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Am I being punished for getting a $200 onboard credit?


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 Hi there, I hope you can help me with some tips on how to get my full refund. About 4-5 months before my cruise started, I Purchased a drink package for $758. Around the same time (before cruise start) I also purchased my excursions. The excursion total came to $499.75, which I paid $299.75 because a $200 onboard credits was applied.  If the credit is applied, isn't it over and done with, used up?  Doesn't that mean I no longer have the credit to use?  If I go to the store and return something and get a store credit and then purchase something else, the credit is over right?  I ask because this credit is causing me much confusion.  Here's my story...

 

After the first day of cruising, I realized that the drink package would not work for me as I don’t drink that much alcohol and it did not cover as many options (canned soda, large waters, coffee drinks, etc)as I thought. It was clear that purchasing beverages as I go, was better for me, economically.  I went to  customer service and requested a refund. I was told that a refund would be given to me, retroactively...meaning that I would pay for the first 2 days of the drink package and then pay for all other beverages as I go. Princess kept telling me that their offices were closed so it was taking a while to issue the refund.The refund showed up on my cruiseline folio about 4 days later.  It was not retroactive as originally stated.  The folio indicates a refund of $758 (-758) plus the addition of all the charges that I had from the beginning of the cruise.   This was fine with me.  I noticed that as I purchased items, my refund would get smaller because they were applying whatever I purchased to that refund. Again, I had no problems with that. My problem came about when I went to customer service the night before cruise end to close out my account and receive the refund of $521 onto my credit card. At that time, I was told that I would not receive a refund on my credit card. I was told that I would receive a check in the mail up to six weeks later!  This was news to me as it was not communicated when I requested the refund.  But I went with it.  It was annoying but ok...if that's the rule.  I was also told that they were keeping $200 for a non-refundable shipboard credit. This, I don’t understand because I used the onboard credit (according to the emails and all information they sent me) for my excursions a few months before I got on the ship! How can they take something that was already used?  Can someone please explain this to me? I paid for the drink package in full so why am I only getting a partial credit of 321, instead of the 521 (less ship board purchases) owed to me? If I didn’t purchase the drink package in the first place, they could not take $200 from me. I’m very confused and no one seems to really understand why they can do this.  The customer service people can't seem to explain it to me either.  If I can get an explanation that makes sense, maybe I would not feel cheated.  How can something like a $200 credit, that seemed nice at the time, turn into a nightmare used to punish me for returning the drink package (which is totally not related). Please help!  This was my third Princess cruise and it might be my last because of this experience. I generally go with a group of 5 and they are waiting to see where this goes before setting up our next voyage. Thanks for any help you can give.

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If you are still on the ship... ask for a manager.  If you are home... send an email to customerrelations@princesscruises.com.  You can try calling Princes first but if it doesn't work then email customer relations to see what they can do.  

 

BTW... I agree that you should get your refund. 

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I paid for the drink package in full so why am I only getting a partial credit of 321, instead of the 521 (less ship board purchases) owed to me? If I didn’t purchase the drink package in the first place, they could not take $200 from me

 

I just went to check my reservation that we used our FCD with and it states that  the  OBC  is non refundable. However you stated that you thought it was applied to your excursions. That transaction should of been separate from the drink package you bought.  

What does your folio summary (get on the morning of disembarkation) say? Did you have more OBC other than the FCD credit? I though they were suppose to use the non refundable first.  Seems to me that you will need to talk to someone in accounting. 

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How were your shore excursions charged on the onboard account? I think thats were the confusion is. I am not an expert, but to me it seems that the issue is that they took $200 credit portion that was left unpaid for shorex from your $758 refundable credit instead of using your $200 unrefundable credit first.

Do you have a printout of your personalizer pre-cruise that shows how you prepaid for shorex? Ie, that says you paid $299.75 AND $200 credit was already applied. You will need a supervisor to sort it out though.

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I think the OP should be more than grateful that Princess allowed the drink package to be refunded at all, because clearly the OP hadn't done any homework in regards to what the PBP covered and what was not...even to the fact that in the post, it was stated 'coffees not covered' when clearly they are...

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15 minutes ago, Calievie said:

coffee drinks...as in mochas, etc.  

covered as per personal experience and the DETAILED terms and conditions...

 

Excerpt

 

What is Included

The package includes all beer, wine by the glass and cocktails $12.00 USD and under as listed on our menu(s), or $16.00 AUD and under for voyages departing from and returning to Australia and New Zealand.

The package includes all bottled water (500ml only), fountain sodas, fresh juices (if available), specialty coffees and teas, Gong Cha items, Frappés at Coffee & Cones, milk shakes (if available) and Red Bull energy drinks.

The package provides a 25% discount on the following excluded items: all bottles of wine, one liter bottles of water, canned soda and bottled juices.

The package may be used on our private islands, all food and beverage venues, and other areas such as the theater or public spaces that offer beverage service. Selections and service are limited to each venue’s menu offerings and operating hours.

If dining at a specialty dining venue, a large bottle of water (one liter) of still or sparkling is covered by the package.

Package Details and Qualifications

Age restrictions apply for purchases of the Premier Beverage Package.

The Premier Beverage Package is US $59.99 per day plus 15% service charge (totaling $68.99 per day) for all itineraries except Australia. For all Australian-based vessels, the package is AUD $86.99 per day which includes a service charge. You will be charged the full amount for the complete voyage at the time of purchase. The package is not available for pre-purchase for voyages departing from and returning to Australia and New Zealand.

The Premier Beverage Package must be purchased for every day a passenger is sailing. Partial / pro-rated packages or purchase for segments of a guest’s voyage are NOT accepted.

The package may be pre-purchased up to four days prior to boarding the vessel.

The package is offered onboard on embarkation day, and is NOT sold after embarkation day.

The package is NOT available for pre-purchase within three days of sailing.

The package is NOT available for voyages under seven nights for Australian-based itineraries, or voyages two nights or under for all other itineraries.

The package is NOT refundable or transferable once purchased onboard, and for advance purchased packages, NOT refundable or transferable within three days of sailing.

Edited by voljeep
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link doesn't work but all I know is that I paid extra for a mocha.  You can quote whoever you like but that's what happened with my drink package.  Maybe the barista made a mistake but that was my experience.  Sorry to get you all annoyed but this was my experience. I'm glad you had such a great experience that you do all this legwork to defend their honor.  I'm not against Princess.  I just want to understand but I took another responder's advice and went directly to customer service with my chronological information.  Thanks everyone for all your responses.  I'll definitely come back here for some great tips!  Ciao.

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10 minutes ago, Calievie said:

I just want to understand but I took another responder's advice and went directly to customer service with my chronological information.  

What did customer service say ?

Separate thought - when Princess says OBC is non-refundable, I thought this simply meant 'use it or lose it'. I now wonder if, for example, you book a Shorex for $300 and apply $200 OBC - you owe $100. While on board you decide to cancel Shorex the $100 is credited but OBC is not refunded. I would have expected $300 to be refunded and $200 OBC to be applied against other expenses - maybe not.

Hope you can follow my thinking - my head is starting to ache 🙂

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1 hour ago, nattie said:

How were your shore excursions charged on the onboard account? I think thats were the confusion is. I am not an expert, but to me it seems that the issue is that they took $200 credit portion that was left unpaid for shorex from your $758 refundable credit instead of using your $200 unrefundable credit first.

Do you have a printout of your personalizer pre-cruise that shows how you prepaid for shorex? Ie, that says you paid $299.75 AND $200 credit was already applied. You will need a supervisor to sort it out though.

You can't use OBC for booking excursions beforehand. You have to use it on board. Sounds like they took money off of the refund because technically you still owed them for the excursions. Definitely reach out and hopefully you can get your money back.

Edited by Crystal04
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Oh that could very well be the case, Crystal.  I guess it depends on if they use the non-refundable credits first, as another responder said or if they use them last.  I haven't heard back from Princess yet but I definitely have a great appreciation for this board!  You guys are great!

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Let's try to simplify the example. You buy two items A $300 and B $700, you have OBC $200. You owe 300 + 700 -200 = 800.

 

Now cancel A - you get $100 back. You owe $700 for item B

 

Alternatively cancel item B you get $500 back. You owe $300 for item A.

 

OBC has been applied and is non-refundable.

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Do not confuse refundable and nonrefundable, they do use non-refundable first and if you have refundable e.g. Veteran Benefit, they send you a check for the unused portion. 

 

I think OP only had non-refundable and is legitimately getting confused about which transaction OBC is applied to.

 

BTW I think you can now apply OBC to excursions before boarding. Makes sense by avoiding people waiting to book excursion until boarding. Helps Princess planning.  

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N/M, Tedferg answered. I was unaware OBC could be used before embarkation. 

 

Debit - Drink -$758

Debit - Shore - $499.75

Credit - $200 (non-redundable OBC)

Balance - $1057.75 (due to cruise line)

Credit - $1057.75 (assuming paid in full before embarkation)

Balance - $0

Credit - $758 (refund drink package)

Balance - $758 (due customer)

Is my accounting off?

Edited by JennyB1977
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3 minutes ago, JennyB1977 said:

N/M, Tedferg answered. I was unaware OBC could be used before embarkation.

I have not tried this but I am pretty sure it works, I think I have seen comments here on CC - it would make sense for Princess to allow it and have a better idea of Shorex counts ahead of time.

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25 minutes ago, JennyB1977 said:

N/M, Tedferg answered. I was unaware OBC could be used before embarkation. 

 

Debit - Drink -$758

Debit - Shore - $499.75

Credit - $200 (non-redundable OBC)

Balance - $1057.75 (due to cruise line)

Credit - $1057.75 (assuming paid in full before embarkation)

Balance - $0

Credit - $758 (refund drink package)

Balance - $758 (due customer)

Is my accounting off?

Just realized you spend another $237 on drinks etc. You would still be due $521 unless I am missing something....

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I don't think anyone here can give a factual answer. Either you are being charged a proration of the the time up until the package cancelled (most likely midnight of the day they agreed) OR they canceled the entire package and billed you based on what you actually consumed. 

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I'm a little confused.  The drink package cost $758.  They said they would charge you for 2 days of PBP but refunded you the full $758 or the full cost anyway.  An error?

 

I think the accounts got screwed up.  Call Princess and get it straightened out though it may take some time to unravel this minor mess.

 

I noticed last March that excursion costs came out of OBC when we booked the excursions which meant they were paid for as far as we were concerned.  I checked our account on board and noticed we were being charged for those same excursions again which confused me.  Then I noticed that all our OBC which I thought we had used up prior to boarding was back as well and the excursion credit was being applied to the OBC debit tally as they occurred.

 

There is probably a good reason for doing it this way but accounting drives me crazy sometimes.

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All the number crunching is missing the point. Which is that the OP better have gotten the full name and title of the crew member who stated they would receive any type of refund on the beverage package if they have any chance of pursuing this further--but see my advice on that below.

 

Not to be redundant but the T&C clearly state:

 

Package Details and Qualifications

  • Age restrictions apply for purchases of the Premier Beverage Package.
  • The Premier Beverage Package must be purchased for every day a passenger is sailing. Partial / pro-rated packages or purchase for segments of a guest’s voyage are NOT accepted.
  • The package may be pre-purchased up to four days prior to boarding the vessel.
  • The package is offered onboard on embarkation day, and is NOT sold after embarkation day.
  • The package is NOT available for pre-purchase within three days of sailing.
  • The package is NOT refundable or transferable once purchased onboard, and for advance purchased packages, NOT refundable or transferable within three days of sailing.

The no-longer-cancelable-or-refundable clause once you are within three days of sailing is stated very clearly when making the payment in the Cruise Personalizer.

 

I would take whatever Princess gives me and go away quietly as escalating the issue to upper shoreside management could result in a decision to no longer honor at all such an egregious error as a crewmember's verbal promise that a pro-rated refundable OBC would (or even could) be issued for terminating the PBP after the deadline.

Edited by fishywood
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