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Experience with Non Refundable Deposit

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This may have been discussed before, but here is my recent experience with changing a reservation with a non refundable deposit.  When I called HAL about a month ago, I was told we could change our reservation as long as the new cruise has the same non refundable deposit.  Having decided that we wanted to cancel and book a new cruise, my travel agent called and tried to switch the reservation to another cruise with the same non refundable deposit.  However, when she called HAL, they would not rebook another cruise that was less than the one I booked originally.  Had to book a suite to get the spend to the same level as the original cruise cancelled.  Glad I did it during the three day sale. Got additional obc, and a suite for not that much more than a verandah.   Sure this has been discussed before.  Just a heads up. 

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The only times that we book a "non-refundable" deposit cruise are if we can use a Future Cruise Credit certificate as a deposit.  That way we get to benefit from the greatly reduced cruise fare and are only risking $100 or $300 (dependent on the length of cruise booked) if we later decide to cancel the cruise altogether and rebook another one.  We have made changes to non-refundable deposit bookings many times and have never lost a deposit.

Edited by taxmantoo

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If you book a non refundable fare (and have to pay in full or a large deposit) I think the only way to get a refund if you need to cancel is to buy HAL’s cancel for any reason-anyone know if this is correct?

 

We have only booked a non refundable once and that is because the cruise was within a month and full amount had to be paid.  

 

OP-I’m glad you could change your reservation, I didn’t know you could do that.  Thanks for your info and experience on this.  Nice you’ll be in a suite too! 

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We have selectively used non refundable deposits and were able to transfer to another booking on one occasion.

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We have yet to see an offer that makes the savings attached to a non refundable cruise deposit financially attractive to us.  

 

We typically book inside the final payment window.  Final payment, no change, but always a very attractive offer.

 

 Even when we have booking well in advance we have always seemed to score fare reductions and re-prices.  We sometimes do it for hotel stays, but only when the non refundable discount is 25 percent or more.

Edited by iancal

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Non-refundable deposit and non-refundable fare are two completely different things.

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29 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

Non-refundable deposit and non-refundable fare are two completely different things.

Good point!  

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I booked a Christmas/New Year's Cruise on the Volendam with a non-refundable fare.  The price difference between this fare and the special promotion that was taking place was significant.  Since I always buy travel insurance within the two week window after making a deposit, I thought it to be a good idea.  (And, for a holiday cruise, the price was very attractive.)

 

Very recently--thanks to the information from a Roll Call member for the cruise--the prices had dropped.  I asked my TA to check my situation and HAL would not alter my fare but did offer an upgrade from a F category on Dolphin Deck to a C category on Main Deck.  Not interested; I am happy where my originally booked stateroom is.

 

My TA expressed some displeasure with HAL dealing with any non-refundable fares/deposit situations at times that she has experienced.

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I have a non-refundable deposit booking for this November--inside cabin.  When I noticed fares had recently dropped, I called my TA to ask if I would allowed to change to an outside cabin at the new fare.  It took a longish call to HAL, but she was able to get that change for me with just a small additional fare for the better cabin.  This was my first experience with non-refundable deposits so I am happy for the other information provided by others in this thread.

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I avoid non-refundable deals unless 1) we at past or near final payment and 2) the price is very good based on my experience for the cabin type and itinerary.  I did one booking this way and it worked great, but normally I do not do them, as all too often we end up getting a price reduction or more perks along the way (sometimes 3 or 4 adjustments on one cruise.)

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I posted a couple days ago about our experience but I will share here too.

 

We booked an Alaskan cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam about 18 months ago with a non-refundable deposit. Noticed last week (before final payment) that the price had dropped quite a bit. Our TA spoke with HA and while they wouldn't credit us the difference they upgraded us from a VB aft balcony to an SC Neptune suite guarantee. We are thrilled with this arrangement.

 

Our lesson has been learned though regarding non-refundable deposits because I had mistakenly assumed it was different than a non-refundable fare... which it is but ultimately the ability to make changes is not much different than a full fare that is non-refundable. Next time we book so early I will be sure not to choose non-refundable for any part of the cruise so that we have some flexibility.

Edited by Canadianweaselette

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