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Old April 27th, 2013, 09:11 PM
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Default Waived deposit

I just booked a cruise on line using an on line service. The Cruise is Febuary 14th 2015. I was under the impresson that the Deposit would be waved until a later date. Thats how the reservation was taken.The cruise has been booked with Caribbean and the reservation set for the cruise.Now the agent has called me back and said that the cruise is to far out and they cant waive the deposit. We would just pay the deposit but we dont have the money at this time. What do you think will the on line service honor the waived deposit. The agent told me she had to talk to her supervisor to see what they say.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 11:32 PM
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First, you should NEVER book a cruise with an online site. If you need assistance, you'll get someone who is not a certified travel agent, works in a call center, and has usually never even been on a cruise. Same thing is true with booking directly with the cruise line.

It's always best to book with an agent whom you can talk to, help you with every aspect of the cruise, answer all your questions, is a certified travel agent, and preferably someone who is a cruise specialist.

Keep in mind that most mass market cruise lines require everyone to sell the same cruise for the same price, so it make sense to utilize an agent because their services are free to use and they represent you should any problems arise.

With that said, it's obvious to me this agent has no idea what they're talking about, so I would definitely drop them and work with someone you can trust.

Here's how it works; when you book a cruise this far in advance, the cruise line will allow the agent to put a complimentary hold on a cabin. The amount of time they can do this will depend on how far out the cruise is. In your case, normally it's only about a week. You cannot put a complimentary hold on a cabin for a few months.

The amount of deposit will vary depending on the cruise line, the length of the cruise, and whether or not there are any specials going on that will allow a reduced deposit or not. Again, your agent will be able to provide all this information to you.

If you'll let me know the specific ship and sail date, I can provide more specific information.

Pete
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Old April 28th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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Since the cruise is still 2 years away, why not save for the deposit and then make the reservations??
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Old April 28th, 2013, 10:14 AM
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MR Cruise planner,Sorry took so long to get back to you> The cruise is a 7 day Western Caribbean sailing out of New Oreleans with Royal Caribbean aboard the Serenade of the seas on Feb 14th 2015.Final payment is due on Nov 21st 2014.And the agent said she did reserve a specific cabin for us.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 10:21 AM
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:confusedMiss Donna thats is a very ggod question! I guess I just got caught up in the moment. OH by the way you are not the only person to ask that question. My wife asked the same question and I still have not come with a good answer yet!
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Old April 28th, 2013, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
First, you should NEVER book a cruise with an online site. If you need assistance, you'll get someone who is not a certified travel agent
I'll have to disagree with Pete on this one. MANY certified travel agents have BOTH an online prescence, as well as a brick and mortar office. As a matter of fact, many Cruise Planners Travel Agents would qualify. They have web sites, with booking engines available.

Just because they are "online" is no kind of disqualifier at all.

However, I do agree, you're much better off checking the qualifications of the person you are attempting to deal with, to find out if they are an agent, or an order taker in a cubicle somewhere.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Yes, you will have to put down the deposit. As CP said; agents can only keep a complimentary hold on the cabin for about week.

Cancel the booking and when you have the money for the deposit then make your reservation. I doubt a cruise that far out will sell out by the time you have the deposit. If it is a "specific" cabin you want then try hard to get the deposit ASAP.

I also agree with Kuki. Just because an agent has an online presence they can also be a very good cruise agent. Cruise Planners and American Express Travel are examples. Yes, there are some places that have a "Gnome" and you may well get someone who knows nothing about cruising and fare structures.

Many years ago I used the Gnome site to book a cruise because of the incentives they were offering. I was actually quite pleased with the service of the representative.

Take care,
Mike
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Old April 28th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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I wasn't saying don't book with an agency who is brick & mortar and also has an online presence. And yes, I have a website, also. But I much prefer people to call me so we can take care of business on the phone. I don't like doing business through my website - too impersonal.

What I meant to say is don't book with a company that is solely/mainly online. These types of companies want you to book online and don't want to deal with you on the phone or in person, so it becomes a very impersonal service. Alot of these companies don't even bother to put their mailing address on their website or any personal information about themselves or their business. Definitely a distinct difference between them and a reputable agent for sure. They want your money; a good agent wants your business.

When you call these online sites, you're dealing with someone who is not a certified travel agent, works in a call center, has worked there less than 6 months, and has never been on a cruise or to any of the ports. They are only there to sell you something, not to provide service. And their assistance in time of need can be nonexistent. It's when you really need help that you understand the importance of a good agent, especially if you problems with the cruise line. A reputable agent can be worth their weight in gold in situations like that!

As for your cruise, the information the agent provided is not right. While they can put a complimentary hold on your cabin for up to a week without any money and the deposit is $250, final payment is not due December 1, 2014. Don't know why they're requesting final payment two weeks earlier, but that's another red flag being sent up and another reason to be careful with a company like that. Also, if they're going to charge your credit card instead of the cruise line charging your credit card, I would definitely be running the other way.

Also, I would be asking about any fees they charge, such as a fee if you cancel prior the final payment due date or a fee if you have to change anything. There should be no fees for either of these. I know one company in particular that we've heard alot of complaints about because they don't tell you they have any fees. You have to read it in their fine print and you don't find out about them until you make a change and then it's "surprise!"

But as for booking now or waiting, I always suggest booking as soon as possible. Save up the money for the deposit and then book it. Right now may be the cheapest rate ever offered for this cruise and prices could continue to go up. So if you wait, you may pay more. Plus, you have the best choices of cabins by booking early, whereas later your choices may be limited, especially if you want a certain type of cabin. And if the prices go down, your agent can get the rates lowered provided final payment has not yet been made. There are alot of benefits to booking early and no good benefit to waiting.

Let us know if you have any questions about all this.

Pete
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Old April 28th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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Old April 30th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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Just a little update. I spoke with the on line service I used to book a cruise.Marie thats the lady we spoke to told me even tho the cruise we booked was not in the promotion for a waived deposit that they would honor it anyway. Just looked at Caribbeans website and are reservation is there and it shows a reserved room on deck 8 room 8590.
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Old April 30th, 2013, 02:41 PM
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First, there was no 'waived' deposit promotion offered by RCCL. There was a reduced deposit promotion, but no 'waived' promotion. So if they're telling you that RCCL was offering a 'waived' deposit promotion, they are not telling you the truth. It's quite possible that their company was advertising a waived deposit promotion, but it wasn't RCCL - I know that for a fact! But usually when companies do this sort of promotion, which goes against the cruise line's policies, they almost always charge a fee for this service. (They're not going to tie up their money for nothing.)

Second, the agency you're talking to cannot 'honor' this so-called promotion and waive your deposit. They are required to provide a deposit in order to secure the reservation beyond the complimentary hold period, which in this case is 7 days. They can request an extension to that hold period, but it is only for a few more days. They cannot hold it beyond that period without a deposit. The only way they can do that is to deposit the money out of their pocket and then wait until you make the deposit with them.

However, and this is extremely important, when you do make the deposit, you need to make sure that they do not charge your credit card and that the cruise line is the one charging your credit card.

I would be interested to hear the date they have told you when you have to come up with the deposit and what the amount is. As I said, it would not surprise me to see them charge you a fee for this service as I've seen other companies do this before and they should be avoided at all costs as they are the ones we see with the most complaints.

Quite frankly, I have a difficult time trusting a company like that and I would still be looking for a reputable agent you can talk to and will provide you all the correct information as well as being able to answer all your detailed questions about the cruise and the ports of call.

Pete
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Old April 30th, 2013, 03:44 PM
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Pete is basically right in this context...

There are agencies who do all they can to make money on "volume" and that often involves doing things like making a deposit for you in your name and waiting for you to repay them, or else they cancel the booking when the final payment becomes due (assuming you booked a cruise which is fully refundable if canceled more than say 90 days out) and they get their refund back.

What happens with companies like this is "money-flow" problems. There have been many cases where such agencies start borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and soon they are dipping into money they have no right to touch.

This is why you have to be very careful - especially with a booking that is so far out.

I have heard of many cases where people were not notified that a final payment was due - and so the booking was canceled and the deposit was lost, for example. Only a travel agent who does not specialize in cruises would make a mistake like that.

This is why you need a travel agent who is well-establish and who specializes in cruises. As long as an agent plays by the rules and watches his business on a daily basis he will do fine. But a "discount" agency that is hiring people at minimum wage who come & go to handle very large volumes of bookings is a disaster waiting to happen.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 01:35 AM
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Very well stated, Paul!

Pete
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Old May 1st, 2013, 07:31 AM
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Ok lets see . The final payment is due on Nov 21st 2014 and the $500 deposit will be charged to my credit card on Nov 11th 2014. I went on the R.C web site and it shows a $500.00 credit to my account.So I guess they did pay my Deposit for me Or else how would I have a confirmed reservation? And I have not been charged for anything else yet.So lets see I called up to make a reservation and the Lady makes a mistake and offerd me a promotion deal that my Cruise does not Qualify for. She talks to her Supervisor and they stand behind the original agrement.I get a confirmed reservation and it has not cost me anything out of my pocket yet. So far I dont see any reason to be unhappy with this service.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 02:33 PM
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Yes, it does sound like so far, so good.

But did you check the fine print to see if there's any hidden fees? Tough to imagine a company 'footing' the bill for your deposit out of their own pocket for 1-1/2 years and not charging you something for it. Wish someone would give me $500 for 18 months and then let me pay them back $500 without any interest or fees.

Let's see, the facts are; deposit due 11/11/14, final payment due on 11/21/14 - 10 days later, yet the final payment is not due to RCCL until 12/1/14. All this and they're 'loaning' you $500 for 18 months.

Sounds too good to be true, but I wish you luck.

Pete
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