Jump to content

Princess Booking transfer policy


Recommended Posts

On November 12 2018, Princess changed their booking transfer policy. Effective immediately:

Bookings may only be transferred within 60 days of booking creation as long as the request is made outside the final payment period & the booking is not paid in full.

They enacted this policy without any notification to customers or travel agents. In fact, I found out by accident when I was talking with the Future Cruise Agent on a Princess ship a few days ago. When we arrived back from the cruise, we called our travel agent who was quite surprised. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, GT77 said:

On November 12 2018, Princess changed their booking transfer policy. Effective immediately:

Bookings may only be transferred within 60 days of booking creation as long as the request is made outside the final payment period & the booking is not paid in full.

They enacted this policy without any notification to customers or travel agents. In fact, I found out by accident when I was talking with the Future Cruise Agent on a Princess ship a few days ago. When we arrived back from the cruise, we called our travel agent who was quite surprised. 

As with all things contractual, things change. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You might consider just buying some future cruise credits without actually booking a cruise.  We have never seen any advantage to booking a future cruise aboard as we can always get better deals from our favored cruise agencies.   We do purchase Future Cruise credits because it gets us additional OBC and sometimes  a reduced deposit.  

 

Hank

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder why they implemented this change?  Maybe they don’t like passengers transferring to their TAs?  Will need to keep an eye out on the 60 days from booking.  

 

Thank you for sharing this info!

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first read this, I though it would apply to cancelling a cruise and booking a different cruise which I often do.    I do book directly with Princess when on board while buying a future booking credits.  I often get very good obc when doing so.  I watch for fare drops and get those before final booking, sometimes even get a better obc when doing so.    The last time I cancelled a Panama Canal cruise and booked a Mexican cruise, I was told that if I cancelled the Mexican cruise I would lose my future booking credit.  Don't plan to do so, so no problem.   

 

This new rule seems to apply only to transfers to TAs.  I do not use a TA anymore... since the one i used  charged for bookings and changes.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Spoke with my TA and she just heard about this yesterday; she’s planning a big emailing to all her Princess clients.  She also told me that Princess now requires a specific form that must be used when doing the transfer.  No more writing emails, or calling with the information.  

 

I usually book direct, often on a late night whim or great price discovery and then transfer for the TA discount.  I’ll just have to do that sooner now.   Although I do wish Princess would stop trying to be same as every other cruise line out there.  If they become just like everyone else there is no reason to pick one brand over the other.

Edited by cherylandtk
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Hlitner said:

 >We do purchase Future Cruise credits because it gets us additional OBC and sometimes  a reduced deposit.  

 

Would you elaborate, please?

 

Kinda new to this and haven’t yet come across the term “Future Cruise credits”. 

 

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ep010835 said:

 

Would you elaborate, please?

 

Kinda new to this and haven’t yet come across the term “Future Cruise credits”. 

 

Thanks!

When you are on a ship you can purchase for $100 each a future cruise deposit (sometimes called a future cruise credit). Basically that FCD can be applied as the full deposit for a future cruise (other than a world cruise or segment) instead of the normal deposit required. When used, it also will include OBC (on board credit) of from $15 to $150 depending on the length of the cruise and the type cabin booked. If you do not use the FCD to book a cruise within two years, the money is refunded to you.

 

So basically you can book a cruise with a $100 deposit and receive free money (OBC) when you do sail.

 

There are other details, but that is a quick summary.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, cherylandtk said:

 I do wish Princess would stop trying to be same as every other cruise line out there.  If they become just like everyone else there is no reason to pick one brand over the other.

 

Next step might be to make Future Cruise Deposits non-refundable as other cruise lines do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This makes me angry because it appears that it is not for "cruises booked after xx date".  I booked a cruise this past May but because I may not take it I have not yet transferred it to the TA I use who gives a 10% discount.  Not only that but we usually use her travel insurance which covers pre-existing insurance.  Don't have to purchase it until final payment. This will be costly for me (assuming I take the cruise).  I can't  cancel and rebook as that would be costly too. Really unfair to do it the way they did.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, caribill said:

 

Next step might be to make Future Cruise Deposits non-refundable as other cruise lines do.

If the goal is to encourage Future Cruise Deposits, non-refundable will not be helpful.  

 

1 hour ago, dickinson said:

This makes me angry because it appears that it is not for "cruises booked after xx date".  I booked a cruise this past May but because I may not take it I have not yet transferred it to the TA I use who gives a 10% discount.  Not only that but we usually use her travel insurance which covers pre-existing insurance.  Don't have to purchase it until final payment. This will be costly for me (assuming I take the cruise).  I can't  cancel and rebook as that would be costly too. Really unfair to do it the way they did.

 

But what you are doing is just what they do want to discourage.  Cruise lines have a big problem with customers who book a cruise (sometimes they book many cruises) with the idea that they can simply cancel the ones they do not want to use.  Arguably, you are being unfair to others who are serious about booking that cabin and have no intention of canceling.  We met a cruiser who told us she sometimes books 4 or 5 cruises, departing around the same date, and she later decides which one to keep.  When you get a lot of folks playing this game it messes up available inventory.  The airlines figured this out years ago and now charge a huge penalty for those who want refundable reservations.   Cruise lines are now starting to do similar things such as discounting cruises for those that pay a non-refundable deposit.

 

You are playing a game that they do understand.  Cruise lines generally do not charge a penalty for cancellations before a certain date.   But many of the best cruise agencies, who often give generous OBCs and other perks, do often charge a cancellation penalty to discourage faux bookings.  You want the best of both worlds...i.e. booking a specific cruise/cabin but delaying a transfer to a cruise agency so you do not risk a cancellation penalty.  It is a cute game you play, but is a lose-lose for the cruise line.  So now they are making the rules a little tougher to discourage faux bookings.  

 

Hank

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

If the goal is to encourage Future Cruise Deposits, non-refundable will not be helpful.  

 

But what you are doing is just what they do want to discourage.  Cruise lines have a big problem with customers who book a cruise (sometimes they book many cruises) with the idea that they can simply cancel the ones they do not want to use.  Arguably, you are being unfair to others who are serious about booking that cabin and have no intention of canceling.  We met a cruiser who told us she sometimes books 4 or 5 cruises, departing around the same date, and she later decides which one to keep.  When you get a lot of folks playing this game it messes up available inventory.  The airlines figured this out years ago and now charge a huge penalty for those who want refundable reservations.   Cruise lines are now starting to do similar things such as discounting cruises for those that pay a non-refundable deposit.

 

You are playing a game that they do understand.  Cruise lines generally do not charge a penalty for cancellations before a certain date.   But many of the best cruise agencies, who often give generous OBCs and other perks, do often charge a cancellation penalty to discourage faux bookings.  You want the best of both worlds...i.e. booking a specific cruise/cabin but delaying a transfer to a cruise agency so you do not risk a cancellation penalty.  It is a cute game you play, but is a lose-lose for the cruise line.  So now they are making the rules a little tougher to discourage faux bookings.  

 

Hank

 

 

I am NOT playing any games.  This is actually the first time I have waited a long time before transferring although I have read on here that many people do wait and transfer just before final payment.  If you read my post, my objection is that they did not start this new policy with bookings after xx date.  I booked during a time when I could transfer up til final payment.  I have no other cruises booked so am NOT trying to hedge my bets on which cruise to take.  I might not even take this cruise.  It is an expensive one (Alaska cruise tour which is sold out) so the 10% discount my agent gives would be substantial.  That is a BIG loss to me.  I will have to contact my agent (who is a top Princess agent and does not charge any cancellation penalty so that is not a factor) and see if there is anything she can do.  The thing is I would feel bad for any hard work she puts in if I have to cancel (notice HAVE to cancel not just choose). 

 

I know you have many informative posts but in this case the points you made in your post, although directed at me and probably others, does not apply to me AT ALL nor do I have a problem with it if it starts for bookings after xx date not retroactively.

Edited by dickinson
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, mthomp5 said:

I wonder why they implemented this change?  Maybe they don’t like passengers transferring to their TAs?  Will need to keep an eye out on the 60 days from booking.  

 

Thank you for sharing this info!

It is obvious.

 

People book with Princess and call them periodically to reprice their cruise or ask questions and their employees are acting as booking agents. When at the last minute, they transfer to a travel agent, Princess doesn't get any of the commission, the travel agent does. Even though Princess employees may have done all the work for months if not years before the cruise on your booking.

 

Honestly - I have said this for years. It is best to deal with an agent up front with your booking. You will save more money. Travel agents often have group space (amenities and OBC) and that will go away once it is filled. If you wait until the last minute to transfer your booking - the agent probably doesn't have group space anymore.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dickinson, given the status of your agent, she might be able to get the transfer accomplished anyway, using your ‘timing of the change and date of booking’ argument, mine was able to do that for another client.   But do it soon while Princess is allowing such exceptions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got caught up in this and was blindsided by this abrupt change in policy.  I have a cruisetour I booked on Sept 6, 2018 and it was not until next May-June.  I just returned from a long 25 day cruise and contacted my travel agent to transfer.  She emailed me about the new policy, but still submitted it.  I contacted Princess myself the next morning and was advised to email the form in myself to the specified address because after contacting customer relations they were not able help with the transfer because of the new policy.  I received this answer:

We have received your request to transfer your booking XXXXXX to your travel agency.  The request cannot be processed as per our policy a booking can only be transferred to a travel agency within sixty days of creation of the booking. Your current booking was created September 6, 2018 and unfortunately can no longer be transferred to a travel agency. For additional assistance please contact the reservation team at 1-800-Princess. Thank you for your time.

Ironically, I contacted Princess again to find out that they actually had processed the transfer. likely from the original transfer request form submitted the previous day.

So, I eeked by on this one.  I was glad to see this thread as I was going to post about this myself.

Edited by hpeabody
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Coral said:

It is obvious.

 

People book with Princess and call them periodically to reprice their cruise or ask questions and their employees are acting as booking agents. When at the last minute, they transfer to a travel agent, Princess doesn't get any of the commission, the travel agent does. Even though Princess employees may have done all the work for months if not years before the cruise on your booking.

 

Honestly - I have said this for years. It is best to deal with an agent up front with your booking. You will save more money. Travel agents often have group space (amenities and OBC) and that will go away once it is filled. If you wait until the last minute to transfer your booking - the agent probably doesn't have group space anymore.

Thanks Coral for your input.  I thought that if you booked directly with Princess, they still paid  commission to some contracted travel agency.  But my assumption was probably wrong.  I understand about them having to pay their employees to field calls from PAX who will transfer to another TA farther down the road. And can see why they wouldn’t like that as they are paying those customer service reps their salary.

 

i like to book on the first day new itineraries launch because I want a specific cabin.  So I do that directly through Princess.  My concern was that if I’m a new customer to the TA and the TA is busy on launch day, I may not get the room I want (because it goes fast) since she’s swamped with her long-time clients’ bookings .  I have been searching for a great TA for years - one that I could trust, provided great service and also offered good perks.

 

Previously, I transferred to a big box or an online TA. Neither of which provided great service.  At least big box gave great OBC. 

 

After much detective work, I think I found the TA that a lot of experienced CC members use who discounts10% of the fare upfront.  But that took a couple of years to find her (which I did only this year) and transferred one booking to her in September which I made this May.  

Edited by mthomp5
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, caribill said:

When you are on a ship you can purchase for $100 each a future cruise deposit (sometimes called a future cruise credit). Basically that FCD can be applied as the full deposit for a future cruise (other than a world cruise or segment) instead of the normal deposit required. When used, it also will include OBC (on board credit) of from $15 to $150 depending on the length of the cruise and the type cabin booked. If you do not use the FCD to book a cruise within two years, the money is refunded to you.

 

So basically you can book a cruise with a $100 deposit and receive free money (OBC) when you do sail.

 

There are other details, but that is a quick summary.

 

We do the same.  I also find if I book direct with Princess on board, during launch season, they sometimes have even bigger on board credits, have gotten as much as $500 on a Panama canal cruise booking on board.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My TA is a Princess Cruise Consultant who gets me extra OBC.  So I'm a little bit confused, maybe somebody there can clear this up for me. Let's say I booked a cruise for November 2019 for Melbourne to New Zealand. Now I booked that cruise back in September. So it's obviously 60 days later. But now I've decided instead of going Melbourne to New Zealand I would rather go Sydney to New Zealand. Does that mean that my PCC cannot modify it and get me out of Sydney instead? That's just an example .... anxious to return to Melbourne 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yikes...I just saw this thread and had a cruise booked last Dec when the Alaska itineraries first came out...was planning to transfer it over before year end. Am I now to understand I suddenly can't?

 

I don't think it's an unreasonable policy change, but what I protest is that it abruptly applies to those who already booked under old rules.

 

Seems like Princess should have at least grandfathered this in, allowed a 72 hour grace period (I can't do anything today - a holiday) or sent an email to those with pending cruises in the next 6-12 months to notify them of this change. That's a loss of several hundred dollars in OBC.

 

 

Edited by Flafun888
Link to post
Share on other sites

Another question: why would someone book it one place and then send it to another agent so that the 1st one loses commission? Why wouldn't they just put it on hold and then send that  hold number to the person I actually wanted to get the commission? Or just work with only one person that they want to get the commission? Let them put it on hold for you

Edited by Ombud
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ombud said:

Another question: why would someone book it one place and then send it to another agent so that the 1st one loses commission? Why wouldn't they just put it on hold and then send that  hold number to the person I actually wanted to get the commission? Or just work with only one person that they want to get the commission? Let them put it on hold for you

 

Ive wondered precicesly the same thing. Being kinda new to all of this, I’ve thus far booked all of our cruises directly with the BB TA. More often than not, their straight fare is less (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot) than booking directly with PCL AND I’ve really become accustomed to their very generous OBCs. 

Ive heard the argument, “I like to manage my own travel and can do this with PCL”. Still, I don’t get it. I can do that (and have) directly with Cost**.

Where exactly is the benefit? Especially in the shadow of this new policy. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually book directly with my agent.  This time, I booked in May for a cruise in late 2019 where I found a good price but wanted the ability to cancel or change easily if we decided to do something else.  My plan was to transfer the booking to our agent when our plans firmed up enough to make it likely that we would go.

 

I saw this thread last night and immediately mailed her.  She responded this morning (on Thanksgiving!) that she would try to transfer it now.   I stand to lose quite a bit in agency discount or if I rebook to current pricing if Princess doesn't allow it, so I may end up cancelling after all.

 

I don't actually mind the new policy for new bookings going forward if the time limit is made clear at booking time.  At least that way I can make an informed decision.  But I find it quite unfair to have it applied retroactively and without warning.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team: New Ship Ultramarine
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...