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View Full Version : New Cancellation policy...how does that affect onboard booking for dummy dates?


slg
08-16-2008, 11:48 PM
What does this policy really mean? I'm a little worried, as I've been away and just saw it.

We booked an ABD for July 2009 so we won't be able to afford our Dec. 09 cruise, but booked it onboard to get the credits and discount and then transfer to 2010.

Do any on you know if that will be affected? Or what it actually means and how it can affect travel plans.

thanks.

5lilfish
08-17-2008, 01:38 AM
I thought the new policy just stopped people from postponing a cruise, without penalty, if they are within their 90 day window?

As long as you change your dates before you hit the 90 day point, I don't think the new policy will have any affect on you....unless I am misunderstanding it.

Jess

mickeyluv
08-17-2008, 06:37 AM
Where is this new policy stated at? On the disneycruise site itself?

itutorfortravel
08-17-2008, 07:22 AM
i too would like to know where the new cancellation policy is stated. i tried to do a 'dummy booking' on line to see what it was but it looks the same? what am i missing?

i was under the impressed (from a dcl rep) that if you had the dcl trip insurance that you could move your cruise date to another date up to the last minute with little to no penalty. that was really important to us as we are taking dd out of school to go and will need to be able to monitor school absences up until we leave...

any add'l info would be appreciated. thanks!

jajomo0118
08-17-2008, 08:02 AM
I do not think this is a new policy it's just that they are going to enforce the policy they already have in place. Hope this helps....:)

d4est
08-17-2008, 09:12 AM
booking dummy dates?? what is this?

ibouncetoo
08-17-2008, 10:03 AM
booking dummy dates?? what is this?

When people are on board the ship, they are offered a discount and onboard stateroom credit if they rebook while on the ship. People often rebook, not really knowing WHEN they want to cruise again. So they book a 'dummy' date (often the latest date currently available) with the intention of pushing the cruise farther into the future once the next booking window opens.

For example, 2010 cruises should become available for booking by the end of this year. Someone may have a Dec 2009 'dummy' date that they plan to push into 2010 once the itineraries are announced.

As we all anticipate something special happening summer 2010, people cruising this year will book a dummy date to then change to 2010 when the itineraries are announced. There are tons of rumors floating around as to what will be happening.

The cancellation policy does not effect this as these type of bookings are moved long before the cancellation period.

.

d4est
08-17-2008, 10:12 AM
Thanks! I think I understand. So, I could book now and then move the date to a 2010 date when they come out, with no penalties?

atinkerbellmom
08-17-2008, 11:10 AM
Thanks! I think I understand. So, I could book now and then move the date to a 2010 date when they come out, with no penalties?

This is for people booking on the ship. If you book while on the ship, you get 10% off your cruise plus $200 SBC currently. If you were sailing tomorrow lets say and book for December 2009 while on the ship you are getting a 10% savings plus $200 to spend while on the ship. So when the 2010 dates are released, you call DCL and say I want to cancel my Dec. 2009 cruise and change it to July 2010. They will then take 10% off that cruise and give you $200. Now, just to let you know two things, this then would mean your Dec. 2009 cruise is totally cancelled and the % off is given at whatever promotion is going on on the ship at the time of you calling in to change your date. So, if you call in the day the 2010 dates come out and that day they are offering only 5% off and $100 to those booking onboard, then you take the new % and new SBC. If it was 20% and $300 then :woohoo: , you get that!!!! So it is subject to whatever the current ship booking savings is. Now DCL has not changed the 10% and $200 for some time, so everyone is assuming it will remain that.:thumbsup2 So no in a way to your question. It serves no purpose to book no with a dummy date for 2010 unless you were on the ship.

slg
08-17-2008, 12:44 PM
For those who haven't seen the new cancellation policy, I saw it on this site, top of the page, on disboard updates.

For the person who said their TA said they could change up to the last minute, I think this will affect you most.

Check it out, those of you who haven't seen it. It goes into affect on August 31,2008.

Thanks for the answers on the dummy bookings. I feel so much better now:)

ruadisneyfan2
08-17-2008, 12:50 PM
i too would like to know where the new cancellation policy is stated. i tried to do a 'dummy booking' on line to see what it was but it looks the same? what am i missing?

i was under the impressed (from a dcl rep) that if you had the dcl trip insurance that you could move your cruise date to another date up to the last minute with little to no penalty. that was really important to us as we are taking dd out of school to go and will need to be able to monitor school absences up until we leave...

any add'l info would be appreciated. thanks!
I would double check your insurance to see if this is allowable. From what I understand, you must have a medical reason, hospitalization, death, weather, etc. You can't just change your mind.

cats mom
08-17-2008, 01:30 PM
i was under the impressed (from a dcl rep) that if you had the dcl trip insurance that you could move your cruise date to another date up to the last minute with little to no penalty. that was really important to us as we are taking dd out of school to go and will need to be able to monitor school absences up until we leave...

any add'l info would be appreciated. thanks!



The new policy is not really new. DCL has just announced that they will actually be enforcing the written policy that has always been in place.

In the past what the DCL rep told you probably was accurate. They would allow you to reschedule as long as you paid a small change fee (from about $50 - $85 per person) even if you were within the time frame when cancellation penalties should have kicked in.

As for insurance... it's been awhile since I've done much research, but IIRC the policy offered through DCL is pretty restrictive when it comes to cancellations. We're talking serious illness, injury or death and possibly some weather related stuff.
It would not reimburse you simply because you changed you mind at the last minute. (nor would most policies)

There are a couple of travel insurance policies out there that will allow you to cancel for any reason, but they are expensive, and even they will only get you back 75% - 80% of your non-refundable cruise costs if you are within the cruise line's penalty period.

I'd be doing some serious research into my insurance policy if I thought there was a possibility that I might have to cancel 75 days prior to departure or less with this new stance from DCL.


Just a hunch... but it's my guess that DCL started seeing more and more of these last minute date changes, which makes it very tough for them to plan accurately and sail with as full a ship as possible, thus the crack down.

d4est
08-17-2008, 02:20 PM
This is for people booking on the ship. If you book while on the ship, you get 10% off your cruise plus $200 SBC currently. If you were sailing tomorrow lets say and book for December 2009 while on the ship you are getting a 10% savings plus $200 to spend while on the ship. So when the 2010 dates are released, you call DCL and say I want to cancel my Dec. 2009 cruise and change it to July 2010. They will then take 10% off that cruise and give you $200. Now, just to let you know two things, this then would mean your Dec. 2009 cruise is totally cancelled and the % off is given at whatever promotion is going on on the ship at the time of you calling in to change your date. So, if you call in the day the 2010 dates come out and that day they are offering only 5% off and $100 to those booking onboard, then you take the new % and new SBC. If it was 20% and $300 then :woohoo: , you get that!!!! So it is subject to whatever the current ship booking savings is. Now DCL has not changed the 10% and $200 for some time, so everyone is assuming it will remain that.:thumbsup2 So no in a way to your question. It serves no purpose to book no with a dummy date for 2010 unless you were on the ship.
Would it make sense to if I wanted to get in on the 1/2 off down payment?

Anal Annie
08-17-2008, 04:17 PM
Would it make sense to if I wanted to get in on the 1/2 off down payment?

Are you asking if booking a dummy date makes sense to only have to pay 1/2 deposit NOW? I don't think so. I think it's only a benefit if you're booking a date that's really what you want. You'd still have to be ON the ship when you re-book in order to qualify for the 10% booking & OBC incentives... The 1/2 deposit is available to anyone as of right now. But that is a totally separate incentive and it simply allows you to postpone paying the rest of the deposit...that's all that one does for you. So if the travel date you REALLY want isn't available yet it doesn't matter. I don't think you'd be gaining anything unless you're booking your real date that you want.:confused3

NancyIL
08-17-2008, 06:20 PM
On any other cruise line, a change of dates after final payment is made would be considered a cancellation, and penalties would apply. Perhaps DCL lost too much money by allowing people to change the dates with little penalty. I think the change/enforcement is a good thing.

d4est
08-18-2008, 05:44 AM
Thanks Anal Annie. Got it.

Coach Rick
08-18-2008, 07:28 AM
As a person who recently had to use this for a real medical emergency, I can say I was so thankful that I was able to rebook. Just as I was boarding the plane to travel to Orlando my cell phone rang, and my sister told me that dad was put into ICU in critical condition. I called DCL, and they informed me that I could cancel, and the insurance would most likely pay, BUT, since I was in a cat 3, my $2000 deposit would be forfeited. After finding that out, I will NEVER book that level again!

While I can understand why DCL is looking to enforcing the present rule, I don't think things are always black and white. As it turns out, while dad is still in ICU, he is no longer critical, but in a situation like that when the doctor got on the phone and strongly advised that I not travel, there should be some provision for this. IE... medical proof from the hospital. In the event I would have lost him, it would not have been fair to loose the $2K in addition to a loved one. Of course that is my opinion, but then I also believe things aren't always black and white.

I gladly paid the additional $1300 and still get something in return.

NancyIL
08-18-2008, 01:07 PM
As a person who recently had to use this for a real medical emergency, I can say I was so thankful that I was able to rebook. Just as I was boarding the plane to travel to Orlando my cell phone rang, and my sister told me that dad was put into ICU in critical condition. I called DCL, and they informed me that I could cancel, and the insurance would most likely pay, BUT, since I was in a cat 3, my $2000 deposit would be forfeited. After finding that out, I will NEVER book that level again!

While I can understand why DCL is looking to enforcing the present rule, I don't think things are always black and white. As it turns out, while dad is still in ICU, he is no longer critical, but in a situation like that when the doctor got on the phone and strongly advised that I not travel, there should be some provision for this. IE... medical proof from the hospital. In the event I would have lost him, it would not have been fair to loose the $2K in addition to a loved one. Of course that is my opinion, but then I also believe things aren't always black and white.

I gladly paid the additional $1300 and still get something in return.
I'm glad your dad is no longer in critical condition.

I buy trip insurance in case of a situation like you experienced. If you had trip insurance and had to cancel, the insurance company would've reimbursed you for the entire cost of the cruise - no matter what category cabin you booked. (The deposit on cat. 1-3 is only non-refundable if you cancel before final payment. If you cancel after final payment for a covered reason, you should get back all that you paid.) Perhaps some people used DCL's goodwill gestures of the past as an excuse to not spend the money for trip insurance, if they thought they could reschedule their cruises for a small fee if an emergency arose.

cats mom
08-18-2008, 01:12 PM
Situations like the one above are probably why DCL let people reschedule without paying the penalties as set out in the official cancellation policy in the first place.

I also appreciated the fact that it allowed folks flexibility if someone got sick, not necessarily life threatening - but probably contagious, just before their cruise date.
As a fellow passenger I would much prefer DCL let those folks reschedule without loosing a chunk of change; rather than having them lie about their health to get onboard, so they didn't loose big bucks.
:eek:

The problem is none of us know how many people took advantage of this little loophole just because they knew they could.

I remember one Dis-er posting that they had a cruise booked, but they wouldn't know until a week or so before embarkation whether they could actually go or not, because if their son made all stars they would have to reschedule. I'm sure that's not what DCL had in mind when they began allowing flexibility with date changes. I don't think they ever intended it to be an out for people who decided to change their cruise date at the last minute for trivial reasons.

BTW, as the mom of a DS who has been on several all star teams, I'm not saying making the team is a trivial thing. ;) I know it's a big deal... but for heavens sake, if you think your kid has a chance; schedule the family vacation for some other time.
:confused3

Edited to add:
Lookes like Nancy and I were posting similar thoughts at the same time.
I know I've seen folks post here that they didn't get insurance precisely because they knew DCL was flexible when it came to rescheduling last minute.

NancyIL
08-18-2008, 01:15 PM
Situations like the one above are probably why DCL let people reschedule without paying the penalties as set out in the official cancellation policy in the first place.

I also appreciated the fact that it allowed folks flexibility if someone got sick, not necessarily life threatening - but probably contagious, just before their cruise date.


That's what TRIP INSURANCE is for!

cats mom
08-18-2008, 01:44 PM
That's what TRIP INSURANCE is for!

I agree.

But there are plenty of folks out there who don't buy travel insurance. Just take a look at some of the polls here on the Dis asking who gets insurance and who doesn't.

So lets assume little jr. starts getting sick a day or two before the cruise is set to depart... mom and dad happen to be in the insurance is too expensive and not necessary camp.

Before they could be honest about jr being sick and running a fever, and DCL would let them all reschedule for a minimal cost.
But if the cancellation policy is now strictly enforced, they're out the entire cost of the cruise.

You think mom and dad are going to bring jr up to the check-in counter and admit he's sick... or are they more likely to try and sneak him by and hope he feels better in a day or two? Never mind the fact that he could infect a whole lot of other folks before then.
:scared:

I know what I'd like the answer to be... but having experienced one kid infecting a whole summer camp of kids because her parents refused to keep her home when they knew she was sick... after all, they already paid all that money and wouldn't be able to get any of it back (and I guarantee camp was a whole lot less than the cost of a cruise for a family) I also know what I think the answer is more likely to be.
:rolleyes1

NancyIL
08-18-2008, 02:21 PM
I have read plenty of personal stories on Cruise Critic from uninsured people who had to cancel a cruise due to a sudden illness or death of a family member - and then they got mad at the cruise line for not extending them a credit for a future cruise. It is certainly sad if someone is out the cost of a cruise, or worse - if they have huge bills because someone had to be evacuated from the ship. On the other hand, I pay for trip insurance - hoping I'll never need to use it. I kind of resent those who think that the cruiseline will bail them out of their sad situations when they opted not to get the insurance.

It would not surprise me if the same people who chose not to buy the insurance also decided to make their sick family members go on the cruise.

Coach Rick
08-18-2008, 05:53 PM
I'm glad your dad is no longer in critical condition.

I buy trip insurance in case of a situation like you experienced. If you had trip insurance and had to cancel, the insurance company would've reimbursed you for the entire cost of the cruise - no matter what category cabin you booked. (The deposit on cat. 1-3 is only non-refundable if you cancel before final payment. If you cancel after final payment for a covered reason, you should get back all that you paid.) Perhaps some people used DCL's goodwill gestures of the past as an excuse to not spend the money for trip insurance, if they thought they could reschedule their cruises for a small fee if an emergency arose.

DCL specifically told me when I called that the insurance would definitely not reimburse the $2,000 desposit, because it's non refundable.

Now it's on to planning a cruise a full year once again....

itutorfortravel
08-18-2008, 05:58 PM
the dcl rep told me that if i carried the dcl insurance that i could change my date at any point up to time of travel and though there would be a cancellation penalty, i would receive 100% of that towards a new booking. i even gave her a scenario of having to cancel a couple weeks prior due to a lot of school absences and she said it was a perfect example. we would not get any money back BUT we would have 100% of our non-refundable amount applied to a future cruise date. so essentially, we wouldn't "lose" any money. she said you could only do this if you had the dcl insurance but i have heard others say you can do it with or without the insurance....anyhow, i do need to know if what she told me is no longer true. not sure i feel okay taking the chance of losing thousands spent on cruise fare...i was okay if i could move the date and still have all the money applied to the new date. but i'm not okay with losing any money at all (other than the insurance premium, which i understand)..anyone know?!

things like this are what makes cruising a hard sell for me...i mean, life is uncertain and goodness knows what all can happen to make you change your plans...i wish we had the $$$ to gamble on it but we don't...so i've been stressing about anyone getting hurt, sick, etc. almost to the point of not being able to be excited anymore! UGH!

NancyIL
08-18-2008, 06:10 PM
DCL specifically told me when I called that the insurance would definitely not reimburse the $2,000 desposit, because it's non refundable.

Now it's on to planning a cruise a full year once again....

It's non-refundable if you cancel before final payment is due. When you are in the penalty phase, most insurance policies will reimburse you for ANY penalties you are assessed by the cruiseline for cancelling, if it's done for a covered reason. That's the purpose of insurance - to reiumburse you for expenses that are non-refundable!

Did you buy DCL's insurance? It's a moot point, since you changed to another date. But if I were a betting woman, I'd bet that what the phone rep told you was wrong - unless that policy applied only to DCL's insurance.

**Sorry I keep editing, but this idea that the deposit on cat. 1-3 cabins is non-refundable under ell circumstances is just not true! Once you're within 7 days of your cruise, the whole trip is non-refundable - not just your deposit! That's why you buy trip insurance - to reimburse you if you have to cancel for a covered reason. IF DCL's insurance makes an exception for cat. 1-3 cabins, then that's a reason to NOT buy their insurance. I won't buy the policy that DCL sells, because it doesn't cover pre-existing conditions - no matter when you purchase it.

cats mom
08-18-2008, 06:36 PM
the dcl rep told me that if i carried the dcl insurance that i could change my date at any point up to time of travel and though there would be a cancellation penalty, i would receive 100% of that towards a new booking. i even gave her a scenario of having to cancel a couple weeks prior due to a lot of school absences and she said it was a perfect example. we would not get any money back BUT we would have 100% of our non-refundable amount applied to a future cruise date. so essentially, we wouldn't "lose" any money. she said you could only do this if you had the dcl insurance but i have heard others say you can do it with or without the insurance....anyhow, i do need to know if what she told me is no longer true. not sure i feel okay taking the chance of losing thousands spent on cruise fare...i was okay if i could move the date and still have all the money applied to the new date. but i'm not okay with losing any money at all (other than the insurance premium, which i understand)..anyone know?!

things like this are what makes cruising a hard sell for me...i mean, life is uncertain and goodness knows what all can happen to make you change your plans...i wish we had the $$$ to gamble on it but we don't...so i've been stressing about anyone getting hurt, sick, etc. almost to the point of not being able to be excited anymore! UGH!


As I understand it what the DCL rep told you is no longer true. As far as I can tell there is no grandfather period for cruises booked prior to the announcement of the crack down.

The new rules are effective for all cruises departing on or after 8/31/2008

DCL Change and Cancellation policy as of 8/31/2008:

Guests who have provided payment on a reservation and who wish to make changes (i.e. sail date, passengers, etc.) within the final payment period will no longer be able to pay a change fee and defer cancellation penalties to a future cruise date. Any change made is now considered a cancellation and the appropriate fees apply.

Those fees for cruise itineraries under 10 days are:

Categories 4 through 12

74 to 45 days prior to vacation commencement date: Deposit amount per guest

44 to 8 days: 50% of the vacation price per guest

7 days or less: No refund


Suite Categories 1 through 3

anytime after deposit has been made: Deposit amount per guest

44 to 8 days: 50% of the vacation price per guest

7 days or less: No refund