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NCL lost our trust forever


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Just now, Buford T Justiice said:

Just a data point: IRS was able to take a new stimulus law, design systems, and starting get direct deposits out in two weeks... got my stimulus money today!

 

I read a story about the stimulus money in a blog today and one of the comments was "Got my 1200 bucks from Uncle Sam today, proud to say my account balance is now $1203.52"  🙂

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18 minutes ago, Ms BumbleBee said:

 

Hmmm well I am a Senior VP of a Fortune 100 financial institution - I will make sure to let my company know I am incompetent and lack knowledge of normal business practices.  Good to know.  I am sure if we ran our company as NCL we would be shutdown in a millisecond but carry on

After a careful rereading of your post, one sentence somewhat rescues you, the last...

"This has nothing to do with complexity - for ANY of the cruise lines, it’s cash flow and I bet they are weighing bankruptcy especially as this continues.  "

 

And I say "somewhat" because the "they are weighing bankruptcy" part isn't true. If you were paying attention to what the industry has done you'd know that the three major cruise lines have raised enough additional cash through borrowing and in Carnival's case also selling an equity interest to the Saudi Arabian royal family's investment company to have sufficient cash to carry them for a substantial time...probably at least to year's end. So there's no immediate need for bankruptcy.

 

By the way, as a retired actuary and former head of strategic planning for a huge insurance company, I'm shocked when some who's a senior VP for a Fortune 100 financial institution says things like "they spent it" and "there's no money to refund". Since when does any company keep enough cash on hand pay all their short term liabilities? 

Edited by njhorseman
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4 minutes ago, Buford T Justiice said:

Just a data point: IRS was able to take a new stimulus law, design systems, and starting get direct deposits out in two weeks... got my stimulus money today!

It's not even a remotely similar process. There's no choice involved. You just get your stimulus rebate ...it's not as if the IRS has to be told whether you want the money or a future credit and then manually input that decision into their system. Everyone gets the money . Writing a program to do it should have been relatively simply.

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1 minute ago, njhorseman said:

After a careful rereading of your post, one sentence somewhat rescues you, the last...

"This has nothing to do with complexity - for ANY of the cruise lines, it’s cash flow and I bet they are weighing bankruptcy especially as this continues.  "

 

And I say "somewhat" because the "they are weighing bankruptcy" part isn't true. If you were paying attention to what the industry has done you'd know that the three major cruise lines have raised enough additional cash through borrowing and in Carnival's case also selling an equity interest to the Saudi Arabian royal family's investment company to have sufficient cash to carry them for a substantial time...probably at least to year's end. So there's no immediate need for bankruptcy.

 

By the way, as a retired actuary and former head of strategic planning for a huge insurance company, I'm shocked when some who's a senior VP for a Fortune 100 financial institution says things like "they spent it" and "there's no money to refund". Since when does any company keep enough cash on hand pay all their short term liabilities? 

 

 

Again focusing on port fees taxes and excursions, all money they are required to have on hand to pay out and NOT THEIR MONEY TO SPEND - I would assume most companies would have that not co-mingled with other funds but again that’s just me.  Like if a company decides not to pay the payroll taxes or Social Security for their employees - that is not “short term liabilities” that’s called something like a FELONY.

 

And of course they are weighing bankruptcy - if they were not then they would not be doing their job.  Weighing bankruptcy does not mean pulling the trigger.  It is the responsible thing for a business to do - you need to keep all options available including bankruptcy.  And I do not blame them for trying to keep cash as long as possible - but some of that money is not part of their money - it is held for other parties - that was my focus.

 

I guess things have changed a lot since you retired.  

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3 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

It's not even a remotely similar process. There's no choice involved. You just get your stimulus rebate ...it's not as if the IRS has to be told whether you want the money or a future credit and then manually input that decision into their system. Everyone gets the money . Writing a program to do it should have been relatively simply.

HMMM  again not everyone is getting money.  Most people are, not everyone.  Companies have had to create processes with incredible speed to get money out to people but it was not simple - not even for the IRS.

 

I do not expect for the cruise lines to move as fast but the truth is this has nothing to do with process and all to do with holding on to funds (or replenish funds) 

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Just now, Ms BumbleBee said:

 

 

Again focusing on port fees taxes and excursions, all money they are required to have on hand to pay out and NOT THEIR MONEY TO SPEND - I would assume most companies would have that not co-mingled with other funds but again that’s just me.  Like if a company decides not to pay the payroll taxes or Social Security for their employees - that is not “short term liabilities” that’s called something like a FELONY.

 

And of course they are weighing bankruptcy - if they were not then they would not be doing their job.  Weighing bankruptcy does not mean pulling the trigger.  It is the responsible thing for a business to do - you need to keep all options available including bankruptcy.  And I do not blame them for trying to keep cash as long as possible - but some of that money is not part of their money - it is held for other parties - that was my focus.

 

I guess things have changed a lot since you retired.  

No, nothing has changed. I've already stated what I think of your post. I stand on my opinion and won't argue with about it any longer.

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2 minutes ago, Ms BumbleBee said:

HMMM  again not everyone is getting money.  Most people are, not everyone.  Companies have had to create processes with incredible speed to get money out to people but it was not simple - not even for the IRS.

 

I do not expect for the cruise lines to move as fast but the truth is this has nothing to do with process and all to do with holding on to funds (or replenish funds) 

The criteria for who is getting the stimulus rebate, who isn't and in what amount involves no choice on the part of anyone. The criteria and mathematical formulas are built into the law and all the data to accomplish the  job are already in the IRS system. It's a very straightforward programming job. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Murph269 said:

People who are defending this delay as no big deal are also not taking into account the risk of NCL going bankrupt. With each passing day of no incoming revenue, the risk increases exponentially. The sooner we receive refunds, the better. The longer this goes on, the greater the risk that we never see a dime. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s best interest we requested a refund, that we receive the refund as soon as possible. 

..

I agree with this. In my case as a last minute booker, I had none pending because of the escalating crisis. However, I had 4 CruiseNext certificates that were eligible for a refund. Feeling that bankruptcy is a possibility, I quickly applied for a refund and got it. Passengers would be bottom creditors in a bankruptcy and likely to see nothing or maybe at best 5 cents on the dollar.

Edited by IrieBajan54
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32 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

It's not even a remotely similar process. There's no choice involved. You just get your stimulus rebate ...it's not as if the IRS has to be told whether you want the money or a future credit and then manually input that decision into their system. Everyone gets the money . Writing a program to do it should have been relatively simply.

NCL shouldn't have given anyone a choice between FCC or a refund. Just refund everyone in 7-10 business days for cancelled cruises. That is the appropriate thing to do. It pees me off having to wait three months for the refund I requested yesterday for the cruise I was booked on that they were forced to cancel. NCL is very wrong to not have the ability to pay us back within 7-10 business days. 

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NCL canceled my cruise. Filled out the refund form. 3 weeks later and the day of my sailing is at hand and alas no refund. Filed a charge back against that a$$. I'm not waiting around like the rest of you suckers for NCL to file for bankruptcy only to have my money tied up for who knows how long. NCL can suck it. <Insert Microphone Drop Here>

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I'll be the unpopular one here.  It's ok- I have enough friends. 

I save up to pay for my vacations.  We automatically have money added to our vacation account with each paycheck.  

We paid for our cruise.  We don't miss that money.  It was just money in an account. 

NCL said, "We will give you a refund or 150% FCC." 

We struggled to decide.  We don't "need" the refund because, it was money we already spent.  Offering the extra FFC is tempting.  

 

So, after a lot of thinking we booked a cruise for January - an 11 day cruise!  

 

And- I know it's all a risk.  It's a guessing game.  Maybe this will be awesome and in January we will take an 11 day cruise which we booked using a lot of FREE money.   Or maybe the company will tank and we lose it all.  

But- the thing is, we had already spent that money.  If someone is so upset about waiting for money that they already spent then maybe it's about the way you're looking at things.  NCL is trying to figure out how to sustain themselves.  I hope they manage to do it.  I don't want this company to tank over something that isn't even their fault.  They are not trying to screw anyone.  They are trying to survive.  Do you really NEED your refund right away?  If so...there are other questions.  

 

So let the stoning begin

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3 minutes ago, CaribbeanJen said:

I'll be the unpopular one here.  It's ok- I have enough friends. 

I save up to pay for my vacations.  We automatically have money added to our vacation account with each paycheck.  

We paid for our cruise.  We don't miss that money.  It was just money in an account. 

NCL said, "We will give you a refund or 150% FCC." 

We struggled to decide.  We don't "need" the refund because, it was money we already spent.  Offering the extra FFC is tempting.  

 

So, after a lot of thinking we booked a cruise for January - an 11 day cruise!  

 

And- I know it's all a risk.  It's a guessing game.  Maybe this will be awesome and in January we will take an 11 day cruise which we booked using a lot of FREE money.   Or maybe the company will tank and we lose it all.  

But- the thing is, we had already spent that money.  If someone is so upset about waiting for money that they already spent then maybe it's about the way you're looking at things.  NCL is trying to figure out how to sustain themselves.  I hope they manage to do it.  I don't want this company to tank over something that isn't even their fault.  They are not trying to screw anyone.  They are trying to survive.  Do you really NEED your refund right away?  If so...there are other questions.  

 

So let the stoning begin

Interesting point of view. You are correct we had already spent the money and never expected to get it back because it was for the cruise fare. So using your analogy all we have lost is the enjoyment of our cruise, not money. Bizarre way to look at it but true.

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1 minute ago, mildew1951 said:

Interesting point of view. You are correct we had already spent the money and never expected to get it back because it was for the cruise fare. So using your analogy all we have lost is the enjoyment of our cruise, not money. Bizarre way to look at it but true.

Not sure what makes my point of view "bizarre"?  

There's so much happening in this world right now.  TONS of anxiety and uncertainty.  My husband has been laid off.  I'm working from home.  Our son passed away 7 weeks ago.  In light of all this- I can't get upset about money that we already spent. 

I'm also a college business professor and I'm very concerned about how NCL will survive but I'm confident they want to. They are not withholding refunds to make customers angry.  That's the last thing they want to do.  They are simply scrambling to figure out how to survive.  It would be nice if people could take a big picture view and think beyond themselves, especially if they can afford to wait 60-90 days for a refund. 

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22 minutes ago, CaribbeanJen said:

Not sure what makes my point of view "bizarre"?  

There's so much happening in this world right now.  TONS of anxiety and uncertainty.  My husband has been laid off.  I'm working from home.  Our son passed away 7 weeks ago.  In light of all this- I can't get upset about money that we already spent. 

I'm also a college business professor and I'm very concerned about how NCL will survive but I'm confident they want to. They are not withholding refunds to make customers angry.  That's the last thing they want to do.  They are simply scrambling to figure out how to survive.  It would be nice if people could take a big picture view and think beyond themselves, especially if they can afford to wait 60-90 days for a refund. 

 

Sorry for your loss. We had a loss as well. Hard time to go through a loss. Reading these boards, I shake my head at some posts. Ive taken a break from these boards on and off the past two months because of all the bickering. Some things in life are indeed bigger. I  understands thats relative. Im off to take another break from these boards. Some things really do matter more than arguments amongst strangers on a website about refunds. Goodness. 

 

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1 minute ago, blueslily said:

 

Sorry for your loss. We had a loss as well. Hard time to go through a loss. Reading these boards, I shake my head at some posts. Ive taken a break from these boards on and off the past two months because of all the bickering. Some things in life are indeed bigger. I  understands thats relative. Im off to take another break from these boards. Some things really do matter more than arguments amongst strangers on a website about refunds. Goodness. 

 

I'm so sorry you also had a loss.  It's an extra terrible time for this.  I hope you are finding peace in your days- where ever you can.  Take care. 

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12 hours ago, AL3XCruise said:

That isn't how that works.  A liability doesn't mean the company has liquid assets sitting in an account somewhere to pay it off.  Few companies due unless there is regulatory requirement to do so.  NCLH had $1.95 billion in "advanced ticket sales" as a liability on the balance sheet at the end of 2019, vs $252 million in cash and around $500 million other current assets.  So not only is the money not in one account, it doesn't exist.

 

You car argue all you want that they should have a bigger cash reserve to better handle downturns, but the fact is they don't. 

That's not what I said. I know they don't have the money; that's painfully clear with the games they are playing. My point was it's not some difficult "having to move money around from different accounts" that was mentioned as cause for delay in refunds. Accounting systems are very sophisticated, and can do that with a key stroke if necessary.

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1 hour ago, deliver42 said:

All the cruise lines are in the same shape. Nobody is giving cash refunds in a quick turnaround.

They are, they are trying to survive. It’s ironic that folks are complaining, saying the lines should have enough liquid cash to be able to refund 6 or so months of cruise funds, yet people say they need their refunds because they don’t have enough saved to survive 6 or so months of unemployment. Our government is giving people bailout money, but not giving cruise lines bailout money (which I agree with). If some asked a few months ago the likelihood of the cruising industry being completely shut down for months, vs. the likelihood of one losing a job, I think the latter would be the obvious choice.

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11 hours ago, mildew1951 said:

Interesting point of view. You are correct we had already spent the money and never expected to get it back because it was for the cruise fare. So using your analogy all we have lost is the enjoyment of our cruise, not money. Bizarre way to look at it but true.

it's technically called a sunk cost analysis and if more people entertained this line of thinking, their personal finances would be in better shape by making better personal finance decisions.

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3 hours ago, KateQ22003 said:

That's not what I said. I know they don't have the money; that's painfully clear with the games they are playing. My point was it's not some difficult "having to move money around from different accounts" that was mentioned as cause for delay in refunds. Accounting systems are very sophisticated, and can do that with a key stroke if necessary.

That's exactly what you said.  There is a huge difference between the liability and cash available.  Cash available is a debit on the balance sheet and the liability is a credit on the balance sheet.  Just because a booking affects both of these accounts, doesn't mean that they are forever linked. 

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2 hours ago, buckeyefrank said:

That's exactly what you said.  There is a huge difference between the liability and cash available.  Cash available is a debit on the balance sheet and the liability is a credit on the balance sheet.  Just because a booking affects both of these accounts, doesn't mean that they are forever linked. 

I am talking about the money that should be in a accrual account for these cruises, I'm not talking about cash on hand. My point is they can easily put money from one account to another. I don't have a clue what you are talking about "linked". I know my debits and credits, and also know how simple of a transaction it is to move money from one account to another. You act like the accounts live in separate countries or something.

Edited by KateQ22003
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1 hour ago, KateQ22003 said:

I am talking about the money that should be in a accrual account for these cruises, I'm not talking about cash on hand. My point is they can easily put money from one account to another. I don't have a clue what you are talking about "linked". I know my debits and credits, and also know how simple of a transaction it is to move money from one account to another. You act like the accounts live in separate countries or something.

I am totally confused by this post.  Just because a company has an accrual on the books doesn't mean they have the cash on hand to be able to pay it.  When a customer books and pays for a cruise, there is a debit to cash and a credit to prepaid revenue.  The prepaid revenue is the liability (accrual) account.  The cash is used to secure normal operating procedures such as fuel costs, payroll, food, insurance, etc.  Even though a purchase transaction hits both the cash and liability accounts, doesn't mean they work in coordination together.  Just because you have a number in the liability (accrual) or prepaid revenue account doesn't mean the cash is there to refund.  That's exactly why businesses go bankrupt....they have too many liabilities and not enough cash.  Just moving numbers from one accrual account to another doesn't produce cash either.  The only true "money" on the books is cash and cash equivalents.  The rest is just numbers on paper.

 

I'm not trying to argue with you.  As I've said before, I do think NCL is milking the clock a little bit, however; even if they weren't it would still take quite a bit of time.  There's a lot that has to go into issuing refunds from systems not set up to handle them.

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1 hour ago, KateQ22003 said:

I am talking about the money that should be in a accrual account for these cruises, I'm not talking about cash on hand. My point is they can easily put money from one account to another. I don't have a clue what you are talking about "linked". I know my debits and credits, and also know how simple of a transaction it is to move money from one account to another. You act like the accounts live in separate countries or something.

I would assume that they do have separate accounts.  I'm making assumptions here, but money paid for taxes/port fees wouldn't technically belong to NCL, so would/should be a different account than money for fares/insurance/air/excursions/DSC/food & beverage packages - which would also be separate.  Can they be co-mingled? That depends on corporate policy.

 

And no, I'm not defending NCL, just trying to be logical.  Who knows how far in advance NCL has to pay for provisions, secure docking-rights and so on - and whether or not those fees are refundable.  Does NCL have millions in refunds coming (I believe they said it cost over $500k for the Pearl to go through the Panama Canal) -are those funds paid in advance to secure a favorable transit time?

 

Maybe visualizing a bunch of NCL account managers on the phones with thousands of suppliers and port managers trying to get refunds (with a few mores commas and zeros) will make some people feel a little less victimized?

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16 hours ago, CaribbeanJen said:

I'll be the unpopular one here.  It's ok- I have enough friends. 

I save up to pay for my vacations.  We automatically have money added to our vacation account with each paycheck.  

We paid for our cruise.  We don't miss that money.  It was just money in an account. 

NCL said, "We will give you a refund or 150% FCC." 

We struggled to decide.  We don't "need" the refund because, it was money we already spent.  Offering the extra FFC is tempting.  

 

So, after a lot of thinking we booked a cruise for January - an 11 day cruise!  

 

And- I know it's all a risk.  It's a guessing game.  Maybe this will be awesome and in January we will take an 11 day cruise which we booked using a lot of FREE money.   Or maybe the company will tank and we lose it all.  

But- the thing is, we had already spent that money.  If someone is so upset about waiting for money that they already spent then maybe it's about the way you're looking at things.  NCL is trying to figure out how to sustain themselves.  I hope they manage to do it.  I don't want this company to tank over something that isn't even their fault.  They are not trying to screw anyone.  They are trying to survive.  Do you really NEED your refund right away?  If so...there are other questions.  

 

So let the stoning begin

We were offered the 150% FCC but were told by our TA that would only cover a cabin upgrade so our mini suite would then have to be a suite I guess, decided to go for the refund which we are still waiting for as the cruise was for 16th March, it does say on the FCC credit on my account that the full amount must be fully used which meant we may have had to pay more to go on the same cruise.

 

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18 minutes ago, wakey16 said:

We were offered the 150% FCC but were told by our TA that would only cover a cabin upgrade so our mini suite would then have to be a suite I guess, decided to go for the refund which we are still waiting for as the cruise was for 16th March, it does say on the FCC credit on my account that the full amount must be fully used which meant we may have had to pay more to go on the same cruise.

 

Let me just say that the whole process using FCC has been super confusing for us.  I think I figured some of this out.  

The extra 50% all has to be used first.  Which was easy to do at the time of booking.  The original 100% is treated like normal.  So, we still have a few hundred bucks left over in FCC that we can use at a later date.  

 

I am unsure how it calculated if we were trying to book the same cruise.  In our case we considered Europe next year but ultimately decided on an 11 day from NYC to Miami which some amazing ports we have not been to.  We originally had a minisuite but now we have an AFT balcony.  It cost us nothing out of pocket and I feel pretty good about our decision.  However, if the cruiseline goes bankrupt I don't know what happens.  Hopefully the insurance will cover us?  

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