Help needed: Big price increase after having cruise booked and deposit paid !

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Jul 1, 2017
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Switzerland
#1
Hello everyone..

I have a case with the International Voyager, Inc, through their company CruiseDirect,com. I have booked my cruise on Dec 16, 2017 and made an initial deposit payment of USD 200 to secure my booking. The total price of the cruise (which is with NCL and due in October 2017) was USD 2'772.46.

So this price has been suddenly changed as of June 30, 2017, right a couple of weeks before I have to make a final payment, from USD 2'772.46 up to USD 4'535.08 - without ANY prior information or notice. I have available at hand both the original CruiseDirect invoices (which they were sending to me in Dec 2016, then on Jan 2017 and last time on Feb 14, 2017) and the most recent invoice with increased price from NCL (dated June 30, 2017).


I was never informed about any potential price changes nor have I ever got any notification from CruiseDirect team or NCL before June 30, 2017. I cannot agree to this 64% (!) price increase and believe this is unacceptable and unlawful business practice - as this ruins our vacation plans, all preparations, itinerary, etc.

CruiseDirect (resp. International Voyager, Inc) team does not respond to my e-mails and inquiries and when I log onto my NCL account, it already shows the new increased price and the huge outstanding balance payment, which is due in a couple of weeks time.
Please advise what shall be my further steps and if International Voyager, Inc (or CruiseDirect) can legally do what they did - implement such a big sudden price increase (which I cannot accept) without communication or notice to the customer.

Thanks in advance (and I am ready to provide more info if needed),
with hopes of your support and appealing to your expertise and experience,

Best regards,
Sergey
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
Thank you. It all looks in order and confirms what you stated in your original post. Due to the short time left, I suggest you appeal this by using the Company Contacts link near the top of this page. I recommend you start by calling the Primary Contact.
....
Please keep us posted on your progress ...
 
#6
Since this cruise stops in Havana, Cuba, might the current Administration's executive orders regarding Cuba travel have something to do with this price change? Has there been a change in itinerary that you haven't been told about?

This makes no sense, particularly if the NCL site showed the originally quoted price right up until yesterday. Follow @VoR61 's advice and make your first contact by phone in the interest of time. Subsequent contacts should be by email so that you have a written trail.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,621
11,210
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
They can't do this. The only thing that can increase are taxes.

Who charged your credit card? Your agent or NCL? Something is wrong with what this company did. You should call NCL and tell them that this company is not responding to your calls and you want the booking transferred to NCL.

It sounds perhaps this company didn't make a payment and rebooked it at a higher price.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
5,890
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#8
Ouch! It's my understanding that a cruise price can change up until the time of your final payment ... I just read that somewhere ... but nobody would expect an increase of this magnitude! I assume that you booked through an online agent ... not a good choice, as you are finding out now. Neil is right, call NCL and transfer your booking directly to them ... then you will have a chance of straightening this out. Good news is that your deposit was very low, so if you need to cancel you're only out $200. Please keep us updated and good luck.
 
Likes: Sergey
Aug 29, 2015
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#10
Ouch! It's my understanding that a cruise price can change up until the time of your final payment ... I just read that somewhere ... but nobody would expect an increase of this magnitude! I assume that you booked through an online agent ... not a good choice, as you are finding out now. Neil is right, call NCL and transfer your booking directly to them ... then you will have a chance of straightening this out. Good news is that your deposit was very low, so if you need to cancel you're only out $200. Please keep us updated and good luck.
Prices may change daily, but once you place a deposit, the price is set. The deposit is refundable until final payment in the US.

Something strange is happening here.

Hopefully the letter writer here can get through to NCL and get the price reinstated.
 
Likes: Sergey

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#11
Once you've booked and received confirmation of fare then they can't increase the price. Think of it like an airline ticket. The price is the price when you book.
But an airline ticket is paid in full, that's what I meant about the deposit on the cruise. I'm looking at an Avalon European river cruise ... you are protected from price increases after you pay in full for the cruise. Grand Circle river cruises are the same, no protection from price increases until you've paid in full. I guess 'regular' cruises are different?
 
Aug 29, 2015
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#12
But an airline ticket is paid in full, that's what I meant about the deposit on the cruise. I'm looking at an Avalon European river cruise ... you are protected from price increases after you pay in full for the cruise. Grand Circle river cruises are the same, no protection from price increases until you've paid in full. I guess 'regular' cruises are different?
Yes, the main-stream cruises don't generally raise the price once you make a deposit. In some cases, you can even reprice if the published price goes down.
 

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
1,200
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Coastal South Carolina
#13
So I have a couple of guesses (and that's all they are):

In reviewing NCL's deposit receipt for your $200, the upper right shows the promotions you booked under. There was a Dash Sale, Easy Fare, Group, and more. It is POSSIBLE that Cruise Direct had held group space under a super sale price and somehow lost their rights to that pricing AFTER YOU BOOKED. Today's prices for October cruises are significantly higher than what you paid.

Since your Oct 9 sailing is now sold out for suites (including your Category SE) it's not possible to compare prices for your precise date....I looked at the following cruise.

But my take is that you are holding a receipt from NCL showing a price. You deposited $200, and they accepted it. Your cruise agency is not responding to you (that's fishy in itself).

I agree that you need to contact NCL, by phone initially due to time constraints.

Please make certain you note with whom you are speaking, and their department. Tell them (politely!) that you are prepared to pay the remaining balance on your $2772.46 cruise, and wish NCL to take over the booking so you can pay them directly. You may have to put your request to change the agency in writing, but you should be able.

You in good faith paid your deposit on a certain fare and have written confirmation of that ... you should be able to retain that fare.
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
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Poole
#14
Hi Sergey,

Just to say (and so everyone else in the forum knows) I appreciate you have also filled in a help form for direct help. I haven't started advocating the case yet (we are just at the acknowledgment and asking for paperwork stage) so you are very welcome to get the excellent advice on the advocates here.

If you don't get anywhere they come back to me via the acknowledgment email I sent you.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#15
you can transfer your booking to NCL and have them handle everything. Call them first and ask them where the form is to transfer the booking (you will have to fill it out and send it in fax/email) and review your booking AND price with them and verify that they will honor the price before you move it to NCL. When they ask why you want to move the booking just say that you are not getting responses or customer service from the travel agent you booked with.
 
Jul 1, 2017
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Switzerland
#17
So I have a couple of guesses (and that's all they are):
.....................
You in good faith paid your deposit on a certain fare and have written confirmation of that ... you should be able to retain that fare.
First of all, MANY thanks to all of you for finding time to share your expertise and giving valuable advice. It does help greatly to see different standpoints and fresh ideas, as well as learn from the experience of others..

So here is what I did yesterday:
1) contacted/escalated to the top management of the agent company (International Voyager, Inc) via e-mail, fully describing the case and having all original invoices attached (both from CruiseDirect and NCL)
2) Sent e-mails to NCL Europe describing the case and attaching their two different invoices (the initial one from Feb 2017 stating the price of USD 2.7K and the latter one with the price of USD 4.5K).
3) Chatted with the CruiseDirect representatives (three different persons) via their online chatting tool, clearly pointing out my point of view and my final position on this subject (not agreeing to any compromise or price increase).
4) Filled in the help form for direct help at elliott.org (BTW, was impressed how well structured their replies are - good and professional).

Yesterday late evening (after 20:00 local Swiss time) I got a call from the representative of International Voyager who many times apologized for what had happened and informed me that they reached out to NCL in pursue of the positive resolution of my case. He also informed me that there was some issue in the transfer of the invoices (as I got paid directly to the International Voyager, Inc, as follows from my CC statement) between their company and NCL (my assumption is that they could have simply delayed the payment form their side to NCL or "missed" the special time slot when the promotions were still valid - anyway, I would assume the issue is with the agent company and not the NCL). The International Voyager rep promised that no later than on Tuesday, July 4th I will be contacted again and my previous cruise price shall again be in effect. I shall also receive the same in written (via e-mail) from them.

Hope this will resolve my case and will keep you posted.
kind regards, Sergey
 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,621
11,210
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
I knew it. If your card was charged by NCL you wouldn't have had to worry - the payment would have been made. They blew it on their end - I am betting that the payment wasn't done properly by them and the offer was over by the time they realized it.

However, I have a question - you are in Europe? Usually a U.S. agency cannot book a cruise for someone outside the U.S. Is this cruise priced the same on the U.S. website as it is on the NCL website in the country you live in?

Is your reservation number on the new invoice the same as it was on the old one?
They need to fix it for you even if they have to pay the difference.. Let us know the outcome.