  They are not going to the ports for which the cruise is titled.  Seems like if they are not going to provide what they advertised they should at least give their customers the option of transferring everything purchased through them to another cruise.  Or refund it all.

On the recent Royal earnings call, you'll learn that they are doing a financially superior job  post C, compared to NCLH and CCL.  

 

Just look at stock prices.

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