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!