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christodan

RCI Non-refundable Deposits?

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So I haven't booked a cruise for a while and I was going to book one with RCI for next year. But of course I always like the option of cancelling if something comes up. However, I noticed that the cruise that I was looking at and put a  24 hour hold on has a non-refundable deposit. Is this the norm now? I always liked RCIs flexibility and liked to book way in advance if I see a good price but I don't think I will be doing that any more.

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I have a November booking with a non-refundable deposit, made it earlier this year.

 

at $200 it is very reasonable for me as I have some uncertainty to be resolved before final payment.

 

$200 deposit is less than the insurance premium.

 

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  • Thanks for the reply. But we are a family of five which makes it not reasonable.

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4 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

Now you know why the US citizens have been cranky.

 

Oh really ? I was wondering if it applied to the Americans too.

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16 hours ago, christodan said:

So I haven't booked a cruise for a while and I was going to book one with RCI for next year. But of course I always like the option of cancelling if something comes up. However, I noticed that the cruise that I was looking at and put a  24 hour hold on has a non-refundable deposit. Is this the norm now? I always liked RCIs flexibility and liked to book way in advance if I see a good price but I don't think I will be doing that any more.

That’s standard that you loose your deposit. Usually $100 or $200 per person depending on the length of the cruise.

About a year ago RC was trialling a refundable deposit ,I don’t know if it’s still available.It wasn’t very popular because the total price of the cruise went up about %10 but you could transfer the deposit from one cruise to another.

 The Americans have different deals to Australia so if a American tells you something it may not apply here.

 

Who were you booking through RC or a agent. If you call Royal Caribbean they may be able to offer you a refundable deposit but be warned it won’t be cheap.

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In the US, many complained that they introduced these non-refundable deposits. They got upset because many would book several cruises, see which one would drop in price and take advantage of any price drops and then just cancel the others before final payment

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Well I don't know when it became standard Chiliburn, because I did cancel a cruise earlier this year coming up this December which was refunded. I had booked directly with RCI but it was a while ago, probably when the cruises were first released because a) it was cheap and b) refundable. It was the 8  Queensland one and it was only around $120 a day each for inside cabin. 

 

Mic, I am in two minds about that practice. I can understand RCI getting annoyed with people doing that, but of course if you could then who wouldn't?

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The problem was that many countries couldn't take advantage of it and the cruise company would then have to offer discounted fares to fill the ship.

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I have always used a agent and the deposit in my case has always been none refundable.Because it’s been discounted and that was one of the conditions.

But I have seen refundable deposits through agents an RC a year ago or so.

Like I said call Royal Caribbean Australia.

 

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We booked a Voyager Of The Seas cruise onboard Explorer Of The Seas in January. The deposit was non refundable, but transferable to another cruise within the first month. They also offered price match guarantee if the same cruise was available cheaper later. I don't think you can get fairer than that.

 

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14 minutes ago, cme2c said:

We booked a Voyager Of The Seas cruise onboard Explorer Of The Seas in January. The deposit was non refundable, but transferable to another cruise within the first month. They also offered price match guarantee if the same cruise was available cheaper later. I don't think you can get fairer than that.

 

That sounds okay, is this offer direct or through a TA.

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When i booked our November cruise on Voyager, I was given a refundable option, but the overall cruise cost around $200 more.  I took it purely for the flexibility and it was a good deal anyway.

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4 hours ago, cme2c said:

We booked a Voyager Of The Seas cruise onboard Explorer Of The Seas in January. The deposit was non refundable, but transferable to another cruise within the first month. They also offered price match guarantee if the same cruise was available cheaper later. I don't think you can get fairer than that.

 

That’s next cruise.

they are extremely flexible and a lot of people love them but are expensive 

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I just booked for April 2021, there was an option to pay $76 for a refundable deposit, which at first, since it's 2 years away, I thought was a good idea, but then I thought I would only lose another $24 if I have to cancel.  If all goes as planned tho', I will have an extra $76 in my pocket to spend if I choose non refundable, so now I don't think I'll pay for it.

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19 minutes ago, kimmiecruises said:

I just booked for April 2021, there was an option to pay $76 for a refundable deposit, which at first, since it's 2 years away, I thought was a good idea, but then I thought I would only lose another $24 if I have to cancel.  If all goes as planned tho', I will have an extra $76 in my pocket to spend if I choose non refundable, so now I don't think I'll pay for it.

If you have travel insurance that covers whatever your cancellation reason maybe, then it wouldn't matter. The access may erode the deposit anyway, but it will cover for any other expenditure like accommodation or flights etc.

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I don't usually get insurance until final payment, but that's because deposits have always been refundable (been 4 years since last cruise) so I didn't have to worry.  By that time tho, "any reason" is no longer available on the insurance, so will need to think how much of a gamble I want to take.  Deposit is transferable to another cruise if we do have to cancel, so that makes non-refundable look even better.  

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With respect to the Non Refundable Deposits, we book a lot of cruises with RCL and the little thing that I have learned is all of those prices that are offered are basically just a hundred dollars less because of the non refundable deposit. So if the price you are looking at on line is let's say $775 plus tax for whatever cruise, just give RCL a phone call and you will see that the fully refundable price is only about $100 to $125 more per person.  Don't be pulled into booking something with a non refundable price tag.  Do like we do, pay a bit more and be able to change your mind ten ways to Sunday!!!!    There is always some deal going on, it totally drives me crazy which is why I have opted out of receiving two emails a day from RCL.  Now I simply check the website every couple of days to see if something interesting is happening and I do not have to be reminded twenty times a week of this sale and that.  So very annoying!!!!

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Just be aware that if you choose the non-refundable deposit (NRD), it also means that you can't take advantage of any price drops without losing your deposit. I have a couple of cruises booked, and in the past when I have seen a lower price I have phoned RCI, and they have amended my booking to reflect the lower price. I noticed that a cruise I had booked had dropped by $1000, so I phoned RCI, and was told that as I had booked using the NRD (which I did not even realise I had done that), and the only way to take advantage of the price drop was to cancel my cruise, lose my $400 deposit, and then rebook at the lower price. I went ahead and did that, as it still saved me $600. Just as an aside, when I rebooked, I asked what the fare would be if I chose the refundable deposit, and it was $2000 more, so I booked again with a NRD. Later that night I was showing my husband what I had done with a dummy booking, and the price had already popped back up to more than I had originally paid, so I was happy to have gotten the price drop in that small window. The price has increased ever since.

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As you go through the booking it gives you a choice. But sometimes the difference is large. I was looking at a cruise just a few days ago while their sale was on and it offered: $2074 with $200 Non-refundable deposit, or $2860 with $200 refundable deposit.

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