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article imageOp-Ed: Costa Cruise Line, offers passengers €11,000 ($14,503 Cdn)

By Daniel Boyington     Jan 27, 2012 in Travel
Rome - Costa Cruise Lines have made an offer to surviving passengers of the tragic accident off the coast of Italy on January 13th. Some may take the settlement, but it is highly unlikely, as a class action suit is currently underway.
The offer made, of course has strings attached, they must agree they will not make any further claims and must take the money within the next few weeks. The other option, for the surviving passengers only, (crew is not included in this offer) is to wait it out, for an expected over $100 million class action suit, which is being prepared.
The only problem with waiting, is it could take years to sort this out in the courts, and there is no guarantee that anyone will receive anything.
It appears that the settlement amount of €11,000 (euros) may be equivalent to, either twice or three times of the passengers fare. The settlement would also offer additional funds for medical bills (after the accident,) lost baggage and psychological trauma incurred because of the tragedy. Costa Cruise Line have said they would reimburse the full cost of the cruise, and any travel expenses related to the grounding of the Concordia, wow are they ever generous.
Fares vary, depending on what type of cabin you request, but it has been determined (by calling to make a reservation) that a similar cruise by Costa on the Cruise Liner Magica would cost around $4000 (USD) if purchased today, that is for double occupancy plus taxes (for one week.) I asked if there were any other charges, and they said "no." But don't forget, you have to get to Barcelona to catch the Magica at your own expense.
But further research showed, that to have a postcard mailed from the ship, that's an additional $2 per postcard, and a picture with the Captain, would be $20. That doesn't include all the other extras, I'm sure would be aboard, as there is nowhere else to shop, once you're at sea. The phone lines were quite busy, which astonished me, but that may be because of the people cancelling their cruises. Oh yes, don't forget if you book in June, and you want to cancel, there is some small print, if you cancel 90 days before she sails, "they say" you get a full refund, (less a standard deduction of $800.) If you cancel 44-50 days prior, it's a 50% charge, or if you wait until less than 14 days prior to sailing, you lose 100%.
If you take a booking in June 2012, The Magica would sail from Barcelona, Spain to Sicily, Italy and back with several stops along the way, and include your Cat B1 cabin and meals. It's all inclusive package for the Western Mediterranean Cruise, but any alcohol and tips are extra. If you have never taken a cruise before you may be surprised by how much extra tips actually add onto the fare and Cruise Critic is a great resource for info about the cruise industry.
After careful consideration, I think we will stay in Canada and just take a bus to Calgary, or maybe a train to Quebec City, it seems a little safer, and I don't have to learn how to swim. "Welcome aboard!"
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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