American Cruise Lines issue

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May 22, 2020
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My mother (age 82) booked a Grand New England Cruise with American Cruise Lines last summer, and she had to cancel last minute for medical reasons. She was given a credit of 80% minus an admin fee per their "Cancel for any reason deluxe plan" which could be used within one year. Since then she has fallen and been in rehab for a month (out now) and due to Covid 19 certainly cannot take a cruise.

Her travel agent sent ACL customer service a letter in February with a doctor's note asking for a refund of the credit amount since she could not ever travel or cruise again. Denied. When I contacted the travel agent in March on her behalf, he sent Susan Shultz (new title is Vice President Trade Relations) whose info he got from ACL customer service a letter with the doctor's note. (I had also found her as the first contact on Elliott's company contact info.) She denied the refund, but stated that the credit could be used by other family. No one wants it or wants to cruise.

I then told her travel agent that I would send an email to Susan Shultz and I received the same reply. We understand their policy, but also that medically things changed for my mother and she can't cruise. We asked for compassion and a refund of the credited amount. I then forwarded my letter and her reply to Timothy Beebe (2nd contact on the Elliott list) and in one week have not received a reply. Then yesterday I sent it to Charles Robertson (listed as Chief Executive) and it immediately bounced back for the email for address not found.

I'm not sure what to do next to help her get her refund. The credit they are holding is $9560 which is significant and why I stepped in to help her to see if we could get the refund from American Cruise Lines. What we have requested is that they refund the $9560 to my mother. I appreciate any help or suggestions you all have as to next steps as we just hope ACL will do what is right in this case.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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Your best bet to request an extension of the credit. It was actually quite generous of them to allow another passenger to use the credit in her place. Asking the cruise line to bend the rules for you under these current circumstances is just too much for the company to bear. They have to refund those passengers that have a legitimate refund claim, not those that are asking for exceptions to the fare rules. They are cash poor right now with no solid plan for when they can begin cruising again.

Our suggestion is to purchase trip insurance, especially for a traveler who is 82 years old. She would have received a refund last summer due to her medical situation.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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This is a real shame. I'm so sorry that she's unable to reschedule the cruise. She will not get a refund, so Plan B needs to be formulated. She could ask for an extension of the credit to the end of 2021. The family can try to find someone who wants to cruise and have them reimburse her "as a gift". When older people purchase cruises, it's important that there's a clear understanding of what the travel insurance covers. This is really sad, I hope that someone can use that credit at some point.
 
May 22, 2020
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Your best bet to request an extension of the credit. It was actually quite generous of them to allow another passenger to use the credit in her place. Asking the cruise line to bend the rules for you under these current circumstances is just too much for the company to bear. They have to refund those passengers that have a legitimate refund claim, not those that are asking for exceptions to the fare rules. They are cash poor right now with no solid plan for when they can begin cruising again.

Our suggestion is to purchase trip insurance, especially for a traveler who is 82 years old. She would have received a refund last summer due to her medical situation.
She did purchase the cruise line's "Cancel for any reason insurance". Her travel agent told her that would cover "any reason". He did not offer any other insurance options to her. Unfortunately her medical situation arose 6 days prior to the cruise. No one anticipated it. So, she did purchase insurance, just not what would have truly covered her. She had hoped to use the credit this year, but due to her fall in January and a month in rehab and now Covid, that cannot happen. No one in the family can afford to take this cruise in her place, and no one is interested in their offerings. And frankly, no one wants to do business with American Cruise Lines at this point.

We understand them keeping their 20% plus the admin fee as "penalty" for the late cancellation. We just want to see about getting the 80% back to her. With her medical bills this year, it would help pay for a lot of that too. They should not get to keep 100% of her money when she did buy their deluxe insurance (and paid a lot for that too!)
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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So I googled "American cruise line deluxe insurance" and found some pdfs (can't figure out how to link them). It's not an insurance program, it's a protection plan that the cruise line offers that gives either money back or credits at a greater level than the cruise lines normal cancellation policy. Less than 9 days before the cruise is credits only with the plan at 70 or 80% depending upon whether you choose basic or deluxe. Without the plan the normal cancellation policy at that time is 0%.

So they're doing exactly what she bought - and more so since they would let someone else use her credit. You can write them and ask for an exception, but unfortunately given how hard the travel industry has been hit they likely won't make an exception and give a refund.
 
May 30, 2019
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So I googled "American cruise line deluxe insurance" and found some pdfs (can't figure out how to link them). It's not an insurance program, it's a protection plan that the cruise line offers that gives either money back or credits at a greater level than the cruise lines normal cancellation policy. Less than 9 days before the cruise is credits only with the plan at 70 or 80% depending upon whether you choose basic or deluxe. Without the plan the normal cancellation policy at that time is 0%.
Here is the relevant link to the pdf, which I also attached:

Here is a quote from the summary:
This Plan is not insurance. The Cancel For Any Reason Protection Plan is a cancellation fee waiver program provided by American Cruise Lines. It is an addendum
to American Cruise Lines’ Passenger Contract that replaces the Passenger Contract’s standard cancellation terms.

Eligible amounts paid – are the prepaid payments that you paid except for the Cancel For Any Reason Protection Plan Fee.
Agree with previous posts that the likelihood of a refund is very low. The OP might want to try again for a refund. If not, see about extending the cruise credit to use in the future.
 

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May 22, 2020
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Here is the relevant link to the pdf, which I also attached:

Here is a quote from the summary:


Agree with previous posts that the likelihood of a refund is very low. The OP might want to try again for a refund. If not, see about extending the cruise credit to use in the future.
Thank you for this information. I already had this that I got from her travel agent. When my mom booked the trip, she told me about it 2 months before she was going to leave and did not share any of the financial details. I think she thought it was insurance, especially given the assurance of her travel agent. She always gets travel insurance.
So if she had cancelled 10 days prior according to the plan, she would have received 90% cash back. By cancelling 6 days prior - for a documented medical reason that was unexpected - she gets an 80% credit. That is four days. We just want the cash back, not the credit of the 80% (they are still keeping almost $4,000). We really hope American Cruise Lines will do the right thing for good will toward a senior who became ill and cannot ever travel again.
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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Having a documented medical reason doesn't mean anything when the plan just covers canceling regardless of reason. It may help in your campaign, but you need to make sure that you're asking for an exception.
 
May 30, 2019
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We really hope American Cruise Lines will do the right thing for good will toward a senior who became ill and cannot ever travel again.
I'm sorry if it sounds harsh, but the expectation of a business providing goodwill to someone who will never be a customer is pretty low.

Sure, the cruise line might be concerned about negative publicity, being smeared on social media, etc.; however, all travel-related companies are going through that these days regardless of how flexible they are. They provided information in plain language regarding their cancellation policy within the Cruise Cancellation Plan, and they are honoring the commitment they made through the plan that was purchased. (If you believe her TA misled her, that's a whole different ballgame.)

You can try to get a refund, which really seems unlikely given the company's need to preserve cash. Or, you can try for a transferable cruise credit and enjoy it yourself in the future.
 
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