I have been had by a cruise agent in the USA

Cruise newby

New Member
Hi,
I have booked a cruise online with a company called Cruise Direct. Scanning through their website you will see they have won awards, are rated highly and won't be beaten on price! Noting all these accolades I moved on to the booking process to check out their prices. They asked me some basic questions and asked where I was booking from. I told them the answer and was taken to their global site. The prices were good and quite a bit cheaper so after some online chat and price checking I booked it feeling confident about price guarantee etc.
I paid for my trip on credit card.
You can imagine my horror when I discovered the price was in USD! Normally with pricing from a different country you see say $2000 USD. This company doesn't do that and nowhere throughout the booking process does it mention the currency you are being charged for.
I contacted the cruise company who point blank refused to do anything about my booking. I ended up paying $1200.00 OVER what it would have cost me had I booked locally. I also missed out on $200USD onboard credit.
In very small writing on the bottom of their webpage it does say USD BUT wouldn't you think they would put USD after the price?
When I then asked about their price guarantee I was informed that it was only for 24 hours after booking and does NOT apply to people in different countries. I have had my holiday ruined. I am out of pocket and the extra fees the credit card company will charge is terrifying! I am a pensioner and have saved hard for this trip. I don't know what to do. I will contact ACCC and let them know what has happened. I will put in a complaint. Who do you know over the age of 60 who sits and reads all the terms and conditions on websites? This company takes no blame for this. I phoned Royal Carribean in the USA and told them. They were very supportive but can't do anything about it.
Please DON'T use CRUISE DIRECT without working out how much AUD your trip will cost. I also checked the RC website in the USA and they were offering onboard credit of $200 USD but Cruise Direct won't acknowledge this either.
I have been in tears on and off since yesterday. I don't know how I will be able to pay this off nor will I have spending money.
My holiday is ruined.
 

bob

Community Manager
Staff member
First off sorry to hear about what you have gone through, nobody wants to start a cruise with problems at ground level.
That said, realize that my comments are just based on "my" knowledge, experiences and some well placed hearsay, and your post is not addressed in any reasonable order.
Who do you know over the age of 60 who sits and reads all the terms and conditions on websites? Me, I am 77 year old, and whatever it is, if it is a first time experience with a website and I am putting money on the line, I am going to, at the least, do a topical scan of their terms.

Yes Cruise Direct is highly rated, has competitive prices, in the ballpark with discounts, cruise and booking credits and the rest of the game BUT they are a booking agent, not a hand holding travel agent. You have to do a lot of your own homework upfront.

In very small writing on the bottom of their webpage it does say USD BUT wouldn't you think they would put USD after the price? They did, just in front of instead of behind. At the bottom of the website home page on a gray background in white letters in about 10 point it states:
"All prices are per person, in US Dollars, based on double occupancy. Government taxes are not included.
Rates are subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed until a specific cabin category has been confirmed and a deposit or final payment has been applied"
They are not hiding anything but like many sales generated companies the don't slap you upside the head and and point to it with a flashing neon sign.

Not condemning or defending either side here, if you are using an Aussie issued credit card, should it not be up to your credit card bank/provider to have seen this and applied the correct exchange rate for an international transaction, exchange fee optional? Just thinking, contact the CC company and say wuzz up, OR put the charge in contest and let them fight it out, go after your credit card company.

In any event Aussie dollars are worth about 30% more than US so ya worth chasing the tail, hope you get it worked out.

Have Aussie friends that I know are safe, but thoughts and prayers are with you all and current information is that the fires are arson.........
SUCH A WASTE for whatever reason, will take years to recover, both property and your precious unique wildlife

Hang in and let us know how you work it out
 
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