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justhappy

New NCL cancellation policy 3/6/2020

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It was on TV on CNN. The governor of Florida and leaders from the cruise industry were stood with him when he made the statement.

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Should be interesting as to what the cruise industry and the government have come to an "agreement" on as to how they are going to handle this.  Because although it's nice that NCL has finally stepped up with something, as I'm starting to look at future bookings to be prepared for what to do with our upcoming April cruise I'm not too happy with what is looking like a money grab here.  Basically what they are really doing is holding onto our money now (the credit instead of the full cash refund) so they can earn interest on it instead of us, and then when we want to have access to that credit in the future to book another cruise, from what I'm seeing online, we are going to have to be prepared to accept something far less in value or be prepared to pay significantly more to get the same value.  Our cruise in April of this year, for the same cruise next year will cost 50% more.  So if I were to call up on 3/10 and ask to "cancel" our cruise and let's book it for next year, same exact room and same exact week/ship, they are going to tell me that will be another $4,400 please.  Really??  Are you going to apply the interest you will be earning on my $8,800 that you'll be holding for me toward that?   I'm sorry, but if they want to give us a credit, it should be good for the same exact value (same destination/ship/length of time/room type), not so they can jack up the rates on all future cruises, hold onto all of our money now so they are protected and we are all out our money unless we want to give them even more money for the same thing we already paid in full for at a future date.

 

I'm sorry if I don't find that generous.  Sure, if I canceled last week I would have lost everything.  Maybe in 72 hours things will change again and they will be forced to refund money as an option.  At least I have time to wait, I feel sorry for those who do not.  

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For what it's worth, Marco Rubio was at the meeting and he tweeted that:  Within 72 hours, the cruise lines will provide a plan to 1) enhance screening  2) perform tests onboard, and 3) have a "pre-existing plan" (?) for onshore medical care, quarantine, and monitoring. 

 

I can see guests having to go through screening during the cruise and definitely prior to debarkation day while at sea as one of these.  Just don't dare cough or wipe your nose on the cruise or someone might report you.

 

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1 hour ago, kk in ct said:

Should be interesting as to what the cruise industry and the government have come to an "agreement" on as to how they are going to handle this.  Because although it's nice that NCL has finally stepped up with something, as I'm starting to look at future bookings to be prepared for what to do with our upcoming April cruise I'm not too happy with what is looking like a money grab here.  Basically what they are really doing is holding onto our money now (the credit instead of the full cash refund) so they can earn interest on it instead of us, and then when we want to have access to that credit in the future to book another cruise, from what I'm seeing online, we are going to have to be prepared to accept something far less in value or be prepared to pay significantly more to get the same value.  Our cruise in April of this year, for the same cruise next year will cost 50% more.  So if I were to call up on 3/10 and ask to "cancel" our cruise and let's book it for next year, same exact room and same exact week/ship, they are going to tell me that will be another $4,400 please.  Really??  Are you going to apply the interest you will be earning on my $8,800 that you'll be holding for me toward that?   I'm sorry, but if they want to give us a credit, it should be good for the same exact value (same destination/ship/length of time/room type), not so they can jack up the rates on all future cruises, hold onto all of our money now so they are protected and we are all out our money unless we want to give them even more money for the same thing we already paid in full for at a future date.

 

I'm sorry if I don't find that generous.  Sure, if I canceled last week I would have lost everything.  Maybe in 72 hours things will change again and they will be forced to refund money as an option.  At least I have time to wait, I feel sorry for those who do not.  

When they changed the cruises on the Star so it could go into dry-dock, they moved everyone on the NY to Bahamas cruise to the Dawn that was sailing at the same time, and adjusted the itinerary to include the original ports (a plus for those originally on the Dawn).  Or you could get a refund.  Lost the free airfare I think (I didn't take the deal).  For those on the TA, they offered refunds or the ability to transfer straight across to another TA.  There was OBC and FCC if you didn't cancel. 

 

Allowing people to move their reservation to a similar cruise at a later date would be a reasonable compromise in my opinion.  FCC if you can't or don't want to commit to a specific future cruise.  Let the people who aren't in this now pay the inflated prices next year!

 

If NCL (and others) are forced to cashout, bankruptcy is a bigger possibility, although I'm not sure why pre-paid expenses shouldn't be returned, since under normal conditions those expenses are returned if you cancel.

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If you try to book a cruise out past 10/1/20 on the website right now it will not show you terms applicable to your deposit.  It links you to the new peace of mind policy.

 

I would not assume anything about what will happen to those cancellations at this time.  They apparently believe they can retroactively change the terms for bookings even more than 120 days out so I would anticipate, until there is clarity, that they may try to hang on any deposits right now.

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8 minutes ago, Regguy said:

If you try to book a cruise out past 10/1/20 on the website right now it will not show you terms applicable to your deposit.  It links you to the new peace of mind policy.

 

I would not assume anything about what will happen to those cancellations at this time.  They apparently believe they can retroactively change the terms for bookings even more than 120 days out so I would anticipate, until there is clarity, that they may try to hang on any deposits right now.

The only retroactive terms I've seen are the 2-day change from 120 to 90 days - which was a benefit to those who might have taken advantage.  So no problem there, except for people who didn't jump on it. 

Nowhere in the "Peace of Mind" policy does it say you can't get your deposit back if you aren't to your final payment date.  As I read it, if you are already booked and complete the booking by paying your remaining balance, you could still cancel for FCC if your cruise is before Sept. 30.  That doesn't mean that the old terms don't apply regarding cancellation before final payment.

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8 hours ago, blcruising said:

I am looking at this answer about what will my FCC include. I am assuming "port charges" are not cruise fare or ancillary items sold by NCL.....

 

The following will be applied to the FCC:

  • Cruise fare
  • Flight arrangements booked through Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Any ancillary items sold by Norwegian Cruise Line except Onboard Credits (OBC)
    • Ancillary items such as flowers, dining or beverage packages, among others.
  • Prepaid service charges

Thank you for your response.

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Hi. We are based in the UK. Does this policy apply to our booking as well which was done via a UK travel agent? Thanks.

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Posted (edited)

I’m not a fan of this policy for one reason — the holding of money that is ordinarily refundable regardless of the normal cancellation policy. I don’t like the idea of tying up that much money in a FCC and not refunding any of my pre-paids. 
 

As of right now, we are not planning to cancel, but if things get worse and we take that option, NCL holding my money makes the decision more difficult.

Edited by Cindy

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32 minutes ago, Cindy said:

I’m not a fan of this policy for one reason — the holding of money that is ordinarily refundable regardless of the normal cancellation policy. I don’t like the idea of tying up that much money in a FCC and not refunding any of my pre-paids. 
 

As of right now, we are not planning to cancel, but if things get worse and we take that option, NCL holding my money makes the decision more difficult.

 

I am booked to sail on the Bliss on 3/15 and still plan to go, but I hadn't purchased my spa pass or pre-paid DSC yet. Had planned to do that this week, but now I find myself holding off just in case I do change my mind in the next couple of days. I don't want the cash for the DSC and spa pass to be tied up until if/when I cruise again.

 

Also, my parents were booked on the 3/22 sailing and I had purchased $30 of OBC for them as a Christmas present for my dad so he could ride the go-karts. It's unclear to me what is going to happen to that OBC now that my parents have decided to cancel...

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NOT AS CUT AND DRY AS YOU THINK IF YOU CANCEL>  BE AWARE

 

If you bought your cruise and got any deals or promotions (such as kids cruise free, drink package, dining package, free wifi, shore excursion credits, airfare)  they will NOT honor those deals.  So when we reschedule the price of our cruise will go up - because we will have to pay our daughter's fare, airfare, and if we want any add-ons.  Just so you know... so while I appreciate the option to re-schedule, I wish it was even exchange and just seems petty.  We have had this cruise booked since August because of those promotions.  I hope this policy changes.  

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38 minutes ago, ksordi said:

NOT AS CUT AND DRY AS YOU THINK IF YOU CANCEL>  BE AWARE

 

If you bought your cruise and got any deals or promotions (such as kids cruise free, drink package, dining package, free wifi, shore excursion credits, airfare)  they will NOT honor those deals.  So when we reschedule the price of our cruise will go up - because we will have to pay our daughter's fare, airfare, and if we want any add-ons.  Just so you know... so while I appreciate the option to re-schedule, I wish it was even exchange and just seems petty.  We have had this cruise booked since August because of those promotions.  I hope this policy changes.  

 

Thank you.

I was taking all of this to mean that whatever money I paid for the cruise, would be given in FCC.

While keeping promotions would be fabulous, I hadn't expected it would be the case and wonder if the "free"

alcohol and dining will be a thing of the past over the next two years when those that canceled, reschedule.


I have two Haven cabins booked for August on Encore for eight people and final payment is next month.

As of now, I'm keeping it but will monitor.

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So let me get this straight.  I am scheduled to cruise in July.  So I thought my final payment date changed to 90 days before sailing instead of the normal 120 days but now if I'm understanding this correctly they have reneged on these terms and final payment is back to 120?????  Just checked my "big box" TA account and it looks like they will now take final payment on 3/10 instead of the changed 4/9.  But they didn't notify me of the change?  I guess I will call them and cancel ASAP!  I don't want a FCC!  Can someone please let me know if this understanding is correct before I waste hours on the phone?  Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, LessWorkMoreTravel said:

So let me get this straight.  I am scheduled to cruise in July.  So I thought my final payment date changed to 90 days before sailing instead of the normal 120 days but now if I'm understanding this correctly they have reneged on these terms and final payment is back to 120?????  Just checked my "big box" TA account and it looks like they will now take final payment on 3/10 instead of the changed 4/9.  But they didn't notify me of the change?  I guess I will call them and cancel ASAP!  I don't want a FCC!  Can someone please let me know if this understanding is correct before I waste hours on the phone?  Thanks!

Yes, same thing happened to me.  I booked through NCL, my July cruise final payment date changed to 90 days and then back to 120 days.  No notice at all.

Edited by disneylover89

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We're set to cruise on the Breakaway from Apr 4-11...  i have no fears about the virus - but I do worry about ports deciding to shut down (ie, Jamaica, Bahamas, etc...) or someone getting sick on the ship - and then we're quarantined for 14 days out at sea.  With 2 kids in school, and my husbands job - that would be a total nightmare. 

 

Sooo.. we're thinking we're going to take the cancel refund and apply it to something over Thanksgiving, as i'm sure this will all be blown over by then.  I'd really rather go - at this point, we'd probably have half the ship to ourselves.. but I have zero trust that the Government won't just let us float out there if something goes wrong.. just like they did with the ship off of CA. 

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Do appreciate the option to reschedule, but I bet they are going to charge you a new deposit on a new cruise regardless of how much FCC you have. 
 

Recently had a Carnival cruise that was cancelled and we were given FCC as compensation. We had to put down a new deposit on a new cruise while the FCC was just taken off the final amount due and this was months before the virus.
 

I expect NCL will ask for a new deposit amount in addition despite all the cash they are keeping. Plus the inflated prices we will need to pay. Will be interesting to see what the parameters will be about booking a new trip!  Our trip is still a few weeks out so we are going to wait a few days before waiting on hold.

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25 minutes ago, LessWorkMoreTravel said:

So let me get this straight.  I am scheduled to cruise in July.  So I thought my final payment date changed to 90 days before sailing instead of the normal 120 days but now if I'm understanding this correctly they have reneged on these terms and final payment is back to 120?????  Just checked my "big box" TA account and it looks like they will now take final payment on 3/10 instead of the changed 4/9.  But they didn't notify me of the change?  I guess I will call them and cancel ASAP!  I don't want a FCC!  Can someone please let me know if this understanding is correct before I waste hours on the phone?  Thanks!

The policy is what it was when you booked your cruise.  You didn't meet the terms of that short-lived policy and it would only apply to people who booked while it was in effect.  Your payment is due as originally contracted.

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10 minutes ago, omarchs said:

I expect NCL will ask for a new deposit amount in addition despite all the cash they are keeping. Plus the inflated prices we will need to pay. Will be interesting to see what the parameters will be about booking a new trip!  Our trip is still a few weeks out so we are going to wait a few days before waiting on hold.

I disagree about the deposit- I think your FCC would be applied as partial or full payment for whatever cruise you book.  However, I always use CruiseNext certificates for deposits and I expect those will be returned to my Latitudes account.  The inflated prices are another story and with that, I do agree.

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4 minutes ago, julig22 said:

The policy is what it was when you booked your cruise.  You didn't meet the terms of that short-lived policy and it would only apply to people who booked while it was in effect.  Your payment is due as originally contracted.

They changed the terms (not sure why you say I didn't "meet" them) and then changed them back with no notice.  Thank goodness for this forum or I would not have known. Now I also understand that my deposit that I've always understood to be fully refundable is now going to be a FCC?   I might dispute that with my credit card company.  

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9 minutes ago, julig22 said:

 The inflated prices are another story and with that, I do agree.

I'm hoping that with ships sitting empty for the next few months and people unsure about getting on a boat soon - that cruise lines will be behind booking pace for the next 6-18 months, thus not really allowing them to inflate prices, at least in the short term.  Add a stock market crash to the scenario.. and they're probably going to need to throw out a lot of incentives just to get people back on board.. but we will see.

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28 minutes ago, LessWorkMoreTravel said:

They changed the terms (not sure why you say I didn't "meet" them) and then changed them back with no notice.  Thank goodness for this forum or I would not have known. Now I also understand that my deposit that I've always understood to be fully refundable is now going to be a FCC?   I might dispute that with my credit card company.  

If you didn't take advantage of the offer when it was valid, you don't meet the terms and you are under the terms of the contract you originally signed.  So in reality, the only people who have a claim to that offer are those who booked while it was in effect or anyone who was at 120 days at that time.

By the same token, under the terms of the contract you did sign, your deposit and any pre-paid expenses should be fully refundable and you could have a case with your CC if you don't get your refund.

Norwegian Cruise Line reserves the right to modify the policy at any time. Any changes will be communicated.

It's anybody's guess how they do their notifications

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5 minutes ago, julig22 said:

If you didn't take advantage of the offer when it was valid, you don't meet the terms and you are under the terms of the contract you originally signed.  So in reality, the only people who have a claim to that offer are those who booked while it was in effect or anyone who was at 120 days at that time.

By the same token, under the terms of the contract you did sign, your deposit and any pre-paid expenses should be fully refundable and you could have a case with your CC if you don't get your refund.

Norwegian Cruise Line reserves the right to modify the policy at any time. Any changes will be communicated.

It's anybody's guess how they do their notifications

I spoke to my TA about 10 days ago and then got an email changing my final payment date to April 9.  You don't think that's taking advantage of the offer? I think I could probably fight it, but at this point I just want to cancel.  Hold times are crazy though!

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32 minutes ago, LessWorkMoreTravel said:

I spoke to my TA about 10 days ago and then got an email changing my final payment date to April 9.  You don't think that's taking advantage of the offer? I think I could probably fight it, but at this point I just want to cancel.  Hold times are crazy though!

If you booked through a TA, all communication goes through the TA, so don't bother calling NCL if you are planning to cancel. 

I'm not saying that NCL shouldn't have just kept the 90 day policy along with the current cancellation policy, but they didn't. However, if the email you are referring to was from your TA, then it was your TA that dropped the ball by not letting you know it would no longer apply.

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