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HAL Aug 28th; Neptune Suite; One of 2 May Not Go!?: Help/Advice??


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I am currently booked and paid in full for the August 28th Med. Empires Cruise.


Originally we booked a "SS" suite with HAL and I paid 60% of the fare and my cabin mate paid 40% of the fare. We bought the highest insurance plan that HAL offered, the Platinum Plan.


I later (2 weeks ago) paid $ 1700 to upgrade us to a Neptune Suite, Category SC.

The adjustment was made to cover this upgrade in the Platinum Plan insurance.


Our air fares were done separately on two different airlines since we are traveling from different parts of the country. My air fare is on Delta and I bought a Travel Guard policy to cover that.


Last week we found out that my cabin mate's father has a tumor in his bladder. His father is 95 and may have to have surgery at some point in the future. When, if and how are still being determined. There are other siblings who may be able to step in and help but everything is "up in the air" at the moment for his father.


This puts us in the condition of a possibility of a cancellation for my travel mate.


My TA called HAL and got four different answers from four different travel assistants on the phone....one said "no problem since you bought the insurance."


She finally connected to a manager. The manager said that after the final payment date:


1 Up to 24 hours before departure, HAL assumes responsibility for the fare and fare protection. If a passenger cancels before 24 hours, they get a refund up to 90% of their fare and it is refunded to the credit card that was used to pay the fare.


2. The other passenger's fare is re-evaluated at that time. They could be charged a supplement between 0 to 100% of the fare based on the category, cabin spaces, situation, etc. But he could not tell her what that would be until the actual cancellation.


AFTER 24 hours before departure, namely, on the day of the cruise itself:


1. The insurance kicks in from the outside policy and everything would be covered.


So, what this says, is that this is a "game of dice." My TA mentioned this to the manager and he said "not at all. Our insurance is the best in the business."


But this would mean we'd have to be standing on the pier to basically be covered completely.


SO my questions/worries are:


1. I really want to go on this trip if at all possible.


2. I've already paid over $ 5200 for the "SS" cabin.

3. I paid $ 1,700 more to upgrade to a Neptune Suite (for 2 people).

4. I've made over $ 400 in reservations for 2 people in specialty restaurants.


Will HAL let me go on this cruise, keep the same cabin, and travel solo without charging me something really outrageous at this point in time?


My travel mate and I have discussed this. If he is going to cancel and has the medical records to back it up, he is going to have to do it prior to Friday of this week, I would suppose---neither of us have ever been in a situation like this before.


We were both going to fly to Venice on Monday the 25th to arrive in Venice on the 26th and have a day and a half in Venice before the cruise.


I'm hoping for the best that both of us can go. But if it's just me, I'd still like to be able to go on the trip without having to sell the house to do it.

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As an addendum:


I would not ask for refunds for the restaurants which I've already paid for on my AmEX. I would simply keep the times and seating in the various restaurants and let them know upon arriving that the table is just for one instead of two.


For the amount of money I paid in advance, it wouldn't be worth the time or effort to cancel or ask for refunds.

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If your friend cancels before the 24 hour deadline, HAL will require you to pay the extra money for the cabin. Solo cruisers usually pay up to 200% to have a cabin to themselves.

As for the specialty restaurants, once on board and they find out that there will only be just you eating there, the other dinners will (should be) credited back to you shipboard account. If there are any monies left in your shipboard account at the end of the cruise, HAL will either give you the refund in cash or credit it back to your credit card.

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