Is a cruise itinerary change value $4,000? This Regent passenger says it’s

When he was advised about some uncommon itinerary modifications to his upcoming luxurious Baltic Sea cruise aboard Regent Seven Seas Splendor, Rick Miller was upset. Then, when Regent Seven Seas Cruises proposed compensation for the altered schedule that Miller discovered unacceptable, his disappointment turned to anger.

He says the cruise line decreased the variety of nights of the voyage and skipped one port solely. In return for these itinerary modifications, Regent supplied him simply $500 in onboard credit.

Based mostly on Miller’s calculations, nevertheless, Regent owed him $4,000 for the missed evening of crusing. The cruise line disagreed. That’s when Miller requested TPG to analyze his criticism.

Does Regent owe Miller $4,000 for the itinerary modifications to this crusing, and can the cruise line pay up?

First, pandemic delays

Within the fall of 2020, even because the pandemic nonetheless had your complete cruise trade shut down, Miller and his spouse started planning a voyage.

“We booked a 13-night Baltic Sea cruise for August 2021,” Miller recalled. “We figured your complete pandemic could be passed by then.”

That, in fact, turned out to be an incorrect assumption.

Just some months later, Regent gave the Millers the unhealthy information. They would not be cruising in 2021 in any case.

“Regent advised us it canceled our cruise due to COVID,” Miller stated. “We acquired a full refund however nonetheless needed to plan a cruise.”

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When the couple found that Regent had scheduled an nearly similar 12-night cruise for August of this 12 months, they shortly booked it, paying almost $50,000 for a Grand Suite on board Splendor. Their itinerary would take them from Southampton in England alongside the coasts of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Latvia and Estonia earlier than terminating in Copenhagen.

With their new cruise confirmed, the couple deliberate their shore excursions and seemed ahead to this long-awaited journey.

It wasn’t till six weeks earlier than the cruise’s departure date that Miller would discover out a few shocking change to the journey’s itinerary.

‘We have modified this cruise’


In notifying the Millers of the change, the cruise line couched the announcement of Splendor’s altered schedule in an e-mail framed as feel-good information about Regent’s dedication to sustainability:

“Our firm is dedicated to driving a optimistic influence on society and the atmosphere. As a part of our international sustainability program, Sail & Maintain, we’re frequently searching for alternatives to cut back our total carbon footprint and just lately dedicated to pursuing internet zero greenhouse fuel emissions throughout our operations and worth chain by 2050.

“As a part of our effort, we’re within the remaining phases of commissioning shore energy on Seven Seas Splendor. This essential sustainability initiative will present infrastructure for Seven Seas Splendor to hook up with an onshore electrical energy grid to provide a lot of the facility wanted whereas docked.

“To facilitate this, we will probably be modifying your upcoming cruise by remaining in port in a single day in London (Southampton), England, on Aug. 7, and crusing as an alternative on the morning of Aug. 8. As well as, we will probably be changing the decision to Skagen, Denmark, on Aug. 9 with a day at sea.

Thanks on your understanding and help of this essential initiative, and as a token of our appreciation will present friends with $500 shipboard credit score per suite.

Ought to you might have any questions, please contact your Journey Advisor or Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ reservation division.”

When Miller completed studying Regent’s message, he had questions. From his perspective, the cruise line was slicing the crusing by one evening and providing $500 in onboard credit score in alternate.

Many cruises spend the primary evening in port when passengers embark and the expertise begins then, with meals, an in a single day on board, and the remainder of the cruise expertise besides crusing. To Miller, although, it appeared like he was paying to spend an additional evening on the ship when he might simply guide an affordable resort for that night as an alternative.

He tried reaching out to the cruise line to see what different compensation they is likely to be prepared to supply.

Not a normal itinerary change

After Miller’s pleas resulted in no response from Regent, he determined to ship his criticism to His request for assist quickly landed on my desk.

“Why would I need to spend $4,000 to board a cruise ship going nowhere the primary evening?” Miller contemplated. “I’d relatively keep the evening in a resort someplace and get on the ship the day it is really embarking.” Miller’s quibble was with the truth that he didn’t need to board till the day of departure or to pay for what he perceived as an additional day on board given the later departure date. Nevertheless, that’s not all the time attainable in situations like this.

I learn by means of Miller’s paper path and agreed that the itinerary change did appear uncommon, however I wanted to dig somewhat additional to see what the precise circumstances have been and decide whether or not Miller and the opposite passengers scheduled for this crusing ought to have been given the prospect to determine for themselves if they might have favored to board the ship (and pay for) the evening earlier than the official departure.

Because it seems, all the pieces was within the timing of the departure and the logistics of embarkation and crusing.

However can a passenger decide out?

I reached out to our govt contacts at Regent Seven Seas to get some readability about this cruise. These are level individuals for media and client advocates like myself and never public-facing customer-service representatives that vacationers can get in contact themselves with to resolve points. Here’s what I wrote:

“Mr. Miller has expressed that he would not need to spend almost $4,000 for an evening on board the ship when it is not going anyplace. He wish to board the cruise on the day it’s really crusing and be refunded for the missed evening.

Mr. Miller can be upset with the missed port of name (Skagen). I’m conscious that missed ports of name are usually not one thing {that a} passenger ought to count on to obtain compensation for (though small goodwill gesture vouchers are sometimes supplied by cruise traces in these circumstances) and I’ll clarify that element to him. However the financial compensation for the discount within the variety of nights of the cruise looks as if an inexpensive request from a loyal, high-spending buyer.

Please tell us if that’s one thing Regent can approve. Thanks. 😊🚢


Michelle Sofa-Friedman

Client Advocate”

Very quickly, Miller emailed me to let me know that he had acquired a name from one other govt at Regent.

“She tried to persuade me that folks like an evening within the port earlier than crusing,” Miller reported to me. “This consultant of Regent advised me that nobody else on your complete cruise had complained however me.”

That appeared unlikely, given the last-minute communication in regards to the change. That stated, many luxurious cruise passengers do get pleasure from having an additional evening on board earlier than crusing to benefit from the ship’s facilities somewhat longer or to have further time in a marquee metropolis like London.

Nevertheless, I adopted up with our govt at Regent — and it quickly turned clear the cruise line was standing its floor on this one.

Regent stands its floor

Once I requested Regent for additional readability about Miller’s request, our contact at Regent advised me that the couple couldn’t be a part of the cruise on the precise departure day.

“Hello Michelle,

With the ship crusing from Southampton at 8 a.m., Aug. 8, 2022, all friends should embark Seven Seas Splendor on Aug. 7, 2022, as is normal process. Whereas we sympathize with Mr. Miller for the cancellation of the decision to Skagen, Denmark, as you say beneath, a missed port of name isn’t one thing a passenger ought to count on compensation for. We really feel that our goodwill gesture of $500 on board spend is beneficiant. Moreover, in a single day stays in port are widespread, typically sought-after itinerary options and, once more, are usually not one thing that friends would count on compensation for.

Although we do have probably the most inclusive cruise expertise, there are a selection of ways in which the $500 onboard spend will be loved, for instance, within the spa, on a particular bottle of wine from the Connoisseur wine record, within the boutique or in vacation spot on a Regent Selection shore tour.

Greatest needs, (Regent govt contact)”

This response closed the door on any chance of additional compensation for Miller or every other friends on board this crusing of Splendor. The brand new departure time required that passengers be aboard the evening earlier than so the ship might sail on time at 8 a.m. the next morning because of the logistics of the embarkation course of and port facility hours.

Sadly, Miller was not happy with the consequence and the shortage of readability across the modifications to his itinerary and has determined he’ll be taking his future enterprise elsewhere.

He advised me:

“Michelle, thanks once more. I’m canceling an 18-night cruise I had booked with Regent and can by no means board one other of their ships. That cruise fare is over $75,000, to allow them to simply [deal with that].”

What ought to passengers actually count on?

Regent Seven Seas Splendor Veranda Deck. REGENT SEVEN SEAS

Cruise ship passengers beware: Your ship’s initially scheduled path could or could not resemble the place you really go. The excellent news is that more often than not, your itinerary will probably be navigated as scheduled. However in case you board your cruise figuring out that itinerary modifications are all the time attainable, you will be a lot much less liable to disappointment ought to your voyage get hit with an alteration.

Here is what to bear in mind earlier than you intend your subsequent cruise:

Learn what your cruise contract says about itinerary modifications

Each cruise line throughout the trade features a clause about the opportunity of itinerary modifications. Together with that info comes the usual disclosure that the cruise line owes the passenger nothing if this occurs in your journey. Understanding what’s contained in that contract is your first step to a profitable cruise expertise.

Purchase a cruise, not a vacation spot

By no means, by no means guide a cruise primarily based on a port of name that you simply completely cannot miss. Should you’ll take into account your trip ruined in case you miss any a part of your cruise’s itinerary, that is a recipe for potential catastrophe. At all times bear in mind the captain of your ship can change some and even the entire ports of name in your cruise for almost any purpose. So in case you actually have your coronary heart set on a particular vacation spot, an air/land/resort trip could be a better option.

Take into account journey insurance coverage that gives protection for missed ports

Cruise ship passengers ought to all the time fastidiously take into account their want for journey insurance coverage. Some insurance policies will present a money profit in case your cruise skips a port of name. Should you splurge on a cancel-for-any-reason insurance coverage coverage, you will have the luxurious to determine if you wish to take a cruise or not if the itinerary modifications dramatically earlier than embarkation.

Buy medical insurance coverage on your cruise

Do you know that many home medical insurance insurance policies don’t cowl you for medical remedy on board a cruise ship or out of the country? It is true, and remedy on a cruise ship will be very costly. Buying a complete journey insurance coverage coverage with medical protection can guarantee you aren’t getting caught with the invoice for sudden diseases or accidents throughout your subsequent cruise. Use a web site akin to to match insurance coverage insurance policies throughout the trade and choose one that matches your wants.

Pay on your cruise with a bank card that gives journey safety

The subsequent neatest thing to buying a complete journey insurance coverage coverage is paying on your cruise with a bank card that gives journey safety. As TPG reader Brett Smith just lately came upon, the included insurance coverage safety supplied by bank cards such because the Chase Sapphire Reserve generally is a welcome aid in case you get hit with sudden delays and bills. Make certain to acquaint your self with all of your playing cards’ membership advantages earlier than you determine which card to make use of to pay on your subsequent journey.

Do not guide nonrefundable excursions

As a result of your cruise itinerary is all the time topic to alter, it is by no means a good suggestion to guide third-party, nonrefundable shore excursions. In case your ship skips the vacation spot the place your exercise is deliberate, you will don’t have any recourse with the cruise line or the tour supplier. This is likely one of the causes it may be a good suggestion to guide cruise line-led excursions.

Do not cruise with no passport

This recommendation could also be a bit controversial. However as a client advocate, I’ve seen the terrible outcomes when issues go improper and a passenger would not have a passport. Keep in mind, you possibly can’t fly internationally anyplace with no passport. So in case you get injured or sick or have an emergency and must fly house, you possibly can’t do this with a delivery certificates or passport card. And in case your ship modifications its itinerary and offloads you and all the opposite passengers out of the country, as Norwegian Escape did final March, your state of affairs will probably be immensely extra sophisticated if you do not have a passport with you. Should you needless to say important itinerary modifications are all the time a chance, you will understand simply how precarious it’s to cruise internationally with no passport – even on a closed-loop cruise.

Take note of onboard bulletins regarding schedule modifications

Sure, your cruise ship will go away with out you in case you aren’t on board when it is scheduled to go away. The passengers most vulnerable to getting left behind? Those who ignore the day by day onboard updates and bulletins. These messages will all the time inform passengers of any modifications to name time again to the ship, and as a passenger, you need to by no means overlook them — except you do not thoughts getting left behind in your bathing go well with and flip-flops as you watch your cruise ship sail away with out you.

Backside line

Vital alterations to a cruise schedule are uncommon. Small itinerary modifications to your cruise ship’s ports of name are extra widespread. However it doesn’t matter what sort of shift your cruise ship encounters, journey that wave and roll with the punches — as a result of ultimately, a day on trip all the time has the potential to be an amazing day irrespective of the place your cruise ship takes you (or doesn’t).

Should you or anybody you recognize has encountered an issue with a cruise line, airline, resort, trip rental firm, automotive rental company or bank card, ship your request for assist to, and I will be pleased to analyze and assist you to, too.

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