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About tring

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Wirral, England
  • Interests
    Gardening, Travel to unusual places
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Fred Olsen + other smaller ships from any cruise line.
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Unusual places to cruise, + pre and post land holidays.

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  1. https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/itf-assists-repatriating-seafarers-cmv-ships-uk I assume the involvement of the Transport Secretary after ships were impounded a couple of weeks ago helped this along as a number of crew have gone home already. I suspect they may well be supporting the same problem with other cruise lines, such as P&O who have had a lot of Indian crew left on their ships and repatriation to India has been the main problem from what I have read.
  2. Yes, a P&O thread was satrted about it last week - now goes into 3 pages of comments, but includes much chatter. Someone put a link to ITV press release about it and sounds like they have a number of people recounting their tales of experiences on ships which gained infected passengers, though no mention of Braemar. Seems to be the more sensational experiences like Diamond Princess, which we missed much of as we were on Boudicca at the time. https://www.itv.com/presscentre/ep1week27/billion-pound-cruises-all-sea I am hoping it moves on a bit and gives a bit about the current situation, but maybe not sensationalist enough........... I really do really like your little man enjoying a wee dram - need something to cheer me up these days 🙂
  3. Astoria is sailing to Lisbon to be returned to her owners - not sure if she has left yet. She was due to finish sailing for CMV later this year and people on board earlier this year said they were told by staff on board that she was to go for scap then. Only hearsay to me though. I have heard some good noises being made about CMV in the last few days, but no firm news yet as far as I know, so still keeping my fingers crossed. We like smaller ships so would be very sad to see them go. We loved Artemis, but only discovered her in time for a couple of cruises sadly. I had never heard her called names though.
  4. I wonder if older ships have thicker steel hulls though, like older cars. Some have an ice strengthened hull as well, e.g. Minerva which was made for Russian waters and sailed for Swan Hellenic (not to be confused with Minerva II which is a more modern ship and became Adonia). I think I once read ice strengthened ships have a double hull, but not sure if my memory of that is correct.
  5. I know nothing about Australian T&C's, but as comcox says they could be different and I knew the US customers did not always loose their deposits. However it was always possible to transfer to a later booking in the UK, if done more than 90 days before departure and if we pay an admin fee (which was £50pp last year). In fact we did that about a year ago and only paid £100 admin fees, rather than loose the full deposit. I have copied the relevant section of the terms and conditions sent with a CMV booking we made last April. This is for cruise bookings from the UK, but if a booking includes a flight with CMV I do not know what that would be as flights are often non refundable and are fully chargeable if we change a fly/cruise booking (detailed as "costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers" in the conditions I have copied below). "3. Alteration by you Amendments will be approved at our discretion. Where we can meet a request to alter confirmed arrangements, changes will be subject to an administration fee of £50 per person per amendment (or 25% of the total cruise fare if requesting a change 90 days or less before departure) as well as any applicable rate changes or extra costs incurred as well as any costs incurred by ourselves and any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers. Only one amendment per booking can be made per fee paid and within 90 days any changes may not be approved and may be treated as a cancellation and re-booking. Any transfer of booking from one cruise to another may be considered as a cancellation and re-booking." CMV have relaxed those conditions for bookings made after COVID and they have also been allowing cost free changes for cruises before balance paid, but only for a very short window before balance due for some and even came after the balance was due for others. Obviously the Terms I have posted above may not apply to you, but I do suggest you look carefully at any conditions you may have been given (perhaps as a link in an email) to check that. If you cannot find anything to clarify that, it is still worthwhile asking your agent again, whist mentioning the UK terms and conditions which always existed. Agents do often get confused with different conditions for different cruise/holiday companies and do make mistakes. If you do transfer I suggest you change to something well into the future as it will be unclear what will happen with cruises before a vaccine is available, which is likely to still be a year from now, or even longer. A lot of cruise ports have said they will be closed for a long time, Seychelles for instance have said until 2022. May be worth waiting for confirmation CMV are over the financial hiccup of last week before paying anything else though, and perhaps nearer to your deposit payment date to check CMV are still solvent then and no better offer given to you. Worth reading the next few threads here about that, if you were not aware. I would not want to pay a cruise balance under the circumstances unless you have some sort of protection like we get in the UK with card payment or ABTA if a company folds. Good luck.
  6. I have seen a post elsewhere which said a couple of people have reported having their refunds, but seems like very few indeed. Others have reported they have recently had emails saying they will get refunds on 31st July. Our deposits in UK are non refundable, but will need to discuss your options with your agents. If the cruises go ahead (admittedly sounds iffy though) then you may not be able to get a refund if you choose not to go. Good luck. On a better note I have seen three reports suggesting that CMV are coming through their recent financial issues (reported on other threads here), albeit no confirmation as yet. CMV are re opening their head office this morning for staff who cannot work from home, so does not sound like they expect to go bust soon.
  7. Just googled it, yes very interesting, particularly the bit about Nassau. It seems they have said cruise passengers will be kept on a very short leash and not be allowed to roam off where they want, hence presumably trips only. I have been thinking that for a while as tour groups could be kept to certain areas away from other people and then the areas cleaned afterwards. Not something that appeals to us, but It is the only way I can see cruises going ahead to begin with. Only time will tell.
  8. I found a statement from CMV posted elsewhere on the net and have copied it to the original thread that was discussing the situation if you are interested.
  9. Statement from CMV on Saturday which I found posted elsewhere on the net:- MEDIA STATEMENT FROM CRUISE & MARITIME VOYAGES 1500hrs Saturday 20 June 2020 Re. CMV RESPONDS TO RESULTS OF MARITIME & COAST GUARD AGENCY INSPECTIONS Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) confirm that their vessels currently laid over in the UK in London Tilbury and Bristol Avonmouth were inspected by the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency on Friday 19thJune. CMV has been cruising from British ports since commencing operations 10 years ago without any detentions and cooperated fully with the MCA’s inspections. The Astoria, Astor, Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Marco Polo cruise ships were detained by the MCA following the inspections. The MCA has identified some issues relating to expired crew contracts and crew being onboard in excess of 12 months. Both issues occurred as a result of the enforced lockdown period and the Covid-19 travel restrictions for some countries. They also identified recent temporary delays in the payment of wages which were due within the last week and have already been corrected by CMV. The inspection onboard Magellan identified the same issues, but the vessel was not detained and was given 14 days to rectify them. The health, safety and welfare of all their passengers and crew is CMV’s top priority. CMV, as have many other cruise lines, has faced an unprecedented emerging humanitarian issue as many crew members became stranded on cruise ships as borders closed as a result of the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. CMV has worked hard to repatriate as many crew members as possible and has been unable to repatriate all crew members due to the travel restrictions. Approximately 200,000seafarers around the world are still stranded on cruise and cargo ships and the issues CMV is experiencing in relation to crew contracts are the same for many other cruise lines. Christian Verhounig, CEO, commented, “CMV has in the past and is continuing to work hard to cooperate fully with the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and to rectify the crew contract issues which have largely contributed to the detention of five CMV ships. We hope this issue has raised awareness of the plight of our crew with the various embassies and that they will now assist CMV with the repatriation of crew members, remaining countries have fully engaged in supporting CMV over the past two days. We are confident that with the sudden increase in support and help we will be able to repatriate the remaining crew ideally before the end of the month. CMV apologises for any inconvenience or disruption that these issues may have caused for their highly valued crew.” “CMV’s number one priority is to care for and repatriate crew members as is the case for all CLIA cruise line members, especially in light of the complexities involved due to travel restrictions and differing policies and approaches imposed by local and national governments around the world. The vast majority of our European crew have already been repatriated and CMV has flown home a large number of International crew on specially chartered flights. CMV has been in high level talks with the Indian High Commission to obtain special landing permits and other international governments, to help facilitate and expediate our crew’s safe return back home to their families. Our crew have endured a pro-longed period quarantined on board our ships during lockdown and are understandably anxious and distressed as a result. We fully sympathise with and understand our crew’s frustration and upset at being held under quarantine conditions onboard our ships due to the local restrictions imposed.” ENDS
  10. IMO a lot of P&O cruisers want a cruise at a cheap price and with the progressively bigger ships Carnival can keep the base price of a cruise down whilst providing themselves with a tidy profit from the extra spending opportunities. That is the Carnival model and personally I suspect that is firmly where it will stay after all Carnival is interested in how much profit it can make rather than keeping all the same customers (who after all are largely becoming a bit long in the tooth, and can include me in that group). We were on Minerva II just before Swan was axed and apparently once Carnival took over they made it perfectly clear they "do not do small", though I doubt they kept many old Swan's after it was axed. Then again Swan's were known for not spending on the ship, so without being able to hike base prices to a large extent it was never going to be a model for Carnival. Given subsequent events that seems to have been back up as the model did not prove viable for long after the brand was resurrected under All Leisure. Those (like me) who want to keep to smaller ships, traditional style without finding ourselves dumped in a vastly overcrowded port etc. will, I fear need to accept that we will pay more for their cruises and so whoever runs them, will need to maintain the product and mark very carefully - especially as many of us are beginning to appreciate better facilities (e.g.balconies). Yes there are more up market lines, but they concentrate on "luxury" rather than tradition and prices are hiked to ridiculous extents. In my mind P&O have a niche already compared to other British companies. Bigger ships (and we consider the mid size ships to be "big"), cheaper cruises and more facilities on board. Yes there are other big ships sailing from the UK, but none of them have the "Britishness" of P&O, nor do they offer cheaper bar prices, excursions etc. To keep that niche, P&O need to keep their costs low and increase revenue in other ways, which of course we call spending opportunities. They will also need to increase their passenger base and/or increase the number of cruises taken by each passenger, but I do not believe much of that would come from the mainly older CMV clientelle, as the majority are committed to much smaller ships regional departures and very different itineraries. From Carnival's point of view they are not going to be big spenders either. Increasing passengers will be a challenge in the short term, but as time goes on more customers will likely be found, partly from new retirees, of which I can see a number after this year and partly by offerings on the ships to occupy children/teens younger adults etc. - more like the other big cruise brands. Just my opinion, but then would be difficult for anyone to predict the next few years under current circumstances.
  11. Thanks, we went to some small ports up the St Lawrence, as well as other places, on Fred and experienced a whole town meeting/saying goodbye, so I know what you mean 🙂 We went an the Fred Maiden port mystery cruise about 3 years ago which was great as we had 6 ports in The Baltic. Fred produces tour books and gives somewhat vague descriptions, but with a bit of research you can work out some of the ports. Not so easy with the Maiden port cruise, but I did get 2 or 3 of them after working on them. Sounds very our sort of cruise, so hopefully they will continue on a similar manner. Unusual ports can sometimes be big towns/cities, so size of ship not necessarily a problem and could always use tenders, though visiting the smaller, more remote places is always very special. Not that many people on the ship for the size of it and often that is the thing that makes a port possible of not. We visited tow very small villages and Isle Royale (near Devil's Island) on Minerva II with Swan Hellenic in 2006 and for a couple of them they only let half of the passengers off per half day (on a full day call) and that worked well. Minerva II (subsequently Adonia) had about 600 pax on board, so not that small.
  12. Thank you very much for that detailed reply, especially how to navigate the website. There will obviously be a lot of port changes as well as different methods of managing the ships for a while, but was generally thinking about what may happen beyond that. At least if they have previously used less common ports, they are well worth keeping an eye on. Having a balcony on the new ships will be good as well, so worth a compromise. A northern or Scottish port departure would have been nice, but the bigger ships would have made turn around almost impossible for some of them, so not surprising. Portsmouth (if still possible with the new ships) would be interesting as DH is from that area so would be easy to stay and meet up with old friends before or after a cruise.
  13. Looking at Saga cruises and not finding it easy to see the destinations and ports in one page, so can I ask a question? Do they always sail out of Southampton if sailing from the UK and what in general are their itineraries like - are they the same old ports like P&O or are they more like Fred with some unusual, interesting destinations? Also do they offer fly cruises in other parts of the world at any stage?
  14. Yes but not narrow minded. We did not start cruising until our mid fifties so in the age group. We find manners a lot better, probably because of that tbh.
  15. We shy away from late deals as cabins often not well placed. You would not want to be at this back of the ships, especially on the lower decks. Mind you they will always try move you to a quieter cabin if they can. Fred dealt with refund requests direct for all, but some reports of some agents not refunding quickly as money sent via agents. Now Fred Is contacting people directly as their cruise is cancelled.
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