Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Cash Back or Early Saver?


RedbirdFL

Recommended Posts

Is the Cash Back rate a good deal? I'm working with a TA to book a cruise for the fall and she's recommending we take the CB rate instead of the Early Saver rate, because we would lose our deposit if we cancel. (We don't plan to cancel once we book the trip unless we had an unexpected emergency.)

 

If we did book the Early Saver and had to cancel due to a last-minute emergency, would we lose the deposit or could we pay $50 to transfer the deposit to a different cruise? Or is that option only available with the other types of rates?

 

Would insurance cover our Early Saver deposit if we did go with that option and cancelled due to an emergency?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if this helps but off the Carnival website:

 

What is Early Saver?

 

Early Saver is a brand new promotional rate that rewards you for booking early with the absolute lowest rate. In addition, the fares are backed by a unique price protection assurance. Book your cruise now. If you later find a lower Carnival advertised fare for the same sailing and accommodations, Carnival will honor it, issuing the difference in the form of a non-refundable, non-transferable onboard credit. The policy is effective up to two business days prior to sailing. You now have even more great reasons to book early! Not only will you have the best availability of staterooms, dates, and destinations…you’re assured the lowest rate.

 

• How early must I make my reservation?

Early Saver is available up to 3 months prior to sailing on short cruises (5 days or shorter) and up to 5 months prior to sailing on long cruises (6 days or greater).

 

• How do I make an Early Saver reservation?

Contact your Travel Agent, your Personal Vacation Planner, call 1-800- Carnival or visit carnival.com

 

• Does Early Saver follow Carnival’s standard deposit, payment and cancellation terms?

The deposit and payment terms are the same. However, Early Saver reservations require a full non-refundable deposit per person.

 

• What if I need to make changes to my ship or sailing date?

Ship and sailing date changes are allowed prior to the final payment due date, subject to a $50 service fee per person, per change. Changes made after the final payment due date are subject to standard cancellation penalties.

 

• What is the price protection assurance feature?

If, after booking, you find a lower Carnival advertised fare, Carnival will honor it, issuing the difference in the form of a non-refundable onboard credit. The lower fare must be: i) for the same ship, sailing, stateroom category and number of guests; ii) available for booking at the time you submit your request for the lower rate; and iii) a rate you are eligible to receive, if special restrictions apply. Price protection will be subject to the prevailing fees and/or fuel supplement if applicable.

 

• What is a Carnival advertised fare?

A Carnival.com or Carnival advertised fare available to the general public. A Carnival advertised fare excludes group rates, membership programs, charters or other Travel Agent promotions not offered by Carnival to the general public, including but not limited to travel agent rebates.

 

• What should I do once I find a lower rate?

Complete a price protection claim form. If the request meets the price protection requirements, we will process your onboard credit for the fare difference and send you an email confirmation within 2 business days of your request.

 

• What information must be submitted for a price protection request?

 

Guest(s) name

Sailing information

Available cruise fare being requested

Where the lower advertised fare was found (i.e.: Carnival.com)

• When can I submit a price protection request?

Carnival will accept price protection requests up to 2 business days prior to sailing.

 

• How many times can I submit a price protection request?

Provided that you are eligible for the lower fare, there are no restrictions to the number of price protection requests or the requested amount.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Early saver you pay $50 per person and can transfer the booking to another date. So you are risking $50 pp if you are sure you are going to cruise within a year.

 

The early saver is usually a better deal than the higher price with cash back, but check them both out, sometimes the cash back some said was better.

 

With the regular rate the gamble is the rate could fall and you cant get it once past final payment anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well the way I looked at it was that worst case scenario and I had to change my reservation I would pay $50 pp. But if I was saving more than $50 by booking it early saver compared to cash back then in the long run I would still come out ahead. You just got to figure out which would be cheaper with the worst case scenario. But if your not willing to book due to non refundable deposit then you have your answer already.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I just spoke with my TA about the Early Saver program, and she said it was the most restrictive program around. Not only do you pay $50 pp if you CANCEL, but ANY CHANGE you make is subject to the $50 pp fee.

 

So, for example, if Carnival misspells your last name and you want them to correct it, they can choose to charge you the $50 pp fee for that. If you want to upgrade later on, it's $50 pp. If you want to change cabins, it's $50 pp. You get the idea.

 

Additionally, my TA said that they can also deny your request for OBC at their discretion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A TA is most likely not going to recommend Early Saver because they will have to continually monitor prices if they are doing their job and submit the form for an adjustment each time a rate drops, and for some it has been huge, such as $80 one week, $40 more the next and so on. The prices can change 4 times a day. Booking yourself and using Sabbo's Cruise Shark program is perfect for Early Saver.

 

Some Early Saver rates are really low to begin with and keep going up, others keep dropping.

 

Early Saver is for those who have every intention of taking the cruise they select with the assurance that they might save additionally. There are some cruises now where Cash Back is a better savings - you pay a little more before you go, but see it in your OBC. Usually Early Saver is the cheapest route though.

 

Insurance should be fine with Early Saver, but it's too new to know for certain.

 

Some people are getting credit against their cruise price or refunds to their credit cards rather than OBC when submitting seen price reductions, but officially the refund is to be a non-refundable OBC.

 

The word is that a cancellation or change results in a $50 loss per person, but the remaining deposit can be assigned to a future cruise by the person who paid the deposit (within 1 year).

 

Mistakes made in names by Carnival have been reported to be corrected at no charge. Self-initiated category upgrades have been reported at no charge. Same-category cabin changes on the same ship and sailing date have been reported with no charge.

 

Some have posted buyer's remorse stories after booking Early Saver and having someone in their party cancel, but most seem really happy with it, except some who work with a TA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks - you guys explained it really well. I'm going to continue to give it some thought. I sure do want to save money, but it ends up only being about $80 pp more to book the Cash Back rate, and I like the thought that we could make a guarantee if we want.

 

The cruise we're looking at is the 7 day NE/Canada one on October 3, and so far, the 6A cabins no longer appear on Early Saver. That makes me a little doubtful that the rates would drop.

 

What do you think - is that a cruise that tends to sell out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I just spoke with my TA about the Early Saver program, and she said it was the most restrictive program around. Not only do you pay $50 pp if you CANCEL, but ANY CHANGE you make is subject to the $50 pp fee.

 

So, for example, if Carnival misspells your last name and you want them to correct it, they can choose to charge you the $50 pp fee for that. If you want to upgrade later on, it's $50 pp. If you want to change cabins, it's $50 pp. You get the idea.

 

Additionally, my TA said that they can also deny your request for OBC at their discretion.

 

LadyJag - I would not be relying on your TA, who isn't particularly well-informed on the Early Saver (or doesn't want to be bothered booking it).

the Early Saver IS restrictive and you DO have to read and understand it's pros and cons. There's no fee for upgrading, and unlikely you'll be charged for mis-spelling a name. The Terms and conditions do not allow Carnival to deny your request for a Price Adjustment at their discretion - if you're eligible for the price drop you'll get it. I would not be making decisions on choosing Early Saver (or not) based on that TA's advice. ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I just spoke with my TA about the Early Saver program, and she said it was the most restrictive program around. Not only do you pay $50 pp if you CANCEL, but ANY CHANGE you make is subject to the $50 pp fee.

 

So, for example, if Carnival misspells your last name and you want them to correct it, they can choose to charge you the $50 pp fee for that. If you want to upgrade later on, it's $50 pp. If you want to change cabins, it's $50 pp. You get the idea.

 

Additionally, my TA said that they can also deny your request for OBC at their discretion.

 

Name changes, down grades, and cancelling are the only ones that incur the $50 change fee. Upgrading (via yourself or upsell) and changing cabins in the same category don't have any charge.

 

Thanks - you guys explained it really well. I'm going to continue to give it some thought. I sure do want to save money, but it ends up only being about $80 pp more to book the Cash Back rate, and I like the thought that we could make a guarantee if we want.

 

The cruise we're looking at is the 7 day NE/Canada one on October 3, and so far, the 6A cabins no longer appear on Early Saver. That makes me a little doubtful that the rates would drop.

 

What do you think - is that a cruise that tends to sell out?

 

I would assume that since carnival states that all cruises sail full that yes infact it does sell out. I can't tell you how fast... Also, there's only a limitted amount of any cabin category on the early saver program. the 6b's might only have a few left before the saver vanishes. We have no way of telling w/o an inside source. Having said that, I checked the price comparing category 6b. With early saver it's $1,169.80 and with the cash back (actually obc) it's $1,569.80 with $200 obc. So you'd be paying an extra 200 compared to 100 for any cancellations or date changes. Also you'd not be able to benefit from any price drops. I know it's your call and ultimately you make the decision but if it was me I'd go with the early saver. You stated that you don't intend on changing it unless an emergency arrises. Insurance covers "any non-refundable monies" including but not limited to cruise price, airfare, hotel reservations etc. I researched that thoroughly since I found it hard to believe that carnival insurance would cover all of that non carnival stuff. The gentleman I spoke with from the agency that writes the policy stated over the phone this info and then sent me a copy via email. I was rather impressed with the policy. Hopefully neither you nor I have to use it. I'd do the early saver and save the money. If you really want the obc just call bon voyage and get gift certificates and have it applied to your booking. You'll end up with twice as much for the same cost using early saver. Also, you said about a TA....make sure to check what their cancellation policies/charges are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

redbirdfl - Trip Insurance will cover loss of your non-refundable deposit only if you're cancelling the cruise for a cancellation reason covered in your particular trip insurance policy. There's no coverage for cancelling on a whim (unless you get the pricey "Cancel for Any Reason" option that some policies offer, and that may not cover 100%). ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks - you guys explained it really well. I'm going to continue to give it some thought. I sure do want to save money, but it ends up only being about $80 pp more to book the Cash Back rate, and I like the thought that we could make a guarantee if we want.

 

The cruise we're looking at is the 7 day NE/Canada one on October 3, and so far, the 6A cabins no longer appear on Early Saver. That makes me a little doubtful that the rates would drop.

 

What do you think - is that a cruise that tends to sell out?

 

Just because that category is no longer available with Early Saver may or mat not have anything to do with a price drop. Early Saver "cabins" are limited and it doesn't have to be a lower price with Early Saver, just a lower price in the same category as you booked.

 

As stated previously the ships sail full and in order to do this they often have really low prices to fill up the ship.

 

I'm not sure which categories are likely to remain unfilled and might be offered at a lower price.

 

We all buy airline tickets that are even more restrictive than Early Saver.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Additionally, my TA said that they can also deny your request for OBC at their discretion.

 

I think your TA is wrong cause it doesn't say that anywhere, even in the fine print. Now, they will deny your request if you are quoting a price for a different category or sailing date, but as long as all the specifics are the same, you will get your credit. Has anyone here ever had their request denied?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I changed my reservation from cash back to early saver today. If you have to cancel the cruise, you can use the deposit for a future cruise, but not a refund and there is a $50 pp fee. Even on a future cruise, you cannot change any pass names. The person(s) booked on the early saver must be the same that go on the future cruise.

 

With the cash back, I felt I was paying for that OBC because the rates were alot higher. Also, any rate drops up to 2 days prior of your cruise, you are eligible. I have read other threads that state once you pay the cruise off in full, price drops and specials are not available or very hard to obtain.

 

By my switching, I got a balcony port side for the same price I was paying for a obstructed oceanview.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise News
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Ultra-luxury yacht cruising with Scenic
×
×
  • Create New...