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Do all Early Saver rates have non refundable deposits?


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I am looking at a cruise on the Carnival Radiance and it appears that all the early saver rates have non refundable deposits on this ship for early December.  Do all early saver rates on Carnival have non refundable deposits?  
What is the best way for us to get on a sailing with a refundable deposit?   With the pandemic, we are uneasy about making reservations when we don't know how we will be health wise.

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Yes, early saver is always non refundable. you can still book the cruise without early saver. a travel agent or pvp can help you if you don't see the non early saver fare online

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Thanks for the reply.  I'm fairly new to Carnival.  Do most of the Carnival regulars book at the early saver rate?   What hints/advice for a newbie on reserving a cruise on Carnival?  Appreciate all advice!

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3 minutes ago, Californian said:

Thanks for the reply.  I'm fairly new to Carnival.  Do most of the Carnival regulars book at the early saver rate?   What hints/advice for a newbie on reserving a cruise on Carnival?  Appreciate all advice!

We're in North San Diego County and always book early saver fares. While they are non-refundable Carnival applies the money to a future booking made within, I believe two years less a $50pp fee if you cancel.

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We are long time Carnival cruisers and rarely book Early Saver. We don't mind paying slightly higher rates-we prefer having the option to cancel with a full refund. We occasionally booked Early Saver rates when we had no doubt we would be sailing, but we usually try to keep our options open. If we did change our minds, though, we had to pay the per person penalties. Now in the Covid world, we will be booking non-Early Saver for a while. Too many unknowns to be tied down. 

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Even before covid I almost never booked Earl Saver unless I was 100% certain I was going on the cruise. There should always be a couple of fully refundable, changeable, choose your own cabin rates available.

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On the website just look for the booking option that will change seasonally.   In the Fall it was called Fall Fun or something similar.  Read the terms and conditions..   You can always make a quick call to Carnival though to get an agent to check the code to verify before booking, which is what I do.

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I have not seen the past guest rate in quite some time. It is fully refundable until final payment date, but for me anyways, this rate code has gone the way of the Dodo.

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I am one that always books the early saver rate. I usually book my cruises far in advance and enjoy watching for price drops while waiting for the cruise. The rate is usually more than $50 less pp than the Fun Saver rates which are fully refundable. I figure if I have to cancel I will just rebook a different date at a maximum cost of $50 pp to switch over and still come out ahead. 

 

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1 hour ago, tree.critter said:

I am one that always books the early saver rate. I usually book my cruises far in advance and enjoy watching for price drops while waiting for the cruise. The rate is usually more than $50 less pp than the Fun Saver rates which are fully refundable. I figure if I have to cancel I will just rebook a different date at a maximum cost of $50 pp to switch over and still come out ahead. 

 

I book early saver but the opposite. I usually book last minute. I think its covid making me keep on booking ...and booking. I book 2 or 3 months out, usually within final payment.

 

Yea I'm hoping for some pack n gos like the old days to match. Booked now for sept vista. 3 carnival cancelled. Hopefully I picked a date far enough out this time. Could be cutting it close. Let's hope it's a go.

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It's a gamble. If you book Early Saver and then cancel you lose the $50 each change fee, but if you book the higher rate to assure a refundable deposit and you cruise you will probably pay at least $50 more in the fare. Look at all the fare possibilities to see what perks might be offered with each, such as onboard credit or reduced deposits. Everything is so uncertain right now it's impossible to know when it is safe to book. I'm hoping our Mardi Gras cruise at the end of May (rebooked from canceled New Years cruise) will be going this year but it doesn't look promising.

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3 hours ago, 40yearcruiser said:

It's a gamble. If you book Early Saver and then cancel you lose the $50 each change fee, but if you book the higher rate to assure a refundable deposit and you cruise you will probably pay at least $50 more in the fare. Look at all the fare possibilities to see what perks might be offered with each, such as onboard credit or reduced deposits. Everything is so uncertain right now it's impossible to know when it is safe to book. I'm hoping our Mardi Gras cruise at the end of May (rebooked from canceled New Years cruise) will be going this year but it doesn't look promising.

 

Right. For example, Feb 26, 2022 Freedom 8 day the cheapest balcony at Carnival.com with the Hello Fun Early Saver rate is $889, but with a reduced deposit of $99pp. The cheapest refundable is $30 more. So do you want to spend $30 to save you a possible $50 change fee, or worst case your $99 deposit if you never went on a Carnival cruise for some reason?

 

It's kind of debatable either way.

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On 1/15/2021 at 4:15 PM, Californian said:

Thanks for the reply.  I'm fairly new to Carnival.  Do most of the Carnival regulars book at the early saver rate?   What hints/advice for a newbie on reserving a cruise on Carnival?  Appreciate all advice!

 

If I had to guess, I'd say more long-time cruisers avoid Early Saver because of the stipulations & penalties involved, but to each their own. You have to weigh the pros & cons to see what works best for you. We always book ES. It has caused a problem or two in the past, but we got it worked out and has worked well for us since it's typically the cheapest rate.

 

Just be aware of what it includes, like the non-refundable deposit. If you cancel, you incur a $50/person fee. There are no name changes under the ES rate, meaning you can't change a person in a cabin from one to another. For example, we had a trip planned w/ another family and our son was staying with their kids. They backed out, so we let our son take a friend instead. We couldn't simply change the names from their kids to his friend, so our PVP had to cancel his cabin, then immediately re-book it with our son & his friend. We had to pay our son's $50 cancellation fee and the current rate of the cabin, which had gone up some since the original booking. One nice thing about Early Saver is that it includes Price Protection up until 2 days before sailing. That means if the price goes down, you get to match to it. If you haven't paid in full, they adjust the balance. If you've paid in full, you get an onboard credit for the difference. That's something you have to check yourself, though. Some travel agents will do it for you, others don't bother.

 

A good PVP (Personal Vacation Planner) can be very helpful.That's just someone within Carnival who's kind of like a more knowledgeable customer service rep. You should be assigned one automatically or you can call and request one, but it's the luck of the draw. Some are good, some not so much. You can always request a new one if you don't like the one you have. Or if you know someone who has a good one, you can get their number from them. We're not allowed to share PVP info. on this forum. They aren't necessary, and if you have one, you don't have to use them all the time, but ours has helped us out of a couple binds. And the ones who cruise Carnival themselves can be helpful picking ships & cabins.

 

A lot of long-time cruisers buy third-party travel insurance, as opposed to Carnival's policy. Getting it through a third party is almost always cheaper with better coverage. One site that's used often on here is insuremytrip(dot)com. Sorry, I've had my post deleted before for posting the full link. With travel insurance, even if you do purchase the Early Saver rate with certain penalties, the insurance can get you your money back in case of a cancellation, or other issues.

Edited by Organized Chaos
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Another option is to find a good travel agent that is connected to a group that has group space held on your particular sailing.  The group space is refundable and depending on the agency, you'll  also get an additional  discount or OBC as a perk.  

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We have cruised on Carnival eleven times.  We had never book with a reduced deposit or Early Saver until we booked the Mardi Gras for February  20th.  We were offered a reduced deposit of $99 per person.  We booked and paid the $198.  Then AMEX came out with an offer that if you paid $500 on a cruise, they would credit you $100 so I paid the $500.

 

Then Covid hit.  Our cruise on the Mardi Gras became the third cruise.  With having to wear masks, social distancing, having to buy excursions to get off the ship, etc. we decided we would cancel the cruise.  I contacted our PVP and was told that out of the $698 I had paid, I would lose $463.  Apparently with the reduced deposit, after I paid the $500, it takes that as a full deposit.

 

Our only hope was that the cruise would be cancelled.  Final payment was due Dec 7th.  Luckily for us, the cruise was cancelled on Dec 3rd.  Our credit card was credited back the full $698 on Dec 7th.  

 

If there is any doubt that you might not be able to make a cruise, you are better off making a full deposit.

Edited by RWolver672
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2 hours ago, RWolver672 said:

We have cruised on Carnival eleven times.  We had never book with a reduced deposit or Early Saver until we booked the Mardi Gras for February  20th.  We were offered a reduced deposit of $99 per person.  We booked and paid the $198.  Then AMEX came out with an offer that if you paid $500 on a cruise, they would credit you $100 so I paid the $500.

 

Then Covid hit.  Our cruise on the Mardi Gras became the third cruise.  With having to wear masks, social distancing, having to buy excursions to get off the ship, etc. we decided we would cancel the cruise.  I contacted our PVP and was told that out of the $698 I had paid, I would lose $463.  Apparently with the reduced deposit, after I paid the $500, it takes that as a full deposit.

 

Our only hope was that the cruise would be cancelled.  Final payment was due Dec 7th.  Luckily for us, the cruise was cancelled on Dec 3rd.  Our credit card was credited back the full $698 on Dec 7th.  

 

 

Just out of curiosity, what happened to the AMEX $100 credit? Did they take it back once all the money was credited back to your account?

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2 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

Just out of curiosity, what happened to the AMEX $100 credit? Did they take it back once all the money was credited back to your account?

All $698 was credited back to our account.  And we still kept the $100 credit.  (At least on the statement that had the $698 credit on it.)  

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1 minute ago, RWolver672 said:

All $698 was credited back to our account.  And we still kept the $100 credit.  (At least on the statement that had the $698 credit on it.)  

Hmmm. That is surprising. I thought that gets taken back when you no longer have paid the qualifying offer. Was that your most recent statement. If so, they might catch up to what happened and the return of the credit might be on the next one.

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We are frequent cruisers with over 50 cruises on Carnival and always book early saver.  We have never lost our deposit or paid a penalty because we have never had to cancel.   The way I look at it is that we save at least $100 per cruise booking this way, so we have saved more than $5000.  Should we need to cancel a cruise for a reason not covered by our trip insurance, we could lose a deposit up to $500, but we are still thousands of dollars ahead.

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23 hours ago, firefly333 said:

I book early saver but the opposite. I usually book last minute. I think its covid making me keep on booking ...and booking. I book 2 or 3 months out, usually within final payment.

 

Yea I'm hoping for some pack n gos like the old days to match. Booked now for sept vista. 3 carnival cancelled. Hopefully I picked a date far enough out this time. Could be cutting it close. Let's hope it's a go.

 

Yep, we've been late booking Pack and Go folks too at times.  Our 'world record'?  Booked a cruise and airfare Friday morning.  Flew Chicago to San Juan Saturday. Sailed Sunday.  Admittedly there were some unique circumstances.

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If you are concerned about your health, look in to putting the deposit on a credit card with travel insurance benefits, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You’ll be protected if you are sick, and covered under many other scenarios too.

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11 minutes ago, dinzitari said:

If you are concerned about your health, look in to putting the deposit on a credit card with travel insurance benefits, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You’ll be protected if you are sick, and covered under many other scenarios too.

Chase Sapphire Reserve is $550 a year....you can get a one year travel health insurance policy for two cheaper than that.

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13 hours ago, RWolver672 said:

We have cruised on Carnival eleven times.  We had never book with a reduced deposit or Early Saver until we booked the Mardi Gras for February  20th.  We were offered a reduced deposit of $99 per person.  We booked and paid the $198.  Then AMEX came out with an offer that if you paid $500 on a cruise, they would credit you $100 so I paid the $500.

 

Then Covid hit.  Our cruise on the Mardi Gras became the third cruise.  With having to wear masks, social distancing, having to buy excursions to get off the ship, etc. we decided we would cancel the cruise.  I contacted our PVP and was told that out of the $698 I had paid, I would lose $463.  Apparently with the reduced deposit, after I paid the $500, it takes that as a full deposit.

 

 

I thought for ES, you only lose $50pp if you cancel and the balance or $598 goes to FCC. Was this not the case with your $698 deposit?

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I has ES booked on my cruise that was to be 12/26/20.  I tried to cancel and was told I would lose the entire deposit for 5 people.  I chose not to cancel and luckily, they canceled.  I rebooked refundable for 12/27/22.

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20 minutes ago, Ellaleah said:

I has ES booked on my cruise that was to be 12/26/20.  I tried to cancel and was told I would lose the entire deposit for 5 people.  I chose not to cancel and luckily, they canceled.  I rebooked refundable for 12/27/22.

 

did you try to cancel after the final payment date?

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