United Cruises

Old Jan 10, 17, 12:19 pm
  #1  
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United Cruises

Not sure if this is the right forum for this but are there any reports and redeeming miles through United Cruises? Pros/ cons? Horror stories? Downgrades etc?
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Old Sep 2, 18, 4:56 pm
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No one responded to your question, so I will. I used them in 2017 for a Baltic cruise on RCL. I was promised 7 UA miles per dollar spent excluding taxes and that was what I received. The miles were deposited into my account within 3 weeks of the cruise. The price that I received for the cruise was exactly the same one listed on the Royal Caribbean website. I was even able to re-fare the cruise once when the price dropped without any problem. They provided very good customer service.

This summer, United Cruises has been offering a lot of great promotions. Not only do all Balcony and Suite cabin earn 7 miles per dollar spent (excluding taxes) but they were giving free gratuities and a $200 airfare credit for the month of August.

Cons: There is a $24.99 fee for booking any cruise and $100 cancellation fee.
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Old Sep 2, 18, 5:00 pm
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Originally Posted by ChinaShrek View Post
No one responded to your question, so I will.
The question was about redeeming, not earning. Plus, it was a year and a half ago.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 12:06 am
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Confused about United Cruises

I'm considering using United Cruises to book a Norwegian Cruise -- what am I not getting? This sounds too good to be true and I'm hesitant to use to use them as I just don't get how these economics could possibly work:

- You pay them only $24.99 per booking
- You get up to 45,000 miles per booking
- You also get free gratuities on Norwegian cruises via promo
- United Premier members get additional amenities (wine on-board, etc)

What's the catch? Who wouldn't pay $25 for that? Are the reservations somehow not guaranteed or treated as lower priority by Norwegian?
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Old Nov 17, 18, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by DCFlyer0306 View Post
I'm considering using United Cruises to book a Norwegian Cruise -- what am I not getting? This sounds too good to be true and I'm hesitant to use to use them as I just don't get how these economics could possibly work:

- You pay them only $24.99 per booking
- You get up to 45,000 miles per booking
- You also get free gratuities on Norwegian cruises via promo
- United Premier members get additional amenities (wine on-board, etc)

What's the catch? Who wouldn't pay $25 for that? Are the reservations somehow not guaranteed or treated as lower priority by Norwegian?
We've used them quite a few times. You do incur a cancellation administrative cost of $100 even if you cancel the cruise prior to final payment.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by DCFlyer0306 View Post
I'm considering using United Cruises to book a Norwegian Cruise -- what am I not getting? This sounds too good to be true and I'm hesitant to use to use them as I just don't get how these economics could possibly work:

- You pay them only $24.99 per booking
- You get up to 45,000 miles per booking
- You also get free gratuities on Norwegian cruises via promo
- United Premier members get additional amenities (wine on-board, etc)

What's the catch? Who wouldn't pay $25 for that? Are the reservations somehow not guaranteed or treated as lower priority by Norwegian?
No one pays the listed price for cruises. Id cross check that pricing with the cruise line before booking with United.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by DCFlyer0306 View Post
I'm considering using United Cruises to book a Norwegian Cruise -- what am I not getting? This sounds too good to be true ....
- United Premier members get additional amenities (wine on-board, etc)

What's the catch? Who wouldn't pay $25 for that? Are the reservations somehow not guaranteed or treated as lower priority by Norwegian?
If the wine that's delivered to United Premier members' staterooms comes from the same selections as the on-board Polaris "cellar" then I'd say that it they will still be making a profit off your $25 fee.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 11:09 am
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A lot of cruise brokers/agencies give out onboard credits instead of UA miles. Also prices may be different too. But the promo from the cruise lines should be the same regardless where you book your cruise.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by DCFlyer0306 View Post
What's the catch? Who wouldn't pay $25 for that? Are the reservations somehow not guaranteed or treated as lower priority by Norwegian?
I've booked 10+ cruises through United Cruises (although none with Norwegian). They act as a Travel Agent to each cruise line, no different than any other TA you might use to book a cruise. Much like an airline booking, this means that you must deal with the TA for most pre-departure issues, such as payment, cabin selection, changes/cancellations, etc. as the cruise line itself won't touch a TA-booked reservation if you call them directly. This generally isn't an issue, as you don't have the kind of same-day delays, cancellations, or changes that you do with flights. Also, with most cruise lines, you can do many of those things yourself online at the cruise line's website, even for TA bookings.

As someone else mentioned, on top of the booking fee, there's also a cancellation fee - both payable directly to United Cruises. Other than those things, it's a great deal.

As to "What's the catch?" - another way to ask this is "It sounds too good to be true." Here's the deal: As a TA, United Cruises gets a commission from the cruise line for the booking, which might be 10-15% of the fare. Their business model is that they take a portion of that commission and rebate it back to you, in the form of MileagePlus miles. Also, since it's a United-sponsored program, their "cost" of the miles might be much less than what they sell them for to third parties or to passengers directly, thus making the apparent benefit be more valuable. What you may be forsaking is what another TA might be doing with part of their commission, which might be offering a discount on the fare (although not all cruise lines allow this), or a rebate in terms of extra on-board spending credit that they might give you, or some form of cash back after the cruise (such as Costo gift cards from Costo Cruises).

I have found that if you value MileagePlus miles on the high side, this is an excellent deal. Like many things related to miles, it all depends what your personal value of them is. Someone that values premium-cabin international travel is going to view miles differently than someone that only flies domestically and always buys the cheapest economy seat well in advance.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 1:08 pm
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I used United Cruises to book a Celebrity Alaska Cruise (3 Cabins-1 suite-2 verandahs). We returned on 7-14-19. I received the miles today (15 days later). It totaled 250,679 bonus miles and then the 1-1 for the actual $ originally charged on the cruise itself by using the United Explorer Card (21,000 miles). The Bonus miles were a combination of booking a suite/verandah and/or using explorer card and/or just for using them.

Celebrity is a lot more generous with their miles, because I also booked a Crystal Cruise this Thanksgiving and I will only receive 35,000 miles.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 1:15 pm
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Can you use FCCs if you book through United?
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Old Jul 29, 19, 1:42 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
Can you use FCCs if you book through United?
What are FCCs?
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Old Jul 29, 19, 1:44 pm
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IIRC, Future cruise credit
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Old Jul 29, 19, 1:44 pm
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Besides the miles, United Cruises gave us $375 OBC per cabin, free premium beverage package, free wifi, and free tips.

Originally Posted by jhayes_1780 View Post
IIRC, Future cruise credit
I am not sure, but I think so, because when I booked a new cruise for next year while on board Celebrity transferred the booking back to United Cruises without any issues, and I get both Celebrity benefits (for booking on board) and United Cruises (for booking with them.) If they can transfer bookings back and forth, and you get both benefits, it would make sense, they would honor FCC. BTW-thanks for the new acronym.

Call them and ask. Let us know.

Last edited by coplatsat; Jul 29, 19 at 2:39 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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