Monday,  November 28, 2022  8:13 pm

TICO posts Crystal Cruises notice on Comp Fund claims, commission recovery


TICO posts Crystal Cruises notice on Comp Fund claims, commission recovery
Crystal Serenity (left) and Crystal Symphony. (File photos/Crystal Cruises)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) has posted a closure advisory for Crystal Cruises, whose website now displays a link that directs users to a claims site, crystalcruiseclaims.com, managed by Florida-based Michael Moecker & Associates.

Crystal ceased operations effective Feb. 11, 2022 following a string of financial and legal problems that led to the company letting go nearly all of its employees as creditors took possession of ships.

In a bulletin published Friday (March 11), TICO advises out-of-pocket consumers to file a claim with the Ontario Travel Compensation Fund – in addition to filing via the Consumer Claims site – at the same time to avoid missing the filing date of Aug. 12, 2022. 

TICO said it is “not known” how long the consumer claims process will take “or what the level of reimbursement may be.”

READ MORE: Crystal Serenity, Symphony seized by feds in Bahamas

Travel agents may also be eligible to recover commission payments from Crystal through the consumer claims process, TICO said, which provided information on how to proceed.

Travel agents who sold Crystal Cruises, and are owned commissions as per the company’s suspended sailings policies, are being advised to click here for more info.

The claim is under the General/Vendor Claim Form option. And, if necessary, agents should download the claim form and submit supporting documentation to the address listed on the form by no later than June 11, 2022, TICO says.

For consumers who purchased Crystal Cruises from a travel agency outside of Ontario, or directly from Crystal Cruises, there is no provision under Ontario Regulation 26/05 of the Travel Industry Act, 2002 for a consumer to claim on the Compensation Fund, TICO notes.

READ MORE: Crystal Symphony diverts to Bahamas with 700 aboard to avoid arrest warrant

The council is urging travellers who fall into that category to explore the Michael Moecker & Associates claim site.

Unredeemed future travel credits, vouchers or similar documents issued by a cruise line for future travel are not eligible for reimbursement from the Compensation Fund, TICO says.

For TICO's details on filing a claim with the Compensation Fund, click here.

According to the Consumer Claim site, all consumer and general/vendor forms must be submitted by June 11, 2022. For more information, you can visit the site’s FAQ here.

The update follows a chaotic month for Crystal Cruises. In February, both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity were seized by U.S. marshals in the Bahamas and taken into custody due to an arrest warrant that was issued following a lawsuit filed by Peninsula Petroleum Far East, which claims Genting Hong Kong (parent company for Crystal) owes $3.4 million in unpaid fuel costs.

Word that Crystal was sailing into choppy waters surfaced in January after Crystal's Jack Anderson, interim president and CEO, announced that Crystal would be suspending all future ocean sailings through April 2022, as well as river cruises through May, after Genting Hong Kong filed to wind up its assets after running out of funds.


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