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I have just noticed on my booking that there is a $100/per person fee chargerd in the event of cancellation, deducted from the deposit. When I asked my TA about that he said it was his administration fee. I am pretty mad about this as he never mentioned it before I booked. There are 6 of us, so that's a hefty fee, and who knows what can happen a year ahead of time. I've never paid such a fee before, but I have usually booked and paid in full close to sailing date, direct with the cruiseline, not with a TA. Is this fee usual?

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I have just noticed on my booking that there is a $100/per person fee chargerd in the event of cancellation, deducted from the deposit. When I asked my TA about that he said it was his administration fee. I am pretty mad about this as he never mentioned it before I booked. There are 6 of us, so that's a hefty fee, and who knows what can happen a year ahead of time. I've never paid such a fee before, but I have usually booked and paid in full close to sailing date, direct with the cruiseline, not with a TA. Is this fee usual?

 

That's not true...if you cancel 3 months before or less is when the fees kick in...you might want to get another TA...this sounds like something he/she might be doing.

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I have just noticed on my booking that there is a $100/per person fee chargerd in the event of cancellation, deducted from the deposit. When I asked my TA about that he said it was his administration fee. I am pretty mad about this as he never mentioned it before I booked. There are 6 of us, so that's a hefty fee, and who knows what can happen a year ahead of time. I've never paid such a fee before, but I have usually booked and paid in full close to sailing date, direct with the cruiseline, not with a TA. Is this fee usual?

 

Welcome to the real world of travel agencies. You must read the contract when you book through them. It usually has a cancellation fee. This is to protect their commissions that they no longer get from the cruise lines.

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I ran into this same problem it was an on-line agency and I specifically asked in an email is there a cancellation fee? I was told just the cruise lines when I paid my deposit and I received all the paperwork I saw there was a 10% cancellation fee:eek:

 

To make a long story short, they deferred the cancellation fee until 90 days before sailing and claimed if I took out CSA insurance their fee would be covered. I had this all documented in emails..never needed it but was I ever upset........At first I wanted to cancel and then contest the fee if charged to with my Credit card company. But it was on a small ship voyage and I did not want to lose my cabin.

 

So, you do have some options just depends if you want to exercise them.

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I have just noticed on my booking that there is a $100/per person fee chargerd in the event of cancellation, deducted from the deposit. When I asked my TA about that he said it was his administration fee. I am pretty mad about this as he never mentioned it before I booked. There are 6 of us, so that's a hefty fee, and who knows what can happen a year ahead of time. I've never paid such a fee before, but I have usually booked and paid in full close to sailing date, direct with the cruiseline, not with a TA. Is this fee usual?

 

THAT is the reason why I only book through the cruise line! We had to cancel a trip a few years ago when my husband changed jobs and we could no longer take the cruise we had planned. We lost $300 AND the trip insurance cost because we cancelled for a non-covered reason! Now I only book through C&A, and don't get insurance til we make the final payment. It was an expensive lesson, but I learned it!!!

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The TA and I are now exchanging hostile emails. I feel so stupid for allowing this to happen to me, but I can honestly say there was no mention of this fee at all until after I had paid the deposit, then received booking confirmation. Looks like I have to swallow it, and I still have over a year to go, and having to deal through a TA that I now distrust. Is it possible to switch the booking to someone else?

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I think if you tried to switch the booking to someone else, either you would be charged a fee or they wouldn't transfer it. Whenever we use a TA, I ask if there is a cancellation fee. I ask through an email so I have evidence BEFORE I give the booking to an agency.

 

I know in your case, you said you weren't told, but did you ask about a cancellation fee? Many agents don't tell you unless you ask or get the info about charges when the confirmation is sent.

 

When we use a TA, I ask in addition to is there a cancellation fee, if you give us an onboard credit, and the price goes down for the cruise, do you honor the lower price and do you reduce the obc? How many times will you honor price reductions?

 

My agent tells me that for every $100 the price goes down, we lose $10 of the obc. He doesn't count our C&A discounts or coupons from RCI. But, if the price goes down near sailing time, and we are able to get the reduction, it's worth it to me to lose $10 if I gain $100 from the cruise line.

 

I think this is a painful lesson that you have learned. Hopefully, you won't have to cancel and you won't have a cancellation fee. Good luck and enjoy your cruise.

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The TA and I are now exchanging hostile emails. I feel so stupid for allowing this to happen to me, but I can honestly say there was no mention of this fee at all until after I had paid the deposit,

It was probably in the small(very small) print somewhere in the paperwork or if you used an online TA,on the website.......:(

 

Good luck with this battle.............I assume you are trying to cancel??

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The TA and I are now exchanging hostile emails. I feel so stupid for allowing this to happen to me, but I can honestly say there was no mention of this fee at all until after I had paid the deposit, then received booking confirmation. Looks like I have to swallow it, and I still have over a year to go, and having to deal through a TA that I now distrust. Is it possible to switch the booking to someone else?

 

If you can book the same cruise elsewhere where no shady fees are being applied do so. Call the Credit Card company and discuss with them the non-disclosed fee. Generally businesses can't slam fees on customers without their prior consent (hence the big refund of Fuel Surcharges inappropriately added on) so perhaps your TA faced with a credit card challenge or a formal complaint to RCCL about their business practices would waive the fee instead of possibly being cut off from selling RCCL for commissions.

 

I agree a $600 fee is a bit steep...but some folks would rather bully a cruiser into paying a huge fee than providing top notch service and allowing the service to set them apart from other agents, instead using fees to set them apart in a more negative way.

 

You may also read the fine print if they don't disallow trasfer of the rezzie, move it back to RCCL and cut out the agent since there would be no cancellation they would then be hard pressed to make you pay them.

 

I use a TA but he doesn't get gimmicy with charges, just provides great services.

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It was probably in the small(very small) print somewhere in the paperwork or if you used an online TA,on the website.......:(

 

Good luck with this battle.............I assume you are trying to cancel??

 

I'm not trying to cancel, my point is only that it was not disclosed at all until after deposit was made, and who the heck knows what might happen in a year. I can see I've been really stupid - and I thought I was a pretty savvy person! I asked only if the deposit was refundable prior to booking, he said up to 90 days prior to departure. Never mentioned his fee.

 

Thanks for the input, I intend to press on via Mastercard and RCCI and hope I can push him into at least negotiating this fee.

 

This TA was recommended to me by a friend, and I have to say he was really nice and helpful to deal with. I guess I am rather gullible.

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I'm not trying to cancel, my point is only that it was not disclosed at all until after deposit was made, and who the heck knows what might happen in a year. I can see I've been really stupid - and I thought I was a pretty savvy person! I asked only if the deposit was refundable prior to booking, he said up to 90 days prior to departure. Never mentioned his fee.

 

Thanks for the input, I intend to press on via Mastercard and RCCI and hope I can push him into at least negotiating this fee.

 

This TA was recommended to me by a friend, and I have to say he was really nice and helpful to deal with. I guess I am rather gullible.

 

In order to transfer from this TA they would have to agree to the transfer, which unless they get paid something by you isnt likely.

 

My TA just started to charge a $25 pp change/cancel fee. I am having second thoughts about continuing to use them too. I could have booked thru the cruiseline and waited to transfer the booking had I know before I was in the process of booking and they read that to me.

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We just booked today with an online TA that we have used before. And when I got the email to send back to approve the credit card charge for the deposit it stated: xxx will charge a $ 50.00 USD per cabin cancellation fee in addition to any cruise line imposed cancellation penalties.

 

I figured $50 is reasonable so I don't argue. This is our 3rd cruise we have booked with them and if we had to change to a different cruise I bet they wouldn't charge the fee if they still got a booking. But don't know that for sure.

 

$100 per person if too high.

 

The cruise world is definitely changing. Princess now charges 30% of the total cruise fare for the deposit. We were deciding between a Princess cruise and a RCCL and decided on RCCL. RCCL deposit fee was $2100 less, even though the cruise price was higher. And the cruise is 15 months away. I don't think they need to hold that much of my money for that long.

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Unless you cancel, there is no problem. Did you book anticipating to cancel?

Some people do. That is why these fees exist. No one wants to work for free which is what happens when someone cancels.

I'm sure that you can negotiate if you have some kind of emergency.

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I think most travel agents have this fee in the small print. Mine did and I did not notice the fee until I got my booking mailed to me after deposit was paid, it did concern me in the event we had to cancel which we did have to cancel one room, we did not get charged the fee when we did cancel.

 

When you take up your travel agents time for the booking, they expect to get there commission for the work they have done, if you cancel they get nothing so hence the fee is needed but not always charged from my experience. probably to discourage people from making multiple bookings and then canceling??

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OP.....It is no fun fighting this battle but do continue......There is no reason why a concession cannot be made...or otherwise cancel, In my previous post I did not tell you how much hassel I had....but I stuck to it because I felt I was mislead just as you have been.....you asked about the depost, just as I did at that time they should of said their was a fee by their agencies as well.

 

As I stated before I was on a small ship only 90 cabins and I had deposited with the TA on the last remaining Cat. at the price I wanted, I would have canceled in a heart beat if this had been an Ocean cruise and contested the cancellation fee(1000., if they charged it) with my credit card company, but I had another catch the river boat company would then charge their fee of 200.pp(standard in the industry after booking). So not only would I lose my cabin but now 400. So I bit the bullet but they did make concessions for me...they can do the same for you.

 

Do you really want to deal with this person over the next year if your are exchaniging unkind e-mails now..........dump 'um or come to an agreement.

Good Luck

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A TA charging ANY addtional fees is the reason I never book with anyone but my trusted TA. I've flipped all kinds of cruises, and canceled several. She never, ever charges anything except what RCCL would charge, but I always make my changes / cancels before the 90 day mark.

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If you have a trusted TA, fees are probably negotionable in case of an emergency . However in this world, there are shoppers who book and then find someone who will give them $10 dollars off or a free beach towel and cancel for this reason. If this is the case, TA's need to be protected.

While it seems like a simple transaction to book, there are so many problems that TA's address in order to make the guest's experience perfect. It can be time consuming. The real problem is that if someone books and sails with no problem, they think that the TA got "huge"commissions for doing nothing...not so. They are behind the scenes making sure that you have a great experience.

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In this case we are talking about a TA not giving correct info upfront when asked.......

 

I do not know what work the TA did for the OP, but what are the odds the OP will cancel pretty slim so why not be reasonable with him rather than exchanging unkind e-mails.

 

I do all my upfront work on Ocean cruises I transfer to a TA prior to final booking..so I am pretty easy, I just want the TA's perks and generally nothing else, I have not worked with a full service TA since I got a computer and I can compare prices. I have different TA's for Princess and RCI, I have 2 different companies I book river cruises through, I do my land vacations through another TA, sometimes I just book with the vendor directly when they have an air deal or last minute booking. I have no preference who I book with I deal with who can give me the best price or perks at the time I am booking ...we have 3 teens that we have traveled alot with...we have saved a tremendous amount by shopping around on the internet.......but no TA cancellation fees for us.

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If you have a trusted TA, fees are probably negotionable in case of an emergency . However in this world, there are shoppers who book and then find someone who will give them $10 dollars off or a free beach towel and cancel for this reason. If this is the case, TA's need to be protected.

While it seems like a simple transaction to book, there are so many problems that TA's address in order to make the guest's experience perfect. It can be time consuming. The real problem is that if someone books and sails with no problem, they think that the TA got "huge"commissions for doing nothing...not so. They are behind the scenes making sure that you have a great experience.

 

While this is true, the TA should always disclose this BEFORE the client books. It is unethical not to tell a client there is a cancellation fee before they book.

 

We don't charge one but if we did, we would disclose it.

 

OP, you should absolutely make sure you have purchased travel insurance. If you cancel for a covered reason, the agents cancellation fee is generally covered with insurance.

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Kind of late, I guess... but advice for anyone in the future...

What I do is book directly with the cruise line, then I cant tinker with the reservation myself all I want, even cancel with no fee if I need to. Later, sometime within the month my final payment is due, once I know I'm going for sure, THEN I transfer the booking to my agent. They know I do it this way, and are probably glad for it... I end up doing all the work myself. They get their commission, they give me some sort of perk (OBC, gift, etc)... everyone's happy, especially me.

 

In the meantime, OP... good luck in what ever you decide. I'm sure the hostile emails have made you really uncomfortable keeping this booking but... for $600, you might just have to. As others have suggested, you could buy insurance to cover that fee (I suggest an independent carrier). Depending on age's of passengers and total trip cost, the price of the insurance could be about the same as that cancellation fee... BUT... at least you are getting something for your money. Insurance is always a good idea anyway. When all is said and done and after you return from your cruise, I would contact that agent again and tell them that you will not be giving them any further business (unless between now and then, they win back your confidence). Make sure you tell you friend who recommended them about this too, its possible they don't know. Hope you can keep the reservation and have a wonderful cruise, despite this frustrating development.

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So those who are saying buy the insurance what insurance are you talking about? because, if the cancellation fee is not pre-paid the insurance company will not cover it..according to the research I have done/

 

I used CSA when I had my problem, the TA said they would cover the fee as long as I included the amount in my coverage. But talking to CSA directly they told me thay would not because it was not pre-paid. I still used them because I had the emails from TA saying it would be covered, of course never had a need for it, so don't know what the outcome would have been..

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We just booked today with an online TA that we have used before. And when I got the email to send back to approve the credit card charge for the deposit it stated: xxx will charge a $ 50.00 USD per cabin cancellation fee in addition to any cruise line imposed cancellation penalties.

 

I figured $50 is reasonable so I don't argue. This is our 3rd cruise we have booked with them and if we had to change to a different cruise I bet they wouldn't charge the fee if they still got a booking. But don't know that for sure.

 

$100 per person if too high.

 

The cruise world is definitely changing. Princess now charges 30% of the total cruise fare for the deposit. We were deciding between a Princess cruise and a RCCL and decided on RCCL. RCCL deposit fee was $2100 less, even though the cruise price was higher. And the cruise is 15 months away. I don't think they need to hold that much of my money for that long.

 

Our TA does not charge for cancellations, but we did learn when thinking about booking a cruise on NCL, that they charge a non refundable deposit for thier suites. Since we were booking a year out, we elected not to go with NCL!

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