MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Be careful if you buy air tickets with your cruise from Royal Caribbean! They will take Choice Air tickets as a hostage and demand more money for the cruise as they're pleased!!! It happened to me. They wanted more money after I had paid everything in full. I called but they were also confused about what the extra charge was for.
The wait on the phone was terrible too. Talked to 5-6 rude customer services and I decided to cancel the trip. They laughed at me and said, "If you cancel, you will get penalty from Choice Air!" I did cancel my trip anyway. It's disgusting. I didn't want them to have more business from me on board. I was sure they will find ways to rip me off if I go on with the cruise. Got $100 penalized for each piece of the tickets --$400 total!!!
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I wrote to Royal Caribbean. The cruise company unfortunately told me to expect no compensation and could only toss out an "I'm Sorry." I would like to forward another of my unheard concerns to RCI. I set sail along with my family on the Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas on October 29, 2007. I have made three separate complaints on different occasions with no one at all returning my calls or letters. The first of the complaints was on the ship at the purser's desk and also the questionnaire before disembarking. The next complaint was emailed to the company in November 2007 after returning home and this is my final attempt.
I have sailed on other cruise ships in the past and have been more than happy with the services, food, and accommodations of others. I was not so impressed with that of the Sovereign of the Seas after being highly recommended by my parents who were guests in the past. We found that the boat was due for retirement within a few weeks with only a few sailing dates remaining.
Upon arriving to the Port Canaveral everyone had to wait in their vehicles for hours. We were shuffled into a parking lot to wait. We arrived at the Port at 11am and boarded the boat after 4pm. Immediately upon boarding the ship we were sent to the muster drill. Our friends who were sailing with us were then reprimanded for being late to the muster drill even though it was the fault of the cruise line for the lateness. The process was horrible. The situation went down hill from there.
We were all aware that there was a hurricane threatening the path to the Bahamas and it could prove to be an issue. After setting sail we were informed that the path was still one that was heading to the Bahamas and should arrive early morning by 10am and that the order of our stops would be reversed. After waking up the next morning many people on the boat headed to the top of the boat and waited to see land.
At 11am the Captain finally made an announcement that the boat was not going to be able to safely arrive in the Bahamas and a destination was unknown. He made this announcement and hour after we were supposed to have been in port. So we made our way around the ship and enjoyed some of the amenities. The Captain then made an announcement that we were going to Key West, FL and would be there the next morning and leaving the port at 6pm. We were stunned to say the least.
All this way and all this money and we end up on a cruise to no where. If we had wanted to go to Key West we would have driven to the island from the port, it would have taken less time. When planning the cruise it was to be planned for two destinations. I know that it is not the fault of the Cruise line for the hurricane and the path that we had to take. I was not aware that there was only one port in all of the Caribbean that we could pull into other than the Bahamas we should have been made aware of this when we purchased our tickets. It was not that much fun being trapped at sea for two days of our voyage on a tossing sea vessel maneuvering a major storm when we could have pulled into a port or at least been kept up to date.
The dinners in the dining room were very sub-par compared to other cruise lines. The food was usually cold with little flavor. Our party usually had to order multiple items to find something on the menu worth eating. The steaks were the poorest cut of meat and never cooked to order. Desserts rarely appeared to be what one ordered nor did they taste good. The only positive dining experience the group had was the chocolate party.
There were many things to choose from at the party and the desserts were very good. The show was great at the chocolate party and the food was displayed in a very appealing manner. It really was a very beautiful evening. During dinner our waiter was very eager to make our dinner a more enjoyable one; if the food did not meet our approval he would bring us something else. The cocktails and wine were there immediately when we ordered them and our sodas were always there waiting on us.
The final day on the cruise seemed to be the most unhappy of all. The pools were all completely drained. This left people standing around wondering what there was to do. On the deck most of the day was usually games held out and around the pool. But how can one enjoy the pool when they are closed. The only thing anyone could do was attend an art auction or gamble. I am not one to gamble nor did I come aboard a cruise line to purchase art.
Many people on board became very aggravated and agitated since there was nothing to do and no compassion towards the people on board. I feel that this cruise line handled this situation poorly. This was the first time I went to speak my complaints to the Purser's Desk. I was told that they would take my information and forward it to the main office in Miami and someone would contact me.
Upon disembarking I filled out the survey and questionnaire and also requested again that someone please contact me. Generally speaking the service on board however was very good. The waiters and cabin stewards had very proper manners. The gentleman that took care of our cabin didn't miss a touch! The boat was kept very clean and the beds were very comfortable. I however am very upset with the professional staff at Royal Caribbean International.
After several attempts trying to contact customer service about my issues, leaving voice mails, emails, and also the survey completed aboard the ship. No one has attempted to contact me in regards to my unhappy stay aboard the Sovereign of the Seas. I am currently planning another cruise in the very near future. I however am not sure that it will be with Royal Caribbean international. I was treated very well on a Carnival Cruise Line in March of 2007. There were no complaints and the food was a mark above the standard of most food on cruise lines. Every evening at dinner we looked forward to our time in the dining room and the creations that were brought out.
My family actually purchased cook books with the featured recipes from Carnival. I would like to extend the offer to Royal Caribbean cruise lines to help make a future trip more appealing to me and my guest aboard another boat. I am a police officer and work very hard saving my money to afford a vacation. A cruise is a very special treat for me and my family and takes a long time to be able to afford such a vacation.
I am going to be cruising with a company in the next few months. I would like to think someone from the customer service would wish to change my negative thoughts about Royal Caribbean International. I would like to hear something from customer service about my unpleasureable vacation aboard the Sovereign of the Seas.
FLORIDA -- We went on a 4 night western Caribbean cruise in July 2007. We spent majority of our time on Pool Deck 9 in WindJammers (the buffet) outside seating area which was also the designated smoking section. These 20+ table were always packed with smokers & non-smokers alike since it was the closest outside area to the buffet & yet the most neglected. Morning, noon & night you could never find a clean table.
Starting with the very 1st buffet lunch, hours before the ship ever left port, these tables were piled high with dirty dishes, drinks & overflowing ashtrays with rotting food thrown in & literally left in that condition for 4 solid days/nights. Dirty breakfast dishes were still there through lunch, lunch dishes will still be there through dinner. One previous night's pool party with mountains of beer bottles, cocktails & rotting food were still their through breakfast. People would just shove the dirty dishes aside, add their own which would again sit there endlessly.
Even when the ship was empty for 8+ hours when docked for island excursion. What was rotting out in 90+ degree heat in the a.m.'s were still sitting there in the p.m.'s, including overflowing ashtrays. Was there crew working in this area.... YES. The number of times we saw them actually clear a table in those 4+ days, less than 5. How many times did they actually wipe down a table after clearing it.... zero. Not once during this entire cruise did we see them wipe a table down with a dry cloth, much less with any type of cleaner. Layers of crumbs, rotting hardened food, spilled liquids & ashes were just left there.
We noticed 5 ceiling fans mounted, we assumed because this area had little to no air flow, but also due to being the smoking section. 5 out of 5 fans didn't work. 2 fans were missing all the blades & the other 3 were dead, it was apparent these fans hadn't been working in a long time. So sitting in this area with no air flow in 90+ degrees was like sitting in a sauna which means these tables & chairs were also coated with layers of sweat as well.
We initially tried to give them the benefit of doubt, possibly a new crew in training & they were trying to learn their jobs, while watching for 4 days not only crew, but officers turn a blinds eye to the unsanitary & appalling conditions. The 4th night of the cruise we complained to one of the managers inside the WindJammer buffet, describing the conditions we saw & asked who is responsible for cleaning that area. They stated that area has a history of being ignored. The 2 departments responsible, either the overnight cleaning crew or the pool crew, claim it's not their area.
There's a history here??? Translation: Royal Caribbean &/or the crew on the Enchantment of the Seas are very aware of the deplorable & unsanitary conditions & instead of monitoring this area closer, if not for the comfort of their guest, then at very least the health hazards. They instead knowingly allow people, who had spent thousands of dollars, to sit in this nasty, filthy, appalling area.
After complaining to the manager, the last morning of the cruise, we were happy to see that all the tables were finally cleared of all debris, with the exception of one, yet upon closer inspection, still none of the tables had been wiped down, they were still layered with 4 days of crumbs, dried food, spilled liquids & ashes.
Could not find a table ashtray anywhere. The floor ashtrays had finally been somewhat emptied yet the rotting food was left. Selecting the least grungy table, sat down & immediately stuck to the table & chairs, they were still a stick mess. It was beyond repulsive. We could not wait to exit that ship.
Though other areas on the ship seemed to be well maintained & clean, while other areas were neglected, it just reached a point where you didn't want to touch handrails or casino machines because you just were sure the last time anything had been sanitized.
Three large sliding glass doors connecting the WindJammer Buffet directly to the outside seating area were both broken & couldn't be used. Not convenient while juggling plates & glasses. All exterior windows in the WindJammer dining room & on the pool deck were beyond filthy inside & out, including our cabin's porthole windows. It was not just a little ocean spray, these window hadn't been cleaned in forever. Very disappointing.
The breakfast buffet was excellent. The lunch & dinner buffets were barely mediocre & the selections were limited. There was supposed to be early bird coffee available from 6:00 - 7:00 a.m. again on pool deck 9. One coffee maker was broke 3 of 4 mornings. The small room right around the corner which was supposed to offer a continental breakfast at 6:00 a.m. had a sign on the door the entire cruise that read: This room closed. Sorry for the inconvenience. So if you wanted coffee before 7:00 a.m. you were out of luck.
Organization & planning seemed to be a major issue with this crew. The maintenance crew, instead of power washing the pool deck overnight or early morning when most people aren't roaming around the ship. They chose 9:30 a.m., when the pool deck is becoming very crowded, to start roping off areas & power wash. Of the 5 maintenance guys standing there, 2 worked while 3 just stood there watching. If they were looking for something to do, we could have easily pointed out some drastically needs ceilings fan & coffee machines that needed service. Instead of attempting to fix the coffee machines, they just hung a sign up saying cleaning in progress.
Many people were not pleased with this cruise. We heard grumblings everywhere. Needless to say, we will never go on another Royal Caribbean cruise. We'll stick with Norwegian. They take pride in their ships & bend over backwards for there guests comfort. One positive though: The beds were comfortable. Now if only they could find some windex.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- My mother-in-law purchased a cruise vacation for 7 family members, spanning 4 generations (4 of whom include veterans). We drove 6 hours from Tampa to Miami to catch the Majesty of the Seas for a cruise from 12/13/2010 to 12/17/2010. Both the deposit and remainder of the balance were paid ahead of schedule.
This was her first experience with Royal Caribbean, whom she booked with on a referral. Myself, my fiance, and his 7 year old son had never been on a cruise, and we were so excited and had been looking forward to this trip for months. We had issues with our GPS, and were running behind schedule, but we finally arrived at the dock at 4:40, and the departure time was 5pm.
We were already checked in (we had done so 2 days before online) and had our luggage tags on our bags. Our documentation failed to stress that if we were not at the port a minimum of 1 hour before departure, we would not be allowed on the ship. The security supervisor explained this regulation, and without much outward sympathy suggested we call customer service.
In a state of disbelief that they could do nothing to help us, we got back in the car and drove another 6 hours back home, not getting in the door until midnight. When my mother-in-law called customer service the next day, she was told that not only was she not eligible for a refund, she also was not eligible for a credit to use towards a future cruise. The only thing she can do apparently is call for a refund of the taxes she paid, once the ship docks back in Miami on the 17th.
The customer service agent would not refer her to a supervisor, even though she requested to speak with one. I have worked in customer service for over 10 years, and I have never heard of such a shocking lack of empathy from a company, especially around the holidays, and towards a family of veterans. We were not looking for a refund of the more than $2,000 she spent, we were asking for credit with the company to be used for a future trip.
I do not believe it is right that Royal Caribbean should be allowed to keep so much money without providing any services, and such appalling customer service. Neglecting to inform the customer of the importance of the deadline for boarding is one thing, but then refusing to work with that customer to rectify the situation by at least honoring the money they have spent is reprehensible.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Made the mistake of sailing with Rhapsody of the Seas in August, 2010. First night I slid out of bed. The mattress was old, lopsided and had never been turned. Child froze the first night until I gave her my blanket. One bed was left without a blanket or comforter. Reported it the next day. They laughed at my sliding out of bed but did give us the missing comforter.
The adult pool had so many kids in it, us two adults had to leave after being jumped on, splashed on and kicked. RC did nothing about it when it was reported to them. A broken hairdryer and the refusal of the housekeeping dept to answer their phone and of guest services to bring a working dryer after they promised one was on the way resulted in our family pictures not being taken.
For two days and repeated attempts to call housekeeping and 3 face to face requests our stateroom was out of soap for the shower. We also ran out of toilet paper and had to go across the hall to get some. I tried to talk to the manager of guest services about these situations. He said it was cultural and none of it was his area anyway but he would write it up.
The refused to leave us a guest survey until I had waited in line for 20-30 minutes on two occasions to try to get one to fill out. One of my kids found a weeks worth of various pills in a pill dispenser on the shelve in their room. That could have been a very bad situation. Some of the food for sale in the stateroom had been previously opened and retaped and half the boxes were expired. In the other room, the boxes disappeared then reappeared, minus one. Our departure was delayed while we argued about the missing box which the room attendant had told me she took. We were charged for it anyway.
I asked the pursers desk to have housekeeping come up so I could talk to them. Housekeeping refused. The purser then handed me the phone saying the head housekeeper was on it. It was actually the guest in room **. A girl from their customer relations department called me trying to talk me out of writing the President. Then she didn't believe what I reported since the managers I had spoken with never wrote anything up like they were supposed to.
The girl called back today saying they weren't going to refund my money (I had never asked for or even hinted at that response). She was kind of snotty. I told her I hadn't asked for a refund. She replied 'Well, you said you sold your car to pay for the trip and it was expensive.' I said yes I did say that but I never asked for a refund. She got me to thinking, though, most travel places will comp you a trip or part of a trip or something to try to get you to try their service again. I had one airline do that after a flight that was as bad as this cruise. I always use that airline now.
Obviously RC has so many customers they don't care to work to correct any problems, after all you are a captive of theirs for the duration of the trip. This is our third cruise in 10 months. The other two were with Carnival. One Carnival was awesome. The second was great. This RC sucked big time. As one mother told me "I am underwhelmed." Another mom and daughter asked me, "Where's the fun?" I agree wholeheartedly with both assessments.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I have cruised with Royal Caribbean a few times in the past and thought I would take my new fiance on his first cruise to celebrate our engagement. We saw a ship leaving out of Norfolk, VA and thought it was perfect so we wouldn't have to fly. The day of, we had our family drop us off at the port and in the frenzy, the porter took my fiance's carry on bag with his passport inside.
No more than five minutes went by before we told the people at the ship what happened and they told us not to worry because it happens all the time and they could bring us the bag in time for us to board the ship. Over two hours went by and by the time we were told that this was actually impossible, we were standing in the terminal watching the ship sail away and booked as no shows standing in the port.
We immediately got on the phone with our travel agent and Royal Caribbean to see what could be done. Of course, after hours on hold and talking to multiple people, they said nothing. They wouldn't even let us talk to them directly without our agent on the phone! Long story short, after 5 people teamed up to try to get an answer, we got a letter stating that the only way for us to redeem our trip would be for it to meet it in the next port of call, San Juan. At our own expense of course.
None of this was met with a kind word or an "I'm sorry for your situation" from the time we were at the pier to the time we arrived in San Juan. When we got there, they didn't even ask to see identification, we were just on some sort of list along with the other lucky few who had the means to fly down.
To top it all off, we were NOT told that someone had gone in my fiance's bag to retrieve his passport and thought it had been lost when they transported it to the room, because it was in the outside pocket of his suitcase. But on the last day on the ship (which was not the greatest ship I've seen), we happened to run into the same crew member who we told about the passport issue in Norfolk and he said "Oh, yeah, hey man, I have your passport." Ridiculous!
How is it possible that you can hold on to someone's property and not tell them? Not to mention if we hadn't met the ship, they would have kept our bags on the ship and we would have had nothing. We saw them turn people away in Norfolk with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and their purses, and these people had nowhere to go. We were lucky in that we left out of our hometown and had family to stay with.
Admittedly, we have two things working against us, one being we booked through an agent and turned down the agent's insurance. However, we did learn after the fact that the insurance would not have covered our situation and we would have been out the money anyway.
Regardless, what is my ultimate concern is that you can keep people's money without providing them any kind of service. They made real money off of the three days we missed of our cruise and would have made more had we not showed up. Also, what makes it worse is when you encounter sour people with callous attitudes who put you on hold for minutes on end and respond flatly with the company line, "there's nothing I can do".
If you're going to put me through a hassle, at least don't patronize me in the process. I am going to be vacationing for decades to come, and from what I hear, RC doesn't want you on their boat if you are going to complain about anything, so 'so long' Royal Caribbean! And you can bet, I've told this story to everyone I ran into who sails as well. Sorry to say.
MAIMI, FLORIDA -- We took a 7-day cruise on RC's Liberty of the Seas on May 23. I'll get to the point - on the final day, we decided to play BINGO since the grand prize offered for winning the fourth game of the day was a free cruise for 2. Of course, all 300+ people there (at least the one we spoke to later) assumed it was for a 7-day cruise.
So, RC rakes in about $15,000 in that session (a minimum cost of $37 per person to play the four games) and paid less than $800 in total for the first three, so it seemed all the more reasonable to believe the winning prize was a 7-day cruise for 2. You guessed it - my girlfriend and I won game four. She was so hysterically happy that she fell back into her chair in tears and starting cheering out loud.
Imagine our shock to find out the prize we won was actually a 2-day pre-inaugural cruise, which was not disclosed to us until everyone at the game left the theater. This "cruise" is from Friday evening on the day after Thanksgiving until the following Sunday morning, roughly about 36 hours. The prize does not include airfare, transfer from airport (or anywhere) to ship, taxes, gratuities, drinks, etc. It is not redeemable for any value, can not be used for an upgrade and can not even be transferred or given away.
Misleading? Underhanded? Cruel? That's how we feel. Seriously, would anyone at RC really believe that anyone would spend money on airfare for 2, taxi to the airport and all other expenses for a 36-hour ride? This was my fourth cruise on RC and I have never experienced or heard of this kind of treatment from this company. All the hype, take in all that money, promote a prize of a cruise for 2 (yes, they never said seven days, but no one we talked to ever heard of a 2-day cruise) and all you award is a worthless prize that would never be worth redeeming!
Frankly, we're disgusted by this recent practice of Royal Caribbean. What we found the most ironic is this - we went to a presentation on our first day and were warned by RC not to be taken advantage of on this cruise and the only time we were misled was by the cruise line itself!!!
Learn from our (and many others) mistake - don't take anything offered by RC at face value. I'm sure that business must be good and Royal Caribbean will not miss us in the future - there will many others at those BINGO games eagerly trying to Win a "cruise". Finally, we sent an email and were promised a response within 48 hours. It's now been three days and we've been ignored. What exactly has happened to the reputation and commitment that Royal Caribbean used to stand for?
WILMINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- We took my mother on a cruise for her 90th birthday. I purchased an owners suite which cost almost $5,000 for a wk. First day our water was brown (not tan, not yellow, dark brown); the door on the bathroom was broken. We called and they said they would fix the door and that the water would clear up and not to be alarmed.
Day 2, water still brown, door still broken, and my husband got LOCKED OUT OF OUR SUITE BY THE ATTENDANT THAT WAS CLEANING THE SUITE FOR OVER 3 HOURS. I was out with my mother and the attendant came in to clean the room and my husband told him he would just sit out on the balcony until he was finished. The attendant locked him out. My husband had to yell for help, finally, someone heard him and called security. We were at sea and it was cold outside.
Day 3, they said water should be OK, so I tried (once again) to take a Jacuzzi bath. The water seemed OK at first and then turned brown again, the jets stopped (probably from the sediment in the water). The door was finally fixed. Called to have Jacuzzi fixed. Day 4, Jacuzzi not fixed, called again, water clearing up but still has sediment. Day 5, water still discolored to point it leaves stains on towel after you dry and my blond hair is changing color.
Day 7, called for room service and told we could not get room service (which we were told on and off the whole time) we were supposed to be able to order the same meals that were being served in the restaurants but they never had the menus. Got fed up and went to talk to customer service. Was told that even though security was involved and we had continuously complained to our room attendant, the supervisor of house keeping and the cosier, they did not know anything about it and the best they could do is offer a 25% discount on any future cruises. LIKE WE WOULD EVER BE THAT STUPID AGAIN.
This was the worst vacation we ever had. We paid to be tortured. My husband could have had a heart attack from the negligence but no one cares. I got the suite so we could take Jacuzzi bathes and have nice room service. And, they feel like they do not have to do anything but offer some discount on some future cruise.
DO NOT EVER USE THIS COMPANY. THE SERVICE WAS BAD, THE ROOMS WERE HORRIBLE AND WHAT IS WORSE - THEY DON'T CARE. I will try to dissuade any one I ever know from using this cruise line. If nothing more than from a safety point of view.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- If there are any people who have sued RCI or any law firm who feels that there is a case for legal redress please contact me for this a company does not equally and fairly apply its discounts (quite different from offering equal BASE fares which I understand like the airlines are based on occupancy) to ALL who qualify for it, charges some surcharges while NOT others, giving other "perks" like 2 cruises for the price of one, while refusing others who find out after booking but STILL on the cruise.
They not only discriminate on nationality offering some nationalities prices that they don't offer others but discriminate with whom you book with. If you find out about a fare difference BEFORE you take your cruise you may get a refund but NOT if you book through your travel agent (who they make a big deal of how they work with them). This may be a consumer advocate law firm vs. one that specializes in suing cruise companies as they specialize in personal injury suits.
Because of my bitter experience with RCI, I can no longer recommend taking their cruises but since they are now offering good deals, there may still be others and I want to offer advice to those. I advise one to book no sooner than the month (if you can, CNN advises you to book no sooner than 2 weeks) before you go, as they will cut the rate almost 80% off the rack rate (they have slashed the rates, many, MANY times before and would rather fill it up VERY cheaply then cancel the cruise).
If you paid ahead of time and are not aware of the discounts before taking the cruise, they will refuse you any kind of credit for future cruises or onboard credit to make up the difference (I'm not even talking about a monetary refund which would be less to their advantage).
Because of the economy where they feel they have to offer cheap cruises, they have really cut down the service and amenities to the point that unless you are probably in higher priced cabin like balcony or above, you may not even get complimentary toiletries. It is best to READ the reviews on different cruise websites on the ship (better yet, specific cruise) you are going on, if that can be found.
My cruise was extremely cheap but because of ongoing renovations on the ship, many public areas were closed and the buffet dining was simply awful as they had to truck the food from the dining room to the solarium as the Windjammer was closed.
It may be different on their other ships and it's all right to have it cheap, BUT the cruise lines SHOULD inform you WHAT to expect if the ship you're on is VASTLY different from ships you've taken before. I told them they should have this disclaimer on their website if they offer any cruises like the one I took (transatlantic voyage from Vision of the Seas from Santa Domingo on 4/19/09).
Was told that Southwest has the highest satisfaction rating as they promise anything but a low price and people are not disappointed by the expectations. I think RC wants to become the Southwest of the cruise industry. You will have CONSTANT reminders on the cruise that yours is a cheap cruise from them FIGHTING you over providing toiletries that a reservation agent over the phone promises you that they will have, to the waiters joking that because it's a cheap cruise there won't be lobster.
RCI used to be a good cruiseline (I liked their rooms because with the curtain it was like you had two rooms instead of one, but unfortunately they don't even want to compete with the likes of NCL but more like EZ cruise). Although I am allowing 3 Cents to forward this, RCI new customer service policy (since I DID contact them is too bad, we won't try to compensate you and retain you as a customer.)
To keep updated on this pending lawsuit if I can find a lawyer or if you have found that your were on this cruise or on another that you found you were not given the discounts you were entitled or paid surcharges others did not have to pay, please go to this website **.
Our family recently completed a cruise aboard the Serenade of the Seas, departing from San Juan on December 31st and returning on January 8th. This was the 6th cruise for my wife and I, our 5th with Royal Caribbean, and the third cruise on which our children accompanied us.
We chose Royal Caribbean because of the exceptional experiences we have had on our prior cruises. We have been your biggest fans, and have recommended Royal Caribbean to anyone who would listen. We were especially impressed with the programs for teens.
We chose the Itinerary of The Serenade of the Seas because of the Ports of Call. These are some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, we had visited these islands before, and we wanted our children to enjoy the experience.
We booked our trip from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to San Juan, Puerto Rico through Royal Caribbean's Air/Sea. We were told, and understood from your corporate information, that if we booked our trip through Royal Caribbean's Air/Sea program that we need not worry about missing our Ship's departure. This was of concern to me as the departure point was San Juan. I was slightly more concerned because San Juan was not on the mainland, and that, if we missed the departure, that the cost of catching up with the ship would be borne by ourselves.
What transpired was that our flight routing was Edmonton / Vancouver / Atlanta / San Juan, beginning on the evening of December 30, 2005, and arriving in San Juan just before noon on December 31, 2005, our departure date. We waited for our luggage at the San Juan airport on December 31 until approximately 1:30 PM. We filed our claim for lost luggage with Delta, and proceeded to the Ship.
The bottom line is that we did not receive the luggage for our two children for the entire trip. The luggage for myself arrived on the fourth day, and the fifth day for my wife. We spent the first two days of the trip attempting to find clothes to wear. We missed dinner the first night as we were rushing around San Juan on New Year's Eve, trying to find a store to purchase anything that would see us through the next few days.
I wish to note at this point, that my wife and daughter inquired on board about bathing suits for themselves. (Bathing suits being a staple on board). They were informed that The Serenade of the Seas DID NOT SELL A LADIES BATHING SUIT ON BOARD. NOT ONE. NOT MERELY A SMALL SELECTION, BUT NOT ANY.
I find this inconceivable. As a result, my wife and daughter were unable to enjoy the weather that we came for. I learned firsthand, and for the first time in our cruise experiences, what the mandate of your Customer Service Department is. Tell the Customer whatever it takes to get them to go away. It doesn't matter whether the stories are consistent from one day to the next. It doesn't matter whether it is factual. Just tell them whatever it takes to make them go away.
I visited Customer Service each day. When we first advised of the missing luggage, we were told to get what we needed and it would be looked after. We proceeded to do just that. We did not abuse the opportunity, purchasing our necessities from K-Mart and Marshalls. We logged onto the internet onboard to track the status of our luggage with Delta. We were told that laundry services would be provided for our clothes. Again, we did not abuse the opportunity and only laundered clothes necessary for continued clothing onboard.
As the trip continued, not only did the answers become less consistent, but I was advised that, if I had a problem with how we were being treated, I could call the Royal Caribbean Customer service desk in Miami. When I asked whether I would have to pay to make that call from my room, the representative said “Yes Sir.. $7.95 per Minute.”
I actually did call the Miami customer service number, but after approximately 5 minutes of being on hold or being transferred, I gave up. You can check your telephone records to confirm that this call was made. I was informed at one point (Wednesday I believe) that Royal Caribbean would compensate us for $400 per person. I actually phoned our travel agent that day and advised her of this conversation.
The next day when I went again to ask about the status of our luggage, I was informed that Royal Caribbean would offer $100 per person. The bottom line is that. We intentionally booked our airfare AND cruise with Royal Caribbean, on the premise that we would be guaranteed connections. In past, we have booked the travel ourselves, have gone a day early, and have never encountered a connection problem.
I believe that Royal Caribbean, in an attempt to minimize costs, routed us at the last minute. I have no doubt that the connections from Edmonton and San Juan, and the short period of time from arrival to boarding had a bearing on our situation. The Customer Service Representatives were, at best inconsistent, and at worst, uncaring and smug.
The most insulting event occurred this week, when we received a letter from **, Senior Vice President Marketing for Royal Caribbean. ** congratulated us on our elevation to Platinum status in the Crown and Anchor Society. I can only presume that elevation to this status may entitle us to be treated with slightly more understanding than on our last trip. I cannot express the extent of my disappointment and anger regarding this event. After numerous wonderful cruises with your Company, I am left to wonder how I could convince my family to cruise again.