Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
tony1961w

A note about the (terrible) PO Cruise booking and customer service

Recommended Posts

Just a note to let people know about the awful PO Cruise booking and customers service experience:

 

1. Please be aware that if you pay a deposit you will be 'locked' into a price. If the price drops, you will not be allowed to pay that price, only the higher price. PO do not tell you this on their website, or when you book, or pay the deposit; they intimate that it is all 'flexible' (which it is not).

2. PO do not care about this or about you (their customer service is abysmal; they do not know anything, and are unaccommodating, and unhelpful; they do wish to make your experience a nice one, merely, give you a blank wall; they know nothing about cruises, ships, cabins,  prices, what happens, when it happens, etc; they are not interested at all.

 

We have not even been on the cruise yet and we are already not recommending PO Cruises: do not use them; be  very aware if contacting them of their terrible customer service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, tony1961w said:

Just a note to let people know about the awful PO Cruise booking and customers service experience:

 

1. Please be aware that if you pay a deposit you will be 'locked' into a price. If the price drops, you will not be allowed to pay that price, only the higher price. PO do not tell you this on their website, or when you book, or pay the deposit; they intimate that it is all 'flexible' (which it is not).

 

Doesn't this apply to all cruises booked in the UK? I think it's only in the US and maybe Canada that you can get the reduction if the price drops. And this has to be before the final balance date.

This is why some people from the UK book their cruise through a US agent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of the learning curve I'm afraid, Tony.

 

As Ray's post, it's no different with any cruise line - not just P&O, not just UK lines, but all cruises if you book from the UK.

 

But then nor is it any different with packaged holidays, flights, theatre tickets, and a multitude of other contracts.

 

By the same token, if the price of a cruise, package,  holiday, flight, etc goes up they can't increase the price to you.

 

I can't comment on your views of P&O staff, but clearly you ween't a happy bunny to be told  that you were locked-in so perhaps your views were clouded by that

 

JB 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, tony1961w said:

Just a note to let people know about the awful PO Cruise booking and customers service experience:

 

1. Please be aware that if you pay a deposit you will be 'locked' into a price. If the price drops, you will not be allowed to pay that price, only the higher price. PO do not tell you this on their website, or when you book, or pay the deposit; they intimate that it is all 'flexible' (which it is not).

2. PO do not care about this or about you (their customer service is abysmal; they do not know anything, and are unaccommodating, and unhelpful; they do wish to make your experience a nice one, merely, give you a blank wall; they know nothing about cruises, ships, cabins,  prices, what happens, when it happens, etc; they are not interested at all.

 

We have not even been on the cruise yet and we are already not recommending PO Cruises: do not use them; be  very aware if contacting them of their terrible customer service.

Welcome to Cruise Critic. You certainly have hit the ground running. As mentioned already about cruises being booked and having a price change soon after, this is the norm not the exception with any cruise purchase let alone nearly every other purchase you can make, i.e clothing, air line tickets, petrol, groceries, etc. It is called Buyer's regret.

That said, I am sorry, you had an unpleasant experience with the staff dealing with your issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, I think you should cancel this cruise and be done with it. No use spending more money on something you won't enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

BTW, I think you should cancel this cruise and be done with it. No use spending more money on something you won't enjoy.

I'm not sure I totally agree with MicCanberra, about cancelling the cruise, but if you do hold on to your hatred for the P&O customer service department then it will ruin your cruise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Bloodgem said:

I'm not sure I totally agree with MicCanberra, about cancelling the cruise, but if you do hold on to your hatred for the P&O customer service department then it will ruin your cruise. 

I agree but I also think it will just keep eating at the OP and therefore they cannot let go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, I'm sorry about what has happened to you re the cost of the cruise.  As others have said, here in the UK once you have paid a deposit that is it, the price is fixed.  It is very frustrating when the price drops, especially when Americans seem to be able to chop and change their bookings almost at will until the final balance is due.  This has been discussed many times on this board.

 

Did you book direct or through a travel agent?  Is the price drop substantial?  Whichever it is go back to  them and ask them (politely) if they would/could either upgrade you to a better cabin or offer you onboard credit.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but at least you will have tried.

 

Whatever the outcome is please don't let it spoil your cruise.  You haven't said when and where it is but do come back after the cruise and let us know how it went.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have the same situation in Australia, only possible options is to cancel and rebook (lose any deposit and or perks that you may have had) or to try and get an upgrade for the same cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In UK Princess allows you one re fare of price if price goes down,but charge you £100 admin fee.

 

You'll need to consider whether the price drop is worth this.

 

Several years ago, we were able to change Princess cruise to another Princess cruise about a month later at no additional cost but the cruise was slightly longer so we paid more.

 

Different tele sales / customer service agents may answer your questions differently, so it may be worth ringing P and O again, and speaking calmly to someone else..explain exactly what you would like them to do.

 

I agree it is most unfair when passengers in US have different pricing structures/ opportunities to take advantage of price drops, swap ships, cabins etc. In UK we have the benefit of ABTA and ATOL.

 

Each country has its own terms and conditions ! When we book we our bound by T & Cs of our country.

 

Insurance seems different too. We would never travel without Insurance but it seems many folk do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Non-refundable deposits in the UK are almost universal for everything.   In the UK putting a deposit down on any item usually means the said money is not recoverable and we think very seriously before putting a deposit on anything because your money has effectively gone. Alterations to the original purchase often involve a penalty fee.

 

The original poster should cancel and re-book either with an alternative cruise line or general holiday.  This is because Tony seems totally unsatisfied with P&O. Other cruise lines may well have similar booking policies and conditions and a lot of research may be prudent for Tony who might well benefit from a face to face booking at a travel agents.

 

Regards John

Edited by john watson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't speak highly enough of my dealings with P&O both over the phone and through a TA, thoroughly professional, knowledgeable and always given us the answers to questions we've had, to be honest the OP seems bitter because they didn't do their research and want to blame P&O for the position they put themselves in. No doubt they'll feel better now having got it off their chest though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m confused - can you not cancel and rebook if the price drops in the UK? The most you have to lose is the deposit, right? I.e. if price drop is more than your deposit/perks, will they not even let you rebook on the understanding you lose your desposit?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes you can cancel and rebook if the price drops.  We did this a few years ago.  We lost the deposit, OBC and free parking but we still saved a few hundred pounds. Also we lost the cabin we had chosen as the reduced price was on a saver fare where you don't get choice of cabin number.

 

In the US, you wouldn't lose your deposit if the price drops before the balance is due.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for clarifying Ray. This is really what I'd expect to be honest! I find 'refundable deposits' an odd concept (as nice as it would be)!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ross K said:

Thanks for clarifying Ray. This is really what I'd expect to be honest! I find 'refundable deposits' an odd concept (as nice as it would be)!

 

If deposits were refundable in cash without any penalty one consequence could be significant numbers of people reserving hundreds of cruises each which they are mildly interested in.  Certainly where cruise lines permit top loyalty tier customers to book a day or two early they could stitch up the market.  A few months later they could do ultiple cancellations and get their funds returned.

 

Regards John

Edited by john watson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the sort of thing I've read about on the Cunard forum - not hundreds though I might add.

There was once someone from the US who actually admitted that they had booked two or three crossings with kennel space on the QM2 because they hadn't decided which date suited them best. They would cancel the unwanted dates nearer the time.  They didn't get very kind comments.

 

And this is one of the reasons why you sometimes see booked cabins re-appear (other reasons could be illness etc.).

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, john watson said:

 

If deposits were refundable in cash without any penalty one consequence could be significant numbers of people reserving hundreds of cruises each which they are mildly interested in.  Certainly where cruise lines permit top loyalty tier customers to book a day or two early they could stitch up the market.  A few months later they could do ultiple cancellations and get their funds returned.

 

Regards John

 

I have read about this on the Royal Caribbean' s forum.  Where US passengers have booked suites for 2 or 3 different cruises then cancelled the ones they cannot take, due to work commitment, or just don't fancy anymore just before final payment is due.

RCI only allow US passengers to book suite using non-refundable deposits now, as ships were sailing with empty suite cabins.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Bloodgem said:

 

I have read about this on the Royal Caribbean' s forum.  Where US passengers have booked suites for 2 or 3 different cruises then cancelled the ones they cannot take, due to work commitment, or just don't fancy anymore just before final payment is due.

RCI only allow US passengers to book suite using non-refundable deposits now, as ships were sailing with empty suite cabins.

 

Yes, some of the systems may seem better at first but they all have draw backs. Of course there will always be some people who will abuse a system to the advantage of themselves but a detriment to others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 12/14/2018 at 6:29 AM, Ray66 said:

 

Doesn't this apply to all cruises booked in the UK? I think it's only in the US and maybe Canada that you can get the reduction if the price drops. And this has to be before the final balance date.

This is why some people from the UK book their cruise through a US agent.

With Princess here in OZ you can get a refare if a price drop, up to final payment, done it a few times.  I recently tried with HAL, no luck.   I just booked Arcadia for next year through P&O Australia as we cannot book direct with P&O UK, God only knows why !!  if a price drop will have a go at a refare.

Edited by NSWP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/18/2018 at 7:52 AM, MicCanberra said:

Tony appears to be yet another one post wonder

 

More than 4 months later, still a one-post wonder.

 

Mebbe surprised that nobody agreed with them.

Or more likely never even looked back in - just wanted to get it off their chest.:classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, John Bull said:

 

More than 4 months later, still a one-post wonder.

 

Mebbe surprised that nobody agreed with them.

Or more likely never even looked back in - just wanted to get it off their chest.:classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:  

Cheaper than a Doctors appointment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to say P&O need to teach their customer service peeps some geography. I live in Yorkshire but when I went to book a fly cruise to Malta they couldn't understand why I wasn't interested in flying out of Bristol or Belfast 🤔🤨🙄. I since booked with Marella going out of Newcastle. 🚢👌

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...