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Your FCC - might they never get used?


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I cancelled my trip with the 50/50 arrangement - the mix of cash back and FCC.  I was to travel with friends on the Nieuw Amsterdam April 28 Med. Tapestry.  Quite disappointed naturally.  My friends are not available next year to cruise.  If I decide to go it would probably be a solo trip and not sure at my age - 72 - that I want to do this.  That is if HAL would permit me ( have well controlled diabetes - and am in excellent health according to my dr.    I have a feeling that if things aren't settled by December 31 2020 I will let the FCC go.  I am hoping that maybe HAL will extend the booking deadline.  If I am denied boarding - I would never ask my dr. for the required letter and don't think he would sign it anyway - I wonder if HAL would refund the FCC. - anyway, two separate topics here I guess -  all this remains to be seen.  Thanks for letting me put all this out there!

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Absolutely.  Take the cash if you get the opportunity. 

 

 Given the state of the industry and the uncertainty of cruise travel over the next 6-12 months it seems to me that a cash refund have far more value than an  FCC.   If you subsequently decide to take a cruise you will not be tied down to one vendor.

Edited by iancal
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57 minutes ago, gailellen12 said:

I cancelled my trip with the 50/50 arrangement - the mix of cash back and FCC.  I was to travel with friends on the Nieuw Amsterdam April 28 Med. Tapestry.  Quite disappointed naturally.  My friends are not available next year to cruise.  If I decide to go it would probably be a solo trip and not sure at my age - 72 - that I want to do this.  That is if HAL would permit me ( have well controlled diabetes - and am in excellent health according to my dr.    I have a feeling that if things aren't settled by December 31 2020 I will let the FCC go.  I am hoping that maybe HAL will extend the booking deadline.  If I am denied boarding - I would never ask my dr. for the required letter and don't think he would sign it anyway - I wonder if HAL would refund the FCC. - anyway, two separate topics here I guess -  all this remains to be seen.  Thanks for letting me put all this out there!

 

I'm perhaps mistaken but thought your FCC was good through 12/31/2021?

If you happen to make the choice to cruise solo, go for it. I'm soon to be 74yrs old and have taken three cruises solo. Yes, it's different and the ongoing question was, "why are you alone," but otherwise, I enjoyed the cruises.

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13 hours ago, PROCRUISE said:

 

I'm perhaps mistaken but thought your FCC was good through 12/31/2021?

If you happen to make the choice to cruise solo, go for it. I'm soon to be 74yrs old and have taken three cruises solo. Yes, it's different and the ongoing question was, "why are you alone," but otherwise, I enjoyed the cruises.

I think you have to BOOK by Dec 31, 2020

 

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This was on the March 6 letter I received from HAL....have I missed a change to the dates?

  • Any cancellation will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for the amount of your cancellation fee, which can be used for another cruise in 2020 or 2021.
  • The FCC must be booked by December 31, 2020. This applies to bookings on spring 2020 Land+Sea Journeys and cruises for all destinations.
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There seems to have been different dates and terms sent out in the cover emails. And also different ways HAL is interpreting what they said. This is what they sent us on March 30 which certainly made it sound like we did NOT have to sail by December 31, 2021, just that we had to book by then,

 

Future Cruise Credit (FCC) Terms & Conditions

The value of this credit may be applied to the cruise fare only of a new cruise or Land+Sea Journey reservation with Holland America Line, and it is combinable with any other applicable discount. While the credit is valid until December 31, 2021, please note that it needs only to be applied to the new booking by that time; the cruise does not need to depart within this timeframe.

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18 minutes ago, Queen of DaNile said:

There seems to have been different dates and terms sent out in the cover emails. And also different ways HAL is interpreting what they said. This is what they sent us on March 30 which certainly made it sound like we did NOT have to sail by December 31, 2021, just that we had to book by then,

 

Future Cruise Credit (FCC) Terms & Conditions

The value of this credit may be applied to the cruise fare only of a new cruise or Land+Sea Journey reservation with Holland America Line, and it is combinable with any other applicable discount. While the credit is valid until December 31, 2021, please note that it needs only to be applied to the new booking by that time; the cruise does not need to depart within this timeframe.

Typical HAL - different deals.  Confusing.

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From an email we received late on April 14, cancelling our June voyage:

 

Option 1:...The Future Cruise Credit can be applied toward any future cruise(s) booked by December 31, 2020 for cruise(s) that sail by December 31, 2021.

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7 minutes ago, kwb101 said:

From an email we received late on April 14, cancelling our June voyage:

 

Option 1:...The Future Cruise Credit can be applied toward any future cruise(s) booked by December 31, 2020 for cruise(s) that sail by December 31, 2021.

This is what I got yesterday as well, for our Alaska cruise departing 5/24.

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A real clinker, as I read it: the FCC is only good for a new booking's fare, not for anything else:

"This credit may not be used for onboard expenses, pre- and post-cruise packages, shore excursions, taxes, fees and port expenses, Cancellation Protection Plans, FlightEase air, Hotel Service Charges, or other optional programs or services."

 

We're going to book the same cruise for next summer, and the FCC (including the 25% extra just covers the 2021 fare. Perhaps they've increased fares by 25% to ensure that the extra FCC is used?

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33 minutes ago, kwb101 said:

A real clinker, as I read it: the FCC is only good for a new booking's fare, not for anything else:

"This credit may not be used for onboard expenses, pre- and post-cruise packages, shore excursions, taxes, fees and port expenses, Cancellation Protection Plans, FlightEase air, Hotel Service Charges, or other optional programs or services."

 

We're going to book the same cruise for next summer, and the FCC (including the 25% extra just covers the 2021 fare. Perhaps they've increased fares by 25% to ensure that the extra FCC is used?

Not only that, but it can't be used for deposits, so you could potentially be putting down new money and still losing some of your FCC.

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We would never consider taking the FCC given the current cruise environment.

 

One question though.....IF a person does book a future cruise with FCC can this cruise be re-fared?  If it can be re-fared how is the saving handled?  Cash refund (doubt this very much) or just more FCC.  Depending if and when you get re-fared, and your near term cruise booking plans,  you could very well loose the benefit of the FCC on that re-fare. This may explain why you can only use the FCC on a cruise fare, not onboard, cruise aire, etc.

 

 This could make a significant difference if fares drop 10, 20, 30, percent etc. as we have seen on some routes/some sailings in the past.  I would certainly want to have this clarified prior to taking an FCC that could effectively lock me into considerably higher fare than would otherwise be the case.  Not to mention the new money (as per above) that you have to pay for a deposit.  Why on earth should you be asked to pay a deposit if you have a large FCC sitting in your account???

 

  I suspect this is one reason why HAL and other cruise lines may have increased some fares by 25 percent.   A 25 percent fare increase might actually be more than 25 percent.  One would have to compare the base fare amounts, ie the fare without port taxes included.

 

No doubt the cruise lines want customers to focus on the 125 percent and NOT on THEIR rules surrounding it's use.

Edited by iancal
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1 hour ago, strickerj said:

Not only that, but it can't be used for deposits, so you could potentially be putting down new money and still losing some of your FCC.

I hadn’t heard this.  Thanks for the information.   This will be our first time dealing with FCC so I am learning a lot. 

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1 minute ago, Wayfairers said:

I hadn’t heard this.  Thanks for the information.   This will be our first time dealing with FCC so I am learning a lot. 

Yep, I didn't either until I got the email offer with the terms and conditions. Can't be used for port taxes and fees, shore excursions, or any onboard extras either... So you're basically forced into booking a much higher fare in order to use it all... I'm a little disappointed but I'm still saving a few hundred bucks vs. taking the cash refund and rebooking.

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Anyone asked about re-faring?  We have only booked outside the final payment window a few times but in just about all instances we have benefited from re-faring...either a reduced fare or the same with with a cabin upgrade or additional inclusives of some sort.

Edited by iancal
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3 hours ago, strickerj said:

Not only that, but it can't be used for deposits, so you could potentially be putting down new money and still losing some of your FCC.

Thanks for mentioning this, it was in another sentence in the message that I forgot.

 

Also, I gather that, if you don't use all the FCC on one trip, the balance will stay in your account.

Edited by kwb101
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21 hours ago, kwb101 said:

We're going to book the same cruise for next summer, and the FCC (including the 25% extra just covers the 2021 fare. Perhaps they've increased fares by 25% to ensure that the extra FCC is used?

I believe these increases were in place some time ago.  I had checked in to some Europe cruises for 2021 at the end of November and was surprised at how much the fares had increased.

Regarding FCC versus Refund.  If first person to submit request for FCC or Refund, then all people on booking must take whatever option the first person selected.  This is fine for married/committed people.  But for people like my friend and I this might not be what each individual wants as we don’t always travel together.  She initially wanted FCC but then changed her mind to Refund.  This is good because I had already submitted my paperwork for a Refund.  We found this out when she was unable to submit, called HAL, and was informed that the booking number had already been processed.

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We got an email from HAL a couple of days ago - they had cancelled our April cruise, and we had selected Option 1.  This new email must have been sent by mistake, but it did add this:  "The deadline for making your selection online is June 1, 2020. If you do not respond by June 1st, you will be deemed to have elected the respective Option #1 above. Please note, guests who select option 1 may cancel the future cruise credit at any time and the value, less the 25% bonus amount and  US$250 onboard credit per person, will be refunded. Most airlines and other travel-related services such as hotels, transportation, and tours are allowing refunds or waiving change fees due to the COVID-19 pandemic; please work directly with those operators regarding their charges."

 

Which is kind of interesting, I don't know if it does apply to the timing of our choice of option 1, but it does sound as if it is possible to change your mind and get a refund at a later date.  

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