Was on Ruby Princess the 1st week of March.
Booked 3 excursions with Island Marketing. They sent me confirmation emails. First, let me say that I had fun and was very pleased with Island Marketing in Cozumel, even though one excursion was cancelled due to the weather conditions. The Grand Cayman excursion was a different story. We went to the meeting place at downtown Georgetown as stated on the confirmation email. We waited and waited (together with another family of 4), and finally, 40 minutes passed the meeting time, the driver showed up. He offered us another excursion at a later time but we did not accept due to the time constraint in getting back onto the ship. He said he'll call Island marketing and cancel the whole thing and we'll get our refund. After 3 emails to Island Marketing, their response was - read the fine print on the bottom of the email - NO REFUND. It was not the refund that really ticked me off with Island Marketing, it's their response, or lack of. People, should you use Island Marketing, you must be very careful and read all the fine prints.
Taxi fare from the airport to the cruise port was $7 with meter on. After disembarkation on March 7 @ around 8 am, hopped onto an Intercity Taxi (Phone #954-333-3333) and the driver was a black guy and his number/or the cab number was #529. The meter was not on, and he charged $15 once we arrived at the airport. I tried to tell him about the $7 but he responded with a very threatening tone - I just gave him the $15 and got out. People, negotiate the fare before you get on a cab at Ft. Lauderdale.
Hi pslc, hope your experience on the Ruby was fantastic. Sorry to hear about your problems with your excursions. Here is a link to the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. They may be able to help you with your dispute for the cab. You have good information with the cab number. We have flown into Ft. Lauderdale before and have not been charged over $10 for the fare to/from the port. However, I'm sure there are those that are not honest in every walk of life. I hope the Chamber will be able to help resolve your dispute. It's not good advertising for the city, and they're trying to promote the port. We normally book our excursions through the ship, so we do have some sort of recourse should something go wrong. The excursions we do on our own, we negotiate with the operator before leaving the port and pay when we are returned to the port. So far, we have had great experiences.
We used island Marketing in the past, but paid only a deposit to them. They are a marketing umbrella for private tour operators. The balance of our tour was paid on completion to the tour operator directly. Sorry about your bad experience. Just did a ship's tour in San Juan and it was unbelievably bad. The 16 of us on the bus were organizing at the stops to try to take over the tour. He nearly had us (12 people had 4 p.m. flights) missing our planes home, and didn't think it was a big deal. You can get interesting service in foreign countries, even with the layer of protection of a cruise line behind it.
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