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Booked on board NA with Future Cruise Consultant in March and now find out this?


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While on board the Niew Amsterdam in Feb we took advantage of the $300 OBC offered to plan a cruise for late fall. Believed our on board cruise consultant's name was "Joey". At the time of the on board booking, we were told / assured that the $200 deposit was fully refundable before final payment was due. AND also if the rates went down, that we could get the lower rate - as long as it was before final payment was due. Sounded like a good deal, so we gave the $200 deposit. So it was a win/win situation, or so we thought....

 

So, now several months later, I start checking fares on our future sailing, and see that the rates have come down. No problem, I will just request the lower rate as we are well before final payment, which is due in September. WRONG. Cannot do this. I was planning on transferring my booking to a TA, and when the travel agent called Holland America to confirm the transfer I was told that it was originally booked on the ship with a "Rate Code" that has a Non Refundable Deposit. Therefore, as it is a non refundable deposit, the booking cannot be re-booked at a LOWER rate. WOW! This is NOT what we were told on the ship with the consultant. We were told it was a fully refundable deposit & we could get a lower rate if the rates went down (as long as before final payment). Other wise we would have never made the reservation that far out, as we know the rates fluctuate wildly sometimes before final payment is due. In addition that far out for us in particular, there is always the possibility of a health issue so we booked on board knowing that we could cancel with no penalty. Or so we were told.

 

The Travel Agent spoke with the HA agent, who then inquired with her re-booking desk, and she came back to confirm that this could not be rebooked at the lower rate. I am stuck with the higher rate. The booking can be transferred to the TA, but the booking will remain exactly the same (same rate, same OBC, etc). The new fare rates are about $400 total less than our originally booking price that we did on the ship. But we cannot re-book at the lower price. This is crazy, and makes no sense.

 

Why would you book 9 months prior to sailing, yet be locked into a price? This is not at all what we were told on the ship when we agreed to the booking. And I am very upset that the Cruise Consultant on the ship mislead us. This is not our first cruise, nor our first time pre-booking a cruise on a ship in order to get the benefit of the OBC. BUT it is our first time doing this with Holland America and it will be the last. Not happy at all with this information that I just received about our booking. I feel very mislead.

 

Has this situation ever happened to anyone else? Totally misrepresented what was stated to us on the ship at time of booking.

 

I am just very upset by this information, and I guess I am stuck.

- If I cancel the cruise, I loose the $200 deposit and the $300 OBC

- I cannot re-book at the lower rate, so the only advantage to transfer booking to the TA is the additional $190 OBC

Not happy about this........

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These nonrefundable rates are somewhat new to HAL and we have been warned by others on cruise critic to be careful when booking. Early on it was hard to identify the nonrefundable rates online. It is possible the person who took your booking did not understand the new program. The fares were good but there were restrictions to get used to. Do you have the paperwork that you received to confirm your booking? I’ve never booked onboard but hopefully you received a confirmation of the transaction.

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I know another person who had this happen. Fortunately, they noticed it the minute they got home and called to contest.

 

they were successful but, sadly unless you see it right away, you are out of luck.

 

Frankly, this is one of the reasons I don't book on board. I find some FCC's are very knowledgeable and others not.

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Too bad you didn't list the ship/cruise/dates so that CC members could give you a broader choice of things to do.

 

As it is, your only hope would be to write to HAL, explain the problem and politely ask if they can be of assistance. (can't hurt)

 

Next time, read the fine print.:cool:

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Margar I’m sorry this has happened to you.

When dealing with any agent for anything I always find it best to ensure what I’m being told is confirmed in writing via the T&Cs etc; and never take for granted verbal information. This doesn’t help you now but lesson learned for future, and what you’re left with is focusing on your future cruise and finding a way to put this behind you so you can enjoy it.

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While on board the Niew Amsterdam in Feb we took advantage of the $300 OBC offered to plan a cruise for late fall. Believed our on board cruise consultant's name was "Joey". At the time of the on board booking, we were told / assured that the $200 deposit was fully refundable before final payment was due. AND also if the rates went down, that we could get the lower rate - as long as it was before final payment was due. Sounded like a good deal, so we gave the $200 deposit. So it was a win/win situation, or so we thought....

 

So, now several months later, I start checking fares on our future sailing, and see that the rates have come down. No problem, I will just request the lower rate as we are well before final payment, which is due in September. WRONG. Cannot do this. I was planning on transferring my booking to a TA, and when the travel agent called Holland America to confirm the transfer I was told that it was originally booked on the ship with a "Rate Code" that has a Non Refundable Deposit. Therefore, as it is a non refundable deposit, the booking cannot be re-booked at a LOWER rate. WOW! This is NOT what we were told on the ship with the consultant. We were told it was a fully refundable deposit & we could get a lower rate if the rates went down (as long as before final payment). Other wise we would have never made the reservation that far out, as we know the rates fluctuate wildly sometimes before final payment is due. In addition that far out for us in particular, there is always the possibility of a health issue so we booked on board knowing that we could cancel with no penalty. Or so we were told.

 

The Travel Agent spoke with the HA agent, who then inquired with her re-booking desk, and she came back to confirm that this could not be rebooked at the lower rate. I am stuck with the higher rate. The booking can be transferred to the TA, but the booking will remain exactly the same (same rate, same OBC, etc). The new fare rates are about $400 total less than our originally booking price that we did on the ship. But we cannot re-book at the lower price. This is crazy, and makes no sense.

 

Why would you book 9 months prior to sailing, yet be locked into a price? This is not at all what we were told on the ship when we agreed to the booking. And I am very upset that the Cruise Consultant on the ship mislead us. This is not our first cruise, nor our first time pre-booking a cruise on a ship in order to get the benefit of the OBC. BUT it is our first time doing this with Holland America and it will be the last. Not happy at all with this information that I just received about our booking. I feel very mislead.

 

Has this situation ever happened to anyone else? Totally misrepresented what was stated to us on the ship at time of booking.

 

I am just very upset by this information, and I guess I am stuck.

- If I cancel the cruise, I loose the $200 deposit and the $300 OBC

- I cannot re-book at the lower rate, so the only advantage to transfer booking to the TA is the additional $190 OBC

Not happy about this........

 

 

 

This must be a new policy because I’ve never had an issue “rebooking” an existing cruise to a lower rate prior to final payment regardless of refundable or nonrefundable deposit. The only thing impacted is whether promos I received at original booking carry over to the “new” booking. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Could be that the $300 OBC was nontransferable to the new booking rate so HAL told the TA it couldn’t be done. I’d suggest you call HAL direct and make the same query. I also deal directly with a HAL booking agents rather than a TA because I find that in dealing directly with them rather than a third party, they try to work around any constraints. It’s easier for HAL to tell a TA that something can’t be done than it is to tell a loyal customer.

 

 

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We book onboard many times to get the double onboard cabin credit. Whenever we book, that same evening, we get an envelope in our mailbox with a printout of the booking and the details. Part of the details is the cancellation policy. They specify the date when you can cancel without any loss of money. If the deposit is non-refundable, the 100% loss date will be the date of booking. If that was not specified in your documentation delivered to your cabin, then you have a case. If it was specified as 100% forfeiture on booking date, then you may be out of luck.

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Thank you for the reply. It is great to be able to talk about this with people here on this knowledgable board!

 

The cruise that we booked onboard the NA with the Future Cruise Consultant is on the Koningsdam sailing Dec 10 for 11 nights.

 

I have the "Guest Booking Confirmation" paperwork that the FCC gave us on the ship. NO WHERE on that piece of paper does it say the "deposit is non-refundable". What it does say on page 2 is: "CANCELLATION FEES SCHEDULE" with a grid that states the following:

 

Cancelation Fees Begin Cancelation Fees (Per Person)

Mar 1, 2018 $300 (Amount Forfeited)

Oct 15, 2018 50% Gross Fare

Nov 12, 2018 75% Gross Fare

Nov 25, 2018 100% Gross Fare

 

No where in this grid called "Cancellation Fees Schedule" does it say "deposit". This Cancelation Fee Schedule was thought to apply to the payment of the fare for the cruise. And not the deposit. VERY misleading as the HA person who my TA spoke with on the phone said that this is where it states it is a non-refundable deposit. NO WHERE in this information does it say the deposit is non refundable nor that the rate cannot be changed. This was all that our stupid FCC on board the ship gave us verbally. And apparently it was inaccurate and not correct. This is really not fair at all.

 

I may give it a shot to call HA tomorrow and discuss this with someone there. Not even sure which department to contact. But this whole thing has put a very bad taste in my mouth with Holland America. I am seriously considering chucking the whole thing, taking the $200 hit on the deposit and sailing back with Celebrity. This is really wrong on a lot of levels. Very disheartening to see that HA is this deceptive in their wording of policy and fee structure. And that their own FCC employees on the ship do not even know what they are selling and provide inaccurate information to future passengers.

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Sorry you have to deal with this. I know that when we try to take advantage of the lower fares we do have to give up some of the perks that came with the original booking and sometimes after weighing the options we have left well enough alone. In your case with a lower fare you might have lost the $300 OBC.

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I'm sorry for you. I did notice the 1st cancel fee took effect on March 1st and it was for $300. The amount of the OBC. Funny thing, when I transferred my booking my deposit became non refundable, but was told so at the time. My new paper work from my TA does not state that. Hope you get it worked out.

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We JUST changed our cruise..that we booked onboard in February this year...to the week before and did not lose the deposit. We DID lose the “perks” from the promo we originally booked under. The fare deceased so much , it was worth it. I’d have my paperwork in hand and get your scanner working. I’d bet they’ll want to see your paperwork. Our FCC was wonderful. I’m sorry you feel mislead. Now that you have paperwork, I’m hoping they resolve this in your favor.

 

 

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While on board the Niew Amsterdam in Feb we took advantage of the $300 OBC offered to plan a cruise for late fall. Believed our on board cruise consultant's name was "Joey". At the time of the on board booking, we were told / assured that the $200 deposit was fully refundable before final payment was due. AND also if the rates went down, that we could get the lower rate - as long as it was before final payment was due. Sounded like a good deal, so we gave the $200 deposit. So it was a win/win situation, or so we thought....

 

So, now several months later, I start checking fares on our future sailing, and see that the rates have come down. No problem, I will just request the lower rate as we are well before final payment, which is due in September. WRONG. Cannot do this. I was planning on transferring my booking to a TA, and when the travel agent called Holland America to confirm the transfer I was told that it was originally booked on the ship with a "Rate Code" that has a Non Refundable Deposit. Therefore, as it is a non refundable deposit, the booking cannot be re-booked at a LOWER rate. WOW! This is NOT what we were told on the ship with the consultant. We were told it was a fully refundable deposit & we could get a lower rate if the rates went down (as long as before final payment). Other wise we would have never made the reservation that far out, as we know the rates fluctuate wildly sometimes before final payment is due. In addition that far out for us in particular, there is always the possibility of a health issue so we booked on board knowing that we could cancel with no penalty. Or so we were told.

 

The Travel Agent spoke with the HA agent, who then inquired with her re-booking desk, and she came back to confirm that this could not be rebooked at the lower rate. I am stuck with the higher rate. The booking can be transferred to the TA, but the booking will remain exactly the same (same rate, same OBC, etc). The new fare rates are about $400 total less than our originally booking price that we did on the ship. But we cannot re-book at the lower price. This is crazy, and makes no sense.

 

Why would you book 9 months prior to sailing, yet be locked into a price? This is not at all what we were told on the ship when we agreed to the booking. And I am very upset that the Cruise Consultant on the ship mislead us. This is not our first cruise, nor our first time pre-booking a cruise on a ship in order to get the benefit of the OBC. BUT it is our first time doing this with Holland America and it will be the last. Not happy at all with this information that I just received about our booking. I feel very mislead.

 

Has this situation ever happened to anyone else? Totally misrepresented what was stated to us on the ship at time of booking.

 

I am just very upset by this information, and I guess I am stuck.

- If I cancel the cruise, I loose the $200 deposit and the $300 OBC

- I cannot re-book at the lower rate, so the only advantage to transfer booking to the TA is the additional $190 OBC

Not happy about this........

 

 

 

I would fight it. If you were told on board it was a refundable deposit that is what you should have. Where is your paperwork? It should have been given to you at time of booking. HAL also has records of the onboard agent whom you worked with.

 

Ask them to provide onboard booking paper stating this is a nonrefundable deposit.

 

 

 

 

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You did nothing wrong. We may have been on the same cruise. Joey gave us the same story for a 2020 cruise. Due to his disorganization we were unable to book a 2019 cruise under the V&V promotion and passed on that.

 

I got our paperwork on the last evening of the cruise. I noticed that it appeared the 2020 cruise was under a non refundable deposit not disclosed by Joey.

 

I contacted my HAL PCC when I got home. He fixed everything including an incorrectly applied FCD. We got the 2019 cruise under the V&V with a very nice OBC. Our 2020 cruise deposit is now refundable.

 

I suspect the problem was that the promotions changed on March 1 and either Joey was unaware or didn’t care.

 

I would go up the HAL food-chain and keep mentioning Joey. I can’t believe we were his only victims.

 

 

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You did nothing wrong. We may have been on the same cruise. Joey gave us the same story for a 2020 cruise. Due to his disorganization we were unable to book a 2019 cruise under the V&V promotion and passed on that.

 

I got our paperwork on the last evening of the cruise. I noticed that it appeared the 2020 cruise was under a non refundable deposit not disclosed by Joey.

 

I contacted my HAL PCC when I got home. He fixed everything including an incorrectly applied FCD. We got the 2019 cruise under the V&V with a very nice OBC. Our 2020 cruise deposit is now refundable.

 

I suspect the problem was that the promotions changed on March 1 and either Joey was unaware or didn’t care.

 

I would go up the HAL food-chain and keep mentioning Joey. I can’t believe we were his only victims.

 

 

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Ah Ha! I guess I am not alone! I bet you are correct, we are probably not his only victims. I found some additional paperwork that his name is on: Joey Pinto / Future Cruise Consultant / MS Nieuw Amsterdam. He was extremely hurried when he was dealing with us, and we did not appreciate that. We had to wait 45 minutes to see him, due to the line of people in front of us also wanting to book. This was the last night of the cruise (or the night before last??) and people were very interested in taking advantage of the double OBC for future cruises. After patiently waiting 45 minutes to see him to book a future cruise, he hurried us and said he had people waiting. Not happy when he did that, as we waited patiently for him to deal with the people before us. He did seem very disorganized and very hurried. He told us we would receive an envelope underneath our door or in our mailbox of our stateroom before we departed the ship. We NEVER did. He said not to worry, I would receive it via email also. Which I did. It is the "Guest Confirmation Booking" email with information on the cruise. But never did we receive any confirmation information to our cabin before departing. Very, very disorganized to say the least.....

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Thank you for the reply. It is great to be able to talk about this with people here on this knowledgable board!

 

The cruise that we booked onboard the NA with the Future Cruise Consultant is on the Koningsdam sailing Dec 10 for 11 nights.

 

I have the "Guest Booking Confirmation" paperwork that the FCC gave us on the ship. NO WHERE on that piece of paper does it say the "deposit is non-refundable". What it does say on page 2 is: "CANCELLATION FEES SCHEDULE" with a grid that states the following:

 

Cancelation Fees Begin Cancelation Fees (Per Person)

Mar 1, 2018 $300 (Amount Forfeited)

Oct 15, 2018 50% Gross Fare

Nov 12, 2018 75% Gross Fare

Nov 25, 2018 100% Gross Fare

 

No where in this grid called "Cancellation Fees Schedule" does it say "deposit". This Cancelation Fee Schedule was thought to apply to the payment of the fare for the cruise. And not the deposit. VERY misleading as the HA person who my TA spoke with on the phone said that this is where it states it is a non-refundable deposit. NO WHERE in this information does it say the deposit is non refundable nor that the rate cannot be changed. This was all that our stupid FCC on board the ship gave us verbally. And apparently it was inaccurate and not correct. This is really not fair at all.

 

Bolding is mine - that tells me that it is a non refundable fare. There is never anything forfeited until much further out if it is refundable.

 

As soon as any amount is forfeited the day of (or after) booking it is a non refundable fare.

 

It SHOULD have been fully disclosed to you, but it is entirely possible that the FCC did not even know or realize that was the case, sadly.

 

And heads up to all, even if booking in 2020 there are non refundable fares and the HAL website makes it difficult to differentiate between the promos.

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We were told we would receive confirmation of our booking before we left the ship. We never did receive the packet of information that was supposed to be delivered to our cabin before our debarkation. We called him and Joey told us to not worry, that it would be emailed to me and it was eventually. But no where does it say non refunded deposit or that no price reductions can be made due to this fare being a promo and non-refundable.

 

There is NO WAY that we would have booked this cruise if that was told to us. Our lives are too changeable / fluid to enter into a contract with those stipulations.

 

I do have some additional paper work / promotion information that we have from when we were on board the NA and talking to the FCC Joey. It is a flyer for the "FUTURE CRUISE DEPOSIT PROGRAM" and it says "Fully Refundable at any time; automatically refunded within four years." I believe this is for the program where you do not book a specific cruise, but are giving them a deposit for a "future" cruise somewhere in time. We did book a specific cruise because he said they were having a promotion where it was Double OBC if you choose a specific cruise. But that the rules were the same. Fully Refundable deposit. And you could change your fare to a lower fare as long as this was done prior to final payment. This is what Joey told us. So...... I guess he did not have a clue what was going on. As the rules changed and now here we are. And I think we are not the only couple who had a problem with the FCC giving incorrect information.

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Bolding is mine - that tells me that it is a non refundable fare. There is never anything forfeited until much further out if it is refundable.

 

As soon as any amount is forfeited the day of (or after) booking it is a non refundable fare.

 

It SHOULD have been fully disclosed to you, but it is entirely possible that the FCC did not even know or realize that was the case, sadly.

 

And heads up to all, even if booking in 2020 there are non refundable fares and the HAL website makes it difficult to differentiate between the promos.

 

Mar 1, 2018 $300 (Amount Forfeited) Yes, that is what I saw only this afternoon when the HA agent told me it was non-refundable. I never saw the Future Cruise Documents prior to leaving the ship. Because the documents never were delivered to our cabin. Finally received Booking Document a week or so after we came home from the cruise. And I never looked it over that carefully because I knew (apparently mistakenly) that it was fully refundable. So I put the booking away and did not look at it until today when I started checking prices for the cruise for December 2018. That was my mistake. I should have looked at this super closely when I received the initial email booking. So that part is my fault, I suppose. But not thinking anything was amiss, I filed the booking away until today. :(

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I have the "Guest Booking Confirmation" paperwork that the FCC gave us on the ship. NO WHERE on that piece of paper does it say the "deposit is non-refundable". What it does say on page 2 is: "CANCELLATION FEES SCHEDULE" with a grid that states the following:

 

Cancelation Fees Begin Cancelation Fees (Per Person)

Mar 1, 2018 $300 (Amount Forfeited)

Oct 15, 2018 50% Gross Fare

Nov 12, 2018 75% Gross Fare

Nov 25, 2018 100% Gross Fare

 

No where in this grid called "Cancellation Fees Schedule" does it say "deposit". This Cancelation Fee Schedule was thought to apply to the payment of the fare for the cruise. And not the deposit. VERY misleading as the HA person who my TA spoke with on the phone said that this is where it states it is a non-refundable deposit. NO WHERE in this information does it say the deposit is non refundable nor that the rate cannot be changed. This was all that our stupid FCC on board the ship gave us verbally. And apparently it was inaccurate and not correct. This is really not fair at all.

 

the $300 is not the amount of the OBC as someone suggested; it is the normal amount of a cruise deposit for cruises 21 days and under (and it will say that even when you pay reduced deposit for a cruise as you do when you book onboard). while it doesn't explicitly say "non-refundable deposit", the indication that this was in fact what you got is that $300 is forfeited as of 1 March. I am sorry that this happened to you, but it is entirely possible that rather than deliberately deceiving you about your cruise fare, the FCC may have made an error when processing the booking. Unfortunately the time to point that out would have been when you received and examined your confirmation document, because what you have is a document that supports HAL's position that you booked with a non-refundable deposit. Also, your deposit is part of your cruise payment, not sure why you would think otherwise.

 

Having said that, what I would do is call HAL again and keep asking to speak to a supervisor until you either get what you want or get sick of trying. (If you already transferred the booking to your TA, HAL can't speak with you directly.) HOWEVER, instead of taking the position of "Hey HAL Rep, you guys suck, your person deliberately deceived me and told me I was getting a refundable deposit, yadda yadda... you're evil and unfair!" give them the benefit of the doubt. Tell them your story and say that your FCC appears to have *accidentally* used the wrong booking code because you very clearly and repeatedly discussed that you were only interested in a refundable deposit so that you would have the flexibility to adjust your booking if you saw the price dropped or better perks became available because you were booking farther out than you normally would to take advantage of the on board booking OBC. And here's where I think you can make the best case--tell them you did examine your confirmation document when you got it (which I assume you did) but the section spelling out the cancellation and refunds policy is poorly written and very confusing (because it is). Tell them that somewhere on that document it should explicitly and prominently say that the deposit and/or cruise fare is non-refundable if that is in fact the case and that surely you would have brought this error to the attention of the FCC immediately had that information been easily discerned on the confirmation document. This argument may not work, but I'd think you'd have a better chance with that than with the way you have currently framed the situation. And if it doesn't work, then you can either pay what you agreed to pay and have a fabulous cruise or take the $200 hit and cancel and chalk it up to lessons learned. Good luck!

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Unless I am mistaken, this is the same FCC who messed up our FCD’s onboard the NA in March. We were to receive a copy prior to disembarking as well as an emailed copy. We got neither. I finally had my PCC go looking for them and forward them on. Unfortunately, we only received two of the four that we had purchased. No problem, I thought. I was boarding the Westerdam two weeks later so I spoke to the FCC on that sailing. After some discussion she emailed Seattle while I was in her office. Luckily, they keep the original forms to look into it further. (I had also taken a picture of the original form before I dropped it in the box.) That same day I received confirmation that Seattle had agreed there had been an error and I received both a hard copy in my stateroom as well as an email confirmation. Anyway... lesson learned.

 

Sorry you’re going through this, Margar. I would definitely escalate the issue to someone in Seattle. At the very least I would be requesting a good upgrade to offset the cost and for my trouble.

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I am seriously considering chucking the whole thing, taking the $200 hit on the deposit and sailing back with Celebrity. This is really wrong on a lot of levels. Very disheartening to see that HA is this deceptive in their wording of policy and fee structure. And that their own FCC employees on the ship do not even know what they are selling and provide inaccurate information to future passengers.

I know it’s frustrating, but please don’t let this problem with their FCC influence your decision to leave HAL. It is in no way reflective of the wonderful experience you get from them otherwise. That particular sailing has a wonderful itinerary on an equally wonderful ship with a fantastic crew. I am also on that sailing and I am really looking forward to it. I hope you get to the point where you are too.

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Despite the fact that passengers can get some good perks if they book a cruise while onboard, I refuse to bite. Here's the reason why: FCCs ask that passengers sign up for an appointment. Okay, I did that and always arrived for my appointment at least 5 minutes early. Invariably, I'd have to wait at least 15 minutes---one time it was closer to 30---before the people in front of me finished.

 

Then, I felt as though I had to rush through my appointment, with the next passengers waiting, or the FCC rushed me for the same reason. After being treated like this 3 or 4 times, I decided enough was enough. I don't waste time with the FCC anymore. Usually I can find better deals through HAL promotions (those never-ending flyers they send us) or through internet sites.

 

However, I never had the experience the OP describes, and I can understand the frustration, disappointment, and anger. It always pays to have everything in writing and to confirm, explaining back what we think the deal is in our own words. OP, if you didn't receive the confirmation prior to disembarking, you certainly should have. I probably would have stood at the front desk until someone printed that document for me. I agree with everyone else who feels you should move up the chain; I'd write Mr. Ashford too.

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In general (with a exceptions of course), I am not impressed with the onboard Cruise Consultants and thus have never booked with them (I purchase a FCD - Future Cruise Deposit - and get my same OBC that way).

 

Some have been down right RUDE when I ask for the FCD order form, which lends me to think that they make very little commission from selling them.

 

To be fair, I have found some consultants to be very pleasant and knowledge, so I really wonder about how well all are trained by HAL.

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I just pick up the FCD forms from their office and drop it in the box so there’s no FCC to deal with. Unfortunately, it’s the FCC who processes those same forms which, in my case, is where it all fell apart. Thankfully there was a good FCC working the Westerdam who picked up the pieces and put them back together.

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