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Question about View & Verandah sale - misleading?

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Hope some experienced cruisers can help explain something to me……

(sorry in advance for the long winded post)

 

I booked a new 10 day cruise in an assigned verandah under the V&V sale that just expired Feb 29.  V&V sale comes with certain perks as seen in the screen shot below.  I received all the perks with the exception of the free "premium wi-fi". Called my PCC this afternoon and was told that I received a "casino discount" and that discount is not combinable with the free wi-fi perk.

 

When I booked online, I had a choice of 2 rates: Restricted lower rate (non refundable deposit) or the View and Verandah promo.  I choose the V&V due to all the perks it came with and the $25 deposit.  Generally, if I see "Private Sale" when I am booking then that means a lower “casino rate” or some other "special" promo. But in this instance, that was not showing on the screen as Private Sale was not an option. Only “Restricted Price” or “V&V sale” price.  So when I booked I fully expected to receive the free wi-fi package in addition to the other perks that HAL was promoting in the V&V sale. BUT my PCC is telling me that he cannot add that free wi-fi to the booking as it would knock off the lower "casino rate" and then the fare would be higher. Makes no sense to me as all the other V&V sale perks were included in the booking, just NOT the free wi-fi.

 

How would a passenger who is making a new booking know that they are not getting all the perks of a promotion? No where when I was booking did it say casino rate. Or say you cannot receive free wi-fi due to not being combinable with your rate. No one would ever know this. Only after you make the booking and then I see that it is not included on the booking statement. 

 

Today I did speak with a supervisor (someone that the PCC put me through to) and she explained it the same way as the PCC did. Casino rate not combinable with that free internet promo under the V&V sale. She said she could take off the casino rate, but the rate would be almost $300 dollars (per person) higher and then she could add free internet promo to the booking.  Obviously that was not an option for me.

 

I told the supervisor that I was not happy with this as I felt the free internet should be included as it was part of the promo in the V&V sale. I felt it was misleading and that they should put it on the booking.  She stood her ground and said she could not.  I said then how about adding add some additional OBC to make up for this lack of free wif-fi.  

Again, she said she could not and that there was already OBC (part of the V&V promo) on the account and to use that to pay for the wi-fi on the ship.   Sigh… I was not getting anywhere.  But going around in circles.

 

She said I could email another supervisor, but that I would get the same response.  She directed me to send a letter to an email address at Reservations_submit@hollandamerica.com

 

So, my question is why does HAL promote a set of “perks” in a particular sale, but then not allow you to have all of them?  Seems very misleading to me.  There are no exclusions in the Terms and Conditions that say anything about this "casino rate" (which I did not know I even had until after booking and speaking with PCC).

 

Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 4.12.43 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 6.46.57 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 6.47.13 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 6.47.23 PM.png

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The only way I know that I am getting a lower casino rate is if I first do a booking without signing in, and then exactly the same booking after signing in (which always gives me the lower casino rate). It does not indicate that anywhere otherwise. The casino rate, for me, is applied to any fare and not just the ones that are marked private sale.

 

It may well be that the non-casino rate for the V&V with internet would have been much higher. Casino discounts can be quite substantial.

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27 minutes ago, saskacruiser said:

The only way I know that I am getting a lower casino rate is if I first do a booking without signing in, and then exactly the same booking after signing in (which always gives me the lower casino rate). It does not indicate that anywhere otherwise. The casino rate, for me, is applied to any fare and not just the ones that are marked private sale.

 


I tried doing that to compare fares prior to booking.  I would log in with out my Mariner number (made sure to clear my browser history /clear cashe before proceeding) and I received the same fare cost as with my Mariner number so I assumed it was the general fare for the V&V sale.  Do not remember any price difference if I was logged in or out.  That was why I just thought the booking was with the V&V sale.  But it turned out it was not.  

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Just a guess but their last sentence is perhaps how they get around things-“other restrictions may apply”? 
 

Sorry you’ve experienced this.  I know I booked the V&V (not casino rate though) and had to confirm with  twice with my PCC that wifi was included.  It finally showed on the invoice.  

BC59612F-CD0B-48B3-84EB-63EB809887E0.jpeg

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Is your cruise this year or in 2021?  I questioned my TA about the free wi-fi for a cruise I booked last week but then realized the cruise is for next year and not eligible.  

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8 hours ago, I like vacation said:

Is your cruise this year or in 2021?  I questioned my TA about the free wi-fi for a cruise I booked last week but then realized the cruise is for next year and not eligible.  

 

It is for December 2020.  And was one of the cruise dates that qualified for the V&V sale.  When booking the cruise, the V&V sale is what was shown on screen.  So it was eligible for the promotion.  I guess the issue is that it turned out to not be eligible for all the promo benefits due to the casino rate (that I was unaware was included).

 

It is just hard to decipher what rate you are booking under as in this case the particular “casino rate” was hidden to me.  I think the online booking process needs to be more transparent so a passenger can fully see what rate they are under and what is included.  But before they book and pay the deposit.

 

BTW, I did speak with my PCC when I put my cruise on a Courtesy Hold  (which was 4 days before paying my deposit) and I questioned him about this Free Premium Internet promo and if it was “attached” to my Courtesy Hold.  He told me it was not attached to the booking.  But to let him know if I decided to go through with the booking and pay the deposit and he would just add it to the booking.  So I assumed (always a bad thing to do!) that is would be added with no problem once I paid the deposit.  

 

I wound up paying for the deposit on the HAL website as it was the weekend and after hours (no PCC or reservations open) and I wanted to get the deposit in before the deadline of Saturday 2/29.  Then called PCC Tuesday and spoke with him and supervisor and all this was found out.  To me its pretty confusing and convoluted.

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10 hours ago, canadianbear said:

Just a guess but their last sentence is perhaps how they get around things-“other restrictions may apply”? 
 

Sorry you’ve experienced this.  I know I booked the V&V (not casino rate though) and had to confirm with  twice with my PCC that wifi was included.  It finally showed on the invoice.  

BC59612F-CD0B-48B3-84EB-63EB809887E0.jpeg

 

Yes, maybe that is their escape hatch (catch).  Very vague.  Your PCC seemed to be as clueless as mine.  When the V&V sale came out and I spoke with my PCC about this free wi-if perks, he was clueless at first and appeared to not know anything about it.  Then he checked into it and agreed it was a perk of the sale.  I’m not sure it is worth dealing with a PCC at HAL. I like to have more control over my reservation so I have been dealing with HAL’s PCC.  But, I am some loosing additional money (now a store gift card instead of OBC) as I could very easily go back to the Big Box travel agency I have used several times in the past.  

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I booked a cruise under the V&V promo also.  When the promo originally started, it did not include the free wi-fi.  Several weeks after the original V&V promo HAL changed the V&V to include free wi-fi.  Seeing this, I called my TA to have the free wi-fi included.  I was on hold a long time as my TA later explained that HAL would not simply add the free wi-fi to the booking and my TA got transferred to a HAL Pricing Specialist who stated that to add the "free wifi" to the booking my fare would increase by $66 pp.  No thanks.

 

If there is one thing I have come to learn about HAL is that nothing is free.

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