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I had planned a cruise in September on the Odyssey of the Seas. Unfortunately, I had open heart surgery a few months ago, and won't be fit and fully healthy until the end of the year. I had requested my $500 deposit back, but was told NO............I'm a senior citizen on a fixed income and $500 means a lot to me, but apparently not to them. I can't believe how unsympathetic and greedy this company is. Once they have your $$$$, don't expect any help. If you cruise with them, it's at your own risk if anything unexpected happens to you. FIND ANOTHER CRUISE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ALAN

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I'm sorry you are having health issues. I do wish you rapid healing.

Unfortunately, if a cruise is booked with a nonrefundable deposit, that's pretty much what it is unless you cover it with travel insurance.  The terms are written on the invoice.  Some cruises book with refundable deposits, some don't, and some give you a choice.  As a consumer it is up to you to know the terms under which you are agreeing by putting money down.

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2 hours ago, alandw48 said:

I had planned a cruise in September on the Odyssey of the Seas. Unfortunately, I had open heart surgery a few months ago, and won't be fit and fully healthy until the end of the year. I had requested my $500 deposit back, but was told NO............I'm a senior citizen on a fixed income and $500 means a lot to me, but apparently not to them. I can't believe how unsympathetic and greedy this company is. Once they have your $$$$, don't expect any help. If you cruise with them, it's at your own risk if anything unexpected happens to you. FIND ANOTHER CRUISE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ALAN

That is quite unfortunate, though it isn't really anybody's fault. It isn't entirely at 'your own risk', though if you choose not to buy a travel insurance, then that is certainly a risk you are taking.

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Get well soon and I hope you have a speedy recovery.

As others have mentioned you purchased a cruise with a non-refundable deposit.   In the future you should look for fully refundable fares.  Like with airline tickets fully refundable cost more but they are fully refundable.  

Your credit card company might include travel insurance.  I suggest you inquire with them if your card does include travel insurance benefits.  

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Not trying to be unsympathetic, but it's up to the consumer to read all policies whenever booking a cruise or anything else. I get it that a lot of people maybe try to cruise on the cheap and therefore look for the cheapest price, but with that comes potential consequences.  Again, I am sorry this happened to you and wish you good health. All you can do now is to take this as a lesson learned and make sure it never happens to you again whether its with another cruise line or anything else. Always read the fine print and ask questions before plunking down any money.

 

 

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Like the others, I hope you have a speedy recovery.  If your intent is to cruise when you are healed, I suggest you look into the special "cruise with confidence" pandemic program.  It seems that it would work for you as it runs for cruises through September 2022.  (For all bookings as of the end of this month) You won't get your deposit back but it would be applied to any cruise you would take within a year of your original sail date.

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7 hours ago, alandw48 said:

I had planned a cruise in September on the Odyssey of the Seas. Unfortunately, I had open heart surgery a few months ago, and won't be fit and fully healthy until the end of the year. I had requested my $500 deposit back, but was told NO............I'm a senior citizen on a fixed income and $500 means a lot to me, but apparently not to them. I can't believe how unsympathetic and greedy this company is. Once they have your $$$$, don't expect any help. If you cruise with them, it's at your own risk if anything unexpected happens to you. FIND ANOTHER CRUISE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ALAN

I'm sure your (nonexistent) cancelation insurance will cover it.  Get well soon.

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I really don't like when this happens on this site. All too often, people join just to rant in absolute anger about getting "screwed over" because they had not done their due diligence.

Just as @smokeybandit said, this was going to be the outcome with any of the cruise lines when you book with a non-refundable deposit.

The truly sad part is that many of the "Join/Rant/Leave" members, as I like to call them, don't return after typing their vitriol to get what could actually be some useful advise.

i.e, Cruise With Confidence, only book refundable fares, travel insurance, etc.

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15 minutes ago, SPS said:

The truly sad part is that many of the "Join/Rant/Leave" members, as I like to call them, don't return after typing their vitriol to get what could actually be some useful advise

I suspect that when the poster does not get the sympathy that they are seeking (usually), they have no desire to return.  Just a guess....

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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I suspect that when the poster does not get the sympathy that they are seeking (usually), they have no desire to return.  Just a guess....

This... I wonder why someone with a severe health problem wouldn't return to answer with so many empathic responses. 🤔

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17 minutes ago, Pooch said:

Maybe if the tone of the original post was different, the replies would be too.

Poster is upset, understandably with a major health crisis, and a loss of what he  feels is big money on a fixed income.  I think his reaction is reasonable for what he feels is a bad situation.  We can educate him and if he comes back (or others new to the board read his posts and responses)he’ll see a bunch of posts with good info.  The posts that chastise….in my opinion are not productive and make the board look bad.

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I think it's really the perception of a piling on when the point had already been made. 

I can tell you that I expect a response to whatever anyone states that could be seen as critical of RCI to basically be "Did you read the cruise contract, they can do anything they want".  I am never disappointed when expecting that response, and it's usually many saying the same thing.  

There should be an obligation for anyone to be an educated consumer, but the fact that a company can do something, doesn't always mean they should.

Now, I don't want to be someone piling on, and I don't know if any consideration was offered to the OP given their situation, but the $100 change fee with a NRD is clearly written in a lot of places and I imagine they were offered a FCC for the balance of the deposit.  While it's probably not typical, it would be nice if they would have offered the ability to transfer that to someone else, or eliminate the 1 year expiration to allow for recovery to be able to cruise.  

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31 minutes ago, Pattycruise said:

Poster is upset, understandably with a major health crisis, and a loss of what he  feels is big money on a fixed income.  I think his reaction is reasonable for what he feels is a bad situation.  We can educate him and if he comes back (or others new to the board read his posts and responses)he’ll see a bunch of posts with good info.  The posts that chastise….in my opinion are not productive and make the board look bad.

I agree - the lack of empathy and the pile on on the boards, any of them, is sometimes astounding to me. How could they be anything other than “one and done”.

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I don't trust Royal as far as I can throw them.  They refused to refund me trip insurance on a cruise THEY canceled.

In this environment and even with a FCC, It is foolish to book a cruise with them until the very last minute.   Too much can change outside of your control.  Too much contractually in their favor once they have your cash.  90 days or 60 days out for full payment is too big of a risk.  Especially if you have been burned by them.  

I've to a FCC burning a hole in my pocket and desperately want to travel.  But no way will they get any additional cash until shortly before departure date.  

 

 

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When I see "I'm a senior, on a fixed income" the first thing that pops in my head is ... why are you booking a cruise vacation if you can't afford a cruise vacation?  Fixed income or not, don't put a deposit down on something you can't afford.  

 

59 minutes ago, therealbigredrules said:

They refused to refund me trip insurance on a cruise THEY canceled.

Royal is not an insurance company.  The insurance company they resold to you did not refund the insurance policy.  That's in the terms and conditions.  In theory you had coverage from the moment you booked the cruise.  If a covered event occured before the pandemic hit you could have used the insurance.  Just because you didn't make a claim in that period does not make insurance refundable.  However in my case in the same situation the insurance company through Royal offered to transfer coverage to another booking.  

I know you want to hate Royal, but insurance is on the actual insurance company policy.  

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28 minutes ago, twangster said:

When I see "I'm a senior, on a fixed income" the first thing that pops in my head is ... why are you booking a cruise vacation if you can't afford a cruise vacation?  Fixed income or not, don't put a deposit down on something you can't afford.  

When I see that statement my thought is that we're (nearly) all on a fixed income. My income is fixed by my employer in the form of the salary they pay me. I *might* be able to find a different employer who will pay me a higher fixed income, but I *might* also lose that income.

At least seniors on Social Security have a guaranteed minimum income (unlike those still working) and they get an annual increase that usually mirrors inflation from the previous year. Pay raises in the working world rarely keep up with the increases received by those on a "fixed income."

(Okay - off my semantics-based soapbox).

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15 minutes ago, HeWhoWaits said:

When I see that statement my thought is that we're (nearly) all on a fixed income. My income is fixed by my employer in the form of the salary they pay me. I *might* be able to find a different employer who will pay me a higher fixed income, but I *might* also lose that income.

At least seniors on Social Security have a guaranteed minimum income (unlike those still working) and they get an annual increase that usually mirrors inflation from the previous year. Pay raises in the working world rarely keep up with the increases received by those on a "fixed income."

(Okay - off my semantics-based soapbox).

To hop back on the semantics soapbox:

I see "fixed" as unable to be changed based on your circumstances. The income cannot be increased or decreased due to promotion, performance, etc. Hence "fixed". 

I eagerly await the next person to claim the soapbox.

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The OP is upset but he didn’t sign up for the boards to explain his problem and ask for help/guidance/insight anything that might solve his issue.  No, he just ranted.  My guess is this is the same attitude he presented to Royal and you don’t get anywhere that way.

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

When I see "I'm a senior, on a fixed income" the first thing that pops in my head is ... why are you booking a cruise vacation if you can't afford a cruise vacation?  Fixed income or not, don't put a deposit down on something you can't afford.  

 

Royal is not an insurance company.  The insurance company they resold to you did not refund the insurance policy.  That's in the terms and conditions.  In theory you had coverage from the moment you booked the cruise.  If a covered event occured before the pandemic hit you could have used the insurance.  Just because you didn't make a claim in that period does not make insurance refundable.  However in my case in the same situation the insurance company through Royal offered to transfer coverage to another booking.  

I know you want to hate Royal, but insurance is on the actual insurance company policy.  

 

Respectfully, I don’t hate Royal I simply don’t trust them.  They are an inanimate entity trying to conserve as much cash as possible to survive.  It’s been a tough few years.  I’m well aware of the players I was dealing with and well versed in the third party contract Royal was selling.  It’s a very powerful and safe position to take for each entity, as they can point you off to the other guy.  “He who controls the contract wins”.   So let’s play…..

The facts are simple. I have given Royal, AON, and ARCH a combined $1,516 for a cruise that never took place.   I have effectively given Royal a $1,000 interest free loan for 24+ months.  Which they will pocket if I don’t book with them before the end of the year.  Not a perfect situation, but I understand what I have.

 Separately, I have also given a combined $516 in a nice insurance commission kiss to Royal that they took straight to the bottom line, along with the underwriter and the insurance agency of record.  100% profit for a cruise that never happened and was canceled by them.  As such, very limited, if any loss exposure is a pretty sweet deal for everyone except the consumer.

I am well aware of which state each insurance entity is domiciled in and have had detailed discussions with the New Jersey, Florida, and Indiana regulators of record.  I am well aware of the transfer of risks that has taken place across each legal entity involved and loss ratios enjoyed by the companies.

You are correct, and I agree with your statement, “In theory I had coverage from the moment I booked the cruise.”  But that is not as powerful of a statement as you may think.  What does this really mean and what is the actually potential loss expose of this specific coverage given the circumstances surrounding the cancelation by the cruise line.  What does this really mean when talking about travel / cruise insurance and more importantly, a cruse that that never happened?   

What does coverage from day one mean in this case? That is the root issue.  Many on the travel insurance side of this discussion have tried to correlate this travel policy to other types of “Day One” insurance coverage such as Auto coverage.  This is nothing like auto insurance and give us an excellent example of why this is so different.

With auto insurance you have an asset that is being covered day one along with related covered liabilities on day one.  All of which could incur a full massive claim the second you purchased the vehicle and entered into an insurance policy.  Second, the guy you purchased the car from cannot cancel the purchase after you have taken ownership.

With cruise coverage, the potential losses exposure to the carrier changes over time.  That is, you make your deposit at time of booking, you make your full payment 90 days before the sail date, you then actually take your cruise which then, and only then, opens up additional items that are covered by the policy.

These are two vastly different things.

My policy was only active for a few months before RCCL canceled the cruise.  So what was the real exposer to a loss during the actual coverage time period?  Well, you can argue all day long that I purchased a market basket of covered for various allowable claims / coverage.  However, if RCCL / AON is going to place their argument on the concept of coverage from day one, there certainly could not be any actual cruise related claims.  That is, no lost luggage, no medical claims while traveling, no transportation back home, no cool helicopter ride off the front of the ship, and or other items covered due to the actual cruise taking place. 

So in this example, what was their real lose exposure in my case?  My $1,000 deposit?  Or was it Zero since I entered in to the FCC agreement?   What did I pay for this coverage? $516.  In the worst case, No rational individual would pay a 50% coverage rate.  Plus regulators would deem this rate abusive – and that opens up an entirely different problem for RCCL and AON.

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For every action there is a reaction. No one can 100% guarantee that the reaction will be one way or another. 

People come to this site expecting a lot of sympathy......which baffles me because @Matt blogs are designed to offer the most amount of information possible while erring on the positive side. It is as if they don't look at anything but the RCG blog title and post without even glances at the topics. IMHO they get what they deserve. There is access to too much information for people to be that lazy. It's exactly what the whole thing is, laziness, as even a basic search will provide info. 

I also agree that if you are on a fixed income, you need to do better. You know you won't be getting any more or less, so you should plan your purchases accordingly. Especially if you are a senior with medical issues. I manage my grandmother, who is a senior and on fixed income, affairs. Every month I have to deal with some financial cautionary tale with her but even she reads the fine print.......she has to have me explain it, but at least she tries.

 

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My first cancelled cruise, June 2020. I had Vacation Protection with Royal. After everything else was either an FCC or refunded I had not gotten a refund for the Protection Plan. I called Royal and they did refund it. My next four cancelled cruises were through a TA and a third party Insurance. The third party insurance gave me credits which I've since used for the four cruises I've taken since October. 

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9 hours ago, SPS said:

I really don't like when this happens on this site. All too often, people join just to rant in absolute anger about getting "screwed over" because they had not done their due diligence.

Just as @smokeybandit said, this was going to be the outcome with any of the cruise lines when you book with a non-refundable deposit.

The truly sad part is that many of the "Join/Rant/Leave" members, as I like to call them, don't return after typing their vitriol to get what could actually be some useful advise.

i.e, Cruise With Confidence, only book refundable fares, travel insurance, etc.

This message board is so friendly and so helpful and I don’t know anyone personally but I like you all.  This being said it’s like going to let’s say a streak house but telling the waitress I’m vegan huh why are you here then don’t come on a board where you look for trouble or conflict it’s rude and takes up reading energy!

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7 hours ago, twangster said:

When I see "I'm a senior, on a fixed income" the first thing that pops in my head is ... why are you booking a cruise vacation if you can't afford a cruise vacation?  Fixed income or not, don't put a deposit down on something you can't afford.  

Wow.  I'm amazed at such a statement.  I remember scrimping and saving for a vacation and if something happened to prevent me from going and losing a good chunk of that money I would have been devastated. It doesn't mean I couldn't afford a vacation.  There are people who open travel club (vacation accounts) at their local banks, just like a Christmas club, where they put money into it for the purpose of the account.    Not everyone has extra funds to cover the cost of unforeseen events.

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7 hours ago, HeWhoWaits said:

When I see that statement my thought is that we're (nearly) all on a fixed income. My income is fixed by my employer in the form of the salary they pay me. I *might* be able to find a different employer who will pay me a higher fixed income, but I *might* also lose that income.

At least seniors on Social Security have a guaranteed minimum income (unlike those still working) and they get an annual increase that usually mirrors inflation from the previous year. Pay raises in the working world rarely keep up with the increases received by those on a "fixed income."

(Okay - off my semantics-based soapbox).

I guess you either have a FANTASTIC social security payment (which according to the SSA is $3,895 a month OR you don't collect.
"As of October 2021 (the most recently available month), the average Social Security check benefit for retired workers was $1,562.66 per month"
"For 2021, the SSA expects to pay a 
maximum benefit of $3,895 per month to retirees who delayed their benefits until age 70 and who earned maximum taxable earnings since age 22.4""  The chart for the maximum monthly earnings to earn the top payment , is here.....https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/examplemax.html

Factor in the cost of a mortgage (if this person still has one), car payment (if they have one), car insurance (higher rates for older folks) , homeowners insurance, medical insurance (in addition to Medicare that covers only 80%), real estate taxes, school taxes, food, gas, clothing and  those SS dollar amounts are not "living wages" (which SS was never meant to be, but is for some people)
Feel free to check out the Cost of Living Adjustment rates that reflect inflation.
https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/info-2020/colas-history.html  add it to the paltry payment and it's still "paltry".

(I'll get off my "reality based  soapbox" now)

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Get well soon !!! 


Isn't it an option to re-schedule the cruise at least you won't lose your money that way ? I'm sure you can work something out by calling Royal, they are in general very understanding but they have to act between the rules.

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2 hours ago, JasonOasis said:

Exactly what I'm thinking another hit and run, probably the same person who did several hit and runs last week.

When I see people complaining, either on message boards or while being interviewed by the press, about a bad vacation using a combination of certain key words and phrases;

Seniors/Diabled
Fixed Income   
Recent Serious Medical Issues   
“Nobody told us!”  
***here’s the big one….IT WAS OUR TRIP OF A LIFETIME!  
 

Sorry, but it makes me a little suspicious as to motive. Not doing even the most reasonably expected due diligence when planning an expensive vacation…or any other purchase…expecting everything to happen for you just because you paid what you believe is an amount that should give you gold-glove treatment is reckless and risky. 
I know there are incidents where issues have happened that are definitely the fault of the companies taking my money, and I hope to be able to recoup my loss. But I will do everything possible to be in the best position to do so. Including getting a good, solid insurance policy. There are risks in everything in life…but doing everything I can to mitigate those risks is important to me. One of the best things I did was join this blog and these forums. Knowledge is power…and sharing that knowledge with others makes us all better off.

If the OP was a hit and run poster…oh, well. But if they truly want good information about Royal, then this is the place to be. Either way, I wish them the best.

****The soapbox is now available***

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The only thing I disagree with is my in laws had a cruise credit for a seven night cruise for two. They couldn't use it because of health issues, and Royal would not let anyone else use it. It could only be them that could use it. So they lost almost $2000 because my in laws could not give the cruise to my wife and I. 

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