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OBC on MSC


Toofarfromthesea
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I've just booked a cruise for next September and I will be getting a lot of OBC, half from an MSC promotion and half from the TA.

Does anyone know if I can use the OBC for gratuities or in the casino?  Does it vary by type of OBC (TA or MSC)?  I'll be in the yacht club, so I don't have to worry about beverage or internet packages and we don't do pictures, or art, or shopping.  Other than maybe a night or two of specialty restaurants there's not much else to spend OBC on.

And can I prioritize so that the MSC (non-refundable) OBC gets spent before the TA (refundable) OBC?

Thanks

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10 hours ago, CarolnLarry said:

Your OBC will go on the credit side of your shipboard account.  Daily service charges and any other chargeables will be deducted from your account. Think plusses and minuses.  Enjoy your cruise......

 

It's not quite that simple. There are different types of OBC. Typically speaking, OBC awarded by the cruise line is non-refundable (use it or lose it) while OBC awarded from a travel agency is refundable and will be returned to the credit card on file if not used. 

 

 

14 hours ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

And can I prioritize so that the MSC (non-refundable) OBC gets spent before the TA (refundable) OBC?

 

Most cruise lines will deduct from the non-refundable account first. I say most because we both know MSC does things differently and often times inconsistently. I had a small amount of refundable OBC left over from my first MSC cruise on Divina. I mistakenly believed it would just be applied to the CC on file like every other line I have sailed. Needless to say, no amount of contacting MSC was going to get that money back. My TA tried. I tried. Then we both chuckled and gave up because it truly wasn't worth the hassle. I recommend contacting the YC concierge upon boarding to explain the order you want the OBC deducted. I doubt there is anything you can do before being on the ship that would yield absolute results. 

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3 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

It's not quite that simple. There are different types of OBC. Typically speaking, OBC awarded by the cruise line is non-refundable (use it or lose it) while OBC awarded from a travel agency is refundable and will be returned to the credit card on file if not used. 

 

 

 

Most cruise lines will deduct from the non-refundable account first. I say most because we both know MSC does things differently and often times inconsistently. I had a small amount of refundable OBC left over from my first MSC cruise on Divina. I mistakenly believed it would just be applied to the CC on file like every other line I have sailed. Needless to say, no amount of contacting MSC was going to get that money back. My TA tried. I tried. Then we both chuckled and gave up because it truly wasn't worth the hassle. I recommend contacting the YC concierge upon boarding to explain the order you want the OBC deducted. I doubt there is anything you can do before being on the ship that would yield absolute results. 

 

Thanks.  That is about what I thought.  My TA tells me I can use OBC for grats, but not the casino.  Of course that is what she was told by MSC's shore operation.  I can understand not letting cruiseline non-refundable OBC in the casino, but I will double check on board to see if the refundable can be.

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2 hours ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

Thanks.  That is about what I thought.  My TA tells me I can use OBC for grats, but not the casino.  Of course that is what she was told by MSC's shore operation.  I can understand not letting cruiseline non-refundable OBC in the casino, but I will double check on board to see if the refundable can be.

You can use any type of OBC in the casino.

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8 minutes ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

Oooo, I hope this is correct.  I've never played in a ship's casino and I'm not that much of a gambler, but I could see doing a little to use up (or grow - as if) my outsized OBC.

Well, with MSC anything can change at any time 🙂

 

But, on Seaside and Divina, on US sailings, you can go to the casino and get money out against your shipboard account. Then, like CarolnLarry said above, your OBC goes to offset that. It doesn't matter if it is refundable or not.

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Actually, on MSC dealing with OBC is quite simple (unless they change the policy).  The OBC is added to your onboard account and offsets any charges to that account (including tips).  If you want to use it in the casino you can charge chips to your onboard account.  The casino transaction can usually be done at the tables and/or the cashier cage.  In fact, last year we would ourselves with hundreds of dollars of unused OBC on the last day of our Divina cruise.  When our Concierge (we were in the Yacht Club) told us that OBCs are absolutely non refundable I went to the Casino and got enough chips to use all my OBC.  I then spent about an hour at the Black Jack table and doubled my money which I finally turned into US Dollars by cashing out at the cage.   The funny thing about that entire episode is that I normally don't spend any time in the casino (I stopped gambling years ago because I find it boring) but am a pretty competent Black Jack and Craps player (those games have the best odds in the casino if one knows what they are doing).  All I wanted from MSC was to reimburse me my unused OBC which they refused as a matter of policy.  DW was going to spend that OBC in the jewelry store but did not find anything she liked for close to our OBC amount (about $700).  So going to the Black Jack table was just an afterthought (I wanted to churn the chips in case there was an issue trying to immediately cash out) and I quickly doubled my money (that is mostly luck).

 

And if anyone wants to ask me about using the OBC for slots I have no clue how that works since we never play slots (just about the worst odds in the casino).

 

Hank

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44 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

When our Concierge (we were in the Yacht Club) told us that OBCs are absolutely non refundable.....

 

That's my point. OBC/SBC that comes as a gift from a travel agent is always refundable (as it should be).  There isn't a travel agent alive who would agree to a policy where they gift their clients  but MSC keeps it?

 

Of course, if the Obc originated with MSC, or through some other promotion, that is entirely different. But, MSC"s official policy is that OBC originating from a travel agent IS refundable.  My travel agent has that in writing. The issue is that not everyone at MSC understands how obc/sbc originates. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

That's my point. OBC/SBC that comes as a gift from a travel agent is always refundable (as it should be).  There isn't a travel agent alive who would agree to a policy where they gift their clients  but MSC keeps it?

 

Of course, if the Obc originated with MSC, or through some other promotion, that is entirely different. But, MSC"s official policy is that OBC originating from a travel agent IS refundable.  My travel agent has that in writing. The issue is that not everyone at MSC understands how obc/sbc originates. 

 

 

 

Some of our OBC did come via our cruise agency but it did not matter.  The Concierge was very clear (in Dec 2020) that there was no way to refund any of our OBC and she advised us to spend it or use it in the Casino.   MSC is our 14th cruise line (we have been on far more then 100 cruises) so are very familiar with the policies on many lines.  The problem with MSC is that their policies sometimes change with the wind and that staff is not always briefed.  OBC is not the only time we have had to deal with "MSC policy."  But every cruise line has their issues and MSC is no exception.  Having been frequent cruisers for over forty years we generally are comfortable "rolling with the waves."   

 

MSC is very unique for we "yankees" because it is a European cruise line trying to adapt (and adopt) to US ways.  At times this is almost comical but we do find MSC a refreshing addition to the US market.  The funny thing is that DW and I would likely not cruise on MSC in Europe (although we do spend a lot of time in Europe) because we are not fans of their "ferry like" policy of how they operate in that region.   But we love MSC's Yacht Club in the Caribbean (why even bother to get off the ship?) and really enjoyed our first visit to Ocean Cay.

 

Hank

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6 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Some of our OBC did come via our cruise agency but it did not matter.  The Concierge was very clear (in Dec 2020) that there was no way to refund any of our OBC and she advised us to spend it or use it in the Casino.   

 

I suspect you were ill advised by your concierge for the very reasons you explained. 

 

Are there any travel agents out there who can confirm/deny that agent assigned SBC/OBC is, in fact, non-refundable on MSC?

 

In the meantime, I'll see if the agent I used for the MSC OBC fiasco still has the policy saved. She stopped selling MSC for the very reasons you described above. Inconsistency.

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My agent was giving me 10% OBC on my MSc Cruise, but I asked her to convert it into a 10% discount and she did it.

The agents can buy the OBC at a discount from the Cruise lines, (out of the commission receivable) and then gift it to the customers.

Or directly give a discount, whichever the customer prefers

 

 

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I read in a travel trade magazine that the agents can buy OBC in bulk from The Cruise lines at a discount which varies according to the amount of OBC purchased.

the exact discount figure was not mentioned.

 

so the agents would prefer to give you OBC instead of a direct price reduction on your cruise, but it's not a big difference and they will honour your request to keep you happy and retain your business

 

 

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