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chicopaige

Nonrefundable fare question

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If you book a nonrefundable deposit are you allowed to refare the cruise if a better price becomes available prior to final payment without it affecting your deposit?

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Can't answer for sure, but here's my experience.  I booked a cruise with a non-refundable deposit through my big box warehouse club travel department.  Several months later, I noticed a price drop.   I called mt TA, who in turn called HAL.  Since the deposit was non-refundable, they would not budge on rebooking at the lower price, but after some back and forth, my TA did get them to include pre-paid gratuities.  Not bad for a 32 night cruise.

 

Get your TA on the case.

 

Good Luck! 

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I also saw a price drop.  I called my TA and brought it to his attention.  We got an upgraded cabin and a choice of other perks-I think a special dinner or drinks.

 

 

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I have been doing that battle. I will never do a non refundable deposit again.

Seems HAL will let you make a change in your booking with a non refundable deposit if it is an up grade.( HAL's advantage), but they will not let you do it to maximize your perks.( Your advantage).

 

So I just bit it on my non refundable deposit, ($850) but my price went down $2000. So plus $1150 for me. But they took away "our" future cruise deposits they had offered us last round. -$600. I decided future cruise deposits were "funny" money. A $600 credit on a cruise that is going to drop 3K is non existent.

So bottom line my cruise is $5000 less then when I first booked it.

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7 hours ago, chicopaige said:

If you book a nonrefundable deposit are you allowed to refare the cruise if a better price becomes available prior to final payment without it affecting your deposit?

I unfortunately saw a large price drop in my already booked cruise.  I had already paid a large deposit, but also had insured the cruise for pre existing conditions.  Price dropped again and I called Big Box TA to refare and was told no, but with some pressure (I have used TA many times) and am 5* Mariner HAL dropped the price somewhat and kicked in $1000 in benefits: $200 worth of Shore ex vouchers and $200 in beverage cards plus $600 future cruise credit.

 

Price continued to drop but that was it...could not re fare.  I will never book a nonrefundable fare again...ever!  I did book another cruise with Big Box and was given a unbelievable deal on an SS suite (refundable with small deposit.)I asked agent and she said HAL had some promotions going with all kinds of extras.  I would like to think it is payback for my upcoming 30 day Amazon cruise.  TA said HAL is the only cruise line they represent that does non refundable fares and even she got a bad deal.

 

Karen 

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When this situation happened to me this year, HAL would not change my fare but did offer me an upgrade which I declined.  They then offered additional on-board credits which I accepted.

 

My travel agent told me that she finds it very frustrating and difficult working with them when fares drop and her clients made a nonrefundable deposit.

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I avoid the non refundable deposit and fare deals.  All too often I am refaring my cruise (or even cancelling it) to make it work for me.

 

The only time I did a non-refundable was when 1) I knew we would be going for sure, 2) it was only a month before final payment and 3) the fare was the lowest I had seen for that cruise/ship/cabin in the past.

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1 minute ago, DaveOKC said:

The only time I did a non-refundable was when 1) I knew we would be going for sure, 2) it was only a month before final payment and 3) the fare was the lowest I had seen for that cruise/ship/cabin in the past.

 

Your reasons #1 and #3 have been the reasons I have booked an nonrefundable fare.

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2 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

When this situation happened to me this year, HAL would not change my fare but did offer me an upgrade which I declined.  They then offered additional on-board credits which I accepted.

 

My travel agent told me that she finds it very frustrating and difficult working with them when fares drop and her clients made a nonrefundable deposit.

My TA will only make a non-refundable deposit reluctantly.  She will do all she can to convince you not to do it.

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Which is why I assume if you ( and spouse) are retired and can travel at a moment's notice and get decent last minute  airfare ( within a few week's of the cruise), it does pay to wait and then book when the fares drop and the cruise line is trying to fill the ship.

Of course you may not get the stateroom you desire....but I have noticed across all the premium and luxury lines that the price drops considerably  within 4-6 weeks of the cruise departure.

 

Again, I understand this works only for those retired (or with very flexible  work schedules) and not too picky with stateroom type/location.

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8 minutes ago, cruisetheworld67 said:

Which is why I assume if you ( and spouse) are retired and can travel at a moment's notice and get decent last minute  airfare ( within a few week's of the cruise), it does pay to wait and then book when the fares drop and the cruise line is trying to fill the ship.

Of course you may not get the stateroom you desire....but I have noticed across all the premium and luxury lines that the price drops considerably  within 4-6 weeks of the cruise departure.

 

Again, I understand this works only for those retired (or with very flexible  work schedules) and not too picky with stateroom type/location.

Although we are retired ,we booked a Hawaii R/T San Diego 18 day cruise Nov 3 ,2020   on Koningsdam with a major on line  TA  .So their  Labor Day Sale comes out  & the perks are much better ;however ,the cruise price went up  .By the time we figured out the differences in cruise prices with my perks & the new cruise price with the current perks c,we are ahead  . We wanted a  certain cabin location /& if you waited until  4 to 6 weeks before the cruise there is no way we could even get a balcony cabin unless going into a suite  .Thus ,the moral here is each cruise  can be very different .The ship & destination can make a world of difference whether to wait  after final payment or not 

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There would have to be a very attractive discount for us to consider a not refundable deposit.  At least 25 percent and even then we would be comparing the fare to market rates prior to committing.

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22 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

When this situation happened to me this year, HAL would not change my fare but did offer me an upgrade which I declined.  They then offered additional on-board credits which I accepted.

 

My travel agent told me that she finds it very frustrating and difficult working with them when fares drop and her clients made a nonrefundable deposit.

I am a bit surprised that HAL would offer anything to those with a non-refundable deposit or fare.  After all, the reason they got a lower price in the first place is due to them accepting the restrictions.  Am I missing something here?

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4 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

I am a bit surprised that HAL would offer anything to those with a non-refundable deposit or fare.  After all, the reason they got a lower price in the first place is due to them accepting the restrictions.  Am I missing something here?

 

I have no idea why this happened other than her agency and she does much business with HAL.  Is there any wonder why I use this agency and agent with this kind of result?

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I initially booked my upcoming February Niew Statendam cruise under a refundable deposit fare. But after 2 significant price drops, I switched to a non-refundable fare because that fare, in my opinion, is so ridiculously low that I can’t imagine it going much lower than that ($347pp for a balcony stateroom, 7 night Caribbean cruise, before taxes). That fare also includes a $125 onboard credit. 

 

The TA was very specific in telling me that, If the prices do go down further, I can’t take advantage of future repricing if I switched to the  non refundable deposit fare. With prices that low, I took the gamble.

 

Against my better judgement, I’ve kept checking fares knowing that I can’t reprice, but thankfully so far, the rates have done nothing but go up which makes me feel good about my decision. But normally, I would’ve avoided non-refundable deposit fares. 

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12 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I have no idea why this happened other than her agency and she does much business with HAL.  Is there any wonder why I use this agency and agent with this kind of result?

I think that it is great that you can get the extras and I certainly would try in every case, but my point is that people should not be mad at HAL if they say NO due to the non-refundable rules.

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On 8/28/2019 at 11:32 AM, DaveOKC said:

I am a bit surprised that HAL would offer anything to those with a non-refundable deposit or fare.  After all, the reason they got a lower price in the first place is due to them accepting the restrictions.  Am I missing something here?

Well, just a little bit. 1) I put down the non refundable deposit on a cruise I had already booked and the price would drop about $1500. No problem, I am taking this cruise. 2) Next price drop came and the only way I could make the cut is by upgrading, no problem just a move next door. Pay another $250.  3) Next time it was obvious to me, my agent and to HAL that it made sense to cancel, lose the $850 and drop the price another $2000. So HAL offers the bribes to keep me from going that route including the $600 in future cruise credits. 4)Then it dropped again. I gave up the $850 deposit and the $600 future cruise credits and the price dropped $2000. So $12,500 to $7,300 + $550 in OBC minus my $850. This cruising is really close to a job. 😎

 

The thing about the future cruise credits is that HAL uses it when you make a reservation.You have no choices. Then when the price drops $1500 your future cruise credit doesn't matter. Funny Money 😁

 

No, I am not mad at HAL, I just won't go the non refundable deposit route again.

Edited by aa7yy

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On 8/28/2019 at 5:11 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

I have no idea why this happened other than her agency and she does much business with HAL.  Is there any wonder why I use this agency and agent with this kind of result?

Her agency may have a special deal with HAL, but more likely they used some of their commission to pay for an upgrade or other amenities for you to keep you as a loyal customer...it worked and everyone seems to be happy.

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Thank you for all the helpful comments.  Based on them,  I booked a refundable fare for a 29 day cruise almost a year out.  The cost was $1800 more, but included internet and $600 onboard credit and Pinnacle Grill dinner. Now will be busy watching fares and sales.

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Thank you for sharing your experiences.  This has been very helpful!   I just booked a February 1st cruise and booked with a refundable deposit. The difference was $200 between non refundable and both rates included prepaid gratuities.  I am not sure that the price will drop, but this gives me options.  When it's time to make final payment, if there is a better deal with the non refundable deposit, I may do it then.

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2 hours ago, cosmo1027 said:

Thank you for sharing your experiences.  This has been very helpful!   I just booked a February 1st cruise and booked with a refundable deposit. The difference was $200 between non refundable and both rates included prepaid gratuities.  I am not sure that the price will drop, but this gives me options.  When it's time to make final payment, if there is a better deal with the non refundable deposit, I may do it then.

 

Also is you get sick or injured or have other problems to make it so you can not go on the cruise you get your deposit back in full under H's cancel for any reason policy.

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Here's a different angle to this question. We initially booked a 40 day cruise using a future cruise certificate with a refundable deposit. After doing a few refares via our TA to take advantage of some promotions, the nonrefundable fare dropped so much it made sense to convert the booking to nonrefundable. Then about 6 months later, the nonrefundable fare dropped another $1,800 pp!

 

That's when we found out through our TA that HAL would not allow us to refare our now nonrefundable booking, but instead gave us $500 pp off on a future cruise and two $200 beverage cards. Sounds like a no brainer to sacrifice the $300 pp we paid for the FCCs and these perks and rebook the cruise with the much cheaper fare. 

 

But when we looked at our confirmation, it said the nonrefundable cancellation fee was $875 pp rather than $300 pp, so we decided since we already had the flights booked through EZAir and our excursions already booked through HAL, we decided to pass and keep the perks HAL gave us when we tried to refare our nonrefundable fare earlier.

 

My question is were we and our TA wrong for thinking we were going to have to pay $875 pp cancellation fee rather than the $300 pp we paid for the FCCs we used to book the cruise?

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