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Never make an early booking with Holland America Line

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Never make an early booking with Holland America Line

 

They are fooling early bookers when they reduce rates 1 months prior to departure without compensating early  bookers to same level like other cruiselines, e.g. Royal Caribbean in such cases.

 

On our cruise they reduced the cabin prices with 2.600 USD the last month prior to departure and thereby cheated early bookers the same price. 

 

And they difinitively reject to compensate early bookers in any way. They may have the right, but it is certainly not decent to early bookings. 

 

They could have compensated early bookers with a free beverage package, which would be a very cheap way for them to compensate the fooling. Or by upgrading. But they just gave away the better cabins to late bookers instead of early bookings.

 

Besides, beverage packages,and especielle ordinairy wines are extremely expensive. Internet charges were 25USD for 24 hours, claiming you can be streaming, but limited to 500 MB a day. How can anyone be streaming with a limitation of 500 MB ??? -   So a constant squeeze everywhere.

 

Merely, the cabin layout is not in accordance with the showings at their website. In our case, the cabin should contain a couch with a little table and a chair. It only had the chair.

 

All in all a very very bad experience compared to other cruise lines. So never ever Holland America Line again. And  we recommend others to stay away from HAL and find other cruise lines with a decent behavour against early bookings, such as e.g. Celebrity Cruises.

 

If it is late bookings at reduced rates they want, give it to them and save a lot of money. Most travel agents have a system of notification when prices are lowered. Just sign up at these.

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Welcome to the forum. We always book early but I have a TA I have used for 12 years who watches the rates up to final payment and rebooks every time the rates drop. For our Alaska cruise next July we have already rebooked twice saving us over $1000 and adding more OBC since we booked our SS last July. Early booking makes sure you get the cabin and deck you want for your cruise. HAL also has an excellent online air booking feature that has us locked in for $200pp less than we can do on our own.

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5 hours ago, Jens Jakobsen said:

Never make an early booking with Holland America Line

 

They are fooling early bookers when they reduce rates 1 months prior to departure without compensating early  bookers to same level like other cruiselines, e.g. Royal Caribbean in such cases.

 

On our cruise they reduced the cabin prices with 2.600 USD the last month prior to departure and thereby cheated early bookers the same price. 

 

And they difinitively reject to compensate early bookers in any way. They may have the right, but it is certainly not decent to early bookings. 

 

They could have compensated early bookers with a free beverage package, which would be a very cheap way for them to compensate the fooling. Or by upgrading. But they just gave away the better cabins to late bookers instead of early bookings.

 

Please provide a link detailing RCCI/Celebrity policies to provide price drops to passengers after the final payment date.  There are numerous posts that say otherwise.

 

The only policy I have found says that RCCI/Celebrity will honor price drops after final payment date but only within 48 hours of the original booking.

Edited by RocketMan275

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We booked full fare early payment on a Maasdam cruise next year because we saw so few remaining cabins still  available for that special itinerary.

 

I see there today are still two unsold cabins --- and they are the ones directly over the Ocean Bar which blasts music into those cabins until late at night. Perhaps those will be fire-saled at bargain rates at the last minute, making it appear that everyone else got "cheated" on their original fare price?

 

Best not to ask airline seat mates what they paid for their exact same seats too. Set your own personal travel budget, pay what you think is fair at the time and at some point just let it go. Do you owe the cruise line more money later if the prices go up?

Edited by OlsSalt

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We always book early and I check often to see if there is a lower price.   We usually don't take the 'specials' that they offer like Explore 4 and the others as it seems they do build in a higher price for those extras.  We book early so that we get the cabin we want and it works out fine for us because we pay off the cruise with installment payments.  It's easier on our budget and I know our PCC gives us the best price possible at the time.  We haven't felt cheated yet. 

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8 hours ago, Jens Jakobsen said:

All in all a very very bad experience compared to other cruise lines.

 

Please give detailed details.  I want to know which lines allow pricing changes after final payment...?

 

 

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You are taking a risk of course by booking early, but it does not always work out in HAL's favor. I obsessively researched our Sept Alaska cruise and booked almost a year in advance. I checked throughout the 11 months before the cruise and never saw a better price. Booking late would have cost us an additional $1200 and lost us $400 OBC and Explore4

If you buy a winter coat at the beginning of the season and pay full price (because it is worth it to you), you can't go back to the store during the spring clearance sale and have them refund you the difference between what you paid and the clearance price.

You pays your money, and you takes your chances

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7 minutes ago, MereBooty said:

 

 

Edited by thinfool

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Is this not a reboot of a thread by this OP?  The exact same complaint by a poster with a very similar name was started before the shut down for the upgrade.

 

The complainant did not get much support for the complaint on the previous thread and appears to be beating the dead horse again. 

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8 hours ago, Jens Jakobsen said:

Never make an early booking with Holland America Line

 

They are fooling early bookers when they reduce rates 1 months prior to departure without compensating early  bookers to same level like other cruiselines, e.g. Royal Caribbean in such cases.

 

On our cruise they reduced the cabin prices with 2.600 USD the last month prior to departure and thereby cheated early bookers the same price. 

 

And they difinitively reject to compensate early bookers in any way. They may have the right, but it is certainly not decent to early bookings. 

 

They could have compensated early bookers with a free beverage package, which would be a very cheap way for them to compensate the fooling. Or by upgrading. But they just gave away the better cabins to late bookers instead of early bookings.

 

Besides, beverage packages,and especielle ordinairy wines are extremely expensive. Internet charges were 25USD for 24 hours, claiming you can be streaming, but limited to 500 MB a day. How can anyone be streaming with a limitation of 500 MB ??? -   So a constant squeeze everywhere.

 

Merely, the cabin layout is not in accordance with the showings at their website. In our case, the cabin should contain a couch with a little table and a chair. It only had the chair.

[/quote]

 

 

 

Which ship and what category cabin?

][/quote]
 

8 hours ago, Jens Jakobsen said:

 

All in all a very very bad experience compared to other cruise lines. So never ever Holland America Line again. And  we recommend others to stay away from HAL and find other cruise lines with a decent behavour against early bookings, such as e.g. Celebrity Cruises. 

 

If it is late bookings at reduced rates they want, give it to them and save a lot of money. Most travel agents have a system of notification when prices are lowered. Just sign up at these.

 

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To be an informed consumer I do my research and take responsibility for my choices.  I also monitor fares post-purchase so I am armed with a negotiating tool.  I’ve found that the pointing-fingers method doesn’t have a good track record.  

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A few years ago, I booked an Antarctic cruise with HAL, just before final payment. It involved me taking the kids out of school for several days, although most of the time was over Christmas break. A few weeks later, they modified the itinerary and split off the first 3 days and drastically cut the price. I could have gone for much cheaper and the kids would have missed less school. I was kicking myself. But I had a fabulous time.

 

While I was on the cruise, I learned that our city had experienced an ice storm , there was no power to my home and it was freezing cold. Power wasn't restored until after Christmas. The ice storm started the day I would have left if I were taking the modified itinerary. I wouldn't have been able to fly out. So, I was much better off for not having taken the cheaper price. 

 

Things happen for a reason. 

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We always book early (a year or sometimes more), and have never been disappointed with HAL's booking/re-booking policies. 🙂

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i never understand this type of post  - as for everything , you see something you want and the price it is offered for, you get it or don't depending on if you think its worth the cost, over the next few months/years the price may well change up or down, hey you got what you paid for , dont get upset about it or you will never buy anything.

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3 hours ago, Homosassa said:

Is this not a reboot of a thread by this OP?  The exact same complaint by a poster with a very similar name was started before the shut down for the upgrade.

 

The complainant did not get much support for the complaint on the previous thread and appears to be beating the dead horse again. 

 

I thought it looked strangely familiar, too.  (Of course, a lot of posts look that way to me after several years on Cruise Critic.)

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2 hours ago, trub said:

i never understand this type of post  - as for everything , you see something you want and the price it is offered for, you get it or don't depending on if you think its worth the cost, over the next few months/years the price may well change up or down, hey you got what you paid for , dont get upset about it or you will never buy anything.

I wonder if OP feels appropriately guilty about “cheating” a cruise line when the price only goes up after he booked.  Does he offer compensation to them for taking a cabin at a lower price than they got from others?

 

ZEEEEEESH!

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13 hours ago, Jens Jakobsen said:

Never make an early booking with Holland America Line

 

They are fooling early bookers when they reduce rates 1 months prior to departure without compensating early  bookers to same level like other cruiselines, e.g. Royal Caribbean in such cases.

 

On our cruise they reduced the cabin prices with 2.600 USD the last month prior to departure and thereby cheated early bookers the same price. 

 

And they difinitively reject to compensate early bookers in any way. They may have the right, but it is certainly not decent to early bookings. 

 

They could have compensated early bookers with a free beverage package, which would be a very cheap way for them to compensate the fooling. Or by upgrading. But they just gave away the better cabins to late bookers instead of early bookings.

 

Besides, beverage packages,and especielle ordinairy wines are extremely expensive. Internet charges were 25USD for 24 hours, claiming you can be streaming, but limited to 500 MB a day. How can anyone be streaming with a limitation of 500 MB ??? -   So a constant squeeze everywhere.

 

Merely, the cabin layout is not in accordance with the showings at their website. In our case, the cabin should contain a couch with a little table and a chair. It only had the chair.

 

All in all a very very bad experience compared to other cruise lines. So never ever Holland America Line again. And  we recommend others to stay away from HAL and find other cruise lines with a decent behavour against early bookings, such as e.g. Celebrity Cruises.

 

If it is late bookings at reduced rates they want, give it to them and save a lot of money. Most travel agents have a system of notification when prices are lowered. Just sign up at these.

 

WOW!  Sure hope OP finds a cruise line to her/his liking, as I'd hate to be stuck with her/him on a HAL cruise!!!

Edited by avian777

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One of my pet peeves on these boards is when somebody (usually someone new to the boards, but not always) posts something, be it a question, complaint or general comment.

 

Then several other posters take the time to offer sage advice, additional comment or recommendations. Only to never the OP again.

 

Hate it when this happens! :classic_angry:

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When I book early, it's because I want a particular itinerary on a particular ship and in a specific cabin. If I wait till the last minute, I might not be able to get what I want. JMHO.

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17 minutes ago, mamaofami said:

When I book early, it's because I want a particular itinerary on a particular ship and in a specific cabin. If I wait till the last minute, I might not be able to get what I want. JMHO.

Precisely.  We decided back in August to book a November cruise.   That's last minute for us.   And, had to settle for a side cabin, not one of the usual aft-wraps we prefer.   As soon as we get some more FCD, we'll be booking our 2020 cruises.

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2 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

Precisely.  We decided back in August to book a November cruise.   That's last minute for us.   And, had to settle for a side cabin, not one of the usual aft-wraps we prefer.   As soon as we get some more FCD, we'll be booking our 2020 cruises.

We booked our February cruise (balcony) back in July.  It is hard to tell which way prices have gone - because only insides are now shown as available.  While it is good to think about getting a lower price for a cruise, the real point of the exercise is to get on the ship you want, sailing the date you want, in the accommodations you want.

 

Getting these things are a large part of what I am willing to pay for.  If all you want is a cheap cruise, and are willing to take what’s left over (or not sail at all) then waiting for the last minute is the thing to do.

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4 hours ago, mamaofami said:

When I book early, it's because I want a particular itinerary on a particular ship and in a specific cabin. If I wait till the last minute, I might not be able to get what I want. JMHO.

 

Right, otherwise, what other reason is there to book at all?

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4 hours ago, mamaofami said:

When I book early, it's because I want a particular itinerary on a particular ship and in a specific cabin. If I wait till the last minute, I might not be able to get what I want. JMHO.

That is how we always book! We booked

 both our cruises for 2020 while on The Maasdam doing South America back in 2/18/18!!!

when you know what you want and room we book it right then and there.

I will deal with possible explore 4 deals or gratuities included later if it happens! 

Booking way in advance especially on a cruise you get great perks!! On The Eurodam in Europe 9/16 we booked our South America Cruise got $1,000

OBC prepaid gratuities and internet w/explore 4!!!

Denise😊

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We have always booked about 12 months ahead. It is important to us that we get the cruise, ship and itinerary. 

However, we recently made a sudden decision to go on a Christmas/New Year cruise this coming December.  There was a suitable 23 day cruise with 2 SS cabins, one of which we chose, and we were extremely happy with the price.  It is certainly a lot cheaper that the one we have booked for June, 2019.

 

We will probably do the same thing again later next year. Wait and see what is available over the holiday period.  

 

 

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If you wait until the last minute you can miss a lot of bonuses such as drink packages and paid gratuities as well as few choices of cabins available in you desired category.;

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18 hours ago, mamaofami said:

When I book early, it's because I want a particular itinerary on a particular ship and in a specific cabin. If I wait till the last minute, I might not be able to get what I want. JMHO.

 

Ditto, ditto, ditto.  We   almost always booked a year in advance   as we wanted the cabin we wanted.  There   actually were times the price went up After we had booked.  We never were   asked to pay that higher price.  (Nor did we offer)  😄 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sail7seas

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I feel the same way as the original poster as it also happened to us. On a two week cruise it was almost $2,000 cheaper to book late and we did indeed get the worst cabin in the category we booked. I will wait until after final payment and pay much less than booking early. We have done a LOT of cruising with HAL and will now look for bargains instead of brand.

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19 minutes ago, Mabs said:

I feel the same way as the original poster as it also happened to us. On a two week cruise it was almost $2,000 cheaper to book late and we did indeed get the worst cabin in the category we booked. I will wait until after final payment and pay much less than booking early. We have done a LOT of cruising with HAL and will now look for bargains instead of brand.

This is certainly the way to get  low prices - assuming, of course, that ANY cabins (or cabins you would enjoy) remain available  — AND that prices have gone down.

 

For some itineraries, prices go up, rather than down as sailing date nears.  For those of us who enjoy cruising, and not just the feeling that we got a bargain,  paying what seems to be an appropriate fare  for the accommodations we want seems OK.

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10 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

This is certainly the way to get  low prices - assuming, of course, that ANY cabins (or cabins you would enjoy) remain available  — AND that prices have gone down.

 

For some itineraries, prices go up, rather than down as sailing date nears.  For those of us who enjoy cruising, and not just the feeling that we got a bargain,  paying what seems to be an appropriate fare  for the accommodations we want seems OK.

That is right and we have paid more for interesting itineraries. We are now cruising more for an easy way to enjoy some nice weather and some very nice people we always meet on cruises.

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6 hours ago, SeaBands said:

If you wait until the last minute you can miss a lot of bonuses such as drink packages and paid gratuities as well as few choices of cabins available in you desired category.;

 

If you get a cheap last minute cruise, who care about the bonuses. You still come out on top after paying for all thos things. 

If the cheap last minute cruise is exactly what you want with a good cabin available go for it.  That is what we did.  We have had an "Annus horribilis" and just want a cruise to relax and get away from it all. We may not even get off the ship.

We have another cruise booked in 2019 for about the same number of days and it cost twice as much, but we have lots of bonuses.  We are happy with both our upcoming cruises. 

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18 hours ago, Stratheden said:

If the cheap last minute cruise is exactly what you want with a good cabin available go for it.

 

Problem is that this almost never happens when you wait until the last minute to book.

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I just got 'double wammied' on this:

 

Last June, I booked a Volendam 15-day Incan Empires cruise, Cat. K for $3301.00 ('all in' with single supplement) with free gratuities - $202.50 = $3098.50.

 

In July, fares changed. I asked my TA to see if it was to my advantage to re-fare and I mentioned the free gratuities. The booking was re-fared (without consulting me) to $3198.00... and the booking confirmation still showed "Free Gratuities" worth $202.50.

 

Yesterday, I noticed the Cat. K fare for Mariner Society members has dropped to $2898.00 with $100 OBC = $2798.00. I asked my TA to see if I could be re-fared. Today, I received a reply stating I am within the penalty period - 120 days for Incan Empire cruises - and I would lose my $300 deposit, plus there would be a $300 penalty = $600 to re-book... so it's not worth it. Fair enough.

 

However, I was also told my booking does NOT have free gratuities - it was a mistake! Essentially, re-faring last July INCREASED my fare by $99.50. ***** re-fares for an increase???

 

To add insult to injury, HAL has increased the daily gratuity charge by $1/day... so I end up having to pay $117.50 MORE than when I first booked - $400.00 more than I could book the cruise today.

 

I'm not happy with HAL or my TA.

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33 minutes ago, Bill B said:

 

I'm not happy with HAL or my TA. 

Why is this the fault of HAL?

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