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Vanessa77

Advice for a rotten situation

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Hi Guys,

I'm pretty bummed right now. I've been anticipating my upcoming first cruise this December since about September last year. My Mum is treating my whole family to a Christmas cruise (11 of us in total, 8 adults & 3 kids), however a spanner has been thrown into the works as my partner can no longer come!

He's been accepted into the police academy, which is super, but they've advised that no leave is granted while attending, and therefore he will have to forfeit this leave. This worst part is that he would literally only need one day of leave as the cruise leaves on Friday the 20th, and that is the last Academy day before it closes for Christmas.

So now we're left with a few options:

- It's just me that goes. Not too bad, but as the rest of my family will have their partners & children, I'm going to totally feel like a third wheel.

- Fill his spot with someone. This is possible, though not probable. It's not easy to get people to leave their families at Christmas, and how would we even go about changing the name?

- He flys to meet us at our first port, Noumea. Expensive and time consuming, but certainly something to think about.

 

Can any one explain how we'd going about changing the name on the booking if we go with option 2? Has anyone had experience with option 3 and how to organise that with Royal?

I've heard Matt mention that if I go with option 1, you just don't do anything and just rock up to the port alone, but we have booked the drinks package, so how would I deal with this situation, because I still want to keep my package. Or if we end up going with Option 3, would Royal comp us for the 3 night of drink package we don't use because he isn't even there, even if it's on OBC?

Any advice is much appreciated. Sorry for the long post. 

P.s. Also sad because I wanted to use this as a test to see if we liked cruises and could book more 😞

 

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12 minutes ago, Vanessa77 said:

Hi Guys,

I'm pretty bummed right now. I've been anticipating my upcoming first cruise this December since about September last year. My Mum is treating my whole family to a Christmas cruise (11 of us in total, 8 adults & 3 kids), however a spanner has been thrown into the works as my partner can no longer come!

He's been accepted into the police academy, which is super, but they've advised that no leave is granted while attending, and therefore he will have to forfeit this leave. This worst part is that he would literally only need one day of leave as the cruise leaves on Friday the 20th, and that is the last Academy day before it closes for Christmas.

So now we're left with a few options:

- It's just me that goes. Not too bad, but as the rest of my family will have their partners & children, I'm going to totally feel like a third wheel.

- Fill his spot with someone. This is possible, though not probable. It's not easy to get people to leave their families at Christmas, and how would we even go about changing the name?

- He flys to meet us at our first port, Noumea. Expensive and time consuming, but certainly something to think about.

 

Can any one explain how we'd going about changing the name on the booking if we go with option 2? Has anyone had experience with option 3 and how to organise that with Royal?

I've heard Matt mention that if I go with option 1, you just don't do anything and just rock up to the port alone, but we have booked the drinks package, so how would I deal with this situation, because I still want to keep my package. Or if we end up going with Option 3, would Royal comp us for the 3 night of drink package we don't use because he isn't even there, even if it's on OBC?

Any advice is much appreciated. Sorry for the long post. 

P.s. Also sad because I wanted to use this as a test to see if we liked cruises and could book more 😞

 

Quite a dilemma! But it's really a matter of accepting the fact that your partner is making a career move which will impact your future also....and he is sacrificing big time by being in the academy at Christmas time.. You are booked on a pleasure cruise which is a moment in time that you will enjoy, but it has nothing to do with your future. I would think you should enjoy being with the rest of  your family and be appreciative of the fact your partner is pursuing an honorable profession. Enjoy the cruise and thank your partner for his sacrifices and future public service.

Also, the fact that he was unable to go gives you a really good reason to book more cruises as you mentioned in your P.s.

My $.02 worth 😉

 

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 @Vanessa77  I'm not here to tell you what you should do but I do know you an easily place someone in his spot. My cruise a few years ago was because my friend and her husband got a divorce and they already booked. All she did is call her travel agent and then I called and we switched the reservation.

(and you're not a third wheel when you're with family!)

 

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Swapping names is quite simple and your travel agent can handle that for you, so from a booking perspective, that's easy.

I wouldn't overlook option 1. Going solo (albeit with your family) is not that bad.  There's so much going on during a cruise that I believe you can still have a great time cruising solo. Here are the top 10 tips for cruising solo: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2018/01/12/top-10-tips-going-royal-caribbean-cruise-solo

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I think when you’re with family, you’re never really a “third wheel”. Plus, there is so much to do on a cruise, you can be busy or relaxed. Either way, always a great time! Basically, any cruise is better than no cruise at all! Good luck on your decision making...I’m sure whatever you decide will be perfect for you! And please relay to your partner, congratulations on making the Police Academy! Thanks in advance for his service and also to you for supporting him along the way!

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I recommend either 1 or 3. Being on your own isn't so bad, quality time with nieces and nephews and sibs AND solitary time when you can get a massage or soak in the hot tub, have a spa day, etc. AND if you can save up enough money, maybe he can fly down and join you! You don't have to decide that now. You can accomplish your intended goal of finding out if you like cruising and how you'll want to do it when you cruise just the two of you, i.e., what kind of cabin, which deck, which packages, etc. You can be doing the research while he's doing the academy. Yours is the more fun! And celebrate together when you get home.

 

And I ditto what rtread wrote above. It's just this one time, you'll have lots of opportunities to cruise together!

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@ellcee Thanks I'm glad to hear that that option is very simple if it comes to it! Haha I know I'm not really a third wheel, but it's nice to have your 'person' with you that will be down to do what ever you want to do, rather then seeing what everybody else has planned and tagging along. I'm a rather anxious traveler, and not super confident going out on my own or with people I don't trust.

@Matt Thanks, will check that video out! Any advice on how to deal with the drinks package situation if I end up cruising solo? In this instance I wouldn't want OBC as I certainly wont be spending $450+ while on the cruise (This is almost $700 Australian dollars!). 

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@function12 Yes, this is my preferred option of course! It will however be his decision if he wants to go this way, as he'll have to fly to Noumea the day before we arrive and organise himself to get to a hotel and then to the port etc. He's not traveled internationally alone before.

Do you know how it should be done? What are the logistics of doing is this way?

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5 hours ago, Vanessa77 said:

Any advice on how to deal with the drinks package situation if I end up cruising solo? In this instance I wouldn't want OBC as I certainly wont be spending $450+ while on the cruise (This is almost $700 Australian dollars!). 

If the OBC would be a result of the drink package being refunded it would be classified as refundable OBC. Refundable OBC on the last day of the sailing can be cashed out at Guest Services. In the event a credit card is used to cover onboard spending the OBC would be refunded to the card. Part I'm not sure of is how the refund to card method would be how a refund of USD to AUD would be processed. Going the cash method it would be given in USD and if desired converted to AUD based on the exchange rate the ship uses. 

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12 hours ago, Vanessa77 said:

Any advice on how to deal with the drinks package situation if I end up cruising solo? In this instance I wouldn't want OBC as I certainly wont be spending $450+ while on the cruise (This is almost $700 Australian dollars!). 

I think @CGTLH is correct that it will be refunded to you and you could take that money out.  Alternatively you wait to book drink package until you are certain if you will be solo or not. 

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@Matt - In the one scenario mentioned, about him flying to the next port and boarding .... is that even possible?  He wouldn't have his SeaPass card, he wouldn't have gone through the check-in process.  It's an interesting idea, just not sure if it's even possible.

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3 minutes ago, coneyraven said:

@Matt - In the one scenario mentioned, about him flying to the next port and boarding .... is that even possible?  He wouldn't have his SeaPass card, he wouldn't have gone through the check-in process.  It's an interesting idea, just not sure if it's even possible.

It is, but I'd call Royal first to confirm logistics.

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Last Easter, a fellow flowrider joined our cruise in Nassau. It began end ended in Bayonne, NJ. He set this up ahead of time, he was in a double occupancy room with family - she boarded in Bayonne NJ. It is possible to pre-arrange to join a cruise mid-cruise at a port of call. It will cost the same as cruising for the entire trip. Look into it, look up flight options, and decide whether to have your partner join you mid-trip or go SOLO, and book another trip!

from: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/partial-cruise-request

Partial cruises allow you to enjoy part of your cruise vacation in the event that you are unable to meet the ship in the scheduled boarding port, or would like to end your cruise earlier than the scheduled departure date.

Requests for security clearance concerning late boarding or early departure must be submitted in writing to the Guest Flight Operations office for consideration at least one week prior to sail date. Guests must have a confirmed reservation in order to receive clearance. If the reservation was made by a travel agency, the agency must submit the request on travel agency letterhead. Guests with reservations made directly through Royal Caribbean International or royalcaribbean.com can submit their own request. Please include a return fax number or e-mail address. 

If guests are pre-approved for boarding/departure in an alternate port of call, the ship's security staff is notified to expect the guests at the designated port. The approved guests are responsible for making all travel arrangements and will incur any additional expenses (for flights, hotels, transfers to the pier, etc.). Prepaid gratuities will be added to all approved reservations for the length of cruise. 

Restrictions: Certain countries, such as the U.S., Italy and Norway, have cabotage laws affecting passenger movements. These laws restrict foreign flag passenger vessels (such as those operated by Royal Caribbean) from transporting guests from one port to another port in the same country. In the U.S., the cabotage law applicable to the cruise industry is commonly called the Jones Act but is legally titled the Passengers Services Act. A brief summary of this U.S. law follows: 

If a passenger (as listed on a vessel passenger manifest) embarks in a U.S. port and the vessel calls in a nearby foreign port (such as Ensenada, Grand Cayman and Nassau) and then returns to the U.S., the person must disembark in the same U.S. port. A passenger who embarks and disembarks in two different U.S. ports (such as Los Angeles and San Diego) would result in the carrier (not the violator) being fined. The vessel must call in a distant foreign port before the U.S. embarkation and disembarkation ports can differ. The nearest distant foreign ports are in or off the coast of South America. If either the passenger's embarkation port or disembarkation port is in a foreign country, then the provisions of this cabotage law do not apply. Nor do they apply in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Similar passenger movement restrictions exist for cruise vessels calling in Italy and Norway.

Please direct any requests and/or questions to the following e-mail address or fax number: 
Fax Number: (305) 373-6695 
E-mail: AirSeaGFO@RCCL.com

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If you do have cancel/forfeit a person, check to see if you already “ pre-paid” for the gratuities. I have a similar situation where I am bringing my Niece and Nephew. One of them we felt might not be going anymore due to personal issues. I checked out all scenarios and it was mentioned that when I originally booked, we prepaid the daily gratuity for each of us. So, if I did proceed with cancelling one out, or doing the no show at pier scenario I at least did not pay the daily gratuity charge. 

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@CGTLH @Matt thanks for confirming re: drinks package. This was very helpful! 

@Mrs. RoyalMoyal this information is perfect! Thanks so much for sending it to me! We already have the cruise booked and deposit paid for through a TA, so if we go down this rout I’ll speak to them. 

@RTripp I actually hadn’t even considered that at all. We are from, and the cruise departs from Australia, so gratuities are always included in the cruise fare and I had actually forgotten that this was even a thing. If I end up cruising solo I’ll be sure to pursue a refund for this also. Thanks for your help! 

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If you have already paid final payment, and you have the travelers protection insurance, you should be able to cancel your partner and get a refund because his work is telling him he can't go. Of course you would have to have a letter from his work stating that.  IF you have not paid final payment, and you are not in penalty phase and its not under a non refundable deposit, you should be able to change a name at no cost. 

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