Would a cancellation fee change your booking habits?

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Poll: Would a cancellation fee change your booking habits?
Poll Results
Would a cancellation fee change your booking habits?

Yes, I would start booking closer to departure.
91
32.73%

Yes, I'd stop booking cruises because there are too many hidden costs.
10
3.60%

Maybe, it depends on the amount of the fee.
49
17.63%

Maybe, if I couldn't book a similar cruise on a line with no fee.
32
11.51%

No, $50 is chump change compared to the cruise fare.
33
11.87%

No, I only book mainstream lines that don't have these fees.
55
19.78%

No, I never cancel a cruise once I've booked.
23
8.27%

None of the above -- I'll post below.
7
2.52%

Multiple Choice Poll.

Voters: 278.  You may not vote on this poll.

#1
589 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Azamara Club Cruises just instituted a new charge -- a $50-per-booking "administrative fee" for travelers who cancel their cruises, cruisetours or pre-/post-hotel packages 91 days or more prior to departure. Turns out Regent Seven Seas and SeaDream Yacht Club have similar fees for canceling a cruise prior to final deposit. Get all the information in our news item: http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3792

The cruise lines have been pretty quiet about these extra charges and we want to know -- now that you're alerted to these policies, will that change the way you book? Share your opinions in our poll.
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Erica Silverstein
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#2
81,182 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
No. We would continue to book in the same fashion we have for many years. It is very, very rare for us to cancel a booked cruise.

We have done so when we learned I needed very serious surgery but a cancellation fee would have been the least of our concerns at that point.

If the fee is within a reasonable range, we would roll with it.
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#3
10 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
In general I don't make reservations that have cancellation fees unless it is short notice. I avoid those cancellation fees even in that situation. In short, if there are cancellation fees, I look hard for another option.
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#4
Greenville, SC, USA
51,264 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
We have taken about 20 cruises and never canceled one. Many we have booked 18 to 24 months in advance. So, no, a cancelation fee would not bother me.
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Paul
#6
Dallas, Texas
4,502 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I believe Carnival has a lower fare with a cancellation penalty. You can book with this lower fare and pay a penalty if you cancel, or book with higher fare with no cancellation penalty. But, heck, airlines have been doing this for decades now.
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#7
7,177 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by Jimnbigd
I believe Carnival has a lower fare with a cancellation penalty. You can book with this lower fare and pay a penalty if you cancel, or book with higher fare with no cancellation penalty. But, heck, airlines have been doing this for decades now.

Yes, with Carnival it is called Early Saver program. Works very well for the passengers that take the time to actually read their cruise documents. I am on my second booking under ES and am very happy with the way it works. The benefit is that you get price drop, cash back, OBC or upgrades up until 2 days before the cruise date. All other forms of booking Carnival has started no refunds or OBC after final payment.
#8
Santa Fe, New Mexico
1,141 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Booking a cruise takes time of a paid employee, telephone services, etc. Cancelling that cruise and then having to book another person into the room costs too.

In these days of tight budgets for business, why not expect this fee. It forces cruisers to get serious, not just be "dreaming" and then not perform.
#9
Fortaleza, Brazil
1,560 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Easy answer: it depends. As with airlines, one looks at the bottom line, as well as chances of cancellation. Would you pay $60 more for one cruise line to avoid a possible $50 cancellation fee on another? I wouldn't. We all buy airline tix with cancellation fees. It's possible to largely avoid these, but often by paying more for the initial ticket. A cancellation fee is one fee-- and a hypothetical, not certain one-- among many others. I'm not familiar with this particular cruise line, so have no idea whatsoever if I'd use them. And there's always trip insurance in case of cancellation.
#10
Shrewsbury, UK
909 Posts
Joined May 2009
Here in the UK we have a very effective cancellation fee! You pay your deposit when you book - usually around 10% of the total cost - and then if you subsequently cancel you lose the entire deposit which can be hundreds of pounds... So cancellation fees would not change most Uk-ers' behaviour as we have to be almost certain that we want to go on the holiday before booking or else risk losing a lot of £££
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#11
1,243 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by TKS
Booking a cruise takes time of a paid employee, telephone services, etc. Cancelling that cruise and then having to book another person into the room costs too.

In these days of tight budgets for business, why not expect this fee. It forces cruisers to get serious, not just be "dreaming" and then not perform.
ITA! There is a lot of "behind the scenes" work that travel agency employees do when and after a booking is made. A lot of people don't understand that or don't care.
#12
105,202 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We had to cancel 2 HAL cruises due to major damage to our house because of the snows.

Any fee HAL would apply for cancellation would be all right with us -- there is no way we could/can go on a cruise with a house in ruins.
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#13
Cleveland, OH
424 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Who cares? $50 isn't much compared to the cost of the cruise, and is still less than the cancellation fee for nearly every airline. I don't know what surprises me more - that this fee didn't already exist, that this is actually newsworthy, or that anyone seems to be upset by it.
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#14
Canberra, Australia
140 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
We're cruising in July, paid the required deposit of $1,700 last December. To the best of my knowledge, if we cancelled the cruise any time after that, the deposit would be lost (unless our travel insurance covered the situation).
So, no, paying $50 wouldn't be a really big deal to me - if it meant the actual deposit would be refunded.
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#15
764 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I always purchase 3rd party insurance for any of my travel. If there is a possibility of a cancelation fee I make sure that I purchase within the timeframe to cover preexisting conditions.

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#16
Loves Landing, Weirsdale, FL
2,927 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
A lot of companies do cancellation fees. My husband and I booked a tour while on a cruise once and decided to cancel and do something on our own. There was a $40 cancellation fee we paid.

So no if they had a cancellation fee it wouldn't be a big deal. We haven't yet had to cancel a cruise and if we did we would have a good reason. I would think the fee would be the least of our problems.
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#17
Richardson, TX
71,088 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
I quite using a TA who started charging a $25 pp change/cancel fee. If there is a price drop, it could cancel out the price drop if its only a small one.

It was enough to book direct, which I prefer anyway... even though the TA discounts.

When you count up all the chances for fees, like now Carnival you owe $50 pp change fee with their ES rates, plus the $25 pp change fee .. or you can lose your deposit if you dont rebook ... I try to not get into any more situations than i have to, and to avoid all these fees.

of course I never book intending to change ... but things could change in my life with elderly parents.
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#18
New York State
2,652 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
A cancellation fee "might" change our cruise booking habits depending upon the fee.

We stopped using the TA we'd previously used for booking cruises when they instituted a policy of non-refundable deposits for cancelled cruises.

We've yet to ever cancel a cruise we've booked, but we often book a year or more ahead of time and one never really knows what can happen between booking and final payment date. A cruiselines $50 pp fee for cancelling isn't likely to deter us from our booking early but say $250 pp or more would certainly have us thinking twice about booking so early. If we were attempting to choose between two different cruiselines with dates, itineraries, and prices that were very similiar a cancellation fee by one of those cruiselines would certainly be a consideration in which line we chose to book far ahead.

Be it the airlines or hotels, ect. when booking far ahead we always give more consideration to booking a reservation that can be changed or cancelled without paying a fee or loosing our entire payment then one with a cancellation fee. That's not to say we don't sometimes still make the choice to book the one with the fees but it is something we take into consideration before making our decision.
#19
Lower Mainland,BC canada
2,792 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
The '' f e e '' concept has been around for over 15 years now......TA charge them, airlines charge them, resorts charge them,ect,etc....so long as it is identified with a scenario which creates add-on work coupled with a loss of revenues for the provider, AND the fee is reasonnble....it is parts and parcel of doing business in the 21st century.
I'm actually surprised the cruise industry is perhaps the last one to react .
Exhorbitant fees are like exhorbitant costs: worth combatting and fighting for. Reasonnable fees are like reasonnable costs: it's what you pay for what you get.

As well, there is the old adage.....'' nothing, but NOTHING is ever free''.

Cheers
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#20
502 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Let's hope that this will stop the early bookings that know full well they are going to change the booking when the price drops!
As has been stated we in the UK have to lose ALL our deposit if we play that game.
Now perhaps we can have a more even playing field.