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Old 02-21-2007, 04:59 PM
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The flap regarding Rosie O'Donnell's charter of an NCL ship this coming summer and the bumping of passengers previously booked got me wondering about charters in general.

In this case, passengers who booked independent of the charter were notified last week that they were bumped from this high-season cruise, just five months prior to sailing. Yet, I learned today that the charter was actually announced within this group months ago -- and reservations were being taken as far back as July 2006, a year before sailing. In the meantime, NCL was also accepting reservations from the general public, although I'm not sure when that ended.

I understand that there is likely a critical mass of passengers needed for a charter, and the cruise line needed to keep its options open in case the charter deal fell through. But, before I condemn an entire cruise line and vow to never sail them again (you should see the letter I just wrote but haven't mailed) -- is this common practice?

I started this thread in the General Cruise Chat area as I'm curious as to how most cruise lines, not just the one currently in the news, handle charters. Do they all continue to take deposits from passengers who are not part of the chartered group, only to bump them closer to sailing? What do they typically do for the impacted passengers? Must I give up cruising altogether?
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Old 02-22-2007, 06:03 AM
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Lisa, I think the cruise lines do continue to accept bookings from the general public, not until a critical mass of charter bookings have been made, but until a critical mass of payment by the charterer have been made. Cruise lines with which I have dealt don't even take charter passengers' names until way late into the process. The real concern for them is their payment schedule, and how many hundreds of thousands of dollars of deposit money they're willing to wait for until they close the sailing to the public.

It could be that NCL's payment schedule was such that the money they needed to close the sailing wasn't required until 5+ months out, and having received it, was when they closed the sailing. You're right that cruise lines need to hedge their bets on charters.

When I've had clients bumped from sailings, they're typically offered an onboard credit on the next sailing and a discount off that price, but the amount of discount often depends on the time of year of the sailing. Some more upscale lines offer more in the way of compensation. On very upscale cruise lines with small ships, I'm told this happens fairly frequently when a ship is chartered by a company or family reunion group.

So don't give up cruising, just give up sailings that will go on to be chartered!

Sandy
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:25 PM
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Thank you, Sandy. I wasn't serious about giving up cruising , although I may start booking closer to the sail date or have a Plan B firmly in place.
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Old 02-24-2007, 07:45 AM
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Lisa, I usually book no more than 3 months in advance for that reason and for me so many things can change even in a three month span that I really can't tie myself down that far out.

I get the same cruise experience I would if I booked out as far as some regular posters and sometimes better prices.

The anticipation part??? Well, I know that I will cruise somewhere at some time!
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Old 02-24-2007, 07:56 AM
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Chef Ken, nuff snow for ya? With a drift on the deck we have about 4 feet of snow back there. On the driveway, almost nil. The berm the city crew left, about 4 feet. YUCK. We had snow, rain, sleet, hail, thunder and lightening last night. What fun!

PS: I dont like Rosie O'Donnell anyway, she talks a lot of CR--!
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Old 02-24-2007, 08:36 AM
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Ken, I'd love to book on much shorter notice than I do, but it's not always possible when our travel time is limited to school vacation weeks. Aside from the high demand for these cruises, it is harder to come by triple-occupancy cabins closer to sailing. That's what happened to a lot of the passengers on this particular group's two latest sailings. (One is currently at sea now, as it is February school break.)

As it seems that this can happen on any line, perhaps one strategy is to Google any planned cruise dates to find out if a group is considering a charter. I can see the cruise lines' need to have their own backup plan, yet it's unfortunate that it's the "little guy" who pays the price when those with more $$ come into the picture.
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Old 02-24-2007, 08:54 AM
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Lisa,

I understand what you are saying. You have a specific time and I have a window of time.

Greyson,

It started here only about an hour ago. (10:50 am Saturday.) We still have the middle of March storm to look forward to.

Stay warm!
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:21 PM
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I had no idea cruises could do that. We booked early and the price is $200 pp more for the same cruise so I'm glad I did. However, the cruise is not til Sept so I keep my eye on any upcoming drop in price. I never knew a cruise line could bump you! If that's the case I would be out money for plane flights and other reservations I book on the anticipation of the upcoming cruise! I hope Royal Caribbean is good to us!
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Old 02-25-2007, 08:23 AM
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Im so ready for a cruise, now we have more snow piling up on the deck. We are under blizzard warnings. UGH. I havent seen this much snow in 1 snowfall since moving here 10 years ago. I WANNA GO TO THE BAHAMAS!
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Old 02-25-2007, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greyson:
Im so ready for a cruise, now we have more snow piling up on the deck. We are under blizzard warnings. UGH. I havent seen this much snow in 1 snowfall since moving here 10 years ago. I WANNA GO TO THE BAHAMAS!
I like Nassau but right about now it is flooded with media types. People here in the States might be surprised how things "go down" in courts run from a British point of view.
 
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