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Old May 12th, 2003, 02:19 PM
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Default Question for recent cruisers on Princess

When you were on your cruise, what incentive did they give you for booking a future cruise while onboard?

I am thinking about booking one for this fall, and don't know if I should wait until my cruise this summer.

Thanks!

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Old May 12th, 2003, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Hi Cking,
Why wait, I'd book now if you already know what ship and when. I don't recall any great incentives while on board and for me I'd much rather use a good travel agent anyway. If there are any price decreases, he/she should lower it for you then.

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Old May 12th, 2003, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Thanks Donna!

Sometimes they will give you shipboard credit, and still give your travel agent full credit for the booking, so I wanted to see if anyone has just come back and if they were offering this.

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Old May 12th, 2003, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

I wouldn't book anything with that line on board. From what I have heard, they promise you the world and then change their minds at the drop of a hat!
One example:

You pre-book onboard, you give yourself an OBC. Then, you book a cruise/tour and change your mind. There goes your onboard credit because after one booking, you loose it from what I have heard from other passengers.

Thought you might like to know
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Old May 12th, 2003, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

There is no risk with booking on board. They work with your TA, who should make sure you get the best price if they are doing the job correctly as they will get their full commission. You only have to put down a $100 deposit per person which is fully transferable or refundable if you decide later you don't want to cruise. You get varying shipboard credits, in addition to any discounts or credits your TA gives you, based on the price of the cruise. I think it goes up to $150. They also have information on cruises that haven't been announced yet. We were initially interested in a Saphire Princess cruise that was scheduled for the end of 2004 that goes from LA to Sydney. It turned out that we would not get home until Christmas Eve, which wouldn't work for us. Plus, although we like long cruises, this one was 30 days and we haven't worked up to that level yet. 20 is the longest so far.

Also, I wanted to talk to a few TAs before I booked as to what they are willing to do for me since I'll just be tossing the commission in their lap with little or no work on their part. I have the advantage of having two more cruises that I have already booked to still book other future cruises on board.
Frank-in-CA
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Old May 13th, 2003, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

They work with your TA, who should make sure you get the best price if they are doing the job correctly as they will get their full commission. You only have to put down a $100 deposit per person which is fully transferable or refundable if you decide later you don't want to cruise

I would check with Princess Frank. I have seen them cancel those bookings and amenities because people wanted to change their minds on a particular cruise.
Princess is the most nonconsistent company I have ever seen!
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Old May 13th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Princess allows "phantom" cruises to be booked onboard, which means you can book a cruise that is "to be determined"...say you having decided where you want to go, only that you know you will cruise again in the next two years. These are good for about two years.

Pea
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Old May 13th, 2003, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Princess provides a printed flyer that puts all these promises in writing.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

only speaking for myself, and my dealings with Princess, once you have that OBC its yours to do with whatever you wish, have not had it "taken away" because i changed my mind.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

<<<Princess provides a printed flyer that puts all these promises in writing.>>>

They put a LOT of things in writing, but always find a way not to deliver!
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Old May 14th, 2003, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

I have done this twice on Princess for cruises I've already taken and have just recently done it again. I believe it is actually good for close to 4 years and is totally refundable if you decide not to cruise. All you do is put down $100 and you do not have to book anything. They give you a booking number which you then give to whatever travel agent you decide to use and that $100 then serves as your whole deposit -- nothing else is due until final payment. You get shipboard credit based on what type of room you book on your cruise once you book it. The more expensive room, the more shipboard credit, obviously. We have used the same agent both times and have not had any problems. We have not decided where we want to go next, so have not contacted him with our most recent booking number. I would certainly do this again!
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Old May 14th, 2003, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Donna,

Why wait, I'd book now if you already know what ship and when. I don't recall any great incentives while on board and for me I'd much rather use a good travel agent anyway. If there are any price decreases, he/she should lower it for you then.

Princess actually has two very significant incentives for booking future cruises aboard ship.

>> 1. Princess reduces the deposit required on the booking to $100 per person.

>> 2. There's an automatic shipboard credit, which ranges from $25 per person to $150 per person depending upon the length of the cruise and the type of cabin that one books.

Additionally, the booking agent aboard ship actually will assign the booking to your travel agent so your travel agent will handle the booking after you return home.

I do have one caution about this option, though. Some travel agencies now impose a service charge ($50 per person seems typical) if you cancel a booking after you make the initial deposit, and you have to go though your travel agent if your travel agent's name is on the booking. Thus, your net may be only half of the deposit if you cancel the booking after you return home.

Norm.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Nikki,

You pre-book onboard, you give yourself an OBC. Then, you book a cruise/tour and change your mind. There goes your onboard credit because after one booking, you loose it from what I have heard from other passengers.

That is not Princess's policy. The booking is in fact fully amendable until the date for final payment. It is a little bit of a pain (your travel agent has to enter the new booking into the system, then call Princess to have a representative there transfer the "onboard booking" benefits and the deposit from one booking to the other), but this is actually the same procedure that Princess follows to convert an "open booking" to a specific itinerary.

What does happen if you change your booking, though, is that Princess recomputes the shipboard credit based upon the revised booking. Thus, if you book a suite on a fifteen-day cruise (which qualifies for the maximum credit of $150) and subsequently change the booking to an inside cabin on a seven-day cruise, your shipboard credit becomes only $25 per person.

Norm.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Sorry Norm, seen it happen too many times. I have seen people actually LOOSE their OBC.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Norm:
I'm thinking that if I book on board and give a TA the credit, don't they make a nice commission for doing nothing? In cases like this, it would seem that the TA should split the commission with the client, in the form of discount or additional on board credit, wouldn't you think? Unless I make some changes, haven't I simplified the TA's job and deserve a share of the commission?

I'd like opinions on this as I plan to talk to a few TA's to see which ones may be the most cooperative about this. However, if it is shown to me that the TA still does as much work as when I hand them this commission on a so-called silver platter, I'll think otherwise.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Good point Frank! I'd love to hear the replys, so please post them here.

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Old May 15th, 2003, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

And I don't want to here the old story of making up for those travelers that take a lot of the TA's time. I take very little TA time but I hand them a very nice commission, probably the largest of any item they book as airlines no longer pay and hotels don't have the price tag that a cruise does. I'm waiting for a response.
Frank
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Old May 15th, 2003, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Frank,

I'm thinking that if I book on board and give a TA the credit, don't they make a nice commission for doing nothing? In cases like this, it would seem that the TA should split the commission with the client, in the form of discount or additional on board credit, wouldn't you think? Unless I make some changes, haven't I simplified the TA's job and deserve a share of the commission?

The "Future Cruise Consultant" enters the booking into the system and takes your deposit -- but that's a very small piece of the action. Your travel agent still has a lot of work to do.

>> 1. If it's an open booking, your travel agent converts it to a booking for an actual cruise. If you change your mind on itineraries, your changes the booking to the itiernary that you want.

>> 2. Your travel agent arranges your flights or other transportation to or from your cruise, your transfers, and any land tour packages or hotel stays before or after your cruise, or at least verifies such arrangements if you happened to include them in the original booking to ensure that they are valid.

>> 3. Your travel agent collects and submits your final payment to the cruise line.

>> 4. Your travel agent delivers your information package to you.

>> 5. Your travel agent delivers your tickets to you.

If you were to initiate the booking through your travel agent, all that would change is the first step -- and the change would be pretty insigificant.

I think that your travel agent still deserves the full commission.

However, if it is shown to me that the TA still does as much work as when I hand them this commission on a so-called silver platter, I'll think otherwise.

See above. As we say in mathematics, Q. E. D.

Norm.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Nicole,

Sorry Norm, seen it happen too many times. I have seen people actually LOOSE their OBC.

Yes, if you cancel the booking, you lose your shipboard credit.

If you decide to change itinerary, your travel agent has to call Princess and have your benefits transferred before deleting the existing booking. If your travel agent mishandles this, you lose. Nonetheless, the fault is with your travel agent rather than with Princess.

Norm.
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Old May 16th, 2003, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Frank,

I booked on board then transferred the booking to my TA. She still had a lot to do, since Princess changed ships and prices dropped. She also took care of diversions to our air, which we booked through the cruise line because it was open-jaw. She made sure we got the price reductions and additional credit for the change of ships. I think she earned her commission, plus she sent us a couple of bottles of wine as welcome aboard gifts.

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Old May 16th, 2003, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

If you take a "to-be-determined" cruise and are working through a travel agent, when you do choose a cruise, you will get the price the agent gives you, which generally will be less than Princess' prices. TAs usually refund back to the customer part of their commission in the form of a discounted fare. So, yes, the TA has earned their commission...and given you part of it to boot! Plus, they keep track of any price reductions, make sure everything is ok, keep apprised of an changes in itinerary, etc.

Pea
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Old May 17th, 2003, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Thanks to all that responded as I needed that information. I am trying out two new TAs at the moment and it will be interesting if either of them comes up with price reductions on the cruises I've booked.

It sounds like one is ahead of the game by booking on board for 2 reasons, the low down payment and the on board credit. The difficult part comes with insurance. The one that I use has no preconditions if I purchase the insurance within 14 days of making my deposit. This would mean that I'd have to be pretty specific with the cruise I select and can't do a "to be determined" arrangement.
Frank
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Old May 19th, 2003, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Frank,

Why bother with travel insurance?

What most people forget is that insurance companies are like casinos -- they are not in business to lose money. If you buy insurance, the premium must be sufficient to cover the settlements that the insurance company typically pays out in claims, which they can predict statistically to very good accuracy when averaged over a large number of policies, plus the cost of processing both the policies and all claims arising under the policies, applicable sales commissions, and the insurance company's profit on the sale of the policy. Thus, it's fairly obvious that the sum of all claims is a relatively small percentage of the premiums. From an economic standpoint, therefore, it's best not to buy insurance unless the potential loss is so great that one cannot afford it.

If one can't afford to lose the cost of a vacation if an emergency forces its cancellation, one probably cannot afford the vacation in the first place.

OTOH, one might want to verify that one's health insurance will provide coverage if one has a medical emergency while travelling abroad. Most plans do, but a few -- probably including Medicare -- do not.

Norm.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Actual, your TBD isn't consider booked until you pick a cruise and get an official booking number for the specific cruise. I'll double check that with me TA just to be sure. Sent her off an email right now.

The value in cruise insurance lies in the medical part of it. I've heard horror stories about people who didn't have the insurance and had to get medi-vacced out of some distant location....at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. All of those people thought "that will never happen to me" and it did. So, I spend the money for the insurance for peace of mind. Many health insurance policies do not cover medical evacuations in foreign countries. Geez, my insurance company doesn't want to even pay for medical evacuations in state (like a injury while hiking where a helicopter may be the only way out).

Pea
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Old May 19th, 2003, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Pea,
Have to agree with you, the basic reason I always carry travel insurance, same reasons you just stated. Being the peace of mind number one.

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Old May 19th, 2003, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Frank,
We booked onboard our last cruise, and did book a particular cruise, and I DID buy insurance right away to cover preexisting conditions. We weren't sure we were going to go on this cruise, so I made sure to ask beforehand, if the insurance was transferable to a different cruise on a different date. It was. We buy our own insurance, and have done so before. We did have to change a cruise one time, and didn't go for another 8 months, and the insurance was good for that trip. The stipulation was that you had to advise them of a change before the date of the first cruise that you were cancelling.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Plus, if you cancel before fnial payment, the insurance is generally refundable. We cancelled a cruise to Hawaii several years ago and got all of the money back, including insurance. I just thinks it is wise to get the insurance.

Pea
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Old May 19th, 2003, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

This comes directly from my TA, a Princess cruise specialist:

"If you have a "Z" booking and it's not assigned to a specific cruise and then I assign it when you figure out which ship you want they will give me a new booking # and the date that I get that specific ship/date is when the dates start for insurance. You then have 14 days to get insurance and still be covered for pre-existing conditions."

Pea
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Old May 19th, 2003, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

Norm:
My neighbor is a seasoned traveler, having taken many cruises. However, due to a recent minor stroke, he has had some memory problems. On his last cruise, he had a stroke after they had left Cabo San Lucas and they were out too far at sea for a regular medivac. The Coast Guard was summoned but they couldn't land on the ship as their helipad was too small. (Not a Princess, it was a Celebrity ship.) He was brought out in the basket and taken to Scripps in San Diego. And after taking so many cruises where they'd taken out insurance, guess what he forgot to do for this one? Yes, no insurance and it cost a bundle.

I was able to contact someone who was on the same cruise and took a photo of the extractions. It's attached to this message.

And that's why I'll invest in cruise insurance, I just won't buy the overpriced and under covered version Princess sells.
Frank

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Old May 19th, 2003, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Re: Question for recent cruisers on Princess

>"If you have a "Z" booking and it's not assigned to a specific cruise and then I assign it when you figure out which ship you want they will give me a new booking # and the date that I get that specific ship/date is when the dates start for insurance. You then have 14 days to get insurance and still be covered for pre-existing conditions."<

Pea:
That's great news. I think I'll prebook on our next cruise. Thanks.
Frank
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