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Final Payment


57eric
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I was doing some mock bookings on the Cunard US site and began noticing weird things about the final payment date.  For example, M102A departs January 3, 2021 and final payment is stated as being due August 6 (presumably 2020), five months prior to departure.  My TA lists the policy as 90 days, and that has always been my experience. 

 

Did I miss something?

 

Thanks.

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That's interesting. I'm also seeing the same thing on the Cunard US website. It looks to me like what they are quoting as the "Remainder due" date is the date when penalties start to kick in if you cancel. Since voyage M102A is longer than 30 nights, the cancellation penalties start to kick in at 150 days before departure.

 

On other shorter voyages I've looked at (such as a 7-night crossing on QM2), the US website is quoting a "Remainder due" date that is 120 days before departure. That's the date when cancellation penalties kick in for voyages of 30 nights or less.

 

If Cunard is intending to change the final payment date, I have not heard that yet.

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The plot thickens. Not sure what to make of this, but ...

 

For upcoming voyages through the 2020 world and exotic voyages, I'm seeing the Cunard US website quoting "Remainder due" dates that are 90 days before the departure date for voyages of 30 nights or less and 120 days before the departure date for voyages of more than 30 nights.

 

After the 2020 world and exotic voyages (and starting with QE's 2020 Alaska season), I'm seeing the Cunard US website quoting "Remainder due" dates that are 120 days before the departure date for voyages of 30 nights or less and 150 days before the departure date for voyages of more than 30 nights.

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I'm seeing more evidence that this may be a real change in Cunard's final payment policy. One of the US online cruise booking websites I've used in the past is quoting a final payment date of 95 days for QM2 crossings through April 18, 2020 and 125 days before departure for QM2 crossings starting with the April 25, 2020 crossing. This booking website adds 5 days to the cruise line's official final payment date to allow a little extra time to get payment from the customer.

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My US TA requests final payment 127 days before sailing (which for the Christmas cruise coincidentally is today). They say it's to allow ample margin to avoid cancellation due to missing the deadline. It also forces the passenger to confront payment vs. cancellation ahead of the 120 day deadline when the deposit is no longer refundable, which I suspect is the real objective. I think this has been the TA's schedule since the fully-refundable date went to 120 days out, in 2017.

Edited by Underwatr
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Yeah, I suppose it's just been a matter of time until Cunard moved up the final payment date to align with the cancellation penalty date here in the US. It seemed a bit clumsy and potentially confusing when Cunard made the cancellation penalty date earlier than the final payment date here a couple years ago.

 

For the record, this appears to be only a North America change at the moment. Looking at the OP's 49-night voyage M102A departing January 3, 2021, the "Remainder due" date is showing as "August 6" (150 days before departure) on the Cunard US and Canada sites. But it is still showing as "5 October" (90 days before departure) on the Cunard UK and Australia sites.

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Here is what I am seeing for the first voyages where the new earlier final payment dates go into effect in the US.

 

QM2: Voyage M010A - Apr 18-May 2, 2020 - "Roundtrip Transatlantic"

QV: Voyage V010A - Mar 28-Apr 4, 2020 - "Hamburg, Amsterdam and Bruges"

QE: Voyage Q017 - Jun 2-Jun 12, 2020 - "Alaska including Glacier Bay"

 

As I hinted at earlier, these are the first voyages after the QM2 and QV 2020 world voyages and the first voyage of QE's 2020 Alaska season departing from Vancouver.

 

Note the old rules apply to voyage M010 - Apr 18-Apr 25, 2020 - "Westbound Transatlantic Crossing" and to voyage V010 - Mar 28-Mar 30, 2020 - "Southampton to Hamburg", presumably because those are the final segments of the world voyages from New York and Hamburg respectively.

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As I said, my TA's payment deadline has been at 127 days for a couple of years now. When I called in my payment this week the TA commented on it feeling early and I told him my assumption about preventing passengers from getting confused about a cancellation penalty ahead of the real final payment date and he agreed that that was probably why the agency had it there.

Which begs the question - with final payment moving to 120/150 days, is the cancellation penalty schedule the same (lose deposit up to 25% at 120 days, lose 40% at 90...)?

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The US Cunard Passage Contract found at https://www.cunard.com/en-us/advice-and-policies/passage-contract still has the same cancellation penalty schedule. It's dated April 2017. As we know there are other versions of some of the terms and conditions to be found in the voyage personaliser, but I don't currently have a voyage booked to be able to see if anything has changed there.

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I note Bigmike911 mentioned the final payment date and cancellation penalty date are both 120 days before departure for his upcoming July 2020 crossing. That's an indication that Cunard hasn't adjusted the US cancellation penalty dates (yet).

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Direct booking? There was some indication on my recent direct Cunard booking that they'd charge the card used for down payment at the appropriate time. I canceled and rebooked with a TA long before final payment time.

My TA sends me an Invoice Due a couple of days before their final payment date (which is comfortably earlier than the line's real deadline).

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3 hours ago, 2Oldpeopleinlove said:

Separate question, really, but do pax receive a nudge when final payment is due, or do I need to make a note in my brainbook?

 

As Underwatr indicated, when you book with Cunard in the US, your booking may be set so that the credit card you used for your deposit is automatically charged at the time of final payment. Look near the bottom of the booking confirmation document from Cunard under the "Notices" section for the following statement.

 

"Per your request, the credit card registered will automatically be charged when final payment is due."

 

I've never actually used this option, so I can't verify how well it works in practice, but that option is available and it might be on your booking (if the statement above appears on your booking confirmation).

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4 minutes ago, bluemarble said:

"Per your request, the credit card registered will automatically be charged when final payment is due."

Yes, my booking had that statement. Offhand I don't recall making that selection during the booking process but I have a preferred travel card (unless American Express is running a cruise payment special) so it would be my intent that they charge that card again.

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  • 1 year later...

At https://www.cunard.com/en-us/contact-us/guide-to-booking-online/using-fcc-online

I see "Where the cost of the voyage is more than the available FCC, the FCC is deducted from the total cost before the deposit due is calculated, unless full balance is due (if within 90 days of departure*)."  [The asterisk refers to the current 30 day exception.]

 

My question is: 90 days?  Last I knew, it was 120 days, and 150 days for longer voyages.

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39 minutes ago, 57eric said:

At https://www.cunard.com/en-us/contact-us/guide-to-booking-online/using-fcc-online

I see "Where the cost of the voyage is more than the available FCC, the FCC is deducted from the total cost before the deposit due is calculated, unless full balance is due (if within 90 days of departure*)."  [The asterisk refers to the current 30 day exception.]

 

My question is: 90 days?  Last I knew, it was 120 days, and 150 days for longer voyages.

 

For US bookings, when the 30 day exception no longer applies (beginning with January 2022 departures), the normal final payment date is indeed 120 days before departure for voyages of 30 nights or less and 150 days before departure for voyages of more than 30 nights. That's what I'm still seeing is the case when I start bookings on the Cunard US website for voyages departing January 2022 onwards.

 

For UK bookings, the normal final payment date is 90 days before departure regardless of the voyage length. That's what I'm seeing when I start bookings on the Cunard UK website with departure dates from January 2022 onwards.

 

I suspect they have confused the US and UK booking terms by making that statement about "if within 90 days of departure" on the US website. The exact same wording appears on both websites even though the final payment date policies are different between the US and UK.

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I have 2  cruises booked for 2021 one booked Nov 20 one booked April 21 - one is 39 days the other 20 days. Both have final payment dates exactly 90 days prior - this was via a NZ travel agent using the Australian website 

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Us used to be 90 days, but a few years ago they changed to 120 days. So just like every country has different prices, every country has different penalties and payment dates

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