View Full Version : Travel Agent: Deposits Due When?

11-12-2011, 11:34 PM
Okay, so in my piece, my couple has a cruise booked for March (no idea where) and I'm trying to figure out when deposits are due if they are booking through an agent. Google searches suggest that there's a deposit on booking, a second deposit sometime later and a final one in the month before departure, but it gave me no clue if that's standard or what % would be due.

Any help is welcome! Thanks! :)

11-16-2011, 12:10 AM
Not a travel agent, but a frequent cruiser.

Payment schedules vary by cruise line and cruise length, so you have some room to tweak it for your story. But in general, for major cruise lines departing from US ports:

Deposit due at time booking: This varies widely. Typically around $250 per person for a standard 7 or so day cruise. More for significantly longer cruises, less for short (3 or 4 day) cruises. This is one area where the cruise lines like to compete--I've seen specials for as little as $50 per person deposit (with tons of restrictions, naturally).

If your couple wants trip insurance rolled into the cruise fare, they must pay for it within 24 hours of booking. If either has a pre-existing condition, they'll want to buy the insurance at the same time as they pay the deposit to get the pre-existing exclusion waived.

Final payment: The balance is usually due 60-75 days before sailing (depending on cruise length). Holiday cruises, possibly as long as 90 days out.

It's rare for the big companies sailing from the US to charge an interim payment, though I suppose it's possible. Group cruises (organized by a company) sometimes have an interim payment to keep everyone on track.

You can pay off your cruise early at no penalty. Deposits are generally refundable (unless you take one of those special low-deposit deals) until final payment date. Insurance is typically nonrefundable.

Hope that helps! What does your story need to have happen?