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Keep watching the Cruise Personaliser!


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This morning (2 April) I read a new Booking Confirmation from Princess which must have arrived in my inbox yesterday evening after I closed my iPad down. It relates to the 4 July 2020 cruise from Southampton to Scandinavia on Crown.

 

The new confirmation stated that I needed to pay an additional “deposit” of £98 by April 1, 2020 or my cruise would be cancelled. I then checked the Cruise Personaliser and checked the Payments section. Sure enough, suddenly in red was a request for this extra money by yesterday to avoid cancelling the cruise. This wasn’t there on Monday when I checked that the date for final payment had been moved back to May 5th (also something not widely advertised).

 

So, as it was impossible for me to pay by April 1, I have effectively cancelled my booking.
 

I assume Princess has done this so that they avoid unfavourable terms and conditions which would apply if they cancelled the voyage. This they surely will do at some point as there is no chance of cruising from the UK restarting for at least six months, and probably not at all this year.

 

We are not going to be affected too much by what seems a cheap, underhand trick from a cruise line to which we have shown much loyalty as we have only paid £2 deposit so far having bought the cruise on a £1 day last year. In addition we have no flights to worry about and we can cancel our pre-cruise hotel without penalty.

 

Assuming this isn’t an April fools joke my advice is - keep checking your Cruise Personaliser!

 

Paul

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This is appalling! We are booked on the "Land of the Midnight Sun" sailing on Crown from Southampton on 22nd August. Are fully expecting it to be cancelled, and expecting a refund of our deposit. Nearly £1200, this was to be the trip of a lifetime in a Penthouse Suite. So I now feel very anxious, has anyone else had a similar experience? 

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I thought that with the £1 deposit, then a further amount was to be paid sometime after to equate to a usual deposit amount. I have had this with quite a few reduced deposit schemes. Does it say anything on your original booking confirmation?

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1 hour ago, Wichenford Wolf said:

I assume Princess has done this so that they avoid unfavourable terms and conditions which would apply if they cancelled the voyage. This they surely will do at some point as there is no chance of cruising from the UK restarting for at least six months, and probably not at all this year.

 

My next cruise has just been cancelled by Princess. The terms are no-where near as favourable as those offered for our April cruise that was cancelled earlier. The new terms are FCC for the amount paid for the cruise plus a small amount in addition. Please see the table below. I don't think Princess is doing any devious with your booking to avoid giving you a large payout. It is more likely that the amount requested is the balance of the usual deposit (as suggested by downsmead).

 

Voyage Duration FCC
2-6 Days $50
7-10 Days $150
11-18 Days $250
19-25 Days $500
26-35 Days $1,000
36-69 Days $2,500
70-77 Days $4,000
> 77 Days $5,000
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32 minutes ago, downsmead said:

I thought that with the £1 deposit, then a further amount was to be paid sometime after to equate to a usual deposit amount. I have had this with quite a few reduced deposit schemes. Does it say anything on your original booking confirmation?

 

This is normally the case with £1 deposit schemes through online travel agents, but our previous confirmation just said balance due on April 5th - no interim payments.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

My next cruise has just been cancelled by Princess. The terms are no-where near as favourable as those offered for our April cruise that was cancelled earlier. The new terms are FCC for the amount paid for the cruise plus a small amount in addition. Please see the table below. I don't think Princess is doing any devious with your booking to avoid giving you a large payout. It is more likely that the amount requested is the balance of the usual deposit (as suggested by downsmead).

 

Voyage Duration FCC
2-6 Days $50
7-10 Days $150
11-18 Days $250
19-25 Days $500
26-35 Days $1,000
36-69 Days $2,500
70-77 Days $4,000
> 77 Days $5,000

 

It's the timing of everything that makes me suspicious. No emails or warnings,  just a new booking confirmation issued late on the day that I was supposed to make an extra deposit. 

 

As of yet I haven't received an official cancellation notice. 

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I received the same type of notification for our March 26 Crown Princess cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome.  The notification was in big red letters and indicated that the amount due that should have been paid was in the past.  In a panic, I paid it so that my cruise would not be canceled, assuming that if Princess accepted payment, then they could not cancel our cruise.  Later I called Princess, who informed me that it was a computer glitch that occurred in connection with a change in itinerary.  They sent a new confirmation showing that I had paid in full with the additional amount I paid indicated as a credit.  I'm still waiting to be refunded for that cruise, which should include the additional amount I paid because of the computer glitch.  I'm thinking of disputing the payment of the additional amount paid with my credit card payment, but haven't decided whether it is better to wait.  So, you may want to call Princess to get more details. 

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I have just discovered that Princess changed their cancellation policy again on 20th March. The final payment date for August cruises has now gone back to the original 90 days prior to sailing. So what they are essentially doing is hoping that people will pay the balance on a cruise which they know will definitely not happen. That way Princess can hang onto the money and offer FCCs which some of us may not want or ever be able to use. I think we may as well just cancel now and wave goodbye to our £1200. This was to have been our first cruise with Princess, would never consider booking with them again, even if deteriorating health did not mean this year was probably our last opportunity.

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2 hours ago, Wichenford Wolf said:

 

It's the timing of everything that makes me suspicious. No emails or warnings,  just a new booking confirmation issued late on the day that I was supposed to make an extra deposit. 

 

As of yet I haven't received an official cancellation notice. 

Why not just call and make the extra payment if it was part of the terms for the low initial deposit?

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5 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

Why not just call and make the extra payment if it was part of the terms for the low initial deposit?


My point is that it wasn’t part of the original terms. The original terms were £1 each on booking followed by final payment 90 days (since changed to 60 days) out. There was never any requirement to increase the deposit.

 

Princess have changed the terms and added a new payment with no notice and a penalty of cancellation if not adhered to. And, as I didn’t learn about this until today, it was impossible to satisfy the new terms demanding payment yesterday.

 

The understandable thing that Princess has done is move the final payment date to 60 days out in the hope that things will have improved. I doubt there are many at the moment who will make a final payment to the cruise line for a cruise that is almost certainly going to be cancelled. This would be giving an interest free loan of several thousands to the company for who knows how long in return for an FCC which might never get used.

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I realize your frustration but wouldn't a simpler, more productive and more helpful resolve in your situation be to call princess directly. Explain your receipt of the email asking from same pay payment of monies to your account. Have customer service explain why you were receiving the email. Then,  rectify the situation by either finding out it was a mistake on their end or an oversight on your end. At which time, you could make an informed decision with regard to you next action. One, pay 98 pounds or  two, cancel the cruise and request a refund of your 2 pounds. Then finally, come onto the CC board , explain YOUR situation , explain your actions to resolve and your experience. So that,  one reading the post would have some guidance based on your lead if they were to receive the same notice. Instead you sound the alarm over what appears to be a 2 pound deposit and 98 pound payment on a cruise that I am sure is much more than 100 pounds. Your concerns sound reasonable and the ability to satisfy the email sound unreasonable.  So it seems that any reasonable person in customer service would see your point , check the system, see if your reservation appears on their end and work with you to resolve any issues with full explanation.  If this was cancelled one day ago , I am sure your stateroom is still available. This is a wonder cruise! I would hope that you would not let it slip away over 100 pounds and I pray that you will be able to go on this cruise given the uncertainty of cruising in general these days. 

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Where is everyone getting info about no cruises out of the UK for at least 6 months or not a all? Is this just a guess on your part or did you read this somewhere? 
 

We are booked on the Regal in August so it’s important information. 

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55 minutes ago, charlie murphy said:

I realize your frustration but wouldn't a simpler, more productive and more helpful resolve in your situation be to call princess directly. Explain your receipt of the email asking from same pay payment of monies to your account. Have customer service explain why you were receiving the email. Then,  rectify the situation by either finding out it was a mistake on their end or an oversight on your end. At which time, you could make an informed decision with regard to you next action. One, pay 98 pounds or  two, cancel the cruise and request a refund of your 2 pounds. Then finally, come onto the CC board , explain YOUR situation , explain your actions to resolve and your experience. So that,  one reading the post would have some guidance based on your lead if they were to receive the same notice. Instead you sound the alarm over what appears to be a 2 pound deposit and 98 pound payment on a cruise that I am sure is much more than 100 pounds. Your concerns sound reasonable and the ability to satisfy the email sound unreasonable.  So it seems that any reasonable person in customer service would see your point , check the system, see if your reservation appears on their end and work with you to resolve any issues with full explanation.  If this was cancelled one day ago , I am sure your stateroom is still available. This is a wonder cruise! I would hope that you would not let it slip away over 100 pounds and I pray that you will be able to go on this cruise given the uncertainty of cruising in general these days. 


Yours is a very considered response and I hope if this has happened or does happen to others that they take your advice.

 

In our case I am not concerned about the money spent so far or even the new demand for a little bit extra. The purpose of my OP was to warn travellers to keep looking at the website to keep up to date. If Princess cancels a cruise you have a prima facie case to claim on your travel insurance. If it is deemed that you cancel, then you need to have an insurable reason to support any claim. In the UK deposits are not refundable and significant amounts may be at stake.

 

All this is against the background that Princess will eventually have to cancel this cruise. 

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58 minutes ago, Wichenford Wolf said:


Yours is a very considered response and I hope if this has happened or does happen to others that they take your advice.

 

In our case I am not concerned about the money spent so far or even the new demand for a little bit extra. The purpose of my OP was to warn travellers to keep looking at the website to keep up to date. If Princess cancels a cruise you have a prima facie case to claim on your travel insurance. If it is deemed that you cancel, then you need to have an insurable reason to support any claim. In the UK deposits are not refundable and significant amounts may be at stake.

 

All this is against the background that Princess will eventually have to cancel this cruise. 

It would be very helpful to not make statements like this unless you have documentation to prove it. We are trying to keep factual information on the boards. 

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5 minutes ago, WNcruiser said:

It would be very helpful to not make statements like this unless you have documentation to prove it. We are trying to keep factual information on the boards. 


My apologies. I should have written “In my opinion”. 
 

Sorry.

 

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I’m booked on this same cruise (via the Eskimo travel agent) and paid £150 deposit for two adults and a child way back in October. This cruise was booked because the dates matched with  celebrating  a special wedding anniversary  on  board. 
The date for final payment with this travel agent was 7th  March, of course had I booked direct with Princess  it would be due in two days time on 5th April. I did pay my balance on time as the circumstances, although developing,  were not like they are today. 

However, I cancelled the cruise on 26th March, eight days ago, with the promise of my £150 deposit to be turned into FCC and a cash refund back to my Barclaycard for the balance. I also cancelled the Intercruises coach connection with a refund due of 80% of the total paid. To date neither of these refunds have been paid to me and I shall be chasing them today. I’m willing to take these small financial “hits” for the peace of mind that I will (hopefully!) get when my refunds are processed in the next few days. I simply can’t afford to lose a couple of thousand pounds at any time, let alone now. I’m quite confident that this cruise will not sail and aware that had I waited I could receive a refund if all monies paid as cash. 
 

My cruise is still showing in my cruise personaliser. 
 

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