Norwegian Not Honoring 48 Hour Price Guarantee

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Oct 25, 2016
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#1
Norwegian Cruise Lines advertises a 48 hour price guarantee in that if the price drops within 48 hours of booking, they offer 110% in on-board credit or a refund of the difference.

I booked a cruise through CruiseDirect.com and the price dropped by $100 dollars 1 day later. Based on the guarantee I would expect $110 in on-board credit ideally, but given the short amount of time until departure, would accept the $100 refund.

Timeline:
10/20/16 - Purchased cruise on NCL through CruiseDirect.com departing on 10/28/16

10/21/16 - Notice price drop. Complete form on NCL website. The automated reply indicates that it is outside of business hours and won't be addressed until after the weekend. As such, I contact CruiseDirect who contacts NCL who only offers an "upgrade". We booked an OceanView guarantee (OX) and were put in the lowest category currently available (OI). Not an upgrade at all.

10/22/16 - Contact NCL directly regarding the price guarantee. I am told to contact CruiseDirect as the cruise was booked through a travel agent. Contact CruiseDirect again and ask them to inquire once again about the price guarantee. NCL tells travel agent there is nothing further they are willing to offer.

10/25/16 - Still no response from price guarantee form.
 

Neil Maley

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#2
Did you find the price drop on ncl.com within 48 hours of booking.

The guarantee only applies to NCL's pricing on NCL.com, not a third party like Cruise Direct. If you didn't see it on NCL you don't qualify.

Here is the guarantee in full:

Our price is the best price
If you find a lower published price for the same cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line, either on ncl.com or on a piece of communication directly from Norwegian, we will either:

  • Re-price your cruise at the lower price
  • Or, you'll receive 110% of the difference in the form of an Onboard Credit
 
Oct 25, 2016
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#3
Not sure if you're saying that it doesn't apply because 1) I booked through CruiseDirect or 2) The price dropped on the CruiseDirect site.

1) That isn't reflected in the T&C anywhere. The form allows you to choose that you booked through a travel agent. In addition, the charge went through on my credit card from Norwegian Cruise Lines, not CruiseDirect.
2) The price dropped on the NCL website.
 
Oct 25, 2016
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#7
Yes. One day later. I filled out the form on the NCL website about 24 hours after booking when I saw the price. See timeline in OP for the followup actions I took since it was going into the weekend when I submitted the form.
 

Neil Maley

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#8
We have company contacts on top of our pages. Since you've already gone to Customer Service, write to the first executive on the list. Give him a week to reply, then move up the ladder to the next one if you don't hear anything in a week.

I also don't see anything that says you had to book on ncl.com either.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#9
you have to book on NCL.com directly. they don't honor third party bookings b/c third party bookings are usually already discounted.
 
Likes: jsn55
Feb 9, 2016
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#11
CruiseDirect.com is most likely getting a group rate for all their bookings.

Read the TOC here, and then ask CriseDirect if the fair falls under any of the excluded categories.

https://www.ncl.com/freestyle-cruise/best-price-guarantee

In their FAQs (on the same page) it specifically states....

I saw a lower price at a travel agency, why can't I get it?
From time to time an agency will negotiate a special price for a group or for a special promotion. The terms of this offer require that the price be a lower publicly advertised Norwegian Cruise Line price on ncl.com or on a piece of communication directly from Norwegian.

LW, what you are doing is securing yourself a stateroom as part of a group booking. What you are not doing is securing yourself a stateroom based of the publically advertised price of a single stateroom, that stateroom wouldn't be that price if it were not part of that group booking.
 
Likes: Patina
Aug 28, 2015
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#12
CruiseDirect.com is most likely getting a group rate for all their bookings.

Read the TOC here, and then ask CriseDirect if the fair falls under any of the excluded categories.

https://www.ncl.com/freestyle-cruise/best-price-guarantee

In their FAQs (on the same page) it specifically states....

I saw a lower price at a travel agency, why can't I get it?
From time to time an agency will negotiate a special price for a group or for a special promotion. The terms of this offer require that the price be a lower publicly advertised Norwegian Cruise Line price on ncl.com or on a piece of communication directly from Norwegian.

LW, what you are doing is securing yourself a stateroom as part of a group booking. What you are not doing is securing yourself a stateroom based of the publically advertised price of a single stateroom, that stateroom wouldn't be that price if it were not part of that group booking.
She did see the price drop on NCL and I assume it's lower than the one she booked on 3rd party site. A 3rd party site, so long as it's available to the public may be considered for the Best Price Guarantee. Cruise Direct's rates are published and available to everyone.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#13
She did see the price drop on NCL and I assume it's lower than the one she booked on 3rd party site. A 3rd party site, so long as it's available to the public may be considered for the Best Price Guarantee. Cruise Direct's rates are published and available to everyone.
Again, the 3rd party's booking is probably a group booking.

What this means is that TA/OTA said "hey, if I sell a group of rooms, can I sell them at X price?"

and NCL said "Sure!"

LW is purchasing one room from that group of rooms - hence, the group booking.

That's my speculation. LW would have to ask NCL under what reason they specifically denied the claim.

If the price drop is that significant, why not cancel with CruiseDirect.com and rebook directly with NCL and just get the lower price?
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#14
Or the booking could be one of these. Again, LW needs to ask NCL why they denied her.

Restrictions: available to full individual tariff bookings with deposited cruise fare only; claims must be submitted at least 7 days prior to sailing; guarantee offer does not apply to government fees and taxes and/or fuel supplement (if applicable); lower rates must be publicly advertised fares available to the general public; guarantee offer is not combinable with an NCL fare reduction;

guarantee offer excludes: rates from TV and Radio ads, group rates, qualified rates, membership programs, charters or other travel agent promotions not offered by Norwegian Cruise Line to the general public.

Perhaps she booked under a Travel Agent specific promotion that MCL does not offer to the general public.

Let's not misread the idea of "NCL offering the rate to the general public" Y'all are reading it as if it ONLY means that you see that NCL has published a lower fare on THEIR website. That's not the only meaning possible

It can also mean that, if TA is offering a rate that NCL is not offering, booking as part of that package/rate is excluded from this price guarantee..

If the situation her is that TA is offering the rate as part of their own special promotion, or their own special grpup rate,it doesn't matter if NCL drops their rate, you bought the fare as part of a TA special promotion,/group rate, therefore you are excluded from the price drop guarantee.

This is how NCL encourages you to book with THEM and not the TA/OTA.
 

Neil Maley

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#15
Or the booking could be one of these. Again, LW needs to ask NCL why they denied her.

Restrictions: available to full individual tariff bookings with deposited cruise fare only; claims must be submitted at least 7 days prior to sailing; guarantee offer does not apply to government fees and taxes and/or fuel supplement (if applicable); lower rates must be publicly advertised fares available to the general public; guarantee offer is not combinable with an NCL fare reduction;

guarantee offer excludes: rates from TV and Radio ads, group rates, qualified rates, membership programs, charters or other travel agent promotions not offered by Norwegian Cruise Line to the general public.

Perhaps she booked under a Travel Agent specific promotion that MCL does not offer to the general public.

Let's not misread the idea of "NCL offering the rate to the general public" Y'all are reading it as if it ONLY means that you see that NCL has published a lower fare on THEIR website. That's not the only meaning possible

It can also mean that, if TA is offering a rate that NCL is not offering, booking as part of that package/rate is excluded from this price guarantee..

If the situation her is that TA is offering the rate as part of their own special promotion, or their own special grpup rate,it doesn't matter if NCL drops their rate, you bought the fare as part of a TA special promotion,/group rate, therefore you are excluded from the price drop guarantee.

This is how NCL encourages you to book with THEM and not the TA/OTA.
You found it. Travel agent promotions not offered by NCL are not qualified.

To our letter writer - that's why they won't honor it. It wasn't booked on
NCL.

I knew it had to be somewhere.

To our l/w, why don't you cancel book directly with NCL?
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#16
Again, the 3rd party's booking is probably a group booking.

What this means is that TA/OTA said "hey, if I sell a group of rooms, can I sell them at X price?"

and NCL said "Sure!"

LW is purchasing one room from that group of rooms - hence, the group booking.

That's my speculation. LW would have to ask NCL under what reason they specifically denied the claim.

If the price drop is that significant, why not cancel with CruiseDirect.com and rebook directly with NCL and just get the lower price?

Are you referring to a bulk rate? We all know what that means. However, just bc a ticket is booked on an OTA does not necessarily mean that it is ineligible as an unpublished fare/bulk rate/group rate/"hey can I sell a bunch of rooms" rate. Many airlines will honor best rate guarantees so long as the fare has been published. Others, only honor price drops on their own site.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
11,982
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www.promalvacations.com
#17
Are you referring to a bulk rate? We all know what that means. However, just bc a ticket is booked on an OTA does not necessarily mean that it is ineligible as an unpublished fare/bulk rate/group rate/"hey can I sell a bunch of rooms" rate. Many airlines will honor best rate guarantees so long as the fare has been published. Others, only honor price drops on their own site.
It's called a group rate but because it was not booking directly with NCL, the guaranty doesn't apply. I thought that was the case but couldn't find the details and Sas found it.
 
Likes: sas80
Feb 9, 2016
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#18
It's called a group rate but because it was not booking directly with NCL, the guaranty doesn't apply. I thought that was the case but couldn't find the details and Sas found it.
This same thing happened to me on RCCL a long time ago.

It basically amounts to the consumer not understanding the different tiers or rates, and assignments of rates, that go on between the TA/OTA and the cruise lines. We, as consumers, book thinking we are eligible for promotions, etc, but we are not because of the (unknown) contractual agreements btwn the 2 entities, and how they void the visible perks we see.

It's always hidden in the fine print!
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
This same thing happened to me on RCCL a long time ago.

It basically amounts to the consumer not understanding the different tiers or rates, and assignments of rates, that go on between the TA/OTA and the cruise lines. We, as consumers, book thinking we are eligible for promotions, etc, but we are not because of the (unknown) contractual agreements btwn the 2 entities, and how they void the visible perks we see.

It's always hidden in the fine print!
We often have to remind our clients of this. When you book a cruise very early, you usually get the best rates. We keep an eye on pricing for our clients and we often have clients sending us new offers that say 30% off and say they want that sale. They do not understand that we have to cancel their original booking and rebook. In every case the new rates are much higher than they originally paid. It would end up costing them money if we re-booked them at the "sale" rate.
 
Likes: sas80
Aug 28, 2015
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#20
Also, we don't know that the rate @bgh10788 booked through cruise direct was a special travel agent promotion so this is all conjecture.

The LW should reach out to the contacts as Norwegian does not limit its BRG to NCL.com bookings nor summarily exclude all travel agent/3rd party bookings. Norwegian qualifies the exclusion sited above to the extent that the promotion is not also offered by Norwegian.