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To dive or not to dive - that's not even an option
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys

Just a word of warning on this operator.

Myself and Terry2Puds were supposed to sail last week for a weeks Bahamas live aboard and it was canceled due to technical problems. They have now canceled several weeks of trips but are still taking money and have not said anything on their web site. We have spoken to several Americans who have also been affected and it does not look good for the company. There are numerous posts on Scuba board about it declining and crew not getting paid and some laid off. We are out of pocket about two and a half grand with no redress as we paid by bankers draft and the insurance company say that cancellation is only covered if we cancel to to uncontrollable circumstances like illness etc. They will not cover the company going bust. Nekton have offered us two trips in recompense, but this is no use if they no longer exist. Some of the Americans that have had their trip canceled were trying to use their trip from last year, when several trips were also canceled! This means they potentially have months of free trips outstanding which they cannot honor.

So if you are looking at these guys - don't do anything until they are back in the water and actually doing trips as just now they are sitting in a dock awaiting repairs. Also pay entirely with your credit card so you have some protection.

We ended up having two weeks diving from Palm Beach down to Key West, and have enjoyed it as we could not get a refund on our air fairs so had to come and do what we could.

Please take care, when we booked everything looked fine.

James
 

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Squidgey Member
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I sympathise,
I got stung last year with Save money diving.com to the tune of £2800 Lucky for me i did it on visa.
 

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A salutory lesson. Given the issues we had with Galapagos when it looked like ti might have been cancelled and I had paid cash via Visa Debit I would now never, ever pay for a holiday on anything other than a credit card.

So glad you have made the best of it and well done on warning others to stop anyone else from having to go through the stress, James.

Lou
 

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91 Posts
I worked for them 3 years ago. It was quite normal then as crew not to get paid, or to have paycheques held until after 1 o clock on a Saturday so the bank had closed and you would have to wait until the following week to cash it. When I left I was owed a couple of thousand dollars. They did though in the end come through and pay it.

I dont know if I know any of the crew left on board now, I think lots of them decided to move on to other things. I can probably dig out the names and email addresses of some of the office staff, and the owner of the company.

If there is anything I can do then pm me and I will see what I can dig out.

Charlie
 

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Notice my avatar. I am hard astern.
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9,347 Posts
The Internet is seductive. (I have just used it to book a complicated multi-part road/fly trip to America using my credit card.) However, for a diving vacation, this is a good example of why it is best to book through an ATOL-bonded (under European law) holiday operator. Your money is protected and the operator has the financial clout to deal with problems with on-site suppliers.
 

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Ouch, sorry to hear you and Terry are out of pocket James, I think the bankers draft would have been enough to put me off.

I am in the process of booking for Mexico in December and although it would be lovely to stay at the hotel where the conference is being held I don't want to run the risk of booking hotels and flights separately, so I am going to book a package at a different hotel with a UK bonded operator which will probably cost more but I have the reassurance especially with the current ash cloud v flight situation.
 

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Daft Yank
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Just saw it posted on another board that they have officially ceased operations - as posted on their web-site:

"Dear Friends,

It is with a heavy heart and deep regret that we must announce the cessation of operations for Nekton Diving Cruises. Due to the continually increasing cost of operations, decreased discretionary income of consumers, and overall economic difficulty, Nekton is unable to restart cruise operations at this time.

We anticipate to post further information on this page with a point of contact for claims at the middle/beginning of June 2010. We deeply regret all of the inconvenience and disappointment we are causing you, our valued customers.

If you have travel insurance, please use a copy of this announcement for pursuing a claim with your insurer.

Once again, it is with our sincerest apologies, that we must take these steps.

The Former Nekton Team"

Nekton Cruises > Home
 

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Which means...we've legged it with your cash and it is all your fault for not tipping enough, dear customers.

Arses.
 

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To dive or not to dive - that's not even an option
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2,998 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the kind words, the post was more to warn others of our plight, both Terry and I had resigned ourselves to the idea that it was a long shot they would survive this, they had offered so many free trips to people they stung they could have filled the boats for months with non paying customers, it's just so sad they knew they were going down and were still taking peoples money to the bitter end, there is a word for people like that, but those of you who know me also know I'm too polite to put it in print!

This subject would make a good article in one of the dive mags considering our current climate and the potential loses you can suffer, it's something you didn't even think about in the past, but have to now.

At least I have closure and got to do some really good dives in a place I would not normally go to, but has remarkably good diving with lots of artificial wrecks in the 25 to 35m mark and also Bull sharks and turtles as well as the usual reef fish.

Apart from that, I'm still good looking!! LOL

Thanks again.

James
 

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Notice my avatar. I am hard astern.
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This is a story that is not so uncommon in America where divers tend to book trips through dive shops. We often criticise EU laws but we now take for granted the protection we get through booking holiday packages for abroad while based in the UK.
 

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To dive or not to dive - that's not even an option
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2,998 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks John

There are a couple such offers on Scubaboard now. I have contacted them and they seem genuinely willing to help cover the cost of some or all of another trip up to the value of what we lost to Nekton. This is great PR for these guys and something I'm going to look into, though as we spent over £3k making the best we could of this trip it's likely to be next year if they will hold the offer till then.

James
 
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