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What's the most OBC you've received on a cruise?

What's the most OBC you've received on a cruise?

Old Aug 2, 19, 7:08 pm
  #1  
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What's the most OBC you've received on a cruise?

We took the Queen Elizabeth from Tokyo to Vancouver in May (17 nights), and it got kind of ridiculous with $2,200 in OBC ($129/day), plus prepaid gratuities.
  • $600 future cruise deposit
  • $500 early booking
  • $300 "welcome home"
  • $150 travel agent promo
  • $400 from a big fare drop after final payment (I would have preferred the $800 fare difference or an upgrade, but this was all they'd do)
  • $250 shareholder credit
Has anyone done better?

After we had our fill of internet, laundry, wine, and specialty restaurants, we had to resort to buying jewelry and accessories in the onboard shops to spend it all, and ended up with $0.73 left on our account. I thought about buying a $0.75 candy bar just to see if Cunard would actually push through a charge for $0.02, but decided against it.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
We took the Queen Elizabeth from Tokyo to Vancouver in May (17 nights), and it got kind of ridiculous with $2,200 in OBC ($129/day), plus prepaid gratuities.
  • $600 future cruise deposit
  • $500 early booking
  • $300 "welcome home"
  • $150 travel agent promo
  • $400 from a big fare drop after final payment (I would have preferred the $800 fare difference or an upgrade, but this was all they'd do)
  • $250 shareholder credit
Has anyone done better?

After we had our fill of internet, laundry, wine, and specialty restaurants, we had to resort to buying jewelry and accessories in the onboard shops to spend it all, and ended up with $0.73 left on our account. I thought about buying a $0.75 candy bar just to see if Cunard would actually push through a charge for $0.02, but decided against it.

Hard to beat that. Best we’ve had was $1,200 on a nickel-and-dime cruise line. Better actually was $500 on an all-inclusive cruise line.
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Old Aug 5, 19, 8:36 pm
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Non-refundable OBC? I've never had that much OBC but I've also used the casino to cash out non-refundable OBC for a fee. I like cash more than jewelry

ETA: Some cruiselines will also let you add additional gratuities using OBC via the front desk. That can also be a good way to share the abundance if they won't refund or cash it out.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 4:53 pm
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My personal best is $1400 on Princess TATL FLL to Barcelona (14 days). Thought it would be hard to spend it all but we managed
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Old Aug 12, 19, 4:43 am
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Not officially onboard credit... but I was on an maiden Transatlantic crossing... first revenue sailing... there were issues with some onboard amenities and service was hit or miss because of a new concept the cruise line was trying out. On the last night, they zero out all onboard beverage, specialty dining, and internet charges for everyone on the ship as an apology. I had $500 obc going into the sailing and that took care of my gift shop purchases.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 3:01 pm
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If you use a TA you will normally get more OBC.

Multiple thousands of dollars on a full world cruise with Crystal in a penthouse. We used it all on excursions. Wonderful cruise agent made it possible. She is with Avoya which is good if you use Amex Platinum as they are related. We got double MR points at the time. PM me if you have Crystal questions. No I am not an agent myself only a cruiser. Cruising is the last hold out for using TAs. If you don't use a TA or at least a TA agency and book direct you are leaving lots of money on the table. Friends don't let friends book directly with cruise companies.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 3:03 am
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  • $1300 early booking discount
  • $200 travel agent OBC credit
  • $2000 approximate free upgrade
  • $250 shareholder OBC credit
  • $400 Referral OBC credit
  • $300 free excursion
  • $2600 TA discount.
  • $400 worth of free laundry
  • $125 worth of massage
  • 10 hours of free internet
  • $1170 credit card rebate
  • multiple Times TA was able to acquire fare reductions on booking
Best total package we ever received.
All the OBCs are fully refundable
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Last edited by 747FC; Aug 17, 19 at 3:13 am Reason: added info
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Old Aug 17, 19, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
All the OBCs are fully refundable
So it sounds like you got good value, but $850 OBC.

Which cruise line? Definitely not anything in the Carnival family because I know their shareholder benefit and referrals are non-refundable.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
So it sounds like you got good value, but $850 OBC.

Which cruise line? Definitely not anything in the Carnival family because I know their shareholder benefit and referrals are non-refundable.
Seabourn, a CCL company. While officially certain types of OBCs are not refundable, if one says that they will cancel prepaid excursions and rebook using the OBCs, voila, the OBCs become fully refundable.

Regarding “good value,” but not OBCs, I’d rather get cash discounts than OBCs.
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Last edited by 747FC; Aug 17, 19 at 3:32 pm
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Old Aug 18, 19, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post


Seabourn, a CCL company. While officially certain types of OBCs are not refundable, if one says that they will cancel prepaid excursions and rebook using the OBCs, voila, the OBCs become fully refundable.

Regarding “good value,” but not OBCs, I’d rather get cash discounts than OBCs.
Since we migrated to all-inclusive lines OBCs have become less important. We still get $300-$400 occasionally but a spa treatment or two for Mrs K usually takes care of those. Like 747FC we’d rather get cash discounts against the fare.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
if one says that they will cancel prepaid excursions and rebook using the OBCs, voila, the OBCs become fully refundable.
I've never seen the value of paying twice as much to book an excursion through the cruise line, but maybe this is one opportunity to recoup some of the added cost.

Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Regarding “good value,” but not OBCs, I’d rather get cash discounts than OBCs.
So would I, but most of those (like the "early booking discount") are available to everyone. I don't think anybody in history has ever booked a cruise at full price.

Last edited by mahasamatman; Aug 18, 19 at 11:46 am
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Old Aug 18, 19, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
So would I, but most of those (like the "early booking discount") are available to everyone. I don't think anybody in history has ever booked a cruise at full price.
You’d be surprised at the number of people who book directly with the cruise line. They’re all excited they got a cheap bottle of wine and maybe a $50 OBC. I suppose that technically qualifies as a discount off the full fare price to some but not to me.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I've never seen the value of paying twice as much to book an excursion through the cruise line, but maybe this is one opportunity to recoup some of the added cost.


So would I, but most of those (like the "early booking discount") are available to everyone. I don't think anybody in history has ever booked a cruise at full price.
I’m on an expedition cruise right now. Many of the “excursions” are Zodiac adventures only available from the cruise line. It’s either paying for the ship’s excursion, or not leaving the ship.

I’ll admit to paying full fare by booking direct with cruise lines until I found a very helpful FTer who took the time to educate me about the benefits of using a good travel agent. Thanks to Randyk47, cruising has gotten way more affordable.

Re cash discounts, the agent used by several of us is able to provide 10% off published fares on some high-end lines.

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Last edited by 747FC; Aug 18, 19 at 4:36 pm
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Old Sep 4, 19, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I've never seen the value of paying twice as much to book an excursion through the cruise line, but maybe this is one opportunity to recoup some of the added cost.


So would I, but most of those (like the "early booking discount") are available to everyone. I don't think anybody in history has ever booked a cruise at full price.
Purchase shore excursion on the ship sometimes is the best way to go for language and familiarisation reasons. For example when I go to India, Cape Verde or Mozambique on cruise ships, I d rather take ships shore excursion just to get a fell of the place and then decide if I would go back to explore on my own.
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Old Sep 4, 19, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by chongcao View Post
Purchase shore excursion on the ship sometimes is the best way to go for language and familiarisation reasons. For example when I go to India, Cape Verde or Mozambique on cruise ships, I d rather take ships shore excursion just to get a fell of the place and then decide if I would go back to explore on my own.
I agree. We do a mix of ship tours, private tours, and shelf-guided tours. Things that factor into our decision are time and distance, our familiarity with the area, the site or attraction we want to visit, time in port, etc. Certainly ship tours are more expensive but sometimes a better choice or only choice because of circumstances.
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