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farjar

Is $60 a day pp pre-cruise credit card charge typical?

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The Carnival Corp Group, which owns about half of all the mass market cruise ships on earth, targets an average daily onboard spend of $60 per person on their ships. That is where they get the $60 credit hold number.

 

This doesn't seem to be much of a problem on most of the Carnival-owned lines. But HAL has a particularly "frugal" demographic that finds the number excessive.

This also explains why HAL is the least profitable of the nine Carnival Corp companies: 

  • AIDA
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Costa Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Holland America Line
  • P&O Cruises
  • P&O Cruises Australia
  • Princess Cruises
  • Seabourn Cruise Line

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Sounds good to me i grt best value and the other lines bump up the value of my shares!!  I wish.  

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1 hour ago, Donald said:

This doesn't seem to be much of a problem on most of the Carnival-owned lines. But HAL has a particularly "frugal" demographic that finds the number excessive.

 

I disagree.  

 

I think it’s just that HAL clearly defines the hold which sets off alarm bells for some people who don’t know that this is done all the time and just not disclosed.

 

It’s great that HAL discloses but, for those unaware of how things work, they are taken aback.

 

I’d be very happy if my on board spending was limited to $60 per day pp 😉. (Doesn’t take much, a couple of Cellar Master Dinners, a few events on board for a fee, specialty dining, wine packages, etc.) But, I’ve never seen HAL increase their hold amount either despite it. 🙂 

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33 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

I’d be very happy if my on board spending was limited to $60 per day pp 😉. (Doesn’t take much, a couple of Cellar Master Dinners, a few events on board for a fee, specialty dining, wine packages, etc.) But, I’ve never seen HAL increase their hold amount either despite it. 🙂 

You and my husband both. We enjoy wine, food, and cabanas way too much. :classic_biggrin:

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2 hours ago, kazu said:

 

I disagree.  

 

I think it’s just that HAL clearly defines the hold which sets off alarm bells for some people who don’t know that this is done all the time and just not disclosed.

 

It’s great that HAL discloses but, for those unaware of how things work, they are taken aback.

 

I’d be very happy if my on board spending was limited to $60 per day pp 😉. (Doesn’t take much, a couple of Cellar Master Dinners, a few events on board for a fee, specialty dining, wine packages, etc.) But, I’ve never seen HAL increase their hold amount either despite it. 🙂 

You are missing the basic problem.

On Carnival's other brands, the guests do generally spend an average of $60 per person per day onboard the ships. The numbers vary by ship, itinerary, season, weather, and many other factors. But the fleet average is $60 per person per day.

HAL has the same $60 hold, but HAL passengers rarely reach that $60 limit.

You and a few others may well exceed that number, but the average HAL passenger does not. That is why you have never seen HAL increase their credit hold. There is little reason for it.

I worked on HAL ships for years, trying to reach that magic $60 average daily spend on a cruise. My yearly bonus was tied to that number. I almost never made it. Neither did my colleagues.

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9 hours ago, Donald said:

The Carnival Corp Group, which owns about half of all the mass market cruise ships on earth, targets an average daily onboard spend of $60 per person on their ships. That is where they get the $60 credit hold number.

 

This doesn't seem to be much of a problem on most of the Carnival-owned lines. But HAL has a particularly "frugal" demographic that finds the number excessive.

This also explains why HAL is the least profitable of the nine Carnival Corp companies

 

Where do you find that information? Carnival Corp does not publicly publish the profit numbers by individual brands.

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5 hours ago, caribill said:

 

Where do you find that information? Carnival Corp does not publicly publish the profit numbers by individual brands.

Would you be surprised to learn that individual cruise lines know exactly how profitable they are and discuss it internally all the time?

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Disney does this if you're staying in their resorts, too.  They now do a hold for whatever your unpaid balance is + $100 and will also do additional holds if you spend more than $100 (which is very easy to do there).  This is how most hotels operate.  They used to do a line-of-credit type thing: they'd put a hold for, say, $1,500 and then if you hit that number, you had to talk to the front desk to get it extended.  The credit card hold is a "trust, but verify" process.  Companies don't want to be in the awkward position of not being able to collect money for charges you make.

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Just stayed at a pretty high end hotel. They put a $150/ day hold above the amount the room was costing. It happens in MANY locations.

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43 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Just stayed at a pretty high end hotel. They put a $150/ day hold above the amount the room was costing. It happens in MANY locations.

 

Yes, it happens all over the place--although I don't know that I've ever seen $150 per day (must upgrade my choice of lodgings!).

 

Poor HAL, they openly tell you they'll do it, while so many businesses do not, and then people complain that "only" HAL does this.

 

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14 hours ago, Donald said:

You and a few others may well exceed that number, but the average HAL passenger does not. That is why you have never seen HAL increase their credit hold. There is little reason for it.

I worked on HAL ships for years, trying to reach that magic $60 average daily spend on a cruise. My yearly bonus was tied to that number. I almost never made it. Neither did my colleagues.

 

So the marketing, itineraries, the view TAs have of HAL leads to a demographic that goes to sleep at 9 (and yes, I've wandered around a completely deserted MS Rotterdam at 0:30 AM!). 

 

If HAL attracts a demographic that keeps there wallets shut, is it fair to blame you for that? You can lead the guest to the bar, but you can't make him order a cocktail. :)

 

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18 hours ago, Donald said:

Would you be surprised to learn that individual cruise lines know exactly how profitable they are and discuss it internally all the time?

Does not surprise me at all.

 

My question is how someone outside their corporate environment learned this type information.

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5 hours ago, caribill said:

My question is how someone outside their corporate environment learned this type information.

Read the last paragraph of post #30

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On 9/10/2019 at 10:17 PM, iceman93 said:

This is going to sound callous, but people whose finances are that tight shouldn't be doing things like taking premium cruises.

Yes, it does sound a little callous. Why not? It is one of the most economical ways to travel-your food, hotel, accommodations are all included.  I encourage my adult children to dedicate some money for travel and not to wait until “the perfect time”. There may never be a perfect time for some people. $60 pp per day is excessive. I understand the rationale and it is, thankfully, not an issue for us, but it is not for me to judge when others should or should not experience the joys of travel. Just my opinion.

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On 9/12/2019 at 8:29 PM, kazu said:

Doesn’t take much, a couple of Cellar Master Dinners, a few events on board for a fee, specialty dining, wine packages, etc.

HAL doesn't seem to have trouble selling ship Retreat cabanas and HMC cabanas and villas!  Even if 8 people share the cost of an HMC Villa, that's $75 pp right there.

Edited by catl331

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On 9/12/2019 at 11:26 PM, Donald said:

The Carnival Corp Group, which owns about half of all the mass market cruise ships on earth, targets an average daily onboard spend of $60 per person on their ships. That is where they get the $60 credit hold number.

 

This doesn't seem to be much of a problem on most of the Carnival-owned lines. But HAL has a particularly "frugal" demographic that finds the number excessive.

This also explains why HAL is the least profitable of the nine Carnival Corp companies: 

  • AIDA
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Costa Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Holland America Line
  • P&O Cruises
  • P&O Cruises Australia
  • Princess Cruises
  • Seabourn Cruise Line

I have travelled on Cunard and princess and have NEVER had a hold of $60 a day, it’s never been more than $200 total on any cruise I’ve ever taken on any line and I know because I can see amounts pending on my credit card. Only when I’ve purchased over that amount would I see another hold.

 

As I said it’s not an issue for me but I wonder what happens to people who find out at online check in after final payment that a hold amount of $1680 is needed for a 14 night cruise. Some people can’t get extra money on cards, in the UK you don’t get temp increases as someone suggested, what if someone doesn’t have that cash and saved hard to afford the holiday in the first place. 

 

 

Edited by DebbieMacG

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14 minutes ago, catl331 said:

HAL never seems to have trouble selling ship out Retreat cabanas and HMC cabanas and villas!  What do the latter cost per person these days?

I  booked a retreat cabana for 14 nights on my December 19 cruise and have paid $599 in advance for it. It won’t be going on my account.

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19 minutes ago, DebbieMacG said:

what if someone doesn’t have that cash and saved hard to afford the holiday in the first place. 

Unless they're already in a bottom-level Inside N cabin, maybe they can downgrade. The difference between an HH and an N can be $100/p/d.

 

Edited by catl331

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1 hour ago, catl331 said:

HAL doesn't seem to have trouble selling ship Retreat cabanas and HMC cabanas and villas!  Even if 8 people share the cost of an HMC Villa, that's $75 pp right there.

 

Good point & I agree.  Our roll call has booked the Oasis several times and it works out to over $100 pp.

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52 minutes ago, kazu said:

Even if 8 people share the cost of an HMC Villa, that's $75 pp right there.

Maybe that's not a good example, since it wouldn't be billed to all 8 people ... but a cabana rented by just a couple would be $225 pp on one bill.

 

Edited by catl331

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Until the age of instant notification on cellphones, no one really knew about these credit card authorizations.  When I got my first "smart" phone in 2011 or so (I was late to the game), I was shocked when I got my first $100 "authorization pending" notification when I went to pump gas.  

My hotel does a $75 "possible incidentals" plus unpaid room, tax, resort fees hold on all cards.  I train my staff to inform guests of this when we take the card - the exact amount per room shows up on the computer.  I am very diligent about this.  In the state I live in, we get a large amount of guests who don't do credit cards and only have their debit card.  I am obsessively diligent about telling those guests that all money we take for "authorization" is actually removed from their account by the bank and held "in limbo" - they can't access it and we don't take it until checkout.  When they checkout, our system sends a "release the hold" notification to the financial institution - it is up to the institution and their guidelines when it is physically returned to your account.  

I had a guest at the beginning of the week who was bit in a bad way with this.  She booked 2 rooms for 4 days.  She was charged 1 night deposit when she made the reservation.  When she checked in, she gave her debit card.  Whoever checked her in didn't explain well enough that we would place a hold.  The authorization went through and no one thought anything of it.  Well, she came down a few hours later to say that her checking account was now overdrawn and she had her card declined when she took clients out to dinner!!!  I released the hold when she got a colleague to put down another credit card.  BUT, the money would still be about 5 days from being released by her bank.  She was told she would have to call her bank and our accountant and get them on a 3-way call to expedite the process.   

 

For me - a $60/day hold for a cruise makes sense.  You just need to be aware that this is going to happen and make it part of your budgeting, especially if you are using a debit card.  

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6 hours ago, catl331 said:

Unless they're already in a bottom-level Inside N cabin, maybe they can downgrade. The difference between an HH and an N can be $100/p/d.

 

Too late to do that when they check in to board.

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47 minutes ago, Roz said:

Too late to do that when they check in to board.

Yes, but they're asked to register a credit card for the hold when they do the On-line Check-In, long before boarding day.

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16 minutes ago, catl331 said:

Yes, but they're asked to register a credit card for the hold when they do the On-line Check-In, long before boarding day.

 

I wonder how many people pay attention to the notice about the hold. HAL puts it out there, and the passenger should read it and think about what it means, but people still are surprised at embarkation.

 

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