Our Venice cruise starts… TWO HOURS from Venice! The Holiday Guru tackles travellers’ issues
The Holiday Guru is here to answer travellers’ questions.
This week he tackles queries around the ‘misleadingly described’ departure port of a Royal Caribbean International cruise, the recent chaos at Britain’s passport e-gates, the entry requirements for India, and more…
Q. We are due to go on a Royal Caribbean International (RCI) cruise in July that was advertised as departing from ‘Venice (Ravenna)’. We booked two days in Venice prior to the cruise as well as flights to and from Venice Marco Polo Airport. Now we learn that Ravenna is not in Venice but is a more than two-hour drive away. RCI says a transfer from Venice to Ravenna will cost us £241 return. If Venice had not been described as the departure port, we wouldn’t have booked. What can we do?
Sharon and Steve Holmes, via email
A. Venice banned big cruise ships in July 2021. Lesley Bellew, the Mail’s cruise expert, says this was well publicised at the time but agrees that using ‘Venice (Ravenna)’ in adverts can be misleading. RCI says its policy is to mention ‘the largest metropolitan area near our departure ports’ and to arrange appropriate transfers. To take things further you could complain to the Advertising Standards Authority at asa.org.uk.
No-go zone: Venice banned big cruise ships in July 2021, reveals the Guru
Q. Are the passport e-gates working at airports again, after the troubles last weekend?
Bill Simmons, Manchester
A. They are up and running again after the ‘IT problems’ – for now, at least.
Q. I booked a holiday with Tui to Benidorm in August but I mistakenly input that my passport was Irish, not British. I can’t change this on the website. When I contacted Tui I was told to check in at the airport. Is this right?
Karen Miller, via email.
A. Tui has now corrected your details online. Had it not done this, however, it would have been the right procedure to check in at the airport.
Q. My wife and I are travelling to India in October. What vaccinations do we need and how long does it take to apply/receive a tourist visa?
Bob Ratcliffe, via email
A. You do not need proof of Covid vaccination or a negative test, but other vaccination recommendations can be found under the ‘India’ page at travelhealthpro.org.uk.
According to travel experts at the tour operator TransIndus, e-visas are usually processed in 72 hours – apply at indianvisaonline.gov.in. The fee for a 30-day visa is about £20, or £32 for a year-long one. See ‘general visa information’ at hcilondon.gov.in.
According to travel experts at the tour operator TransIndus, e-visas for India are usually processed in 72 hours
Q. We booked Club Europe tickets with British Airways to Malta, but found we were on Avion Express, a Lithuanian carrier. Passengers who had paid business-class fares were jammed into economy-pitch seats. The food was OK but not good enough. Can you alert readers?
Anne Fry, via email
A. British Airways says its BA EuroFlyer has a so-called ‘wet lease’ agreement with Avion Express for some flights during busy periods. Customers are informed in advance and can move to a BA-operated service for free. The airline says such agreements are commonplace and that seats and food are of a similar standard to BA’s. Good to raise the issue, however, as it sounds as if standards are slipping.
Q. I have had to cancel a trip to go to an RAF Cosford Air Show later this month, purchased from Just Go Holidays. I informed the company of this more than ten weeks before departure and its booking conditions stated I should get a refund, but none is forthcoming. Can you assist?
Michael Heywood, via email
A. We contacted Just Go Holidays and your refund of £258 should now be with you.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.