Thanks Sailagain! I'm not sure how the cruise
industry works, as I've never taken a cruise
on a cruise ship
before. But I have taken RYA practical courses and then it was a deposit up front and full payment at a later date - something like a month out from the event. And that seemed to work out fine.
Other models? The airline industry does take full payment up front, but generally don't cancel flat out (ie no alternative flight around the same time) unless they go bankrupt or there's a major strike or such. Hotels - full payment only for cancelation less than 24 hours in advance. Can't imagine that could work in this sort of case though - like you say too many would just no-show. Wonder how the hotels get by with that actually.
In this case I can understand it was more of an investment for Sunsail - organizing a 'regatta' - at least there must have been some additional organization beyond what a normal voyage would have entailed - and one can guess they were looking to gain as much security
as possible that it would float financially (excuse the very poor pun!
One frustration is that one knows that what you write is all too true: had the regatta
taken place and one of the participants not shown up, that would have been too bad for the participant - they would have lost
their entire fee - a 100% penalty.
In this case the organizer bails out with very short notice, and of course there is no penalty whatsoever. As atoll says "as normal the little guy gets screwed in the corporate world."
At the time of cancelation they made no offer of any discount or other such salve. Only later (higher in this thread) did they offer a 10% discount. That's nice enough (they only want to earn a 20% profit this time
) but I think I'll save my commerce for companies that don't promise what they're not at all sure they can deliver.
Well - I've taken up way too much of everyone's time whinging about a very minor hiccup in the grand scheme of things. Soon it's back to sailing which is what it's all about. Thanks for listening, guys - has been a heap of therapy today if nothing else and much appreciated with your informed feedback!!