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Is Celebrity moving towards Non-Refundable deposits?


Elusive_Cruiser
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I use a popular online TA. Their group rates are typically refundable, less than Celebrity’s cost for NRD and come with more perks. It’s the best solution to work around the NRD’s and still come out ahead. I don’t buy into the whole ‘I need control’ of my booking argument so it works well for us. 

 

I do tend to agree that the NRD’s aren’t that bad. It prevents people from making several ‘placeholder‘ bookings, right when new itineraries come out, knowing they are going to cancel several of them right before final payments are due. 

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8 minutes ago, mrsgoggins said:

 

I have done exactly as you suggest.  Last month I made my first (Celebrity) booking via a US TA in dollars.  My point would be that I should not have to - hence request for level playing field.

 

Believe me, my views are not antagonistic towards people who play the system to make it work for them, just against those who make the inequitable rules.  

 

Great that you are are using the best option for you. 😊

But the point is that you don’t “have to”, you are free and able to make that choice. Continue to pay higher prices in the UK/Europe, or as you have done on this occasion give your business to the folks that best fills your needs.

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Uk bookings receive Consumer Protections not available elsewhere...trade off for the strict no refund policy????

 

No one system is right or wrong...why insist  the Cruise line  adopt stricter rules where not required by law..we like the flexibility of Ref Dep, and pay the higher fare.

 

Bev packages are another example of differences... I believe due to diff tipping cultures,.

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27 minutes ago, mrsgoggins said:

 

I have done exactly as you suggest.  Last month I made my first (Celebrity) booking via a US TA in dollars.  My point would be that I should not have to - hence request for level playing field.

 

How come US cruisers on here seem to think that it's okay to book air fares under the same t&cs as the rest of the world but not cruises?

 

Believe me, my views are not antagonistic towards people who play the system to make it work for them, just against those who make the inequitable rules.  

 

Airlines work the same way, you can pay a higher price if you want a refundable ticket.  Btw there are different rules for airlines in different countries 

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Fortunately, we are approaching retirement and will soon be able to book last minute. If cruises become too impractical to book way out due to nonrefundable fees, we will change our approach. Were we not planning on retirement soon, my other option would be to choose another vacation which could be planned way out as we do now, and not be stuck with fees if life changed a year before the trip.

 

And yes, airlines do the nonrefundables, but I don't book those over a year out. Life is full of options. Provide what I'm looking for, or I look elsewhere. Simple.

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This is an article referring to NRD and what may constitute an unfair contract in the U.K. 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47949915
 

I got price drops on both my cruises. One booked on the ship and transferred to Celebrity UK and one booked directly through them. Plus, some OBC. So it can happen in the UK depending on who you deal with. 

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6 hours ago, crusinthrough said:

 

Sometimes this option does not work.  I tried in Chrome and Safari.  

 

 

It may be a silly question but what is the purpose of booking a refundable deposit? In most cases that I have seen the NRD is a lot less expensive than the refundable deposit.  In post 3 there is a $400 difference between the two options.  I've seen as much as $1500 difference.  

 

If you are not sure if you are going then why not just wait to book until you know you can go  and you can pay less.  Why pay more than what you would lose if you had a NRD and cancel?  If you cancel a NRD you lose $100 pp in change fees, which is less than $400.  

We have no problem with nonrefundable deposits, since the only time we every cancelled a cruise was when my Mom passed away and we had to use the trip insurance.

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1 hour ago, zanderblue said:

 

Great that you are are using the best option for you. 😊

But the point is that you don’t “have to”, you are free and able to make that choice. Continue to pay higher prices in the UK/Europe, or as you have done on this occasion give your business to the folks that best fills your needs.

Are there no TA's in the UK/Europe who offer better fares/terms than going direct to X?

 

If not, sounds like a business opportunity to me.

 

bon voyage

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1 hour ago, mrsgoggins said:

I have done exactly as you suggest.  Last month I made my first (Celebrity) booking via a US TA in dollars.  My point would be that I should not have to - hence request for level playing field.

 

How come US cruisers on here seem to think that it's okay to book air fares under the same t&cs as the rest of the world but not cruises?

 

Believe me, my views are not antagonistic towards people who play the system to make it work for them, just against those who make the inequitable rules.  

We do not have to book non-refundable air at all, we have the choice rather we want to or not, same currently for cruises.

 

Not all Americans purchase 'non-refundable' air tickets, mainly leisure travelers who are looking for the most economical way to get to where they want/need to go on the cheap and that is fine too... whatever works, the options are what many of us are concerned with, regardless of which one is selected.

 

bon voyage

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10 minutes ago, Bo1953 said:

Are there no TA's in the UK/Europe who offer better fares/terms than going direct to X?

 

If not, sounds like a business opportunity to me.

 

bon voyage

 

I don’t know.

My experience is that when I have had a quote from Celebrity UK or UK based TA it has consistently been significantly more expensive. I will say however, that I stopped even asking for quotes quite a few years ago. It may be different now, but I expect not given that the subject is aired regularly on here.

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7 hours ago, yorky said:

I’m looking at hotels for our cruise next year at the moment and every single one has one rate if you pay now, and a higher one with free cancellation. One or two have no cancellation policies across the board. Same with our flights, pay more for free cancellation. The free cancellation for customers in the US has run it’s course, it effects cruisers in other parts of the world due to the number of cabins booked then cancelled just before final payment giving less choice and higher prices often followed by price drops as multiply new cabins suddenly become available as big US travel agents release them. I get why this is causing more and more problems for Celebrity as customers are playing the system and often booking more than one cabin on more than one cruise knowing they are going to cancel one or more just before that final payment is due. We all have busy lives, it’s not confined to people in the US and it needed standardising throughout  the world. Celebrity does need to clean up the booking process making it less confusing but other than that it’s a positive move for me and I think it fairer for the rest of us who will now have more choices of cabin and hopefully rates will stabilise over time rather than the crazy fluctuations.

I agree 100% -  The major difference I believe that is being made here is that it is not transparent like an airline and as many others point out you are only shown the NRD unless you find little tricks. 

 

I don't see anything wrong with NRD's but only if I am able to make an informed decision and not tricked into booking on.

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25 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

I agree 100% -  The major difference I believe that is being made here is that it is not transparent like an airline and as many others point out you are only shown the NRD unless you find little tricks. 

 

I don't see anything wrong with NRD's but only if I am able to make an informed decision and not tricked into booking on.

Excellent point!

We call in all the time to avoid the ,big surprise!

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I will say it again.   Find one of the many TA and airline booking sites that list all the available fares.  There's usually at least 10-15 fares listed with the different perk combinations.  I always do this then I'm fully informed when I go to the Celebrity site or call my TA to book.

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4 hours ago, hcat said:

Booking when cruise itins open each season means that  in exchange for  good prices and cabin selection, there is a  very long period between booking and final payment.  So many factors can intervene...illness,  changed work schedules, weddings etc.  

 

We favor the Refundable plan even at a higher cost...Terms of the NR seem difficult if you need to cancel and pick another cruise in a set time frame.  Hope they continue offering Ref option.

 

I couldn't agree more.

 

I always book early because a good cabin location is important to me. ALWAYS book refundable, also hotels and other services which offer this option. Given the choice between tours without free cancellation and free one (advance noticed of a few days is also acceptable), I chose the free cancellation.

 

I intend to take every cruise I''m booked on (and luckily I didn't have to cancel until now), but LIFE (and corona) happens...

 

I also live in a very "volatile" country, where rockets and hostilities break out frequently, and the airport is suddenly closed.

 

If I'm willing to pay an additional fee for a refundable option, I don't see why I wouldn't be offered one??

 

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6 hours ago, ipeeinthepool said:

 

If you haven’t seen better protection by the terms and conditions required by the U.K. and other governments, perhaps the better solution is for you to get your government to eliminate all of the terms and conditions that aren’t really helping you.  Isn’t this just another example of how more government regulation doesn’t help?  Isn’t this one of the reasons so many people wanted Brexit?   

 

I think the US has a far better system and I don’t see any advantages of dragging us into a European system that may require larger deposits with more restrictions.

There is no European system, it’s nonsense created to justify better booking condition in the US.

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3 hours ago, ipeeinthepool said:

 

So tell me, if the booking system isn’t better in the US, why do so many people go out of their way to book with US TAs?

The booking system in the US is far superior, that’s the point.

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I like to book way for out because I think I get the best price...usually when the cruise is first offered. I also use miles for my international travel so have to book far ahead for that reason so I can book the flights at the 330 day mark. 

 

My DH is 83 1/2 and had poor health last year. At his age I'm not sure what is around the corner...let alone when. So for me a refundable deposit is a must because if I had to cancel I probably would not be in a position to book another cruise within the next year. I booked a cruise several weeks ago...over the phone with X because my TA's mother was ill and I didn't want to bother her. It was only after I was looking over the invoice that I noticed some letters on line items that I did not recognize. When I called X told me I had booked with a NRD...and the rep had never told me that during the entire booking process!!

 

As luck would have it I was within the 24 hour period when I could make a change and changed to a refundable deposit. That's the reason I am choosing that option. 

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10 hours ago, LuAnn said:

I like to book way for out because I think I get the best price...usually when the cruise is first offered. I also use miles for my international travel so have to book far ahead for that reason so I can book the flights at the 330 day mark. 

 

My DH is 83 1/2 and had poor health last year. At his age I'm not sure what is around the corner...let alone when. So for me a refundable deposit is a must because if I had to cancel I probably would not be in a position to book another cruise within the next year. I booked a cruise several weeks ago...over the phone with X because my TA's mother was ill and I didn't want to bother her. It was only after I was looking over the invoice that I noticed some letters on line items that I did not recognize. When I called X told me I had booked with a NRD...and the rep had never told me that during the entire booking process!!

 

As luck would have it I was within the 24 hour period when I could make a change and changed to a refundable deposit. That's the reason I am choosing that option. 

 

Surely this is what travel insurance is for. Could it be cheaper to get an annual policy and pay the lower prices for non-refundable deposit?? The policy would then cover you for any other more local trips you make within the U.S. too. 

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1 hour ago, laslomas said:

 

Surely this is what travel insurance is for. Could it be cheaper to get an annual policy and pay the lower prices for non-refundable deposit?? The policy would then cover you for any other more local trips you make within the U.S. too. 

Actually, many of us who have health insurance here in the U.S. mainly worry about getting admitted to a hospital or get to see a doctor wherever we are here in the U.S., yet when traveling outside of the U.S. we are quite unfamiliar with customs and payment terms...

 

Many, if not most Dr's and hospitals will accept our insurance without question.

 

There are a few Dr.'s and hospitals which do not accept insurance, rare though, as such no need to get travel insurance for home.

 

In some instances, to have travel insurance for travel wholly within the U.S. is a bit redundant.

 

bon voyage

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On 2/25/2020 at 4:24 AM, Miaminice said:

 

Exactly! And you think all these placeholder bookings don´t drive the price up?

 

That´s exactly the problem with them. Someone, and there are many outside the US, pays higher prices just because others want to secure their perks with onboard bookings etc. on cruises they are not even intending to take. I am not even talking about blocking staterooms in good locations here. 

And the same ones paying more are the ones who don´t have a price guarantee which would enable them to adjust the prices later, when the bookings are canceled or moved.

 

It´s funny how people don´t care about the consequences of their actions as long as they are for free and good for them...

Maybe they´ll start thinking about it when it´s no longer for free. 😉 
Usually the best method...

 

 

"Uncommitted" bookings reduce availability. 

Reduced availability drives up prices. 

Higher prices mean the average $ received per guest by Celebrity is higher. 

 

Having people pay more than they otherwise would seem to be a financial plus to Celebrity, offset only by cancelled bookings (last minute or otherwise) that can't be rebooked at a price equivalent to the original "uncommitted" booking.  10 rooms paying $100pp higher would allow an 11th room speculatively booked at $2000 to sit empty and be a net plus for the company. 

 

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On 2/25/2020 at 6:57 AM, Bo1953 said:

Are there no TA's in the UK/Europe who offer better fares/terms than going direct to X?

 

If not, sounds like a business opportunity to me.

 

bon voyage

FYI offering a "better fare" is not allowed by the contracts between TAs and cruise lines. A TA may have group fares and is allowed to "share" their commission as they like.

Yes, I agree it is splitting hairs but that is the way it is.

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On 2/25/2020 at 7:38 AM, ipeeinthepool said:

 

Airlines work the same way, you can pay a higher price if you want a refundable ticket.  Btw there are different rules for airlines in different countries 

There is a substantial difference between a refundable deposit and a refundable ticket. 

 

I've yet to see a cruise fare that is fully refundable up to the last minute as refundable airfare is.   Nor have I seen an airfare that let's me put down a deposit and think about it for 18 months before committing fully.  

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