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Pre-Paid Gratuities

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Other than having it paid for in advance of your cruise, what are the advantages if any, of prepaying? Not sure whether or not to do that or have it billed to our account each day while we are cruising. Are there any disadvantages to doing that? My travel agent advised against prepaying. Any thoughts? Thanks

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It's just a matter of convenience. And possibly budgeting.  One less thing to pay off while on the trip. That's it. I don't know why your TA advised against it, unless it's to avoid a delay in waiting for a refund if you cancel the cruise? Our TA has always recommended prepay just to get it out of the way ( when we don't have it as a perk).

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personal choice   I guess

Some want everything paid for in advance  & less to pay after the cruise

 

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as above and having not being subjected to sticker shock upon receiving the final statement.

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Perhaps you have some on board credit you can use to pay the gratuities, rather than ‘real’ money up front?

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As mentioned, if you have cruise line sponsored OBC as part of your booking, IMO it would be better to have them paid directly on board by your on board account using their OBC to fund it.  The money is non-refundable anyway so you might as well be sure to use it up and gratuities is a good way to do that.  This would be the only reason I could think that your TA would be against prepaying.

 

If there is no OBC with your booking then my preference would be to prepay it so as to reduce the amount of on board charges to be cleared with your final bill.

 

BTW, when a TA makes a recommendation such as this and if it is not clear as to why, I would ask what their reasoning is to be sure it would be clear.  After all it is the expenditure of your money on which they are advising.

 

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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In addition to the advantages previously mentioned, it locks you in to the current rate. Meaning you have price protection against a raise in the DCS/Pre-Paid Gratuities/Service Charge/Resort Fee  or whatever else they come up with to call it.

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I paid it just before the last increase in rates by $1 a day. It just saved me $15 but now I have more onboard credit to use.

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4 hours ago, JennyB1977 said:

In addition to the advantages previously mentioned, it locks you in to the current rate. Meaning you have price protection against a raise in the DCS/Pre-Paid Gratuities/Service Charge/Resort Fee  or whatever else they come up with to call it.

 

smart.  this never occurred to me.

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Just remember that many lines do not allow you to use nonrefundable OBC to pay gratuities or service charges. Make sure that you understand the policies of your line.

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51 minutes ago, zqvol said:

Just remember that many lines do not allow you to use nonrefundable OBC to pay gratuities or service charges. Make sure that you understand the policies of your line.

When cruise lines give OBC as part of your booking is it usually nonrefundable and why

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22 minutes ago, notalandlover said:

When cruise lines give OBC as part of your booking is it usually nonrefundable and why

 

Yes - it typically is non-refundable when issued by a cruise line as it essentially is a stateroom account credit used against spending on board and not intended as cash to you.  Whatever you don't spend remains with the cruise line as it came from them initially.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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1 hour ago, zqvol said:

Just remember that many lines do not allow you to use nonrefundable OBC to pay gratuities or service charges. Make sure that you understand the policies of your line.

 

That is correct but I can say that RCI and Celebrity are two cruise lines that do allow it to be applied to gratuities.  On board OBC's issued by these two lines are applied as a blanket credit against any on board purchases tied to your stateroom account without discretion or restrictions.  The only exception is that an OBC issued by them cannot be used as a deposit for a future cruise originating on board during that cruise.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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12 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

That is correct but I can say that RCI and Celebrity are two cruise lines that do allow it to be applied to gratuities.  On board OBC's issued by these two lines are applied as a blanket credit against any on board purchases tied to your stateroom account without discretion or restrictions.  The only exception is that an OBC issued by them cannot be used as a deposit for a future cruise originating on board during that cruise.

Same with Princess.

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13 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

That is correct but I can say that RCI and Celebrity are two cruise lines that do allow it to be applied to gratuities.  On board OBC's issued by these two lines are applied as a blanket credit against any on board purchases tied to your stateroom account without discretion or restrictions.  The only exception is that an OBC issued by them cannot be used as a deposit for a future cruise originating on board during that cruise.

Oceania  also  allows OBC  to used  as such  & recently  you can also use it the prebook excursions  etc..

Different lines  different rules

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9 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Oceania  also  allows OBC  to used  as such  & recently  you can also use it the prebook excursions  etc..

Different lines  different rules

 

Yep. Several of the cruise lines have become more flexible with the OBC in recent years.  The two I've referred to have the only restriction placed on the spending with the future cruises booked on board as mentioned.  Again, anything that would be charged - whether on board or in advance - to your stateroom account with a confirmed booking would have the OBC applied to the cost.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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On 9/11/2019 at 5:21 PM, notalandlover said:

When cruise lines give OBC as part of your booking is it usually nonrefundable and why

So...use it or lose it.

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On 9/11/2019 at 8:21 PM, notalandlover said:

When cruise lines give OBC as part of your booking is it usually nonrefundable and why

 

Yes, when cruise line gives OBC it is usually non-refundable. Why? Because it’s a lot cheaper for them. $500 that you can only spend on their overpriced shore excursions, Internet, specialty dining, alcoholic drinks, etc has a much lower out of pocket cost to them than them giving you something that has a cash out value of $500. But getting $500 for booking sure sounds good to a customer.

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41 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

 

Yes, when cruise line gives OBC it is usually non-refundable. Why? Because it’s a lot cheaper for them. $500 that you can only spend on their overpriced shore excursions, Internet, specialty dining, alcoholic drinks, etc has a much lower out of pocket cost to them than them giving you something that has a cash out value of $500. But getting $500 for booking sure sounds good to a customer.

 

It is good - and IMO better - for the customer as when they buy their overpriced shore excursions, internet, specialty dining, alcoholic drinks, it is at no charge to them versus having those same overpriced charges appear on their stateroom account bill at the end of the cruise.  And those charges remain out of pocket to the cruise line.  That more than sounds good to me....

 

BTW - you say "that you can only spend" it on the various items listed. As these are all on board purchases, isn't that what an on board credit is for?  Where else would it be spent?

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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Last night of cruise I have ended up getting a nice ring or watch with my OBC or some extra gratuities for some onboard staff....I'm never going to just lose it.

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There is no difference in service.  The crew does NOT get that tip until the cruise is OVER...so they still work for it.  No worries.  Few cruise lines require "pre-paid" grats anymore.  They generally add it to your account on a daily basis, if you don't pay it in advance.  

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5 hours ago, Ashland said:

Last night of cruise I have ended up getting a nice ring or watch with my OBC or some extra gratuities for some onboard staff....I'm never going to just lose it.

Obviously that's you.  But not in a million years would I buy any jewelry or watch, especially at the over-priced costs on a cruise. But, you bet, re giving to staff.

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2 hours ago, clo said:

Obviously that's you.  But not in a million years would I buy any jewelry or watch, especially at the over-priced costs on a cruise. But, you bet, re giving to staff.

I also usually would not either.....but I'm talking about costume jewelry (ring) and Fossil watch that I'm certainly familiar with pricing. When you have a small amount of OBC left why not spend it.

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7 hours ago, clo said:

Obviously that's you.  But not in a million years would I buy any jewelry or watch, especially at the over-priced costs on a cruise. But, you bet, re giving to staff.

 

Ashland (as he further clafified) indicating doing so with the ship sponsored OBC - not his money.  The point being since it is non refundable and applied to any purchases made that would be charged to your on board account, why not spend it all in any manner desired? It's not your money to begin with.

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5 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

Ashland (as he further clafified) indicating doing so with the ship sponsored OBC - not his money.  The point being since it is non refundable and applied to any purchases made that would be charged to your on board account, why not spend it all in any manner desired? It's not your money to begin with.

Thank you...absolutely my point.

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