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Terrible Customer Service
By -

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.

Free cruise for winning BINGO? Don't you believe it!
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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?

Complete Disaster - Husband Locked Out of Room by Attendant for 3+ Hours
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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.

My Royal Caribbean Nightmare
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Friends don'€™t let friends go on a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship. In July 2007 I too have had the unfortunate experience of the Royal Caribbean treatment (RCC). In short, I had received acupuncture on-board only to return to my cabin with a needle still stuck in my chest beneath my shirt, which could have punctured my lung. My 12 yr old daughter slipped in unattended vomit (nowadays considered a bio-hazard) in the main promenade. A few minutes after witnessing my daughter hitting the marble floor and covered in vomit did a staff member finally showed up to place a warning sign.

The cruise line callously dismissed each incident in the hopes that I, but not my wallet, would just go away. Only after I demanded an X-ray for my daughter and threaten to expose them publicly on the Internet with some of the video footage did they realize my frustration. And like many other RCC victims have stated, had the gall enough to send us vouchers for another cruise. Yeah right! Not in this lifetime.

Every time I see an RCC commercial it reminds me of the waste of time and money due mainly from the sub-standard treatment and lack of respect that my family has received from RCC. But on the other hand at least the commercials continuously remind me to share my wonderful experience with everyone that I meet and hopefully will spare another family the horrible nightmare that we went through.

Do yourselves a favor, take a plane to the Caribbean and avoid the nightmare treatment of an RCC vacation. After taking this trip Royal Caribbean'€™s slogan of "Get out there"€ should be "€œStay away from Here"€™ and be sure to look for my Royal Caribbean Nightmare video soon to be posted on a YOUTUBE near you.

Cancellation due to Medical Condition
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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND -- My wife and I booked a cruise on Royal Caribbean with a departure date is May 18th 2007. Today, April 18th, my wife had an ultra sound of our baby and was diagnosed with a medical condition. Our doctor said it is a dangerous condition which complications could cause possible injury or death of our unborn child and/or my wife and gave us a litany of things NOT to do, which included cancelling our cruise.

I called to cancel the cruise, which Royal Caribbean gladly did, EXCEPT THEY ARE CHARGING MY WIFE AND I a $500 cancellation fee. Trish (Royal Caribbean) asked me “Did you purchase travel insurance?” Obviously, we didn't, and didn't understand the concept of it. We have life, auto, dental, health, homeowners insurance… The concept of a business charging its customers insurance to mitigate its risk of cancellation appears to be scheme devised by business development specialists and corporate lawyers to milking unsuspecting customers out of money without providing a service or good. A $20 processing fee might be reasonable, but charging a $500 fee for having a medical condition is stealing.

What is sad is that I expected Royal Caribbean to simply cancel the reservation and refund our money, knowing we would later book another cruise and share our experience with friends and family which in turn would increase their customer base. So far, this has left a bad taste in my mouth, and depending on how Royal Caribbean handles this situation it will undoubtedly cost Royal Caribbean more than $500 in lost revenue by my friends, family, neighbors and business associates.

It's difficult enough to be in the situation with our unborn child, but to have the added hassle of Royal Caribbean stealing $500 from our family on the premise that we should purchase insurance so that they don't lose revenue is shameful.

This policy is immoral and shows the true character of the Royal Caribbean. If this is how Royal Caribbean treats their customers 30 days before the ship is set to sail, it's probably a blessing to have cancelled the cruise. They probably attempt to suck every penny from its customers while they are on the cruise liner and would probably not be surprised if there are additional fees at the end of the cruise not mentioned while booking.

Ruined Vacation
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MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Just wanted to say thank you Radiance of the Seas for ruining my Alaskan vacation that I had saved for a year to pay for. First my clothing was stolen at the Vancouver Dock. Complaint was made to customer service who just shrugged his shoulders as if to say "what do you want me to do?" Simply asked for a newsletter and was caustically replied to that it was in the room. Told him "yes, it may be but we cannot access the room until 1:30 so please give me a copy of the newsletter." He slammed it on the desk and walked back into his inner sanctum.

The food was deplorable -- pork every night and hardly any fresh vegetables. Now if you were from India you had ample selection of food to choose from. My key card did not work and it took not one but three customer service personnel to figure out how to issue a new one. Then when it came time to purchase an item on the ship, I found out the key card was invalid. The pool was out of order for the first four days of the cruise. All the so-called seminars on the next port were nothing more than enticements to pick up their brochure on where to purchase their diamonds from the ship-owned stores.

All you heard was purchase our diamonds. Forget playing a friendly game of bingo as the ship was charging $20 a card to play -- outrageous. When a group of us tried to go off the ship to do our laundry, we were told we could not do so because it was against international law and there was no customs agent at the dock to inspect our laundry. Told the customer service person that in the USA we do not consider laundry a package. The ship's personnel kept stating we could not take a "package" off the ship. Nowhere in the newsletter did it ever state a person could not take their laundry off the ship. Thanks to Radiance of the Seas they made what was supposed to be an enjoyable trip, a trip from hell.

Always a Pleasant Experience
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I have been cruising with Royal Caribbean for quite a few years. Over that time, there have been incidents that occurred that interfered with our vacation (like a hurricane). Not every one of our cruises was "perfect", but when kept in perspective, not every non-cruise vacation is perfect either. All the RCCL staff we have encountered have been personable, professional and friendly. Over the years, the food has changed somewhat, however, I still feel it is the best overall of any "inclusive" vacation. Itineraries may change due to weather or extenuating circumstances, but that is something that should be considered before you book a cruise.

Royal Caribbean puts the safety of its passengers first, not the intended itinerary; and I wouldn't have it any other way. I think that the people's perception of cruise lines is that since you cannot easily "check out" like you can at a land-based hotel, the cruise line is even more responsible for the issues that may crop up. If you weigh the amenities and things to do on a cruise ship with any hotel property, where else could you find so may options offered for the a set price?

I strongly suggest that if you have had a bad experience with Royal Caribbean, try a second cruise before you make a decision never to cruise with them again. If you take into consideration all the people that cruise Royal Caribbean and have a good experience compared to the complaints, I'm sure that you will see that they really do it quite well.

Over the years, I have had friends that have vacationed with other cruise lines and they hated it, stating that they now hate cruising. After trying Royal Caribbean, they have changed their minds about cruising and after making comparisons, admitted that the Royal Caribbean experience totally blew their perception about cruising "out of the water" (no pun intended). I am a loyal Royal Caribbean customer and will continue to spend my vacations with them. Like any vacation, prepare for the unexpected, educate yourself, and just keep things in perspective and your days at sea will be most rewarding.

Can I Get Home - Not Easily You Can't
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A group of us bought a cruise on Royal Caribbean through a travel agency. Once having the cruise booked, it was time to air transportation, in this case to San Juan. OK, that's done. Now we need to get from the airport to the ship. Going a day early (it snows where we are) so we decided to deal with that when we got there...Next - what shore excursions are available and how do we book them - little problem, create an account with RC, pick your activities, pay with credit card, get confirmations. Neat.

Now, how do we get from the ship to the airport when cruise ends. RC site says that if you book through travel agent, call RC customer service to arrange transfers or you can buy them on board. Decide to get it done before the distractions of onboard life. So, call RC customer service. They say "call your travel agent". OK, we can spend a grand on their site arranging shore activities but can't buy a transfer to the airport (unless you happen to be on the ship, then it's OK). We play their game. Call travel agent, provide airline itinerary, and the obligatory credit card info. They promise to arrange with RC. "It's a done deal." (maybe)

Do an online check on the RC site of travel documents, it says nothing about shore transfers for two days. Check with credit card company and find RC took the money immediately when contacted by travel agent. Call RC and ask why transfer documents are not in our "guest vacation documents" online. They tell me that's a problem for the travel agent, but don't worry "you're on the manifest". I have visions of being on the pier in San Juan and saying to the bus driver "But Amanda told me I was on the manifest" Him saying "Who is Amanda?".

I insist that since RC took my money, they should be responsible for issuing a transfer voucher. After talking to a supervisor, they promise to do me a favor and deal with the travel agent for me. Later, they send a voucher to the person who booked the cruise who lives in another state. It took hours in several days to get done what should have been a simple few clicks on their website. If you can book shore excursions, buy soda packages, beer packages and all manner of other things on their website, WHY NOT A SIMPLE AIRPORT TRANSFER??? ROYAL CARIBBEAN IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DEAL WITH.

The Yellow Sea... Slept in Urine on My Birthday!
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My fiancé and I thought we would celebrate my birthday with Royal. At first, we were going to book with a competitor. But then our travel agent suggested Royal Caribbean. Our first afternoon on the boat on my birthday we decided to take a nap. We slept very well for about 2 hours… In urine… Because the staff had not changed the bedding. We only found this out after we retired for the evening at about 2am. We pulled the bedding off of the beds to push them together that evening. The bedding reeked of urine when we pulled the bedding off. We immediately reported this to management.

We were then moved to a very cold room where the temperature could not be controlled. The following day we advised management of this issue. We were then moved to another room… Smaller! Wow, three days into a five day cruise the issue was finally semi-resolved. I won't bother to go into how hard it was to find a clean dish to eat on this cruise.

But back to the urine… The guest services manager M advised that it wasn't his problem. He directed us to another guy who sent us back to M. This was the worst service that I had ever had. Well, to sum it all up, we were promised 20% compensation on our next cruise… To sleep in urine. We then complained to Associate Hotel Director. M then promised 30% compensation on the next cruise! Wow, would you sleep in urine for 30%… On the NEXT cruise? No takers? Well, we never saw the 30% in writing.

We then received a call a month later from a cruise line representative who left a message with us that gave a toll free number that led to… Oh, nowhere, to call them back! Wow! Never again will I cruise Royal… Or any of their affiliates. Now I doubt that this is published to be read by potential customers who desire to know that truth about this cruise line, or their reputation for NOT addressing passenger issues.

Independence of the Sea
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MIAMI, FLORIDA -- When we did an advance booking on the “Enchantment of the Sea” for the “Independence of Sea” for a December 6th cruise, the consultant promised that if the prices went down we would get credit for the difference. The prices went down and I so advised my regular travel agent, was told by RCI that the prices did not gone down but up instead. This was a lie and I met several passengers on board the ship who had booked 3 weeks before and received the lower fare.

I tried on board to settle this matter through the purser's office and the future cruise consultant. “Guy” the man in charge of that department agreed with me that I should have received the credit, however several days later when I asked him again what was happening he said "Miami said no," and he refused to give me a written explanation.

It is highly time that the federal government of the USA and the state of Florida investigates the shoddy operating mode of these cruise companies because they don't seem to be responsive or accountable to anyone. It took 4 hours to start boarding the ship, and the debarking was also late and disorganized. I had a noisy cabin and they only offered us a new cabin on the 4th day of a 6-day cruise. I did not want to impose on my poor wife the hassle of changing cabin for 2 days – we are senior citizens.

If you traveled previously on their “Explorer” ship, the “Independence” and all the newer ships RCI produces are not much better, in fact they are worse. No longer do they offer the clowns entertaining people in the main drag and in the main theater. The food is bargain type, nothing special. It seems that because of the financial stress the company is facing they pinch every penny everywhere they can.

The bad attitude of the company and its lack of good faith ruined our trip. They don't treat their” diamond customers” any special. We often take Carnival with whom we have cruised 17 times and the administration of Carnival knows how to treat their repeat customers with respect.

This is obviously not the case with RCI, and I am presently no longer planning on cruising with RCI ever until they refund me all the money, which I was overcharged TWICE already. Trying to resolve issues with the Miami headquarters is like butting your head against the wall. They don't want to understand or more probably they are told NOT to understand no matter what.

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Royal Caribbean Rating:
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2.8 out of 5, based on 4 ratings and
53 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Royal Caribbean
1050 Caribbean Way
Miami, FL 33132
1-800-398-9819 (ph)
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