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Advice please re Final balance due


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Posted (edited)

Hi all, I'm new to cruising and new to this board tho I have been looking at posts recently so hope someone can offer advice.  I have booked a cruise to Norway in October through a travel agent. I booked ages ago before Covid was even known about as my retirement treat to myself.  I was asked last week to pay the final balance by 5 June but wasn't happy about this as I believe, from other posts on here and by doing some research, that final balances are now being asked for much later than usual.  The agents replied saying they have changed the date to 19th June for me, but I feel this is still too early as we won't know about the next list of countries we are allowed to visit until at least 21st June when Boris is due to make new announcements.  I have the money put by so that isn't the problem, but if my cruise is cancelled I don't really want to wait for months trying to get a refund so  think paying it by 5th July, which is putting it back by a month from original date, would be fair and have again e mailed the agents to  ask this.  Am I being fair to ask this do you think?  I will wait to see what they reply as surely after 21st June would be the most sensible?  Many thanks for opinions...

Edited by Host Sharon
Hinting at travel agent
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Posted (edited)

As a special retirement treat you may still wish to take this cruise at the time planned (restrictions permitting and any on board constraints being acceptable to you).  As others have said, worth pursuing a later balance date.

 

Another option to consider though may be deferring your cruise into next year - at the moment you can transfer to any cruise in 2022 without charge.  Details on transferring in the link below.

 

https://www.pocruises.com/travel-health-advisories/flexible-cancellation-policy

Edited by kruzseeka
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Posted (edited)

Many thanks for replies, Agents have got back to me and said final balance must be 19th June (and basically blame P & O) so 19th June it is then.  I just so hope it goes ahead, I don't mind mask wearing if it has to be or doing P & O excursions only - perhaps not everyone's cup of tea but I don't know any different and SO looking forward to retiring, the cruise & Norway.  Fingers crossed, stay safe everyone ....

Edited by cazza f
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4 hours ago, cazza f said:

Many thanks for replies, Agents have got back to me and said final balance must be 19th June (and basically blame P & O) so 19th June it is then.  I just so hope it goes ahead, I don't mind mask wearing if it has to be or doing P & O excursions only - perhaps not everyone's cup of tea but I don't know any different and SO looking forward to retiring, the cruise & Norway.  Fingers crossed, stay safe everyone ....

 

In that case, I do hope it all goes ahead as planned for you  You are prepared for some modifications to the norm should that be necessary so you are going prepared.  What a lovely way to celebrate your retirement.  Norway is magnificent and sailing in the Fjords are an excursion in themselves.  Enjoy!

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Hopefully all will be well.

As an aside,  assuming you want to cruise again,  (I'm sure you will ), next time you book, use a TA that does not require payment so far in advance, or book direct. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/17/2021 at 11:07 PM, wowzz said:

Hopefully all will be well.

As an aside,  assuming you want to cruise again,  (I'm sure you will ), next time you book, use a TA that does not require payment so far in advance, or book direct. 

🙂  Oh yes definitely... just hope, as after this cruise I'll be a retired from work pensioner, I'll be able to afford to cruise again!! 🙂 

Edited by cazza f
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If you plan on doing more cruising I would suggest doing some research into the best travel agents or whether it’s better  going direct with P&O. If you book another cruise whilst onboard the booking will go back to the one you have used now which might not be what you want. I’ve found having a good agent saves me money (discount) and I can message or email her and she sorts out any issues. Some like dealing direct with P&O for peace of mind and no issues with payment. I hope you have a fantastic cruise.

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18 hours ago, cazza f said:

🙂  Oh yes definitely... just hope, as after this cruise I'll be a retired from work pensioner, I'll be able to afford to cruise again!! 🙂 

Hi please do your research about which TA to use we booked with the same one as you and are now waiting 120 days for the  refund of our deposit we’ve now booked most of our future cruises direct, I’m confident the cruises will go ahead this year so enjoy every second of it and I’m sure you will be back for more.

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1 hour ago, FluffyFiFi said:

If you plan on doing more cruising I would suggest doing some research into the best travel agents or whether it’s better  going direct with P&O.

And here lies the problem, due to the rules of this forum we can't discuss our experiences with a TA which would be a useful resource for researching TAs.

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... because this forum is operated by a TA, methinks

 

There are cruise forums owned and operated by independent individuals, which don’t have that restriction.  GIYF

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We have booked numerous cruises through TA’s, often with additional stays etc which are unique to them (as opposed to booking direct where they may not be offered).

My opening gambit is always this: “I am interested in booking the holiday advertised in etc etc. I will only do this if you agree to accept final payment 10 days before the cruise line’s last date for payment. Is this acceptable?”

On every occasion the TA has agreed.

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1 hour ago, Eddie99 said:

... because this forum is operated by a TA, methinks

 

There are cruise forums owned and operated by independent individuals, which don’t have that restriction.  GIYF

The TA that did own this forum went bust in October last year. Ironically it is now owned by a travel review website.

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5 hours ago, lindylooellalouise said:

Hi please do your research about which TA to use we booked with the same one as you and are now waiting 120 days for the  refund of our deposit we’ve now booked most of our future cruises direct, I’m confident the cruises will go ahead this year so enjoy every second of it and I’m sure you will be back for more.

Oh goodness 120 days!! That's awful 😞 I am still a bit cross that 'they' won't wait until after 21st June when we get told about next lot of lifted or otherwise restrictions, for the final balance.   I  hope so much your confidence in my cruise going ahead brings luck - just keeping fingers crossed for now and praying this horrible virus goes very very soon for everyone.  Stay safe.

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Yes we are really really cross with them because if they had transferred our deposit to the cruise company it would have been refunded by now or we would have had an extra 25% toward a new booking but we live and learn. My next cruise is a 4 day on Britannia in July and our payment due in June we booked direct with P&O so all fingers and toes crossed that we can all cruise safely this year and stay safe too.

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22 minutes ago, cazza f said:

Oh goodness 120 days!! That's awful 😞 I am still a bit cross that 'they' won't wait until after 21st June when we get told about next lot of lifted or otherwise restrictions, for the final balance.   I  hope so much your confidence in my cruise going ahead brings luck - just keeping fingers crossed for now and praying this horrible virus goes very very soon for everyone.  Stay safe.

If I were you I would hold off paying then if you find the announcement agreeable on the 21st June go online and pay. 

I booked a cruise through the same TA and completely forgot the balance date as it was our honeymoon and I had so much else going on. I got a call from them over a week after the balance due date telling me I had a further week to pay or I would lose the cruise.

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7 minutes ago, lindylooellalouise said:

I don’t understand how they can get away with this, we are 30 days into our 120 days wait for our refund and why didn’t they transfer the funds straight over to the cruise company,we will never use this TA ever again they’ve had my money since 2018 when we originally booked our first cruise which was then cancelled we rebooked another that was also cancelled and rebooked another which was cancelled in March so decided on a refund and now still waiting it’s disgraceful 

It is a difficult one and I understand your frustration, we were lucky getting our money back quickly as our travel agent went bust very early. I am not sure how any TA or cruise line can justify asking you to pay a deposit or balance for a cruise with them when they already have some of your money. There have been a lot of tactics pulled by some travel companies which I would class as  underhand at the very least and down right illegal in some cases. Ultimately some will pay for their misgivings and we have choices who we book with in the future. Good luck getting sorted.

 

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Thanks I suppose I’ve just got to hang on till the 120 days are up at the end of July. All my other refunds from P&O and Cunard came through very quickly so you can appreciate why I’m reluctant to use Ta for my future bookings 

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2 hours ago, lindylooellalouise said:

I don’t understand how they can get away with this, we are 30 days into our 120 days wait for our refund and why didn’t they transfer the funds straight over to the cruise company,we will never use this TA ever again they’ve had my money since 2018 when we originally booked our first cruise which was then cancelled we rebooked another that was also cancelled and rebooked another which was cancelled in March so decided on a refund and now still waiting it’s disgraceful 

There are many that will not use them again, myself included. We have a Cunard cruise booked through them for November and they want paying at beginning of July and then it will be adios from me and will stick to my beast of a TA for all future bookings or if get better deal using BLC book direct especially with Cunard who give a 5% discount and not OBC like P&O.

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Sorry to hear your shabby treatment by this company guys and it's a pity forums like this 

cannot expose them but there's nothing to stop you all posting on a few well known review 

sites thus warning others about them .

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