Originally Posted by commission1
Well I have been very fortunate and this is our 9th cruise, first with HAL. I never had a hold placed before. I went to the website to change my preference to cash, thinking I could out smart them, (then at the end of the cruise say oh i have no cash but here is my credit card) but then the website said I would have to bring 1680 in cash for deposit at the time of embarkation.
We all have our own pet peeves, I am not happy about this. We dont spend that much money on board anyway but this time I will not even buy the pictures.
You want to put a hold my account HAL, ok I wont spend any money on your cruise ship. I bet if we all did this, that hold policy will change pretty quick.
Actually what I am going to try to do when we get onboard at check in, is tell them we dont want any charging priviledges on our room keys, that way in theory a hold would not be necessary.
All the mass market cruise lines have been forced to institute this credit hold system.
We are not doing it to upset people, nor to make extra work for ourselves. We are doing it out of financial necessity.
The number of passengers who cannot pay their bill at the end of the cruise has been growing very rapidly. It seems that many people take a cruise, knowing very well that they cannot afford it. On the final day, they suddenly find themselves unable to cover their bill. The cruise line cannot legally hold them onboard until they pay. Once down the gangway, it becomes too expensive and time consuming to chase them down. Local police refuse to get involved.
The cruise lines took a mass market industry average - currently $60 per person per day as an average amount spent by you. That is the hold we place on your credit line. If you are an average cruiser, the credit hold and your final bill will be nearly identical.
With the US economy getting worse by the day, even the credit hold has not been very successful. There are too many deadbeats figuring ways to play the system, refusing to give method of payment, switching multiple bogus credit cards, "disappearing" for several days onboard, etc.
Currently - even with the credit hold system in place - we are seeing between 10% and 15% of American passengers unable to pay their bills at the end of the cruise. Instead, they sign a promissory note, claiming they will pay us "sometime in the future".
What do you think the odds are of that happening?
The bills will get paid. By you - in the form of higher cruise fares.
If you are not a deadbeat, you should actually be happy about this credit hold. In the end it costs you nothing more than what you spent onboard - and it keeps your future cruise fares down.