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Bethcb

Paying for Shore Excursions before/during cruise

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We are booked on Nieuw Statendam July 7 for 14 days in Norway. Usually we book independent tours but not a lot available there. We have prepaid 3 tours but have a lot of OBC. When on board, can we change our payment for the excursions to credit our credit card and charge them to OBC?

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4 minutes ago, Bethcb said:

We are booked on Nieuw Statendam July 7 for 14 days in Norway. Usually we book independent tours but not a lot available there. We have prepaid 3 tours but have a lot of OBC. When on board, can we change our payment for the excursions to credit our credit card and charge them to OBC?

 

That’s a tricky one.

 

If you cancel your prepaid tour you will lose money and if you rebook you will fall to the bottom of the barrel (if it’s sold out).

 

the short answer is no although it has been done but not easily.

 

The basic rule is if there is a tour that you really want, book it online and secure it.

 

If there are some that you can say “no worries if I don’t get it and there are options” then cancel those and book as soon as you are onboard recognizing that if they are sold out you’ll go for option 2.  That way, you can use your OBC.  

 

That’s the easiest way to do what you want IMO.  I don’t do a lot of HAL tours but if there is one I really want, I book it right away to secure it.

 

 

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Basically -- if you cancel once you are on the ship, you will get more shipboard credit.  Don't know where your original shipboard credit came from.  But if it is from HAL, then it will be used first and if you have any shipboard credit left that is from your cancelled excursions, then it will be credited back to your credit card.

 

I wouldn't risk cancelling as you do end up at the end of the wait list (if there is one) and you may not even get to go on that excursion.

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Both KK and Jacqui beat me to it🙄

DITTO I AGREE! We learned the hard way a long time ago before we came to CC.

Denise🌺

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This is one area that HAL really needs to address - let us use our OBC for tours BEFORE we board.  I understand that other lines (Princess?), allows this now.  I would think that it would benefit all parties involved, as HAL and its vendors would have a better understanding of demand further in advance and can make arrangements to address.  Sure sounds like a win-win to me.

 

Everyone - add this item to your HAL surveys.

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I think there is a 10% cancellation fee if you cancel a pre-booked tour when you get onboard.  There is a time limit for this 10%, but I'm not sure what it is.  If it is a tour that involves aircraft, like a helicopter tour, there are a specified number of days that you must cancel or you eat the whole tour cost.

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Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and a Regent all allow promotional (cruiseline provided) onboard credit to be applied to any pre cruise purchase such as Shore excursions, beverage packages, spa treatments, specialty dining, and so on. HAL, along with Carnival and NCL (among others), have evidently not invested in the IT resources to make this possible (sadly). 

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Posted (edited)

This April I was surprised that all of my excursions wherever I booked them had a 10% penalty.   This was a Caribbean cruise.   Be sure to read the fine print 

Edited by Mary229

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We had this exact situation in April,  we had a tour we really wanted so prebooked. We asked as soon as we got on board  and they were able to credit it to our On-board account and rebook it.  There was no penalty, but I don’t know if that is always the case.   We had a really large amount of OBC so greatly appreciated that.  At the end  the remainder was refunded to our CC.  

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11 hours ago, bennybear said:

We had this exact situation in April,  we had a tour we really wanted so prebooked. We asked as soon as we got on board  and they were able to credit it to our On-board account and rebook it.  There was no penalty, but I don’t know if that is always the case.   We had a really large amount of OBC so greatly appreciated that.  At the end  the remainder was refunded to our CC.  

 

If your OBC was refundable, why did you bother with this process?  Did you have too much non-refundable OBC?

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Yes a lot of non refundable that we had to make sure we used or I wouldn’t have bothered..  They refunded the prebooked tour cost. 

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1 hour ago, bennybear said:

Yes a lot of non refundable that we had to make sure we used or I wouldn’t have bothered..  They refunded the prebooked tour cost. 

Glad you got it handled - as I mentioned earlier, I sure wish HAL would address this issue (like many of the other lines have)!!

 

Are you listening HAL???

 

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4 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

Glad you got it handled - as I mentioned earlier, I sure wish HAL would address this issue (like many of the other lines have)!!

 

Are you listening HAL???

 

Agree.

 

We had a lot of OBC on our last HAL cruise. I had to go to the excursion desk as soon as it was open.

 

Funny thing was one of the excursions that we were going to book was no longer available, but not because it was sold out. It just no longer existed. I had to keep checking with DW at the pool to see what interested her in what was left.

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Posted (edited)

Just like anything you buy for your cruise, HAL always prefers that you spend "your money" instead of the their free HAL OBC.   That's why you can't purchase anything before the cruse using your HAL provided OBC.   If you want something bad enough (like a popular tour that may sell out, a Rudi's pop-up dinner in the  PG, etc) they encourage you to use your own money upfront to be sure you get that tour.  That's why some tours are shown as "Only 2 spaces left" and 6 months later they are still showing "2 spaces left".   That's to encourage you to buy now, online to be sure you get those "rare 2 spaces".   

That's also why HAL is now charging $10 plus 15% if you choose to use your OBC to buy the regular beverage package.  Obviously, they will never be "sold out" of beverage packages, but if you choose to wait until you are onboard to buy it, you pay the $10 per day penalty.  It is not a "discount" as some have described it.  If you want to use HAL's money to buy the package, you will pay $10 per day more for the privilege.   

But this also creates a problem if you have very little OBC provided by HAL but you pre-pay to load up your account with your own money.  Even if you are using your own money, you still pay the extra $10 per day fee to buy the SBP onboard.  The extra fee for purchasing the Elite beverage package does not have this penalty if you purchase onboard.

Edited by TAD2005

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2 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Agree.

 

We had a lot of OBC on our last HAL cruise. I had to go to the excursion desk as soon as it was open.

 

Funny thing was one of the excursions that we were going to book was no longer available, but not because it was sold out. It just no longer existed. I had to keep checking with DW at the pool to see what interested her in what was left.

 

Exactly my point - why make us do this just after we board - it ties us up and creates longer lines at the excursions desk.  Plus, if HAL had better knowledge of what people were wanting to book ahead of sailing, they often could make adjustments with the vendors to provide it (thus more money for HAL).

 

This is an idea whose time has come IMO.

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Thanks for the info. We are mostly Princess cruisers (45 cruises) and are more used to their policies. I’ll actually be OK this time since I do have a lot of refundable credit too. I was just curious about how HAL does stuff. 

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On 5/17/2019 at 7:59 PM, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and a Regent all allow promotional (cruiseline provided) onboard credit to be applied to any pre cruise purchase such as Shore excursions, beverage packages, spa treatments, specialty dining, and so on. HAL, along with Carnival and NCL (among others), have evidently not invested in the IT resources to make this possible (sadly). 

 

On Princess, use of OBC for pre-cruise purchases is limited to shore excursions.

 

If you want to buy the other items, you must pay with a credit card if you do so pre-cruise.

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