What happened to my Scenic River Cruises refund?


Winston Bateman is sure Scenic Cruises owes him a refund after canceling his Danube cruise vacation. But after months of waiting, is there more to the story?


My wife and I have been trying to get a refund from Scenic Cruises for over eight months. We paid $ 14,910 for a Danube cruise from Bucharest to Budapest scheduled for May 2020. This included the plane ticket and an upgrade. We have also taken out travel insurance.

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Scenic River Cruises canceled the cruise in early May 2020 and I assumed we would get a refund. We received an option via email for a cruise credit or refund from Member Travel Privileges, our travel agent. We have this email.

In a follow-up email, our travel agent informed us that we would receive a refund of $ 13,338 for the cruise and an additional travel credit of $ 1,572. However, they also indicated that the refund can take up to 90 days.

After 90 days, we filed a claim with our insurance company. Our request was denied. The reason for the denial was that COVID-19 was not a covered ground for cancellation.

Since then, we’ve been back and forth with Scenic Cruises in our efforts to get a refund. We are cut off every time we call. In one of the emails from Scenic Cruises they wrote that we have to work with the booking agent to get our money back. We would like to get the money back promised. Can you help us? – Winston Bateman, Roseville, Minnesota.


Your cruise has gone so badly that it’s hard to know where to start. But maybe we should start here: if your travel agent has promised you a refund, you should get one. Period.

But there have been other unfortunate circumstances, and I’m not just talking about COVID. You have booked travel with a reputable cruise line and have purchased travel insurance policy. When a travel agency cancels a tour, a cruise – really, anything – they should offer either a full refund or a credit.

Your travel agent who booked the Scenic Cruises trip said you may be able to get a credit or a refund. You have chosen reimbursement. But since the money was not paid, you filed a travel insurance claim.

I would have contacted your travel insurance company as soon as your cruise line canceled your trip. Ask if you are covered at this point. You probably aren’t, as most travel insurance assumes you’ll receive a full refund if your cruise line cancels. But it’s worth asking. You can read more about how travel insurance works in my buying and using guide.

You have kept a paper trail between you, your travel agent, and Scenic River Cruises. You could also have forwarded your complaint to an officer of the company. You can find the names, numbers and email addresses of Scenic River Cruises executives in our corporate contact database.

Finally: your refund from Scenic River Cruises

I contacted Scenic River Cruises on your behalf. He said his policy after the pandemic was to offer credit, not refund. “It appears their agency gave incorrect information regarding refunds,” a Scenic River Cruises spokesperson told me. “If the agency has offered a refund, it is the agency’s responsibility to make such refund.”

I have reviewed your case. “We sent you a communication asking if you would prefer a cash refund or future cruise credit for your canceled reservation, only to find out later that Scenic would only be able to offer future cruise credits to its passengers. “said your agency in a letter to you.

Your agency has agreed to issue a full refund of $ 14,910. This is the total of the refund and credit offered to you in the follow-up email.

Looking for other cruise articles before you go? Check out our library of cruise fiascos here.


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