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DaveOKC

It pays to keep checking your fares!

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Three weeks ago I rechecked my fare for our Sept, 2019,  2 week cruise in a Vista cabin.  The price declined by $500 pp so I immediately called my HAL PCC and she did a refaring for me.  We did lose $25 pp in beverage cards, but kept the free gratuities promotion.  So, saved $950 for the two of us!

 

Today I rechecked again and noticed another price drop, this time of $100 pp.  Called the PCC and in minutes saved another $200, so $1150 total!  With 5 months to go until we sail, I am hoping to see more of this and will check every week or so.

 

So, it does pay to recheck your fares, even if you just experienced a price drop recently.  If you see a drop, call your TA or PCC immediately, as the fares can go back up overnight.

  

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DH checks ours faithfully, we've had similar experiences to yours.  Happy for you!  (no price drop yet on our bookings, but keeping fingers crossed!)

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Thank you Dave!!

I will check out our cruise on Rotterdam

for next yrs TA. My concern we booked on board Maasdam when we did SA 2018.

we got NS Explorer 4 with gratuities paid as well as $1,000.00 OBC. I believe if the cost of stateroom is less with out any benefits we’d loose our perks.

But I will come and let all know!

Denise😊

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13 minutes ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Thank you Dave!!

I will check out our cruise on Rotterdam

for next yrs TA. My concern we booked on board Maasdam when we did SA 2018.

we got NS Explorer 4 with gratuities paid as well as $1,000.00 OBC. I believe if the cost of stateroom is less with out any benefits we’d loose our perks.

But I will come and let all know!

Denise😊

Sometimes you lose the OBC and other perks but other times you do not.  In my case I only lost $50 in perks, so an easy choice.  All you can do is ask what the deal is - you never know.  Just be SURE to not re-book as a non-refundable fare.

 

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I’m on the phone with my PCC as we speak! Has me on hold right now fingers crossed!

Denise😊

I will get back

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Dave! 

No go😞 we could stay in the same NS refundable but we’d loose everything extra we got. My husband said that is ok. Keep it as is. So for us it would not work but for others like yourself that is great 👍 

Have a wonderful cruise

Dense😊

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Our final payment is next week and I just saved over $600 today.

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Interesting, on our Noordam cruise in a few days, there were 2 fare drops before final payment, (booked the cruise 6 months ago.)  I requested a refare from my TA and HAL, the answer I got was..'For Australian Bookings, the fare you pay is the final fare, no refares.    We mainly cruise Princess and do a few refares.  This has not made me happy, as this is our first HAL cruise.  They also promised us traditional dining, now we have been given open seating, which for medical/dietary reasons does not suit me, approaches to our TA and HAL Customer Relations in Seattle have been negative.   Suffice to say, I will not be a happy chappy when I board. 

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56 minutes ago, NSWP said:

Interesting, on our Noordam cruise in a few days, there were 2 fare drops before final payment, (booked the cruise 6 months ago.)  I requested a refare from my TA and HAL, the answer I got was..'For Australian Bookings, the fare you pay is the final fare, no refares.    We mainly cruise Princess and do a few refares.  This has not made me happy, as this is our first HAL cruise.  They also promised us traditional dining, now we have been given open seating, which for medical/dietary reasons does not suit me, approaches to our TA and HAL Customer Relations in Seattle have been negative.   Suffice to say, I will not be a happy chappy when I board. 

Either call ship services now or see the maître d' as soon as you board about the dining.  If there is a medical reason which can be confirmed by a doctor, you should have no problem switching.  

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1 hour ago, DaveOKC said:

Sometimes you lose the OBC and other perks but other times you do not.  In my case I only lost $50 in perks, so an easy choice.  All you can do is ask what the deal is - you never know.  Just be SURE to not re-book as a non-refundable fare.

I have already booked air through HAL as part of my reservation. If I re-fare, will the air have to be rebooked?

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Either call ship services now or see the maître d' as soon as you board about the dining.  If there is a medical reason which can be confirmed by a doctor, you should have no problem switching.  

Thanks, I already E Mailed and then called ships services at HAL HQ in Seattle.  They could do nothing they said as dining arrangements were in the hands of the Restaurant Manager on the ship and to see him/her on boarding, I mentioned my Celiac condition, but they did not seem really interested.  Happy cruising to you.

Edited by NSWP

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1 hour ago, NSWP said:

I They also promised us traditional dining, now we have been given open seating, which for medical/dietary reasons does not suit me

HAL checks you in at open dining using your cabin number (At least they did on my last cruise). A slip is given to the waiter that leads you to your table and it indicates that you have a special order. When the waiter takes the other orders, he or she will check to make sure they have the correct order for you. If he doesn't have your order, you can remind him, and he can find it.  Your waiter for the night will give you the next day's lunch and dinner menu during or after the meal so you can make your section for the next day. I don't think you will have anything to worry about, other than getting to eat at the exact time you want, in open seating.

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1 hour ago, NSWP said:

Interesting, on our Noordam cruise in a few days, there were 2 fare drops before final payment, (booked the cruise 6 months ago.)  I requested a refare from my TA and HAL, the answer I got was..'For Australian Bookings, the fare you pay is the final fare, no refares.    We mainly cruise Princess and do a few refares.  This has not made me happy, as this is our first HAL cruise. 

It sounds like you had a restricted fare. We have re-fared several times by ringing the Sydney office. We have never been refused.

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We are also in Australia......and have had every cruise that has dropped in price refared. We have not used a TA for many years, but book direct with Sydney and have saved thousands of $ over the years. We were frustrated when we did use a TA and wanted to change something or saw a better deal and were told by TA that no changes could be made. That is not true unless your TA has booked a restricted fare.

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10 hours ago, retafcruiser said:

I have already booked air through HAL as part of my reservation. If I re-fare, will the air have to be rebooked?

 

I really do not know for sure, but I think that it would not change as it has little to do with the cruise fare.  Obviously, call your TA to be certain. 

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Thanks for the heads up.  I just saved over $1,000.  I also lost my beverage cards (total $50), but it is worth it.  My air ( through HAL) was unaffected.  

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I am always a little surprised when I see this topic on any of the boards.  Watching the pricing of your cruise and "repricing" has been Cruising 101 for decades!  Personally we prefer to use a cruise agent/agency because we will save another 7-10% over the best pricing we get from our PCC.  But the procedure is the same with your PCC or a cruise/travel agent.  If you notice a price drop (prior to final payment) just contact "whoever" and ask to have your cruise fare repriced.  If there are no restrictions on the repricing (sometimes it will be limited to new bookings only) then it is normally a simple matter and should not impact your cabin selection or air (unless your original booking included some kind of air allowance).

 

Bottom line is that you have nothing to lose by asking :).   By the way, if you notice a nice drop after final payment you  can also make an inquiry.  While it is very unlikely that a cruise line will give you the price reduction (after final payment) they might sweeten your existing deal with an OBC or cabin upgrade.  

 

Just one more issue.  HAL (and some other cruise lines) have complicated things by sometimes offering "non-refundable" fares where you give up your repricing ability in order to get a lower price at initial booking.  Are those non-refundable deals good?  It really is hit or miss.   If the fare for your cruise later drops below the non-refundable fare you will be unhappy (this has happened to us).  However, if the price of the cruise stays the same or increases you will be smiling :).  It is kind of like playing craps! 

 

Hank

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Our rule for buying a non refundable deposit cruise outside the final payment window is exactly the same as buying and pre paying a non refundable hotel stay,

 

The risk has to be worth the reward.  A ten or fifteen percent reduction in price does not cut it for us.  For us to bite, it needs to be 20 or 25 points.

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41 minutes ago, iancal said:

Our rule for buying a non refundable deposit cruise outside the final payment window is exactly the same as buying and pre paying a non refundable hotel stay,

 

The risk has to be worth the reward.  A ten or fifteen percent reduction in price does not cut it for us.  For us to bite, it needs to be 20 or 25 points.

Agree.  It must be alot lower to get my attention, especially when booking 6-12 months out.  Case in point is the cruise I was discussing.  When I originally booked, I could have saved $200 pp with the non-refundable fare.  Since then I have saved $600 pp with fare reductions.

 

The one time I did a non-refundable fare was 1) it was only two months before final payment and 2) the fare was VERY low (as compared to previous cruises on the same ship and route).  In this case, the fare never dropped to my level. even after final payment.

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Posted (edited)

We typically buy inside the final payment window. 

 

But we often start shopping before that.  Looking, comparing, and establishing a 'buy price' that we feel is attractive.  In a few instance our buy price has hit prior to final payment.  Sometimes a few days, sometimes a few weeks.

 

It pays dividends to monitor cruise pricing  Of the cruise you have selected and on other competitive cruise lines that offer the same itinerary/date on a similar ship.  It is not just price.  More than once the price has not changed appreciably however the pricing matrix has collapsed allowing us to get a better category of cabin for the same price or being able to move from a gty to an assigned/selected cabin in a known category and location.

 

An once, we actually cancelled a cruise two weeks prior to final payment and then rebooked it a month later at a substantial discount to our initial buy.  Thanks to a great TA who gave us a heads up that the occupancy rates of the cruise were low according to her contacts at the cruise line.

Edited by iancal

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My wife and I are new cruisers (one trip to Alaska last year). We've booked a cruise from Boston to Montreal in October and the final payment date is in July. How can I check for fare reductions? If this has been discussed ad nauseum, just a link to the discussion would be great.

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1 hour ago, Day_late said:

My wife and I are new cruisers (one trip to Alaska last year). We've booked a cruise from Boston to Montreal in October and the final payment date is in July. How can I check for fare reductions? If this has been discussed ad nauseum, just a link to the discussion would be great.

Easy - just do a "pretend" booking for your cruise on HollandAmerica.com or any other travel agency website.  Just be sure that you are using the SAME category that you booked originally.  AND be sure that you are looking at the refundable fares (its easy to see).  Naturally, do not book the cruise, but rather exit the site after you get to the final fare page.  Be sure to see if the "extras" you got with your booking are still the same.

 

Once you have done this, call your TA and ask them to recheck your fare for you.  If you are before Final Payment Date, they should be able to refare you - and tell you if you will lose or add "extras".  If your original booking was using a non-refundable fare, you might be out of luck (as these normally cannot be refared).

 

Does this explain it enough for you?

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

IF you see a price reduction and want a re-fare do not hang about.  Call it in ASAP and request a re-fare..  Cruise prices can go down one day and up again the following day.

Edited by iancal

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52 minutes ago, iancal said:

IF you see a price reduction and want a re-fare do not hang about.  Call it in ASAP and request a re-fare..  Cruise prices can go down one day and up again the following day.

Great point - DO IT NOW!

 

Update - now HAL added an OBC of up to $100 pp to my sailing (special 3 day promotion for Alaska cruises - ends April 18).  Once again - keep on checking!!

 

 

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