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Oceania's Refund Policy for Cancelled Cruises - Beware


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In mid-2020 we booked a 14-day cruise leaving Barcelona, Spain on April 30 this year. Paid in full as well. According to my understanding of Oceania's 'Travelers Assurance Program' (and confirmed by several phone calls to Oceania), we could cancel at any time prior to just before departure and if Oceania cancelled the cruise we could either get a full refund or get 125% of what we paid put towards a future cruise.

The cruise was canceled in mid-January and we are eligible for a full refund. Oceania also emailed with a few suggestions for cruises with similar itineraries. However, somehow the 125% towards a future cruise is no longer available. And of course the recommended future cruise with an identical itinerary is a lot more expensive than we had booked. The 125% would just about cover the cost of the replacement cruise but of course the 125% isn't available....

Oh well, 'lots of other fish in the sea', or cruise ships, as the saying goes. Just be warned if you are faced with a similar situation by Oceania.....

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1 hour ago, MalcolmCruiseCritic said:

In mid-2020 we booked a 14-day cruise leaving Barcelona, Spain on April 30 this year. Paid in full as well. According to my understanding of Oceania's 'Travelers Assurance Program' (and confirmed by several phone calls to Oceania), we could cancel at any time prior to just before departure and if Oceania cancelled the cruise we could either get a full refund or get 125% of what we paid put towards a future cruise.

The cruise was canceled in mid-January and we are eligible for a full refund. Oceania also emailed with a few suggestions for cruises with similar itineraries. However, somehow the 125% towards a future cruise is no longer available. And of course the recommended future cruise with an identical itinerary is a lot more expensive than we had booked. The 125% would just about cover the cost of the replacement cruise but of course the 125% isn't available....

Oh well, 'lots of other fish in the sea', or cruise ships, as the saying goes. Just be warned if you are faced with a similar situation by Oceania.....

So you cancelled AFTER the effective dates of the 125% FCC offer and were subject to the FCC rules in effect at the time you finally cancelled?

And you have no TA to advocate for you?

Take the 100% refund.

 

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The OP did not really say when they made the final payment.

it is also not clear if the OP cancelled the cruise before Oceania cancelled the cruise.

 

If Oceania cancelled the cruise without the OP cancelling earlier, aren’t they entitled to a full cash refund or a FCC of 125%?

Edited by jagoffee
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Tough crowd.  We booked early in 2020 for one this year, and cancelled when we saw that the FCC went to the 100%.  I could be wrong, but I think the point is for people to be aware that this has changed.

 

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1 hour ago, jagoffee said:

The OP did not really say when they made the final payment.

it is also not clear if the OP cancelled the cruise before Oceania cancelled the cruise.

 

If Oceania cancelled the cruise without the OP cancelling earlier, aren’t they entitled to a full cash refund or a FCC of 125%?

At the beginning of Covid, it was 125% FCC or 100% refund. In fact, for our May 2020 cruise O cancelled, we got a 100% refund plus 25% FCC bonus. The policy has changed at least twice over the last 9 months.

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It is important, regardless of the cruise line, to attend to the various expiration dates regarding FCC options, book by dates and sail by dates. An expert travel advisor will provide you with reminders and any extensions of the cruise line’s suspension policies.

 

If a passenger did not contact Oceania prior to the published expiration date for a 125% FCC based on the basic cruise fare amount, negative comments should not be attributed to the cruise line. Following that date would have been the 100% refund expiration date. Lastly, if a passenger makes no timely choice regarding the two options, the cruise line automatically refunds the taxes and fees and issues an FCC equal to the basic cruise fare. 
 

Given the moving pieces when a suspended sailing occurs, it is highly recommended to utilize the services of an expert travel advisor.

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On 2/10/2021 at 5:15 PM, mringenoldus said:

It is important, regardless of the cruise line, to attend to the various expiration dates regarding FCC options, book by dates and sail by dates. An expert travel advisor will provide you with reminders and any extensions of the cruise line’s suspension policies.

 

If a passenger did not contact Oceania prior to the published expiration date for a 125% FCC based on the basic cruise fare amount, negative comments should not be attributed to the cruise line. Following that date would have been the 100% refund expiration date. Lastly, if a passenger makes no timely choice regarding the two options, the cruise line automatically refunds the taxes and fees and issues an FCC equal to the basic cruise fare. 
 

Given the moving pieces when a suspended sailing occurs, it is highly recommended to utilize the services of an expert travel advisor.

Excellent advice! I have a Travel Agent and know how to use her.

 

You are, of course, talking to the choir. Some posters here want nothing to do with a TA. They want and demand total control. They want to do it themselves. They’d rather sit on hold indefinitely waiting to talk to a newbie inside customer rep, than call a TA for help. Control!

 

Then, whenever anything goes wrong, even things that a TA could have easily prevented, it’s the cruise line’s fault. Doesn’t matter, even after poor  diy results, control is more important than outcomes for them and they’ll diy next time also, then come complain about outcomes.

 

I started reading a travel article not long ago , by a self proclaimed travel expert, that wrote Travel Agents are like telephone operators, relics of the past, and no longer needed with today’s technology. I stopped reading the article. Each to his own.

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1 hour ago, pinotlover said:

I started reading a travel article not long ago , by a self proclaimed travel expert, that wrote Travel Agents are like telephone operators, relics of the past, and no longer needed with today’s technology. I stopped reading the article. Each to his own.

A lot of the travel writers are 20-40 somethings with a small amount of actual travel experience, totally colored by the social media generation lens. I frequently disagree with what I find written by T & L, Conde Nast, and others I can't think of off the top of my head. 

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I would never book a cruise without a travel agent. 

 

I think there are too many people booking cruises directly who don't know what they don't know.

 

In addition to providing generous OBC, my TA has direct access to the people at the cruise line who can make decisions and get things done. Her advice and her access are valuable to me.

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Sadly, the virus cost my TA her full-time job.  She now only works one morning per week servicing clients, and has a second non-travel job full time.    She's still the agent of record on my two O cruises booked.  I hope they sail so she gets her 16%

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1 hour ago, marieps said:

Sadly, the virus cost my TA her full-time job.  She now only works one morning per week servicing clients, and has a second non-travel job full time.    She's still the agent of record on my two O cruises booked.  I hope they sail so she gets her 16%

I don’t know your exact conditions, but your Travel Agent will almost certainly not get 16%. That number represents the full commission received by the travel agency for which the agent works. Travel Agents work under varying contracts and payment arrangements receiving payment from that Oceania to Travel Agency Agreement.

 

Please let’s not confuse terms. Words have meanings.

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In reply to the hesitancy for the Millennial + generations to feel no need for travel adviser assistance, there has been a great deal of attention to the younger "new to cruise" population as necessary to maintain high booking levels. I was surprised to find the data reveals that although the younger generations are tech savvy, they simply don't want to invest the time and effort in travel planning so are happy to turn to agents to plan for them. I thought that was a very unexpected and interesting finding. This is further borne out by recent cruise lines such as Celebrity and Virgin who are becoming all-inclusive to further simplify travel for them in a more sophisticated or hip setting.

 

In regard to the travel advisor commission take, if the agent works for a larger agency the take will be 60% or less of the full commission. Additionally, there are many non-commissionable items a customer pays for in a standard booking.  However, I have seen many heart-warming stories of clients sending their agents tokens of appreciation after their cruise was suspended. This demonstrates the value savvy cruisers put on their agent's services.

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4 hours ago, pinotlover said:

I don’t know your exact conditions, but your Travel Agent will almost certainly not get 16%. That number represents the full commission received by the travel agency for which the agent works. Travel Agents work under varying contracts and payment arrangements receiving payment from that Oceania to Travel Agency Agreement.

 

Please let’s not confuse terms. Words have meanings.

Oh, please.  I simply expressed the hope that she AND HER AGENCY be paid for their efforts.  Here's a word with a meaning: condescending.    

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45 minutes ago, marieps said:

Oh, please.  I simply expressed the hope that she AND HER AGENCY be paid for their efforts.  Here's a word with a meaning: condescending.    

No condensation intended. You could have apply correctly expressed your point without the your quoted percentage. 
 

Most of us want our Travel Agent well rewarded. 

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On 2/2/2021 at 6:59 PM, emd138 said:

Tough crowd.  We booked early in 2020 for one this year, and cancelled when we saw that the FCC went to the 100%.  I could be wrong, but I think the point is for people to be aware that this has changed.

 

I am confused.  If you booked a cruise that you intended to take why would you cancel just because a FCC (to be given if the cruise was cancelled) was 100%.   You could also simply ask for a 100% refund and you would be made whole.  So if the cruise would go you would be fine.  If it was cancelled you would get your money back.  What is the problem?   Of course you would not be booking a cruise hoping to make a profit with a generous FCC if the cruise had to be  cancelled?  

 

Hank

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15 hours ago, pinotlover said:

No condensation intended. You could have apply correctly expressed your point without the your quoted percentage. 
 

Most of us want our Travel Agent well rewarded. 

Enjoying the vino last night.? I’m having trouble translating. 

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11 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I am confused.  If you booked a cruise that you intended to take why would you cancel just because a FCC (to be given if the cruise was cancelled) was 100%.   You could also simply ask for a 100% refund and you would be made whole.  So if the cruise would go you would be fine.  If it was cancelled you would get your money back.  What is the problem?   Of course you would not be booking a cruise hoping to make a profit with a generous FCC if the cruise had to be  cancelled?  

 

Hank

Hi Hank, Sorry, I wasn't clear.  I booked for July of 2021 before the pandemic really hit, I wasn't booking it trying to make a profit on FCC because there was no such thing when I booked.  I was holding off to see if they cancelled so that I can rebook it later without having to pay the increased costs for 2022 out of pocket.  I ended up moving it out anyway and paying the extra, so I have no problem, I am just saying that people may not be aware of the change.

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28 minutes ago, emd138 said:

Hi Hank, Sorry, I wasn't clear.  I booked for July of 2021 before the pandemic really hit, I wasn't booking it trying to make a profit on FCC because there was no such thing when I booked.  I was holding off to see if they cancelled so that I can rebook it later without having to pay the increased costs for 2022 out of pocket.  I ended up moving it out anyway and paying the extra, so I have no problem, I am just saying that people may not be aware of the change.

Ahhh.  We had a similar situation with HAL (and have heard of it happening with other lines).  We had an Asian cruise booked for 2020 and it was among the first cruises cancelled by HAL.  They actually refunded all our money (cruise and air) in 2 business days and then also gave us a generous FCC which we used to book a similar Asian cruise for 2021.  But even with that FCC the 2021 cruise actually cost us more then the 2020 cruise.  Then a couple of months ago they cancelled the 2021 cruise and refunded our deposit and gave us more FCC.  So we took the old 2020 FCC (which we could roll over) + the 2021 FCC and booked a 2022 cruise.  Or course the price had again increased although we about broke even because of the FCCs.

 

I have posted elsewhere that, with some cruise lines, the FCCs are kind of a con.  Folks think they are getting extra money but they find out that when they use that FCC the cost of the future cruise has increased to such an extent that it wipes out the benefit of the FCC and in some cases you actually end up paying even more for that future cruise.   It truly is a jungle out there.

 

In the coming summer we will face one of those similar booking issues with "O."  We have a Dec 2021 booking which was actually a pretty good deal.  But when the time comes for final payment what do we do?   Give "O" many thousands of dollars and hope the cruise actually happens?   Should we worry that the cruise is cancelled and we wait 6 months to get our pretty big payment refunded?   And if Norwegian Holdings were to fail (bankruptcy) then it becomes a bit of a "sticky wicket" fighting with the credit card company to get a huge charge back.   All that being said as long as we are healthy Life is Good :).

 

Hank

 

Hank

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the 125% fcc sounds good until you look at prices for future cruises.  We had a summer 2020 cruise canceled. When we checked the cost of rebooking it, the 125% wouldn’t even cover the cost of the same cruise for 2021. We took the refund.  We keep talking about taking that cruise, but the prices are too high. We will look at other cruise lines that do the similar cruise. We are waiting until cruises sail again safely. With all the restrictions now, taking a cruise 2021 doesn’t look feasible.  We still have a summer 2021 cruise booked. We used no refundable fcc for the deposit. As we get closer to final payment, we will likely cancel. Not ready to travel.

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The cruise is that we just canceled for May 2021 will not be receiving 125% as FCC. Your choice is to take 100% refund or move your money at 100% to another cruise

 

I think it would be wise to just take your refund since there is no incentive to do anything else

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On 2/13/2021 at 7:30 PM, Redtravel said:

the 125% fcc sounds good until you look at prices for future cruises.  We had a summer 2020 cruise canceled. When we checked the cost of rebooking it, the 125% wouldn’t even cover the cost of the same cruise for 2021.

You could have lifted that complaint right off the =X= board.  Same situation there on many cruises.  For the $$ we chose 12 nights on Riviera rather than 9 on Equinox in 2022.  Far greater value on O, we found.

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