Pricing changes prior to final payment

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#21
Zhengzhou, China
1,898 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Hlitner
... but in the end the only thing that really matters is the total cost.
To some people, getting a specific stateroom really matters. Waiting until fares drop, usually results in a 'guarantee' booking where, for an Outside room, you take the chance of being assigned a smaller than average stateroom, with portholes, in the bow, next to an anchor chain locker on Dolphin Deck. Eeeeeew!

HAL is moving towards non-refundable deposits on full fare, 'early' bookings - in my case, more than 16 months from sailing and, HAL's Platinum Cancellation Plan is exorbitant at approx. 10% of the fare.

You must be a stockholder.
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#22
11,890 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We do not have an issue with non refundable fares IF the price is right. Most of our cruise bookings are non refundable. We suspect this is why we get great service from our on line TA. When we call she knows we have decided on a buy...we are not lookie loos as it were.

But the price has to be right because we really do not care if it says HAl, Celebtrity, Princess, etc on the funnel. It is all about the ship, the itinerary,and the offer for us. Never had a bad verandah gty yet on any line. In fact the opposite is true. As the mass market cruise lines move to the lowest common denominator we believe that cruise line loyalty will decrease. It has or is becoming a commodity business.
#23
19,578 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by TonyC1952
My experience with HAL has been that with a price drop, even after the final payment was made, that they have given us a cabin upgrade or OBC- not every business will do something like this, and I feel they have been very generous in offering us those perks.

But how long ago was it that HAL gave you OBC after final payment because of a price drop?


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#24
New Cumberland,PA, USA
27,658 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Bill B
To some people, getting a specific stateroom really matters. Waiting until fares drop, usually results in a 'guarantee' booking where, for an Outside room, you take the chance of being assigned a smaller than average stateroom, with portholes, in the bow, next to an anchor chain locker on Dolphin Deck. Eeeeeew!

HAL is moving towards non-refundable deposits on full fare, 'early' bookings - in my case, more than 16 months from sailing and, HAL's Platinum Cancellation Plan is exorbitant at approx. 10% of the fare.

You must be a stockholder.
Yes, we are stockholders in both CCL and RCI and happily accept our stockholders OBC (which can be $250) on every cruise. As to what HAL "is moving towards" we could care less as we book with many different cruise lines (14 to date) and look for appropriate deals. But given the history of cruise pricing it is very unlikely we would ever personally book a non-refundable deposit (16 months in advance) that would lock us into a price. And we would add that it would be rare that we would ever book a cruise that far in advance because not only do you have constant price changes...but you also get itinerary changes...or perhaps a large group booking on a particular cruise (we try to avoid cruises with large groups).

As to those who insist on picking and choosing a particular cabin, that is certainly a personal decision and one may have to pay (literally) for that choice. So if by choosing a specific cabin you would happen to pay $3000 more (then somebody doing a category guarantee) then you should have no complaint when you realize most are paying far less for the same cruise.

Hank
#25
1,494 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I don't understand booking a cruise so far in advance anyway. I am in awe of people who think they know what they're schedules are and how their health will be up to 1.5 years ahead of time.

Even now that we are both retired, I can't possibly envision seeing that far into the future. We usually book 3 - 6 months out and have been happy with all our cruises.
#26
Oklahoma City
7,862 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by baggal
I don't understand booking a cruise so far in advance anyway. I am in awe of people who think they know what they're schedules are and how their health will be up to 1.5 years ahead of time.

Even now that we are both retired, I can't possibly envision seeing that far into the future. We usually book 3 - 6 months out and have been happy with all our cruises.
We sometimes book over a year ahead of time, using Future Cruise Deposits (which basically costs us nothing for deposits). Normally I do this to lock in a good deal.

We have been able to get some great deals this way, and of course we can always cancel before final payment if things change. On my upcoming cruise I paid about $1500 for a 10 day cruise on the Koningsdam - now the fare (still three months out) is going for almost $3000! The price seemed low to me when I booked and within 2-3 weeks it increased by 50%, so perhaps HAL made a mistake on this new ship.

One tip - do not take out HAL cancellation insurance prior to final payment, as it is non-refundable. You can still take it out anytime up to final payment.
#27
Phoenix,AZ
10,289 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by DaveOKC
We sometimes book over a year ahead of time, using Future Cruise Deposits (which basically costs us nothing for deposits). Normally I do this to lock in a good deal.

We have been able to get some great deals this way, and of course we can always cancel before final payment if things change. On my upcoming cruise I paid about $1500 for a 10 day cruise on the Koningsdam - now the fare (still three months out) is going for almost $3000! The price seemed low to me when I booked and within 2-3 weeks it increased by 50%, so perhaps HAL made a mistake on this new ship.

One tip - do not take out HAL cancellation insurance prior to final payment, as it is non-refundable. You can still take it out anytime up to final payment.
I have had the same experience. I booked early. It pays to watch, even daily for price change. Yeah, I am obsessive, but it paid off because over the weekend there was short lived price drop which I was able to obtain. The price was back up on Monday.

Good advice on waiting until later on the cancellation insurance. If I see something better down the road, I may cancel and change my booking.
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Sean
#28
Phoenix,AZ
10,289 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by baggal
I don't understand booking a cruise so far in advance anyway. I am in awe of people who think they know what they're schedules are and how their health will be up to 1.5 years ahead of time.

Even now that we are both retired, I can't possibly envision seeing that far into the future. We usually book 3 - 6 months out and have been happy with all our cruises.
Anything is cancell-able up until a couple a months of a cruise. The only drawback is tying up a deposit for a long time. Sometimes there are reduced deposits that would help there.
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Sean
#29
Oklahoma City
7,862 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by Tinknock50
Anything is cancell-able up until a couple a months of a cruise. The only drawback is tying up a deposit for a long time. Sometimes there are reduced deposits that would help there.
Thats where having a couple of Future Cruise Deposits (purchased onboard) really comes in handy. For $100 pp you get to use this amount for your deposit (on most cruises) and really you have already paid the $100 while onboard, so nothing comes out of your pocket at booking time. If you cancel the cruise, the FCD just goes back into "inventory" and you can use it again in the future.

I always like to have two FCDs per person available, in case I book a back to back or two cruises close to each other.
#30
San Antonio, TX
8,746 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by baggal
I don't understand booking a cruise so far in advance anyway. I am in awe of people who think they know what they're schedules are and how their health will be up to 1.5 years ahead of time.

Even now that we are both retired, I can't possibly envision seeing that far into the future. We usually book 3 - 6 months out and have been happy with all our cruises.
Our problem is that we've found if we don't book a year plus out we get overtaken by other events or circumstances. Up until a couple of years ago we were both working and it was a matter of balancing not only our personal schedules but the requirements of two jobs. It's a bit easier now that I'm semi-retired but we still have to schedule around Mrs. K's work. In the end it just works better for us to pick a cruise and date and plan around that rather than hope we can squeeze something in.
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#31
New Brunswick
41,514 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by DaveOKC
Thats where having a couple of Future Cruise Deposits (purchased onboard) really comes in handy. For $100 pp you get to use this amount for your deposit (on most cruises) and really you have already paid the $100 while onboard, so nothing comes out of your pocket at booking time. If you cancel the cruise, the FCD just goes back into "inventory" and you can use it again in the future.

I always like to have two FCDs per person available, in case I book a back to back or two cruises close to each other.
Agree Dave. FCD's are very handy. We usually have to deposit more because of the longer cruises but it's not a large amount as it is equivalent to the FCD cost for that length of a cruise.

Originally posted by Randyk47
Our problem is that we've found if we don't book a year plus out we get overtaken by other events or circumstances. Up until a couple of years ago we were both working and it was a matter of balancing not only our personal schedules but the requirements of two jobs. It's a bit easier now that I'm semi-retired but we still have to schedule around Mrs. K's work. In the end it just works better for us to pick a cruise and date and plan around that rather than hope we can squeeze something in.
Great minds think alike. Our work situation is reversed, but it's the same situation. If we book, we can plan, use FF miles quite often if we book far enough in advance, etc. We don't always book 1.5 years out but often over a year. Our most recent booking was over 10 months out. Since we booked the cost of the cruise has risen by $4,000 pp for our category. So, we seem to have done well booking early
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#32
Canada's Capital
5,832 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by baggal
I don't understand booking a cruise so far in advance anyway. I am in awe of people who think they know what they're schedules are and how their health will be up to 1.5 years ahead of time.

Even now that we are both retired, I can't possibly envision seeing that far into the future. We usually book 3 - 6 months out and have been happy with all our cruises.
We're retired, and we book our cruises as soon as new itineraries are opened for booking. Not only do we get our pick of cabins, but the prices are generally at their lowest. If prices do go down, we simply refare.

As for scheduling, once we've made our booking(s), we simply schedule around our cruise dates.

Health issues can arise even if you book 3-6 months out, but travel insurance covers that concern.

Sure, tying up you deposit isn't wonderful, but with interest rates the way they are, I'm not losing a bundle. Besides, the cheaper cruise fare more than compensates for the longer period my money's tied up as a down payment.
#33
Phoenix,AZ
10,289 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by DaveOKC
Thats where having a couple of Future Cruise Deposits (purchased onboard) really comes in handy. For $100 pp you get to use this amount for your deposit (on most cruises) and really you have already paid the $100 while onboard, so nothing comes out of your pocket at booking time. If you cancel the cruise, the FCD just goes back into "inventory" and you can use it again in the future.

I always like to have two FCDs per person available, in case I book a back to back or two cruises close to each other.
That is handy. But doesn't work for me though because I don't cruise exclusively with HAL. My last two, once a year, cruises were on NCL because they had itineraries not matched by HAL.
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Sean
#34
New Brunswick
41,514 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Tinknock50
That is handy. But doesn't work for me though because I don't cruise exclusively with HAL. My last two, once a year, cruises were on NCL because they had itineraries not matched by HAL.
The nice thing aout the Future Cruise Deposit is that it is only $100 and, if you don't use it, they are now refundable. So, really you don't have anything to lose (other than interest on $100 for 4 years IF you don't cruise HAL)
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#35
Phoenix,AZ
10,289 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by kazu
The nice thing aout the Future Cruise Deposit is that it is only $100 and, if you don't use it, they are now refundable. So, really you don't have anything to lose (other than interest on $100 for 4 years IF you don't cruise HAL)
Interesting....I didn't know it was refundable.

Too bad it can only be purchased on board. Although I do see sales sometimes with reduced deposits. But that isn't always a plus when at that time fares might be higher during those "sales". Then a reduced deposit doesn't have long term value if in the end the cruise costs more.
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Sean
#36
Phoenix,AZ
10,289 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by Bill B
To some people, getting a specific stateroom really matters. Waiting until fares drop, usually results in a 'guarantee' booking where, for an Outside room, you take the chance of being assigned a smaller than average stateroom, with portholes, in the bow, next to an anchor chain locker on Dolphin Deck. Eeeeeew!

HAL is moving towards non-refundable deposits on full fare, 'early' bookings - in my case, more than 16 months from sailing and, HAL's Platinum Cancellation Plan is exorbitant at approx. 10% of the fare.

You must be a stockholder.
I have booked guarantees before and I could choose the category but not the cabin. So I could choose a category that that has a window in a good area of the ship. They never put you in a lower category that has a porthole. So as long as you are happy with the category you choose, you won't be disappointed and may even get a pleasant surprise.

I supposed there might be some "one week before the cruise" guarantees that are run of ship and they can put you ANYWHERE, but I don't think I would go for that.
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Sean
#37
Phoenix,AZ
10,289 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by Randyk47
Our problem is that we've found if we don't book a year plus out we get overtaken by other events or circumstances. Up until a couple of years ago we were both working and it was a matter of balancing not only our personal schedules but the requirements of two jobs. It's a bit easier now that I'm semi-retired but we still have to schedule around Mrs. K's work. In the end it just works better for us to pick a cruise and date and plan around that rather than hope we can squeeze something in.
I like your priorities ....plan your life around the cruise not vice versa.
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Sean
#38
Athens, GA
2,635 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by Tinknock50
Interesting....I didn't know it was refundable.

Too bad it can only be purchased on board. Although I do see sales sometimes with reduced deposits. But that isn't always a plus when at that time fares might be higher during those "sales". Then a reduced deposit doesn't have long term value if in the end the cruise costs more.
True, it has to be purchased on board, but if you need one and trust someone who is on a cruise or about to board, they can purchase one for you. All they need is your mariner number or the phone number that is associated with your account.

I have purchased several for others, in one case as an incentive to try HAL for some friends that have sailed on Carnival and Princess.
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#39
New Brunswick
41,514 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Tinknock50
Interesting....I didn't know it was refundable.

Too bad it can only be purchased on board. Although I do see sales sometimes with reduced deposits. But that isn't always a plus when at that time fares might be higher during those "sales". Then a reduced deposit doesn't have long term value if in the end the cruise costs more.
If you have any friends that are cruising on HAL,they can purchase the FCD'sfor you as well - just need your Mariner number(s) and name(s) as registered with HAL and, of course, you have to pay for it

They are indeed refundable now. They didn't used to be but that changed a while ago.
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#40
Phoenix,AZ
10,289 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by richwmn
True, it has to be purchased on board, but if you need one and trust someone who is on a cruise or about to board, they can purchase one for you. All they need is your mariner number or the phone number that is associated with your account.

I have purchased several for others, in one case as an incentive to try HAL for some friends that have sailed on Carnival and Princess.
Originally posted by kazu
If you have any friends that are cruising on HAL,they can purchase the FCD'sfor you as well - just need your Mariner number(s) and name(s) as registered with HAL and, of course, you have to pay for it

They are indeed refundable now. They didn't used to be but that changed a while ago.
Hmmmm......I may have just found two new friends.

On the other hand,I will be on the Eurodam next June ( if I don't get lured by a better price on another line) and may buy then.
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Sean