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payoff cruise early? good?


Baked Alaska
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Are there any cons to paying off one's cruise early for RCCL, before the 90 days? We are 296 days out and can zero it out, just wondering if there are reasons why I shouldn't. Cruise insurance, including cancel for any reason, is paid up to current value of trip. I recall on DCL, that it was best to zero out close to the 90 day mark, but can't remember what the reason was. ?

Thanks for any advice. 

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18 minutes ago, Baked Alaska said:

Are there any cons to paying off one's cruise early for RCCL, before the 90 days? We 296 days out and can zero it out, just wondering if there are reasons why I shouldn't.

There's no con per se, but there's not really a benefit in doing so either.

12 minutes ago, WhiteSoxFan said:

I see no problem with it.  If you cancel before 90 days out you can still get a refund.  I'm not sure how it would work if you find a price reduction.  You can still get it but will they give you a refund or OBC?  I know someone here knows the answer to that. 

 

3 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

Before 90 days, you will get a refund to the C.C. on file IF the price drops and you re-price it. If you cancel the cruise, (a) as for full refund, ONLY if it's a refundable deposit before the applicable period of cancellation; (b) you will not get a full refund on non-refundable deposit, but will be penalized.

That is true. However-- do the math and make sure.  Do not trust them to have credited you correctly.  I've had to call them back more than once to do a correction on a price drop after I paid in full early.  They made it right, but I don't think they would've noticed if I didn't!

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Hold back $100.

I've been advised by multiple travel agencies that once a cruise if paid in full, regardless of final payment due date, you are no longer eligible for price adjustments.

I've been told that people loosely throw around final payment due date (90 days) as the trigger for losing price change adjustments when in reality it's actually when it's been paid for in full.  For the vast majority of people that is final payment due date (and hence their confusion) but for the rare person who pays it off prior to final payment due date they lose the ability to obtain price changes should rates drop.

In the past price adjustments even after final payment due date were often possible.  Now though, apparently they are getting very strict about it all.  

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@twangster That is EXACTLY what I did with DCL cruises. 

We are in an Owner's Suite and they are currently "sold out", so yes, there will be those folks that don't make the 90 day and drop off, but I would think on this sailing (Alaska) the price for suites would not going down, but I've been wrong before.  

As to the benefit of having it paid off, that's the benefit: It's paid. Then I can start further cruise planning and not worry about this one.

By the way, as a comparison to our booking on this cruise in question, I mock booked a DCL Alaska Itinerary that was close to the Alaska Southbound (DCL doesn't offer a northbound/southbound, but instead offer longer close loop Alaska cruises) and a concierge state room (suite) starts at $27,000. AND! That's NOT the Roy or Walt suites. UGH. Same month.

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12 minutes ago, twangster said:

I've been advised by multiple travel agencies that once a cruise if paid in full, regardless of final payment due date, you are no longer eligible for price adjustments.

This is false. TA's do not want you to re-price as their commission will go down per a TA colleague. I have paid cruises in total way ahead of time and re-priced numerous times without any issues.  Ask yourself, if you pay a refundable cruise upfront and then cancel, you'll get back 100% back to the original C.C.  Correct?? Correct!! Now, if you re-price that same scenario, why would you not get the difference back to the original C.C.??  Don't get taken in especially when there is a cruise contact contract which the cruise line must honor regarding their cancellation policy.

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Just now, princevaliantus said:

This is false. TA's do not want you to re-price as their commission will go down per a TA colleague. I have paid cruises in total way ahead of time and re-priced numerous times without any issues.  Ask yourself, if you pay a refundable cruise upfront and then cancel, you'll get back 100% back to the original C.C.  Correct?? Correct!! Now, if you re-price that same scenario, why would you not get the difference back to the original C.C.??  Don't get taken in especially when there is a cruise contact contract which the cruise line must honor.

That makes no sense.  Why would a TA tell you NOT to pay in full so you CAN get price adjustments if they don't want you doing price adjustments?

When did you make price adjustments?  Everything changed Jan. 2018.  

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

That makes no sense.  Why would a TA tell you NOT to pay in full so you CAN get price adjustments if they don't want you doing price adjustments?

When did you make price adjustments?  Everything changed Jan. 2018.  

The TA is a colleague who informed me that IF you pay in full prior to your final payment date, you can re-price without penalty and get the difference refunded to original C.C.   For example, I booked a B2B non-refundable on VotS, 2019. The price dropped on B2B in August, 2018. I called Customer Svce and had it re-priced and had the difference in price credited back to my original C.C.

Now, if you want to believe that you cannot get the difference, that's also your prerogative. By the way, I also have a bridge in Brooklyn on sale for $50.00, if you're interested.

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I guess for me its all in my head and here is my .02.  I prefer not to pay anything off earlier than necessary as I like to keep my money in my bank account as long as possible.  I have a dedicated vacation savings account so my cruise is "paid" for but I don't hand over the money to RC until about 100 days.  Anything could happen that could force us to cancel a trip.  It would probably be a major reason and I would prefer not to have to deal with getting my money back from RC or deal with trip insurance when I am already stressed out for whatever reason I had to cancel.  Probably a worst case scenario and not a completely logical reason but it just makes me feel better.

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One reason you may not want to pay in full is that once a cruise is paid in full it CANNOT be transferred to a TA.  A number of years ago one one of the RCBlog Group cruises, we had a group of 21 people.  One of our group had booked the cruise themselves directly through Royal and paid for their cruise in its entirety.  When it came time to start planning Blog group activities they were not able to participate in some of them b/c they had not booked through MEI and since their cruise was fully paid, they could not transfer the booking over to MEI.

I always keep a small balance due until right around final payment date. The only exception to this are the free cruises we get through Club Royale.  There is a "rule" that those cruises have to be paid in full at the time of booking, so in that particular case, you have no choice...but for all other "normal" cruises, we hold back just a bit until it's time to pay it off.

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8 minutes ago, WhiteSoxFan said:

Isn't there also a time element involved in transferring to an agent?  I seem to recall that it had to be done within 60 days of booking.

Correct!!  Per Royal: Bookings may only be transferred to a Travel Agent up until 60 days from creation if the request is made outside of Final Payment period and the booking is not paid in full. If a booking has a ChoiceAir ticket and the transfer request involves a change in currency we cannot accommodate a transfer.

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Be aware that when saving that small amount for the end, you can't just keep $100 of the cruise fare, you also have to keep the entire port fees and taxes portion withheld as well. Learned this from my TA, when I had tried to pay off all but $200 of each of the two rooms I'd booked (one reservation for me and wife, one for the kids' room). Turns out I had paid both rooms down to where each had only the fees/taxes and maybe $50 of base fare left, and making that payment I'd wanted would have left about half of the taxes unpaid on each room, which my TA explained isn't allowed. All taxes and fees for a given reservation have to paid fully in a single transaction.

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2 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Be aware that when saving that small amount for the end, you can't just keep $100 of the cruise fare, you also have to keep the entire port fees and taxes portion withheld as well. Learned this from my TA, when I had tried to pay off all but $200 of each of the two rooms I'd booked (one reservation for me and wife, one for the kids' room). Turns out I had paid both rooms down to where each had only the fees/taxes and maybe $50 of base fare left, and making that payment I'd wanted would have left about half of the taxes unpaid on each room, which my TA explained isn't allowed. All taxes and fees for a given reservation have to paid fully in a single transaction.

GOOD POINT !!! Forgot to mention that!! Thank you!!!

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31 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Be aware that when saving that small amount for the end, you can't just keep $100 of the cruise fare, you also have to keep the entire port fees and taxes portion withheld as well. Learned this from my TA, when I had tried to pay off all but $200 of each of the two rooms I'd booked (one reservation for me and wife, one for the kids' room). Turns out I had paid both rooms down to where each had only the fees/taxes and maybe $50 of base fare left, and making that payment I'd wanted would have left about half of the taxes unpaid on each room, which my TA explained isn't allowed. All taxes and fees for a given reservation have to paid fully in a single transaction.

Never heard this one before !

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1 hour ago, WhiteSoxFan said:

Isn't there also a time element involved in transferring to an agent?  I seem to recall that it had to be done within 60 days of booking.

This is the rule....however, with all things Royal CAribbean, there are sometimes exceptions. I have transferred a couple of bookings to MEI well after the 60 day mark.  I don't do it routinely as they make nearly all of my reservations these days but back when I was doing my own bookings through the casino I would sometimes transfer them a ways afterwards.  Michelle was always able to snag them over even when they exceeded the 60 day mark.  Best not to push this one but it can be done.

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@Baked Alaska late to the party on this thread but I never pay off in full until I need to either for several reasons...

1. I agree with what @melski94, I would rather hang onto my money as long as possible.

2. What @twangster said about re-pricing is also what I know as well.  

However, one reason you have to possibly put more down on it sooner is that if you are on an upgrade list, how much you have put down affects your order on the calling list should an upgrade become available.  Meaning, they will call those who have paid more towards their sailing over those that just have a deposit down.  I did not know this before.  Several C&A reps told me this within the past month.

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On 9/28/2018 at 4:14 PM, WAAAYTOOO said:

This is the rule....however, with all things Royal CAribbean, there are sometimes exceptions. I have transferred a couple of bookings to MEI well after the 60 day mark.  I don't do it routinely as they make nearly all of my reservations these days but back when I was doing my own bookings through the casino I would sometimes transfer them a ways afterwards.  Michelle was always able to snag them over even when they exceeded the 60 day mark.  Best not to push this one but it can be done.

I did that as well before I knew MEI existed, and this forum, and I was able to transfer waaaaaay past the 60 day mark. I would imagine that if you are a high volume Travel Agency there are some special things that can/are done. And I think MEI falls into that category.

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