What happens if only one person cancels?

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#1
Wheaton, IL
4,864 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
We are traveling with family and have reserved two cabins. One of the passengers in the other cabin has bought cruise insurance as she may need to cancel due to health reasons. My question - what happens to the other passenger? I have heard that for some cruiselines, not only won't they refund the money for the passenger who cancelled (which will be covered by insurance), but they then tack on a single supplement to the remaining passenger. This sounds tremendously unethical but I have heard it happens.

1) Does this really happen? (we are going on RCCL)
2) If it does, is there any insurance that would cover the single supplement for the remaining passenger?

If the answers are yes and no, then we are thinking of buying that passenger insurance with the thought of cancelling his reservation and bringing him into our room (he is our adult son). But of course we are concerned about the ship refusing to do that for some reason (capacity maybe) and of course it is not nearly as desirable as his keeping the second room.
#2
Tacoma, Wa, USA
7,944 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
You option of purchasing insurance to cover the passenger who is still cruising is not possible now. That would fall under the pre-existing conditions clause (the other passenger already has medical issues) which would affect this cruiser also. Therefore any claim would be denied due to the other passengers cancellation
To cover for pre-existing conditions, insurance must be purchased within XX number of days after initial deposit.
#4
New Mexico
14,262 Posts
Joined May 2004
The answers are yes and yes.

The remaining passenger will be re-fared at a single rate. Depending on when this occurs, the cancelling passengers will get part of the fare back from the cruiseline and the remainder from the insurance.

Most if not all travel policies include coverage for the cancellation of a traveling companion (they pay the increased fare if a travelling companion cancels for a covered reason). Do note, however, that the medical reason must be a covered reason, and all polices have an exclusion for pre-existing medical conditions unless one plans ahead and purchases the policy in time to have that waived and/or with a clean lookback period.

BTW--The fare policy is not at all unethical, and is clearly spelled out in the cancellation penalties section of the cruise contract. People seem to think of cruises like standard hotel reservations, but they are pre-paid travel/tours, not a room for the night.
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#5
New Mexico
14,262 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by phoenix_dream
We actually currently do have the insurance on the second passenger, but our travel agent is questioning whether we need it.
Maybe we need to hear more specifics of when the cruise is and what type of insurance, but it sounds as if you also need a TA that can explain how things work a little better. The second person needs insurance IF they would stay in the room by themselves. If they would instead move into the room with you (assuming there is capacity at that time) they may not need the cancellation insurance, but it depends on when this happens. The cruiseline could call this a cancellation of the first room and a re-booking into your room, depending on when it happens and how much of a downgrade it is. They also could decide to let it slide.....
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#6
Wheaton, IL
4,864 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by cherylandtk
The answers are yes and yes.

The remaining passenger will be re-fared at a single rate. Depending on when this occurs, the cancelling passengers will get part of the fare back from the cruiseline and the remainder from the insurance.

Most if not all travel policies include coverage for the cancellation of a traveling companion (they pay the increased fare if a travelling companion cancels for a covered reason). Do note, however, that the medical reason must be a covered reason, and all polices have an exclusion for pre-existing medical conditions unless one plans ahead and purchases the policy in time to have that waived and/or with a clean lookback period.

BTW--The fare policy is not at all unethical, and is clearly spelled out in the cancellation penalties section of the cruise contract. People seem to think of cruises like standard hotel reservations, but they are pre-paid travel/tours, not a room for the night.
First, thank you for the info. I do not see anything in our travel insurance that addresses this situation at all. It only mentions cancellations, it does not say anything about helping to pay for a single supplement or any additional charges. I have a call into my travel agent to clarify that point.

I think we need to agree to disagree on the unethical point. I agree that is it spelled out, and therefore legal, for them to do what they are doing. I do not agree that they should be taking double the fare, which is in essence what happens if one passenger has to cancel at the last minute. I could even see adding some additional charge to address the loss of extras that passenger might buy, but to charge the entire single supplement when they already have in hand the fare from the first person?? I remain of the opinion that it is an unethical practice.
#7
Wheaton, IL
4,864 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by cherylandtk
Maybe we need to hear more specifics of when the cruise is and what type of insurance, but it sounds as if you also need a TA that can explain how things work a little better. The second person needs insurance IF they would stay in the room by themselves. If they would instead move into the room with you (assuming there is capacity at that time) they may not need the cancellation insurance, but it depends on when this happens. The cruiseline could call this a cancellation of the first room and a re-booking into your room, depending on when it happens and how much of a downgrade it is. They also could decide to let it slide.....
Thank you. I do have a call into my TA. Unfortunately he is pretty inexperienced (to put it kindly) and I do not have alot of confidence he even understands my questions, let alone will get me the correct answers, which is why I thought I would put up a posting and see what others know about this.
#8
Richardson, TX
71,088 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Well, it is always about the same price for hotels too, for one person or two and people never say its unethical?? All cabins on a ship are based on double occupancy. Vacations when you see them priced, say to Disneyland will show a price per person, the small print says based on double occupancy.

As far as moving the person, are you past final payment?? He would have to cancel and lose his money perhaps, and your cabin would have to be a triple. Im assuming you have a 3rd bed to move him into your cabin?

I think you need to discuss this with your TA there are so many questions I have before myself or anyone here could give you more than ideas, when you need answers, not what ifs.
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#9
New Mexico
14,262 Posts
Joined May 2004
OK, the ethics question aside , let's see if we can deal with the insurance. What policy to you have? And how soon is your cruise?
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#10
Northern VA
2,451 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Is there someone else in the family or a friend of your son's who would want to come along? I believe you can change the name on a ressie up until a certain number of days before sailing. If the original 2nd pax cancels, maybe you/he could find someone else to come along, maybe offering to help them pay some of the way for being the last minute addition--better than paying the full single pax rate. Just a thought.
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#11
Moon Township, Pa
23,132 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
If you've already paid in full for the cruise, then nothing will happen with the person who's still going on the cruise. They will not tack on the single supplement because the cruise line already has their money from the second person, and the cruise line is not the one who will be giving the refund---the insurance company will. If you haven't made final payment, then things change. Your son will have the single supplement tacked on unless he can find someone else to share the cabin. As for finding an insurance to cover the single supplement, there isn't anything to specifically cover that---you just purchase insurance to cover the entire amount of the cruise fare, including the single supplement. When a solo cruiser purchases insurance, they just cover the entire amount of the cruise, including the single supplement. For instance, I recently booked a cruise as a solo. The fare was $2200, plus 25% for the supplement, for a total of $2750 and that's what I'm insured for.
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Darcie
#12
New Mexico
14,262 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by kitty9
If you've already paid in full for the cruise, then nothing will happen with the person who's still going on the cruise. They will not tack on the single supplement because the cruise line already has their money from the second person, and the cruise line is not the one who will be giving the refund---the insurance company will....
Darcie, I don't think this part is exactly right; after final payment date the cruiseline still gives partial refunds up to 7-14 days prior to the cruise, and thus they will refund a portion to the cancelling passenger, and when they do that, they always re-fare the remaining passenger.

When the penalty is 100%, there have been reports both ways. Most often they still go ahead and re-fare the remaining passenger. Thus the frequent advice for the uninsured to just be a no-show rather than a late cancellation.

It seems odd to many that the cruiseline can and does essentially charge three fares for one room (100% penalty + 200% single rate fare) in this sort of case. But it helps to consider it this way, when they give a partial refund of 25% for a late cancellation by one person in a double, they don't just charge the remaining person the 25% that was refunded to the cancelling passenger. The cruiseline gets 275% (75% penalty+ 200% single fare) of the rate for the same room. Just because they have already received the equivalent of full payment for two fares does not mean they don't tack on single fare supplements.
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#13
Pa, NJ
17,498 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
I actually had this happen when we had two cabins and my wife's aunt had to cancel due to illness and she shared the cabin with my MIL.

Basically, you have paid the cabin fares therefore whoever does go has the cabin to themselves. The cruise line should not recalculate the fare since you have already paid for the cruise. The person who doesn't go collects from the insurance company. Cruise line basically has nothing to do with it other than someone should notify them that the other person is not going...
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Don
#14
New Mexico
14,262 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by dkjretired
The cruise line should not recalculate the fare since you have already paid for the cruise...
That is what I originally thought, but there have also been posts about being charged the supplement (Princess and Carnival specifically). As said earlier, there have been reports both ways, and I don't doubt yours at all, but just that it can go the other way, too.
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#15
Cincinnati, OH
8,458 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
My daughter's friend cancelled a couple weeks before one of our cruises and we just did her as a no show because the cabin was already paid for. There was no single supplement charge because we did pay for two in the cabin. Insurance paid the other fare and we did receive some fees back.
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#16
Moon Township, Pa
23,132 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
I've had this happen and was never, ever charged a single supplement.
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Darcie
#17
5,518 Posts
Joined May 2004
OP, I think a real concern would be "yanking our son to stay in our cabin". (Sorry if I didn't quote this correctly. It's easy to say, but probably not doable if you don't have a Triple or Quad cabin. You just can't plop someone on your cabin floor. Good luck!
#18
Richardson, TX
71,088 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Some times it works out cheaper for the person who isnt going to be a no show. OP you guys should price it out both ways.
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#19
Wheaton, IL
4,864 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by insuranceagent
Actually, the answers are yes, and yes. I've seen it happen many times. It is the reason why the second answer is yes too. Most third party insurance policies have a single supplement upgrade benefit that will pay if one party cancels for a covered reason and the insured person who is not cancelling is charged an upgraded occupancy charge. Here is wording from one policy:

Single Occupancy Coverage: The Company will reimburse You, up to the maximum shown on Your Confirmation of Benefits, for the additional cost incurred during the Trip as a result of a change in the per person occupancy rate for prepaid travel arrangements if a person booked to share accommodations with You has his/her Trip delayed, canceled, or interrupted for a covered reason and You do not cancel.
Can you tell me what insurance company offers a policy with this wording? My TA says he does not know of any. thanks
#20
Wheaton, IL
4,864 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
My TA told me that what the cruise company chooses to do very often just depends on who you happen to get on the phone and how much they want to work with you. So we wanted to know worst case scenario.

He said technically, they can absolutely charge you the single supplement if only one of the passengers cancels. Also, he said if we want to move our son to our cabin, most likely they would not charge us any cancellation penalty for the original cabin, but would "re-fare" our cabin for all three of us. So, it is very possible that if our ship was almost full, we could end up paying more for our fares as well. In the end, it might be less than a single supplement, but we can't just move him without penalty. That doesn't seem fair to me (meaning, re-doing our rates), but ......

He also said that if we kept my son's insurance, if his room partner needs to cancel (using her insurance), he can also cancel his reservation and get reimbursed via his insurance, and then we can do the rebooking and re-fare for our room. It could still cost us more, but with the reimbursement for the first room via his insurance we should still be ahead. So that is our plan.

Thank you all for your input!