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It seems to me that anyone who books any future cruise is just giving the cruise line a free open ended loan, time to be extended with future cruise credit, and no chance of repayment. I recognize that should the cruise line cancel the cruise that the loan may be refunded, but that seems to take months, and then there is the danger of cruise line bankruptcy. Why should I book a cruise now?

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Just one reason why we would not even consider booking a cruise in this environment.  Why bother?

 

We will book when we know the ships are actually sailing, the onboard environment is to our liking, and the ports that we want to visit are actually accepting cruise ships.  Until then we are not interested in playing the book/rebook/FCC/refund games.

Edited by iancal
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5 hours ago, Oldfart432 said:

It seems to me that anyone who books any future cruise is just giving the cruise line a free open ended loan, time to be extended with future cruise credit, and no chance of repayment. I recognize that should the cruise line cancel the cruise that the loan may be refunded, but that seems to take months, and then there is the danger of cruise line bankruptcy. Why should I book a cruise now?

If this worries you, don't book. End of story.

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Here is one reason - to maintain on-board booking OBC:

 

We booked a 2020 placeholder cruise while we were on a cruise back in late 2018, with a minimal deposit and bonus OBC for booking on board.  Before final payment for the placeholder cruise, we transferred the reservation and booked a July 2021 cruise - while maintaining the bonus OBC. Next April, we will decided whether to make a final payment on the 2021 cruise or again transfer the reservation and book a July 2022 cruise - still maintaining the bonus OBC and the previously paid minimal deposit.

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7 hours ago, Oldfart432 said:

It seems to me that anyone who books any future cruise is just giving the cruise line a free open ended loan, time to be extended with future cruise credit, and no chance of repayment. I recognize that should the cruise line cancel the cruise that the loan may be refunded, but that seems to take months, and then there is the danger of cruise line bankruptcy. Why should I book a cruise now?

Sounds like YOU shouldn't book a cruise. Other people will make different choices 

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2 hours ago, sfaaa said:

If this worries you, don't book. End of story.

So does that mean you would pay $$$ with no idea if you'll ever get it back?

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1 hour ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

Here is one reason - to maintain on-board booking OBC:

 

We booked a 2020 placeholder cruise while we were on a cruise back in late 2018, with a minimal deposit and bonus OBC for booking on board.  Before final payment for the placeholder cruise, we transferred the reservation and booked a July 2021 cruise - while maintaining the bonus OBC. Next April, we will decided whether to make a final payment on the 2021 cruise or again transfer the reservation and book a July 2022 cruise - still maintaining the bonus OBC and the previously paid minimal deposit.

So do you have an option for a refund? And what if the cruise line goes bankrupt?

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I have 5 total cruise's booked. One with Celebrity and four with RCI. 

Celebrity...booked long before the covid outbreak.

RCI...booked prior or with a L/S. and FCC's

I'm not concerned either will go bankrupt.

Great deals and I'm taking that gamble.

I'll even book more once the schedule opens up further in 2023.

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If I'm booking a cruise I'm not overly concerned about the deposit and until final payment date that is the only money that I've "lent" to the cruise line. Before the pandemic I used to book the cruise (typically a year, year and a half out) and then I would make periodic payments until final payment date. I will not be doing that in the future because of what happened during the pandemic. Our cruise was cancelled and we eventually did receive a full refund, but there was a bit of uncertainty involved. Now I will put the money in a side account until final payment date, then I will make the final payment with a credit card and then I'll pay the card off with what was saved. 

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You only have to put down a deposit for one that far in the future. It is a personal choice. Seriously, the deposit for a cruise is say $1,000. You are booking for December 2021. If you are lucky, that $1,000 would be $1,100 invested in the stock market by the theoretical time you think all this is over. But by the time you made that $100, the cabin you wanted has gone up $1,000. You made $100 profit and the cost of $1,000 more in cruise price. So the next post will be: "holy cow cruise prices have increases so much I can't even cruise. It was $2,000 last year but now it is $5,000. The cruise lines are robbing me."

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43 minutes ago, bigrednole said:

You only have to put down a deposit for one that far in the future. It is a personal choice. Seriously, the deposit for a cruise is say $1,000. You are booking for December 2021. If you are lucky, that $1,000 would be $1,100 invested in the stock market by the theoretical time you think all this is over. But by the time you made that $100, the cabin you wanted has gone up $1,000. You made $100 profit and the cost of $1,000 more in cruise price. So the next post will be: "holy cow cruise prices have increases so much I can't even cruise. It was $2,000 last year but now it is $5,000. The cruise lines are robbing me."

Good analysis.  All of us have to evaluate the risk/benefit with giving anybody a large chunk of our money.  Last I checked the fares for the 2021 equivalent of my cancelled 2020 Alaska cruise were 60% higher thus negating the cruise line's 25% for letting them keep the deposit money.

 

Personally, I'm not willing to sail unless and until the "old normal" returns and I can enjoy myself.  Yet others want to get back on board a ship so badly that they will tolerate almost anything to make it happen.  For all of the reasons discussed in earlier threads I'm not in the later group.  To each his/her own.

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We like cruising and we hope to return to it.  We also like other travel options that compete for our travel dollar.  The threat of higher prices in the future is meaningless to us.

 

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6 hours ago, bigrednole said:

You only have to put down a deposit for one that far in the future. It is a personal choice. Seriously, the deposit for a cruise is say $1,000. You are booking for December 2021. If you are lucky, that $1,000 would be $1,100 invested in the stock market by the theoretical time you think all this is over. But by the time you made that $100, the cabin you wanted has gone up $1,000. You made $100 profit and the cost of $1,000 more in cruise price. So the next post will be: "holy cow cruise prices have increases so much I can't even cruise. It was $2,000 last year but now it is $5,000. The cruise lines are robbing me."

🤣 spot on. 

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It's obviously a speculative play to put down some money on a cruise at this time.  At the start of COVID I got a refund for my cancelled cruise. I have gone back and forth in my mind from time to time since as to whether or not this is the time to "take the plunge."  So far I have resisted the temptation to put money down.  

 

Depending on the amount, I might be OK losing out on a deposit.  I have lost out on other travel by not using non-refundable tickets purchased on a Mexican discount airline called Volaris.  My calculation that it was worth paying $50-$100 for a roundtrip ticket well in advance of my planned travel date.  I knew something might come up and simply acted as my own travel insurance company. 

 

The good news is that we all have the choice to decide whether or not to "take the plunge" and risk a future loss to a cruise line.

Edited by SelectSys
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17 hours ago, clo said:

So does that mean you would pay $$$ with no idea if you'll ever get it back?

I believe it means trusting that the cruiseline isn't going bankrupt, also a gamble that we are willing to take on Princess.

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18 hours ago, clo said:

So does that mean you would pay $$$ with no idea if you'll ever get it back?

Hi Clo

A lot of people are doing exactly that. Many have even said, on this site, that if they lose their money, that it is no big deal.

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Life is a gamble. People will always look out for themselves and call everyone else looking out for their best interests a crook.

 

I have a lingering cruise out there. I'll be honest, it's not the most thrilling thing. However, it was paid for on CC points, so the "loan" wouldn't be any different sitting in my CC point pool. I still haven't requested a refund yet or the $600 OBC. If I cruise again (which I really plan on it) that $600 will come in handy. I know people will fire off that cruises are more expensive now. That's what happens when supply is restricted. Me not taking the $600 wouldn't help that price either.

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I guess this slight potential doesn't bother me as much as some folks around here.  I have a cruise booked for 2021 and I'm not worried about it at all.  I find it highly unlikely that Royal Caribbean is going to go under and that I'll lose my $500 deposit.  And if it does and if I do, I'll survive.  

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15 minutes ago, Aquahound said:

I guess this slight potential doesn't bother me as much as some folks around here.  I have a cruise booked for 2021 and I'm not worried about it at all.  I find it highly unlikely that Royal Caribbean is going to go under and that I'll lose my $500 deposit.  And if it does and if I do, I'll survive.  

I canceled our Silversea Galapagos cruise for a year from now because we didn't like how they're dealing with all kinds of issues now. I say this with respect to you, @Aquahound

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Cruising is the only thing one books so far in advance.... generally about 9-10 months....

All other holidays are only booked  a couple weeks to two months out....

 

So will one be booking a cruise now...... noway....  but that is our decision.....

 

And if people want to let them go for it........

 

Looking forward to our next holiday when or where ever it is       Don 

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7 minutes ago, getting older slowly said:

Cruising is the only thing one books so far in advance.

That's a very good point. And we won't be doing it. Thanks for pointing it out.

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I guess it is important to be realistic when booking a cruise now that you may lose that money or the product you receive will greatly differ to what was advertised. As long as you understand this and are willing to accept if such things happen then good for you book away. Just don't whinge about it after the fact 😜

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