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An Update from Cruise Encounters
This is a very difficult time for everyone and we understand that you have questions about the how recent situation with COVID-19 affects your cruise. Many cruise lines have relaxed their cancel policies and they are evolving daily. So that you can view the policies of your cruise line, we have posted links to the cruise lines' websites below so that you can view their current policies.
We are always here to answer your questions by phone or email. If you have friends who have booked a cruise with another travel agent and they have questions about their cruise line's policy, feel free to give them our number or email. We are happy to help shed some light in what is a confusing and stressful time.
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From Robert's Desk...
An Update from Robert... week of April 6
For all 2020, bookings in our office, there are 3 categories that your booking will fall into:
Group #1 - you have cancelled, and have cancellation insurance
We sent out a note 2 weeks ago which explained that the government of Canada had now posted a travel advisory with a list of Countries named. This allows many cancellation-insurance policy holders to make a claim for any non refundable monies paid toward their trip on the basis of this specific advisory.
Group #2 - you have cancellation insurance but have not cancelled
Reasons that you are in this group may include, a government travel advisory is not included as an insurable reason within your policy, or, your trip is later in the year and you still want to travel, and you are waiting to see what happens as things get closer.
Group #3 - you have no cancellation insurance
If you are in this group, you may be waiting to see what happens to take advantage of increased compensation from your trip supplier, if they cancel your trip.
Since, at this time, we have to wait to assist groups #2 and #3, we will direct the rest of this update to group #1 - you have insurance and have cancelled your trip. Here are the respective roles for each party: you, us, and the insurer:
1) Your role is to verify your coverage with your insurance provider (example, Travel Guard - 1-866-878-0191). This means, calling your insurer with your policy number, and confirming that you have coverage for a government-issued travel advisory, or another reason that you are cancelling for. If so, you must open a claim and request your claim documents to be sent to you. At this point, you should have cancelled with our office and signed and returned our cancellation letter. If so, it's time to complete and include the required paperwork for your cancellation claim. Most insurers will need you to complete the forms and include the following with your claim documents:
A) Proof of payment for your trip. This is the confirmation that we sent to you which confirms the amount you paid for your trip. If you cannot find this confirmation with the amount paid for your trip, we may be able to send another one to you but we ask that you help us by looking thoroughly through all of your papers. This is really the busiest time we've ever had trying to keep up.
B) Terms and conditions page. This is the attachment that we sent to you at the time that you booked your trip - named Terms & Conditions. Your insurer will want to see this.
C) Any tickets produced for you. If you are booked on a cruise or tour, tickets were not likely produced, unless you cancelled very close to departure and you already had obtained tickets from our office. For the air portion of your trip, we are taking things in date order and sending these to our guests. Please send us an email asking about your specific flight and we'll see if we can get an e- ticket over to you to include in your claim.
D) Proof of cancellation. In nearly every case, we do not get a letter from the cruise line. We may need to send a letter explaining that your trip was cancelled and confirming that you did not received a refund or future credit for the non-refundable monies that you are claiming. If your insurer is requiring this information, you can still send off your claim without this letter. Your insurer will then come to us to request this information, and will confirm with us the exact wording that they require. We can then send this letter directly to your insurer.
E) You will require a print out of the posted government travel advisory from the government website. You should include your destination country in the drop-down menu, and print off the advisory on a piece of paper to include in your claim. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
F) You do not need to send your insurer the cancellation letter that you signed and sent back to our office. This signed letter is for our records and your information. The insurer will not use it in any way. Including extra documents can slow your claim - include only what they ask for.
2) Our role is to supply you with the documents you need for your claim. Once again, you should already have A and B. We will be sending C to you shortly. D is explained above, E is printable from your home computer, and F is not required. It is also our role to see that your non-refundable monies charged agree exactly with the terms and conditions outlined when you booked. The numbers must agree exactly before your claim will be paid. The cancellation letter signed by you and sent back to our office details the specific charges and refunds to agree with your specific terms and conditions. We must have a valid credit card to ensure that all charges/refunds make their way to your card. If we do not have current credit card information, your claim will be slowed.
3) Your insurer's role is to verify your coverage, supply your claim documents, assist you with specific questions, and process your claim. Our office can confirm that you purchased a policy, send this policy to you, and answer general questions only. This is important. I know that you know us, we know you, and we answer our phones right away. The temptation is for both of us to do this together without the insurer. This can lead us both into trouble. For specific questions about your coverage or claim, you really need to talk to the people processing your claim.
That's it for this week. Please stay healthy and keep your distance. Of course, we are available by email or phone to help in every way that we can to get your claim paid quickly, or with other questions that you may have.
Viking's Referral Program
Viking Cruises does so many things well - their river and ocean cruises are loved by our clients. Viking understands that travel is one of life’s great treasures and sharing it with others increases its value in so many ways. This is why they offer a referral award if you recommend a river or ocean journey with Viking to a friend, family member, neighbor or colleague. Whether you prefer to travel on your own, with family, or with a few of your closest friends, Viking takes care of the details and allows you to relax and focus on discovering the world. The open-seating dining rooms, allow you to spend time with old friends at every meal or sit with new ones, a great way to meet like-minded travelers and future traveling companions. Recommending Viking is easy and you receive a $100 travel credit for each new traveler you refer; that is $200 for each referred couple. Your credits are valid on reservations made within 12 months from date of issue. Earn a free cruise when you
refer your 13th friend within a calendar year. Plus, each referred person saves $100 per person on their first cruise. Tell your friends about Viking. When they call us to book their trip, they can give us your name and you’ll receive your Referral Reward, and they receive a $100 credit on their first trip on the spot - it's that easy!
Premium economy is an airline seat that offers more comfort than an economy seat, but without the business-class price tag. Premium economy seats generally offer more recline and increased legroom. There’s often an upgrade to the in-flight entertainment system. Premium Economy often enjoys a separate cabin and washroom. The upgrade cost can vary from $200 - $1000/person depending on the length of flight. This often includes your specific seat selection. Our clients love premium economy and look forward to the flight portion of their trip. All of our yellow-sheet packages can be quoted to include premium economy - ask us about your next cruise!
Low-cost cancellation insurance!
Our new Travel Guard cancellation coverage charges a flat rate of 7% of your trip cost. There are no age restrictions and most pre-existing conditions are covered. This new policy is less expensive than any other policy out there - even BCAA. At this rate, everyone should carry cancellation insurance. Remember, your trip can be changed beyond your control! Call us today!
Cruise Norway's Coast
The coast of Norway is considered one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Majestic Fjords, brightly-coloured villages, warm people and fascinating cultural traditions. A cruise is the only way to discover Norway’s coast, and you can discover the full range of this natural
treasure with two very different cruises. First, is a small-ship luxury cruise with Seabourn.
Seabourn pampers you with 5-star food and service and the most beautiful all-balcony ships
- honestly the most spectacular cruise I’ve (Robert) ever experienced. There are just 500
or so guests and it feels like a private yacht. Seabourn cost: roughly $13,000 CDN/person
for 14-nights to the top of Norway, plus flights. Another way to cruise Norway is aboard
Hurtigruten - beautiful ships but at a more practical price point. This is a 12-day round trip
voyage from Bergen (Norway). You'll learn from a full menu of complementary lectures and
onboard activities from the Hurtigruten Guides and choose from 90 optional excursions. You'll discover the entire original, Norwegian coastal route with 34 ports of call, sailing past more than 100 fjords. You'll cross the Arctic Circle and hunt the Northern Lights (winter voyages), or enjoy 24 hours of daylight under the Midnight Sun in summer. Spring and Autumn voyages showcase the brilliant colours, magical light and fascinating culture of Arctic Norway. For October 1 - March 31 voyages, Hurtigruten provides a 100% guarantee that you will see the Northern Lights or you’ll receive a free cruise! Onboard, the ships are spacious and beautifully decorated. Hurtigruten offers a farm-to-table program in Norway. Food is locally sourced from each port - our clients rave about the fresh food. Between Bergen and Kirkenes, you can taste lamb from Geiranger, king crab from the Barents Sea, cheese and cod from Lofoten, reindeer from Finnmark and apples from Hardanger. Nature’s pantry is filled to the brim with delicacies on Hurtigruten. You'll enjoy three-course dinners or bountiful buffets - all based on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Hurtigruten cruise -only cost: USD $3754 per guest - inside cabin, USD $4316 window cabin. Whether you choose Seabourn’s luxury or the more practical style of Hurtigruten, Norway's beauty will stay with you a lifetime. Please look to the Seabourn and Hurtigruten websites for pictures and a detailed itinerary, and call our experts at the office for all details! Fun Fact: Polar bears outnumber people in Bergen! Call us today to get started on your Norway trip!
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