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Project-College

How Flexible is NCL?

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We are looking at a cruise on 12/20/19 (as that is the only leave date with a return date that can fit into our HS Son's school schedule and 'possibly' our College Son's schedule).

 

Since that is Finals week at Rutgers... we need to know from Rutgers if all his Finals will be done so that we can leave on 12/20.  Rutgers said the Professors decide Finals Dates and will be able to verify same during the first week of September.

 

NCL said they had to have final payment in late August (120 days), as did RCL and Carnival.  Both RCL and Carnival were willing to waive the 120 days for 1 week to allow Son to verify Finals... NCL would NOT?

 

We have been on NCL in the past (Breakaway) and liked then the most of the big three but is one week enough for them to possibly cancel a future (and almost retired) consistent cruiser out of NY?

 

What are your thoughts... as I know they have policies like the 120 days for a reason but is one week more that much of a problem?  (Especially when their competitors are willing to work with us?

 

Again, we now we would loose the deposit if we cancel but not willing to loose anymore just because of 1 week.

 

Let me know your thoughts... Thanks

 

 

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Posted (edited)

You have obviously called and asked (since you know what the other cruise lines will do). What did NCL say?

 

The challenge is that even if someone says “yes”, come final payment date, the automatic system take over and you may be cancelled anyways. 

 

The alternative is to wait until you know at 113 days and book then. It is a simple, elegant solution, but you would get the promos at that time. 

 

 

Edited by BirdTravels

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Thanks for the view....

 

Waiting until then seems to be the same thought as I had.  Been on RCL for three time, out of Bayonne, and Carnival a few times out of NY so really wanted to try NCL again but their being unwilling to even work with me (again when the others are) really worries me?

 

If they are so inflexible... what happens when on the ship again if an issue arises?

 

I will say though that if we decide to go with RCL or CCL because of this situation, that might be the last time we go on NCL.

 

Heck, that Haven was a small fortune last time!

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Yeah....a PCC saying they’d extend final payment and actually doing it is something I’d want to see in writing.  Regardless of cruiseline, most PCCs I’ve encountered will do or say just about anything to make the sale.

 

But, if true, I’d say you should go with the cruise line that will extend the final payment date.

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Well I certainly understand having to work around the kids' school exam schedule...we are almost done with that...yay!  But I don't think it's so much about NCL being inflexible as it is them having to set a policy and stick with it.  If they took into consideration every individual circumstance that may arise with potential travelers, I can imagine that it would wreck havoc over the entire final payment operation.  I'm not sure how flexible the others actually are when it comes to final payment despite what you were told. 

You might consider working with a TA (if you aren't already) who can watch your booking closely when final payment time gets around.  I've been told by mine that there is a slight grace period before the booking is actually cancelled...meaning it's less automatic than they like to reveal.  I found this out when they tried to bill my card automatically when final payment was due but the card was declined because it had expired.  They reached out to me for several days prior to cancelling.  Fortunately, I got the transaction taken care of before it was cancelled and it was almost a week past due.  Not saying you should risk that, but my point is that there is often unadvertised flexibility because they don't really want to lose the booking.  On the other hand, if you are worried about losing the deposit if you end up not being able to go, well that's another issue altogether.  You'd likely not get that back.

I think someone else suggested waiting for a while to book your cruise.  Perhaps that's the best answer.

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VERY very helpful info... as I would have just 'accepted' the statement from the PCC.  I will try again with them in a few weeks and see if they are still stubborn.

 

I wish there were more choices for that small window at 12/20 but we can't impact either Son... one a HS Junior the other a College Sophomore.

 

I may be 'old world' but I believe in 'How a company responds defines their worth'.  In something as competitive as the Cruise Industry... they have my profile and to see so little flexibility ... well you know!

 

Thans for the info and if anyone has ever been in this situation, please let me know.

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11 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

Yeah....a PCC saying they’d extend final payment and actually doing it is something I’d want to see in writing.  Regardless of cruiseline, most PCCs I’ve encountered will do or say just about anything to make the sale.

Right now I am working with a PCC who last July when we were booking promised many things for our group.  Now that we have made final payment we are getting very little of what was promised.  So I agree with graphicguy that unless you get something in writing I wouldn't take the PCC at his word. 

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Thanks Georgia_Peaches

 

We have worked with a TA and she was not able to get anywhere with NCL.  She actually suggested trying to call them myself.

 

That 'grace period' you mentioned might be valuable.  I have asked the TA to keep an idea of how the books fill up on the ship as well as the following week is the big sailing NOT the 12/20... possibly because of the same reason as mine:  KIDS IN SCHOOL.

 

Just can't figure out why RCL and CCL will but NCL won't work with me.

 

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Thanks Dar & Bob

 

I am learning a lot today... to include  'Buyer Beware' as to promises of PCC's!

 

I am a 'techie' as they say, specializing in CRM solutions (Customer Relations Management) and the main rule of thumb for Oracle Siebel, SAP and the rest is compare future revenue with current offers?

 

My wife and I are almost 60 and cruise alot, and usually in upscale cabins.   Maybe NCL needs to hire a new CRM specialist as possibly loosing a future multisailer over a 1 week waiver... obviously their algorithms are faulty.

 

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With the cruise industry, I would never trust a person at a call center with a promise of giving a grace period. NCL might actually be doing you a favor. Policies are pretty cut and dried, black and white. My daughter went to Rutgers, exams were late. Can you purchase cancel for any reason insurance? Or find a policy that would cover this situation?

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I would also suggest your son reaching out directly to his professors. As a sophomore he likely already has his classes and perhaps knows who the profs are, or will know before final payment. 

If nothing else, if he does it right, he will immediately come off to his upcoming professors as a responsible and thoughtful young man for looking ahead and planning. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if they respond by saying “thanks for asking so far ahead and no problem”. 

I would trust the professor’s words over a random NCL rep. 😜

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Agree with the poster who said to wait to book until you know for sure when you can go.  As mentioned before, if companies had to bend to every single person’s unique set of circumstances, it would lead to chaos.  As I rule follower myself, I applaud and trust companies that stick to their policies.  It assures me that I will be treated the same as everyone else.  

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2 minutes ago, JandC_Cruising said:

I would also suggest your son reaching out directly to his professors. As a sophomore he likely already has his classes and perhaps knows who the profs are, or will know before final payment. 

If nothing else, if he does it right, he will immediately come off to his upcoming professors as a responsible and thoughtful young man for looking ahead and planning. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if they respond by saying “thanks for asking so far ahead and no problem”. 

I would trust the professor’s words over a random NCL rep. 😜

We thought of that but thought my Son contacting the Rutgers Profs would come across as 'an entitled rich kid'  which we definitely are not .  You really think they wouldn't take it that way?

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I'm betting you would have a better shot with flexibility from professors.  I recently graduated from UMass and never had a problem changing an exam time to accommodate my work schedule.  Just have him ask early in the semester.

 

Also, I'm wondering if this is something insurance would cover (there are policies that cover not being able to get the time off from work).

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6 minutes ago, Project-College said:

Thanks Dar & Bob

 

I am learning a lot today... to include  'Buyer Beware' as to promises of PCC's!

 

I am a 'techie' as they say, specializing in CRM solutions (Customer Relations Management) and the main rule of thumb for Oracle Siebel, SAP and the rest is compare future revenue with current offers?

 

My wife and I are almost 60 and cruise alot, and usually in upscale cabins.   Maybe NCL needs to hire a new CRM specialist as possibly loosing a future multisailer over a 1 week waiver... obviously their algorithms are faulty.

 

I don’t think they need to hire someone, the way they operate seems to be working for them. New cruisers spend more than seasoned cruisers, if you cancel after final payment they have not only your money, but will end up booking your cabin at a higher rate due to the holiday. The cruising industry is known for not considering customer loyalty, sob stories, bending the rules.

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3 minutes ago, Project-College said:

We thought of that but thought my Son contacting the Rutgers Profs would come across as 'an entitled rich kid'  which we definitely are not .  You really think they wouldn't take it that way?

Are there entitled rich kids at Rutgers?

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4 minutes ago, mjkacmom said:

With the cruise industry, I would never trust a person at a call center with a promise of giving a grace period. NCL might actually be doing you a favor. Policies are pretty cut and dried, black and white. My daughter went to Rutgers, exams were late. Can you purchase cancel for any reason insurance? Or find a policy that would cover this situation?

That's a good point...exams can be late?  (Mine is at Rutgers in NB too),  The travel insurance is $675 and that is a steep cost for a 1 week allowance... though you have me now thinking more about other what ifs?

Right now I am leaning toward the booking late and getting the insurance (as booking late would at least remove the issue of the exams.  Should the exams be late, I used to teach at Rutgers Newark and would have no problem meeting with the Provost!  I KNOW Rutgers can make special arrangements if THEY mess up the date.  My cruise would not qualify as an excuse though but their changing date would)

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3 minutes ago, mjkacmom said:

Are there entitled rich kids at Rutgers?

Maybe not Rich but 'entitled' YES.  Taught Freshman for 4 years and from what I have seen on campus over the past few years, with Rutgers moving up in the ratings, they do have their share of kids that feel 'entitled'.

 

Remember the girl that sued her Parents for College AFTER she moved out... that was our neighbor in Rockaway NJ and I know from talking to some previous associated at Rutgers... lots of Professors are not very happy with certain aspects of the student body.  I don't mean that Students should Kiss the Profs A$$% but respect is important and I just did not want to come across to them like.... A Cruise is more important than College'.

Maybe I am too touchy but ........

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That is a “risk”. However I would say there is a way to do it without  that happening. 

Particularly if done BEFORE the semester even starts. 

He can pose the question as “I am trying to plan for the winter break ahead of time and asking  if I could leave school by the 19th. I know it would require I complete all work and exams early depending upon the exact schedule.   If not I understand, but I needed to ask now rather than at the last minute. 

 

 

 

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Sorry, IMHO, this is something that a "cancel for any reasons insurance" bundle is designed for ....  Premium is too high, shop around & compare. 

 

Hmmm, look at this differently ... it's mid Winter and what if - unlikely event of - a massive blizzard delayed matters.  

 

Priorities.  

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10 minutes ago, mjkacmom said:

I don’t think they need to hire someone, the way they operate seems to be working for them. New cruisers spend more than seasoned cruisers, if you cancel after final payment they have not only your money, but will end up booking your cabin at a higher rate due to the holiday. The cruising industry is known for not considering customer loyalty, sob stories, bending the rules.

Possibly my mistake... I thought Customer Loyalty was number 1 with Cruise lines.  If that premise is wrong than your right maybe their algoritithms are right on.

... but again RCL and CCL are in that same Industry and they were willing?

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2 minutes ago, JandC_Cruising said:

That is a “risk”. However I would say there is a way to do it without  that happening. 

Particularly if done BEFORE the semester even starts. 

He can pose the question as “I am trying to plan for the winter break ahead of time and asking  if I could leave school by the 19th. I know it would require I complete all work and exams early depending upon the exact schedule.   If not I understand, but I needed to ask now rather than at the last minute. 

 

 

 

Good point... I think I will discuss with my Son today. 

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3 minutes ago, mking8288 said:

Sorry, IMHO, this is something that a "cancel for any reasons insurance" bundle is designed for ....  Premium is too high, shop around & compare. 

 

Hmmm, look at this differently ... it's mid Winter and what if - unlikely event of - a massive blizzard delayed matters.  

 

Priorities.  

Sorry for taking a second... had to look up what IMHO meant (I am obviously not a very qualified foreumist)

 

Where is the best place to view premiums on 'Cancel for any reason' policies?  Any companies to definitely avoid?

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All that have been responding....

 

THANKS SO MUCH AS, WHILE WE HAVE BEEN ON QUITE A FEW CRUISES, WE ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT 'EXPERIENCED' WITH WHAT-IFS!

 

Your help and advice is greatly appreciated!

 

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