April 29 Update
We hope you are happy and safely tucked in at home whenever possible.
So here we all are, many weeks later and if you are like our team, it’s starting to feel like a movie we wish was over. But there is also so much to appreciate, and we are trying to focus on the positives. In many instances, that includes being able to have conversations with our lovely clients. Many of you are choosing this time to be extra kind, and we truly appreciate you! We hope that you are also finding some positives in this trying time.
We also thank you for your continued patience as we still are trying to move through a huge number of cancellations and Future Travel Credits. Just this week we have seen a small number of refunds and credits begin to come through, but the numbers are still very low compared to volume. The travel suppliers are still struggling to get everything in place. This is further complicated by government mandated shut downs of some businesses – so communication with some tour operators and hotel properties is not possible. We are in a waiting game! Our team is also smaller, of necessity. We are so lucky that our model has always been a team model, so everyone can access details to assist you.
What we are seeing out there: (please be aware that this landscape is changing daily)
We are starting to see an increased interest in rebooking and some new bookings – thank you! That is in line with what surveys have also told us…most travelers are beginning to dream, and to want to see offers again. Some of the action we are seeing is for late 2020, but most is for 2021.
If you are dreaming of travel, please note that these unusual circumstances have resulted in unprecedented offers! Of course, everyone is trying to keep business on the books, so these are typically very rich (think up to 10% off and OBC’s for Holland America Line – this is not for everyone, but longer duration voyages have had a really good response) and also have more flexible terms. There are incentives to book and use your FCC’s; many of these offers are date sensitive.
Also, it is likely that any bookings you had can be rebooked at the rate previously booked if you are booking something in the same time frame with the same itinerary for 2021. As none of us are sure what rates will be next year, this could be a great advantage. We have noticed that some of our clients are dreaming big and using their 125% FCC’s for an upgraded stateroom! Please see the links below to get details – you may find it is time to begin planning!
If you have received an offer from one of the cruise lines…please be aware that there are likely deadlines in terms of making a choice regarding your offer. Ensure that you check out the links below for the latest and if you need assistance, please let us know. We recommend that you act now. Please also be aware that if you make a choice or have already done so…the cruise lines are very behind in their communication and we may not know what you have done but can certainly help you if you advise us.
Holland America – https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/news/coronavirus-travel-advisory.html
Promo – Save Now, Cruise later – https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/deals/have-it-all-sale.html
Celebrity – https://www.celebritycruises.com/travel-alert/voluntary-suspension-of-cruising
Promo – Save on 2021 – https://www.celebritycruises.com/ca/cruise-deals/special-offer
Cunard – https://www.cunard.com/en-us/contact-us/travel-health-advisories
180th Anniversary sale – https://www.cunard.com/en-us/cruise-deals/sale-2
Oceania – https://www.oceaniacruises.com/coronavirus-statement
Special offers – https://www.oceaniacruises.com/special-offers/
If you have a booking that is not in a time of pause in operations…at this time, it may be best to hang on if you are comfortable, and wait to see what the cruise or tour operator chooses to do. Offers tend to be richer if the cruise or tour is cancelled vs. you choosing to cancel; but this can change at any time without notice. Of course, this also means that you must watch penalty dates if you truly don’t want to travel right now, so that you don’t increase any penalties you may incur. Please get all of the information you can, and choose for yourself. (we can help with the information part!)
Some cruise lines have changed their deposit policy, resulting in extended option dates. That means that you can put a stateroom on hold and not have to deposit for up to 30 days. This has not been formalized by some of the cruise lines, but we can request it and have been told to expect all cruise lines to be very flexible.
Most cruise lines and tour operators also seem to have a much more flexible cancellation and final payment date structure for bookings that are happening now. Please do watch though – it is still possible to go into penalty before your final payment date.
Also of note – it is advisable to purchase insurance at the time of booking right (as always, but with emphasis!) now as we have been advised that premiums are likely to go up due to the large number of claims this has inspired. Most if not all insurance policies will not cover Covid 19 related issues, but do cover a gamut of other items that are more likely to happen.
As always, thank you for your business! We are looking forward to the time when we are busy helping you fulfill your travel dreams!
Best wishes to you from Shelley, Dave and the CruisePlus team.
And for some inspiration… Thank you Jennifer!