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bigrednole

To Cancel or Not?

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Our cruise is on August 2. I am starting to think this is on the cusp of when they may start cruising. The longer we wait, the higher the prices will be on the next time we can cruise. There are some insane rates over Thanksgiving right now. I would take advantage of those and the difference would cover the airfare. Anyone have any thoughts/advice?

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Posted (edited)

If you book with a refundable deposit then there is no $ risk with any future cruise, and if the pricing is attractive, then why not take advantage of it? Should things continue to affect that future booking you can cancel prior to final payment with a full refund of your deposit.

 

If you book through Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, or Princess I would also suggest booking the air through them as they all have airfare programs where you select the flights and flight class based on fares that are the same as or less than booking direct with the airlines; there is no separate deposit required; the airfare is refundable up until final cruise payment; the flights can be changed; and if lower fares are offered you can capture those discounts; and as it is tied into your cruise booking, it is not due until final payment for the cruise. Booking a cruise and air in this manner mitigates all future $ risk with booking a cruise. 

 

If you have not yet booked your August 2 cruise you can still do so in this manner as well since final payment would not be due until early May, which gives you a few weeks still to monitor the situation.  And clearly a much longer time frame for things to settle out with Thanksgiving.  If it already is on the books with a refundable deposit, wait until final payment and decide then. (BTW we have both a July 1 and Aug 16 cruise on the books and are hopeful for both to occur - have to wait and see).

 

The cruise lines are also offering future cruise credits for cruises cancelled by them post final payment that can be applied to a later cruise should they cancel your cruise, and most are offering you the option of cancelling up to 48 hours prior to sailing without penalty to also receive a future cruise credit (FCC).  Most FCC's offered now are also in values typically greater than the amount actually paid with a new booking time frame typically through 12/31/21.

 

In any case I would also suggest working through travel agent as they would be the most knowledgeable on the current situation with each cruise line and would be you advocate for any cancellations or issues that would arise v working directly with the cruise line, which can be confusing and more difficult in these times.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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Thank you. I just spoke to our agent. He stated that what we want to do is not a "cruise cancellation". He said RCL treats this as a rebooking. They will shift the reservation to the new cruise date and refund any fare reductions. Right now, it is ~$1,700 in savings, so I am probably rebooking. He did state that they are seeing tremendous downward price pressure by either the cruise price or added benefits/bonuses. He said to check the prices and deals every day. He wouldn't be surprised if we even had another $500 in price/benefits over the next 2-3 weeks.

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1 hour ago, bigrednole said:

Thank you. I just spoke to our agent. He stated that what we want to do is not a "cruise cancellation". He said RCL treats this as a rebooking. They will shift the reservation to the new cruise date and refund any fare reductions. Right now, it is ~$1,700 in savings, so I am probably rebooking. He did state that they are seeing tremendous downward price pressure by either the cruise price or added benefits/bonuses. He said to check the prices and deals every day. He wouldn't be surprised if we even had another $500 in price/benefits over the next 2-3 weeks.

I think that is good advice.  And there is a distinction between cancelling a booking and transferring the booking to a new reservation.  The latter is the better option IMO.

 

Hope it all works out - for both of us!  I'm fairly certain that our 8/16 cruise will be OK - a little bit more of a gamble for our 7/1, but if that gets cancelled we can use the resulting FCC on the 8/16, so it still would be a win of sorts.

 

BTW our August 16 has had one recent price decrease and our airfare has had two.  Hopefully you will see similar.

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I agree that instead of cancelling, you are better off rescheduling your cruise or tour. Hopefully the situation gets better soon so we can all go back to cruising and traveling in no time. Can't wait to be back on cruise! 

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Yes, we will be rescheduling or whatever RCL calls it. I just don't want to wait until late June/early July to find out that the cruise is not sailing, wait for the FCC, and then rebook with what will probably be higher prices over Thanksgiving. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, bigrednole said:

Yes, we will be rescheduling or whatever RCL calls it. I just don't want to wait until late June/early July to find out that the cruise is not sailing, wait for the FCC, and then rebook with what will probably be higher prices over Thanksgiving. 

Again, if you still prefer to take your August cruise I would wait until maybe the week prior to final payment due date with RCI to see what the cruise status is at that time. (Typically TA's will add about a week to the RCI final payment date for valid fail safe reasons but the actual May due date with RCI is what matters). Let your TA know ahead of time what your intent would be with transferring should that be the choice and they can take care of that without issue.

 

Hopefully you are not dealing with a TA that adds separate fees not imposed by the cruise lines for originating, changing, or canceling a booking made through them.  Many do and I would avoid them as many - even if this climate - do not.

 

But either way transferring and existing booking v cancelling and rebooking a new onw is the better option.  Enjoy your cruise, whatever you decide.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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I'm already paid in full. I paid it off before this mess started. I could do the wait and see game even after my last cancel date of May 4. I could be doing a knee jerk reaction out of fear. I can keep the cruise, wait to see what happens, and if RCL winds up canceling, rebook then with the FCC. The problem with that approach is that our only opportunities for this are Thanksgiving or Christmas. Cruises over that Christmas break are extremely expensive now. The Thanksgiving cruises are just over $100/day/pp. I am looking at $2,500 for the cruise. Come July and after all of the Summer cruisers rebook since Thanksgiving is the next day for families with kids in school, those rates are going to go up quickly. 

 

This is what my ultimate dilema is. 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, bigrednole said:

I'm already paid in full. I paid it off before this mess started. I could do the wait and see game even after my last cancel date of May 4. I could be doing a knee jerk reaction out of fear. I can keep the cruise, wait to see what happens, and if RCL winds up canceling, rebook then with the FCC. The problem with that approach is that our only opportunities for this are Thanksgiving or Christmas. Cruises over that Christmas break are extremely expensive now. The Thanksgiving cruises are just over $100/day/pp. I am looking at $2,500 for the cruise. Come July and after all of the Summer cruisers rebook since Thanksgiving is the next day for families with kids in school, those rates are going to go up quickly. 

 

This is what my ultimate dilema is. 

Just so you are aware, paying in full prior to final payment is not an issue and is seen by RCI as simply a full cost deposit.  Final payment is not final until May 4, so a full refund is available up until then.

 

We, too, are looking at a NYE cruise and are seeing the same high rates now.  We did one last year and over the course of the year the rates decreased and it was surprisingly affordable by the time we made final payment.  But that was then and who knows what will be this year with all that is going on - I know for certain my crystal ball is broken!

 

I clearly understand your dilema.  Hard to predict what will happen with Thanksgiving fares as well, but hopefully pricing will remain stable for another few weeks if you decide to hold on to your current booking until final payment to decide.  I guess for me the decision would be based on which itinerary and time frame I would prefer, but if both are essentially even and with the potential uncertainty of August still there, the Thanksgiving option would certainly show less risk.

 

Again, I hope it all works out for you - hate to see all this uncertainty with all of us now.  And I'm only trying to offer information to help with the full picture in case you may not be aware - but I'm sure you are aware of all this and with your TA can work out the best solution.

 

Again, enjoy your cruise either way! 🙂

 

 

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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No big deal, but advice from the TA was not the best. The wait and see saw the rates go up $500. There is still a lot of time for rates to drop further. I think we will need the August vacation unless we can get a deal similar to what was available this past weekend. 

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On 4/4/2020 at 4:48 AM, bigrednole said:

Our cruise is on August 2. I am starting to think this is on the cusp of when they may start cruising. The longer we wait, the higher the prices will be on the next time we can cruise. There are some insane rates over Thanksgiving right now. I would take advantage of those and the difference would cover the airfare. Anyone have any thoughts/advice?

 

Where you sailing to?  Given what you have seen with the various ships from HOL and Princess I'm amazed you'd consider doing regardless of the value of the cruise.

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 With the CDC announcement of banning US ports until July at the earliest. I spent 90 minutes on the phone getting our cruise changed. We are still on the HOTS, but instead of Coco Cay, Cozumel, Roatan, and Costa Maya, we are going to Coco Cay/San Juan/Philipsburg. Although a huge benefit, money was not the deciding factor. My fear was as more Summer cruises get canceled, the people on those cruises will start looking at the next possible school holidays. Because of that prices would start to go up and possibly to the point I would not be able to go. We did save nearly $1,000 shifting the dates. Since we were not really going to do much in Costa Maya, the loss of a port is no big deal. We have our excursion picked for Philipsburg. We may do our own walking tour of Old San Juan. We have a friend of a friend that lives near there who has already said he would be more than willing to meet up with us and show us around. So, that is an option as well. 

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We bit the bullet and booked for late November.  Celebrity had a great discount for Arkansans.  We got a 11 night out of Tampa for almost half price.  Southern Caribbean going to Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Labadee.   If they sail, we sail.

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We are booked on Princess July 7th from Copenhagen. All we have paid is the deposit. Is this cruise still going? I booked online and have not heard from them yet. We did our air separately with British Airways. What do we do about that?

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Our cruise was with Holland for Alaska in June 2020.  I had already paid in full and on the last day to cancel with a FCC of my deposit, I did.

I saw that even thought Holland was offering 125% if we waited until they cancelled, the price for the next June 2021 had actually increase 39% FOR THE SAME CRUISE! 

I figured the money was more valuable in present value than allowing Holland to have the full value for a 1.4 years and then charging me more than the value they gave me. 

Not sure I'll do any cruising once Alaska is in the books.  The way it's gone down with the cruise line not owning up and playing the wait game has left a bad taste.

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My birthday cruise on Regal Princess for April 12th was cancelled.  I was also going to Walt Disney World for the week after the cruise but that was also cancelled, but because we are DVC members, our points were put back into our Disney account. 

 

My travel agent said I would get a full refund for the cruise but it would take a few months, which is fine with me.  Because my husband and I are in our mid 70's, we are afraid to rebook until there is a Corona Virus vaccine available.

 

Also, since we are Canadians and paid a lot more after the final fare was converted to Canadian dollars, we sure could use that money now.  So we look forward to our refund and maybe we will return to sailing in a year or two.  In the meantime, stay safe, stay home and stay healthy.

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Tough choices. We have a mid September cruise that I expect to happen on the Oasis. 
 

But we have a family Disney Cruise scheduled for 7/1, with land packages to the parks. Doubt it will all happen. Wondering if we move to August if the cruise will be a go. Don’t have a clue when the parks will reopen. Lots of planning down the drain.  
 

Can’t wait to sail again.  

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You have to keep checking, and can reprice a booking anytime up to final payment.  We saved $8700 this week on 4 cruises (balconies on Princess) later this year and early next.  You have to "normalize" the pricing by adjusting any benefits on the old rate, like OBC's or free internet to get a true measure of any savings.    I say go for it now, and make a final decision just before final payment date.

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On 4/5/2020 at 6:23 AM, leaveitallbehind said:

Again, if you still prefer to take your August cruise I would wait until maybe the week prior to final payment due date with RCI to see what the cruise status is at that time. (Typically TA's will add about a week to the RCI final payment date for valid fail safe reasons but the actual May due date with RCI is what matters). Let your TA know ahead of time what your intent would be with transferring should that be the choice and they can take care of that without issue.

 

Hopefully you are not dealing with a TA that adds separate fees not imposed by the cruise lines for originating, changing, or canceling a booking made through them.  Many do and I would avoid them as many - even if this climate - do not.

 

But either way transferring and existing booking v cancelling and rebooking a new onw is the better option.  Enjoy your cruise, whatever you decide.

Leaveitallbehind:

I'm not looking forward to negotiating a rebooking with my TA. I think she became tired of having my business when I bugged her to rebook my current booked cruise twice when there were price breaks this past winter. As you're an experienced cruiser, can you recommend a good on-line TA? Thanks.

 

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One early June '20 Euro cruise paid for. That will not happen. Will wait for X to cancel and take full refund.

October '20 Galapagos trip planned. Doubt that will happen. Will cancel before final payment since the cost is too great to risk a loss and we certainly don't need that much FCC. Refundable deposit coming back on this one.

January and April '21 cruises booked with only $50.00 deposit for each. Wait to see what they look like later this year. Not overly optimistic and certainly not eager to jump on board if things are not safely settled. 

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We did reschedule our cruise with our travel agent and about 3 hours later Royal Caribbean came out with a 125% rebate and when trying to get the rebate they said we were not eligible . Now we are diamond members and take about 2/3 cruises a year and if this is the way Royal  Caribbean  treats their members I think it is time to go with another line. There are many lines out there that want our business 

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RCL has a Cruise with Confidence thing going on because of all this.  Lets you cancel with full refund up to 48 hours before your departure.  I don't know if I am telling you anything new or not.  However, my TA did mention to us, given our situation of flexibility, to wait and see (our Cruise is mid-late June).  We are looking at later in the summer to be prepared...dunno what we will do.  our TA did mention the 125% thing was coming, but that would be a Future Cruise Credit if we let them keep our money (fully paid at this point) and reschedule this cruise.  It's not optimal to not have the money...but our 20th Anniversary is coming up and a 125% Future Cruise Credit for just my wife and I (we are currently booked as a family of 5) to go on an Anniversary cruise is quite an incentive and one I'm willing to wait for.  I have not talked to our TA in about 2 weeks because I know it's crazy.  Just taking it one day at a time and letting it ride.  I want RCL to have to cancel the cruise and not me because I think that gives me more leverage..or maybe it doesn't but I can dream big, too!

 

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Well we have a 7/4/20 Alaska cruise scheduled from Seattle on Ruby Princess. That ship has had big problems w/Corona virus in Australia, with many sick crew & died passengers after disembarking. Therefore we are afraid of continuing with that cruise which we have looked forward to for a long time. But, Princess only suspended thru 6/30/20. However, so far only paid small  deposit. Travel agent wants final full payment by 4/25/20(Princess shows 5/4/20). If we cancel before any possible  Princess suspension, we owe travel agent $100 fee & don't get any future cruise benefits as we see it. ANY ADVICE?

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We have a few cruises booked, one for September 12 on Celebrity.  Since we are both in our late 70’s, we do not want to take any chances with the Corona Virus.  We are hoping a cure will be available within the next 6 weeks.  (Hope springs eternal!). Otherwise, we will have to rebook it for next September when, hopefully, a cure or vaccine will be available.  We will be rebooking the other cruises, too, if no vaccine/cure has been found before the final payment is due.

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