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Tom O.

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Everything posted by Tom O.

  1. I finally received my deposit refund yesterday. I cancelled the cruise on March 28th, well before the final payment was due. Since then HAL cancelled the entire cruise. So it was pretty much exactly 60 days before I received my refund.
  2. After reading replies to my rant, I decided to call Allianz, and see what they could do for me. All of the information on their website said I would not be entitled to any refund. But when I called and told them my situation, they said they would make a one time exception to their rules and will refund my money. They just sounded so negative on their website, that is sounded hopeless. So, I am a happy camper once again, and will consider Allianz in the future.
  3. No, they won't even do that. They must be rolling in cash, since they collected all those people's money, and have no claims, because nobody is traveling. Their refund policy is that the policy can only be cancelled within 10 days after purchase. It can be longer for residents of certain states, due to state laws. But unfortunately my state, Utah, is not one of those states.
  4. I purchased insurance from my travel agent when I booked my August Cruise last December. The insurance was from Allianz, the largest insurance company in the world. We bought it mostly in case we needed a medical evacuation or something during the trip. I never thought that my cruise would be cancelled, I have never cancelled a vacation myself. So now the cruise is cancelled, and Allianz refuses to refund the $575 we paid for it. Also, they refuse to cover any loses we have suffered from this cancellation. HAL should refund our deposit, but we also added the cost of our flight and an expensive hotel in Copenhagen to the coverage. Delta allowed us to cancel our flight for a future credit, but we are going to lose the money we paid for that hotel. Allianz says that since this is caused by a pandemic, they are not responsible. So Allianz won't refund our money or pay for our loses. What a completely useless insurance policy. I will think twice before ever buying travel insurance again. And I will never do business with Allianz again.
  5. Just letting you folks know, I received a refund today, for the extra items I ordered for my cruise. This included some excursions, specialty dinners, etc. I cancelled them on March 21. I have not received my deposit refund yet, I cancelled the cruise about a week after cancelling these incidentals. So, I am thinking I will get that soon.
  6. That was our experience in the past also. But it is not our experience now. We cancelled all excursions, specialty dinners, etc. a month ago - we received emails for each item, but no refund to our credit card. In fact, when I didn't get refunds for these extra items, it alerted me to the fact that HAL was experiencing problems. That is when I went ahead and cancelled the entire cruise. No one from HAL warned me that I wouldn't get my money back right away, but when I cancelled the entire cruise, my TA said it would be about 60 days. So I assume the same delay applied to the extra items as well.
  7. Just a heads up. I received an email from Delta Airlines last night, where the CEO announced a new policy for all canceled flights through Sept 30th. If you cancel your non-refundable flight you will get Delta E-Credits to fly in the future. These E-Credits are good until Sept. 30th, 2022. So, I canceled our flights to Copenhagen next August. I had already canceled our Baltic cruise with HAL, so I was thrilled with this new policy. I thought the money I paid for our flights was lost. I would assume other airlines will soon follow suit. I have no doubt that major airlines will survive this pandemic, flying is a necessity in this modern world. So, I do not hesitate to accept future flight credits. But I don't have the same confidence in the cruise industry, because cruising is not a necessity. So, I would be very hesitant to accept future cruise credits.
  8. Kazu, I have never cruised on Oceana, Viking, or any other premium cruise line. I just pulled those two names out of the air. But I have read lots of reviews from people who say that premium lines are like cruising in the old days when dinners were truly gourmet, and service was exemplary. I've always said that I would rather go on two cruises on HAL rather than one cruise on a premium line (for the same price). So, when I want a premium dining experience I go to the Pinnacle Grill.
  9. I understand what you are saying. But, I will say that the cuts in the quality of food, etc. were the result of an overly competitive market, where cruise lines needed to offer low prices to get people on their ships. However passengers could still get the quality they desired by paying extra for specialty restaurants, suites, etc. Then there are the premium lines like Oceana and Viking, that still offer the experience cruisers used to get. People just had to pay the premium prices of these cruise lines. Most people choose to pay less and have a less than perfect experience.
  10. I see only two scenarios where we will get any refunds. 1. The cruising industry will return to normal, and HAL will get over its cash flow problem. 2. HAL will go bankrupt, and when the courts liquidate all of its assets, there may be enough cash to pay us off. The problem with 1 is that this would probably not occur for a long time, and it may never happen. The problem with 2 is two fold: (a) Courts take a long time, and it could be years before we got any money back; and (b) The main asset they have is their ships - If the entire cruise industry collapses, those ships will be hard to sell and may not sell for a decent price. I guess I am a pessimist.
  11. (Italics are replacement text by me, so I wouldn't repeat naming specific agents.) It is not a no-no, but you cannot expect the level of service that you would get from a regular travel agent. If everything goes well, then you come out ahead, if not ........
  12. I think that the slow refunds have nothing to do with how busy they are. After all, the reservation system is computerized, and the refunds should be automatic. The real problem is that they have no money to refund. They had money at the beginning of this pandemic, and people got their refunds quickly. But when the money ran out, they announced the 60 day delay. The money ran out because there was no money coming in, it was just going out. They are hoping that people will start making new reservations again, and will be sending HAL lots of deposit money. Personally, I think that is unlikely, and HAL and most other cruise lines are doomed.
  13. You are right, I stated the bare bones version of what HAL said, but I don't think it makes a difference. I don't mind waiting 60 to get a refund, my biggest fear is that I won't get it at all.
  14. I believe there is a reason HAL waits until the last minute to cancel a cruise. They want to make sure they are past the final payment date before canceling. They want everyone to pay in full for their cruise, so they have that cash to pay for their many expenses, including refunds. My cruise wasn't until August, and the final payment was due in early May. But, I decided I didn't want to give HAL any more of my money. No way would I pay off that cruise and put more money at risk, so I cancelled it. Now I am waiting for my refund like everybody else, but at least it is just for the deposit, not the entire cost of the cruise.
  15. There is a certain amount of risk, to insure your cruise with the cruise line. Under normal circumstances, there would be no risk, but in these trying times, that is not the case. If a cruise line goes bankrupt, the people who insured through that cruise line might not receive reimbursement, because there is no money available. A separate insurance company should be able to pay off it's policy holders, but if that company has a run of claims, they could go under too. If we all lose money on our cruises, at least it is money we can afford to lose, since cruising is a luxury and not a necessity.
  16. HAL is saying there will be a 60 day delay on all refunds. The problem is that HAL has no cash right now, they are hoping for more money to come in so they can start to make refunds. But that money may never come.
  17. MudderBear, I don't know why people are giving you a hard time. If the cruise line cancels your cruise, but offers you the same cruise at a future date, it should be the same price. In fact they should offer it for less, because of the inconvenience. Your situation is not the same as someone who is just shopping for a future cruise. I recommend that you request a full refund, and then later shop for a future cruise with that money, once you get it. This is assuming that HAL doesn't go bankrupt, which is a real possibility. If HAL does survive, I think they will eventually have some good promotions.
  18. I usually don't buy insurance either, because I have never cancelled a vacation, and have never had any problem while on vacation. But for the Baltic cruise I purchased last November, I did buy insurance, mostly because I was concerned about having a medical emergency. Well along comes this pandemic, and we decided for the first time to cancel our cruise. As I understand it, because I chose to cancel the cruise myself, it is not covered. But since we canceled in time for a deposit refund, we are supposed to get a refund from HAL. I hope I get the refund, but I am not optimistic about it. In the meantime, we have non-refundable expenses of our airline tickets and a hotel. I believe if the airline cancels our flight, our insurance will pay us back for these expenses - we'll see about that. So I am holding on to the airline tickets and hotel, and will hope for the best on those. Right now it looks like purchased insurance for the first time, and even though we canceled the cruise, the insurance may not pay us back for our losses.
  19. I cancelled my Alla Tours private tour of St. Petersburg and received a refund in 24 hours. But HAL said it would be 60 days before I got my deposit back on my cancelled Baltic Cruise. But I will be happy if I get anything back at all. I am not optimistic about the future of HAL, or the cruising industry in general.
  20. A couple of months ago, I started a thread, saying how useless HAL sales were that featured a smaller deposit. Now, I am eating crow, waiting 60 days to get a large deposit back. And there is a possibility that I will never get it back.
  21. Isn't that the definition of a Ponzi Scheme? I looked at this thread because I was wondering why it was taking so long to get a refund from the shore excursions I cancelled. Now I would be afraid to give HAL any more money at all. I have a final payment due in May, I was going to wait until then to decide if I should cancel the cruise. I am considering canceling now, and maybe I get a refund in 60 days to 90 days. I definitely don't want to put more money at risk.
  22. This special dinner is now available on my cruise too. The cost is outrageous, especially since my wife doesn't drink. Whats more, I noticed that it means that the regular Pinnacle Grill is not available for another night. First Rudi's now this.
  23. That is what we use too. They are very strong.
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