Feedback Friday: Cross-Border Booking Dilemmas

August 9, 2013 | By | 3 Comments

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Every other Friday we will bring you a piece of reader feedback and our response. Have a question about cruising? Notice an error on our site? Want to just drop a comment for our consideration? Submit your own feedback by e-mailing, and maybe we’ll select your submission for our next Feedback Blog.
This Week’s Feedback:
“I noticed on the MSC website a cruise in February on the MSC Fantasia is cheaper to book on their Irish website by approximately £100. In your experience, would I as a resident of Scotland be permitted to buy a cruise through the Irish site? Thanks.”

Our Response:
For this question, we reached out to an official at MSC Cruises, who told us in a statement that, due to many factors — cost of operating, the competition in the local market, currency rate, the laws governing consumer protection as well as the destination they are selling and amount of inventory available — purchasing a cruise across borders is prohibited. MSC explained that each country also has specific sales promotions throughout the year that may not be available in other markets (for instance, special promotions over school breaks that do not correspond from one country to the next), which would make cross-border selling difficult.
MSC isn’t the only line who enforces these types of booking restrictions. Thomson Cruises requires a U.K. address to book online. Cruises on the P&O Australia line can only be booked through their Sydney office and not through any U.S. affiliate or travel agency. Chances are, if you are attempting to book a cruise through a foreign cruise line, you will have to call them directly for specific pricing and booking information before taking those vacation days. Restrictions vary by line, but can be tricky.
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Read more about cross-border booking in Australia.
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    3 Responses to “Feedback Friday: Cross-Border Booking Dilemmas”

    1. ClipperMiami
      August 9th, 2013 @ 10:09 am

      In many cases it has to do with “consumer protection” laws. Many countries have laws that subject vendors to far stiffer penalties for any number of things. As a result the vendor “insures” against his potential liability be restricting the terms, deposit amounts, conditions of refunds, etc. Don’t like the restirctions? Talk to your lawmakers.

    2. John Bosch
      August 9th, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

      This has a similar smell as the inflated pricing of software, where attempted downloads from US Software company sites were redirected to Australian sites which charged much higher prices for the same products. US software giants were summoned to front a parliamentary committee hearing in Canberra earlier this year and mostly bowed to public pressure to slash the price of some of their products for Australian customers. Perhaps a similar enquiry needs to be instigated for cruise lines price gouging Australian customers.

    3. Derek Winter
      August 10th, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

      I found no problem booking a cruise through a US t/a,also i could have booked direct with Oceania or Cunard.

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    The Lido Deck is written by Cruise Critic's editorial staff, reporting from ships and ports around the world. The daily blog covers cruise news, reviews, advice, and hot topics from the Cruise Critic message boards. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

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