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cruisegal415

Cancel now or wait?

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We are booked on a British Isles cruise leaving May 28, 2020, with airfare (not purchased through Princess) going to London May 24th.  We have the option through Princess of cancelling now or waiting till 72 hours before sailing.  Princess is suspending cruises until May 11(?) so theoretically our cruise may still sail.  Who knows?

 

The same itinerary is being offered in September 2020, but the timing is not as convenient for us due to other scheduled activities in our lives that would be impacted.  

 

The dilemma: Do we cancel now, and book the September cruise, which currently has open cabins in our category?  Do we hang in there and wait, and if the May 28th cruise is cancelled by Princess, do we then hope that there is availability on the September cruise? If the May 28th cruise is not cancelled, because so many people on our Roll Call have cancelled, I wonder if there will be enough people that do still have reservations still sailing? Will Princess still sail if the ship is not full? Will people be willing to travel the end of May? 

 

Since our crystal ball is not working these days, we have no way of knowing what the world/virus will look like in two + months.  We are willing to hang in there and wait and see, I don't see a down side to doing that, and if things are not better by the end of May, we could then see if there's availability on the September cruise.  But should we just pull the plug now while there's cabins available on that cruise, even though that timing is not as ideal? 

 

If by some miracle the travel restrictions are lifted by May 24, do you think people will re-book this cruise? Do you think Princess would still sail if the ship isn't full?  Obviously if they are still sailing but it looks like it's still not safe to travel, we wouldn't go.  Is anyone except us and one other couple on our Roll Call not cancelling their upcoming cruises yet?

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Unfortunately, I am not optimistic that Princess will be able to sail by the end of May because I believe the cruise ports will still be restricted.

 

OTOH, the cruise lines are hemorrhaging money. If there is any chance they will be allowed to sail, they will, even with a partially filled ship.

 

Financial circumstances for the cruise lines are dire. They have had to refund or FCC thousands upon thousands of passengers, not to mention the huge costs of maintaining the ships.

 

We have cruises booked for late July and over Thanksgiving week. I hope we are able to sail then.

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You could always keep your May cruise and see what happens.  In addition you could also book the cruise for September as that final payment will not be due until after May.  Just make sure it would have a refundable deposit.

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Since the EU is sealing up their borders, I find it hard to believe that the UK will allow ships to dock by mid May.  I actually think (and this is merely my speculation) that no cruise line is going to start back up until June or maybe even July ... this situation is just so fluid, it's like if you miss a day in the news cycle, the whole world has changed.  

 

If you like this itinerary and the room category you like, perhaps you can book it with a refundable deposit for September and go in May if they open back up but you will have September already booked if they cancel the May sailing.  

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2 minutes ago, TM said:

You could always keep your May cruise and see what happens.  In addition you could also book the cruise for September as that final payment will not be due until after May.  Just make sure it would have a refundable deposit.

 

You beat me to it ... I was typing this very thing as your reply posted.  As you can see ... I agree 100%! 

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18 minutes ago, TM said:

You could always keep your May cruise and see what happens.  In addition you could also book the cruise for September as that final payment will not be due until after May.  Just make sure it would have a refundable deposit.

 

Those refundable deposits will mean nothing if the cruise lines don't have the cash to pay them back.  With CCL stock at under $9 and their bonds at junk ratings their future is not good.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cruisegal415 said:

We are booked on a British Isles cruise leaving May 28, 2020, with airfare (not purchased through Princess) going to London May 24th.  We have the option through Princess of cancelling now or waiting till 72 hours before sailing.  Princess is suspending cruises until May 11(?) so theoretically our cruise may still sail.  Who knows?

If things look great, you can always rebook. I can guarantee you that booking a cruise when things stabilize won't be a problem. There will be plenty of cruises to pick from at good prices.  I'm not sure why you need to gamble when there is no need to.  

Edited by ano

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I'd much rather sail in May on a ship that's been cleaned for several weeks/months, than one that's been cruising all summer long.

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We're in the same Boat...

 

As i see it we have 2 choices;

a) cancel now before, if final payment hasn't been paid for and it's refundable either as cash or FCC.

b) give cruise company your cash(full payment) and cancel within 72 hours and only get an FCC.

Can you predict that any specific cruise company will be solvent after this is over?

Is there a risk in that case that you could lose all your money?

 

Personally.we'll be cancelling,keeping our money and betting that when the time comes to rebook safely the price will be lower than it is now.

IMHO

 

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55 minutes ago, docsdrillers said:

We're in the same Boat...

 

As i see it we have 2 choices;

a) cancel now before, if final payment hasn't been paid for and it's refundable either as cash or FCC.

b) give cruise company your cash(full payment) and cancel within 72 hours and only get an FCC.

Can you predict that any specific cruise company will be solvent after this is over?

Is there a risk in that case that you could lose all your money?

 

Personally.we'll be cancelling,keeping our money and betting that when the time comes to rebook safely the price will be lower than it is now.

IMHO

 

We're past final payment so the option is just cancel within 72 hours and only get an FCC.  Thus the option for us is, cancel now and rebook in September? Cancel now and rebook for next year hoping that there will be a similar itinerary within 12 months? Or wait to see if the cruise still goes.  If it does not go, I'm guessing, since they're cancelling it, they will either refund or give FCC.

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12 minutes ago, cruisegal415 said:

We're past final payment so the option is just cancel within 72 hours and only get an FCC.  Thus the option for us is, cancel now and rebook in September? Cancel now and rebook for next year hoping that there will be a similar itinerary within 12 months? Or wait to see if the cruise still goes.  If it does not go, I'm guessing, since they're cancelling it, they will either refund or give FCC.

 

If Princess cancels the May sailing, you will most likely be given the option to get FCCs or cash back (maybe with some additional FCCs) ... which, then, in turn could be used to pay off the balance of the September cruise.  

I would still book the September cruise with a refundable deposit and play the waiting game.  You can always cancel the September sailing that way if the May sailing is a go.  

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I think a big issue is the air fare.  If you cancel will you get your money back?  Not likely if the flight has already been ticketed.  As best you might get some kind of airline voucher with all kinds of restrictions.   We have two future Princess bookings for an August cruise and another cruise in October.  Both are longer trips and involve thousands of dollars of Business Class airfare booked through Princess.  We will make our decisions before those flights are ticketed which is about 45 day prior to embarkation.   I do not want to play the Russian roulette game waiting to see if Princess cancels or does not cancel, if the ports are open or closed, etc.  We recently went through that with HAL who waited until 55 days before our expensive 30 day cruise to cancel.  Yes, HAL made us whole but we would have cancelled within another day because we had more then $5000 in business class air that would soon be ticketed.  Many other cruisers who had their trips cancelled got stuck with their air and, at best, have to deal with vouchers and filing for reimbursement from the cruise line for airline change fees.  Given that scenario we would cancel well in advance and consider a last minute booking if the cruise still looked good and we still had an interest.

 

 

Hank

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15 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

I think a big issue is the air fare.  If you cancel will you get your money back?  Not likely if the flight has already been ticketed.  As best you might get some kind of airline voucher with all kinds of restrictions.   We have two future Princess bookings for an August cruise and another cruise in October.  Both are longer trips and involve thousands of dollars of Business Class airfare booked through Princess.  We will make our decisions before those flights are ticketed which is about 45 day prior to embarkation.   I do not want to play the Russian roulette game waiting to see if Princess cancels or does not cancel, if the ports are open or closed, etc.  We recently went through that with HAL who waited until 55 days before our expensive 30 day cruise to cancel.  Yes, HAL made us whole but we would have cancelled within another day because we had more then $5000 in business class air that would soon be ticketed.  Many other cruisers who had their trips cancelled got stuck with their air and, at best, have to deal with vouchers and filing for reimbursement from the cruise line for airline change fees.  Given that scenario we would cancel well in advance and consider a last minute booking if the cruise still looked good and we still had an interest.

 

 

Hank

Hank - are all your flights the refundable one booked through Princess?  My parents are in a similar predicament for a late July cruise.  They have the non refundable air booked through Princess. I am going to soon be inquiring with the TA before the final payment is due about a possible transfer to the same cruise in Sept or a complete cancellation.  I'm just wondering about the value of the air - if it would be transferable even or just lost to them.  They haven't paid any other amount to Princess at this point. 

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4 hours ago, Cruise Raider said:

 

If Princess cancels the May sailing, you will most likely be given the option to get FCCs or cash back (maybe with some additional FCCs) ... which, then, in turn could be used to pay off the balance of the September cruise.  

I would still book the September cruise with a refundable deposit and play the waiting game.  You can always cancel the September sailing that way if the May sailing is a go.  

I vote for this.  Are the airlines going to be flying to Europe by May or will the US and UK still be closed off.

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1 hour ago, tartana said:

Hank - are all your flights the refundable one booked through Princess?  My parents are in a similar predicament for a late July cruise.  They have the non refundable air booked through Princess. I am going to soon be inquiring with the TA before the final payment is due about a possible transfer to the same cruise in Sept or a complete cancellation.  I'm just wondering about the value of the air - if it would be transferable even or just lost to them.  They haven't paid any other amount to Princess at this point. 

When you book through EZair you generally can choose between "Flexible" and "restricted" fares.  Most folks use Flexible fares which are usually cheaper, especially for business class.  Flexible can be changed or cancelled up to about 45 days prior to embarkation unless you specifically ask Princess to immediately ticket.  Many of us have long advised to use Flexible and never ask for early ticketing because you then lose your option to cancel or change without penalty.

 

I cannot speak to your parents issue as we do not even consider the restricted air on EZair.  I should add that we use an excellent cruise agency to book our cruises, but we do our own EZAIr flights via the Princess web site.  

 

Hank

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We did not book air through Princess.  Another reason that I think we should wait.  If the cruise is cancelled, I would think our travel insurance (also purchased from an outside source) would cover our air fare if we can't get that refunded through the airline.  In addition, the question of whether flights will still be flying to London in May is an open one.  Will the US allow travel to foreign places? Will London be allowing Americans to come in? If the answer is no, the airlines will have to refund or extend a credit.  We also have a non-refundable hotel booked in London for the three days prior to the cruise.  I'm hopeful that they will be flexible and allow us to rebook for another time if we are unable to go in May.

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Just saw this morning that the US might stop all international travel.  They are deciding what to do.

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2 hours ago, cruisegal415 said:

We did not book air through Princess.  Another reason that I think we should wait.  If the cruise is cancelled, I would think our travel insurance (also purchased from an outside source) would cover our air fare if we can't get that refunded through the airline.  In addition, the question of whether flights will still be flying to London in May is an open one.  Will the US allow travel to foreign places? Will London be allowing Americans to come in? If the answer is no, the airlines will have to refund or extend a credit.  We also have a non-refundable hotel booked in London for the three days prior to the cruise.  I'm hopeful that they will be flexible and allow us to rebook for another time if we are unable to go in May.

Just a heads-up about insurance.  Many travel policies do not cover any claim arising out of a pandemic.  As to the airlines, it is like rolling the dice if you are expecting a refund.  And their "credit" often comes in the form of a voucher only good on that particular airline for a specific period of time which is usually 1 year.

 

Hank

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On 3/18/2020 at 11:01 AM, bluesea321 said:

 

Those refundable deposits will mean nothing if the cruise lines don't have the cash to pay them back.  With CCL stock at under $9 and their bonds at junk ratings their future is not good.  

Yep, take your money now if you can.  We will have to wait to see what the airlines will do. 

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1 minute ago, milolii said:

Yep, take your money now if you can.  We will have to wait to see what the airlines will do. 

Agree 

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The entire country may be under a Shelter/stay in place order by that point! Thinking of traveling now is unrealistic. Unfortunately,  after seeing the London Imperial College supression model for the covid-19 virus, the peak probably won't hit the US until November!  

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8 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Just a heads-up about insurance.  Many travel policies do not cover any claim arising out of a pandemic.  As to the airlines, it is like rolling the dice if you are expecting a refund.  And their "credit" often comes in the form of a voucher only good on that particular airline for a specific period of time which is usually 1 year.

 

 

 

That is usually one year from when the reservation was made, not one year from the cancellation date.

 

When many people making flight arrangements up to 330 days in advance of the flights, the one year to use the credit may end up being only a couple of months.

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Just got notified that one of the places we were looking forward to seeing in England is not going to be open until June 30th, which is after we will be there.  Another consideration, I guess, the purpose of the cruise is to get us from point A to point B, etc.  If we can't see the sights when we get there, what's the point?

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17 hours ago, caribill said:

 

That is usually one year from when the reservation was made, not one year from the cancellation date.

 

When many people making flight arrangements up to 330 days in advance of the flights, the one year to use the credit may end up being only a couple of months.

Yup. I made flight reservations last June to go back to the UK this Easter. Under the fare conditions of my tickets, cancelling now would only allow me to rebook for flights through the end of June and this thing will not be over by then.

 

My flights will be cancelled by the airline as they are suspending all long haul travel until May, so I will be able to get a refund on those tickets. I’ve already rebooked alternative flights for August, so I’d want cash, rather than them finally relenting on the expiration period.

 

I also have flights booked for May to South Africa on Qatar. They will allow me to cancel up to 3 days before departure and will issue a voucher that is valid for a full year from the date I cancel. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, polmcs said:

Yup. I made flight reservations last June to go back to the UK this Easter. Under the fare conditions of my tickets, cancelling now would only allow me to rebook for flights through the end of June and this thing will not be over by then.

 

 

Southwest announced today that any passenger cancellation of a flight from March-May will have the funds available to use until June 30, 2021. Same for any funds that would have expired this March-May.

 

I think some other airlines are announcing similar policies.

 

 

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