After CMV's MV Columbus was ordered to cut its world cruise short and return to port in the UK, it met its fleet buddy MV Vasco da Gama, just off the coast of Thailand. The Columbus was 4 weeks into her four month world cruise before the voyage was curtailed, while the Vasco da Gama was operating it's Northbound voyage from Fremantle to Tilbury via the Suez Canal.
Cruise and Martime Voyage (CMV) passengers, crew and luggage were transferred between vessels at sea.
Following the immediate suspension of its voyages, CMV offered passengers the option to swap ships to return to their original ports. This resulted in more than 500 pieces of luggage and 239 passengers and crew swapping as part of the repatriation effort to help return passengers to their home countries. The operation began at 6.30am and was completed by midday.
“We are tremendously proud of our onboard and shoreside teams for their fantastic job in delivering this safe and effective evacuation and relief operation,” said Christian Verhounig, chief executive at Cruise and Maritime Voyages.
The line confirmed it will offer all passengers affected a full refund or future cruise credit of 125 per cent the value of their cruise. Ships that are currently still at sea will conclude their current itinerary to return guests to their disembarkation ports, then also stop their operation.
Check out the video footage of this amazing feat below!
There have been no cases of Covid-19 on either ship.
A Future Cruise Credit (FCC), or Future Cruise Certificate, is mostly used to compensate cruise travellers for things like cancelled voyages, cruises that have been cut short or other. It’s used like a store credit or gift card, instead of receiving a refund, and is usually non-refundable and non-transferable to anybody else. It often comes with additional benefits to entice you to use the FCC over a refund and can often deliver you great savings off your next cruise.
It’s often confused with a Future Cruise Program, which is a benefit extended to people when they’re onboard a current cruise that offers them onboard credit when putting a deposit on their future cruise. However the two are very different as the Future Cruise Credit is compensation, where as the Future Cruise Program is an additional benefit.
The amount of your FCC is usually based on the base cruise fare that you have paid, less taxes, fees, onboard expenditure, shore excursion or upgrades (like WiFi and Drinks Packages).
How Can I Use my Future Cruise Credit?
You’ll know if you’ve received a FCC usually via an email from the cruise line or your travel agent. It normally takes a few weeks, however in the current environment with all cruise lines delaying departures by at least 30 days, the processing may take a little longer. When it is issued, the email will also advise you of the date the credit expires.
The cruise passenger owns the FCC, and you can use it directly with the cruise line or through any travel agent you wish to use.
What Can a Future Cruise Credit Not be Used for?
It can be used towards the base fare of any future cruise, but cannot be used to pay for:
If you already have another cruise you previously booked, you can also use it towards that cruise. However it cannot be redeemed to re-purchase the same sailing where the original booking was cancelled.
Can I get a Refund Instead?
Cruise line are currently extending generous new cancellation policies, with cruisers able to cancel even up to 48 hours prior to departure for cruises that are still scheduled to travel.
With the current temporary cancellation policies due to COVID-19 cancellations, you will normally receive a Future Cruise Credit in the amount of whatever the cancellation fees would normally be. The remainder is refunded to your credit card or the original form of payment.
For example, if your cancellation penalities are 75%, you will receive 75% of the total cruise paid as a Future Cruise Credit (this would normally have been forfeited as a cancellation fee), and the other 25% as a refund. If your cancellation penalties are 100%, you’ll receive 100% of the total cruise paid as a Future Cruise Credit.
Top Tips for Using Future Cruise Credits
Princess Cruises has continued their commitment to delivering first class cruise experiences, with the announcement of their sixth Royal-Class cruise ship f revealed today – Discovery Princess.
The largest inaugural launch program ever with worldwide itineraries offered onboard Discovery Princess to Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Mexico and the California Coast for the 2021/2022 cruise season was also announced by Princess Cruises.
Discovery Princess will be the first-ever new cruise ship for Princess Cruises to be based on the West Coast, sailing out of Los Angeles.
Designed from the ground up as a Princess Medallion Class ship, even-day Mediterranean & Aegean inaugural cruise from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Athens.
With cruise vacations open for sale Oct. 8, 2019, Discovery Princess will be available for sale from 8th October 2019, and will sail from the Mediterranean, to the Caribbean and South America before arriving in Los Angeles for her West Coast debut, sailing to Mexico and the California Coast.
Cruising is a favourite holiday choice for many, from couples to families and honeymooners to retirees. The saying is true, that you only have to unpack once and you can do as much or as little as you like. Most days you will be waking up in a new exotic destination or a having a leisurely day at sea. Each cruise line has many unique features and depending on what your plans are in port you need to make sure you pack accordingly. Even if you are doing a tropical island cruise during summer, your cruise ship may have an ice-skating rink where a pair of long pants won’t go astray. Not to mention ensuring you have everything you need to explore new ports!
On the first day of your cruise holiday it sometimes can take a number of hours before your checked luggage is sorted and delivered to your stateroom. We suggest that you have all your valuables, including medication with you, in addition to spare clothing for dinner, extra footwear & basic toiletries. If you envisioned a cocktail poolside during the sail away party, you may also like to keep your swimwear handy in your carry on.
While at sea many find that the internet isn’t always fast or very cheap to access. So if you want an easy way to communicate with family and friends who are also onboard with you, we recommend investing in 2 way radios. If you purchase these prior to departure, all you need to do is just pick a station number for you all to tune into and get talking. Very handy if you are trying to arrange a meeting point with friends for a trivia night in the sports bar or even a pre-dinner sunset cocktail.
Cables, Cords, Camera and Adaptors
In our digital world we all like to stay connected. Remember to pack any cables, cords and adaptors to keep your technology charged. Why not use a small bag like a pencil case to keep your loose phone charger and 2-way radio charger cords from getting tangled up or lost? Power adaptors are also needed on board some ships. Many have US and UK power sockets all depending on their country of origin. Check with your cruise line prior to departure to see if you need one. Adaptors can be purchased onboard but you will find they are usually cheaper at an electronic store.
On any cruise itinerary you should always pack for the unexpected. You never know when unseasonably cold weather may hit on a tropical cruise and it isn’t unheard of to get sunburnt on an Antarctic cruise. During a tropical summer cruise always pack a jacket for rain protection and warmth. For a cruise to a cooler climate, packing lots of layers is advisable. We recommend having breathable thermal wear underneath and a waterproof outer layer, so you can then adjust every layer in between.
Most evenings in cruise à la carte dining rooms, the dress code is informal. Think ‘Business Casual’ when dressing. If the idea of dressing up for dinner each night isn't your idea of fun, then you may like to dine in the buffet restaurant or another dining option onboard. Many large cruise ships have many restaurants onboard from burger joints to sushi restaurants . Remember every cruise line is different and some cruise lines are more casual or formal than others.
Formal and Themed Nights
Depending on the length of the cruise you will most likely have at least 1 formal night. For Men: Traditionally formal night consists of a suit and tie. Often now a lightweight sport jacket and dress pants can also suffice depending on your cruise line. For Woman: A cocktail dress or pant suit are perfect for formal nights.
Some cruise lines also have a few fun inspired nights and even encourage guests to wear loud tropical shirts on some evenings. Most cruise lines provide information on formal and themed nights prior to departure, so you can pack accordingly.
Please note: Irons are not available onboard as they are a fire hazard. Many cruiselines do offer a pressing service at a cost if required. Important: Bringing your own iron is not permitted either.
As the cruise lines get bigger and better so do many of their onboard activities. It’s a great idea to pack for the activities you want to partake in. Some ships offer Ice skating, rock climbing, water slides, mini golf, bowling, racing cars, laser tag, zipling, skydiving simulator. For example : Even if you are on a tropical South Pacific cruise, you may want to pack long pants to go ice skating. If you are on a summer cruise, ensure plenty of sun protective clothing.
Any seasoned traveller knows the importance of travel insurance. Even a well planned holiday isn’t exempt from the unexpected. Please take the time and research insurance prior to travel. There are many different policies available, covering everything from the basics to full comprehensive policies. Read all the product disclosure statement closely to decide what is right for you.
Below is our Essential Cruise Packing List - Handy for your next Cruise Holiday
Seeing the distinctive red and black funnels in port may automatically announce a Cunard ships’ presence, but there are some key differences between these Queens, including itineraries, space and fit out.