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mitsguy2001

Another reason why cruise cancellation policies need to change

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[quote name=SandS204ever;36155067

 

 

This practice was first started in the 70's in NY. The schools closed during the oil crisis' date=' to save heating the schools for a week. It never ended!![/color']

 

Haha you took the words right out of my mouth!

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A couple of points.

 

1. you started this post by saying that in past posts on this subject, most people disagree with you, so not sure why you are still trying to make this arguement.

 

2. Most (if not all) of the companies you cited as making exceptions related to hurrican Sandy were making them directly around Hurricane Sandy (i.e. within Oct/Nov); you are asking Carnival to make a huge exception to their rules 4 months after hurriane sandy. I have trouble believing that any company is going to make exceptions for several months following a disaster to accomodate extended fallout.

 

3. You have to look at cruises within the travel industry, and their cancellation policies are much more generous than flights. Hurricane Sandy was well before the 75 day mark for cruise cancellations, my guess is most people that can't cancel their trip were more restricted by other non-refundable bookings like hotels or flights than a cruise.

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When the cancellation of the February school vacation was announced it was still before the 76 day cancellation requirement so all these peeps are getting their money back. And only the "early savers" who are always looking to travel cheap, cheap, cheap will loose their deposits and that is part of the gamble they pay to try and cruise "cheaper" than the rest of us.

 

So what is the object of the OPs post anywhos. Nobody is being negatively impacted, that I can see, or am I missing something.

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Isn't there insurance you can buy that allows for cancellation for any reason? Perhaps not through the cruiseline but through outside companies?

 

If you read my post, you'll see that I did mention Cancel for Any Reason insurance. But I mentioned that it only covers a percentage of the fare, and it is expensive. You'd still be paying about 10% to 25% of the cruise fare, plus the cost of the insurance. That is a lot of money for a middle class family to lose on a vacation that they don't get to go on, especially when they already suffered other losses due to the hurricane.

 

Again, that only covers a percentage of the fare, and you still lose a lot of money. So that does not completely nullify my argument.

 

Also, as I said, there is absolutely no precedent for using February break as makeup days; they were not needed even after Hurricane Gloria.

 

Most travel insurance we have ever purchased covers "cancel for work reasons"...no additional cost.

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Shouldn't there have been enough time between the storm and the cruise to cancel without penalty if you were impacted by the school calendar change? Unless you booked ES, but in that case, you only really lose $50 per person. This isn't a non-refundable vacation. People could've (and maybe still can) get their money back.

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I highly doubt that the people who lose out this time becuase of the cancellation policy "will never cruise again" as OP suggests.

 

I had someone in my party cancel the day we were to leave for a valid reason (but one that insurance doesn't cover). How can I in my right mind hold the cruise line responsible for that? I can't. It's life and I dealt with it.

 

And guess what... we will be cruising again as soon as we can!

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In New York, since they have the Regents exams during June, they cannot extend the school year until all vacation days (except legal holidays) have been used as makeup days. My school district's website even includes a copy of the text of that law.

 

These are all things that can change someone's plans and while they aren't on the same scale as Sandy or Irene and may only affect one person rather than thousands there is no way any large company can refund full fares and still maintain a profit which is their reason for being in business.

 

Aparently everyone else except cruise lines is able to make exceptions to their policies and remain profitable. Read what I said about my employer, my health insurance company, my cable company, my bank, my local transit authority, etc.

 

 

 

Health insurance companies, cable companies, banks, transit authorities, etc, are not charitable organizations either, but they were able to treat their cusomters with respect and make exceptions to their usual policies in a time of crisis. Why should cruise lines be the only exception? Also, the employer that I work with is not a charitable organization either, but they treated us employees with respect during a time of crisis.

 

As for my solution: write into their rules certain exceptions that would allow a refund, such as if a school vacation (at least one that was NOT listed as makeup days on the calendar) is turned into school days.

 

I'm sure the people who are writing letters to the editors are probably NEVER going to go on another cruise, EVER again. The cruise lines will then have to drop their fare to attract new passengers, having lot many existing ones due to this storm.

 

Are you saying the cruiselines did not refund AND offer % off of future cruises for the cancelled/changed itineraries during the crisis? Like others are saying, February is not part of the crisis period. If one lost their TV during the storm and cannot replace it for several months, will the cable company refund them money for the entire time they don't have a TV (ie in February)? Of course not - it is up to the customer to call and cancel in order to not be charged.

Are you saying that the world revolves around New York and without them businesses will not be profitable? What percent of the cruising vacationer is from New York? For a local restaurant it might - but guarantee you world wide chains (ie McDonald's) will still be profitable if New York did not have any.

 

And why; therefore, shouldn't the smaller entity - the affected school districts/state - change their law/policies to protect their own constituents vs. multiple world wide corporations serving the entire world?

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I also don't understand "many people have non-refundable vacations booked during that week in February." As someone pointed out, it's before final payment, so how is it a non-refundable cruise?

 

Perhaps some people did indeed book non-refundable, non-cruise vacations for February and now have to cancel that vacation, losing everything. If so, it is not "Another reason why cruise cancellation policies need to change", but is an example of how the cruise lines with their fully refundable if canceled before final payment date policy seem generous in comparison (as long as you're in the US or Canada).

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I have to admit that I did not read the entire thread so I possibly am repeating what someone else has said. If someone booked a cruise for Feb, unless the person is booked on Early Saver, there is no reason they can't get a refund. The people booking ESA would lose $50 per person, not a cent more. The balance of the deposit is held to be used at a later date.

 

I do understand what the OP is saying, but there can be a million reasons people feel their cruise money should be refunded. As far as I know the cruise lines offer refund for any reason insurance, which from what I have been told is a bit more expensive, but for a family with young(er) children, it is not an unreasonable price considering senior pay a lot more for insurance without that benefit.

 

If the school district chooses to use the vacation in February to make up days, why is it the cruiselines responsibility to waive any/all fees? I feel that when the cruises were booked, the people choosing NOT to purchase the insurance took a gamble and unfortunately have lost. I would bet these people don't buy insurance anytime.

 

Really, I know I sound heartless and I am not as in the summer I live in NY and we got the last flight out of NY to FL when Sandy was coming in. I have relatives who lost a lot and were without power etc. Fortunately for us, we didn't lose power or anything, but whenever we book a cruise, we always opt to purchase the insurance, albeit not the cancel for any reason as at our age we wouldn't cancel unless it were a medical problem. We take our chances with hurricanes when we cruise in the fall, but that's a risk we take---our choice, not someone else's.

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I didn't take into account the fact that the change in school calendar was announced more than 75 days before February break. So I am wrong on that count. But, given the number of letters to the editor, people do clearly have non-refundable vacations, so my general point does stand.

 

It seems that I see things differently than the rest of this board. That is fine. Let's just agree to disagree and move on.

 

But I am adamant about a few points:

 

1. Cancel for any reason insurance that covers 100% does NOT exist.

 

2. When I was in high school, they had a very strict attendance policy where any 5 absences (for ANY reason) within the same quarter would cause you to get an incomplete. I had to go to school with bronchitis (and I had a death in the family just before that) to avoid an incomplete. Not every teacher would enforce that policy. But if you have even 1 teacher that did enforce it, you were screwed. Enforcing it or not seemed to be more of a popularity contest than anything else.

 

3. I realize cruise lines are not charitable organizations. But neither are banks, insurance companies, utility companies, or transit authorities. My employer is not a charitable organization either.

 

4. Yes, I understand that the purpose of a business to make money. But you can't make money when you lose your customers.

 

5. Some people use the argument that a cruise is a luxury as a reason why they shouldn't offer refunds. But that is exactly the reason why they should offer refunds. If a customer (whether rightfully or wrongfully) feels they were screwed by a business that deals in luxury goods, they will not deal with that company ever again, because they don't have to. They can either switch to a different company, or, since the company is dealing in luxury goods, go without that product completely: either go on land vacations, take a staycation, etc. On the other hand, very few people are willing to voluntarily go without health insurance, cable, internet, phone, or transportation, no matter how badly they are treated.

 

Again, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree.

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I'm curious,

 

 

A cruise booking is a legally binding contract agreed to between the traveler and the cruise line. Each has "duties" that the contract requires them to perform.

 

The contract allows for the traveler to cancel without penalty..up to a certain point. Once past that point, and agreed upon penalty must be paid for the traveler to cancel.

 

Just like the traveler is depending on the cruise line, the cruise line is also depending on the traveler. If the traveler cancels, then they are screwing the cruise line out of the opportunity to make money on that cabin for that sailing. The cruise line is out since they had to take the cabin off the market on behalf of the traveler.

 

I'd like to know why you feel that the traveler should be allowed to cancel, get all their money back, and the cruise line then ends up with no passenger, no money, and a lost opportunity? Why do you think that THEY should suffer?

 

Seems to me that in a "fair" situation, that the party to the contract that cancels, is the party that should assume the monetary loss.

 

 

 

BTW...I don't think your business comparisons are remotely fair examples. Try returning a DVD late in February and tell the rental place that its late because of the Hurricane...see if they are still willing to accept that and waive your fees. :rolleyes:

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It's a slippery slope to change the policy. In the long run it would result in losses for the cruiselines that they would pass onto the customers

 

I think there should be more emphasis on insurance. I think people should have to "check off" a waiver/disclaimer that they must read if they plan to cruise without insurance.

 

I think that the cruiselines should hold firm on those who don't have insurance. Take your chances : get insurance or sign the waiver.

 

Regarding Sandy : Carnival has made an exception for those with verifiable home damage, seems they are extending them a future cruise credit

 

Honestly when people drive a car without insurance and sustain losses, or don't insure their home, should the insurance companies pay them anyhow??

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If a passenger cancels, Carnival can very easily re-sell that cabin. You all seem to think Carnival has an unlimited supply of passengers, so they can treat their passengers badly without losing business.

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It's a slippery slope to change the policy. In the long run it would result in losses for the cruiselines that they would pass onto the customers

 

I think there should be more emphasis on insurance. I think people should have to "check off" a waiver/disclaimer that they must read if they plan to cruise without insurance.

 

I think that the cruiselines should hold firm on those who don't have insurance. Take your chances : get insurance or sign the waiver.

 

Regarding Sandy : Carnival has made an exception for those with verifiable home damage, seems they are extending them a future cruise credit

 

Honestly when people drive a car without insurance and sustain losses, or don't insure their home, should the insurance companies pay them anyhow??

 

The point you don't seem to realize is that MOST INSURANCE, ESPECIALLY THE GARBAGE THAT CARNIVAL SELLS, DOES NOT COVER YOU IN A CASE LIKE THIS!!!!

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The people can still cancel, and get part of the $$$ back, even without insurance.

 

If they make "one exception"....then people will want another exception for another reason, and it will go on and on......... (My house burned down....I want a refund. My mother died....I want a refund. I filed for bankruptcy...I want a refund.)

 

I'm not mean & heartless. I'm actually in NYC. But, people also had the option NOT to book until "closer to the sailing date".

 

Unfortunately you can't have it both ways....you want a certain price/cabin....you book early and have "risks". You're more flexible...you book later...and reduce the risks.

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It sounds like the OP wants the cruise lines to refund all payments. I could see the cruise line MAYBE letting you transfer to another sail date, but not refund all together.

 

That would be a reasonable compromise, but they don't allow that either.

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The point you don't seem to realize is that MOST INSURANCE, ESPECIALLY THE GARBAGE THAT CARNIVAL SELLS, DOES NOT COVER YOU IN A CASE LIKE THIS!!!!

 

 

As stated earlier, most travel insurance policies (that we have had anyway) include a cancel for work reasons clause though, at no additional charge. You would fall under that.

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Sorry but I think the policy is just fine. There's noway you can account for every conceivable reason to cancel. What about people affected by tornados, earthquakes, forest fires, floods, etc... The list can go on and on. In this case Carnival could probably still replace these passengers with other passengers, no harm no foul. But what about the next time, what if this or any other disaster hits one week before the cruise leaves, you really think carnival should let everybody cancel, knowing the probably can't replace them all, so carnival loses all that revenue ? Sorry for people who lose out but it's going to happen. I didn't see anyone throwing a fit when the worst single tornado in history ( as far as deaths go ) hit Joplin Mo. Or when several Midwest states were hit by flooding.

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And why not???? My post shows that cruise lines are even more heartless than health insurance companies, utility companies, banks, and even transit authorities. Also, many people here have bashed my employer (with no basis to do so), even though they treated us employees better than the cruise lines are treating their paying customers.

 

If you think these company are the good guys with a good heart, think again. All these companies you mentioned WILL get their money back by passing the cost on to others, who weren't even effected the disasters, by raising the premiums, or price of service. As far as you're company goes, they should be treating you better than carnival does, carnival doesn't know you or owe you.

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Actually, it does.

 

No, I called Insure My Trip when I booked my cruise earlier this year, and they said it does not exist. Obviously if it existed they would have wanted to sell it to me.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 viewpost.gif

1. Cancel for any reason insurance that covers 100% does NOT exist.

 

 

Actually, it does.

 

No, I called Insure My Trip when I booked my cruise earlier this year, and they said it does not exist. Obviously if it existed they would have wanted to sell it to me.

 

 

 

TravelSafe offers a somewhat misleading Cancel for Any Reason (you have to read the details) offering 100% coverage but only if you're cancelling way in advance when the penalty is 25% of the cruisefare - the coverage dwindles to 75% for late cancellation.

 

TravelEx offers some Policies with optional "all events 95%" but it's not "any reason".

 

Most policies are around 80% or so.

 

ken

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No, I called Insure My Trip when I booked my cruise earlier this year, and they said it does not exist. Obviously if it existed they would have wanted to sell it to me.

 

So...you are making the definitive statement that if Insure My Trip doesn't sell a particular type of policy/level of coverage, that it means that it simply does not exist?

 

You might be amazed at what you can get if you actually shop.

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I have posted in the past about why I feel cruise lines need to change their cancellation policies, but unfortunately, nobody here seems to agree with me. I will start this post off saying that I do NOT currently have any children, and I am NOT a teacher or staff member at a school, nor do I have any currently active teachers in my family. Therefore, I am posting a completely unbiased opinion, and I do not have anything to gain.

 

I live on Long Island, which was recently devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Because of Sandy, most school districts lost more than a week of school. Because of that, the schools are opening during February break (schools in New York usuallly close for a week in mid-February) to make up the lost days.

 

I will say that I COMPLETELY agree with the school districts making that time up. The students are expected to be in school for 180 days per year, and teachers are expected to work for 180 days per year. So, if school is lost, it is completely reasonable to have to make that time up.

 

The problem, however, is that many people have non-refundable vacations booked during that week in February. There have been many letters to the editor in our local newspaper (so I am NOT simply making up theories) from people who had non-refundable vacations booked that week. They already suffered losses due to the hurricane, and now they are foced to lose money that they worked hard for and spent on a vacation. Their other choice is to miss a full week of school. That is a lot of school to miss, especially during an already severely interrupted school year. And, teachers and staff do not have the option of just missing a full week of school. One of the letters to the editor was by a school nurse who had a non-refundable vacation booked that week.

 

I should mention that insurance does NOT cover cancellation in this case. Also, the school calendar marks several days (during spring break in March / April) as makeup days, but it does NOT list any part of February break as makeup days. The school is reasonable to avoid using the makeup days in March / April in case there are days lost due to snow during the winter. I am not fauling the school district for that, but I am just saying that parents would have had no indication that days during February break would ever be used as makeup days.

 

The last time that a significant number of school days was lost before the winter was due to Hurricane Gloria in 1985, and even then, although the lost days were made up, they did not use February break as a makeup. Even if someone booked cancel for any reason insurance, that only covers a percentage of the cost, so they will still lose a percentage of the fare (between 10% and 25%) and the cost of the insurance (which is not cheap), which is a lot of money to lose on a vacation that you don't get to go on, especially when you suffered other losses due to the Hurricane.

 

Given the severity of the situation and the unprecedented nature of this storm and the makeup during February break, I think that cruise lines (as well as airlines, and others in the travel industry) should have a heart, and allow cancellation with no penalty for travel booked during the February break. People can very easily prove that school will be open that week. This is not the case of someone wanting to cancel at the last minute since the predicted weather is bad or because they had second thoughts about the cruise.

 

Other than the cruise lines (and airlines), it seems that all other companies went above and beyond in their response to the storm. For example:

 

1. The company that I worked for gave everyone 2 extra paid days off, on Monday and Tuesday Oct. 29 and 30, because of the storm.

 

2. Our local cable company is offering credit for any days where we were unable to use our service, even if it was due to a power outage that was no fault of their own.

 

3. My health insurance company normally requires 50 gym visits per 6 month period in order to qualify for a gym reimbursement. They agreed to reduce the number of gym visits needed this period, due to the storm.

 

4. Our local transit agency allowed people to use an October monthly pass for the first few days of November, and allowed a full refund with no penalty for tickets that were purchased for use on Oct. 29, 30, or 31, but were not used due to the storm.

 

5. My bank is waiving fees and late charges that were incurred due to the storm.

 

6. The place where I rented a DVD from waived the late fees that I would have had to pay when I was unable to return the disk due to the storm.

 

If everyone else went above and beyond for people impacted by the storm, why shouldn't cruise lines do the same?

 

Again, I am posting an unbiased opinion. I do not have any kids yet, I am not a teacher, and I do not have a cruise booked that week (nor any week currently), so I have nothing to gain or lose either way. Just posting an unbiased opinion.

 

 

 

while you make completely valid points, you're forgetting from the business standpoint... what you write is a very, very, very good reason why people should "splurge" and spend the extra few hundred bucks to insure their vacations through a reputable company that will allow cancellations for any reason.

 

how could any cruiseline have any certainty that their rooms would be full if they could just cancel any time? and there are always going to be the fools who ruin it for others if any cruiseline were to say well you can cancel for X, X and X reasons.. there will always be idiots who try and scam the system. so instead of dealing with that, they allow third party insurance companies to protect the consumer.

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No, I called Insure My Trip when I booked my cruise earlier this year, and they said it does not exist. Obviously if it existed they would have wanted to sell it to me.

 

http://www.carnival.com/~/media/CCLUS/Images/pdf/Vacation-Protection-201205pdf.ashx

Carnival Cruise Cancellation & Interruption Fee Waiver

(For Specified Reasons)..........................Cash Refund Up to Total Cruise Vacation Cost

 

You can get insurance to get a refund, yes it will cost you. But like all insurance, you buy it, Hoping you don't need it.

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