Booking Shorex with Concierge

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#1
East Liverpool, Ohio USA
40 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
My TA has given me very generous onboard credits for upcoming Amsterdam and Noordam cruises. In the past I always purchased excursions pre cruise. If I pre-book excursions it appears my credit card will be charged. (Different from Princess policy). Not a big problem BUT Obviously I'd rather pay for them with credits. I know from past experience some excursions sell out before cruise and I don't want to be disappointed. Is Concierge able to book whatever excursions I choose even if online booking shows it to be sold out?
Thank You for your input
Cathy
#2
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
28,376 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
If there are no seats available, the concierge can't book you on to an excursion.

Will your OBC cover your hotel service charges? That is the first consumer of OBC.
#3
9,407 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
For one shorex, we were told at the Shorex desk we were #17 and #18 on the wait list. By the next day, we had tickets -- the concierge informed us that we had cleared the wait list..... hmmmm...... Another shorex, we asked the concierge, and she said the specific time we wanted was sold out, yet within 10 minutes space became available for us.... hmmmmmm......

So do Neptune Suite pax get preferential treatment for shorex? Possibly but I would not count on it.

If there is one you REALLY REALLY want to do, and are getting feedback that it often sells out, I would not risk missing out. I'd book the most popular and pay now, and take my chances on others once onboard, to use the OBC.
#4
105,534 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
PS and NS passengers do not get preferential treatment!!

Once we tried to book a shore excursion -- sold out -- couldn't even get our names on a wait list.

A couple of times we have looked at the dinner menus and weren't impresses. Tried to get into the Pinnacle -- no go.
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#5
Toronto,Ont.Canada
493 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Agree with CruiseBruce.If you want an excursion that is available online "book it Dano"
Use your OBC for payment of daily service charges or specialty dining.
#6
81,363 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by osubuckeyemom
My TA has given me very generous onboard credits for upcoming Amsterdam and Noordam cruises. In the past I always purchased excursions pre cruise. If I pre-book excursions it appears my credit card will be charged. (Different from Princess policy). Not a big problem BUT Obviously I'd rather pay for them with credits. I know from past experience some excursions sell out before cruise and I don't want to be disappointed. Is Concierge able to book whatever excursions I choose even if online booking shows it to be sold out?
Thank You for your input
Cathy

If the excursion is full, there are no seats and concierge cannot book you.
Same holds for Pinnacle. It hasn't happened often but at least once we asked for a last minute reservation and concierge could not get us a table. That is rare and usually we are successful but it is not promised.

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#7
Space Coast FL
25,000 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Not all excursions are "limited capacity". Pre-book those "must do" that are marked as limited and leave the others until you are on board.
#8
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
28,376 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Most all excursions have some limit. A bus tour only seats X people. A tour guide can only manage Y people. Yes, another bus or guide could be added, but HAL and the vender are going to have to be convinced the majority of that bus (or additional tour)will sell also.

That is further logic that Suite pax don't get priority. If a bus has X seats, and they are sold, you can't squeeze in two additional people who happen to be in suites. Now if HAL saves a couple of seats to allow late booking Suite pax to grab them, maybe, but that might run the risk of never selling them, or they could go to waitlisted people. Doable, but a lot of extra work. Extra work that would make Suite pax feel more special...
#9
Milwaukee, WI 53201
13,760 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
The concierge will do her/his best.

If the tour is sold out, pick something else.
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#10
Space Coast FL
25,000 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by CruiserBruce
Yes, another bus or guide could be added, but HAL and the vender are going to have to be convinced the majority of that bus (or additional tour)will sell also.
There could be many instances where the number of buses required is determined by the number of seats sold rather than the other way around.
#11
81,363 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by jtl513
There could be many where the number of buses required is determined by the number of seats sold rather than the other way around.

Years ago, we traveled to Europe with two other couples.
We decided we would ride HAL's bus to Rome for our day there but go off on our own. It gave us peace of mind to not miss the ship should we be held up in traffic returning to the ship as it is a fair distance out.

I faxed (in those days) our sign up sheet for DH and me on Monday and received receipt from HAL of the credit card charge. Couple number two in our group sent theirs on Thursday and the third couple on Friday. We all received dated receipts.

We arrived at the ship and their pink excursion envelopes contained tickets. Our envelope said 'wait list'. I went to the concierge with the three receipts in hand and said if anyone should be waitlisted it should be anyone who faxed their form after we did but we, the first to send it, were waitlisted. They tried to stumble around about first come first served but I had the 'evidence'.

Later that day we were advised they put on an additional bus and we would all have seats.

Take from that story whatever.

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#12
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
28,376 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by jtl513
There could be many instances where the number of buses required is determined by the number of seats sold rather than the other way around.
The problem with this way of doing it is, what if a bus holds 50 people. And 75 tickets are sold. Do you cancel 25 people? Find a smaller bus? Which is going to make money, and make people happy? There may not be any profit with 25 people, even on a smaller bus.

I know when there are a few seats left at the last minute, crew/staff are given a free excursion. And if suddenly 2 or 3 more pax want to go, those crew/staff lose their free excursion.
#13
Space Coast FL
25,000 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by CruiserBruce
The problem with this way of doing it is, what if a bus holds 50 people. And 75 tickets are sold. Do you cancel 25 people?
We've been on many excursions where there were 2 or 3 buses and none were full. In your example, there would be two buses, each with about 38 people. Or if there were, say, 60 people they could use two smaller buses, or go with 20 empty seats on each.
#14
Milwaukee, WI 53201
13,760 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by jtl513
We've been on many excursions where there were 2 or 3 buses and none were full. In your example, there would be two buses, each with about 38 people. Or if there were, say, 60 people they could use two smaller buses, or go with 20 empty seats on each.
Talk about a waste of money. However, they probably base their needs on past cruises and how many last minute bookings there might be.
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#15
81,363 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
On another cruise, the day we docked in Honfleur, France, there were dozens of buses lined up and waiting on the dock. DH and a great many others headed to D-Day beaches, others went to Paris and all sorts of other destinations. I planned on spending the day in charming Honfleur but enjoyed an extra cup of coffee on my verandah watching the precision with which they got those buses loaded and headed out. There was no time to waste as these were many hours long excursions. They did an amazing job.

But after the buses all pulled out, I saw there were two or three sitting there and not filling with people. Later that day, I saw a shore excursion person and asked why those buses were not used. They told me they hired extras in the event one broke down or they had any problem loading them in the morning, they would have spares right on site ready to roll and wouldn't waste any time.

I don't know if they would do that today but I was impressed back then.

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#16
East Liverpool, Ohio USA
40 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Perhaps a better question would have been... Are some spaces for shorex held back for those who don't purchase online pre-cruise or, perhaps, don't have online access. Was hoping HAL guests might have answer. I understand supply and demand. There have been times when I procrastinated too long about excursions and wound up disappointed. I certainly did not nor do not expect a non-suite quest to be bumped for me. I travel alone and I'm very fortunate to be able to have a suite. I don't expect nor need to be made to feel extra special. Once we leave our cabins we are all equal. Non suite guests probably get a better value for their money. It wouldn't be an "issue" if TA hadn't given me crazy amt of obc. I'm not complaining just hate to let it go unused. Traveled with Princess (First time) in March-April and you reserve shorex pre-cruise and unless you cancel prior to cancellation date/time, amount is added to on board account. Had hoped HAL having same parent company did the same. Did not mean to ruffle feathers.
Thanks for your comments
#17
81,363 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I don't think you ruffled any feathers and you asked a reasonable question.
It makes sense you would want to use the OBC for the shorex...... we all would want to do the same.

The best advise given, I think, is if there is an excursion you really have your heart set on doing, pre-book that one and leave the others until you are aboard. Chances are good if one is full, there will be another excursion that will interest you. If you can be a bit flexible, it should work out okay for you.

As to do they hold back some reservations that have to be made on board rather than in advance...... I'm truly not sure. I think it is possible but not likely. I think they want to sell as many as they can as early as they can. I do think they take a wait list and do refer to it if there are cancellations.

Hope you have a wonderful cruise and enjoy whichever excursions you book.
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#18
Alberta
20,419 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by osubuckeyemom
Perhaps a better question would have been... Are some spaces for shorex held back for those who don't purchase online pre-cruise or, perhaps, don't have online access. Was hoping HAL guests might have answer. I understand supply and demand. There have been times when I procrastinated too long about excursions and wound up disappointed. I certainly did not nor do not expect a non-suite quest to be bumped for me. I travel alone and I'm very fortunate to be able to have a suite. I don't expect nor need to be made to feel extra special. Once we leave our cabins we are all equal. Non suite guests probably get a better value for their money. It wouldn't be an "issue" if TA hadn't given me crazy amt of obc. I'm not complaining just hate to let it go unused. Traveled with Princess (First time) in March-April and you reserve shorex pre-cruise and unless you cancel prior to cancellation date/time, amount is added to on board account. Had hoped HAL having same parent company did the same. Did not mean to ruffle feathers.
Thanks for your comments
I would say they don't hold spots open. I do like the way that Princess does it but I seem to be in the minority in that. I think some folks take advantage of Princess and load up on shorex while they decide. I've seen posters say that on here.
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#19
Space Coast FL
25,000 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by osubuckeyemom
It wouldn't be an "issue" if TA hadn't given me crazy amt of obc. I'm not complaining just hate to let it go unused.
That sounds to me like you think it is non-refundable ... use it or lose it. IF that is the case, I suggest one of three options: (1) donate it to the crew by increasing your Hotel Service Charge by whatever would be unused, or (2) get 97% of it in cash by taking a cash advance at the front desk for a 3% fee, or (3) get it all in cash by charging money to your account in a casino slot machine and then cashing-out. Or a combination of all three.
#20
New Brunswick
39,687 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by jtl513
That sounds to me like you think it is non-refundable ... use it or lose it. IF that is the case, I suggest one of three options: (1) donate it to the crew by increasing your Hotel Service Charge by whatever would be unused, or (2) get 97% of it in cash by taking a cash advance at the front desk for a 3% fee, or (3) get it all in cash by charging money to your account in a casino slot machine and then cashing-out. Or a combination of all three.
The last option works well. I prefer to tip individually extra to those who I think have made my cruise special.

All you have to do is go to the casino - charge to your onboard account - hit the slots once and go cash out. easy (now if I could only learn to hit the slots once).

As to shore excursions - trust me - if your roll call has organized tours with reputable companies - you won't miss the boat, ship or the time of sailing
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