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CAUTION: Do Not Book a Non-refundable fare with HAL!!!!!!!

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Our friends booked a snap fare with a B cabin on the Rotterdam several months ago. At that time we checked the last few years history and for their cabin category the fare had not been lower than what was being offered. We had a EE cabin and it did not pay for us to do it but they saved a few thousand dollars by booking that way. Months later while speaking with our PCC she told us that if another snap fare was offered and the price went down on our friends cabin she could readjust it. Anyways, with the promotion this past week, it did drop another $300.00/pp and they did get the price adjustment. I wasn't sure if people realized that this could be done as initially we did not.

 

I did not realize this about a SNAP fare. Thank you!

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I do not understand some of the wringing of hands and knashing of teeth.

 

Simply do what the poster above did. View the options, pick one, and go with it. HAL is not going to give you a dicount for selecting non refundable and then give you another by permitting a re-price. No mystery or trickery to this whatsoever.

 

And you've most likely booked the cabin of your choice.

Edited by DFWGUYZ
spelling

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Last year HAL started offering deals with non-refundable fares...which would get the booker a lower fare. NOT! What happens is that if and when HAL further reduces the fare (even well below what was booked with their non-refundable fare) they will not allow you to re-price the cruise. So what HAL has done is lock the customer into a higher fare. The only alternative is to cancel the booking, sacrifice the deposit, and then perhaps rebook (or maybe just forget it and look to a different cruise line).

 

So I will repeat my warning...do not make the mistake we made and get sucked into a non-refundable fare and think you are getting a good deal! You are likely getting screwed.....

 

Hank

 

Sorry you felt that way but in our case we did not get screwed. It worked out to our advantage.

 

We were told all the pros and cons including info on price drops, when we booked. The price of our category went up. Luckily, or not, there were no price drops in our category, that were anywhere near what we paid. So it worked out perfectly well for us! We really did get a good deal. Others can too. Booked about two months before final payment. And it was a non refundable deposit not an NR fare.

Edited by Arzeena

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And you've most likely booked the cabin of your choice.

 

I would say, yes. And more importantly, your point?:confused:

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You have three choices. All with different prices and risks. Book with a non refundable deposit. No deposit refunds on cancellation, no re-fares permitted.. Very clear. Your reward is a lower cruise price. Up to you to determine if this is a good risk for you. Your only partial win occurs when and if the re-fare savings exceeds the original deposit that you will have forfeited.

 

Or, book as normal. Refundable deposit prior to final payment. Re-price should the list price decrease prior to final payment.

 

Or, book inside the final payment window. No refund, no re-price. But, you also have the option, depending on itinerary/date, of following the pricing on several ships/cruise lines in order to have a better chance at hitting your target price. We often do this with success on common itineraries.

 

Choose one. But don't complain if your choice does not look as attractive from the rear view mirror. And ensure that you understand what you are buying. There is no trickery here...you make the selection.

 

These are not difficult choices to make. Pick one, move forward.

Edited by iancal

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I would say, yes. And more importantly, your point?:confused:

 

you know, it is people like you who drive away people like me from posting on CC by belittling comments like yours: "your point?" IMO you're a person trying to keep new cruisers like me from posting. Well done, AH

 

My point is booking with a non-refundable deposit guarantees the cabin you choose and many new cruisers may not take that into consideration.

Edited by DFWGUYZ

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You have three choices. All with different prices and risks. Book with a non refundable deposit. No deposit refunds on cancellation, no re-fares permitted.. Very clear. Your reward is a lower cruise price. Up to you to determine if this is a good risk for you. Your only partial win occurs when and if the re-fare savings exceeds the original deposit that you will have forfeited.

 

Or, book as normal. Refundable deposit prior to final payment. Re-price should the list price decrease prior to final payment.

 

Or, book inside the final payment window. No refund, no re-price. But, you also have the option, depending on itinerary/date, of following the pricing on several ships/cruise lines in order to have a better chance at hitting your target price. We often do this with success on common itineraries.

 

Choose one. But don't complain if your choice does not look as attractive from the rear view mirror. And ensure that you understand what you are buying. There is no trickery here...you make the selection.

 

These are not difficult choices to make. Pick one, move forward.

 

(bold is mine) Yes, read the "find print." Cruises are getting as bad as airlines with all the different fare structures, so you have to be careful.

 

 

you know, it is people like you who drive away people like me from posting on CC by belittling comments like yours: "your point?" IMO you're a person trying to keep new cruisers like me from posting. Well done, AH

 

My point is booking with a non-refundable deposit guarantees the cabin you choose and many new cruisers may not take that into consideration.

 

Most of the time you can choose your cabin with a refundable deposit. We always do.

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Interesting, what you describe is standard practice in the U.K. for all travel bookings deposits are never refundable and the price is fixed at the time of booking, regardless of future changes. It’s just the way it is! Must be nice to have those options

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You have three choices. All with different prices and risks. Book with a non refundable deposit. No deposit refunds on cancellation, no re-fares permitted.. Very clear. Your reward is a lower cruise price. Up to you to determine if this is a good risk for you. Your only partial win occurs when and if the re-fare savings exceeds the original deposit that you will have forfeited.

 

Or, book as normal. Refundable deposit prior to final payment. Re-price should the list price decrease prior to final payment.

 

Or, book inside the final payment window. No refund, no re-price. But, you also have the option, depending on itinerary/date, of following the pricing on several ships/cruise lines in order to have a better chance at hitting your target price. We often do this with success on common itineraries.

 

Choose one. But don't complain if your choice does not look as attractive from the rear view mirror. And ensure that you understand what you are buying. There is no trickery here...you make the selection. These are not difficult choices to make. Pick one, move forward.

I think you've done a great job outlining the reality of the choices we have, but I'm not sure I agree that the choice is "not difficult" to make. We're talking about amounts of money that are quite significant to many people, and the value of that extra money is only truly realized when something relatively unexpected and unfortunate occurs. In that way, this is just like insurance, and you know how much we often need to underscore for people just how important insurance is.

 

In the end, the OP's excessive use of capital letters and exclamation points is regrettable. Such concerns are indeed reflections of the unfounded expectation that, paying so much money, that that amount of money should include protections and considerations that, in reality, actually cost extra. The high cost of vacations is, itself, stressful to families that are led to expect that their hard work should earn them such wonderful experiences but for whom circumstances often change. They try to achieve affordability by skimping on contingency plans and unfortunately occasionally are bit by that.

 

you know, it is people like you who drive away people like me from posting on CC by belittling comments like yours: "your point?" IMO you're a person trying to keep new cruisers like me from posting. Well done, AH
I know that that does often seem to be the case but please know that your perspectives are welcome here, even if some don't make you feel that way.

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It should be no secret to anyone that the more options or choice that you have, the higher the price point will be.

 

You can fly full fare economy and have a very flexible ticket, fly on a consolidator type ticket at the lowest price with no changes allowed, or pay in between for something with a little less flexibility and/or a change fee.

 

One thing for certain.....full flexibility, complete choice, and the lowest price are seldom synonymous with each other in any buy. So why expect this as an attribute of a cruise buy?

 

Second guessing yourself is difficult at the best of times but if it does not work out blaming the vendor's pricing options is not fair or reasonable. There are people who pay a higher fare, book early and grumble about those who sometimes pay substantially less by booking at the last minute. Instead of grumbling, they could change their buying habits. But then they would be grumbling about something else like their inability to score the cabin of their choice, their preferred dining time, or perhaps even their preferred cruise ship. At some point you need to be 'at peace' with your decision and move forward without second guessing or complaining about the rear view mirror.

Edited by iancal

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So, I will add some additional info. We are talking about non-refundable deposits (not full payments) generally done as a promo pretty far in advance. So, you are only out the deposit if you cancel. And that is all OK. If the price of the cruise were to increase (as some have mentioned) it would just be like any other booking in that you just keep the deal you booked. But the difference is when the price of the cruise you booked decreases (sometimes substantially). Not only does the non-refundable deposit mean you would lose your deposit if you cancel (that makes sense)....but it apparently means that if HAL later decides to offer a much better deal on your booked cruise...you cannot get your booking repriced at the new lower fare. If you had booked a regular refundable fare...getting the new lower price is not a problem. Bottom line is that we cannot think of a good reason to ever book a non-refundable deposit....because you are giving up future options (for lower prices or promos) for not much.

 

I should mention that those that talk about their cruise prices increasing....really have nothing to do with non-refundable fares. Anytime you book a cruise you are protected against price increases. But, you are also normally protected against price decreases because you can always have the cruise "repriced" or even cancel and rebook. But with a non-refundable you lose those options. Now that we understand that situation we cannot think of a single reason to book a non-refundable deposit.

 

Hank

 

I must be misunderstanding your post. You seem to be contradicting yourself. If we pay a non-refundable deposit, you say that we can simply cancel and "that is all o.k." But then you go on to say we cannot rebook at a lower fare. Where does this prohibition come from? Is there something in HAL's website that states this? It is my understanding that we can rebook but we would lose any benefits which might have been provided under the original, higher booking.

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Last year HAL started offering deals with non-refundable fares...which would get the booker a lower fare. NOT! What happens is that if and when HAL further reduces the fare (even well below what was booked with their non-refundable fare) they will not allow you to re-price the cruise. So what HAL has done is lock the customer into a higher fare. The only alternative is to cancel the booking, sacrifice the deposit, and then perhaps rebook (or maybe just forget it and look to a different cruise line).

 

So I will repeat my warning...do not make the mistake we made and get sucked into a non-refundable fare and think you are getting a good deal! You are likely getting screwed.....

 

Hank

 

What exactly did you think non-refundable meant?

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So what are you going to do? Are you going to lose your deposit and just re-book? How much of a difference are we talking about?

 

Hank, with all of your travel I am surprised that none of your few favored travel agents that you say you always use explained the terms and conditions to you.

 

Also, until the past few years all of our HAL cruises (none in the Caribbean) have sold out, so I wouldn’t have expected a price decrease to happen.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

I do not get the angst here. This is exactly the situation we've heard from our UK members here for years. I'm shocked that someone who has been here for nearly 30,000 posts would think that a non-refundable fare would allow repricing if the price drops.

 

Failure to understand the terms of a booking you voluntarily entered into does NOT mean the cruise line is screwing you. I really hate it when people screw up due their own carelessness and then come here to bang on the cruise line about it. Especially people with thousands of posts who, frankly, should know better.

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It should be no secret to anyone that the more options or choice that you have, the higher the price point will be.

 

You can fly full fare economy and have a very flexible ticket, fly on a consolidator type ticket at the lowest price with no changes allowed, or pay in between for something with a little less flexibility and/or a change fee.

 

One thing for certain.....full flexibility, complete choice, and the lowest price are seldom synonymous with each other in any buy. So why expect this as an attribute of a cruise buy?

 

Second guessing yourself is difficult at the best of times but if it does not work out blaming the vendor's pricing options is not fair or reasonable. There are people who pay a higher fare, book early and grumble about those who sometimes pay substantially less by booking at the last minute. Instead of grumbling, they could change their buying habits. But then they would be grumbling about something else like their inability to score the cabin of their choice, their preferred dining time, or perhaps even their preferred cruise ship. At some point you need to be 'at peace' with your decision and move forward without second guessing or complaining about the rear view mirror.

 

 

 

Well said:)

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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I do not get the angst here. This is exactly the situation we've heard from our UK members here for years. I'm shocked that someone who has been here for nearly 30,000 posts would think that a non-refundable fare would allow repricing if the price drops. Failure to understand the terms of a booking you voluntarily entered into does NOT mean the cruise line is screwing you. I really hate it when people screw up due their own carelessness and then come here to bang on the cruise line about it. Especially people with thousands of posts who, frankly, should know better.
While I agree with you that there is no cause for angst here, and that the cruise line did everything correct and proper in this scenario, I don't think the number of posts tracks to anything significant. There are people who have never posted a single post who understand the nature of consumer business and the proper context of terms and conditions, and there are people who post literally hundreds of posts railing against acknowledging the legitimacy of anything that runs counter to their wishes. It's a matter of personal choice, either to accept the reality and position yourself to make the most of your vacation come what may, or to trap yourself in wishful thinking and position yourself to be disappointed and irate.

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Last year HAL started offering deals with non-refundable fares...which would get the booker a lower fare. NOT! What happens is that if and when HAL further reduces the fare (even well below what was booked with their non-refundable fare) they will not allow you to re-price the cruise. So what HAL has done is lock the customer into a higher fare. The only alternative is to cancel the booking, sacrifice the deposit, and then perhaps rebook (or maybe just forget it and look to a different cruise line).

 

 

 

So I will repeat my warning...do not make the mistake we made and get sucked into a non-refundable fare and think you are getting a good deal! You are likely getting screwed.....

 

 

 

Hank

 

 

 

Yes! We had the same thing happen. The only silver lining is that I don’t even look at the pricing anymore. Cross that off my list of worries!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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...

 

Now that we understand that situation we cannot think of a single reason to book a non-refundable deposit.

 

Hank

 

Here is a single reason: you like the date and the itinerary, the pricing at the time seems better than booking with a refundable deposit --- and it turns out that the fare only goes up.

 

Yes, you are locking yourself in --- but you are also locking the cruise line in.

 

The fact is: any time you pull the trigger on a deal - be it buying stock, booking a cruise, whatever --- you commit yourself. If you do not like any part of the deal , of course you should not take it. If you are offered an attractive price if you are willing to risk losing the deposit, you just need to decide if the certainty of that price outweighs the loss of ability to rebook if prices drop.

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I'm thinking that this might be the cruise line's way of discouraging people from having 5 or 6 bookings on deposit, and then canceling 4 of them just before final payment, when they decide which cruise they really want to take. Just a thought.

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We think choice is great. Choice of ships, cruise lines, dining options, whatever.

 

Non refundable deposits is simply another choice. No one's arm is being twisted. For some this might be right, for others not so much.

 

I really do not understand what the big deal is. As long as you understand what you are buying and read the t's and c's there is no issue.

 

Buyer's remorse is not the fault of HAL or any other vendor.

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I love the fact that the cruise lines are wising up and no longer allowing the churning of reservations with nonrefundable deposits, final payments due further out from the departure date, and penalties for requests for price deductions on booked cruises.

 

It levels the playing field for both passengers and the cruise lines.

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We never book multiple cruises with the intention of selecting one. Partly because we typically book inside the final payment window. Non refundable deposits are not an issue for us.

 

It would be interesting to find our just how big this problem is by looking at the percentages of cancellations just prior to the final payment window. Booking without the intention to buy actually harms the customer as well as the cruise lines. I imagine it could cause miscalculations in the pricing algorithms and cause the fares to increase because of the artificial demand.

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I love the fact that the cruise lines are wising up and no longer allowing the churning of reservations with nonrefundable deposits, final payments due further out from the departure date, and penalties for requests for price deductions on booked cruises.

 

It levels the playing field for both passengers and the cruise lines.

 

But they are allowing it. You just book the refundable fair. Nothing has changed unless you pick the Non-Refundable option.

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But they are allowing it. You just book the refundable fair. Nothing has changed unless you pick the Non-Refundable option.

 

I was talking about various cruise lines, not just HAL.

 

Some have the nonrefundable fare. Others require a hefty non refundable deposit for certain category cabins. Others now require more for deposits and have pushed back the final payment date to be further out from departure.

 

I just booked on a cruise line that requires a high deposit and our final payment is due 13 months prior to departure. They also include hefty cancellation fees and consider requests for a lower fare, change to a different room category, change in passenger names and some other things to be a cancellation and new booking.

 

It is clear that the line has targeted a certain market demographic.

 

The interesting thing is that their cruises sell out and many times cabin availability is very limited somewhere between 18 months to a year before departure.

 

Insurance is a must in this type of booking.

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I was talking about various cruise lines, not just HAL.

 

Some have the nonrefundable fare. Others require a hefty non refundable deposit for certain category cabins. Others now require more for deposits and have pushed back the final payment date to be further out from departure.

 

I just booked on a cruise line that requires a high deposit and our final payment is due 13 months prior to departure. They also include hefty cancellation fees and consider requests for a lower fare, change to a different room category, change in passenger names and some other things to be a cancellation and new booking.

 

It is clear that the line has targeted a certain market demographic.

 

The interesting thing is that their cruises sell out and many times cabin availability is very limited somewhere between 18 months to a year before departure.

 

Insurance is a must in this type of booking.

 

Is that Viking? I'd never give them that much money this far in advance. They have a scary amount of debt. Insurance indeed!!

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