Additional fees

Is anyone annoyed with the fact that Tauck has had our money making interest? The first cancellation, we were "given" money, yet the trip insurance was raised so that was a wash. Now on the 2nd cancellation I have to pay $200 more. I know this is not their fault, but every single time it is a higher cost. Meanwhile my $15 K is earning money for them.


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    I’ve had two tours cancelled, but I opted to ask for a refund, so we only have around $2000 of ‘cancelled’ money with them. We had two more tours booked. We said we would not book any more tours until things improved.... but once my husband saw there were dates into 2022 for the Singapore Bali tour which we have had cancelled this year, he decided to book it and that’s exactly two years away.
    We are not convinced any tours in at least the first half of 2021 will go. We want to travel, so our latest thoughts are to make independent visits to favorite Cities for maybe a week each once travel becomes possible again. We have some annual travel insurance we can use for that.
    Your $1500 is making very little money for them. You could cancel now and just lose the insurance, put it in the stock market, hopefully make money and then rebook for a future date and hope there are dates and places still availability that you want to visit, that’s the gamble.

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    Another perspective- I realize there are a lot of factors that go into pricing tours, but under normal conditions and a normal economy (low to moderate inflation, etc.), the costs to conduct a tour, and hence the price we pay to take that tour, can be expected to increase slightly from year to year. However, these are not normal times.

    Since tourism has a big impact on the economy of many countries, especially places like Egypt, etc. you would think the expenses might be less because hotels, attractions, etc. and the country on the whole are eager to have tourism and the money it generates start up again. They should be doing everything they can, like lowering fees, to encourage people to start traveling again. What am I missing?

    Are vendors trying to recoup losses, and quickly?

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    It’s going to take a ton of money to do extra cleaning, pay for the cleaning products, pay for the extra staff to clean. Oh and wouldn’t it be wonderful to pay hotel staff a living wage. Some hotels have decided to leave rooms sealed for twenty four hours before staff can go in once a guest has checked out...the changes go on and on. Look at all the extra cleaning on planes....Travel is going to cost more, it’s a business, they have to increase prices to survive and everyone will pay because they want to travel

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    I doubt that Tauck is making much money from our deposits or payments. Those moneys are held in a separate account that could not be paying much interest. That being said, Ponant is still trying to sell me the same Antarctica cruise that we have booked with Tauck in January. It is a little bit like comparing apples and oranges in that they offer a 10% discount and a $1,500 flight credit, and our Tauck trip is a day or two longer, but the price is almost identical when you get to the bottom line. If we wanted the owner’s suite with Ponant, we could have it for a mere $65,800 dollars, (;-)

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    It might be worth opting for the owners suite as you will be spending so much time in your cabin compared to any other tour.

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    Sealord - Is the $66K the price for two? :D

    Of course, with the Owner's Suite you would be invited to the Captain's Table every night for dinner.

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    edited September 2020

    The. price is for two people:
    It does have butler service.
    Category: Category SA - Owner's Suite with Balcony
    Description: Owner's Suites have been decorated by French interior designers, and will provide you breathtaking panoramic sea views. The master bedroom has two twin beds that can be converted to a king-sized bed, flat screen satellite television, and a private bathroom with large tub and shower. The living space has a dining area, living room, and guest bathroom. The living room includes a desk, sofa, armchair, and flat screen satellite television. There is a a dining area with a table and four chairs, and mini bar. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors lead to your spacious veranda from either the master bedroom or living area. Each suite also has individually-controlled air-conditioning, DVD/CD and iPod players, WIFI internet access, individual safe, hair dryer, complimentary use of bathrobes, satellite direct line telephone, and 24 hour room service.

    Deck: Deck 6
    Occupancy: Can accommodate up to 2 guests in this particular cabin
    Accessible? No
    Connecting? No
    Window Type: Balcony
    Stateroom Size:
    484 sq ft sq ft*

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    If you are going on a cruise during Covid/prison conditions, might as well be comfortable :)

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    You have to be comfortable on the Antarctic tour in case you experienced the curse of Drake Passage

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    We've been to the Antarctic (and Arctic) on the Ponant ships (Le Boreal both times). Actually had a mild Drake passage, but from South Georgia Island to Antarctica we sailed through a force 10 gale. The irony is that the most expensive suites are on the upper decks and forward. We were in the cheap(er) seats, lowest passenger deck midships...where you want to be during severe weather. We actually aren't bothered by motion in any case, but still...

    Unless it has changed (and these days, who knows?) they have an open bridge policy. So in the height of the gale, I made my way to the bridge and saw the waves (10m/33ft) breaking over the bow and surging up to the bridge windows.

    They closed the top deck dining venue, but were offering their usual very nice dining in the main dining room on deck 2. Though the table cloths were wetted down (keeps dishes from sliding around), there were no other changes to the dining experience. Meals were also well attended since the Captain had specifically warned passengers who use the patches for motion sickness to put them on 24 hours before we hit the gale. Oh, they did close the curtains over the dining room windows since, being on the second deck and with 33 foot waves, they assumed that the sight of seeing the waves breaking over the windows might disturb some passengers(!).

    BTW, I feel obligated to point out that force 10 on the Beaufort scale isn't "you are going to die" since the scale goes to 12.

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    Portolan. I’ve been looking at the Ponant website. Tauck is normally a ‘casual’ experience. But ‘Ponant’ says they actually have two ‘formal’ nights on the Antarctica trip. Did you have ‘formal’ nights?

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    No formal nights on our expeditions. Some like myself wore sports coats (without tie) to dinner.

    In truth, we were on an Abercrombie & Kent expedition on the Le Boreal which was doing the identical itinerary to a Tauck expedition on Le Austral sailing one-day behind us, but AFAIK the experiences were nearly identical. It was rather comforting to have a sister ship right on our heels when traveling to the nether regions of the world. We were on A&K because I was still working at the time and the single day difference made a multi-day reduction in the amount of leave I took because of the way it fell on the weekends. This was 2012 & 2013 (Arctic) so possibly the formality has changed but I imagine it is set by the chartering company so I'm doubting any formal nights on the Tauck trips. It'd make packing even more difficult since you'll be bringing home bulky parkas.

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    There.were the same ‘formal nights’ on one of our Tauck Ponant cruises, Iceland. Captains dinner we knew about, Black and White we did not but doesn’t matter, whatever they say, not all people dressed up. We were at the captain’s table, I wore a simple dress, My husband a shirt and tie. I don’t think the other three people at our table wore anything different, maybe one of the guys wore a jacket. The captain’s wife was visiting and she looked wonderful as most French women do. I don’t think I had black and white with me, and certainly other people didn’t. You are not supposed to wear shorts etc, but people did. Hope this is helpful. With Covid restrictions who knows how these dinners might be, maybe two sittings and you won’t be that near other people and surely not encouraged to chat when not wearing masks Whilst eating as it increased the risk of virus spread. If the tour is cancelled for another year, at least you will know then with plenty of time to pack accordingly if it concerns you to dress as requested.

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