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Can you rebook prepaid excursions onboard using OBC?


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We are going to have a significant amount of nonrefundable OBC on a future cruise. We were wondering if we can use some of it to "repurchase" some of the HAL excursions onboard that we pre-booked before the cruise without being assessed a penalty or put on a wait list if an excursion has been sold out.

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You can do this:

1. Open Casino Account

2. Transfer money to Casino account discreetly - maybe less than $500 at a time.

3. Cash out from Casino at a later date.

 

Mind you that once you cash out the Casino will probably block your Casino account for the remainder of the cruise.

 

Peter

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You can do this:

1. Open Casino Account

2. Transfer money to Casino account discreetly - maybe less than $500 at a time.

3. Cash out from Casino at a later date.

 

Mind you that once you cash out the Casino will probably block your Casino account for the remainder of the cruise.

 

Peter

 

We recently had a lot of extra refundable shipboard credit on the Volendam, and we did multiple transfers and withdrawals like described above with no issue.

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You can do this:

1. Open Casino Account

2. Transfer money to Casino account discreetly - maybe less than $500 at a time.

3. Cash out from Casino at a later date.

 

Mind you that once you cash out the Casino will probably block your Casino account for the remainder of the cruise.

 

Peter

 

Careful - sometimes HAL does catch this. Just a word to the wise.

 

You might get a "charge" on the last morning for promotional credits not used (properly).

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The casino is an option to consider, but we'd rather just swap the cost of some of the prepaid excursions for OBC as long as there isn't a penalty.

 

It sounds like you don't know if the excursions you have pre-booked are sold out. If not, I would think cancelling as soon as you board and rebooking with OBC would be easy. The Casino is a good alternative suggestion. You are not the first person asking this question and it is too bad that OBC cannot be used to pre book excursions. Let us know how you do. Cherie

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f you wait to book while on the ship in order to use OBC you could be disappointed the excursion(s) you w ant might be sold out. IF they have a w ait lis, I f you want to cancel and rebook, the moment you cancel, that 'spot' might to go to the first name on the wait list and you might lose the booking. OR, you may be able to make your plan work ? :)

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Yes, some people will book shore excursions and specialty dinners in the PG ahead of the cruise, online. Then, once onboard, they cancel the tour or dinner reservation and try to rebook it using OBC. Some problems with this plan. On the HAL website FAQ's it has details about cancelling shore excursions "While no cancellation fee will be charged for bookings that are cancelled online, please note that online cancellations will not be accepted during the 3-day period prior to cruise departure. Instead, you will need to cancel once you board the ship. All onboard cancellations are subject to at least a 10% cancellation fee. If you do cancel onboard, your onboard account will be credited for the excursion amount, minus at least a 10% cancellation fee."

So, trying this scam to hold a place in a popular shore excursion, tying it up by booking online, then cancelling onboard and rebooking, will cost you at least 10% of what you paid. Plus, if the excursion is popular, there may be a waiting list. If there is, and you cancel your online booking, not only will you lose 10% of what you paid, you will also be placed at the bottom of the waiting list. There is at present, no cancellation fee for dinner reservations. But on a short cruise, you may find the PG to be totally booked up. If you cancel, same deal, your may not be able to recover that place you held from an online booking.

Edited by TAD2005
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Yes, some people will book shore excursions and specialty dinners in the PG ahead of the cruise, online. Then, once onboard, they cancel the tour or dinner reservation and try to rebook it using OBC. Some problems with this plan. On the HAL website FAQ's it has details about cancelling shore excursions "While no cancellation fee will be charged for bookings that are cancelled online, please note that online cancellations will not be accepted during the 3-day period prior to cruise departure. Instead, you will need to cancel once you board the ship. All onboard cancellations are subject to at least a 10% cancellation fee. If you do cancel onboard, your onboard account will be credited for the excursion amount, minus at least a 10% cancellation fee."

So, trying this scam to hold a place in a popular shore excursion, tying it up by booking online, then cancelling onboard and rebooking, will cost you at least 10% of what you paid. Plus, if the excursion is popular, there may be a waiting list. If there is, and you cancel your online booking, not only will you lose 10% of what you paid, you will also be placed at the bottom of the waiting list. There is at present, no cancellation fee for dinner reservations. But on a short cruise, you may find the PG to be totally booked up. If you cancel, same deal, your may not be able to recover that place you held from an online booking.

We have no plans to scam anyone. My only thought is since HAL does not allow you to prebook excursions and then later pay for them with OBC once onboard, like some cruise lines do, this sounded like a reasonable alternative. The only reason we would "cancel" an excursion onboard, except in the case of a physical injury, is to turn right around in a matter of seconds and "refare" the excursion with OBC.

 

However, I am curious if someone who has actually tried this approach was still charged a 10% fee since they were just "refaring" the excursion with OBC rather than canceling it completely? The HAL statement you're quoting sounds like a 10% fee is charged if you simply cancel the excursion and walk away. I can understand why they would charge that fee in that case.

 

BTW this is a 40 day cruise on the Maasdam in Oct 2019 so the excursions would not be posted yet. We're just trying to formulate a strategy once they do become available.

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We have no plans to scam anyone. My only thought is since HAL does not allow you to prebook excursions and then later pay for them with OBC once onboard, like some cruise lines do, this sounded like a reasonable alternative. The only reason we would "cancel" an excursion onboard, except in the case of a physical injury, is to turn right around in a matter of seconds and "refare" the excursion with OBC.

 

However, I am curious if someone who has actually tried this approach was still charged a 10% fee since they were just "refaring" the excursion with OBC rather than canceling it completely? The HAL statement you're quoting sounds like a 10% fee is charged if you simply cancel the excursion and walk away. I can understand why they would charge that fee in that case.

 

BTW this is a 40 day cruise on the Maasdam in Oct 2019 so the excursions would not be posted yet. We're just trying to formulate a strategy once they do become available.

One thing to consider is that if you were able to do this, it would be refunded as "refundable on board credit", which you would not get back until the end of the cruise. It would not be refunded to the credit card used to purchase the excursion initially.

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Best strategy is to book the ones you really want that you also might think will be popular and use your OBC for something else that you might not have thought about before.

 

We got a phone call the last day once on a recent cruise that we still had $300 unused onboard credit (one of those pre-paid HSC deals and we took few shore excursions on that cruise ) so we rushed around running up bills - pedicure for me, some clothing items for DH.

 

It was "free" money to start out with in our mind, not money out of our own travel savings bank account.

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One thing to consider is that if you were able to do this, it would be refunded as "refundable on board credit", which you would not get back until the end of the cruise. It would not be refunded to the credit card used to purchase the excursion initially.

That's exactly what we're hoping for. :D

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You are not scamming anyone...

In the past I have pre-booked excursions before sailing to get the spot. One recent ship excursion was to Marrakech. Chances are if you do not book specialty restaurants ahead you will not get the dates you want.

 

Peter

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Best strategy is to book the ones you really want that you also might think will be popular and use your OBC for something else that you might not have thought about before.

 

We got a phone call the last day once on a recent cruise that we still had $300 unused onboard credit (one of those pre-paid HSC deals and we took few shore excursions on that cruise ) so we rushed around running up bills - pedicure for me, some clothing items for DH.

 

It was "free" money to start out with in our mind, not money out of our own travel savings bank account.

Makes sense. We're definitely going to book all of the zodiac excursions once they become available. But with the worst case scenario being that we're going to have about $3,000 OBC when we board, it would be nice to put a lot of that back onto the credit card if we can.

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In March I had to cancel an excursion while onboard at the LAST minute (actually one hour ahead of time). I did not expect any credit for doing so, but merely wanted to let the shore excursion people know that I was not going to make it and not to wait on me.

 

To my great surprise, about 15 minutes later I got a call from them and they said that since they were able to resell my spot, I would get a FULL refund! Got to love HAL for such great service. They could have just resold it and I would never have known and I fully expected nothing to be returned to me.

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Makes sense. We're definitely going to book all of the zodiac excursions once they become available. But with the worst case scenario being that we're going to have about $3,000 OBC when we board, it would be nice to put a lot of that back onto the credit card if we can.

 

Since we are going on the InDepth cruise right before you, not to worry. We will have worn out the Zodiacs by then, because we too hope to book as many as we can so they will probably be all broken down by the time you get on. (Ha ha) How will they get used and when will we find out - the ongoing mystery?

 

I wondered if you in fact had a credit card benefit because that is a lot of OBC for just cruise deals or CCL stock ownership. DH runs everything through his HAL card too, but we also take a lot of shore excursions - about half of them booked onboard. But those popular ones, we learned one does need to grab while they can.

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Since we are going on the InDepth cruise right before you, not to worry. We will have worn out the Zodiacs by then, because we too hope to book as many as we can so they will probably be all broken down by the time you get on. (Ha ha) How will they get used and when will we find out - the ongoing mystery?

 

I wondered if you in fact had a credit card benefit because that is a lot of OBC for just cruise deals or CCL stock ownership. DH runs everything through his HAL card too, but we also take a lot of shore excursions - about half of them booked onboard. But those popular ones, we learned one does need to grab while they can.

LOL! We are curious though how many zodiacs are going to be on the ship as there will probably be over 1,000 folks onboard.

 

Over half of the OBC total is coming from our TA. Hopefully, their OBC will be refundable, which is usually the case, so all this worrying may be somewhat of a mute point. However, all of the HAL affiliated OBC can add up to over $1,000 by the time we board, especially if you are in a suite, to include future cruise credits, CCL stock benefits and of course all the OBC HAL gives out in special offers (unless they jack the price up of the cruise to pay for those added perks).

 

BTW have fun on the cruise before us. When we heard the other day HAL was going around Australia in Oct 2019, we jumped ship from the Dec 2019 Oceania circumnavigation we were booked on over to the Maasdam. If HAL can pull it off, these in-depth cruises on the Maasdam definitely have our attention. Maybe down the road they'll do some in-depth Costa Rica, Polar Ice Cap and Iceland cruises as well. One can hope anyway. :D:D

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Do you have prepaid hotel service charges? If not 40 days at $13.50 per person is $1080. That while make a hole in your on board credit.

By the time our cruise rolls around, I'm sure HAL will have had a special at some point offering PPG along with additional OBC and maybe some other goodies as well. We usually refare our booking 2-3 times before we actually set sail. That's one big perk when you book early, besides of course getting the cabin you want.

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Re: Zodiacs

According to my Maasdam Alaska/Japan Itinerary Zodiacs are inflatables so a good number could be tucked away somewhere.

You do have to steer your own Zodiac in Alaska. See below. No way I am going to steer an inflatable Zodiac with three other cruisers aboard in Alaskan waters.

 

41909172434_032c752513_b.jpg

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Re: Zodiacs

According to my Maasdam Alaska/Japan Itinerary Zodiacs are inflatables so a good number could be tucked away somewhere.

You do have to steer your own Zodiac in Alaska. See below. No way I am going to steer an inflatable Zodiac with three other cruisers aboard in Alaskan waters.

 

41909172434_032c752513_b.jpg

Thanks for that. Sounds pretty cool as long as there is a guide telling us where to go and what we're looking at. Count us in!

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