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Booking our next cruise

Booking our next cruise

Old Jul 29, 20, 2:09 pm
  #1  
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Booking our next cruise

We like to cruise, but fear: co-vid; problems booking flights (country blocking, worry of loss of $$, if cruise cancelled by me or cruise line); concerned of being locked out of ports; and a multitude of other things. We also worry that we will not be able to book one of the few remaining itineraries we still seek. Does this sound familiar?

Here is what we have done with OUR NEW BOOKING. 1. we booked far out, October 2021. 2. we found an offer that allows us to put up a lower deposit (which we have until Jun 2021 to get mostly back). 3. we looked at the forfeiture schedule, and we have until June 1 2021 before our loss can exceed $100 pp, if we back out. 4. to avoid air fare forfeiture risk, we booked the air with the cruise line (Regent 7 Seas "included" business class for int'l portion, coach balance). This is a rare itinerary, so getting a slot is difficult. We were on a wait list with the same line, for a similar cruise, for nearly a year. We were told if was likely impossible that a cabin would clear (lots of waitlisted passengers before us), then came co-vid. Lots of cabins cleared. Cruise was/is Nov 2020. We bailed, lost nothing, and got our good faith deposit back (that held our waitlist in priority).

So bottom line. We have an "option" for the cruise we want, at the cost (zero if we take the cruise) of $200.00. We are "protected" on air transportation. Hopefully, by June we will have a much greater understanding of the path of the virus, risks and have the opportunity to be vaccinated. At that time, we can cancel, or buy insurance and continue with plans to get "back in the water".

There may be some holes in our decision making, but we post this for others who are thinking of cruising again to contemplate.
FlyerEC, gretchendz and nnn like this.
ranles is offline  
Old Jul 29, 20, 2:25 pm
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Sounds solid to me. Good job, and good luck!
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Old Jul 29, 20, 5:23 pm
  #3  
 
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@ranles: Good luck with this. Just FYI, if you want to cover pre-existing conditions, typically insurance must be purchased within 10-14 days of making the initial deposit.
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Old Jul 29, 20, 11:27 pm
  #4  
 
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It's also good to check if the fare is refundable. Some cruise lines default quote a non-refundable fare first and may choose to give refunds in future cruise credits instead of cash refund. Some agencies or non-refundable fares also charge a fee to move or cancel a sailing.

Cruise lines often release schedules over two years in advance. Royal Caribbean/Celebrity have typically released schedules in late fall and I expect they'll have 2022 sailings posted at the end of the year. This might help those looking for a rare itinerary if 2021 (or 2021 prices) doesn't appeal. You can also search for specific ports on Vacations To Go or Cruise Plum. If a port visit is primary - remember that you can fly to most places if the cruise is secondary.
freecia is offline  
Old Aug 1, 20, 5:15 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by freecia View Post
Royal Caribbean/Celebrity have typically released schedules in late fall and I expect they'll have 2022 sailings posted at the end of the year.
The major cruise lines have already published into May 2022 (and further for some destinations like Galapagos). With the uncertainty, they may delay future scheduling beyond the normal time frame.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 8:07 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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I have a future cruise credit $250 with NCL expiring the first day of October from a cruise in the Haven we did four years ago.
On the fence what to do. Can let it expire, it is fully transferable so can sell it, or make a 6+ day reservation for a cruise in the future. We haven't been on NCL since then, cancelled our Alaska Princess cruise for 25th wedding anniversary and refunded it.
I'm thinking waiting until halfway thru September and then making the call on what to do. Wife is fully against cruising anytime soon, the other factor in making even a refundable (if any are left) reservation.
Have third party insurance come out with Covid insurance yet other than cancel for any reason? Doubt I would take the cruise line insurance they can still go insolvent.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by Brighton Line View Post
I have a future cruise credit $250 with NCL expiring the first day of October from a cruise in the Haven we did four years ago.
Have you requested an extension? If anything justifies one, COVID-19 would be it.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 11:17 am
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How much do you want to use the credit or get the money back? Do you want to worry about this again next year or would you prefer to be done with it? I agree that if you're willing to mind the credit for another few years then asking for an extension could be the way to go. After that - sell or let it expire ( especially if they won't do anything for you). I don't think leaving it until the last few weeks is currently a good tactic as shifting regulations and lower staffing levels due to cost cutting will require more time to get through. My only experience with NCL's change management was a lot of time and follow up. Cancellation chicken was a decent tactic when the initial cancellations were going on but since a near term cruise is off the table, I think it is better to deal with it while you have some reasoning to ask for leeway.

I'm currently fine with losing several on-board future deposits if it comes to that and will not be going on a cruise I'm not comfortable with (price, safety, destination) because of sunken cost fallacy. Similar reasoning would apply to cruise cancellations put into more sizable future cruise credits, especially with the restrictions future cruise credits have & not knowing what precautions the line will take. People differ, though.
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Old Aug 4, 20, 7:07 am
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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I called NCL but the wait time wasn't worth the actual $150 or whatever I paid, it came with OBC so the actual price I don't remember. I used the OBC to purchase the $250 FCC.
Just put it out there for some ideas, thanks.
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