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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 4th, 2002, 09:44 PM
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Default Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

Last fall Anne Campbell posted a warning about ROC that proved to be very unfair to ROC. ROC is still in business, stock is climbing, new ship sails soon and the warning is still on Cruisemates message board. I don't believe that ROC cancelled any more cruises in Europe and the Med. than anyone else but they took a huge hit from Cruisemates. Were all the travel agents and travel insurance people wrong?

I think is about time that Anne takes another look at ROC and reports honestly what she sees. Their famous Mayan Equinox Cruise is in two weeks. Maybe she should walk up the gangplank and travel with them.

Maybe she should also talk about the links between travel agents and travel insurance. It it on the up and up? Maybe all you need is to use a credit card? How much are travel agent commissions from insurance companies? Do some pay better than others? Do cruisers really get "fair value" for their money?

Is Cruisemates mad at ROC? What did ROC do that made them mad? The ball is in your court CM.
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Old March 5th, 2002, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

I second the motion for a new review on the ROC voyager's new itenerary from Houston, TX down the Mayan coast in the western Caribbean. Prices advertised here in Oklahoma City are reasonabe, and it's very easy to get to Houston from here via non stop flight of a little over an hour. One thing that may not have changed are the 140 sq. ft. rooms. Around here, we call that a closet! But for all we know, they ARE offering more time in port now, which would make it a better deal.
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Old March 5th, 2002, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

I cannot comment about the cruise ship since I am not familiar with the matter discussed. Based on my many years employed in the insurance industry and what I have learned about travel insurance, "yes" the travel agents receive a commission. They can even receive a commission if you place the insurance directly with the insurer or the Managing General Agent. The commssion to the travel agent can vary from 20% to 30% of the premium, which in reality comes out of your pocket.

The coverage is usually" wholesaled" by a Managing Travel Agent such as Berkely Care which probably gets a commision of about 25%+, which once again comes out of your pocket. I am of the opinion where the insurance is part of your cruise line package, the cruise line gets a cut for collecting the premium. While the amount of commission may be lower than the commission paid by the cruise line on your fare, it is a lot higher than what the TA gets from the airlines.

The underwriting insurer is lucky if it gets 50% of the premium you pay in order to pay claims and pay the expenses of conducting business.This is why premiums keep going up. Ten years ago the going rate was around $4.00-5.00 per hundred dollars of liability limit.
Today it is as high as $8.00-$10 per hundred.

Despite these prices, at my age and that of my better half, we have no alternative but to pay the price since we could not withstand the larger loss,, i.e. the total cruise fare and sundry other protection features.
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Old March 5th, 2002, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

I cannot comment about the cruise ship since I am not familiar with the matter discussed. Based on my many years employed in the insurance industry and what I have learned about travel insurance, "yes" the travel agents receive a commission. They can even receive a commission if you place the insurance directly with the insurer or the Managing General Agent. The commssion to the travel agent can vary from 20% to 30% of the premium, which in reality comes out of your pocket.

The coverage is usually" wholesaled" by a Managing Travel Agent such as Berkely Care which probably gets a commision of about 25%+, which once again comes out of your pocket. I am of the opinion where the insurance is part of your cruise line package, the cruise line gets a cut for collecting the premium. While the amount of commission may be lower than the commission paid by the cruise line on your fare, it is a lot higher than what the TA gets from the airlines.

The underwriting insurer is lucky if it gets 50% of the premium you pay in order to pay claims and pay the expenses of conducting business.This is why premiums keep going up. Ten years ago the going rate was around $4.00-5.00 per hundred dollars of liability limit.
Today it is as high as $8.00-$10 per hundred.

Despite these prices, at my age and that of my better half, we have no alternative but to pay the price since we could not withstand the larger loss,, i.e. the total cruise fare and sundry other protection features.
HannaS77
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Old March 6th, 2002, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

What I read in Cruise Mates was a very responsible factual account that said that Travel Ex had announced it would not issue policies for Royal Olympic cruises. This was reporting of a FACT.
It went on to state "Cruise Mates is urging it's readers to exercise due diligence before booking a cruise with Royal Olympic."
I think a very responsible statement considering what had just happened to Rennesance and the parent organization of Delta Queen , American Hawaiin and US Cruise lines.
The fact that Royal Olympic still is out there is a happy thing for them and the passengers that enjoy their ships. Obviously you have done due diligence looking into the financial health of Royal Olympic as you have indicated in your post. That is all cruisemates asked you to do.
As for the link between travel agents and insurance companies, I'm not sure of the relevance of the comment. Travel agents are also commissioned by the cruise lines (much more in that dollar wise than from the travel insurance). How come no complaint about the tie in between travel agents and cruise lines?
As for the credit card comment, Break your leg on the day before your cruise and see if your credit card will cover your cruise and non refundable airfare. Not going to happen (unless you have bought travel insurance through your credit card company).
Enjoy your cruise and be happy that someone warned you to
do your homework before spending your money.
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Old March 6th, 2002, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

In my original reply, I thought this thread referred to the review of the Voyager and its former Med. itenerary, where it did not stay very long at its ports of call, etc. I didn't know this thread was about ROC's financial stability. Since we were caught in the REN. mess, we wouldn't want that again.
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Old March 6th, 2002, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

Bill - good points, but if ROC's financial situation has changed, don't you think it would be wise if Cruisemates updated their information on ROC?
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Old March 7th, 2002, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

Cruisemates did not report on the financial condition of ROC , only that a major tarvel insurer had stopped writing insurance on ROC cruises. If they have started up writing policies for ROC again then yes, they should report that.
The advice given in that article stands as sound for any trip however. DO YOUR DUE DILEGENCE , before you commit your
money to any major expense such as a trip.
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Old March 8th, 2002, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

Actually, I think the Cruisemates review said Travel ex had stopped insuring ROC cruises. Didn't mention other carriers. Maybe Robocop could get us current info on the insurance situation regarding ROC and post it on this or another thread. Because the ROC Voyager has just begun Mayan coast cruises out of Houston -- and it has enough speed to reduce the number of sea days usually inherent in this route -- there is a renewed interest in this line from those of us whose residence makes travel to the usual embarkation ports a problem (logistically and financially) whereas we can get to Houston easily and cheaply. So I suggest that an update on this insurance issue, along with a review of this particular Voyager cruise, would be timely and most helpful to those of us who live in the southern one-half of the mid-section of the country.
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Old March 17th, 2002, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

I have no personal gripe against Royal Olympic. But keep in mind,
my interests do lie in protecting cruisers.

When Renaissance went under, there was no warning, and many people lost
a great deal of money. Like Renaissance Cruises, Royal Olympic is a privately held company so there is no way to tell if there are financial problems.

When two insurance companies say they are not going to insure passengers
should this company go default, I have to advise people of this. It indicates that
the insurance companies have a concern about the stability of Royal Olympic.

When the insurance companies reverse themselves, I'll take this warning off
Royal Olympic.
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Old March 21st, 2002, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

Anne: Your warning on the ship review page for the ROC Voyager mentioned that TravelEx had stopped including bankruptcy or default coverage for ROC, but did not mention a second carrier discontinuing this coverage, as referenced in your post above. Since you wrote this review, has a second insurance company done this? If so, that would of course be a very bad sign.
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Old March 25th, 2002, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

Anne, one insurance company's denial is enough for me (especially since that is the company my travel agency has always used). I appreciate the info. Enough said!!!!
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Old March 26th, 2002, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Cruisemates Attack on Royal Olympic

Nanette: I'd agree with you if I had more confidence in how insurance companies rate risks. Like the time I traded a used car worth $5000 for a new one worth $30000, and my premiums went DOWN $250 a year! Just one of many examples I could cite.

An any event, Anne Campbell is certainly correct in reporting such matters. My only question continues to be that her original report mentioned only TravelEx as suspending coverage for ROC, but her post above on this thread mentions TWO companies doing this. If, after six month, TravelEx is still "the lone ranger" in this regard, the situation maybe raises a little red flag. If other companies have joined in, that raises a big red flag. So I hope she , or someone else, will take the time to clarify this matter.
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