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First Time Cruisers Confused about OBC


Mrtwo

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DW and I are taking our ever first cruise, July 4th Diamond Princess Alaskan Cruise Tour. The Final payment has been made; excursions are reserved and paid for except for the one arranged through Princess. We have been reading subjects related to OBC, when I called Princess to make an inquiry they referred me to Princess Gift Cards. What turned me off was that if there is a balance left at the end of the cruise the balance is not refundable.

Does this sound correct to all you Princess Veterans? Is Gift Cards the only method to purchase OBC?

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DW and I are taking our ever first cruise, July 4th Diamond Princess Alaskan Cruise Tour. The Final payment has been made; excursions are reserved and paid for except for the one arranged through Princess. We have been reading subjects related to OBC, when I called Princess to make an inquiry they referred me to Princess Gift Cards. What turned me off was that if there is a balance left at the end of the cruise the balance is not refundable.

 

Does this sound correct to all you Princess Veterans? Is Gift Cards the only method to purchase OBC?

If you want to pre-pay your onboard account, the only way to do so is via a Gift Card. I've never done it but I remember people saying that if you cash in the extra in the Casino, you can get your balance back. Perhaps someone will post the details on how to do this.

 

Your best bet is to send yourself Gift Cards that will cover your known/expected expenses, including the Hotel Service Charge of $10.50/day/pp or $11/pp/day (for suites and mini-suites.) Then, you can bring traveler's checks or cash onboard to pay the difference. Come to think of it, why not put the money you'd spend on Gift Cards into traveler's checks and use only what you need to settle your onboard account.

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Does this sound correct to all you Princess Veterans? Is Gift Cards the only method to purchase OBC?

 

First question - actually yes.

Gift card is exactly that. Just like a card you would buy at home.

If you do not exhaust the amount (have an outstanding balance)

on the card you loss it.

Just remember you will be doing a lot of spending on board.

Drinks, specialty dining, shopping, maybe photos, Bingo. The list goes on.

Not to sure, but I think you can pay your total cruise bill with it as well.

Which includes tips.

A cruise bill could run up to as much as the price of a cruise. :o

 

Now for the second question, you can not buy OBC. That is usually given to you at the time of booking as a special deal.

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Actually the gift card is not really a card. It is money put on your shipboard account as a credit for when you board.

 

From the Princess gift card section:

Passengers will receive a note representing an onboard credit amount to be used during their cruise, not an actual gift card.

Read the fine print at the bottom here: http://www.princess.com/learn/onboard/services/gifts/gift_card/GiftCardLanding.jsp

 

One trick, if you have any left on the account at the end of the cruise, go to a slot machine, open a slot bank and take the money off your account and put it on the slot bank. Then cash out and go to the casino cage and you will be given cash for that amount. It sounds more complicated then it actually is, so it is quite simple to do.

 

Best of luck!

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I just checked out the form

 

http://www.princess.com/learn/onboard/services/CFB_Order_Form.pdf

 

At the bottom it states -

Gift voucher may not be redeemed for onboard credit and has no cash value.

 

Guess you can't apply the gift card to your cruise bill. It can only be use for purchases.

Sure you can. It's all in the accounting. :) Your onboard account is a very simple debit/credit system. The "gift card" is credited to your onboard account so you start with a positive balance. Any purchases or charges are then debited from the credit. For example, let's say you give yourself $500 in gift card credit. Your onboard account will start with a credit of $500. You buy a tour for $50 each for two people, it's debited from your account and you now have a $400 credit. You buy drinks totalling $25 and you now have a credit of $375. Your nightly hotel service charge is $10.50/pp/day for 7 days, so you now have a credit of $228, etc., etc.
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Sure you can. It's all in the accounting. :) Your onboard account is a very simple debit/credit system. The "gift card" is credited to your onboard account so you start with a positive balance. Any purchases or charges are then debited from the credit. For example, let's say you give yourself $500 in gift card credit. Your onboard account will start with a credit of $500. You buy a tour for $50 each for two people, it's debited from your account and you now have a $400 credit. You buy drinks totalling $25 and you now have a credit of $375. Your nightly hotel service charge is $10.50/pp/day for 7 days, so you now have a credit of $228, etc., etc.

 

Exactly!

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I just checked out the form

 

http://www.princess.com/learn/onboard/services/CFB_Order_Form.pdf

 

At the bottom it states -

Gift voucher may not be redeemed for onboard credit and has no cash value.

 

Guess you can't apply the gift card to your cruise bill. It can only be use for purchases.

 

That order form is for something like a gift of wine, special food/drink packages, etc. That's why it says the gift voucher may not be redeemed for onboard credit and has no cash value. What the posters in this thread are talking about is purchasing a "gift card" (which actually isn't a card but just OBC) via either a TA or directly through Princess. There is a form to fax that includes payment information (CC, debit card, etc.). This is absolutely doable . . . our TA says that people do it all the time & we're planning on doing it for our cruise in July.

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Ya'll are great, this helped a bunch.

Read all the gift Card "Fine Print", yes the money goes into an onboard account and can be used for "Anything Onboard". The Princess agent I spoke with said that any expenses occurred onboard would be exhausted from the Onboard Account (gift cards) first, any remaining balance would be charged to the registered CC. We'll just have to make sure we zero the balance before we disembark.

We now have a plan, thanks to all the responses.

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I just checked out the form

 

http://www.princess.com/learn/onboard/services/CFB_Order_Form.pdf

 

At the bottom it states -

Gift voucher may not be redeemed for onboard credit and has no cash value.

 

Guess you can't apply the gift card to your cruise bill. It can only be use for purchases.

 

I think what you may be confusing is the actual gift card/voucher. A gift card/voucher for a bottle of wine as a gift, or a shop credit as a gift, they are all available. These cards are not supposed to be able to be redeemed for shipboard credit as they are given for something specific. The statement made at the bottom of the form is not for onboard credit gift, but for other items in the gift section. ;)

 

I hope that explained the confusion.

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Ya'll are great, this helped a bunch.

 

Read all the gift Card "Fine Print", yes the money goes into an onboard account and can be used for "Anything Onboard". The Princess agent I spoke with said that any expenses occurred onboard would be exhausted from the Onboard Account (gift cards) first, any remaining balance would be charged to the registered CC. We'll just have to make sure we zero the balance before we disembark.

Leave some for the T-shirt sales. :) There is usually a sale of 3 for $20 or something like that. Have a great cruise!
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I think what you may be confusing is the actual gift card/voucher. A gift card/voucher for a bottle of wine as a gift, or a shop credit as a gift, they are all available. These cards are not supposed to be able to be redeemed for shipboard credit as they are given for something specific. The statement made at the bottom of the form is not for onboard credit gift/actually voucher cards, but for other items in the gift section. ;)

 

I hope that explained the confusion.

:rolleyes:

 

Why is that the gift cards come with order #'s?

 

Item #6013 – $25 each

Item #6014 – $50 each

Item #6015 – $100 each

 

Seems to me that you can print out the gift order form, order a gift card, apply it to your charge card, and mail in.

It doesn't say gifts cards excluded. ;)

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:rolleyes:

 

Why is that the gift cards come with order #'s?

 

Item #6013 – $25 each

Item #6014 – $50 each

Item #6015 – $100 each

 

Seems to me that you can print out the gift order form, order a gift card, apply it to your charge card, and mail in.

It doesn't say gifts cards excluded. ;)

 

Because some people give gift cards (actually not a card, but a little note in your stateroom stating someone gave you shipboard credit). And it can be ordered either in a denomination as shown above. or in any amount you wish.

It's like ordering casino credits. I can order 10-$100 casino credits, or I can order 20-$50 casino credits and give them as a gift to my DH, but these come in the form of vouchers in the stateroom, unlike the shipboard credit. OR I can just call Princess and tell them I want $1000 voucher for casino credits in my stateroom for him. Even though it's not on the order form.

 

It's just a way for someone to order shipboard credit for someone else, like a TA wants to order a $50 gift card/shipboard credit for their client.

 

But honestly, the shipboard credit goes straight to your account, and it can be used for ANYTHING onboard. ;)

 

(I wonder if they didn't give them the name 'gift cards' just because so many give 'gift cards' now in every day life. Maybe they figured it would be eaiser for passengers to understand. lol) I just can't imagine them saying to purchase a gift card, show a picture of a gift card, and then underneath it says it's not really a gift card. LOL Totally confusing, it really is. :eek:

 

But yes, you can print off the order form and order so many of whatever number you want to add up to the shipboard credit you are after. Easy to do.

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Because some people give gift cards (actually not a card, but a little note in your stateroom stating someone gave you shipboard credit). And it can be ordered either in a denomination as shown above. or in any amount you wish.

It's like ordering casino credits. I can order 10-$100 casino credits, or I can order 20-$50 casino credits and give them as a gift to my DH, but these come in the form of vouchers in the stateroom, unlike the shipboard credit. OR I can just call Princess and tell them I want $1000 voucher for casino credits in my stateroom for him. Even though it's not on the order form.

 

It's just a way for someone to order shipboard credit for someone else, like a TA wants to order a $50 gift card/shipboard credit for their client.

 

But honestly, the shipboard credit goes straight to your account, and it can be used for ANYTHING onboard. ;)

 

(I wonder if they didn't give them the name 'gift cards' just because so many give 'gift cards' now in every day life. Maybe they figured it would be eaiser for passengers to understand. lol) I just can't imagine them saying to purchase a gift card, show a picture of a gift card, and then underneath it says it's not really a gift card. LOL Totally confusing, it really is. :eek:

 

But yes, you can print off the order form and order so many of whatever number you want to add up to the shipboard credit you are after. Easy to do.

 

:eek:

 

Sounds to complicated to me.

I think it's just easier just to hand the person a Bon Voyage card with a few bucks inside.

 

:D

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:eek:

 

Sounds to complicated to me.

I think it's just easier just to hand the person a Bon Voyage card with a few bucks inside.

 

:D

 

If it's any consulation, I think I confused myself explaining that last one. ROFL It really isn't complicated at all, except that stupid gift of a 'card' when a card doesn't actually exist. :D

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