I'm a brand new cruiser and my wife and I are taking the plunge on an Alaskan cruise with Princess to celebrate our anniversary and her birthday. Unfortuately I may have booked my cruise with the worst travel agent/agency I've ever encountered.
Let me explain. We agreed on a price last July for a cruise in June of '07 with Esther, yes the very same Esther that was complained about here before. The price was greed upon and I made a deposit. Fastfoward to March when the final payment was due. I received a receipt saying "PAID IN FULL" and "FINAL PAYMENT" for the agreed upon price. I noticed my wife's name was spelled incorrectly as was my mailing address. I emailed her to make the changes. Two days later I received a second receipt with the corrections. I didn't check the numbers as I was only concerned with getting my wife's name correct so it matches up with the manifest. A couple of days later, I noticed a separate charge on my credit card for $97.xx. I emailed her and she said "I will check on it". A week goes by and I email again. She replied "I call and they will refund the card". I email again several days later to remind her and she said "OK I will". Another week or so I emailed again, this time asking again why I was charged in the first place and that I'm getting upset. That was the last time I heard from her! I emailed several times after, and left a phone message, and she NEVER got back to me. I finally looked on the SECOND final payment receipt, and there was an extra charge listed beneath the final payment amount that said $94.xx. What??? Did the charges change in the two days between the FIRST and SECOND receipt? Isn't the first receipt final, since it said PAID IN FULL for the agreed upon price? What's going on? All I wanted was for her to change my wife's name and our address!!! She never even called attention to the extra charge and I hadn't looked at it since I had no reason to believe the price would change in 2 days???
I call Princess and they gave me the "we can't discuss it because we have a contract with the company" so they won't help me, What kind of policy is that? So now I can't get my agent to return my call or emails. I've tried calling her supervisor and no response either. I finally got ahold of someone else in the agency and all of a sudden, there was a "note" in their computer system that said the extra charge was an increase in taxes to Alaska through Princess, even though I had called 2 hours earlier and their own finance department had no idea and there was no "note" suggesting a tax. They put me on hold while they "checked with Princess" and lo and behold, Princess overcharged me the 3 dollars, and the travel agency will cut me a check for the 3 dolloars, but the $94.xx stands. Suspicious, I call Princess immediately after and the lady on the phone said didn't receive any call. She too was confused. Unfortunately, in her effort to help me, she transferred me to someone higher up who gave me a very rude and terse "We can't discuss it. All we can tell you is you made final payment. You'll have to take it up with your travel agent. Good luck to you."
C'mon. Once I got that first receipt with the PAID IN FULL on it, isn't that it? What right do they have to continue charging my card without notification and simply send me another receipt 2 days later????
Since Princess won't say anything because they're covering their butts, and my travel agent won't return my messages, what am I supposed to do??? Anything??? It has been almost 4 weeks since she promised she would refund my money and now it's become a "tax increase". Esther isn't new to the business so if it was indeed a tax, she would've known that and not promise me a refund in the first place. NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHAT THE CHARGE WAS IN THE FIRST PLACE!! All this is so shady and deceitful. I can't believe this is how a cruise line would do business, allowing a travel agent to run rampant with your credit card and not have to explain anything from either end. I haven't set foot on a ship yet, and already I'm turned off to cruising and especially Princess.
I'm going to dispute the charge with my credit card company, but I don't know what my chances are. I may try the BBB too.
What do you all think??? Am I crazy? If this post gets someone to think twice about this company, I will gladly eat the loss. I wish I had read this complaint below before I booked with them:
You've been warned.....
UPDATE: The supervisor has at least agreed to refund my money, although with no explanation as to what happened in the first place. We'll see if he actually makes good.
Just completed a cruise I booked through cruises-n-more.com #(8860047). I booked with them before with no problems. This time it was a special sale with a number of bonuses including Prepaid Gratuities, Double Onboard Credits, plus other extras. I never received any information on the cruise other than receipt for payment in full. Before leaving on cruise I called and was told to do all registration online and credits would be received onboard.
I had nothing credited to my account once I got onboard and was told to contact my agent by the cruise line. I sent an email and called before leaving the cruise ship. The man I talked too didn't know why I wasn't credited but said it was probably too late and they would most likely issue a refund check. But he had to transfer me to another dept that handled this. Never heard from anyone else since then. A number of calls and emails with no response, phone always busy and voice mail full. It was between $200-300 in credits and payments which is why I booked with them. Terrible customer service and no more booking with them. I do 3-4 cruises a year and will continue, but be a little more careful with online travel companies. Stay away !
LAKE MARY, FLORIDA -- I booked a cruise with agent Marcus for Carnival Pride Category 8H. Their website clearly indicates "Free Gratuities". They have the same pricing as Carnival. I verified the pricing from Carnival's website 1517.76 with taxes plus $140 in gratuities for Balcony Category 8H. When I check the confirmation which I received via e-mail the price is $1506.00 (a $10 difference)and no mention of free gratuities. I e-mailed Marcus back and he says I am trying to put words in his mouth. I never promised free gratuities. The discount for the free gratuities is included in the pricing. If that's the case then pricing should be 1517.76 less $140.00 for gratuities. I don't what they're trying to pull!What about the free gratuities advertised on their web page. His supervisor called me. They think we are retarded. Do not do Business with this company under any circumstances.
I subsequently booked with another agency the same cabin same category at a better price.
I'm experiencing something similar with them now. I booked a cruise a few days ago. They said you had to buy insurance and then if you decided to cancel it, you would have to write cancel on the invoice and they would re-bill you with a corrected amount. Well ... sounds really fishy ... I told them that and heard a line of crap. OK .. its now a few days later .. I get all the travel documents, but no invoice. So .. I don't know the amount they are charging for, not only the cruise, but the insurance. You know .. there is something really wrong with this company. Things like this just don't happen with a legitimate company. I will see what happens on Monday, Tuesday, etc. .. but I suspect I will have lots of problems. I have had no problem with Vacations to go in the past. Cruises and More simply had a better rate ... verbally ... we will see how the invoice comes out. I hope I can always cancel, dispute, etc. through American Express. What a lot of worry for nothing. By the way ... good luck on calling these guys ... when I finally got through today, a person who worked there told me that they only had 3 people in the office. Wow .. I really feel more confident now. I really don't think they will be in business much longer.
FLORIDA -- Hi everyone,
I just had to write since I read the review about Cruises-N-More. I have used this company for the last 10 cruise bookings and I have worked with the same agent for all of them. His name Jim Miller and he is the greatest! He has always been prompt in returning my calls, finds me the greatest deals, calls me if a better deal becomes available, has helped several of my friends get great deals and even worked with the cruise companies in getting any problems straightened out for me. I am going on my 5th cruise to Alaska in May and it is on Princess. I have used Princess, Norwegian and Celebrity and while each of them are in their own class I have always found that even when I have called these companies for info that they are very professional and helpful.
I am sorry that this awful situation happened to this gentleman and I can certainly understand his frustration but that doesn't mean that all of the agents at Cruises-N-More aren't top notch. Everyone has had a bad experience with something, travel is the worst because you are setting high expectations for your well deserved time off.
For the person that endured this bad experience I say the next time you want to book a cruise try Cruises-N-More again and ask for Jim Miller and he'll make sure to get things done right for you! I haven't got one thing bad to say about them because I have been well taken care of!
LAKE MARY, FLORIDA -- I went through CruiseCompete.com to get quotes on a cruise in May on the Star Princess for 5 cabins (11 family members). I received 8 quotes, the lowest being from Cruises-n-More. This quote was based on "BB" category cabins. (I have this in writing). However, We have been put in BC and BD cat. cabins. We booked this cruise the lst of Oct. just a few days after receiving the quote. I have left emails and phone messages for the agent to please change the BD cabins (at least those 3) to BD cabins. She won't even do that.
Now, months later, the cabins are all booked. Esther, our agent, does not return phone calls or emails. Even her boss, Todd, the VP, emailed me that the BB cabins were not available when I booked and that I am stuck with what I have. I think this is wrong. It's like ordering a Cadillac, but getting a Chevrolet instead. Consumers need to be aware of this sort of practice.
P.S. This agency touts itself as the #1 agency for cruises of 2006.