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  #81  
Old August 20th, 2012, 08:46 PM
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I have cruised Carnival twice and NCL twice. I prefer NCL. You can find great deals with NCL. Give them a try. I am in my early 40's and have seen many people your age group on NCL. Good luck!
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  #82  
Old August 20th, 2012, 09:01 PM
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gone_crusin. Take your money and run!!! So that way you will never have to hear about how Carnival can do no wrong. These Cheerleaders are pathetic!!!
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  #83  
Old August 20th, 2012, 09:09 PM
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It sucks what happened and I wish you well looking for better service. I fear you may not find it, but good luck anyhow. Think of it as playing the field and experiencing new cruises lines and ships....

I have never had a bad experience with Carnival's customer service. I guess I am lucky. Now I know companies with rotten customer service, but if I want to keep listening to satellite radio, well I gotta grin and bear it when it comes to those bumbling idiots at Sirius......
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  #84  
Old August 20th, 2012, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverman View Post
gone_crusin. Take your money and run!!! So that way you will never have to hear about how Carnival can do no wrong. These Cheerleaders are pathetic!!!
You do realize people are mainly pointing out no matter where she goes this problems occurs due ti the CC...right?


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  #85  
Old August 20th, 2012, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Simplertimes View Post

The last cruise, we bought funship dollars ahead of time and had a nice onboard credit built up. I put a credit card as backup, but didn't go over what I had as OBC - got a refund check the last morning.
I might do it this way.

Has anyone ever gifted themselves with funship dollars in advance and then had it not show up on your account once you were on board?
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  #86  
Old August 20th, 2012, 10:35 PM
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Sorry I always do cash, even did cash on Royal too.
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  #87  
Old August 21st, 2012, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by vacruizer View Post
It's tricky - it has to do with how the charge is processed, what clearing house is used for the transacation, and how the transactions line up. It can also depend on the individual bank. But it's actually not Carnival doing it and Carnival has no control over the bank or credit card companies holds on their end. They can run them and get the authorization, but Carnival can't release them. Any bank or CC company telling you otherwise is yanking your chain. (Yes, I'm a banker. )

The most common scenario is that the "holds" over the course of the cruise don't exactly equal the final charge for some reason. This could be a refund, a handwritten drink ticket that doesn't swipe the S&S tied to the card, etc. There's not someone sitting around manually releasing holds. Since it's all done automatically, the charge processes but since it doesn't match the hold it doesn't signal the system to release the hold. At that point the hold sits there anywhere from 3-7 business days waiting for a matching charge to come through. When it doesn't, the hold falls off.

This is pretty standard travel industry practice and isn't just Carnival. It happens with hotels, rental cars, and it's becoming more common with gas stations. Many restaurants here are now pre-authorizing an additional 20% hold to cover a tip that may be added and you have the same scenario where the hold hangs around an extra 5 days or so because it didn't exactly match the charge. Most people don't notice that one, though, since the numbers are much smaller.

It's to the service provider's benefit to run the authorizations and place the holds, otherwise they get "stiffed" way too much when the final charge is rejected due to over the limit or lack of funds issues. It's the modern day equivalent of making sure they don't get a bad check.

A good rule of thumb when dealing with travel related charges is to always have double what you spend in either available credit or cash in the account. Triple is even better. I know that sounds crazy, but it it covers the holds, the charge, and gives you a cushion in case of any type emergency while travelling where you may need funds quickly.

Oh, as to the refund issue. It sucks, but is industry standard for anyone who processes credit cards. It cuts down fraud on their end (you'd be surprised what people come up with and if they issue a check and it gets cashed it's gone if someone got it fraudulently.) You'll find this anywhere from Walmart to Carnival to Lowes. Unless it's a nominal sum (like under $20 or so) the refund goes back the same method it was paid and to the same card it was paid. That way someone can't put a dispute in on their card saying they didn't get their refund when it was actually issued by check. Easier to track. We all pay in the banking world for the idiots that do fraudulent stuff. Sad, but it makes everyone's life more difficult.
Well said Mr Banker. I have used cc for decades and well aware as to how they work. I do agree that the thieves have made life harder for all of us. The fraud units at banks and cc issuers is much better though than past and the text messages they can send out about the card use is great.
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  #88  
Old August 21st, 2012, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Gailerina View Post
You do realize people are mainly pointing out no matter where she goes this problems occurs due ti the CC...right?


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  #89  
Old August 21st, 2012, 01:38 AM
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OP you may find that your refund goes on the cancelled card. I once returned some merchandise that I bought on a card that I had since cancelled. Shortly after I sent in the return, I got an email from the CC saying my statement was ready. When I went to the site to check, I had a credit on my closed account. I called them and they sent me a check for the balance. I didn't even have to speak to anyone because getting a check issued for a statement credit was a menu option. I had my check in a few days. This was with Bank of America.

As for other cruise lines to try, you may want to give NCL a whirl. We have been on NCL once. My biggest complaint is that the desserts were really bad across the board in the MDR. They were all gelatinous. It was really weird. I have to think that they would fix a problem that big. I have not seen others complain about it on the boards--but I did hear complaints on the ship. We have also done Princess several times and Celebrity once. They are more sedate than NCL or Carnival but definitely worth trying. We are in your same age group. I would love to try Royal but I can never find a good deal on their big ships.
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  #90  
Old August 21st, 2012, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacruizer View Post
It's tricky - it has to do with how the charge is processed, what clearing house is used for the transacation, and how the transactions line up. It can also depend on the individual bank. But it's actually not Carnival doing it and Carnival has no control over the bank or credit card companies holds on their end. They can run them and get the authorization, but Carnival can't release them. Any bank or CC company telling you otherwise is yanking your chain. (Yes, I'm a banker. )

The most common scenario is that the "holds" over the course of the cruise don't exactly equal the final charge for some reason. This could be a refund, a handwritten drink ticket that doesn't swipe the S&S tied to the card, etc. There's not someone sitting around manually releasing holds. Since it's all done automatically, the charge processes but since it doesn't match the hold it doesn't signal the system to release the hold. At that point the hold sits there anywhere from 3-7 business days waiting for a matching charge to come through. When it doesn't, the hold falls off.

This is pretty standard travel industry practice and isn't just Carnival. It happens with hotels, rental cars, and it's becoming more common with gas stations. Many restaurants here are now pre-authorizing an additional 20% hold to cover a tip that may be added and you have the same scenario where the hold hangs around an extra 5 days or so because it didn't exactly match the charge. Most people don't notice that one, though, since the numbers are much smaller.

It's to the service provider's benefit to run the authorizations and place the holds, otherwise they get "stiffed" way too much when the final charge is rejected due to over the limit or lack of funds issues. It's the modern day equivalent of making sure they don't get a bad check.

A good rule of thumb when dealing with travel related charges is to always have double what you spend in either available credit or cash in the account. Triple is even better. I know that sounds crazy, but it it covers the holds, the charge, and gives you a cushion in case of any type emergency while travelling where you may need funds quickly.

Oh, as to the refund issue. It sucks, but is industry standard for anyone who processes credit cards. It cuts down fraud on their end (you'd be surprised what people come up with and if they issue a check and it gets cashed it's gone if someone got it fraudulently.) You'll find this anywhere from Walmart to Carnival to Lowes. Unless it's a nominal sum (like under $20 or so) the refund goes back the same method it was paid and to the same card it was paid. That way someone can't put a dispute in on their card saying they didn't get their refund when it was actually issued by check. Easier to track. We all pay in the banking world for the idiots that do fraudulent stuff. Sad, but it makes everyone's life more difficult.
You seem to be the one to answer this so how do you explain how they tied up $2500 of the OP's credit card when she only spent $375.

Even going by your rule of thumb of 3 times what she spent that would only be $1125.

This is from another thread from the OP.

"I just checked this morning and the final bill for $370 has been posted. However, all the pending charges from whole the cruise are still on hold ..... Including the $370 for final bill.

So let's tally this up.
Carnival has $2100 on pending holds AND $370 for the final payment. That's $2500 on my credit as of right now....3 days after my cruise. When the @$&@ do they plan on releasing the holds? They now have their money for gods sake! "


Bill
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  #91  
Old August 21st, 2012, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by gone_cruisin View Post

Can anyone recommend a suitable cruise line for 30/40 years olds at a comparable price and itineraries?

Thank you
First let me say I am really sorry that you got stuck in June with a basic nightmare.

As for your question re another cruise line, I have yet to find one that has prices comparable to Carnival.

I spent much more on Celebrity (which I liked very much); some more on HAL & Norwegian (which I will probably not cruise with again; and some more on Royal Caribbean (which I liked and would like to try them again).
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  #92  
Old August 21st, 2012, 06:08 AM
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Somthing just dosn't seam right in all of this. First question i would have is what day of the week did cruise comeback. If it were a Saturday or Sunday, then there most likly was nothing anyone in Miami could do that day. Second is it seams this all came about over getting a rental car after deembraktion. Seeing as the OP was using the same CC as she had on the cruise, were there other unpaided charges, from before the cruise. Cause from what I am reading had she gotten the rental car and hotel in Boston. Then gotten home, the holds would have been off in a few days, and there would not have been any problems.
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  #93  
Old August 21st, 2012, 06:58 AM
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I have a question. I have to put a credit card into my booking to finalise my cruise personaliser. Which I have done. However, if I put cash on my onboard account when I first board. Will they still apply holds to my credit card?
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  #94  
Old August 21st, 2012, 07:54 AM
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I have a question. I have to put a credit card into my booking to finalise my cruise personaliser. Which I have done. However, if I put cash on my onboard account when I first board. Will they still apply holds to my credit card?
I had a $100 hold show up on my cc account from the cruise I cancelled in May (we cancelled the morning of the cruise.) It of course dropped off in a few days since I wasn't on the ship spending money and no charges came through. So yes, they are now doing an initial pre-authorization hold the day of boarding to the card you registered with. When we did get to sail again in July, they no longer needed to swipe my card in the terminal - they just used my online info.
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  #95  
Old August 21st, 2012, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by S.S.Oceanlover View Post
You seem to be the one to answer this so how do you explain how they tied up $2500 of the OP's credit card when she only spent $375.

Even going by your rule of thumb of 3 times what she spent that would only be $1125.

This is from another thread from the OP.

"I just checked this morning and the final bill for $370 has been posted. However, all the pending charges from whole the cruise are still on hold ..... Including the $370 for final bill.

So let's tally this up.
Carnival has $2100 on pending holds AND $370 for the final payment. That's $2500 on my credit as of right now....3 days after my cruise. When the @$&@ do they plan on releasing the holds? They now have their money for gods sake! "

Bill
Without being able to see the actual list of holds and charges, this ones tough to answer. One scenario that comes to mind, although unlikely, would be a large purchase followed by a return (in the jewelry store for instance.) I've always thought it was a bit crazy that a charge can authorize with the hold, but a refund doesn't remove a hold. So those times when a merchant swipes a card, messes up, processes a refund, then re-swipes a card can really mess people up.

Another thought, and I apologize if this might have been explained already and I missed it, is if you let a CC or debit card carry the charges all week on a card and then went to guest services the last night and paid the account down partially in cash. The holds would still be there, the final charge wouldn't match the holds, and then you have the mess the OP is in.

The two to three times your funds needed is a good rule of thumb, but isn't fool-proof.
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  #96  
Old August 21st, 2012, 08:07 AM
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Sorry you had such a bad experience. But sadly, holds are everywhere. All our local gas stations have an automatic $99 hold EACH time you slide your cc in the gas pump. $99 is the most you can pump in one transaction, so they do a check to make sure they can get the max amount if you pump that much. It usually clears off within 24-48 hours with the actual charge immediate. I only found this out because they were having a problem with the pump and we slid our card multiple times trying to get it to work. While standing at the pump doing this, my phone rang. It was the cc company calling to see if all the holds/possible charges were legit! Went inside to see what was going on and was explained the process. My advice: Up your cc limit. Holds won't be a problem.
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  #97  
Old August 21st, 2012, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by icat2000 View Post
However, if I put cash on my onboard account when I first board. Will they still apply holds to my credit card?
Good question! I understand the need for a back up form of payment in addition to cash, but would they delay the hold until the card is needed?
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  #98  
Old August 21st, 2012, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Silverman View Post
gone_crusin. Take your money and run!!! So that way you will never have to hear about how Carnival can do no wrong. These Cheerleaders are pathetic!!!
Not quite as pathetic as HATERS !
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  #99  
Old August 21st, 2012, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by NewKansasKruiser View Post
Sorry you had such a bad experience. But sadly, holds are everywhere. All our local gas stations have an automatic $99 hold EACH time you slide your cc in the gas pump. $99 is the most you can pump in one transaction, so they do a check to make sure they can get the max amount if you pump that much. It usually clears off within 24-48 hours with the actual charge immediate. I only found this out because they were having a problem with the pump and we slid our card multiple times trying to get it to work. While standing at the pump doing this, my phone rang. It was the cc company calling to see if all the holds/possible charges were legit! Went inside to see what was going on and was explained the process. My advice: Up your cc limit. Holds won't be a problem.
Woah!!!! My gas station does a dollar hold. Wow. Though I only use a bank card, not sure if that matters.


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  #100  
Old August 21st, 2012, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by gone_cruisin View Post
This thread is not meant to be a Carnival bashing or cheering for another cruise line, as I have only cruised Carnival and loved them....until the last few months. While their product is still a great value and their ship personnel are the best, their customer service at HDQ is the worst! I would love to continue cruising with them, but I fear if I do, it will continue to be a financial disaster for us.

Here is my story:

My June cruise was fabalous!!!! Until I got off the ship. Carnivals cc hold practices (and yes they are carnivals, not my cc) put me and my bf in a serious situation at Boston aiport. (see thread http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1658365). We were stuck in Boston without an available cc to rent a car or get a hotel. We had to call our parents to use their cards. When I spoke with Customer Care, I basically told 1) we didn't do that and then after they realized they did rack up our holds 2) we're sorry but there is nothing we can do for you....this is just our practices.

Today we had to cancel our November cruise. We made weekly payments on various cc and debit cards. One of the cc is now cancelled. The other cc have a zero balance. We tried to get Carnival to refund us in another method (check, all into the checking accounts), but we were once again told, sorry this is our practices. We were told it's not their problem that an $1000 credit will sit on our credit cards. As far as the cancelled card, they will still process the refund and when they get the rejection, they will contact me then to schedule a check refund which would take 6-8 weeks to process. Ugh!

I spoke to multiple supervisors and explained over and over again the problems I've had with Carnival and their financial practices with customers, but my complaints fall on deaf ears. I can no longer afford for Carnival to just hold my money as they wish.

I told the supervisor to immediately cancel my Revently booked aft wrap Breeze cruise and that I will never spend one red cent on Carnival again.

Sadly I will need to start looking for another cruise line that can provide me the value and entertainment that Carnival could (and hopefully have better customer service).

Again, this thread is meant to educate people of how badly Carnival treats their customers. I am not a troll, nor am I one to just spout off over the littlest things. I am (or was) a loyal customer for the last 10 years that is tired of battling Carnival when it comes to my money.

Feel free to comment, and I'm sure that I will get many sarcastic "see ya" or "bye" comments. All I ask is that you read my thread link first and maybe you'll understand my frustration level with them.

Can anyone recommend a suitable cruise line for 30/40 years olds at a comparable price and itineraries?

Thank you
Not sure if this has been addressed but once the credit hits your credit card with the zero balance you can call the credit card company and they will send you a check. I know it's pain but that's how it's done. I was got a refund from Great Wolf Lodge after paying off that credit card. Their policy is to refund to the card used so I had to let them do it and just called my credit card company for the refund from that.
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