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-   -   i (a very experienced travel) has just been robbed by holland america (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/holland-america/399796-i-very-experienced-travel-has-just-been-robbed-holland-america.html)

matt bowers November 9th, 2013 12:36 PM

i (a very experienced travel) has just been robbed by holland america
 
having over 200 nights at sea I consider myself fairly travel wise. I booked a trip directly with Holland America for dec 14th. the booking agent told me she couldn't book the trip as a single and add the second person later. I asked what the name change fee would be and was told minimal. when I called to change the guest name today I nominal fee is THE TOTAL FARE. after 2 supervisers I was told if I call their corperate i'll just be bounced back to them. great service?? now I know why I love celebrity, when I had to change a guest with them it was $50. So look for me in ports with a "NEVER BOOK WITH HOLLAND AMERICA " shirt on. and I'm not joking. the $1300 they stole from me will cost them hundreds of customers.

Trip November 9th, 2013 02:01 PM

It's very frustrating to have this type of scenario happen. Not the kind of response one wants to hear, is that your complaint will just come back here!!

Do you always book directly with cruise lines? The people who bookk your cruise are order takers,and I honestly feel that if you do book with a cruise specialty agency, it would eliminate most errors,and you have someone being pro active in your corner. If you do continue to book directlery, it can be turned over to a ta shortly thereafter.

Hope in spite of everything, you enjoy your cruise.

storybookcruises.com November 9th, 2013 04:51 PM

As Trip said, this is why you should always book with an agent and not directly with the cruise line. When you call them, you're talking to someone who works in a call center, is not a certified travel agent, has never been on a cruise, and has usually worked for the cruise line for less than 6 months. Their only job is to sell and their information is extremely limited.

I'm sorry you got the wrong information from the rep you talked to, but unfortunately this is not uncommon for all the cruise lines, not just one. I hear stories about things like this concerning all the cruise lines, so don't think you're immune by booking one of the other ones.

Pete

ruthlessboss November 9th, 2013 08:55 PM

Maybe he wasn't given the wrong info. We don't know if he was booking solo paying for 1 bed, paying on a solo special, or if he paid double to start with. If he paid double, why couldn't he add someone? Maybe the ship is already at capacity?

felix_the_cat November 10th, 2013 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ruthlessboss (Post 1488812)
Maybe he wasn't given the wrong info. We don't know if he was booking solo paying for 1 bed, paying on a solo special, or if he paid double to start with. If he paid double, why couldn't he add someone? Maybe the ship is already at capacity?


He said he paid for 2 and was told he could change one name later. You really need to read his post again. He was already in a double - he was just changing the name of the second person. Yes, he was given wrong info by the order taker who just wanted the booking.

This is where he should have had a TA in his corner. Travel agents work for the client, not the cruise line.

Manuel November 11th, 2013 06:45 AM

Always use a good TA.

If you do you avoid a lot of problems.

TM

ruthlessboss November 11th, 2013 07:21 AM

I still think it was a confusing post of who or who wasn't booked. Just when you think it's figured out, it isn't. Why did he lose $1300 dollars?

felix_the_cat November 11th, 2013 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ruthlessboss (Post 1488950)
I still think it was a confusing post of who or who wasn't booked. Just when you think it's figured out, it isn't. Why did he lose $1300 dollars?


I interpret what he said to mean, they charged him $1300 to change the name of the second guest.

ruthlessboss November 11th, 2013 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by felix_the_cat (Post 1488953)
I interpret what he said to mean, they charged him $1300 to change the name of the second guest.

It doesn't make any sense. I wonder if the first was worked out to be a cancellation, and then a rebook for the new name.

felix_the_cat November 11th, 2013 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ruthlessboss (Post 1488957)
It doesn't make any sense. I wonder if the first was worked out to be a cancellation, and then a rebook for the new name.


This bothers me - Normally I use polar when booking my clients, but I'm going to phone them directly. I'll let you know.

iuki November 11th, 2013 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matt bowers (Post 1488789)
having over 200 nights at sea I consider myself fairly travel wise. I booked a trip directly with Holland America for dec 14th. the booking agent told me she couldn't book the trip as a single and add the second person later. I asked what the name change fee would be and was told minimal. when I called to change the guest name today I nominal fee is THE TOTAL FARE. after 2 supervisers I was told if I call their corperate i'll just be bounced back to them. great service?? now I know why I love celebrity, when I had to change a guest with them it was $50. So look for me in ports with a "NEVER BOOK WITH HOLLAND AMERICA " shirt on. and I'm not joking. the $1300 they stole from me will cost them hundreds of customers.



Since you just booked directly with HAL, why not cancel the whole thing and get a full refund?

felix_the_cat November 11th, 2013 10:04 AM

This is how it goes with HAL - the rules vary depending on many things.

If booked under the 5 day flash - no change at all.

Whether and how much on other cruises depend on category booked, promotion booked, length of cruise, how close in cruise was booked.

They seem to have a lot of variables therefore, my best advise would be to be very careful.

In saying that, on a group I had earlier this year, there was some roomie changes and I had no problem doing these.

felix_the_cat November 11th, 2013 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iuki (Post 1488961)
Since you just booked directly with HAL, why not cancel the whole thing and get a full refund?


He's well past final payment - he/she can't just cancel and rebook.

ruthlessboss November 11th, 2013 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by felix_the_cat (Post 1488971)
He's well past final payment - he/she can't just cancel and rebook.

I knew he was past final payment, so that's what leads me to think he lost the fare for passenger 2 through a cancellation.
I still can't grasp why a name change should be the way OP describes.
Last time I checked, the OP posted his gripe and hasn't checked back into this site.

felix_the_cat November 11th, 2013 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ruthlessboss (Post 1488981)
I knew he was past final payment, so that's what leads me to think he lost the fare for passenger 2 through a cancellation.
I still can't grasp why a name change should be the way OP describes.
Last time I checked, the OP posted his gripe and hasn't checked back into this site.


I think the problem lies in the multitude of maybe's HAL has. If this or that seems to be the way it is. I'm assuming he didn't ask all the necessary questions when he booked such as asking how close to sailing could he make a name change - which was probably no name change after final payment and he was past final payment when he tried.

I'll just reiterate what I said before - he should have used a TA especially since he knew on booking he could have some issues.

ruthlessboss November 11th, 2013 05:56 PM

well, onto the next thread. It's his problem and cares not to come back here.

Matelot November 14th, 2013 01:07 PM

They record all calls don't they- I think they should listen to his original call and if he was really told by their employee that a name change would generate a "minimal" fee then they should correct it in his favor. IMO.

Paul Motter December 16th, 2013 02:23 PM

Matelot - while agree with you on principle, the rules are the rules, so I doubt the cruise line would agree to let him hear the original call.

I really do NOT understand why a cruise line would ever charge more than a minimum fee to change a passenger's name as long as they had plenty of notice.
Just another way to make more money, it seems.

Normally I will defend cruise line policies, because I understand the logic behind them, but not in this case. It seems like a "gotcha."

And I agree with CP that other cruise lines probably do the same thing.

Barbara1 January 16th, 2014 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matt bowers (Post 1488789)
having over 200 nights at sea I consider myself fairly travel wise. I booked a trip directly with Holland America for dec 14th. the booking agent told me she couldn't book the trip as a single and add the second person later. I asked what the name change fee would be and was told minimal. when I called to change the guest name today I nominal fee is THE TOTAL FARE. after 2 supervisers I was told if I call their corperate i'll just be bounced back to them. great service?? now I know why I love celebrity, when I had to change a guest with them it was $50. So look for me in ports with a "NEVER BOOK WITH HOLLAND AMERICA " shirt on. and I'm not joking. the $1300 they stole from me will cost them hundreds of customers.

Some friends invited my husband and I to go on a cruise with Holland America in April. My husband says he doesn't want to fly 8hrs to Athens where the cruise begins. I phoned HA and inquired about this cruise, but refused to give a name or any information, since it was not relevant at this time. They said it would be almost double if I went alone in a cabin. It is so good to know that I should not sign up myself and later add a companion if I can find a friend to go with. The bottom line is they will get double no matter what.

Paul Motter January 16th, 2014 05:42 PM

Barbara - what they were telling you about, if you traveled solo, is the singles supplement - which means if you occupy a room sold as "double occupancy" (which is 99.99% of all cabins) as a solo, you have to pay the double occupancy fee.

I would like to think that most cruise lines DO allow you to change the name of a traveling companion, or change a singles booking to a double booking, as long as you do it within a decent amount of lead time before the cruise.

But I am not an expert in this field, - maybe one of our travel agent friends will chime in here, someone who knows this situation intimately.

storybookcruises.com January 16th, 2014 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barbara1 (Post 1493220)
Some friends invited my husband and I to go on a cruise with Holland America in April. My husband says he doesn't want to fly 8hrs to Athens where the cruise begins. I phoned HA and inquired about this cruise, but refused to give a name or any information, since it was not relevant at this time. They said it would be almost double if I went alone in a cabin. It is so good to know that I should not sign up myself and later add a companion if I can find a friend to go with. The bottom line is they will get double no matter what.

This is normal for most cruise lines, not just Holland America.

The advertised price consists of two fares; the cruise fare and the port fees (aka non-commissionable fees). When traveling alone, all cruise lines will add a single supplement - usually double the cruise fare, what we call a 200% supplement. Sometimes specials will be offered whereby the single rate may be 150% or 125%. In the past, we would even get specials that had it as 100%, but that doesn't happen much anymore.

Now here's the thing; the port fees should only be included once for a single because that's what they pay. However, alot of cruise lines will double the port fees just to make extra profit, which is unfair to the single traveler. Personally, I think this ought to be outlawed.

To show how this works, as an example, NCL will charge the port fees once to a single booking one of their special single cabins on the Epic. But if a single books any other cabin, then they are charged the port fees twice, even though the ports charge based on the number of people on the ship, not for the number of berths.

So, when a single books one of these cruises, they are, in affect, paying double for the cruise fare and the port fees, but not for the taxes. If you were to book a single rate and then later add another person, the only difference would be the extra taxes. There are no fees for adding a second person, so the initial post does not tell the true story on how all this works.

This is why it pays to use a good travel agent who can not only explain all this to you, but can be of tremendous help should any problems arise. If you book directly with the cruise line and have problems, who do you think they represent? Plus, all advertised rates are based on double occupancy. Your agent call check to see who's offering the best overall rate for a single and it may not be the one that showed the cheapest rate for two people.

Pete

Paul Motter January 16th, 2014 06:08 PM

Amen, Mr. Pete...

There are a lot of rules and things to know before you start traveling overseas, so it always helps to have an advocate, and someone who is there to double-check all of your details so you don't make a mistake.

Travel agents really ARE worth their weight in shrimp cocktails :p - we recommend that everyone use one.

jpainter01 July 27th, 2014 06:37 PM

How do I find a good TA?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Manuel (Post 1488948)
Always use a good TA.

If you do you avoid a lot of problems.

TM

I've never used a TA before. What do I look for to find one that really knows the "ins and outs" of cruising?

Thank you for any recommendations.

storybookcruises.com July 27th, 2014 06:45 PM

When you're looking for an agent, just don't look for a general travel agent. You also want one who is a Cruise Specialist. Ask alot of questions; how long have they been doing it? How many clients do they have? How many cruises have they been on? What cruise lines have they cruised with? Where have they cruised? Etc, etc.

Check out their website; is it professional looking? It is a cookie-cutter website with no personal information on it?

It's like finding a person in any profession - you want somebody you feel comfortable with, somebody who cares about you, somebody who is not in a hurry and takes time to answer all your questions, somebody who is readily available when you need them and responds back to you in a timely manner, and somebody who asks you questions so they can help you find the perfect cruise for you. And stay away from agents who are always 'recommending' things. Remember, we're different people and we like different things, so what one person lovers, another will hate. A good agent will provide you as much information as you can handle so you can make an informed decision on what's best for you.

Pete


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