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Uniworld River Cruise Line Confirms May Restart – Or Not...


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There are what appear to me to be new developments on Uniworld restart date.  Until a day or so ago, the first Douro River cruise was supposed to sail May 2.  As of today, the first one sails May 16.

 

As of a day or so ago, the first Delightful Danube & Prague cruise was supposed to be May 17.  (We had been on that cruise but cancelled it at the 60 day window in March.)  As of this morning, the first sailing for this cruise is June 9.  

 

I have not seen any announcements about this or other recent cancellations; it appears to me that Uniworld is doing this quietly, a few weeks at a time.

At this point, I am rooting for some cruises to actually start so we can learn something about how they are going (are ports open, are you restricted to ship excursions only or can you wander around, are restaurants and shops and attractions open, etc.).

 

Tom & Judy

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56 minutes ago, TFree said:

At this point, I am rooting for some cruises to actually start so we can learn something about how they are going (are ports open, are you restricted to ship excursions only or can you wander around, are restaurants and shops and attractions open, etc.).

So you want someone else to be the guinea pig? 🙂

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17 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

So you want someone else to be the guinea pig? 🙂

Ha!  That is one way to put it.  When the 60 day mark approached in March, the situation was that it was unclear exactly what sort of penalty Uniworld would apply to a cancellation within 60 days.  Outside of 60 days, their revised cancellation plan gave a 100% FCC, which we decided to take.  Plus, at that time in March, Europe was clearly closed to US tourists, so it wasn't even clear if we could really go on the cruise assuming we wanted to, and assuming that the cruise really happened.  So, having cancelled that cruise and not having booked a new one yet, yes, I would like to understand better exactly how European river cruises are actually going.

 

Tom & Judy

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We are booked on the Castles on the Rhine June 6th departure (rebooked from last yr).  I've been watching the May sailings disappear, I believe we are now the earliest departure.  I've asked Uniworld (via FB messenger) and they are understandably vague, but they said they are hoping for June (i.e. yes, May is cancelled, at least for the Castles cruise).  I also asked how much notice they typically give us so we can notify our other hosts, etc, no direct reply.'

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  • Host Jazzbeau changed the title to Uniworld River Cruise Line Confirms May Restart – Or Not...

I changed the title of this thread.  When I said that Uniworld confirmed may restart, apparently the word 'may' referred to a contingency rather than a month...

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I changed the title of this thread.  When I said that Uniworld confirmed may restart, apparently the word 'may' referred to a contingency rather than a month...

...or you just don't capitalize the "M", which means may (or may not).

Edited by gnome12
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Well, I’m booked on the Grand France for June 20th.  With France now open to vaccinated US tourists on June 9th, but not fully open until June 30th, I think my cruise is very iffy.  Makes sense for them to wait until after the 30th.  Uniworld has been executing a sliding cancellation window.  From what I’ve observed, once you get to within 30 days of your sail date, they will cancel for the the next 2 weeks.  Then 2 weeks later they do it again.  Unlike most cruise lines that have declared they have canceled all sailing through August 1st.  The trouble I have with Uniworld is their total lack of worthwhile communications.  They seem to have the corporate position of don’t tell the customer anything, nor the TA.  When asked why they are selling June 6th cruises in France, but France doesn’t reopen until the 9th, they have a canned, stock, answer of “we plan to operate all cruises in June.  Our local experts are working with the various governments in case anything changes.”  At this time, my TA will not sell a Uniworld cruise.  I believe that Monday May 3rd is the next decision date for Uniworld.  They tell the TAs the next day and remove the cruise from their website on the weekend.  With this cycle, I don’t expect to know if my cruise is happening until May 18th.  I’ve got 13 Crystal cruises under my belt, this is to be my first on Uniworld.  With the bad taste in my mouth from their lack of customer focus, it most likely will be my last.

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On 4/27/2021 at 1:51 PM, TFree said:

There are what appear to me to be new developments on Uniworld restart date.  Until a day or so ago, the first Douro River cruise was supposed to sail May 2.  As of today, the first one sails May 16.

 

As of a day or so ago, the first Delightful Danube & Prague cruise was supposed to be May 17.  (We had been on that cruise but cancelled it at the 60 day window in March.)  As of this morning, the first sailing for this cruise is June 9.  

 

I have not seen any announcements about this or other recent cancellations; it appears to me that Uniworld is doing this quietly, a few weeks at a time.

At this point, I am rooting for some cruises to actually start so we can learn something about how they are going (are ports open, are you restricted to ship excursions only or can you wander around, are restaurants and shops and attractions open, etc.).

 

Tom & Judy

I wish they would take a firm stand like every other line. My Douro is still up, tho my TA says "will likely cancel "  My flight was cancelled and do not want to book another if there is no cruise, but If I wait until I  hear from Uniworld, the flight will be 3 x what I see now!!   This was to be my first with Uniworld but I will run back to AMA as fast as I can after this treatment of their clients.  Cruise Purgatory !

 

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@CUTTERSAM at least river cruising is supposed to start in May on the Douro river. The Andorinha (by Scylla, usually running for Tauck) starts May 8th for German Viva Cruises (which is a subsidiary of Scylla).

 

EU has announced that US citizens will be allowed to enter the EU by summer (no exact date given) as long as they are vaccinated.

 

Portugal had a pretty bad third wave but now has the best numbers of Europe. It´s open for tourists (well, right now only EU citizens).

 

steamboats

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1 hour ago, steamboats said:

@CUTTERSAM at least river cruising is supposed to start in May on the Douro river. The Andorinha (by Scylla, usually running for Tauck) starts May 8th for German Viva Cruises (which is a subsidiary of Scylla).

 

EU has announced that US citizens will be allowed to enter the EU by summer (no exact date given) as long as they are vaccinated.

 

Portugal had a pretty bad third wave but now has the best numbers of Europe. It´s open for tourists (well, right now only EU citizens).

 

steamboats

There lies the rub.  I know they have done well with # but USA is too high to allow at the moment.  This isn't a last minute, impulse action and Uniworld should not be treating as such.  I would imagine many US passengers want to know if they need to secure care for children or elderly parents. Business people don t know if they will be open or closed, pets boarded??  Unacceptable.

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I am booked on Uniworld Douro May 30th  2021 and it's a huge secret if we shall be going. My TAP flight was changed to arrive after the cruise started this I discovered by accident) and when I tried to cancel and start over, they ate up 850.00 of my voucher.  That'll be a year getting back. Uniworld "download your documents" message comes up on their website with a post that says "your documents will not be ready until 30 days before your cruise".  It's 28 days now.

I just booked a "just in case flight" on Delta so yet another credit voucher  I see in my future, but if I didn't and Uniworld says "Bon Voyage", a last minute ticket would be thousands of dollars.  Are we having fun yet?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, CUTTERSAM said:

I am booked on Uniworld Douro May 30th  2021 and it's a huge secret if we shall be going.

I agree with everything you have said.  Additionally, I don’t believe that Uniworld can provision a cruise in such a short period of time.  How about training all the new staff.  Or retraining any existing staff that may return.  The boat I am booked on in June has been tied to the dock now for 13 months without moving.  I used to work in a shipyard, the inspections and recertification of the vessel by the various government agencies is extensive.  This is all worse for you, because your sail date is 4 weeks away.  Then there is the airfare Uniworld pays!  If they wait until the last minute to secure seats, their costs go thru the roof.  Uniworld is showing zero concern for their customers.

 

CUTTERSAM, Does your my.Uniworld show the telephone number for your boat?  If it does, might try calling the boat and see what they think the plan is.

Edited by GoesBoom
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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, CUTTERSAM said:

I am booked on Uniworld Douro May 30th  2021 and it's a huge secret if we shall be going.

 

You did not mention the date before...You won´t be allowed to enter the EU by this date. So it´s pretty unlikely that this cruise will go.

 

steamboats

Edited by steamboats
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We are booked on the June 6 Douro cruise and are getting the same vague responses. This was rescheduled from last June.  This would be our third Uniworld cruise. All of the prior cruises have been positive but their customer relations since the pandemic have been abysmal. The biggest problem for us is airline reservations. We have Delta credits from last June. I don't know if they remain  valid if we rebook and it is cancelled at the last minute ( impossible to get an answer from Delta). I cannot understand why Uniworld thinks this is the way to handle this 

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4 hours ago, Lance88 said:

We are booked on the June 6 Douro cruise and are getting the same vague responses. This was rescheduled from last June.  This would be our third Uniworld cruise. All of the prior cruises have been positive but their customer relations since the pandemic have been abysmal. The biggest problem for us is airline reservations. We have Delta credits from last June. I don't know if they remain  valid if we rebook and it is cancelled at the last minute ( impossible to get an answer from Delta). I cannot understand why Uniworld thinks this is the way to handle this 

This is a response I got from private messenger on FB a few minutes ago.  I want to believe but I dont know how they can be so sure at this point.  Also they don't mention specifically the border being open to US residents....    "Hello Sam, thank you for reaching out to us! We currently are planning to operate our May 30th Douro River cruise. Our team is in touch with representatives in Portugal and the borders are planned to be open by then. If we hear that these plans have changed, our team will be reaching out to guests immediately."

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Just now, CUTTERSAM said:

This is a response I got from private messenger on FB a few minutes ago.  I want to believe but I dont know how they can be so sure at this point.  Also they don't mention specifically the border being open to US residents....    "Hello Sam, thank you for reaching out to us! We currently are planning to operate our May 30th Douro River cruise. Our team is in touch with representatives in Portugal and the borders are planned to be open by then. If we hear that these plans have changed, our team will be reaching out to guests immediately."

PS if you cancel your Delta flight I am fairly certain you will get an ecredit. I just booked delta after TAP air took away my voucher.  Delta has the info online. I will fight TAP later.

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, CUTTERSAM said:

We currently are planning to operate our May 30th Douro River cruise. Our team is in touch with representatives in Portugal and the borders are planned to be open by then. If we hear that these plans have changed, our team will be reaching out to guests immediately."

It is their canned answer.  My response on FB was the same.  Just change name, date and country.  As of this writing, your cruise on the 30th of May will be their very first sailing of 2021 in all of Europe.  They need to commit now in order to buy perishable supplies, provision the boat, train the crew and buy airline tickets.  I’d still telephone the boat.

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15 hours ago, GoesBoom said:

It is their canned answer.  My response on FB was the same.  Just change name, date and country.  As of this writing, your cruise on the 30th of May will be their very first sailing of 2021 in all of Europe.  They need to commit now in order to buy perishable supplies, provision the boat, train the crew and buy airline tickets.  I’d still telephone the boat.

I called but I do not speak what sounded like German on a recording. I am already thinking about what I will do with my delta credit.  I don't think I will ever get the voucher money from TAP. I have never spent so much money to go nowhere!

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The general state of emergency has just been prolonged til May 16th. So all planned river cruises - seems like Uniworld wanted to start May 8th also - have to be cancelled.

 

Especially from the US only essential travel is allowed - no tourist travel. BTW same for me from Germany.

 

steamboats

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Thanks for all of the updates. I received the same canned response from Uniworld. I don't see how they can move forward with any cruises. It is my understanding that the boat they are using on the Douro is  brand new and has not yet been used. I cannot understand how Uniworld thinks this is good for customer relations.

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Uniworld started to sell here in Germany last year. And they might have generated some bookings here too although the prices for the Douro river cruises were pretty high.

 

So maybe they wanted to start with UK and Continental Europe first.

 

steamboats

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I have a June 20th cruise out of Paris.  Uniworld says it is a go.  I just got notified by my Marriott hotel in Paris that it will remain closed until July 1st, so they canceled my reservation.  Is Uniworld the only company trying to open before July 1st?

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We are booked on the June 14 Prague to Budapest departure (rescheduled from last June due to Covid) UniWorld continues to string us along as to whether it’s a go. It’s still listed on their website which really means nothing. Even if Europe does open to travelers I can’t imagine that everything would be open & operational i.e. Restaurants, attractions, shopping etc. UniWorld may be required to modify the itinerary of this voyage which I can’t imagine won’t happen. Also all US residents  flying back to the US from Europe are required to have a negative covid test within three days of their flight. This is the policy of all US carriers. I’ve asked UniWorld how we would obtain the test. Would they offer it on board? They couldn’t answer. Too many uncertainties and unknowns have me concerned and quite frankly we no longer wish to take this voyage at least this year. The problem is at this point I believe if we cancel or reschedule for next year we lose 50% of the cruise fare. I truly hope UniWorld cancels this voyage. 

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