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Host Jazzbeau

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About Host Jazzbeau

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    New York
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    Jazz, food, wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    the next one
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    Farther
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  1. If you look at an up-to-date list of travel providers' refund policies, you will find that Ponant is not the outlier you claim. When people take one bad experience and vow 'never again on X cruise line' they rapidly run out of ships to sail on. Frankly, my bet is that Ponant will be one of the few left standing when the seaspray settles.
  2. Well, that will pump some money into the economy [the lawyer's pockets, anyway]. But with the entire travel industry doing this, it is extremely unlikely that anyone is going to get relief through the legal system.
  3. Posts in outrageously large type sizes will be hidden.
  4. Guidebooks don't rate Messina very highly, as born out by @CruiserBruce's experience. Taormina and Mt. Etna are nearby and worth many more stars than Messina itself. You can probably find a day trip that does both [or better yet take an excursion from your ship to make sure you are onboard before they sail].
  5. The answer to your question may depend on the cruise line. All our cruises have always switched to local time, even in the Caribbean if there was a 1-hour change. But I have noticed on Cruise Critic that some other cruise lines stay on 'ship time' – it also seems that those are the cruise lines that generate the click-bait videos of people running down the pier as the ship sails away... [So, I am also flagging this thread so the other mods can decide if there is a forum where you are likely to get more answers than here.]
  6. New article on Cruise Critic: AmaWaterways Suspends European River Cruises through May 31
  7. I have seen that letter before. It was designed to be sent to any Ponant customer affected, no big secret. You have obviously chosen to read into it what you already believe. I interpret it the opposite way: they are in good financial position and plan to stay that way by not hemorraghing cash refunds. Coming out of this without a massive debt load is a good thing [debt was the main factor that sank Renaissance Cruises after 9/11].
  8. Break them up and use the shards for Craft projects! Sort of "Gaudi's green period"...
  9. In your case, I agree: get the deposit as FCC and minimize your risk. Thankfully Windstar is no longer a stand-alone undercapitalized company, but part of Xanterra [a much larger, although possibly still undercapitalized--what do I know?--company]. But if the ships sink, you can always go to Yosemite!
  10. Cruise lines all around the world – ocean and river – are changing their terms to eliminate cash-back options. And insurance companies are finding ways not to pay out when that happens. That's just how it is.
  11. Does this letter support your statement that 'they are not in a good financial position'? If so, please post it here [redacted so they can't trace it back to your TA]. I would really like to see it.
  12. Ponant gave us 120% credit for our cruise fare plus essentially full credit for the land extension payment as FCC. I say 'essentially' because they did the math a complicated way. Instead of taking the cruise fare at 120% and the land fare at 100% and adding them, they decided to reduce the land fare by 20% and then multiply the entire amount by 120%. I lose $92.80 that way – but we were able to rebook the cruise for next January, and the new fare for the same itinerary/same cabin is $684 less than the 120% credit, so we're still almost $600 ahead. I feel this is fair. If they price the land extension reasonably for next year (nothing announced yet), we may come out whole.
  13. So I have my answer. Essentially Ponant is giving me full credit for my land extension payment as FCC. I say 'essentially' because they did the math a complicated way. Instead of taking my cruise fare at 120% and my land fare at 100% and adding them, they decided to reduce the land fare by 20% and then multiply the entire amount by 120%. I lose $92.80 that way – but we were able to rebook the cruise for next January, and the new fare for the same itinerary/same cabin is $684 less than the 120% credit, so we're still almost $600 ahead. I feel this is fair.
  14. We were scheduled to be on Star Legend this coming September, but our cruise was cancelled by the 'domino effect' of the original asbestos delay. Windstar was easy to deal with over that: they refunded our deposit, quickly paid our air rebooking expenses, and gave us a 10% FCC that we may or may not be able to use. I have also been watching many people on the River Cruising forum go through the same choice you now face, and have gleaned the following across-most-cruise-lines advice: do not cancel your reservation – wait and let them cancel the cruise. Cruise lines tend to be more generous when they have cancelled (even if few are actually giving money back these days), so as long as you expect to cruise again in the future, you are likely to come out ahead.
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