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  #1  
Old May 1st, 2012, 03:48 PM
jhcrossfield jhcrossfield is offline
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Default Shame on Holland!!!! Never again!

I am to leave tomorrow for a 7 night Alaska cruise I booked and paid in ful for back in Feb. I have a cabin to myself. My mother also booked a cabin for herelf. We each paid twice the per person rate. Both were guarantee outside cabins. Three weeks ago the cruise was showing as sold out. My agent said they should assign the cabins shortly. Well, it was not until yesterday that they did. Why it took 3 weeks on a sold out ship to do so is bad to begin with but what happened today is without excuse!

I got an "emergency" call from my agent. She said that the ship was sold out and that Holland is offering to refund the cruise fare and upgrade us to a balcony cabin in exchange for moving from an outside. At first I was delighted....a FREE cruise and a FREE upgrade, right!? SO WRONG!!!

What Holland "offered" was an upgrade to a balcony cabin for us to SHARE. It was not a "full refund." Rather, they want to credit us with the cruise cost alone, not the port charges or taxes, which I found out are approx. 55% of the total I paid......boy do they make the money off onboard purchases to offset the low fares. So, I said I was not interested. Holland's response was take it or leave it. They were not willing to offer an alternate date, a larger cabin, onboard credit or anything beyond what amounted to 45% of what I paid and we HAD to share the cabin.

Just to give you an idea of what amounts we are talking about, by the time I do one helicopter ride and have wine with a few dinners they've made their "refund" back and more. Now I know the true meaning of a "cheap cruise." This offer was a false or at best nominal concession on their part.

To make matters more interesting, When I paid twice the cruise fare I found out form agent that what they re doing is doubling the fare for singles inclusive of port costs.....but when a single goes they only have to pay those on one person as opposed to the port charges for two that they collect for a single. So, if the cruise is $1,000 per person double, the cabin costs $2,000. If $300 of the $1000 is port charges then Holland pays a total of $600 to the port authorities when two people book the cabin but only $300 when one person books it ..... at the same total price! Why do they have to pocket that extra $300 and "punish" the single traveler. Why not just charge the single for two cruise fares and ONE port charge since that is all they pay out?! Dishonest! I guess that tells one how much they value their clients.....

My question then became about the timing of this notice---the day before the cruise departs! Why did they not let us know something was up three weeks ago when I verified it was sold out and why did they wait until AFTER they already gave us specific cabin assignments.......because they could not care less about their passengers. That's why!

Face it, with Holland America we are nothing more than CARGO that they can fleece for every cent imaginable once onboard! The whole thing is dishonest, deceptive and unprofessional to say the least. DO NOT think that when you are booked on Holland America that you have a cabin---this goes to show that you do not...especially if you book a "guarantee."

My agency I booked with has been around for over 30 yrs and has booked MANY cruises with them. My agent said this makes NO difference. It also makes no difference how many days has with them or one of the other lines they own---I have over 200, most with Seabourn.

Oh, and here's the kicker.....they still won't say what balcony cabin we will be in and the cruise boards in less than 24 hours.....

Holland America .......shame on you!
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  #2  
Old May 1st, 2012, 03:57 PM
styles27 styles27 is offline
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I don't understand about the single/double port fee thing, but that's okay lol

I guess my thought is, why can't you just say, "sorry, we'll keep our cabins" and have that be the end of it?

Our cruise that leaves this Sunday from NYC on the Veendam is also over sold and they've been offering some people on our roll call to switch to another date, plus 25% back...BUT they don't HAVE to take the deal.

I would call my agent and say I'm not accepting the deal, tell them to find someone else and make them an offer.

I don't think they can make you accept the offer. I would call Seattle.
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  #3  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:00 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
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I'm confused also.
Did you initially agree and then want to rescind?
Did your TA not fully understand what the offer was when she first presented it to you and then after you accepted you found out she had not represented it accurately to you?

I don't know how else to understand what happened.
Thanks if you care to clarify.

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  #4  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:03 PM
3rdGenCunarder 3rdGenCunarder is offline
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You've thrown around a lot of numbers and percents and I'm confused.

If I get this right, you booked two cabins, with each of you traveling as a single. So you paid the "single supplement" which I gather was 100%, meaning you paid for two passengers per cabin even though there was just one per cabin. Some sort of single supplement is an industry standard, as you probably know. (I didn't know HAL was charging 100%.)

I get confused on the port taxes/fees. Are you saying that you were charged for TWO sets of fees for your cabin and TWO sets of fees for your mother's cabin? These fees should not have been folded into your cruise fare. My TA always lists them per person on a separate line from the cruise fare. As far as I know, a cruise line can't charge taxes and fees for more than the number of actual passengers in a cabin. And yes, they're high for Alaska. I doubt HAL makes a profit on port taxes.

Aside from the port tax issue, you started out paying for two cabins, and now you've got one cabin. The refund was the price you paid for one of the original cabins that you booked. Is that correct?
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  #5  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:12 PM
kpgibbs kpgibbs is offline
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I have to say I'm confused also.

My question is, why not just share a cabin? I would rather have a balcony and share the room. JMO.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 04:15 PM
styles27 styles27 is offline
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Well I'm glad I wasn't the only one confused.


Sail or 3rgdeneration...can the line force someone to accept an offer? I was under the impression that they can make the offer but we don't have to accept it.

But I've been wrong before...(don't tell my DH I said that)
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  #7  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:16 PM
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OP, whatever it is, enjoy your cruise if there is a cabin assigned for you.
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  #8  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:18 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by styles27 View Post
Well I'm glad I wasn't the only one confused.


Sail or 3rgdeneration...can the line force someone to accept an offer? I was under the impression that they can make the offer but we don't have to accept it.

But I've been wrong before...(don't tell my DH I said that)
No they cannot force you to 'take a deal' unless you have checked 'agree to upgrade' on your booking.
If you have made final payment and have made no agreement otherwise, the cabin you bought and paid for is yours for that cruise.

I'm starting to wonder what the TA did on OP"s behalf that they may not have been fully advised or understand.

TA may have agreed to some 'deal'.
IF, IF, IF that is the case, it complicate the issue.

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  #9  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcrossfield View Post
I am to leave tomorrow for a 7 night Alaska cruise I booked and paid in ful for back in Feb. I have a cabin to myself. My mother also booked a cabin for herelf. We each paid twice the per person rate. Both were guarantee outside cabins. Three weeks ago the cruise was showing as sold out. My agent said they should assign the cabins shortly. Well, it was not until yesterday that they did. Why it took 3 weeks on a sold out ship to do so is bad to begin with but what happened today is without excuse!

I got an "emergency" call from my agent. She said that the ship was sold out and that Holland is offering to refund the cruise fare and upgrade us to a balcony cabin in exchange for moving from an outside. At first I was delighted....a FREE cruise and a FREE upgrade, right!? SO WRONG!!!

What Holland "offered" was an upgrade to a balcony cabin for us to SHARE. It was not a "full refund." Rather, they want to credit us with the cruise cost alone, not the port charges or taxes, which I found out are approx. 55% of the total I paid......boy do they make the money off onboard purchases to offset the low fares. So, I said I was not interested. Holland's response was take it or leave it. They were not willing to offer an alternate date, a larger cabin, onboard credit or anything beyond what amounted to 45% of what I paid and we HAD to share the cabin.

Just to give you an idea of what amounts we are talking about, by the time I do one helicopter ride and have wine with a few dinners they've made their "refund" back and more. Now I know the true meaning of a "cheap cruise." This offer was a false or at best nominal concession on their part.

To make matters more interesting, When I paid twice the cruise fare I found out form agent that what they re doing is doubling the fare for singles inclusive of port costs.....but when a single goes they only have to pay those on one person as opposed to the port charges for two that they collect for a single. So, if the cruise is $1,000 per person double, the cabin costs $2,000. If $300 of the $1000 is port charges then Holland pays a total of $600 to the port authorities when two people book the cabin but only $300 when one person books it ..... at the same total price! Why do they have to pocket that extra $300 and "punish" the single traveler. Why not just charge the single for two cruise fares and ONE port charge since that is all they pay out?! Dishonest! I guess that tells one how much they value their clients.....

My question then became about the timing of this notice---the day before the cruise departs! Why did they not let us know something was up three weeks ago when I verified it was sold out and why did they wait until AFTER they already gave us specific cabin assignments.......because they could not care less about their passengers. That's why!

Face it, with Holland America we are nothing more than CARGO that they can fleece for every cent imaginable once onboard! The whole thing is dishonest, deceptive and unprofessional to say the least. DO NOT think that when you are booked on Holland America that you have a cabin---this goes to show that you do not...especially if you book a "guarantee."

My agency I booked with has been around for over 30 yrs and has booked MANY cruises with them. My agent said this makes NO difference. It also makes no difference how many days has with them or one of the other lines they own---I have over 200, most with Seabourn.

Oh, and here's the kicker.....they still won't say what balcony cabin we will be in and the cruise boards in less than 24 hours.....

Holland America .......shame on you!
So, if you don't accept the verandah, you don't have a cabin. Is that what HAL has offered you? No option to keep the original cabin you booked,which would also mean 2 separate cabins?

I'm not sure I understand their refund offer. Using your example of $2000 per cabin(since you both booked as single) you can get a refund of all of it minus the $300 in port fees for each (total of $3200)of you and then get one verandah cabin for the both of you to share? Keep in mind that these are just the example prices, not what you really paid.

It sounds like a great deal, but doing this at the last minute does not make for very good customer relations. They definitely should have seen that this would be a concern a few weeks ago. And then you still should have been able to keep the 2 cabins if you didn't want to share.

I understand how upset you are and I would also be livid if this happened to us. However, I hope you are able to come to terms with this bump in the road and enjoy the cruise. It will be for your own benefit if you can let go of some of your outrage. Let your agency make HAL aware that you are a very unhappy camper and hopefully they will be able to make up the this huge snafu.
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  #10  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:19 PM
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I've sailed numerous times in a cabin by myself with HAL. I have NEVER been charged double port fees. Never.

As for the offer, I received a similar one as I was boarding the plane to my embarkation port..... two of us travelling solo could be moved into ONE balcony cabin. There was NO offer of any refund of any part of the cruise far. I declined -- I preferred my inside cabin by myself, compared to sharing a balcony with my friend. Simple. I was under no obligation to accept. I think your TA may have either misunderstood, or did not explain in a clear enough manner.

(and as for port fees and taxes being 55% of the fare? That has never been my experience, in 6 or 7 cruises to Alaska)
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  #11  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:20 PM
3rdGenCunarder 3rdGenCunarder is offline
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I know that Alaska port fees and taxes are high. But I just looked back at my records from my Alaska cruise to see what the fees were like. If the fees and taxes made up 55% of the cost of the OP's trip, then he/she got a good price on that original guarantee. If HAL was selling the cabins that cheap, it's no wonder they're overbooked.
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  #12  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:21 PM
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I am sorry that you cruise plans are all up in the air right now, but I think your travel agent needs to do a better job.

I just went through the HAL online booking process to test what is charged. I did it first for 1 person and then for 2 in a cabin, for both an inside an a balcony cabin:
  • For 1 person in a cabin, HAL charges the double the cruise fare + $106 in govt fees and taxes.
  • For 2 person in a cabin, HAL charges the double the cruise fare + $212 in govt fees and taxes.
Nothing funny going on there.
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  #13  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:24 PM
3rdGenCunarder 3rdGenCunarder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVgirl View Post
<snip>
I'm not sure I understand their refund offer. Using your example of $2000 per cabin(since you both booked as single) you can get a refund of all of it minus the $300 in port fees for each (total of $3200)of you and then get one verandah cabin for the both of you to share? Keep in mind that these are just the example prices, not what you really paid.

<snip>
I think what you describe is what the OP thought they were getting--refund of the price of BOTH cabins, and they had to pay only the port fees. But instead, they got a refund of the price of ONE cabin. If that's correct, then they paid the price of one OV guarantee but got one verandah cabin. I think. Wish OP would explain this more clearly.
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Last edited by 3rdGenCunarder; May 1st, 2012 at 04:25 PM. Reason: typo
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  #14  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:27 PM
styles27 styles27 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
No they cannot force you to 'take a deal' unless you have checked 'agree to upgrade' on your booking.
If you have made final payment and have made no agreement otherwise, the cabin you bought and paid for is yours for that cruise.

I'm starting to wonder what the TA did on OP"s behalf that they may not have been fully advised or understand.

TA may have agreed to some 'deal'.
IF, IF, IF that is the case, it complicate the issue.
That's what I thought too.

I think you may be on to something, i.e. the TA either misunderstanding the offer or not presenting it clearly to the OP.

Maybe the TA accepted on behalf of the OP without first getting the OP's approval and is now trying to make it seem like it's HAL saying "take it or leave it".

So many possibilities.

I hope the OP can enjoy the cruise either way.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 04:29 PM
jhcrossfield jhcrossfield is offline
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To be clear:

This was NOT optional. If we want to go on the cruise we must acept their offer share the cabin. My agent verified this twice at my request. She even presented alternatives such as booking another date, etc. Those were expressly refused. So, we either take the cruisefare portion of what was paid as a refund and consolidate to one cabin or we don't go.

One pays cruise fare, port charges and taxes in total---the two of us combined paid what it would cost 4 people to have 2 cabins since the single supplement was 100%. The cruise fare portion of the total was so low that it counted for a little over half of what was charged. The rest was port charges and taxes. The port charges amounted to what they charge 4 people even though only 2 were going and since the taxes were based on the total cruise fare portion of what was paid there is nothing "wrong" with what they charged there.

Anyway, buyer beware.........it's not the way to start a vacation and I do not plan on speding my week fighting it onboard.
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  #16  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:33 PM
3rdGenCunarder 3rdGenCunarder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcrossfield View Post
To be clear:

This was NOT optional. If we want to go on the cruise we must acept their offer share the cabin. My agent verified this twice at my request. She even presented alternatives such as booking another date, etc. Those were expressly refused. So, we either take the cruisefare portion of what was paid as a refund and consolidate to one cabin or we don't go.

One pays cruise fare, port charges and taxes in total---the two of us combined paid what it would cost 4 people to have 2 cabins since the single supplement was 100%. The cruise fare portion of the total was so low that it counted for a little over half of what was charged. The rest was port charges and taxes. The port charges amounted to what they charge 4 people even though only 2 were going and since the taxes were based on the total cruise fare portion of what was paid there is nothing "wrong" with what they charged there.

Anyway, buyer beware.........it's not the way to start a vacation and I do not plan on speding my week fighting it onboard.
Talk to your TA. I don't think HAL is allowed to charge you double port fees. It's a per person fee, not based on your cruise fare, but based on what the ports charge HAL per person.
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1 Caronia - Baltic
1 Princess
2 RCCL
5 NCL - including 2 on SS Norway (RIP)
5 HAL
1 Uniworld River Cruise (Tulips and Windmills)
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  #17  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:33 PM
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FYI---the contract for passage allegedly allows them to do this. If you want to fight it you have to sue in Florida courts due to the forum selection one agrees to as a condition of carriage. Wether or not they can "legally" do this is not something worht debating here. It's simply a very poor business practice at best.
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  #18  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:38 PM
styles27 styles27 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcrossfield View Post
To be clear:

This was NOT optional. If we want to go on the cruise we must acept their offer share the cabin. My agent verified this twice at my request. She even presented alternatives such as booking another date, etc. Those were expressly refused. So, we either take the cruisefare portion of what was paid as a refund and consolidate to one cabin or we don't go.

One pays cruise fare, port charges and taxes in total---the two of us combined paid what it would cost 4 people to have 2 cabins since the single supplement was 100%. The cruise fare portion of the total was so low that it counted for a little over half of what was charged. The rest was port charges and taxes. The port charges amounted to what they charge 4 people even though only 2 were going and since the taxes were based on the total cruise fare portion of what was paid there is nothing "wrong" with what they charged there.

Anyway, buyer beware.........it's not the way to start a vacation and I do not plan on speding my week fighting it onboard.
Ok, if I'm understanding this correctly...HA is not refunding the port charges and taxes that you paid for that extra cabin? (2 pax worth)

So the only refund is the cruise fare portion of that cabin?

If that's so, how is that even legal?
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  #19  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:39 PM
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It seems that the Volendam is the only ship sailing for Alaska tomorrow. When I did a test booking the Govt Fees and Taxes showed as $106 per person.

The fess and taxes are not based on a cruise fare - it is a flat rate and everybody on the ship pays amount.

Are you saying each of you were charged $212 in Govt Fees and Taxes and that your cruise fare was also around $212? That seems very low for Alaska, especially if you paid in February to cruise in May.

This is all very confusing.
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  #20  
Old May 1st, 2012, 04:42 PM
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Default The focus is a bit off.....sorry

Although I do not agree with how Holland characterizes the port fees, cruise fare, single supplement issue, it all amounts to a TOTAL amount paid at the end of the day. I agreed to pay it. What they do with it beyond that, ethical or not, is really not my concern at this point. What gets me is the last mintute news that I am now being forced to share a cabin when I booked a single. I even said I'd take an inside......refused.
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