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Old December 29th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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Default How do you prepare for Cruise Bumping?

This is a follow-on from the post "Be Prepared - do your homework".

How do you prepare for Cruise Bumping?

Using a travel agent of course would be the top answer - so I thought. But apparently this doesn't compute.

How do you "prepare" for such a possibility?

Thanks
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Old December 29th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: How do you prepare for Cruise Bumping?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer1234
This is a follow-on from the post "Be Prepared - do your homework".

How do you prepare for Cruise Bumping?

Using a travel agent of course would be the top answer - so I thought. But apparently this doesn't compute.

How do you "prepare" for such a possibility?

Thanks
I don't follow what is Cruise Bumping?
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Old December 29th, 2007, 01:53 PM
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Bump right back :evil:
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Old December 29th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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Perhaps I slept through "Cruise 101" but I thought this would be covered under the cancellation clause of your travel insurance? However, I went back and looked at my travel insurance policy we purchased for our last cruise and it did not cover being bumped. Which is something I was unaware of. I think that on our next cruise I will look at this a little more closely and see if there are policies that offer this sort of coverage.

Cruise bumping is basically when the cruise line cancels your cruise, usually to charter it to a private party. Do you remember the big stink that was produced when NCL cancelled several peoples long awaited cruise on the Pearl to charter it to Rosie O'Donnell and friends last year?

We can be more flexible than most folks with regard to rescheduling. However, many people get only one or two weeks of vacation a year and rescheduling is not an option for them, those are the people I really hate to see this sort of thing happen to. There ought to be a law, lol!

With regard to the original poster's question, how one should prepare for bumping?

I guess I would just simply be prepared to raise lot's of hell until they see things my way, or compensate me to a degree I am not angry and frustrated, or losing additional money due to them bumping me anymore.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 06:46 PM
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Cruise bumping is not like flight bumping in that when a cruise ship cancels your reservation, unless it is for mechanical problems with the ship (covered by most policies), there is ample time to reschedule another cruise.

The problem with the Rosie O'Donnell situation was that this ship was leaving out of NYC if I am not mistaken. NYC has far fewer ships to chose from then say, Miami or Port Carneveral. Again, this cruise was cancelled a few months prior to sail date so besides the initial disappointment, there was plenty of time to find another cruise during that same week.

I think the vast majority of reservations that are bumped are those that have been booked far in advance before the various organizations have made their request to block out entire ship/decks.

You can't prepare for the unforseeable. You have to just roll with the punches.

Also, I would rather be bumped than to be put on a ship that of booked 75% or more of the ship to any special interest group (don't care which interest).
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Old December 29th, 2007, 10:04 PM
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Well what occurs to me as a huge issue is for those folks who live far from the port and have already purchased their airfare. For example we have booked a Transatlantic for November. I am getting ready to purchase airfare at the moment and will probably spend close to $2000 just for airfare before it is all said and done. If they were to bump us off this cruise. We would be SOL.

Also for people who get one or two weeks of vacations yearly, sometimes they do not have the luxury of getting extra time off at a later date to take a cruise. If they are lucky enough to find a cruise going to their desired destinations out of the same port or nearby where they were originally sailing from on the same date, that would be great, but it's not too likely.

I do have to agree I prefer to cruise with a vast mix of people and would prefer not to be cruising with a huge group that has basically taken over the ship.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 10:14 PM
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Question:

When the cruiseline "bumps" passengers, do them give them any type of compensation for the inconvenience?

I would think that the cruiseline would help somewhat when it comes to travel arrangements. If they give you advance notice, airline tickets can be changed for $100 or less per ticket. I wonder if the cruiseline takes on this cost or at least give some sort of discount for the rescheduled cruise.

If it is a group that is asking for a certain number of cabins and the ship can only accommodate this group by bumping someone else, then the cruiseline personnel gets on the phone and start to make calls offering all kinds of deals in order to give people incentive to give up their cabins for that particular ship/date.

When a ship is pulled for the entire cruise, I do not believe the cruiselines just calls, cancels and say, "oops, too bad -- oh so sad."
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Old December 29th, 2007, 10:49 PM
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That makes sense to a degree and I see what you are saying, but I can sure see why people who get bumped really get upset and frustrated. Also bear in mind that you can change most airline tickets for $100 or less. But they also can and do charge you the difference in cost on top of the change fee. I am not sure how that would work on our international flights that I am purchasing 11 months in advance. Generally as the time approaches the price goes up. Also we would have to change 8 tickets, Four tickets from Chicago to London and 4 tickets from London to Italy. Thats $800 even if there is no difference in the price of fares. That is a substantially chunk out of my cruise budget. I do not recall them offering that much for a bumped passenger.

I have been called once when they overbooked a ship though and I hope that the next time they call I have the opportunity to take their offer. Last March we were booked on the Sun and I had booked d/h to be working the day after it was to return, so our plans were written in stone. But they called and offerred me a full refund and a free cruise the following week. I had to turn it down, darn it! My parents were coming with us. I should have just let them go lol, then we could have gone a few weeks later without them lol.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 11:11 PM
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It is like the airlines ..they will ask for people to take the bump and offer some compensation...
if the cruise is oversold you do not have to accept the offer they will keep going down the list of passengers till they have enough cabins.

Depending on the cruise line they will also pay your air cancellation fees if you booked your own air.

Prepare if you are bumped....maybe just have a land based vacation in the same area as the port of embarkation if you cannot cancel your air or re arrange your time off.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 11:48 AM
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Bumping, voluntary or involuntary can happen on any cruise. There is a major difference between a ship being oversold and a customer being bumped because of a full ship charter. With an oversold ship the cruise line will, almost always, offer incentives to people in order for them to book another cruise or sail on another ship that leaves at the same time.

Here is Royal Caribbean's policy:

Carrier may for any reason, at any time and without prior notice, cancel, advance,
postpone or deviate from any scheduled sailing or port of call, or substitute another vessel
or port of call, and shall not be liable for any loss whatsoever to Passenger by reason of
such cancellation, advancement, postponement, substitution or deviation.


On a full ship charter the cruise line has already received a large sum of money and really isn't "that" interested in offering to give people extra money or other compensation in order to have them sail on another cruise.

If the ship is overbooked the cruise line will, most likely, offer you an incentive, of some sort, to cancel and go on another cruise. A common incentive is: A full refund and XX% off your next cruise. If the incentive isn't good enough for you then hold out for more or take the cruise.

If the ship is "chartered" by a private group all the cruise line is required to give you is the money you paid the cruise line for your cruise. If the cruise is six months away, or less, the cruise line will "usually" offer some sort of additional compensation. If it is a year out then you may only receive your cruise fare.

Full ship charters are a big money maker for cruise lines and they will gladly charter out an entire ship, especially during off peak times, rather than having to cut fares, as the cruise approaches, in order to fill the ship. A less than full ship is not good for the bottom line.

Some things that you may want to know about bumping.

1. "Almost" all travel insurances will NOT compensate you for your cruise fare. The cruise line refunds this amount and the travel insurance company will not give you a windfall profit because of it. You would basically receive twice the amount of the cruise price if they did.

2. Travel insurance will pay for your, unused, non-refundable airfare in the event you are bumped, BUT if the airline gives you a credit, that you can use at a later date, the insurance company will deduct that credit from the total cost of the airfare.

3. If you are bumped the cruise line will not refund your airfare unless you purchased the airfare through the cruiseline.

4. A full ship charter is "more likely" to happen on a smaller ship than a large one. There are very few groups, other than a "Rosie" cruise, that can fill a 3,000 passenger ship.

5. Charters usually occur 9-12 months before the sailing date.

6. The cruise contract expressly reads that the cruise line may cancel your cruise and you will be refunded your cruise fare or deposit. That's all.

7. All cruise lines have bumped or given incentives for people willing to cancel their cruise because the ship was oversold.

8. The most notable cruise lines for canceling cruises because the ship was chartered by a private group are: Holland America, Seaborne, Royal Caribbean and NCL.

The good news is: Both, bumping and canceling occur but they ARE NOT the norm so your chances of being bumped or your ship being chartered out from under you are small.

Take care,
Mike [/i]
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Old December 31st, 2007, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
Bumping, voluntary or involuntary can happen on any cruise. There is a major difference between a ship being oversold and a customer being bumped because of a full ship charter. With an oversold ship the cruise line will, almost always, offer incentives to people in order for them to book another cruise or sail on another ship that leaves at the same time.

Here is Royal Caribbean's policy:

Carrier may for any reason, at any time and without prior notice, cancel, advance,
postpone or deviate from any scheduled sailing or port of call, or substitute another vessel
or port of call, and shall not be liable for any loss whatsoever to Passenger by reason of
such cancellation, advancement, postponement, substitution or deviation.


On a full ship charter the cruise line has already received a large sum of money and really isn't "that" interested in offering to give people extra money or other compensation in order to have them sail on another cruise.

If the ship is overbooked the cruise line will, most likely, offer you an incentive, of some sort, to cancel and go on another cruise. A common incentive is: A full refund and XX% off your next cruise. If the incentive isn't good enough for you then hold out for more or take the cruise.

If the ship is "chartered" by a private group all the cruise line is required to give you is the money you paid the cruise line for your cruise. If the cruise is six months away, or less, the cruise line will "usually" offer some sort of additional compensation. If it is a year out then you may only receive your cruise fare.

Full ship charters are a big money maker for cruise lines and they will gladly charter out an entire ship, especially during off peak times, rather than having to cut fares, as the cruise approaches, in order to fill the ship. A less than full ship is not good for the bottom line.

Some things that you may want to know about bumping.

1. "Almost" all travel insurances will NOT compensate you for your cruise fare. The cruise line refunds this amount and the travel insurance company will not give you a windfall profit because of it. You would basically receive twice the amount of the cruise price if they did.

2. Travel insurance will pay for your, unused, non-refundable airfare in the event you are bumped, BUT if the airline gives you a credit, that you can use at a later date, the insurance company will deduct that credit from the total cost of the airfare.

3. If you are bumped the cruise line will not refund your airfare unless you purchased the airfare through the cruiseline.

4. A full ship charter is "more likely" to happen on a smaller ship than a large one. There are very few groups, other than a "Rosie" cruise, that can fill a 3,000 passenger ship.

5. Charters usually occur 9-12 months before the sailing date.

6. The cruise contract expressly reads that the cruise line may cancel your cruise and you will be refunded your cruise fare or deposit. That's all.

7. All cruise lines have bumped or given incentives for people willing to cancel their cruise because the ship was oversold.

8. The most notable cruise lines for canceling cruises because the ship was chartered by a private group are: Holland America, Seaborne, Royal Caribbean and NCL.

The good news is: Both, bumping and canceling occur but they ARE NOT the norm so your chances of being bumped or your ship being chartered out from under you are small.

Take care,
Mike [/i]
Excellent info. This is pretty much what I thought also. Chartering and filling an entire ship is a lot of work and it is not likely to be something that any group, no matter how large or popular will do without many months advance confirmation that the ship is theirs. I only know of one circumstance when ships were pulled like that (other than Rosie O'Donnell) and this was for Hurricane Katrina. Carnival used their older, smaller ships that were due for dry docking and just moved the booked passengers to other ships without a lot of noise and fanfare.

I also think Rosie booked the entire ship, less because she could fill it but more because she wanted her guests to be free and comfortable while cruising. (I think I read that somewhere.)
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Old December 31st, 2007, 07:48 PM
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Thanks Mr Mike! I knew you'd have all the answers!! Thanks for coming over!
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 08:56 AM
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Default Great answers

Thanks for all the info. - especially Mike - you put your explanations so well.

It was interesting to see the differentiation between a ship being "overbooked" and one that had been fully "chartered". I now realize that the latter is what must have happened to us.

“Once bitten, twice shy? is very real for me. I have investigated several cruises since our demise in 2006, and every time I’ve backed off.

From what you've all said I gather that:
1)Insurance against bumping is not an option.
2)Buying the flight & cruise as a package could
mean that the flight is compensatable.
3)Go with larger ships to avoid charter situation.

Being prepared is my main objective for the next time around, but I guess there really isn't any way to avoid such an eventuality.

Unfortunately I tried Beenie Weenie's "I guess I would just simply be prepared to raise lot's of hell until they see things my way, or compensate me to a degree I am not angry and frustrated, or losing additional money due to them bumping me anymore." and the company refused to back down from their unreasonable offer.
See www.cruisebumping.ca

I just have to go with Mike's last remark "The good news is: Both, bumping and canceling occur but they ARE NOT the norm so your chances of being bumped or your ship being chartered out from under you are small."

Thanks again everyone.
Regards
Spencer
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