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Old 12-31-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
pannm
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What if they cancel a port?

What is done if they cancel a port stop due to weather or other reasons?

We have pre-booked (THROUGH disney Cruiseline) an expensive excursion and I am a little- just a little though- worried about what happens if they can't stop at that port for some crazy reason. I know it doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen.

Do you not get charged for that excursion if they don't stop there? Or do you get a 'credit' on your account for a different excursion or something? Or do you just loose 100% of your money??? What is their way of handling it?

And, how often are stops re-routed due to weather in Feb/March- in the Western Caribbean? Grand Caymans, Cozumel??? I'm sure it doesn't happen too often, but it's just something I started thinking about last night around midnight and sat awake FOREVER because I couln't stop thinking about it!!!
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pannm View Post
What is done if they cancel a port stop due to weather or other reasons?

We have pre-booked (THROUGH disney Cruiseline) an expensive excursion and I am a little- just a little though- worried about what happens if they can't stop at that port for some crazy reason. I know it doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen.

Do you not get charged for that excursion if they don't stop there? Or do you get a 'credit' on your account for a different excursion or something? Or do you just loose 100% of your money??? What is their way of handling it?

And, how often are stops re-routed due to weather in Feb/March- in the Western Caribbean? Grand Caymans, Cozumel??? I'm sure it doesn't happen too often, but it's just something I started thinking about last night around midnight and sat awake FOREVER because I couln't stop thinking about it!!!
When I asked the CM about the excursion I was told that if for some reason they can't get into port you are not charged for the excursion. You are charged if they dock and you do not go, however.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pannm View Post
What is done if they cancel a port stop due to weather or other reasons?

We have pre-booked (THROUGH disney Cruiseline) an expensive excursion and I am a little- just a little though- worried about what happens if they can't stop at that port for some crazy reason. I know it doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen.

Do you not get charged for that excursion if they don't stop there? Or do you get a 'credit' on your account for a different excursion or something? Or do you just loose 100% of your money??? What is their way of handling it?

And, how often are stops re-routed due to weather in Feb/March- in the Western Caribbean? Grand Caymans, Cozumel??? I'm sure it doesn't happen too often, but it's just something I started thinking about last night around midnight and sat awake FOREVER because I couln't stop thinking about it!!!
If you've booked a DCL excursion and the ship can't port, the excursion will not be charged to your onboard account.

If you've booked a non-DCL excursion (private tour), you'd have to find out the policy from the excursuion company as to what they do if your ship doesn't port.

It would be difficult to say how often ports are missed, as there are many reasons they may be including weather, ship problems, port/tendering problems, medical emergencies.

Just a note here, if you look at the cruise contract, there is no guarantee that the ship will make any port, or even be sea-worthy.

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Old 12-31-2012, 12:30 PM   #4
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Oh, that's good to know! I was kind of wondering how they handled it. That's another reason why I wanted to book THROUGH disney instead of going it on my own. I've heard of other people choosing to book on their own and loosing hundreds of dollars because it was a non-refundable excursion past a certain date prior to their cruise.

A friend of mine went last spring and they couldn't dock at a port due to weather. They tried to save money by booking on their own and paid for two adults and 4 kids- they found out the night before that they were changing ports due to weather and they lost over $500! There were other people that booked through the cruise line for that sam excursion and got a full refund (it wasn't a disney cruise, so I was unaware of the Disney cruiseline excursion booking policy)...

One less thing for me to worry about!
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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If they've already charged you for the excursion (which I believe they do at the start of the cruise) then they'll issue you a refund to your account (or, more accurately, to the form of payment attached to your account if it's been charged to that). That's one of the benefits of booking through DCL; if the port is missed, you don't owe anything. On my recent Fantasy cruise, we *docked* at Castaway Cay, but they canceled my excursion due to the high winds. By the time I got back to the ship, it had been credited back to my account.

You can sometimes get refunds for excursions you book yourself, but it really depends on the vendor.

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Old 12-31-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
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If you've booked a non-DCL excursion (private tour), you'd have to find out the policy from the excursuion company as to what they do if your ship doesn't port.

It would be difficult to say how often ports are missed, as there are many reasons they may be including weather, ship problems, port/tendering problems, medical emergencies.


Yeah, we booked through DCL. I've heard two or three horror stories of people loosing a lot of money because people booked through the local, non-cruise companies! Friends of mine had up to 5 days prior to their excursion to cancel and get a refund- after that they'd loose 100%...we'll their cruise didn't dock there as planned and they lost a lot of $$$!!! Other friends of my husbands had the same thing happen about 2-3 years ago and they won't cruise ever again because they had that horrible experiance- They lost about$700...Of course it's their own choosing, because both of them took the chance to use other non-cruise related bookings and it's a chance they took! But, it still really stunk! I don't want to have a 'bad taste' in my mouth for cruising because we lost out on a lot of $$$ from some excursion!

I totally understand that ports need to be missed on occasion. We are pretty flexible and wouldn't go crazy if we had to miss one of our stops. We would go crazy though if we lost $500 because our excursion was non-refundable in the case of the cruise ship not stopping at that port!
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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We have missed our share of ports -- and for reasons other than weather. If you are booked on a DCL excursion, don't lose any more sleep! One of the benefits of booking through DCL instead of on your own is that DCL handles all the details if they miss a port call, which includes automatically cancelling and removing the charges from your shipboard account. You don't even have to make a trip to guest services. (They do the same when you are able to make port but some excursions can't go -- this happens mostly at Castaway Cay when certain excursions like Parasailing and Jet Skiing are affected by wind and sea conditions; but we had it in Cozumel when we made port but all excursions on mainland Mexico had to be cancelled because it was too rough for the ferry to run.)

There's no predicting if any time of year will be more likely to miss port or not (we've missed Grand Cayman more in the fall months than in Winter). So just sailing in Feb/Mar doesn't make it more or less likely to miss a port due to weather.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:05 PM   #8
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This is the reason I make sure to book all excursions through Disney!
Sure, you sometimes pay a little more that way, but you can rest assured that you won't be charged for an excursion you miss due to changes to itinerary. Just a little added insurance!

We've only been on 2 DCL cruises, and one of them was re-routed due to a hurricane. We were scheduled for an Eastern Caribbean, and ended up doing a modified Western. It was easy and painless to change our excursions while onboard that first day. I was so impressed! They handled everything in stride. I don't recall waiting more than 10 minutes in line to change our excursions. Amazing, considering that they probably had to change them for the majority of the people on board the ship!
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:26 PM   #9
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When they cancelled our stop at Castaway Cay our excursions were automatically refunded with no problem and we didn't have to do anything.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:21 PM   #10
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We booked outside DCL at Grand Cayman with Native Ways and this is their policy below, so no problem with them and I recommend them!

We ask that you provide at least one week advance notice to cancel. If your ship is unable to visit in Grand Cayman, we will automatically cancel your reservation, at no cost to you.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:45 PM   #11
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Yeah, we booked through DCL. I've heard two or three horror stories of people loosing a lot of money because people booked through the local, non-cruise companies! Friends of mine had up to 5 days prior to their excursion to cancel and get a refund- after that they'd loose 100%...we'll their cruise didn't dock there as planned and they lost a lot of $$$!!! Other friends of my husbands had the same thing happen about 2-3 years ago and they won't cruise ever again because they had that horrible experiance- They lost about$700...Of course it's their own choosing, because both of them took the chance to use other non-cruise related bookings and it's a chance they took! But, it still really stunk! I don't want to have a 'bad taste' in my mouth for cruising because we lost out on a lot of $$$ from some excursion!

I totally understand that ports need to be missed on occasion. We are pretty flexible and wouldn't go crazy if we had to miss one of our stops. We would go crazy though if we lost $500 because our excursion was non-refundable in the case of the cruise ship not stopping at that port!
To the best of my knowledge, all cruise lines have the same refund policy regarding shore excursions booked through them. Not just Disney. Also, I almost always book shore excursions through private vendors and have never had a problem. There are reputable companies all over the world who make their living catering to cruise ship passengers and it wouldn't do them any good to charge passengers who, through no fault of their own, couldn't make it to port that day. The only time I make sure to book through the line is if the timing may actually make me miss the ship (like a nine hour ruins tour in Belize!).

When you get more comfortable with cruising and want to do more (or different, or cheaper) things than DCL has to offer, just do some research on other options. The message boards at Cruise Critic have a wealth of information. If you're doing Western, I highly recommend Moby Dick Tours in Grand Cayman.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:47 PM   #12
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We always book excursions on our own, not through DCL. Every company we have dealt with (Captain Marvin's, Dolphin Discovery, etc.) has the policy that they do not charge you if the ship doesn't port. I am sure that there are some companies that do not have this policy, but there are many that do. Booking on your own can save a lot of money and, with a little homework before booking, you can make sure you won't be penalized if the ship doesn't make it to the port.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:37 PM   #13
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We always book excursions on our own, not through DCL. Every company we have dealt with (Captain Marvin's, Dolphin Discovery, etc.) has the policy that they do not charge you if the ship doesn't port. I am sure that there are some companies that do not have this policy, but there are many that do. Booking on your own can save a lot of money and, with a little homework before booking, you can make sure you won't be penalized if the ship doesn't make it to the port.
This has been our experience before as well. There are plenty of companies that have this policy so there really isn't a reason to book with one that doesn't. These vendors know that their reputation is quickly affected by posts online and they rely on good experiences for their business. There is too much of a difference in price when you have kids who are charged adult prices by DCL but considered kids by the vendor directly. We saved a full fare on excursions in Alaska when booking on our own because the kids were half the price of adults with the vendor directly. In Key West we saved half of what it would have cost to book through DCL on the trolley because the kids were adults to DCL, but their tickets were free directly from the vendor.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:37 AM   #14
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...and, with a little homework before booking, you can make sure you won't be penalized if the ship doesn't make it to the port.
Exactly. It bothers me when people get annoyed at one company because they didn't know what exactly they were booking, and what the cancellation details were.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:44 PM   #15
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We booked through Disney, and I was very disappointed two of our excursions were cancelled. I was very disappointed to get off the ship in grand cayman only to have other companies still offering the sting ray city tour. We weren't prepared to go (no bathing suits) so we shopped. On the tender boat back, I met someone who did that tour privately. They said it was so rough, they couldn't even stand up on the sand bar. They were disappointed that they would have been charged by the private tour company because the boat did dock. When I found this out, I was happy Disney cancelled. When our next one in Cozumel was cancelled, I had to trust that there WAS a valid reason. We were not charged for any of the cancelled excursions booked through Disney.
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