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Old March 20th, 2010, 11:12 PM
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Arrow Possible Perks of Being on an Overbooked Ship

If I'd ever heard of cruise lines engaging in overbooking, I must have forgotten about it. Airlines do this constantly, of course, which travelers can take advantage of if they don't mind getting where they're going later than originally planned. (I got a nearly-free Mass.-to-Puerto Rico roundtrip for a cruise out of San Juan in 2003, having accepted a $400 voucher for giving up my seat on an overbooked plane around the Thanksgiving rush!)

I've been booked for months on a May Veendam Bermuda cruise, (7-nt round-trip out of NYC) and have been chatting online for most of that time w various other passengers on the same sailing, using a message board (similar to CM's "Meet On Board", but on a different website). Today, one of those passengers-- who, like me, had ponied up the supplement to sail solo-- wrote he had been contacted by his TA with an offer from Holland America: they're willing to upgrade him from his balcony cabin to a suite, AND refund him big bucks-- provided he shares that suite with a complete stranger! Why? Because the cruise is that badly overbooked! I'm sure this is the first I've ever heard of any cruise line being so desperate that they're trying to match up solo passengers w unsolicited roommates!

So is this what do cruise lines do when not enough passengers cancel? And what else do they do? Ever heard of anyone being offered some big upgrade or huge refund if they're willing to go on the next cruise after instead of the one they booked, or some other cruise in the indefinite future? I'm speaking here not of a cruise that had to be cancelled, but of a ship being way oversold.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeph View Post
So is this what do cruise lines do when not enough passengers cancel? And what else do they do? Ever heard of anyone being offered some big upgrade or huge refund if they're willing to go on the next cruise after instead of the one they booked, or some other cruise in the indefinite future? I'm speaking here not of a cruise that had to be cancelled, but of a ship being way oversold.
I haven't heard of a cruise line asking if someone wanted a roommate, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Now I have heard people getting calls (from Princess) that they overbooked and would they consider going on another date. In return Princess would reduce the price of the cruise from a few hundred $$$ to basically giving them a full refund. Sometimes they just offer a nice on board credit or just a really nice upgrade on another cruise. I have heard of people bargaining with them when they do call to try and get more out of them too. I think it all depends on how close to the cruise it is and how many rooms they need to free up. When being offered this, you have to consider you are responsible for the cost of airfare changes and if you happened to have a hotel booked, etc... Someti
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Old March 21st, 2010, 08:16 PM
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Default Clarification

Update: It seems I misspoke a bit; the passenger in question knows the guy the travel agent proposed he room with, as they are both part of a group the travel agent has put together for this cruise. In fact, he shared a room with this guy once before...but due to some serious snoring, questions whether he's willing to do so again!
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 10:03 AM
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I have run into this with Princess. They overbooked a cruise on the Tahitian Princess that we were booked on. I was not a TA at that time. Our TA called me and told me what the offer was. As it was less than a week out and I live in Canada the offer just wasn't good enough. I would have still lost money with the air and hotel change so I turned them down.

They called back a few hours later with a new offer - complete refund, upgrade and they would pick up all extra charges for the changes we had to make.

We accepted a change of date and on the last day of the cruise they gave me back the complete fare - in cash.
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