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golfguyhhi

20th cruise question

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Just about to book what will be my 20th cruise.  I'm booking a top suite, so it will require a sizable deposit.  When Oceania does its analysis and agrees to award it as my 20th, closer in to the date, it looks like I'll end up with a big refund to my credit card.  Not a bad thing, per se, but is there any way to avoid having that cash tied up for so long?  I'm having my TA file my claim (so to speak) next spring after we complete what will be our 18th, with our 19th already booked for late 2021.

Or, if we tell O that it will be our 20th now, will there be a reduced deposit required?

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I suppose that you're aware that the room level you get on your free cruise is an average of what you've booked for the previous 19. If you've been booking top suites all along then you're fine, if not then there will be a sizable upcharge or you will have to go in the category they assign you. I don't think you can have the cruise designated as your free one until you complete the 19th, even though you have it booked. 

 

We booked a cruise that between us and our TA was going to be our free one, but until we completed the 19th it wasn't official, nor did our TA request it until then. 

 

Your question is really for your TA. 

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5 minutes ago, ORV said:

I suppose that you're aware that the room level you get on your free cruise is an average of what you've booked for the previous 19. If you've been booking top suites all along then you're fine, if not then there will be a sizable upcharge or you will have to go in the category they assign you. I don't think you can have the cruise designated as your free one until you complete the 19th, even though you have it booked. 

 

We booked a cruise that between us and our TA was going to be our free one, but until we completed the 19th it wasn't official, nor did our TA request it until then. 

 

Your question is really for your TA. 

Agreed.

In addition to the cabin value $ provided being only for your average booking over the prior cruises (e.g., A, B, etc), the "milestone" cruise "free" part is for a 14 day cruise or a 14 day portion of a longer cruise. And you still pay all port taxes/fees. There are no O Life perks associated with the 14 days and, recently (if I remember correctly), the previously included economy air has been eliminated (note: when it was included, you could not take the air credit. So, it was useless to to DIY air folks.

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My personal nitpick with our ”free” 20th cruise is that we chose a 21 day cruise (for itinerary). I knew we’d have to pay for 7 days but what irks me is that they do not count it as one of our cruises even though we paid for 7 days.

After all, there are any number of stand alone 7 day cruises that would otherwise count as one cruise.

Best be very careful what one picks as the "free" cruise - should be 14 days and one of the more expensive ones (not a TA) 😀

Edited by Paulchili

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3 hours ago, Paulchili said:

My personal nitpick with our ”free” 20th cruise is that we chose a 21 day cruise (for itinerary). I knew we’d have to pay for 7 days but what irks me is that they do not count it as one of our cruises even though we paid for 7 days.

After all, there are any number of stand alone 7 day cruises that would otherwise count as one cruise.

Best be very careful what one picks as the "free" cruise - should be 14 days and one of the more expensive ones (not a TA) 😀

+1. 
agree 100%. 
It was a complaint I had, but O was steadfast in not giving in.

 

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Thanks all for your replies.

 

Orv, when you booked what would become your 20th cruise, you paid in a deposit.  When O agreed subsequently that it would be your 20th (after your 19th), did they apply your deposit against the taxes and sundry charges you were still responsible for, and then refund any remaining balance?

 

See, to get the specific cabin we want, we need to book the day the itineraries open for booking, and that's as much as 24 months before the cruise.

 

We'll have 10 of our 19 cruises in top suites, starting with our 3rd, and including 5 of our final 6 in owner's and the 6th in an oceania.  The other 9 were PH.  If the credit amount for the 20th isn't equal to an owner's, it will likely be in the oaceania/vista realm, and we'll pay the difference.

 

The common theme I'm hearing is that it makes no sense to book the 20th any closer than 6 months of the 19th, as you'll still need that minimum 180-day notification window after completing the 19th.  Our 20th was going to be about 6 weeks after the 19th, so I think we'll just put the brakes on the booking process and find another cruise in the fall of 2022 (our 19th is in November 2021).  Maybe we'll book the Allura TA!!

 

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1 hour ago, golfguyhhi said:

Thanks all for your replies.

 

Orv, when you booked what would become your 20th cruise, you paid in a deposit.  When O agreed subsequently that it would be your 20th (after your 19th), did they apply your deposit against the taxes and sundry charges you were still responsible for, and then refund any remaining balance?

 

See, to get the specific cabin we want, we need to book the day the itineraries open for booking, and that's as much as 24 months before the cruise.

 

We'll have 10 of our 19 cruises in top suites, starting with our 3rd, and including 5 of our final 6 in owner's and the 6th in an oceania.  The other 9 were PH.  If the credit amount for the 20th isn't equal to an owner's, it will likely be in the oaceania/vista realm, and we'll pay the difference.

 

The common theme I'm hearing is that it makes no sense to book the 20th any closer than 6 months of the 19th, as you'll still need that minimum 180-day notification window after completing the 19th.  Our 20th was going to be about 6 weeks after the 19th, so I think we'll just put the brakes on the booking process and find another cruise in the fall of 2022 (our 19th is in November 2021).  Maybe we'll book the Allura TA!!

 

Yes, that's exactly what we did. We paid the deposit and then once we completed 19 it was designated our free cruise. They did apply the deposit towards the cruise. We had booked under some type of special(maybe onboard) and our initial deposit was $500. We then added premium economy to it so we had a balance to pay. We were fortunate to have taken ours when the air was included. We also had our Club amenities added also. I don't know if they still do that or not. 

 

As far as the 180 day thing, that is something you really need to work with your TA on. If they have some pull you might be able to get your booked cruise transferred after 19th, past the deadline, or Oceania may holdfast to the rules.  

 

I did exactly what Paul said, I booked exactly 14 days and an expensive one(Norwegian Fiords). 

 

It's all fun when it's free. 

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Orv,

 

Thanks again.   This is good info.  I like to be prepared to discuss O issues with my TA with at least a little knowledge so I can ask the right questions.

 

And, you're right, it is all (well, mostly if you still have to pay for air) fun when it's free.

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17 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

the previously included economy air has been eliminated 

 

Since when??

 

While I was still onboard my 19th cruise in August, 2019, I booked my 20th with the onboard rep. I paid the deposit and she said I would get economy flights for both of us included free. She gave me a specific cabin.

 

My TA is now ready to do whatever needs done to finalize it as my free cruise (it'll be in 6 months). Have they changed the rules on me?? Yes, I'll ask my TA, but I'm asking you here because you wrote this post.

 

Please elaborate with details...thanks!

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25 minutes ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

Since when??

 

While I was still onboard my 19th cruise in August, 2019, I booked my 20th with the onboard rep. I paid the deposit and she said I would get economy flights for both of us included free. She gave me a specific cabin.

 

 

I would confirm with your TA  but here are the T & C's  for the free cruise

 

" FREE CRUISE. The awarded FREE CRUISE must be taken on the guest’s milestone cruise and is Cruise-Only, based on double occupancy, subject to availability at the time of booking, is not combinable with public promotions, excludes government taxes and fees and cannot exceed 14 days in length. The FREE CRUISE must be approved and will be placed as a guarantee until stateroom category has been assigned, upon authorization from the Oceania Club. The FREE CRUISE cannot be applied to any of the Around the World Voyages"

https://www.oceaniacruises.com/legal/promotion-terms/

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2 hours ago, LHT28 said:

I would confirm with your TA  but here are the T & C's  for the free cruise

 

" FREE CRUISE. The awarded FREE CRUISE must be taken on the guest’s milestone cruise and is Cruise-Only, based on double occupancy, subject to availability at the time of booking, is not combinable with public promotions, excludes government taxes and fees and cannot exceed 14 days in length. The FREE CRUISE must be approved and will be placed as a guarantee until stateroom category has been assigned, upon authorization from the Oceania Club. The FREE CRUISE cannot be applied to any of the Around the World Voyages"

https://www.oceaniacruises.com/legal/promotion-terms/

Thanks Lyn, I looked everywhere for that earlier, now I know where it's at. 

 

Perhaps Go-Bucks booked hers before the change on the airfare. She needs to ask her TA to find out for sure. 

As I mentioned earlier there's always exceptions. For example, my cruise room was never a guarantee. I had picked the room when we booked it, then when it was designated as the free cruise the room number was transferred over. 

 

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22 hours ago, LHT28 said:

I would confirm with your TA  but here are the T & C's  for the free cruise

 

" FREE CRUISE. The awarded FREE CRUISE must be taken on the guest’s milestone cruise and is Cruise-Only, based on double occupancy, subject to availability at the time of booking, is not combinable with public promotions, excludes government taxes and fees and cannot exceed 14 days in length. The FREE CRUISE must be approved and will be placed as a guarantee until stateroom category has been assigned, upon authorization from the Oceania Club. The FREE CRUISE cannot be applied to any of the Around the World Voyages"

https://www.oceaniacruises.com/legal/promotion-terms/

 

Just checked My Account...still lists Economy airfare and my specific room number. 

 

When did they stop including airfare? I booked this in August, 2019.

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5 hours ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

Just checked My Account...still lists Economy airfare and my specific room number. 

 

When did they stop including airfare? I booked this in August, 2019.

maybe you booked before the change & will still get the air included

When is your cruise?

Is it approved/confirmed for the "free" cruise?

 

This  can always change  as per the fine print

 

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Hi everyone!

actually, my experience in working the details of our free cruise was fairly straight forward,  despite our challenging timeline...here’s our situation at the time: we had cruise #18 in November of 2019. Cruise #19 in late January. Free cruise early March 2020...so obviously, our final for the free cruise, in which we upgraded two to three categories above the category we nominally sail in, was due before cruise 19 was taken. No problem, my fabulous agent worked with O to get the pro-rated cost difference, and we made final payment. O will work with you provided you have a very capable agent as we do 😊

 

Now...despite all this happiness, sadly I must tell you that our free cruise was scrubbed by O due to Coronavirus. Oh well. First world problems, right? We will get a new one scheduled...but in the meantime I wanted to share my experience for your benefit as you navigate the free cruise deposit situation. Bonne chance - and enjoy the fact that you are in this position, it’s quite a nice thing!

Happy Sailing 🛳 ☀️ 

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On 2/25/2020 at 4:25 PM, LHT28 said:

maybe you booked before the change & will still get the air included

When is your cruise?

Is it approved/confirmed for the "free" cruise?

 

This  can always change  as per the fine print

 

 

Yes, confirmed...sailing September 2020.

 

When (date) did they stop including airfare? Haven't seen anyone posting that.

Edited by Go-Bucks!

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2 hours ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

Yes, confirmed...sailing September 2020.

 

When (date) did they stop including airfare? Haven't seen anyone posting that.

See post #13 above for the new wording of the policy - in place since late autumn 2019.

What's on your original invoice (i.e., before it was approved as your Milestone Cruise) becomes altered when it is approved as Milestone (e.g., costs/O Life/air/etc are recalculated. 

 

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On 2/27/2020 at 1:29 AM, Flatbush Flyer said:

What's on your original invoice (i.e., before it was approved as your Milestone Cruise) becomes altered when it is approved as Milestone (e.g., costs/O Life/air/etc are recalculated. 

 

 

So they're going to cancel my airfare even though it's listed?? Not right...they should have grandfathered those who were given a written invoice saying they would get airfare. 

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24 minutes ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

So they're going to cancel my airfare even though it's listed?? Not right...they should have grandfathered those who were given a written invoice saying they would get airfare. 

IMO, it would depend on whether your original invoice was written as a regular cruise or as a milestone cruise as well as when it was written.

 

I assume that, for folks who do multiple O cruise per year, their probable/intentional milestone cruise was booked long before they qualified for it. So, it would initially show things like O Life, cruise fare with/without air, etc. Then once you are at/near 19 cruise credits, you'd ask to have your booked cruise become the milestone. And, of course, at that point, O Life, the cruise fare (or at least 14 days of it), except for taxes/fees, would all drop off the corrected invoice. 

 

So, IMO, the question becomes: did the milestone decision/invoice modification take place before or after the "cruise only" policy change was instituted this past autumn (2019). 

 

Until we hear from folks who are in this situation  now (I.e., modifying a regular cruise booked prior to the policy change), we don't have a definitive answer. Of course, it doesn't matter to DIY air people since, even before the policy change, you couldn't get an air credit instead of the tix.

 

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1 hour ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

So they're going to cancel my airfare even though it's listed?? Not right...they should have grandfathered those who were given a written invoice saying they would get airfare. 

You may want to have a conversation with your TA or Oceania  to get the answers you are seeking

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We're in a similar situation.  We booked our free cruise onboard Marina with the Oceania Club Ambassador in July.  We had several future cruises that would give us 19 cruise credits, but we had only accumulated 15 cruise credits at the time of booking our free cruise.  The Ambassador was aware of everything, and assured us that there would be no problem.  We had all of our cruises written down, and she verified everything.  

The Ambassador told us that our free cruise included RT coach air, and attached and dated part of the T&C's stating this.

The original invoice that we have from the onboard ambassador lists our air arrangements with the dates and arrival/departure airports.  The listed charge for these air arrangements is 0.00.

We later transferred this free cruise to our TA who sent us a revised invoice.  Our TA knew that this would be our free cruise, and stated this on the revised invoice.  The revised invoice now listed the air fair as $1,500/person.  The total amount on the original and revised invoice.

I emailed our TA this week, and asked whether Oceania would honor their original terms of included RT coach air with our free cruise.  She said that Oceania would not.  There is a clause in the T&C's stating that Oceania Cruises reserves the right to change the program rules, benefits, etc. at its sole discretion.

I don't like this change, but there's nothing that we can do.

I just feel very fortunate that we will have a free cruise. 

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4 hours ago, ruthnlarry said:

  .....The revised invoice now listed the air fair as $1,500/person.  .......I don't like this change, but there's nothing that we can do. 

There is something you can do:

Don't use O's air. You won't get an air credit because it's a milestone cruise. But, you won't be billed $1500 for tix you can DIY.

While your current Gold O Club (and future Platinum) gets you complimentary deviation fees, any added fare difference for your preferred itinerary/airline/booking code might cost you more than DIY. This is particularly true if you fly bizclass. Those tix would be an added charge above the $1500!!!!

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6 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

There is something you can do:

Don't use O's air. You won't get an air credit because it's a milestone cruise. But, you won't be billed $1500 for tix you can DIY.

While your current Gold O Club (and future Platinum) gets you complimentary deviation fees, any added fare difference for your preferred itinerary/airline/booking code might cost you more than DIY. This is particularly true if you fly bizclass. Those tix would be an added charge above the $1500!!!!

Yes, I've considered that.  However, it looks like O's air might be the best way to go.   Will know for sure after we request our complimentary deviation.  We rarely use their air, but my reserve of miles is very low, and there is no way I am going to pay an exorbitant amount for business.

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2 hours ago, ruthnlarry said:

Yes, I've considered that.  However, it looks like O's air might be the best way to go.   Will know for sure after we request our complimentary deviation.  We rarely use their air, but my reserve of miles is very low, and there is no way I am going to pay an exorbitant amount for business.

Have you checked to see what the airfare would cost if you DIY?

 

I like to compare  routings/pricing  using

https://matrix.itasoftware.com/

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28 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Have you checked to see what the airfare would cost if you DIY?

 

I like to compare  routings/pricing  using

https://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Yes, I have checked the airfare.  Nonstop flights to Auckland are expensive, and limited.

We've been using the itasoftware site for a very long time, and have found it to be helpful.

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