Originally posted by LisaP:
A related question for the travel agents or others in the know: If a balance is paid off early, and there is a subsequent price drop, how difficult is it for the cruiser to then get the lower rate?
If final payment had not been made, the cruise line simply adjusts the billing amount. (This has happened to us numerous times -- and one was in excess of $1,000.) But, if the line already has $ in hand, what happens? Do they issue a check for the difference? Shipboard credit? Or, is the client out of luck?
In the very limited number of bookings I have made in my Walter Mitty travel agent role, I've not encountered this scenario. However I'd think that paying early gives up a bargaining chip should the price drop, and agree it complicates the accounting. It wouldn't bother me if they gave the price drop in the form of a shipboard credit - but others may stomp unless they had cash in hand.
Good question Lisa, I was wondering the same thing. I think what I may do is to leave a balance of maybe $500 (a cabin for 4 people) and then check on the prices closer to the time my final pmt is due and see what happens. I'm going on a Thanksgiving cruise so nothing may not happen since it's a holiday and I think those cruises may book/sell out early.
If the price drops when it is already paid off there are two things that happen. One if you booked directly with Carnival they will issues you an on board credit that you can use and they will give you a statement about it on the first or second day of the cruise. The second thing that can happen is if the price drops but you did not book directly with Carnival the representive from Carnival will tell you to contact your travel agent and have them call Carnival to confirm the price drop and most likely to give you on board credit. I haven't heard of anyone getting cash back if the price drops.
Originally posted by pandaruth27:
I haven't heard of anyone getting cash back if the price drops.
Thank you to all who answered my query. I had a feeling the difference would be in an onboard credit. Would it be the "use it or lose it" type? We had a $1000 price drop on our last cruise, and our onboard charges didn't even come close. I'm one who would prefer the cash.
Thank you again. Sorry for temporarily taking this thread on a detour, but I wanted to learn if paying off a cruise early would result in not benefiting from price drops prior to final payment date. Sounds like it might not be an issue.
I paid it all at once, by credit card, about 5 months before my trip. Somehow and I don't know why, I kinda figured that was the lion's share of my expenses and the rest would be pennies. WRONG!
Whatever you do, remember that paying off the fare is just a portion of your expense on a cruise. You still have tipping (even if you pay ahead with the fare the $10.00 per day tip is split between 3 or 4 people), drinks, shopping, pictures, casino, bingo, shore excursions (A BIG ONE) and a lot of tipping here and there. Be sure to factor this into your budget.
As I posted before, there is no advantage to paying early.
The money could be working for you. I am pretty sure they will adjust the price up untill the payment date. Or else, you could re-book for the lower price. But then would lose your cabin if you picked one on assignment.
I only pay when I have to.
And yes, as "fivepoints" noted there are tips. It is a Per Person Charge. And you can adjust it at will.