Anyone Troubled by Tauck/Ponant not canceling trips this Spring?

I have been trying to get Tauck to either totally cancel or at the very least credit and book other tours instead of the April 26 departure. I am concerned about the CDC and the State Department warnings. My husband and I are not kids and are concerned about our health issues. Let me know so that we can show some strength.

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Comments

  • edited February 24

    Why do you want Tauck to cancel this tour? Others may still want to travel. Tauck will make an informed decision whether to do so.

    You can always make your own decision whether to travel or not. I believe you can cancel and apply your deposit and insurance premium to another trip without penalty. Unless you didn't buy your air from Tauck or bought "no change" tickets on your own, you should be able to change those as well. Have you discussed this with Tauck?

    It is unlikely that more than a small fraction of the travelers on your departure will ever read this forum or your post, and if they do, some may still decide to travel. At this point, I would.

  • At this point, I don’t want Tauck to cancel any of my tours. I still think the risks are so small and the death rate is 1% for the disease. Tauck will cancel if necessary. They have to deal with health scares almost on a yearly basis. We had a great time in Africa when people were canceling because of Ebola that was thousands of miles away. They are on top of things. When I was booking a new tour this weekend And while I was on the phone I asked if people were canceling the tour I have to Singapore Bali and the answer was no.
    This is all going to blow over. Flu is more dangerous.

  • Hi Psr11,

    We certainly understand that the Coronavirus may be on many people’s mind. Please know that we have a dedicated Global Response Team that is monitoring the situation very closely, and we are carefully monitoring all reports from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. State Department. Our small ship cruising partners are following screening guidelines instituted by the Cruise Lines International Association, and we are taking prudent, proactive steps in areas where circumstances warrant.

    If you like to speak to us directly, please call 1-800-788-7588.

    Sincerely,
    Tauck Emily

  • We’re traveling to Italy on April 18th and are very concerned about the outbreak in Italy. What are Tauck’s plans with respect to trips to Italy this Spring?

  • edited February 24

    Hello Mack79,

    We know that the news regarding the impact of the Coronavirus is ever changing. Please know that we have a dedicated Global Response Team that is monitoring the situation very closely. At present we are planning on operating our upcoming journeys in Italy as scheduled, and we will certainly reach out to any impacted guests immediately should those plans change.

    Thanks,
    Tauck Emily

  • Mack79 which tour are you on? We travel that day as well.

    Tauck Emily, I’m sure by now you know that one of the large European riverboat companies has implemented a policy banning persons from boarding that are from or have visited in the past 21 days, I’m sure you can guess the countries. Anyway I am concerned about the bus on a land tour. I hope there is discussion about this subject at Tauck.

  • Thanks for your comments. I Still find it difficult to understand the reluctance to have Tauck completely cancel this trip, since the CDC is recommending that cruise passengers not cruise to Asia and the State Department has increased the level of warning and has stated that they will not be responsible for evacuating and repatriating anyone who is unable to get out of Japan and S. Korea. Most other cruise companies have redeployed their ships and have offered cruises on the new itinerary with an additional credit or a complete and full repayment. My problem is that Tauck won’t even consider crediting me and applying the very large amount I paid for this trip. I offered a very good solution which was to switch this trip for one that I had made to France for next year, allow me to travel to France this year, and book me to Japan in 2021 instead, They would not accept that offer. I am not certain why. But it is troubling. And not great marketing.

  • A note to AlanS, I have paid in full, almost $40,000 for air, extra nights and the cruise, all though Tauck, Tauck wants to apply the cancellation penalties, the airfare cancellation penalties and not refund the insurance. Not a nice thing for a “family” company to do.

  • edited February 25

    Coronavirus: Your rights as a traveller https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51615412

    This is from the BBC and is mainly about the situation from A British insuramce point of view, but it might help.
    I’d hate to have to cancel when I book trips almost two years ahead.
    I could not get too excited about our trip to China in October because I thought it might get cancelled because of the troubles in Hong Kong, but it was all fine. We packed last minute just in case. We trusted Tauck, they have almost 100 years of experience in travel.

  • edited February 25

    Psr11
    9:00PM

    A note to AlanS, I have paid in full, almost $40,000 for air, extra nights and the cruise, all through Tauck, Tauck wants to apply the cancellation penalties, the airfare cancellation penalties and not refund the insurance. Not a nice thing for a “family” company to do.

    Not my experience at all. I switched with no penalties. The difference may be how many days until your departure? Since you are paid in full it is likely less than 60. I did not get a refund of the insurance, but Tauck put it in a "Dream Saver" account which I applied to another trip later that year. I don't recall if we booked our own air, but most of the time we do and our tickets, while non-refundable, are always changeable. In our case, we changed our flights to later in the year with no penalty charged by the airline. Yes, Tauck is a family company, but still a company. You are just one customer. Should your desires outweigh those of every other traveler on your departure? I hope you appreciate what will happen to the travel industry if the Corona virus doesn't get worse but people panic and all try to cancel their trips anyway. Also, I would never attempt to second guess Tauck, they have a stellar record and always put their clients first. The forum pages are filled with testimonials to that effect.

  • You might find this website interesting. It’s a real time Corona virus facts map saw it on another forum
    https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

  • Again, thanks for all of your comments. I am actually really pleased that so many comments are so positive and supportive of Tauck. My major concern is not with the quality or the wisdom of Tauck in general, it refers to this specific cruise. We are scheduled to sail in 2 months. If I wait on the hope that Tauck/Ponant does what the majority of other cruise companies are doing, redeploying their Asia based journeys, then it will be impossible to schedule another trip this spring. I am fine with the fact that they are disinfecting the ships. I am skeptical about whether they, or any company could disinfect a ship that is sailing in Asia, in the midst of the large and spreading outbreak. I would sail on a Tauck cruise anywhere else other than Asia. And I fact that is what I proposed. I am troubled by their recalcitrance to answer the needs of their customers.

    I will be calling TauckEmily shortly and will be posting the response

  • edited February 25

    Think the main reason you will not be able to book another cruise is that the more people that cancel, the less cruises will be available, flights will be canceled and if it goes on, tour companies will go belly up. A lot can happen in two months, it could be all over, not getting worse. Please tell us what Tauck says to you.

  • That’s exactly why I’d like the opportunity to cancel the trip to Asia this year and book a river cruise through Tauck for this June and rebook Asia for 2021. But I can’t even consider booking unless my cash is released from this year’s Asia cruise. So it seems They are forcing me to wait until they inevitably change/cancel the Asia cruise. Doing anything else leads to a substantial monetary loss. And in the long run it leaves me without another Tauck tour. And Tauck with a disgruntled client.

  • And as far as my call directly to Tauck, as recommended byTauck_Emily: I spoke to an agent at 9am eastern time. I was told that this would have to be handled by a supervisor and that there just wasn’t a supervisor available. More supervisors were due in later. (Huh?) i was asked to leave my phone number. It’s now later—considerably later—1:30 and no call. Not a nice thing for a family to do.

  • A note to Tauck_Emily: see post above. So far, nothing from my phone call.

  • I’ve been looking at the Tauck Cruise and Event Coverage plan. It is a legal document thus not that easy to understand. But if you cancel for other than a covered event, on short notice, you pay reduced penalties, but there are still penalties. For ‘extreme circumstances’, like an outbreak of war, or ‘an outbreak of disease’, there are other restrictions that I don’t fully understand. If your flights are cancelled, that is another issue. When my flight to Stockholm was cancelled due to British Airways shutting down, Tauck and the insurance covered everything. For cancellation on short notice, because you prefer to do something else, is not a covered event, and the expectation that everyone could do as you suggest you would like to do might be a stretch. I am currently scheduled to fly to my next Tauck trip on the 737 MAX 8. I have no concern about the airplane as I have thousands of hours in the 737, and if I was flying them, ‘they would not have crashed’. But, I have no choices other than paying change fees, or waiting to see what happens. I’m waiting.

  • I have a trip to Malaysia and leave March 10th. I’m starting to get calls from friends telling me I am crazy to travel. The same phone calls I got from those thinking I was crazy to travel soon after 911, going to Africa with an Ebola outbreak and visiting Hong Kong that was having riots. Maybe I have just been lucky so far but the company I am traveling with have not contacted me about cancellation. Another rival though inferior travel company to Tauck has canceled all vacations to China and the other mentioned countries in that area through to the end of 2021! Wow.

  • We went to Africa during the Ebola thing as well. And, my circumstances were different, but I flew five days after 911 ... to New York, La Guardia. We actually flew right over the top of ground zero at a pretty low altitude ... an unusual routing. The normal route is over the center of the river. I think the controllers did that so the passengers could not see the ‘Trade Center’ site, which was still burning. Then we flew well north of the GW bridge without further instructions. Finally, we called New York, “Are you still there?” They responded, “Are you ready?”

  • I'm not concerned about cancellations right now - but hope that Tauck will take a proactive approach to the novel Coronavirus. Periodic updates would be very useful.

  • Thanks for all of your comments, I share the enthusiasm for Tauck, which makes me particularly troubled that they, at present, are inflexible, especially because I have offered a win-win situation. Ponant, the cruise line that Tauck uses seems to be the problem, but we contracted with Tauck and therefore they are the responsible party to settle this. On the plus side, I have spoken to a really empathetic Guest Service Rep, and kudos to her for being so caring. However, it is apparent that her hands are tied. I will keep posting as I get information. And yes, it would be great if there were better communication from Tauck on their website and to individual clients.

  • Psr11 - While I'm not down-playing what's going on, after doing a good bit of world traveling, I've come to realize how biased the media is and how they blow everything way out of proportion for sensationalism and ratings. It's really sad.

  • Although I heartily agree with Psr11 that the media blows things out of proportion, there are facts about this situation which should concern us. It is a fact that the president decided to restrict incoming flights from certain regions where infections occurred; it is a fact that numerous passengers on a cruise ship were confined to their staterooms for extended periods; it is a fact that the Americans that were quarantined overseas upon return to the US are being quarantined in the US upon their return. Maybe these things won't happen to any of us, and we'll be lucky, but you would have to be fool not be concerned. I have a cruise this May that begins in Milan. Milan is the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe. In Italy they have quarantined a number of towns close to Milan. I wonder if anyone else traveling to Europe soon are concerned?

  • Sorry, I was referring to BKMD :o

  • I have a cruise (Caribb) in 2 weeks. I'm still going. I mentioned in another thread that a friend of mine and his wife were also scheduled for this cruise. Because she has a Chinese passport (though hasn't been to China in 3 years), her cruise was cancelled. Royal Caribb reversed themsleves on this policy shortly thereafter.

    I have a Tauck trip to Japan in April. I'm still going, as of now.

    A cruise ship was denied entry to two Caribb countries because one crew member had the flu: https://time.com/5790955/cruise-ship-coronavirus-jamaica-cayman-islands/

    Other facts:
    There have been more flu deaths than coronavirus deaths this year.
    80% of coronavirus infections are classified as mild.
    Most of the deaths have been in male smokers over age 65.

    You have to do what you're comfortable with.
    Your mileage may vary.

  • Thanks BKMD. You are right. Everyone has to do what their comfortable with.

  • Got communication from Tauck last night that all they were doing at present was “monitoring the situation” and would probably not make a decision until 1 month out. Gee, that doesn’t give us much flexibility to book something else—we like the others who have answered live to travel. (Although, who knows were will be OK in April/May???) Their “offer” is that they have “frozen” the penalties (punishment??) at the current level, wow! For us that is 25% of a very, very expensive trip to Asia (as you can imagine). And no mention of what they will do about the airfare that we booked with them (think Asia and how much we invested in that). We also lose the insurance. (Another 1.6K). I do understand that there are people who may want to take this tour, but I am sure that there are some who are genuinely concerned. Tauck, keep the cruise, but be flexible with your loyal clients. What is unfortunate, is that I will be cancelling three future Tauck trips which will cost them a potential of $85 in lost sales, and that’s just us, others are probably thinking the same way,. Just can’t understand why the inflexibility of an operator who banks on their reputation. (After all, we pay for that—can get the same tours for less but without the care—where is the care now?). By the way, Japan has closed all of its schools for at least a month, this is the country we will be immersed in. Tauck’s approach is puzzling.

  • Loss to them from us is $85,000. Sorry. And if you figure there are 20 people (out of 160) on my itinerary who will do the same. That’s $850,000 loss Extending the same to the 4 cruises it’s $3.4 million. All for the inflexibility of giving a full refund. Tauck needs to be more attentive to their Customers needs. Ironically, they will probably have to do it in the long run. But right now they are alienating good customers for what for them is a minor expense and will probably be paid out later anyway. Just be hospitable and show your concern, Tauck.

  • Psr11. I understand your concern, but I do not look at this the same way as you. We are prepared to wait things out and just the other day booked another future tour with Tauck. I think we have five booked with them at present. They are following the guidelines that all the various agencies are telling us. It’s not their fault.
    How has your attitude been when you call? That often reflects how you are treated back.

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