Dwayne or Penny (or anyone who knows first hand) if you could give me your expert advice on the following: three of us are booked on the Carnival Fascination leaving Jacksonville on December 11th. We booked a GS with the my Dad's military discount. He's injured his back and is in a rehab facility now and most likely won't be able to go. I did buy the insurance for him but I don't know which way to proceed.
I don't want to cancel his cruise just yet in case he is fit for travel, but I don't want to wait until the last minute if something I could do now would be better. I realize that if HE doesn't go, then we are not eligible for the military discount and that would leave my son and I as first and second passengers instead of second and third.
If I change the reservation with Carnival now, and pay the extra, would that be a better option that us just getting a note from the doctor stating that Dad can't cruise and just let him be a no-show when we check in?
Poor Dad, he's been my cruising buddy since 2003 and is so disappointed with his health these days. The old Navy Chief loves being at sea and is happiest there.
I want to do the right thing, but I don't want to pay any more than I have to or should. Any advice you can give me is greatly appreciated.
Well you are well past your cancellation without penalty point now so don't do that. If you only bought insurance for him and not the others in that cabin then I am not sure what the insurance would actually pay out. If you try just to cancel him then the persons traveling at a 3rd passenger per cabin rate would then have to pay full price (which without the military discount would be more than his fare). The insurance (assuming it has a medical clause) would probably pay the fare he would loose but not cover the extra you would have to pay for the change in fare for you. I am not sure how Carnival would do this change because it was booked with a military rate and now the person that got the rate is not able to go. They may make you re-book at the regular rate (and the current on at that which could be higher than it was when you booked.)
All in all it may cost you as much to lose his fare as it would be to just change the booking. So one option is to just hope he can go and if he can't just show up for the cruise and they will treat him as a no show. You lose out on his fare but at this point that may be the cheapest option anyway.
You really need someone with booking experience to help you. Dwayne might know, but how did you book this originally? Did you have a travel agent or did you use a Carnival PVP? This is the time when having a TA is a good thing. Hopefully someone with experience here can help. I would say not to say anything to Carnival until you can get more information on your options.
I booked through my Carnival PVP. I have considered just calling him and explaining what is going on because I really don't think my Dad is or will be fit to travel. I realize that changing the booking from military to "last minute" will end up expensive, but I really don't want to lose $1700. I'd rather just pay the extra for the other two of us.
If he's a no show, we still have to pay the increased fare anyway, but will lost the far refund that the insurance would provide. I thought I'd get a note from his doctor explaining his not being fit to travel but I can't do that if he's a no-show.
What a dilemma. What do they do with a no-show anyway. The other two people have to pay the increased fare and in our case, it would be about $700 dollars, but still worth it.
If you have insurance for medical emergencies, then you should be refunded, from the insurance company, what ever your Dad spent for his portion of the trip. I guess it depends on what type of insurance you bought. You will need a form filled out by the doctor that the company will provide. I always buy cancellation and interuption insurance and have had to use it twice. Hope everything works out for you and you have a great trip. It's no fun being stressed just before your vacation.
I think the military discount might be the problem, You need to contact carnival. I have always cruised under my sisters military discount but she has always been my cruising buddy.
If you dad doesnt go, you may be charged the higher price. but when you do find an answer for the military discount person not being able to go please let us know how carnival handles it.
I will let you know how it goes. I have decided to contact my PVP at Carnival and explain the situation. The worse that will happen is that we will have to pay the difference or I suppose, move to a cabin at a lower price. My son and I probably don't need a suite, a balcony stateroom will do.
I'll post tomorrow afternoon. Thanks everyone for your replies and help.
Thought I'd let you know how it turned out. As usual, Carnival came through for us. I canceled Dad's cruise and they deducted the increase in the other two, non-military fares from his paid fare and the difference is what I will apply for to the insurance company.
Not nearly as much trouble as I expected and my PVP was very helpful. We will cruise without Dad/Grampa, but we will have a wonderful time and share our memories with him!
Yes, thanks for coming back and letting us know how it turned out. I'm glad they were able to accommodate you. You may end up paying more for the cruise but at least you know you are 100% legitimate with the cruise booking and don't have to stress about trying to get on without your Dad.