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Old 09-16-2007, 03:22 PM
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SuzyCruise SuzyCruise is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 225
Jack2007 -- Anytime you use a credit card, there is an authorization/hold on the amount until the vendor's merchant account provider closes out the transaction, usually 2-3 days. I used to process credit card payments on a computer for a company I worked for. It's a normal procedure, and I am well aware of it. However, it is very unusual for a hold to remain on the charge for over 10 days as happened to me.

I intentionally used a credit card that did not have a large sum available, because I didn't want the wrong person to get my credit card number and go on a shopping spree, and I did it to control myself on how much I would spend. I would not want to trust them with a card that has several thousand dollars available, but in this case, it looks like that's what I should have done.

First, I thought that on my next cruise I will use a credit card with a larger amount available. But, after much thought, cash would be a safer option. Like others here, I also pay my credit card in full when due, but I did not want to have to pay $867.06 in Carnival charges when the total amount I charged on Sail&Sign was only 433.53.

Island Cruz --
Your quote: "Actually, it is not anything out of the ordinary at all. They place blocks of holds on cards all the time. I would say if the pending charges put it over the limit to contact the Credit Card Company. That would be between you and them concerning your personal credit limit."

Response: Shall I say "No (kidding), Sherlock!" I did call my credit card company, you must not have thoroughly read my initial post. But then again, most people don't thoroughly read my posts. I am fully aware that it is my problem. I am not complaining about Carnival, I'm letting people know how long the holds are.

I just thought it would be nice to give an alert to people, who are not familiar with the Sail&Sign procedure, that the usual and customery hold period of 72 hours will actually be held over a week after cruise and after the entire amount has already been charged on the last day of cruise. Thus, the double-dipping.
I think that is what this website is all about: Helping people to know the ropes before they go. For those of you who know all about this, this is not for you. It is for the new cruisers who want to prevent unfortunate surprises.