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beaujolais

Spirit of Discovery next departure on 15th March

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We were booked for a cruise on the Sapphire beginning 23rd March. Not sure whether to have a refund or take the offer of the 25% additional credit. I am concerned that the credit voucher might be worthless if the company goes under due to a prolonging of the situation. We had a really good deal on the 19 night cruise and would be tempted to hang on for a similar good deal in the future but would hate to lose all the money we paid. Does anyone know if future credit vouchers would be covered by Abta or by the credit card used for the original payment? Does anyone have any thoughts on the strength of the company to survive this crisis? Any opinions gratefully received. 

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13 minutes ago, pawlett47 said:

We were booked for a cruise on the Sapphire beginning 23rd March. Not sure whether to have a refund or take the offer of the 25% additional credit. I am concerned that the credit voucher might be worthless if the company goes under due to a prolonging of the situation. We had a really good deal on the 19 night cruise and would be tempted to hang on for a similar good deal in the future but would hate to lose all the money we paid. Does anyone know if future credit vouchers would be covered by Abta or by the credit card used for the original payment? Does anyone have any thoughts on the strength of the company to survive this crisis? Any opinions gratefully received. 

 

You may be best to ask ABTA and your credit card directly what the situation would be if the company either went under or  - more likely - was sold.

I personally would be cautious for two reasons - one is that some of the Saga group shareholders are pushing to separate the holiday sector from the insurance sector, (they have already sold some companies that I never knew existed).

The other is we noticed when we were on the new ship that many items were labelled or bore the logo  BC (Boutique Cruising) with no mention of Saga at all, which really gave the impression that the cruising arm could be under new management before too long.

I asked Saga head office if they were planning to sell the cruising arm, and the answer was "we can't afford to" which in itself did not inspire confidence.

 

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Given the UK Government's latest advice that people over 70 should not go on a cruise would it be wise to book one before that advice is rescinded?

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Forgot to add - when cruises start again, there will probably be a lot more good deals around, as all cruise lines will be trying to fill the ships again. Whether they will start in May is anybody's guess, and even if they do they may be forced to run restricted itineraries as many ports may still be closed.

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Got my 'phone call from Saga and a full refund is on its way as by the time the cancellations are lifted Sapphire will be out of service apart for the final cruise and I cannot justify spending the hiked up costs of the two new ships. 

Wait to see how things go on and hopefully ourJune cruise to Iceland via Saga with C&M will still go ahead and we will book something with "Fred" in the autumn, river cruises seem to be unaffected so our Portugal one on November should be fine, Touch wood

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Has anybody actually received any money back from Saga for the cancelled cruise "hidden Adriatic"departing 23 April OR any other cancelled cruise.????????

I was promised 15 days ago a full refund (£21,000+ )and that I would be receiving it within 7-10days.

On day 11 was told 15 days.

On day 15 was told another 5 days to wait.

I am beginning to worry !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brian

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We are still waiting for refund agreed 26th March.  Our cruise was 19th April.  I think it may take longer than anticipated as the workload must be horrific.

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It does not help that the new management have already reduced the office staff, and are planning more redundancies . Their staff are now (I understand) working from home, which will make things even slower, so almost impossible for them to keep to usual timescales. Add to this the time it must take juggling things around for people who want to rebook rather than cancel.

According to the business press, Saga are making plans for a 6 month cessation of cruises (restarting September) which would explain why their current mailings are not including any 2020 cruises.

The shipyard Meyer Werft have already indicated that the Spirit of Adventure may be delivered later than planned (which would probably be helpful to Saga anyway).

Personally, I suspect that a September restart may be optimistic - and when cruises do restart, everything will have changed. Many countries may be reluctant to allow cruise ships to discharge all passengers to simply wander around the local town, so wonder if we will see restrictions on either the number of passengers allowed off at a port, or only allowed off if part of an organised tour.

Anyway, with current UK FCO advice that only essential travel to anywhere in the world now an indefinite advice, plus no end limit for the "people over 70 should not take cruises" insurance is the biggest headache. We have two cruises booked on the Adventure for this year, and rather suspect that we may not be able to take either.

We'll wait and see.

Good luck to everybody - don't worry about the delayed refunds - they will come, just not as soon as you hoped.

 

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Posted (edited)

Got our refund credited the following day, that was end of March but it was repaid to the credit card I paid for it with so I had to ask the bank for a credit transfer. 

Still waiting for a refund promised on the same day for a second cruise to Seville due to sail about now but even worse was forced to pay the balance of a third cruise due to depart at the end of June a couple of weeks ago even though the Saga operative admitted there would be little chance of the departure taking place. 

It is most annoying that the refund for cruise two has not arrived as I was expecting to use it to pay the balance on cruise three when it becomes due on my card next week, now I seem to be using " good money to follow bad" 

The ABTA rules say refunds must be processed within seven to fourteen days but I have been waiting over a month now. 

This is why I always pay by credit card as any purchases over £100.00 are covered by the Financial Services Act so there is other legislation to fall back on should Saga not come up to the mark

Edited by JMyrtle

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12 minutes ago, JMyrtle said:

It is most annoying that the refund for cruise two has not arrived as I was expecting to use it to pay the balance on cruise three when it becomes due on my card next week, now I seem to be using " good money to follow bad" 

The ABTA rules say refunds must be processed within seven to fourteen days but I have been waiting over a month now. 

At least Saga along with most if not all of the cruise industry are offering and processing refunds, unlike some package tour operators and airlines which are completely ignoring ABTA rules by only offering vouchers.  

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We have had refund but still waiting for cheque for £400 which was deposit. It was paid for with credit card now out of date which is why we have to have cheque for that part of payment.  Unfortunately or fortunately whichever way you want to look at it, our finances only stretch to a mini cruise unlike those with three cruises booked. 

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10 hours ago, shoreham01 said:

We have had refund but still waiting for cheque for £400 which was deposit. It was paid for with credit card now out of date which is why we have to have cheque for that part of payment.  Unfortunately or fortunately whichever way you want to look at it, our finances only stretch to a mini cruise unlike those with three cruises booked. 

Assuming you still have a CC from the same provider, a refund to your old card will automatically be assigned to your new card.

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On 4/1/2020 at 5:07 PM, beaujolais said:

Still awaiting our refund

ABTA suggests that the process will take up to a month  https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak

ABTA now doesn't give a suggested timescale, they only say that it's impossible for many companies to issue refunds within 14 days as they'd go bust.

 

Interestingly ABTA seem to be unilaterally implementing a financially protected credit note along the lines of what they were proposing to the Government last month, they've presumably worked out a way of doing it without the need to change the law. Details in the FAQ in the link above: 'What is a Refund Credit Note (RCN)?'. It'll be interesting to see whether companies will be willing to start issuing them or whether they'll continue to refuse refunds outright like KLM/Air France, or just make things overly difficult like BA and easyJet.

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On 4/25/2020 at 11:56 PM, wowzz said:

Assuming you still have a CC from the same provider, a refund to your old card will automatically be assigned to your new card.

No, spoke to them and they said not possible as card no longer exists.  Would not even do bank transfer.  Didn't think anyone used cheques anymore to be quite honest.  We are still waiting for it to arrive.  Had a funny dream about it last night.  Dreamed they sent cheque for full amount of cruise even though they have already sent refund for all apart from deposit.  I was then in a terrible dilema as to if I should keep quiet and bank it or tell them.  It was so amusing as I was asking all different strangers and had decided to tell them.......then I woke up.  

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1 hour ago, shoreham01 said:

No, spoke to them and they said not possible as card no longer exists.  Would not even do bank transfer.  Didn't think anyone used cheques anymore to be quite honest.  We are still waiting for it to arrive.  Had a funny dream about it last night.  Dreamed they sent cheque for full amount of cruise even though they have already sent refund for all apart from deposit.  I was then in a terrible dilema as to if I should keep quiet and bank it or tell them.  It was so amusing as I was asking all different strangers and had decided to tell them.......then I woke up.  

Strange - I've had refunds from both Premier Inn and TravelLodge.  Bookings made with old card, but refund sent through to new card. Given that millions of people get new cards every year, surely old and new cards must be linked, otherwise the refund system would collapse. 

I wonder if Saga are being a little economical with the truth.

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16 hours ago, wowzz said:

Strange - I've had refunds from both Premier Inn and TravelLodge.  Bookings made with old card, but refund sent through to new card. Given that millions of people get new cards every year, surely old and new cards must be linked, otherwise the refund system would collapse. 

I wonder if Saga are being a little economical with the truth.

Good news, the cheque came through door this morning.  Will pay it in tomorrow using the bank app.  Hope evryone else waiting receives theirs soon too. 

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Posted (edited)

Good news for me also, refund for second cruise received on Friday, balance to my credit card and deposit  to my bank account. 

 

Reason being that when I originally requested a refund Saga said that under the money laundering regulations all refunds must be made back to the source the money was paid from, sounds a bit odd but that was the excuse. 

 

I also probably need to explain why we have three cruises on the go! 

 

Well in June last year we were on  C&M cruise booked thru Saga which damaged the propellers and had to be  abandoned, Saga refunded the money which we used book another cruise this time with Saga for March of this year because we were waiting for me to have cataract surgery in the autumn and then C&M gave us a free cruise as well which we upgraded to go to Iceland this June,

 

We already had a booking in place thru Saga to go to Seville with Fred Olsen this April so that made three. 

 

We decided to travel as much as we could this year before turning seventy and the uncertainty about simple  future travel within the E U with or without an ERITAS  started to make travel difficult and expensive next year, well Corona has put paid to all that hasn't it? 😣

Edited by JMyrtle

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3 hours ago, JMyrtle said:

Good news for me also, refund for second cruise received on Friday, balance to my credit card and deposit  to my bank account. 

 

Reason being that when I originally requested a refund Saga said that under the money laundering regulations all refunds must be made back to the source the money was paid from, sounds a bit odd but that was the excuse. 

 

I also probably need to explain why we have three cruises on the go! 

 

Well in June last year we were on  C&M cruise booked thru Saga which damaged the propellers and had to be  abandoned, Saga refunded the money which we used book another cruise this time with Saga for March of this year because we were waiting for me to have cataract surgery in the autumn and then C&M gave us a free cruise as well which we upgraded to go to Iceland this June,

 

We already had a booking in place thru Saga to go to Seville with Fred Olsen this April so that made three. 

 

We decided to travel as much as we could this year before turning seventy and the uncertainty about simple  future travel within the E U with or without an ERITAS  started to make travel difficult and expensive next year, well Corona has put paid to all that hasn't it? 😣

Oh dear, you have had some bad luck.  Sorry to hear about it.  Hope your cataract surgery goes well, friends of ours have had this operation and they are both really pleased with the results.  We will not be going abroad anymore which is why we took the refund.  I am 71 and my OH is 81 so insurance will be an expensive nightmare.  Even if Saga were to insure us inclusively for free it would not cover pandemics, so too much of a risk for us to take.  We have visited Sinah Warren Hotel in Hayling Island several times and love it there so when they re-open we will probably spend more time with them.  It is only an hours drive away from where we live.  We have loved our cruise holidays so much but now seems like the right time to holiday in UK.  Mind you, never say never!!!  We have been very impressed with the way Saga have dealt with this crisis and appreciate the swift return of our money.  

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Thank you for the best wishes, we certainly don't want to see the North Sea Canal again for a good few years, we spent nearly a week in dock waiting to be returned to the U. K

Cataract surgery went well and both eyes are now done although we managed to contract what we now realise was Corona Virus at the clinic ( several of the staff were talking about one of the nurses having just returned from China) so I spent three weeks post operation with a very sore eye, a terrible sore throat, and dry cough with no sense of taste or smell for three days, sounds familiar anyone? 

Still over it now and living in hopes of getting to Iceland at the end of June but not holding my breff! 

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Extraordinary time for you both. Pleased to read you are fully recovered now and looking forward to your next cruise hopefully June. We all look forward to our holidays after years of working hard.  Really is Sod’s law that when we should be having fun we are stuck indoors with all this worrying. Let’s hope happier times are ahead and this Coronavirus is banished to history.  

 

Just tried to pay in cheque with bank app and no luck. I just couldn’t get the photo right, possibly because of large size of cheque. In the end it just completely confused camera and refused to take photo.  Now I am recharging it so that I can do hard reset to try and fix it. Otherwise will have to uninstall app and reinstall it which I really don’t want to do. 

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Excellent, have managed to pay cheque in with app. Was really easy to do once camera worked.  Found placing it on black t-shirt did the trick and holding it further away.  

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Still awaiting refund for the cruise cancelled 13th March, (yes a Friday!!) by Saga

We booked through a TA and it seems Saga and making it difficult as possible to get a refund if you used a TA

Both my TA and myself have been promised a refund by end of April a number of times, was even told a new system had been implemented to speed up refunds and cheques were being sent twice a week

Today I was told another new system now in operation and Saga will 'phone and get TA bank details rather then send cheque and do the refund over the 'phone

It seems to me, rather worryingly, that Saga are using as many excuses as possible to delay sending entitled refunds and that is not a good sign

 

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1 hour ago, beaujolais said:

Still awaiting refund for the cruise cancelled 13th March, (yes a Friday!!) by Saga

We booked through a TA and it seems Saga and making it difficult as possible to get a refund if you used a TA

Both my TA and myself have been promised a refund by end of April a number of times, was even told a new system had been implemented to speed up refunds and cheques were being sent twice a week

Today I was told another new system now in operation and Saga will 'phone and get TA bank details rather then send cheque and do the refund over the 'phone

It seems to me, rather worryingly, that Saga are using as many excuses as possible to delay sending entitled refunds and that is not a good sign

 

My opinion, delays are almost certainly because Saga are swamped with refunds and rebooking and the fact that they have a really, really useless IT system.

Their IT system causes degrees of despair and rage at the best of times, let alone now - and whenever they implement a new system, it goes pear-shaped.

But I honestly do not think that you need have any worries, if they have said they will refund, then they will refund.

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Ah well seems Saga have cancelled our Iceland cruise although this time we didn't get the usual 'phone call just a pdf copy of a letter yet to be delivered hidden in the historical documents section of My Saga. 

Apparently we have a either credit note which we must use to book another cruise  by the end of July this year or we will get an automatic refund. 

What is strange though is that we must hold on to the credit note, all our Saga paperwork and credit card statements showing our payments., which is what I thought My Saga was for. 

Seems odd for an automatic refund, unless of course something is going on within Saga and they don't want credit notes hanging over their heads for months. 

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