How did you resolve your CVC booking?

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#1
587 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
We know that there are already many threads scattered throughout Cruise Critic's forum discussing the demise of Cruise Value Center and Cruises of Distinction, but we'd like to start one more, centrally located thread for people to share the good or bad news about how their situation has been resolved.

Please post here to let your fellow travelers know how your cruise line or new travel agent resolved your cruise booking. Did your final cruise fare end up higher or lower than your original CVC rate? Did you get the cabin you wanted? Did you miss out on perks or rebates? The more information we have, the better able all former CVC customers will be to negotiate happy endings to their own cruise booking nightmare.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with everyone!
Erica
Cruise Critic Associate Editor
#2
133 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
We called HAL about our future cruises after hearing about Cruises of Distinction going out of business. We were and still are booked for all of our future cruises. The cost for us was only 1-3 percent more, but that could be because we have been HAL cruisers for many years. We did check with a TA that HAL recommended and HAL was cheaper. We are very lucky that we did not lose money. Best of luck to all who have to deal with this unfortunate situation.
#3
10,074 Posts
Joined May 2008
I was fortunate. When I made final payment in September, it was forwarded to Carnival....everything is fine. They had sent me a refund check for over 500.00 which I received the Thursday before they shut down.... That cleared the bank with no problems.

However, my brother and his wife, who are cruising with me, booked later in July and paid in full. Only his deposit was sent to Carnival...they had never sent the final payment.

He called his card company - and they released the charge in 3 days. He called Carnival, gave them his card for final payment with no problems....His upgrade, price and OBC were all in place......
#4
30 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I paid a deposit back in June 08 and that made it to NCL; but my final payment did not -- I paid with AMEX. I still am nervously awaiting a decision from AMEX as to my dispute -- but I would think this is a clear case (although they ran the fraud charge through a Paypal Pro merchant -- which I know Paypal can be a pain for disputes of any kind). And as to what I had to pay I had to pay full retail, costing me another $85. In the end I will feel lucky only being out $85 -- as long as the AMEX dispute clears.

/NCL has been of no help other than to call me and tell me I had to pay them over $700 immediately or lose my deposit (at least they DID make this call!) -- they seem to have no comprehension over the fact that they are actually making out on this deal since they now get to keep CVC's commission.
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Past Cruises:
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Carnival Celebration - Feb 2007 (Jacksonville FL, Key West FL, Nassau Bahamas)

NCL Sun - Feb 2008 (Miami FL, Roatan Honduras, Belize City Belize, Cozumel Mexico, Nassau Bahamas)

NCL Majesty - Jan 2009 (Charleston SC, Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas, Nassau Bahamas, Grand Bahama Island Bahamas, Port Canaveral FL)

RCI Liberty of the Seas - Sep 2010 (Miami FL, Labadee Haiti, Ocho Rios Jamaica, George Town Grand Cayman *stop cancelled*, Cozumel Mexico)

Carnival Fascination - Feb 2012 (Jacksonville FL, Nassau Bahamas, Grand Bahama Island Bahamas)
#5
New York
1,024 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
We were also lucky. We put down our deposit in March, while onboard another RCCL cruise. We then transferred the booking to our agent who worked for Cruise Value Center. In September we paid our balance, via credit card. In early November, I found that prices had gone down, contacted my agent, and got a nice refund on my credit card. When it came time for the documents to be here, they weren't.

Calling the agent resulted in her disclosing that the agency had gone under. She said it had been sold 10 months ago and the new people screwed it up. She called RCCL and since we had paid and the money had gone to RCCL, she wound up having to pay a $35 fee to re-issue our tickets. They arrived last week, and we leave on Monday.
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Dec. 1992 - Commodore Cruise Line - Caribe I - Eastern Caribbean
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#6
7,580 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I hope it is ok to ask a question here rather than just post an experience. From what I read on the article, are these two sister agents guilty of criminal actions? Of course I know innocent until proven guilty, but I mean doesn't it seem like their intent was to steal all of this money?

If I have the facts wrong, or if I seem "slow" for not getting it without having to ask, I'm sorry. It just is sickening to think they could do all of this.. take all of these peoples money.. and get away with it.
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Terry and Doug




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#7
307 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
First: Thanks to Cruise Critic for allowing us to candidly post our experiences! I came out fine, but am concerned about others.

I hope that CC will continue to cover the story. Soon, most will reach resolution on their trips (good or bad). The unwritten chapter is what will happen to the owners of CVC and how we, as CC members, can insist that they face appropriate civil or criminal charges. I suspect that the Credit Card companies will work to recoup their losses. CC can you please follow-up and keep us informed?

CVC forwarded my deposit, but not my final payment, to Carnival for a 7-day trip in January. Fortunately they also paid for my "free" trip insurance. I paid all by Credit Card.

CVC made the final payment to themselves without my permission.

My Credit Card Company (Bank of America) refunded the disputed charges within 24 hours of my call. They were already aware that CVC had ceased operations. I wasn't the first caller on this issue.

I exchanged appropriate paperwork with Carnival, which allowed them to take over the booking. They rebooked the cruise directly as soon as I faxed them the papers.

The cost of my cruise had dropped a bit. They gave me the new rate. It dropped again (before Dec 1) and they gave me on-board credit. My trip insurance is confirmed to still be in-force.

BTW... My old CVC travel agent was great. He called me "on his own nickle" to make sure I knew of the problem and make sure that I knew what to do. He took a lot of abuse from customers. He and others that lost their jobs and thousands in commissions are victims just like us.

Cost wise, I came out ahead. However, it doesn't come close to making up for the stress of the long weekend where I couldn't find the status of my booking and wondered if I had lost my money.

Happy and Safe Travels to All!!
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Mr. & Mrs. ScooterS

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#8
Belden, MS
103 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
I have not used a travel agency for some time; I find it's more convenient just to book through the cruise line. If you have any issues, you just have to call them and not go through an agent.
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28 cruises and counting...
#9
284 Posts
Joined May 2008
I got away with only a scratch from this. Back in July CVC charged my final payment to themselves some 120+ days before final payment was due to HAL which I thought odd. As final payment got closer I began asking them, via email, why I was not paid with HAL. Towards the end I was sending a daily email with strong emphasis on "WHY AM I NOT PAID".

Now I have no idea if my emails had any affect what so ever but I did finally get paid to HAL. Only my documents were lost when they shutdown and HAL, after some persistence since it was on day one after they closed, sent me another set of docs free of charge.

Good luck to all of those who got caught in these guys trap and I hope they do time for it.
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With any luck I will die dragging the luggage in from the last trip we can afford...


#10
Atlanta, GA
4,157 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I only discovered this the other day as I used their website to look for deals.

I used them 3 times in the past, twice for me and once for my parents and had good experiences all three times.

Now, the last time I used them was late 2006, so maybe they had gone downhill recently.

Now, I almost used them for my upcoming cruise in March but went with a different agency that offered some better perks, so I am now glad I tried this new agency versus using CVC again.
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#11
32 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
I too had a cruise booked thru Cruise Value, I had used them before in the past and no problems. We had just returned from our last cruise and received a call from Carnival, that our TA had closed down and to call them, I called and no problems, filled out the paperwork they emailed me and faxed back to them and they took over booking, only problem was I had an increase in cruise price of $400, CVC had sent in my security deposit and final payment was not due until August of next year, so no problems with them not sending in the payment.
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#12
289 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Cunard reissued my tickets that had gone to CVC and disappeared at no charge, there was no problem with payment. But if I had not noticed that CVC had gone out of business I would not have know, niether CVC nor Cunard contacted me to let me know there was a potential issue.

I would have to fault CVC, if there was no impropriety involved, why didn't they at least send out a mass emailing notifying their clients they were closing down?

I hope whoever was responsible for looting CVC gets prosecuted civilly at least - CVC was my TA of choice, they always offered good values.
#13
DFW
169 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I have used them 3 times, First time no issue, matter of fact, very helpful when we had to change the itinerary. Second time was for a family cruise this last Sept. 7 cabins in all, everyone had final payment but ours, Credit Card check showed final charges were directly to CVC. My CSR told me payments were being made through COD in Michigan. After tracking them down, I got one of the guys there to pay my final payment while on the phone with him, moments later my documents were available on the cruise lines website. At that time I knew something was wrong, but I already had our next cruise booked

Our next cruise also booked though CVC. Fortunately the deposit was forwarded to CCL and we had not made the final payment yet. Contacted CCL and they gave me a 800# to another online TA. After speaking with them and not really getting a quick response, I felt uncomfortable. With the help these boards, I called the # posted for CCL's department handling this issue. The gentleman was very helpful and understanding, gave me the option to take ownership myself or tranfer to another TA. They sent me the paperwork, filled it out, and faxed it back, now I have ownership of my booking with CCL.
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#14
Southeast MA
2,337 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We had booked many of our past cruises with Cruises of Distinction and had used the same woman for most of them, who was always friendly and helpful. We'd booked our latest cruise with her the end of October just before they and Cruise Value Center went belly-up. Fortunately for us, our future cruise credits paid on our cruise last spring were used as our deposit. As soon as we heard the news, we contacted Princess customer relations and they switched the booking over to the cruiseline. They gave us the same prices as we were quoted by COD.

Our only concern at this point was the travel protection insurance we also added at the time of booking. We had put these charges on our credit card. My husband has since called the insurance company and we were given policy numbers, so hopefully, the travel insurance will be in place in case it's needed.

Good luck to all who have been affected. From now on, we'll be booking directly with whichever cruiseline we're sailing with.
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#15
Raleigh, NC
154 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Your article incorrectly suggests that the cruise lines would make good promised onboard credits.

...The types of travel perks offered by travel agencies to incentify passengers to book voyages that cruise lines do support include prepaid gratuities and onboard credit....
Our trip was paid for but the promised OBC was not processed by Celebrity. X has not indicated any willingness to make it good. We are apparently not alone.

We had used CVC for at least 8 prior cruises without incident. We will miss CVC and feel for the employees caught up in this mess.
#16
Hot Springs Village, AR, USA
583 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Four of us booked a February cruise on Royal Caribbean. Our initial deposits, paid by different bank credit cards, both went directly to Royal Caribbean. Final payments were charged to each of our cards several months before the final payment date set by the cruiseline. We failed to notice that CVC had charged the final amount as payable to themselves rather than the cruise line, and were unaware there was a problem until a random visit to CVC's website raised an alarm.
These boards were already buzzing with information, which was so helpful to us in knowing what to do next. We both contacted Royal Caribbean and transferred our bookings to them. Next we contacted our credit card companies and both companies reversed the charges within a week.
Ultimately we were fine... we received the free insurance policy that we selected with our booking, and we changed cabin categories to save a bit more. Our friends are out the promised prepaid gratuities they selected with CVC, and the price of their selected cabin was a bit higher than originally quoted, so they have lost several hundred dollars. But the likely shipboard credit of the fuel surcharge should help them cover the gratuities.
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Nancy B.
#17
Lansing, IL
4,534 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
This was our first time using CVC and I sensed something wrong 1 week before they closed their doors. I was able to get a total refund through our CC, however the promised insurance and OBC did not happen.

I am just glad that my CC company resolved and credited the last payment that they charged to themselves. Many lessons learned with this company closing their doors.
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Bill & Kathy

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#18
Long Island, NY
16 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
We had booked our 2008 New Years Cartnival Freedom cruise with CVC in early March 2008 and charged our AMEX card with the initial deposit directly with CCL. However, on 9/19/2008, CVC processed our final payment and charged our AMEX card directly to them instead of to CCL. I had called to inquire as to why and was told this is how we process final payment. I insisted on receiving a "final" confirmation that I was "paid in full" and they mailed me the same on 9/23/08. At that time, I had called CCL to confirm that they received my final payment, but was told they could not provide me with any information about my booking because I had booked through another agent.

On 11/20/2008, CCL telephoned me directy and informed me that CVC was no longer in business and that my final payment was not paid. According to CCL, the final payment now due on their records was now $380.00 greater than the deal I had initially made with CVC. CCL kindly offered me a reduced rate, which ended up being $220.00 less than the final payment that was already paid to CVC on my AMEX card. All CCL required was that I sign and notarize an Affidavit that transfers my booking from CVC into my name and to sign a credit card authorization for the "revised" final payment. I faxed them both documents and within 24 hours, my booking was finally completed and paid in full.

I immediately called AMEX to dispute my final payment to CVC and was told that it would take about 60 days to resolve the dispute. Additionally, I was advised that I should expect my AMEX account to be credited for the full amount that I had paid to CVC.

For the past 9 years we have always booked our cruises with on-line agents and never had any problems. My only regrets is that I did not dispute my final payment to CVC earlier. I new something was wrong with that charge when it was made payable to CVC and not to CCL. It would have been nice if CCL could have "legally" confirmed or disaffirmed receipt of my final payment.

Looking forward to our cruise - only 21 more days.
#19
Connecticut
29 Posts
Joined May 2007
I have used CVC for the last 5 years, I liked my agent who was a manager at the company.
I booked April 2008, for the Adventure sailing 02/01/2009. My deposit and my final payment was made to RCCL directly. However a payment I made in July for $429.00 was processed through CVC. I called CVC, they stated payment was forwarded to RCCL, I called RCCL, who would not disclose any information as I had an agent. CVC sent me a paid in full receipt in October, so thought all was fine.
November 17, I received a call from RCCL, advising CVC ceased operations. RCCL gave me the option of paying my reservation balance.
$429.00 plus, the fuel surcharge ($70) from my cruise in 2008, which RCCL kindly refunded to CVC March 2008, which was never refunded to me. ( RCCL stated they had refunded it and it was not their responsiblility.
I ended up booking on the Serenade, sailing a day earlier, as they had a Balcony Guarantee at a lower price, so I did not have to pay $499.58. That being said, I did lose a pre-paid non-refundable, hotel, and car rental totalling $230 the onboard credit CVC has promised of $150, and I had to pay the new fuel surcharge of $140.00.
I have disputed the charge with AMEX, and am awaiting a response.
I beleive there should be some sort of legislation, allowing clients being able to access, payment records of what has or has not been received on reservations, not taking into account if you use a travel agent.
#20
19,303 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by anchoras
I have used CVC for the last 5 years, I liked my agent who was a manager at the company.
I booked April 2008, for the Adventure sailing 02/01/2009. My deposit and my final payment was made to RCCL directly. However a payment I made in July for $429.00 was processed through CVC. I called CVC, they stated payment was forwarded to RCCL, I called RCCL, who would not disclose any information as I had an agent. CVC sent me a paid in full receipt in October, so thought all was fine.
November 17, I received a call from RCCL, advising CVC ceased operations. RCCL gave me the option of paying my reservation balance.
$429.00 plus, the fuel surcharge ($70) from my cruise in 2008, which RCCL kindly refunded to CVC March 2008, which was never refunded to me. ( RCCL stated they had refunded it and it was not their responsiblility.
I ended up booking on the Serenade, sailing a day earlier, as they had a Balcony Guarantee at a lower price, so I did not have to pay $499.58. That being said, I did lose a pre-paid non-refundable, hotel, and car rental totalling $230 the onboard credit CVC has promised of $150, and I had to pay the new fuel surcharge of $140.00.
I have disputed the charge with AMEX, and am awaiting a response.
I beleive there should be some sort of legislation, allowing clients being able to access, payment records of what has or has not been received on reservations, not taking into account if you use a travel agent.
That is interesting because earlier this year when I found out CVC paid themselves the final paytment for a HAL cruise I almost had a fit. I "demanded" and CVC did send me the PDF Guest Confirmation from HAL, which was done. This was for a cruise that was completed in August. CVC should have been able to provide a Guest Confirmation proof of payment in full from RCCL (had they made the payment).