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TJ Murt

Age: 35

Occupation:physical therapist

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Monarch of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2011-09-10

Itinerary: bahamas

To future Royal Caribbean customers: THINK twice before booking! Please read our story and decide if you want to go through booking with this cruise line?!?!? It has been absolutely horrible!!


My wife wanted to do something special for our 10-year wedding anniversary. After much thought, I purchased a 5 day/4 night cruise to the Bahamas through Royal Caribbean Cruise Line on the ship Monarch of the Seas. This was the first time we had ever cruised and most definitely our last on Royal Caribbean.

We did have several positive experiences during this trip. Our cabin attendant Luki was very pleasant and always helpful when we needed assistance. Our dining staff of Yavin and Yudi were also always aiming to please their guests and the food in the main dining room was great. CoCo Cay was beautiful and we enjoyed our day there tremendously. The negative experience with this cruise began on August 17th when we were leaving the Atlantis resort at Nassau shortly after 5 PM that evening. After waiting over 45 minutes for a shuttle, my wife and I, along with around 10 other Royal Caribbean passengers were forced to take a taxi back to the ship. We were all incorrectly informed that the cruise ship shuttles ran as late as 7 PM(we later learned that many more people were stranded and had to pay their own way back to the ship. Just curious to all you past RC cruisers, if this also happened to you as well? If it did, boy are those locals making out on us tourists!! Anyway, we were reimbursed for our taxi ride, but we missed our dinner and were unable to return to Nassau or attend other on-ship activities due to the loss of time and late dinner and we were treated very rudely when we asked for a later dinner reservation due to the circumstances.

On Thursday, August 18th 2011, the day of our 10-year wedding anniversary, we had plans to exchange gifts and to renew our wedding vows that we specifically wrote for this occasion and planned to do so at the back of the ship. As we returned to our stateroom (6007) after dinner, we found 4 maintenance workers coming out of our room. Inside our room water was gushing from the ceiling. There was so much water that it was running into the adjacent stateroom. The passengers in that room stated that the water was gushing from our ceiling for at least 15 minutes before we got there. The maintenance workers had placed buckets on the floor to try to catch the water but the water was overflowing them. We asked where the water was coming from. One of the maintenance men said it was "dirty water" coming from the level above us. We asked if it could be stopped so we could try to rescue our things and he said it had to drain first. We then stated that we had electronics (laptop computer, camera, etc) in the room and all of that was going to be ruined. We then instructed one man in the room secure our electronics.

While we waited for the water to stop for at least a half hour, no one from guest services or a manager came to speak with us. A woman, later identified to us as a housekeeping manager, walked past us in the hall, looked into our room, and continued on her way without acknowledging us.

Since no managers were coming to speak to us, my wife had to go up to the guest relations desk to report the incident. The maintenance staff then proceeded to remove the ceiling panels and a black substance fell all over the stateroom, including all of our things. The substance appeared to be mold;or maybe sewage residue; however, we were never officially informed on the contents of either the water or the black substance despite repeated requests.

A customer relations rep, Janeel, finally came to the room and escorted me to the of the guest relations manager office. The guest relations manager said that we would be moved to a different room, all over our clothes would be washed, and she would be present while we fill out a personal property report. After this meeting, I went back to stateroom 6007 and the men that were now cleaning it out were wearing masks and rubber gloves. I went into the room to retrieve our anniversary gifts and written cards with personalized wedding renewal vows. One was never found and the others were destroyed. We then asked for our own rubber gloves for us to sort through the things that they (cleaning crew) were bagging in the hall for us to sort through. Janeel then told us that we were now moving to room 1040 (junior suite) with the few belongings that were not damaged. She escorted us to our room and told us that our laundry would be washed and delivered to our room at 6AM and that someone from guest relations would come to the room to be present when we filled out our personal property report. Again, in our new/clean room, we had to sort through things and set them aside so that they could be properly reported and viewed by a RC representative and added to our property loss form.

At this time we had already wasted approximately 2 hours dealing with this incident. We never had the opportunity to renew our vows or exchange anniversary gifts. Instead, we spent that night picking through and cleaning our jewelry, valuables and other personal belongings. Janeel did provide me with a pair of swimming trunks so that I could change out of my dress clothes. She also provided us with contact lens accessories since everything else was destroyed.

I had called the guest relations desk numerous times that evening after we had gotten into our new room and no one answered. When I finally got to speak with someone, I was disconnected, no one called us back.

We awoke early the next morning and received our laundry shortly after 6am. Clothes that needed to be dry-cleaned only were laundered and ruined. No one from guest relations came to our stateroom to witness our personal property report. We again tried various times to call guest relations but no one answered. So we proceeded to the guest relations desk in person. After explaining our situation again to the representative working at the desk, he told us someone will be with us shortly and gave us a personal property report. We waited for 15 minutes and my wife again asked to speak to a manager. After an additional 15 minutes Vivian (not a manager) finally appeared to speak to us. We had to explain the entire situation again and all she said was that she was sorry this happened that this was an unfortunate event. We told her about the personal property report and she looked it over and said it was adequate and signed it. I complained about the whole sewage/water incident and was told they would reimburse us for our damaged property and that Royal Caribbean would offer us a 50% off on a future cruise. My wife then lost her temper and told Vivian that was unacceptable,to have a room covered in sewage and be offered 50% off of a future cruisees! It was like giving us another bill!! My wife demanded to speak to a manager over Vivian, she refused to get anyone else. She stated they were all busy with the checkouts. I informed Vivian that I thought that our situation with sewage water was far more important than people complaining about water and alcohol they did not drink. Again, my wife demanded to speak to her(Vivians) superior. She refused to budge.

From the time we moved into the new room to the time we departed the ship, we were unable to speak with a guest relations manager OR ANY manager. We continued to express the magnitude of our concern with Vivian that our milestone 10th anniversary had been ruined and that the compensation offered was not acceptable. After 15 minutes of arguing, it was now close to 7:30 AM and we needed to depart the ship to catch a shuttle for a prepaid tour that also included our airport transportation.

At this point we were given our SeaPass statement and brought it to their attention that we were being billed for pool towels, which were ruined in the incident. She had removed the towel charges and we settled our bill with a cash transaction. We had asked Vivian for information on what the water was and where it came from? She had no idea and was not interested in helping us find out.

Also, over the last 2 days we made several inquiries about a box of chocolate truffles that was delivered to our stateroom (6007) without a card. At no time could any representative from guest relations provide information on who sent this gift to us. (The flood in the room later ruined this gift). We had asked guest relations both in person and via phone and never received an answer. After returning home we had discovered that a family member sent this gift to us.

Upon arriving home on August 20th, I called Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's guest relations and spoke to Amy (Cameron) and explained our negative experiences aboard The Monarch of the Seas. I once again expressed that we wish to have some documentation of what substances leaked into our stateroom and onto our belongings and also to speak with a manager. She said a manager was not available to speak with me but she would have one get back to me in a day or two.

Four days later I did not receive a call from RCCL, however my credit card was charged a fee by RCCL that once again included charges for two pool towels. I called RCCL again on August 23rd and spoke with Patrick who kindly reimbursed me for the incorrect charges but could provide no update on my last call.

The next day, August 24th, I again called RCCL and spoke with Gail Smith. Gail expressed that she could not help me because she was not the representative working on this incident. She did email Amy (Cameron) and cc'd the supervisor to call me to give an update.

I called on August 29th to check on the status of my personal property report, and was told we were only being reimbursed for 60% of the damaged goods listed. I was not told why this was the case and was not given any information regarding my previous concerns. That was the last correspondence I had with anyone from RCCL. I never received a call from a manager as I requested or an incident report containing the contents of the substance that ruined our belongings.

We have been home approximately 21 days since sailing with Royal Caribbean, my wife has been to the Dr's 2X regarding respiratory infections (is this somehow connected to the sewage/black substance in our room?? Maybe/maybe not. We STILL do not have an answer as to what that black substance was or where the dirty water came from. We have since sent a letter to the US Public Health Dept, as well as The Vessel Sanitation Program of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see if they could help us get an answer from RC.

Again, let me remind you it has been 22 days since this nightmare incident on the cruise ship. We have not been contacted or had ANY calls returned to us by RC. My husband and I both had to take turns calling because it was taking so much time out of our work days.

Today, Sept 9,2011, my wife AGAIN called RC.!! After being transferred over 8 TIMES (I am honestly NOT lying) and disconnected 2X and speaking to at least 6 different reps(having to REPEAT my story to each of them!!) and being on hold with each rep for approximately 15 minutes..I literally wasted 2 and a half hours on the phone with them!I REFUSED TO BE TRANSFERRED OR put on hold any longer!! Rudy from the luggage support dept. told me that Tamra worked on our claim for our lost items, but he could not provide any more information as to why she credited us the way she did. I asked for Tamra's direct phone so I could speak with her. Rudy told me she did not have a direct line I would just have to call the main line back again(yeah and repeat what I just went through for the last 2 hours? I DON'T THINK so!!) He could provide me with no more information regarding our claim but informed me of a clause known as the LIMIT OF LIABILITY PERSONAL CONTRACT. It states that anyone with lost or destroyed luggage can only claim a maximum of $300.00 per person. I THEN INFORMED HIM that our luggage was not lost. 90% of our belongings were RUINED by sewage water gushing from our stateroom ceiling. He then informed me that there is a depreciation factor and that we did not receive our full amount because there were deductions made for depreciation of our items. I asked to view a copy of this contract. He directed me to RC website. To find this contract you have to search cruise ticket contract. It states that a maximum refund of $300.00 can be given per person for lost luggage. AGAIN we DID NOT lose our luggage! IT WAS DAMAGED by sewage and a black residue/substance that fell from the ceiling in our CABIN!!

And if this in fact was the case then, we, my husband and myself, should have been credited $300.00 a piece for items damaged!! We were not. My wife had 3 articles of formal clothing alone that totaled over $200.00, not including everything else we lost in this incident.

He (Rudy) has promised us a call back from his supervisor of luggage support Albert A. - w/in 24-48 hours. We have heard this numerous times by numerous RC representatives that they would have their supervisor call us back. NOT ONE MEASLY CALL FROM ANYONE @ RC and this NIGHTMARE happened on the cruise ship on August 18 ,2011, over 21 DAYS AGO AND NOT ONE CALL BACK!! We will not hold our breath this time either.

Everyone we have relayed this story to friends and family, etc. is in utter shock regarding the way everything was handled..OR NOT handled!! We couldn't get a manager to deal with us while on the ship and STILL can't get one to deal with us almost 3 weeks since we have been home! It is completely unacceptable ¦ PLEASE¦PLEASE¦PLEASE reconsider cruising with Royal Caribbean¦ Your DREAM vacation may just turn into your WORST NIGHTMARE!!!

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