Occupation:Own a mid size manufacturing company
Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas
Sailing Date: December 26th, 2004
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
I had a very bad experience with Royal Caribbean and missed my Cruise. I had booked a Western Caribbean cruise on the Rhapsody that departed Galveston on the Dec. 26th. I booked directly with Royal Caribbean and had them take care of the air. I could have booked the air cheaper myself but I always thought that when the cruise line took care of air it was their responsibility to get you to the ship. I also bought trip insurance from Royal Caribbean.
We arrived at Buffalo airport to find our flight on Delta was really a Comair flight to Atlanta and it had been canceled. They had notified Royal Caribbean the day before. Royal Caribbean did not bother to notify us of the cancellation. If they had, we could have tried to make alternate arrangements, even if we had to drive though the night to make the Atlanta connection. We tried to make alternate arrangements to fly out of Buffalo to get to any hub, but everything was booked up because of the Comair shut down.
We called Royal Caribbean and advised them of our situation. We asked if they could try to get us a flight out of a major airport that we could drive to and still get us to Galveston. Sandra from operations told me that it wasn’t Royal Caribbean’s responsibility to check other airports. I was shocked with the apathetic, if not mean attitude she had. She had time to argue with me, at length, but later told her supervisor that she was too busy to check on other flights. I was also advised that we could not pick up the cruise at the first port of Key West.
When we got back home we tried to salvage our vacation by booking another cruse on the Royal Caribbean web site for the following day. We just had enough time to drive to Miami so we called customer service to advise them of our alternate plans. Customer service advised us that they could not authorize the transfer of our monies paid to the new ship and they would have the executive office call with a decision. When the executive office finally called it was five hours later, too late to drive to Miami.
I was then advised that there would be no refund of the cruise and they took no responsibility for all the errors they made with our flight. They said as a customer courtesy they would give us a credit for another cruise but it was only good for a year and couldn’t be used on Celebrity their sister company. Our schedule does not permit us to go on another cruise this year. After arguing at length with Jason Maltais of the executive office he said if I don’t take their offer by the following Monday Jan 3rd he would withdraw the offer. They also said the trip insurance did not apply because we never started the trip.
We have taken six cruises on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. I am shocked and appalled at the attitude of customer service and the hostile strong arm tactics of the executive office. If you were like me and thought if you booked air fare through Royal Caribbean and got their insurance, you were protected, think again. If you think customer service would be helpful if thing went wrong, you’re in for a surprise.