Cruise Purchase and Payment through E-hoi

Cruise Purchase and Payment through E-hoi

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- About E-hoi agency

- How to avoid penalties. Read carefully, it is important! 

- E-hoi advantages

- Paying for Costa cruises

- Paying for AIDA cruises

- Paying for Royal Caribbean cruises

About E-hoi is a large German agency dealing with selling sea and river cruises. There is also a Swiss version of the website, They are virtually identical which is why all written below relates to both of them.

The company has operated since 2003 and its headquarters is located in Frankfurt-on-Mein. This agency can be trusted, as we have been buying cruises from them for many years already.

The main advantage for us is that they sell cruises according to the German fares which are often lower than those offered by agencies in other countries.

And yet, when booking cruises from this agency you should take into account its specifics which we will get you acquainted with in this detailed review. 

How to Avoid Penalties

It is the first and the most important thing you should read and understand. 

E-hoi offers you two types of booking arrangements called binding inquiry and non-binding inquiry. 

The choice should be made in Step 3. This is what it looks like on the German version of the website:

Sometimes it happens that the choice is not offered, and the only option available is "Zur Buchung". The only thing you can do is proceed with the booking of your cabin. That is why it is of great importance to read carefully all that is written below before you start the process of booking.

We recommend that you select a non-binding inquiry if you are not 100% sure to pay for your cruise. 

What is the difference between them?

By choosing a non-binding inquiry you get the calculation of the final price for all the passengers including all the possible loyalty program discounts to your email. If you are not satisfied with the price or you changed your mind you can refuse such an offer without any consequences. 

By choosing the binding inquiry you accept the E-hoi conditions according to which they create a reservation for you. These conditions are written in German and, of course, few clients read them. As a result of such a binding inquiry, you get an already booked cabin that can not be refused without paying a penalty. The cancellation penalty depends on the cruise line and the fare type, but in the case of inexpensive tariffs, it usually amounts to 25% of the cabin cost (in case of the early booking) and can reach even 100% if you deal with the last-minute offer. 

Some subscribers just want to get to the final step and to find out the final price by entering the passengers' information, and as a result, get a reservation that can not be canceled free of charge. It is what we would like to warn you about!

The only case when we recommend that you make the binding reservation is when you deal with a last-minute cruise, the price is attractive, and you are afraid that the cabins can be out of stock. As a rule, it is better to stake the cabin out. And yet, keep in mind that it will be impossible to cancel the reservation without having a penalty even if you have not paid anything yet. 

How can they incur a penalty if I have not paid anything at all yet? 

The question is quite logical. When booking (even if you deal with a binding inquiry) your card information is not requested, so, how can they oblige you to pay? We would say that the agency is German, whereas Germans are law-abiding. If a German gets a penalty as the result of his or her booking cancellation he/ she will undoubtedly pay. Such actions are expected of you as well. 

What will happen if you do not pay your penalty and ignore their requirements for the payment to be carried out? We strongly recommend that you should not do it for the following reasons. The binding reservation is created by the cruise line, not by the agency. Thus, in case you refuse from paying a fine incurred you will owe the cruise line (not the agency). As the result, the cruise line can put you on the blacklist in case you do not pay. In the future with a high probability, you won’t be able to book another cruise offered by the cruise line until your penalty is not paid out. In addition, the information concerning your personality can be given to a collection agency where your debt information will be available for all parties/ companies concerned. 

Thus, we warn you once again that you should proceed with a binding inquiry only in case you are going on a cruise for sure. If you simply want to find out the terms of the deposit, cruise cost for children, and other details, you should make a non-binding inquiry to get the calculation. 

E-hoi Advantages

You have been informed of the possible consequences so it is the right time to proceed with more pleasant things. After all, if you need to get the cruise and you are not going to refuse to pay for it, the purchase through the German or Swiss websites represents an excellent opportunity to save your money significantly. You get the following benefits as compared to other sales markets.

1) Service charge (gratuities) for cruises offered by Costa, MSC, AIDA, and TUI is already included in the cruise price. It is equal to 11-12 euros per person a day. You should consider it when comparing it to the prices offered by other websites. But note that it is not related to all the cruise lines, only to those mentioned above. 

2) Cruises organized by Costa, MSC, and AIDA are completely free of charge for children. Not always, but during the peak dates, for instance, in summer or for Christmas children must be paid additionally for. And yet, in 80% of cases children under 18 years old (Costa), 15 y.o. (AIDA), and 12 y.o. (MSC) go on a cruise completely free of charge. Many websites often inform you that children travel for free, and yet, in reality, a port charges must be paid for them. In case the cruise is bought from E-hoi your children will go on a cruise completely for free (if cabins are available), a surcharge amounts to 0 euros, and a service charge is not incurred as well.

Paying for a Cruise Booked Through E-hoi

After your reservation is made Е-hoi sends you a lot of letters that are in German and it is a real challenge to find the information on how to make payment. In addition, the situation is complicated by the fact that there is no universal mechanism of payment. As a rule, cruises are paid directly to cruise lines on their official websites which is why there are no universal instructions concerning payment procedure.

We have prepared step-by-step payment instructions for popular cruise lines. Save this article if you are planning to make a reservation as it can be useful when you proceed with your payment. 

Paying for Costa Cruises Booked through E-hoi

Please pay attention to the following information! From the summer of 2020, a cruise booked through E-hoi can be paid only by using PayPal or with the help of a bank swift transfer. 

After placing a reservation E-hoi will send you 2 letters. The first one does not contain any important information, it simply confirms the fact of acceptance of your inquiry and reminds you that it is impossible to refuse your reservation (in case your inquiry is binding). 

A little bit later, your cabin will be booked and you will get the second letter containing an invoice and your booking confirmation. These documents will be attached to the letter as pdf-files.

The most important file will have the following title: INVOICE EHDE*************.pdf

You have to open this file and find the number of your reservation. In fact, this is all you need - the number of booking on the cruise line (we have underlined it in the letter). It is translated into German as “Vorgangsnummer”; in case the E-hoi changes the format of their letters and as a result, the letter you get will differ from the above-mentioned example, just find there the number of the reservation.  

Please, note that there are some other internal reservation identifiers in the letters, but you need that contained in the PDF file sent. 

After you find the number of your reservation, you should go to the Costa website You will see the webpage where there will be a window on the right side for you to enter the portal:

We have italicized the login fields with red. Enter exactly everything as it is in your reservation. Your name and family name should not be swapped. If you write everything right and yet for some reason, you can not go to the website please try later, for instance, the next day. Sometimes, access to the just-made reservations is not available.

After entering the site the web page containing your reservation will be opened. Everything will be written in German, and yet, the option of selecting English in the upper menu is available.

You can complete your online check-in here, order extra services, etc., and pay the deposit or the remaining amount for the cruise.  

You can do it as follows. Choose the “Meine Zahlungen” menu item. This menu item is written in German for some reason even in the case we choose the English language.

After that, another page in German containing your payment status will be opened. For your convenience, we have translated it using Google Translate. The most important thing here is the yellow button below. By clicking it you can proceed with your payment:

After that, you will be directed to the deposit payment webpage. The example below demonstrates the situation when we are required to pay 164.5 euros, which is a deposit amount. If it is not a last-minute cruise, payment is carried out in installments. The way of selling on the German market is as follows: from 20 to 35 percent (depending on the definite cruise) is paid immediately, whereas the rest (it is called the final payment) is to be paid out 30 days before the cruise starts. 

Subsequently, you will be able to pay the final installment using this page as well. The payment form will appear 30 days before the cruise starts (most likely even a little bit earlier). Please keep this under control on your own. If the final payment is not paid in time your cruise will be canceled. It is not necessary of course to make the final payment exactly on the 30th day before the start of your cruise. Usually, the payment section appears earlier, and even in the case of a 1-2 day delay your cruise will be unlikely to be canceled. And yet, to avoid problems we recommend that you carefully observe the payment due dates. 

Several ways of payment can be chosen in the payment section, among which cards and PayPal are available.

Before the year 2020, payments using any bank card (Visa or MasterCard) were available, and everything worked without any problems. However, in the summer of 2020, something changed, and currently, only American Express is accepted for payment on the website, whereas Visa and MasterCard simply disappeared from the list of options. And yet, the possibility of payment through PayPal still exists, which means that you can pay using your bank card added to your PayPal account.

That is why if you do not have a PayPal account yet we recommend that you create one before your cruise purchase, having preliminary found out how it works and adding your bank card to this account. 

The third way of payment available on the webpage is through SOFORT. But this way of payment is available only for definite banks of Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Switzerland. Thus, the way does not fit everyone.

So, when you are ready to pay you should go to this page. You have to enter the payer’s information in the lower section, whereas the upper section is intended for selecting the way of payment, PayPal, for instance, or any other method fitting you most. 

The screenshot above demonstrates the correctly displayed payment window 

And yet, Costa is an Italian cruise line, and its websites are buggy, so don’t be surprised if when trying to proceed with your payment you will see the following window: 

Or you won’t see the amount of the deposit to be paid or some other mistakes. 

The problem is not you or your reservation, it is Costa’s mistake. The subscribers constantly complain about it, especially very often the errors take place the first days after reservations are created. The only way out is to try later. As we have already mentioned above, binding reservations obliging you to pay penalties (as a result of cancellation) made through E-hoi “won’t go away from you”! 

It is not worth delaying the payment, of course. But it is not a problem if you do not manage to make it on the first or the second day. You should wait for one, two, or three days, and the payment section will appear as a result. 

P.S. If you have booked the cruise, read the instructions carefully, but still can’t pay you should consult the agency - They give replies fast enough (during working hours), in English as well.

Paying for AIDA Cruises Booked through E-hoi

Having made your reservation you usually get several letters to your Email. 

In my case, the first email sent to me by AIDA was from and was headlined as follows: "AIDA in Sicht: Danke für Ihre Reisebuchung":

In fact, this letter contains the AIDA reservation number and you can go to the AIDA personal account

However, this letter reads as well that the final booking confirmation will be sent to me within 24 hours. 

When attempting to enter the personal account you will be informed that access to the reservation is available only the next day.

That is why you should wait for the final confirmation.

Having created my reservation I immediately got two emails from E-hoi. The first one reads that they accepted my application for booking and are currently waiting for the cruise line to confirm it. The second letter offers me to sign up on the E-hoi website. Signing up is not obligatory and is not related to paying for the cruise.

The letter from E-hoi reads that the reservation is binding and if it is confirmed by the cruise line it will be impossible to cancel it without penalty. It is what we wrote about above, in the section “How to avoid penalties”.

The next day in the morning (it was Saturday) I got the final confirmation of my reservation from AIDA sent from with a headline: "Ihre Buchungsbestätigung und wichtige Infos zu Ihrem AIDA Urlaub, Buchungsnummer: 12970816". By this letter, they inform that the reservation is confirmed, and the letter contains the PDF file with the confirmation. 

The email also contained the link for entering the personal account created on the AIDA website. 

This time I did not have any problems concerning signing up. 

Enter your name, your family name (as it is written in your reservation), and the reservation number. If you don't manage to, try to swap your first and last names.

When entering for the first time you will be offered to create your password immediately so that nobody else could sign up having your full name and the number of your reservation. 

Having created the password and successfully authorized the website you are directed to the main webpage of your personal account where all the information concerning your reservation (itinerary, dates, passengers’ full names)) can be found.

Here you can also pass the web check in (to fill out Schiffsmanifest), order additional services (transfers, excursions, packages of drinks), and pay the deposit/ the rest of the amount.

This is how to do it. Click “Reisepreis”:

The page containing the payment details will be opened. The following example demonstrates the amount of the deposit to have been paid, 299.50 euros

To make a payment click “jetzt zahlen” (“to pay now”) 

Then the section of the payment method selection and the payer’s details enter will be available. 

You can pay using your bank card (“Kreditkartenzahlung”) or through PayPal, or some other ways which most of all fit the Germans. I have chosen the card.

The “Kundendaten” section requires you to enter the payer’s details or choose the information concerning one of the passengers in the list that appeared (Kunde). 

After that, you should tick and click “weiter” (“next”).

The section confirming the bank card method of payment will become available. It will also demonstrate the amount to be paid. You have to click “weiter” (“next”). 

Then a standard section for paying by card will be available.

Karteninhaber - the cardholder’s name

Kartennunner - the card number

Gultig bis - validity period of the card

Kartenprufnummer - CVV code on the backside of the card

We enter this information and click “Kaufen” (“to buy”)

After that, you can see the box with the payment confirmation:

The record of the successful payment of the deposit will appear in the “Zahlungshistorie” section. But, please, pay attention that it does not appear immediately, usually, several days are required for the payment information to be displayed there.

The rest of the payment for the cruise can be paid the same way. You will be able to pay 30 or 45 days before the cruise starts; you should control the terms yourself.

After having successfully paid the deposit and the rest amount you will be able to see both records in the “Zahlungshistorie” section. In my case, it looks like this:

To receive the boarding documents you must fill out the so-called boarding manifest (Schiffsmanifest) in your personal account before the start of your cruise. There is a lot of information to be filled out so you should use the browser translation program and you won’t have any problems. 

Paying for Royal Caribbean Cruises Booked through E-hoi

In this case, everything is simple enough.

The main thing is that when creating your cruise reservation one should choose an option according to which paying by a card (Visa/ Mastercard) is implied, but not through bank transfer or something else.

After your cabin is booked by the E-hoi you will be provided with the reservation number and the confirmation. You will be able to check them on the Royal Caribbean website. In my case, I received my reservation number and confirmation the next day. 

After a while, you will receive a link for payment by card in your email. In my case, I received the link the next day after the reservation had been confirmed.

Thus, the process of booking, especially considering the weekend, can take several days. That is why we recommend that you should not worry if you don’t get the link for payment immediately.

However, if after several days you don’t receive any link you should ask for it from E-hoi. 

By clicking the payment link you can open the following section. It demonstrates the deposit amount for Royal Caribbean when booking through E-hoi equalling 20% of the total cabin cost. To proceed with the payment you should click the logo of the payment system Visa or Mastercard depending on which one fits you most:

The next box will require you to enter your card information, SMS-code, and pay for your purchase. It will be followed by information concerning the successful payment of the deposit. 

The principal amount will have to be paid 50 days before the cruise starts. I don’t know how it will exactly happen so far. Probably money will be withdrawn from the same card, or, a new link will be sent.

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