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Old 07-09-2003, 03:21 PM
Oggy Boy Oggy Boy is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Valley Center, CA 92082
Posts: 2,362

Great question. First of all, while San Diego is a large city, all of us still think about it as a small town. A San Diego cruise professional (and I am going to simply name one, so as to be specific) would have the ability to intervene in a way that would expedite the solution to the issue. First, I am sure you are familiar with Anderson Travel in San Diego. It is a huge leisure agency and the principles know the folks at NCL personally. They have the ability to pick up the telephone, call whomever they want and resolve the crisis on the spot.

Why? Because they do a huge volume with just about all cruise lines and their reputation is on the block with every client that sails. I have seen them (and many other cruise professionals) go into their own packets to settle a claim simply to keep the goodwill of the client. This is not uncommon for a reputable travel agent.

Please understand that I am not pushing Anderson Travel, we have several excellent agencies in San Diego. I am just using them as a viable example of the benefits of using a local cruise professional since you are located in San Diego and have probably seen their advertising.

Secondly, While on-line agencies always tout "LOW PRICE" it isn't necessarily so. I guarantee you that Anderson Travel has lower prices than you will find on any on-line agency. Why? Because they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising (have you seen the 4-color double trucks in the San Diego Union every Sunday?) They are creating demand, not intercepting it. The cruise lines are not going to enable someone that is not adding value to the development of the cruise market. Think about it.

Lastly, While the agency you purchased from may be registered with the State of California, if they are not located within California they cannot participate in the State of California Restitution Fund. Anderson Travel (and all other travel agencies located in California must belong to this fund) The fund works this way.

In your situation, if you had purchased from a local cruise professional, you could simply file a claim with the Fund and the state of California would refund your money. The State then would pursue settlement with the registered CST member. The Restitution Fund is maintained by all registered Sellers of Travel within the State of California and does not cost taxpayers one cent. It is consumer protection at its best?

At any rate, I hope I have made my point.

As to what you can do now. Since the on-line agency is registered within the State of California, I would immediately serve them with a letter of demand for a full and complete refund for the optional tours that were missed, as well as the cost of the Access America policy. I doubt they will pay, so I would then file a complaint with the CA Attorney General's office and copy the agency and at the same time file a small claims action and have them served.

Here is a link for more information about the Sellers of Travel law in the State of California.

Sorry this is happening to you. Life seems to short to have to deal with this kind of nonsense. Best of luck resolving this issue and let me know if I can help.