Changes to DCL onboard bookings
I received a batch of email today from DCL for my clients who've made onboard bookings. For those of you here, I wanted to share the new policy about onboard bookings (and I can only imagine the reactions...)
********(edited for direct consumer, from the travel agent version)***********
We wanted to let you know about an important change in our Onboard Sales Program. Beginning November 12, 2013, all new onboard bookings must complete travel within 18 months from the date booked in order to maintain the onboard booking benefits.
We truly value your commitment to sail with us again and realize that you may have booked your future cruise reservation awaiting school schedules or our 2015 summer itineraries. In recognition of these factors, we are providing Guests who currently have an existing onboard booking an additional 6 months to travel.
This means that you must sail on your existing cruise reservations with the onboard booking benefits prior to November 30, 2015. Guests who are unable to sail within 24 months will have any current onboard booking benefits removed from their reservation. You may still modify your sail dates within the 24 month timeframe as long as these modifications are done outside of any applicable cancellation period.
We truly appreciate booking your next sailing with us while onboard and look forward to having you sail with us soon.
Let the discussion begin...
11-13-2013 08:26 PM
I've considered but never made a placeholder reservation. From the tone of your email I feel like I should be outraged, but what is the current industry standard?
Read Everything-Assume Nothing
I have always thought about booking onboard as well, but never pulled the trigger.
But it would be interesting to hear from those who have taken advantage of this type of offer as to how it would impact them.
We were planning on doing an OBB on our cruise in May, for my 40th bday in January 2017, but now we won't. And with the jump in prices, I'm wondering if our May cruise will be our only one
Next Run: RNR DC March 14, 2015
Next Disney trip: Disneyland October 5-9
I personally have two placeholder reservations, which I've just moved out to a date in 2015, and it's uncertain if I'll use them before the November deadline.
I have more clients who book placeholder reservations than actual dates, so having a limit of time in which to sail will put a big crimp in their plans. People like having the option of saving on the cruise fare and having onboard credit.
What's the industry standard? Well, it varies. Disney's booking discount is very nice, as is the onboard credit. Other cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and Princess, let you put down a minimal deposit amount but you don't have to pick a specific sailing (although you can do so, if you have something in mind).
I've always thought it was impractical for Disney to require people to pick a date for a cruise in the future when those guests didn't have a specific sailing in mind. Why? Because it pulls inventory that could be booked by someone who really wants to go on that cruise. It's a little hard to keep track of placeholder dates, and continue to move them into the future, again, taking up bookable inventory.
I presume that Disney's perspective is to force guests who made a booking years ago and have kept moving the dates to actually do something with them.
Unfortunately, as I've seen with my own clients, sometimes that answer is "cancel my reservation," and then the opportunity for those onboard benefits is gone.