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Mollycat

Canadian billing/refreshment package

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Hi there,

 

A question for fellow Canadians.   I read suggestions of buying a drink package or excursion if you think the price is good and cancelling and rebooking if a cheaper rate comes up.  I know the prices on the planner are in Canadian dollars, but on my Visa card, will charges show up in USD for the equivalent of what I locked in, or just CDN dollars with no exchange?  I’m wondering if I have to pay a foreign transaction fee each time if I cancel and rebook excursion/drink package?

 

That being said, I'm going on the Allure in January and wanting to get the refreshment package as we are not big alcohol drinkers.  Showing up now as $29 plus gratuity and I’m debating about purchasing at that price or waiting to see if it goes lower.  Or booking and cancelling depending on the answer from the above question.   
 

thank you! 

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I can’t speak as to what will show up on your credit card but why don’t you consider getting a cc with no foreign transaction fees? The Marriott Amex has excellent perks such as a free night every year and no foreign transaction fees. 

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1 hour ago, Mollycat said:

Hi there,

 

A question for fellow Canadians.   I read suggestions of buying a drink package or excursion if you think the price is good and cancelling and rebooking if a cheaper rate comes up.  I know the prices on the planner are in Canadian dollars, but on my Visa card, will charges show up in USD for the equivalent of what I locked in, or just CDN dollars with no exchange?  I’m wondering if I have to pay a foreign transaction fee each time if I cancel and rebook excursion/drink package?

 

That being said, I'm going on the Allure in January and wanting to get the refreshment package as we are not big alcohol drinkers.  Showing up now as $29 plus gratuity and I’m debating about purchasing at that price or waiting to see if it goes lower.  Or booking and cancelling depending on the answer from the above question.   
 

thank you! 

I'm a dual resident and use both currencies regularly.  If, when you look at the cruise planner, it shows a CDN $ price you will be billed in CDN $.  If it shows USD $ then you it will be billed in USD $ and your CC provider will convert it at their rate.  In in my experience it is always better to do it in CDN $ unless you have a USD$ bank account with a CC attached to it that prevents the conversion.  The disadvantage of of paying in USD$ and having your card convert it is that usually your card will charge an exchange rate premium when converting to USD$. When you cancel and rebook to get the lower price you are credited in USD$ which, when converted, will be a discounted rate.  So you lose on both ends of the transaction.  

 

Example... Assuming 1.32 mid market rate.

 

Typical credit card will charge a 3.5% premium on the charge and a 3.5% discount on the refund.

 

Say you are buying the DBP @ $52 a day per person.  For two people on the seven day cruise your price will be a $859 USD which equals $1163.95 CDN

 

You see a price of $48 on the Black Friday sale and you cancel your existing purchase and repurchase at the new, discounted rate

 

Your credit card will be credited $859 USD which will convert back to CDN as $1103.82

 

Your new purchase will be $792 USD which, when it hits your card will be apx. $1073

 

You end up saving only $30 by taking advantage of the new discounted price when you should have saved $90 had you done it right. Unfortunately, I made this mistake once and learned this all the hard way.  Sometimes there are reasons that you may want to use a Canadian CC but you need to understand the pitfalls.  

 

Also, it's good to know that RCi usually converts their prices from US to CDN on their website at the mid market rate which is a rate you could never get no matter who you use for conversion services. This is significant for Canadians used to getting hosed by US exchange rates. 

 

If you are booking a cruise direct with RCi on their website you must click on the little flag in the righthand corner and manually select Canada.  Canadians going to www.royalcaribbean.com will default to the US site.  Their site does not recognize a Canadian IP address and default to a Canadian pricing structure like most US online shopping retailers. It will give you US prices and allow you to go all the way through to the end and purchase in USD.  If you are speaking to an agent on the phone you must specifically tell them you want everything done in CDN$

 

Once your currency is set it can't be changed after the fact.

 

$29 CDN is not a bad price for the RP.  That equates to $22 US best I've seen in the last year has been $20 USD.  2018 I got it for $18 USD

Edited by Tree_skier

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1 hour ago, Tree_skier said:

I'm a dual resident and use both currencies regularly.  If, when you look at the cruise planner, it shows a CDN $ price you will be billed in CDN $.  If it shows USD $ then you it will be billed in USD $ and your CC provider will convert it at their rate.  In in my experience it is always better to do it in CDN $ unless you have a USD$ bank account with a CC attached to it that prevents the conversion.  The disadvantage of of paying in USD$ and having your card convert it is that usually your card will charge an exchange rate premium when converting to USD$. When you cancel and rebook to get the lower price you are credited in USD$ which, when converted, will be a discounted rate.  So you lose on both ends of the transaction.  

 

Example... Assuming 1.32 mid market rate.

 

Typical credit card will charge a 3.5% premium on the charge and a 3.5% discount on the refund.

 

Say you are buying the DBP @ $52 a day per person.  For two people on the seven day cruise your price will be a $859 USD which equals $1163.95 CDN

 

You see a price of $48 on the Black Friday sale and you cancel your existing purchase and repurchase at the new, discounted rate

 

Your credit card will be credited $859 USD which will convert back to CDN as $1103.82

 

Your new purchase will be $792 USD which, when it hits your card will be apx. $1073

 

You end up saving only $30 by taking advantage of the new discounted price when you should have saved $90 had you done it right. Unfortunately, I made this mistake once and learned this all the hard way.  Sometimes there are reasons that you may want to use a Canadian CC but you need to understand the pitfalls.  

 

Also, it's good to know that RCi usually converts their prices from US to CDN on their website at the mid market rate which is a rate you could never get no matter who you use for conversion services. This is significant for Canadians used to getting hosed by US exchange rates. 

 

If you are booking a cruise direct with RCi on their website you must click on the little flag in the righthand corner and manually select Canada.  Canadians going to www.royalcaribbean.com will default to the US site.  Their site does not recognize a Canadian IP address and default to a Canadian pricing structure like most US online shopping retailers. It will give you US prices and allow you to go all the way through to the end and purchase in USD.  If you are speaking to an agent on the phone you must specifically tell them you want everything done in CDN$

 

Once your currency is set it can't be changed after the fact.

 

$29 CDN is not a bad price for the RP.  That equates to $22 US best I've seen in the last year has been $20 USD.  2018 I got it for $18 USD

Very helpful!   Thank you so much.   

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I was lucky enough to get in on the one day mistaken $18 U.S. deluxe beverage "sale". Appropriately enough, it happened on Canada Day. When I received the invoice it was already in Cdn dollars. 

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If you book in CAD, then your cruise planner purchases are in CAD.  That is the amount that is charged to your CC.

If you cancel, then you get back the same amount that you purchased it at.

 

If you have OBC, then you will notice that it will fluctuate a bit, as will prices.  Royal already does their conversion, and I think they adjust it every once in awhile (not sure the frequency in how often the adjust the exchange rate).  I think I remember reading a comment that once you use your OBC, that is the rate that is used.

Edited by LuCruise

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9 hours ago, Maplemoose said:

I was lucky enough to get in on the one day mistaken $18 U.S. deluxe beverage "sale". Appropriately enough, it happened on Canada Day. When I received the invoice it was already in Cdn dollars. 

Yes...but cruise planner showed $23.94 for us.

Lol...I never even noticed or thought about how it was Canada Day.

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6 minutes ago, LuCruise said:

Yes...but cruise planner showed $23.94 for us.

Lol...I never even noticed or thought about how it was Canada Day.


we got it for $22 CAD I think.  The total is $196 for a week.  We now have friends coming on our cruise and they just bought for $75 a day so $629 each.  I don’t have the heart to tell them what we paid lol

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10 minutes ago, Canadian Disney Mom said:


we got it for $22 CAD I think.  The total is $196 for a week.  We now have friends coming on our cruise and they just bought for $75 a day so $629 each.  I don’t have the heart to tell them what we paid lol

If that’s a 7 day cruise it works out to 23.73 before gratuities. 

 

 

Edited by Ourusualbeach

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If you booked your cruise in Canadian funds then all related purchases before you cruise are in Canadian funds as well.  Make your purchase now and if the cost goes down then just cancel and rebook.  There is no fee for this from either your CC company or RCCL.  The one draw back is that it takes a few weeks to get your refund as RCCL is slow to process it.  

I have had one issue where I was booking drink packages for B2B cruises and prices dropped two days in a row.  I canceled and rebooked for both days however only three refunds were processed.  I had to call Royal several times to get the fourth refund returned but it did eventually come.

My point is that the time between your refund and the need to pay for the new product, which is right away, will be several weeks and so your CC will have a balance showing both.  Make sure your CC has room for that.  

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2 minutes ago, ladybub101 said:

If we booked our cruise in US dollars, can we now change it to Canadian?

No.  Once it is booked The currency cannot be changed. 

 

You would have to completely cancel and rebook at today’s prices. 

Edited by Ourusualbeach

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6 minutes ago, ladybub101 said:

If we booked our cruise in US dollars, can we now change it to Canadian?

 

3 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

No.  Once it is booked The currency cannot be changed. 

 

You would have to completely cancel and rebook at today’s prices. 

 

This is what happened to me on my upcoming Adventure of the seas cruise.  I booked it a year and a half ago directly with  RC over phone.  At some point I booked a couple of shore excursions and then a month later noticed a price reduction so I cancelled and rebooked thinking I just saved a few bucks.  When credit came through I realized that I saved nothing because of the exchange rate differential.  I called to try and change the currency so all subsequent purchases wouldn't have this issue but they don't allow that without fully cancelling and rebooking.  I had booked with a NRD so I was screwed.

 

So everything after that on this cruise was purchased with a credit card linked to a US bank.

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Thank you for the help!  I think I will buy the refreshment package now and cancel and buy again if the price drops.   If I get buyers remorse I can always cancel 😊

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Is there a way to switch currencies?  I am in Canada, and my cruise planner costs are all listed in USD. I do not have a USD credit card, so I would prefer not to pay the foreign transaction fees for any of my future purchases.

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No once your currency is set you can not change it i was told by RC customer service. If you have a refundable deposit you can cancel and rebook the whole cruise in CDN but you have to pay whatever the going rate is now and would lose whatever price you paid. 

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On 11/17/2019 at 2:08 PM, Tree_skier said:

 

 

This is what happened to me on my upcoming Adventure of the seas cruise.  I booked it a year and a half ago directly with  RC over phone.  At some point I booked a couple of shore excursions and then a month later noticed a price reduction so I cancelled and rebooked thinking I just saved a few bucks.  When credit came through I realized that I saved nothing because of the exchange rate differential.  I called to try and change the currency so all subsequent purchases wouldn't have this issue but they don't allow that without fully cancelling and rebooking.  I had booked with a NRD so I was screwed.

 

So everything after that on this cruise was purchased with a credit card linked to a US bank.

Having a US$ credit card and a US $ account also helps with the on board charges at the end of the cruise.  No fees there and I can top up my US account throughout the year    from home when the dollar creeps up.  

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49 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

Having a US$ credit card and a US $ account also helps with the on board charges at the end of the cruise.  No fees there and I can top up my US account throughout the year    from home when the dollar creeps up.  

One of the things that I have noticed is the Royal Caribbean is very fair with their exchange rate. Their rate doesn't fluctuate as like a forex broker but they are  pretty close to the mid market rate.  I do a lot of forex transactions Right now from my forex broker I get 1.332. The mid market rate closed today at 1.321.  Royal's exchange rate for cruise planner purchases is 1.33 exactly.  My credit card will give me 1.356 today which is good by credit card standards. There are times when depending on currency fluctuations Royals rate actually shows up better than the mid market rate.

 

 For all folks griping about Royal nickel and diming people... one area they could and nobody would probably notice but do not is with currency transactions.  I'm sure with the forex transactions they do the probably get a rate closer to the midmarket rate than I do but I'm sure that it is not more than a 1/2 cent on the dollar.  

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All Canadian billing goes through the Vancouver, BC office.  Just another little piece of information. 

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58 minutes ago, ladysail2 said:

All Canadian billing goes through the Vancouver, BC office.  Just another little piece of information. 

Not all.

 

I have found that the cruises that I have booked directly with Royal have gone through their Vancouver office.  Those that I have booked through a TA go through the main Royal office.

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14 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

Not all.

 

I have found that the cruises that I have booked directly with Royal have gone through their Vancouver office.  Those that I have booked through a TA go through the main Royal office.

Okay. I would think that the main office uses US$$. Perhaps the charges through a TA first go to the main office, then get sent to the Vancouver office who deals in Canadian $$.  It seems odd that the Main office deals in foreign currency....but it may.  

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13 minutes ago, ladysail2 said:

Okay. I would think that the main office uses US$$. Perhaps the charges through a TA first go to the main office, then get sent to the Vancouver office who deals in Canadian $$.  It seems odd that the Main office deals in foreign currency....but it may.  

The main office in Miami deals in both currencies.  I see the two different charges on my card. One is Royal Caribbean Vancouver when I am using a personal booking direct with Royal.  The other is just Royal Caribbean.  I can also conform that it does not go through the TA because I am the TA and call Royal directly to make all payments.

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7 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

The main office in Miami deals in both currencies.  I see the two different charges on my card. One is Royal Caribbean Vancouver when I am using a personal booking direct with Royal.  The other is just Royal Caribbean.  I can also conform that it does not go through the TA because I am the TA and call Royal directly to make all payments.

LOL, well that settles that. I’ve always only seen the Vancouver address on any refunds. I only deal in Canadian currency now,  and deal directly with Royal.  I have had a few US$ bookings, but didn’t have any refunds. I don’t like all those conversion charges that the cc charges.  I must take a better look on my cc regarding payments.  I believe for a payment, it does say just Royal Caribbean,  but for a refund of a purchase, it says Royal Caribbean, Vancouver BC.  Hmm. I’ll let you know.

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8 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

The main office in Miami deals in both currencies.  I see the two different charges on my card. One is Royal Caribbean Vancouver when I am using a personal booking direct with Royal.  The other is just Royal Caribbean.  I can also conform that it does not go through the TA because I am the TA and call Royal directly to make all payments.

I just looked things up. For all payments, purchases of excursions, dining packages, and any refunds to excursions, dining packages....went through Royal Caribbean International, Vancouver BC.  I always phone in my booking/deposit to the Royal agent.  I will make payments on-line as well as make purchases on-line.  I guess they have their reasons for the difference.

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