Problem pre-purchasing excursions using OBC

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#1
UK / la côte atlantique de la France
1,473 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
I have just come across an interesting issue related to the new policy of pre-paying for excursions.
To be honest, it is not a big issue but it has effectively blocked me from booking excursions before I board.

Story goes like this:
We both get our $100 Future Cruise Deposit related OBC,which shows on our booking
I have $250 Shareholder related OBC which also shows on ourbooking.

So, I am showing $350 of OBC and my wife $100 of OBC, although in practice, because I set the account up for me to be responsible for my wife’s account, what happens at the end of the cruise is that spend on one account is automatically offset against underspend on the other account.

The other week, I booked us on a disembarkation tour which drops us at the airport costing $79.95 each and it all went through using our FCD related OBC.

Today I tried to book a tour at one of our ports of call costing $129.95 each, which would have brought our total tour expenditure to $419.80, (which is less than the $450.00 balance showing on our booking confirmation)

However, what I have discovered is that:

a) There is no way I can charge my wife’s tour to my onboard account, (strange that, as in previous year’s, although I didn’t need to pay up front, they did allow me to specify which account should be billed)

and

b) Although I have already signed up to be responsible for settling a combined account, they will not yet balance overspend on my wife’s account to underspend on my account.

As a result, Cruise Personaliser accepted my booking, leaving me with $140.10 of unused OBC, but will not accept my wife’s booking unless we pay the balance on her account of $109.90 today and at the current exchange rate of around $1.33 to the £1.

OK, I suppose I could simply pay this bill, but because we get the exchange rate as of the date we booked the cruise when purchasing/gifting OBC, I have already gifted myself sufficient OBC (at $1.46 to the £1) to meet our anticipated onboard expenditure needs.

Cancelling some of the self-gifted OBC and re-applying in my wife’s name won’t help either as, although she would still get the £1.46 exchange rate, gifted OBC is not credited to the account until after we board and therefore cannot be used to pay for excursions until we are onboard ship.

So I am completely stymied, I could settle the balance of $109.90 at the current exchange rate, but I don’t want to do that, as it will cost me almost 10% more than if I wait until after boarding and can use the self-gifted OBC, or I could cancel my booking and delay booking the tour until after we board the ship. I went for the latter.

As I say no big issue, I will simply book the tour as soon as we board, but it is unnecessarily annoying to know that I can’t use my shareholders OBC to purchase excursion tickets for both of us.
#3
SAN DEIGO, CA
3,325 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Call Princess lots of others have had this issue and when they called princess direct they were able to get someone to spread the cost out and use all OBC from all passengers.
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#4
Aliso Viejo, CA
41,877 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Part of the issue is that it has nothing to do with whose credit card is registered for the account. Before boarding, everything is based on each passenger’s booking and credits regardless who is paying for it.

Call and see if Princess will apply your OBC to your wife’s tour.
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#5
UK / la côte atlantique de la France
1,473 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by Pam in CA
Part of the issue is that it has nothing to do with whose credit card is registered for the account. Before boarding, everything is based on each passenger’s booking and credits regardless who is paying for it.

Call and see if Princess will apply your OBC to your wife’s tour.
Yup, thanks for that. Will do.

What caught me out is that, before they introduced the pay up front policy, we used to be given the option as to whose account we charged the reservation.

Definitely know that was possible as I still have the accounts from previous cruises which show that, although we charged some tours to my wife's account and some to my account, in the case of each individual tour, we always charged both of us to the one account.
#6
Texas
1,827 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
I called Princess with the same problem. The Princess representative changed the charging on some of the tours to the other account. No problem except for the time on the phone.
#7
UK / la côte atlantique de la France
1,473 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
All sorted, as suggested. The folks at Princess UK made the reservation for me.

Many thanks everyone.

My account is now showing the tour booked for two named people with me showing as the 'Billing Contact' in the 'Confirmed Reservation' section of the 'Excursion Reservations' page.
and
the charge showing against my account in the 'Shore Excursion Reservations' section of the 'Payments & Credits' page.

FWIW Princess UK are sending feedback to the people in Seattle who run the Cruise Personaliser on the subject of the loss of the option to select the 'Billing Contact' (I had forgotten what it was called, until they used the term).
#8
Texas
1,591 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
It would be nice if the tech people would resolve this issue. Until that happens, Princess gets to enjoy the use of the money you must pay because you or your cabin mate doesn't have enough OBC to cover all the excursions. That money, along with what they save from non-refundable OBC that doesn't get spent on board, and the money saved by retroactively dropping items from and reducing wine bottle discounts on the All Inclusive Beverage Packages from what people originally paid for or were promised in promotions will help pay for the Ocean Medallion retrofit to the fleet. ( I wonder what percentage of the passengers really care if Ocean Medallion happens or not?)
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