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Old 01-31-2003, 08:23 AM
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My parents are on Celebrity Infinity Panama canal this week. Earlier they were confined below deck due to high winds.

Upon arrival in Acapulco they learned engine problems would make them miss their next port of call in Mexicao, and would result in arrival in San Diego for disembarkation a day late.

Now they have been advised that the problems can't be fixed and that the cruise has been terminated in Acapulco. They are being put up at a nice resort but are not yet sure how they will arrive in San Diego to make flight connections home as planned.

Does the cruise line generally provide compensation for the inconvenience and disruption to to the cruise, or is this simply considered an itinerary change, similar to one avoiding bad weather?
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Old 01-31-2003, 08:23 AM
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My parents are on Celebrity Infinity Panama canal this week. Earlier they were confined below deck due to high winds.

Upon arrival in Acapulco they learned engine problems would make them miss their next port of call in Mexicao, and would result in arrival in San Diego for disembarkation a day late.

Now they have been advised that the problems can't be fixed and that the cruise has been terminated in Acapulco. They are being put up at a nice resort but are not yet sure how they will arrive in San Diego to make flight connections home as planned.

Does the cruise line generally provide compensation for the inconvenience and disruption to to the cruise, or is this simply considered an itinerary change, similar to one avoiding bad weather?
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Old 01-31-2003, 08:51 AM
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Hi Maia,

the cruise lines usually pay some kind of compensation, often in conjunction with a rebate on a future cruise. You or your parents might want to give RCL a call to inquire about this. A special service desk has been set up for "Infinity" passengers. The number is 1-888-701-7192.

Sorry that your parents experienced those problems on their cruise, but I hope they have been able to enjoy the trip, nonetheless.

Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig
Das Ruderhaus
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Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig

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Old 02-01-2003, 08:48 AM
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Well after cooling their heels in Acapulco, receiving little information from the cruise line, my parents were finally informed that they would be flown to San Diego and put up in a hotel until their original flight home.

No problem, except the flight was so delayed it was unable (for some reason) to land in San Diego and instead they were sent to LAX. Again, hours of waiting in airports and hotels while my parents tried to find someone who could give them answers...unfortunately Air Canada is unwilling or unable to just fly them home from LA...they were origionlly told they would be flown back to San Diego; now apparently they are being bussed.

They have had about 3 hours sleep in 3 days and are not happy!!! They and the the couple travelling with them have decided to hire a limo on their own to take them to San Diego.

This has truly been the trip from hell for them, beginning with their travelling companion catching a stomach bug the second day on the ship and being confined to her cabin for 72 hours and going downhill from there.

Apparently the communications from the cruise line surrounding the engine problems and the intinerary changes has been abysmal. These are four experienced, wealthy travellers who are vowing never to cruise Celebrity again!
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Old 02-01-2003, 10:35 PM
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We had a cruise that ended in Acapulco 3 years ago. Unless you have been there yourself, you couldn't understand what a tremendous problem that would be, trying to get 2,000+ people out of the airport. I can certainly appreciate what you're saying, but the airport is really the thing. we had to fly to Mexico City to change planes, and that's one airport that I never want to see again. I'm sure Celebrity will make good on their very bad experience. Unfortunately, problems do occur when on cruises, with breakdowns, viruses, etc. We had a friend that was crossing the Atlantic on 9-11. You should hear what they went through, receiving no information, having satellite feed cut off, and not being able to call friends/relatives. I'm sure they'll make out fine.
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Old 02-03-2003, 01:33 PM
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Maia:
We were on the same cruise as your parents. It was a trip through hell...and we were one of the lucky ones, managing to get out of Mexico on the first day. Even then, it was a day of confusion, no help from the cruise lines, very little Celebrity representation at the Acapulco airport.
I observed two things from all this.
#1-there was an apparent engine problem almost from the time we left Fort Lauderdale. We understood that representatives from the ships engine manufacturers were flown to meet the ship in Aruba to investigate an apparent problem..and that was only three days out of port. Several other guests said they were receiving e-mail from home stating that family members knew there was a problem with the boat at least a week before we were informed of anything.
#2-Celebrity really needs to work on their internal communications. If they had a 'crisis plan' to deal with this type of problems (and I'm sure they did), they had a real difficulty implementing it. Nobody on the shore teams really knew what was going on, or where to send the guests. There were lots of people who simply fell through the cracks and were not assigned flights home or hotel rooms for the night. I don't understand how that could happen when you have a manifest of everyone on board. Even when we were flown into San Diego it was apparent that nobody there could answer any of our questions. We were simply advised to call a 1-800 number the next day to try and sort through our travel plans home. But this is the best part... In making these calls to their home office, the first THREE people we talked to didn't even know the ships passengers had been put off in Acapulco, or there was a problem with the INFINITY.
Others can say what they want about getting flights out of places like Mexico, and I agree it would be difficult. But it seems Celebrity's final decision to cancel the rest of the cruise was a 'snap decision', with little planning or foresight into the difficulties of what the final outcome would be.
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Old 02-03-2003, 04:25 PM
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I still hold to my previous statement about the difficulty in Acapulco. I firmly believe they did this for the safety of the passengers. Would you have prefered to have the engines completely give way at sea, and be there without power, water, air, and the ability to control the ship? I think not. This is not one of Celebrity's home ports, and you're failing to take this into consideration. Had it been a home port such as Fort Lauderdale, things would have been handled considerably different, due to the manpower. I think as you think the whole thing through more thouroughly, you'll be able to understand what I'm saying. We have had bad things happen while on cruises, while flying, and also staying in hotels. You just have to learn to make the best of it. Things are bound to get better, and I'm sure Celebrity will make good on your cruise.
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Old 02-04-2003, 08:28 AM
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No question Celebrity acted in the best interests of the passengers by terminating the cruise. However, the last post is correct...they must have a plan in place for such events. Not only were their communications with the passengers dismal, it appears the internal communications within the corporation was equally poor. I understand there was little help available on the ground in Acapulco, but unfortunately there was no help provided either in San Diego, Los Angeles, and for those who called Celebrity's head office.
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Old 02-04-2003, 05:13 PM
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There's always more to a story than the average person sees. And all of us were left to draw our own conclusions based on what we observed and the way we were treated. But try out this theory....

If Celebrity wanted to work in the best interests of its customers, why not let them stay of the ship until flights could be arranged for them to get out of Acapulco? There was nothing wrong with the ships power, water, waste systems. There was obviously enough food and water on board for everyone since it was about to sail straight to San Diego that night. However the ship left port (for where-ever it went) the moment our group was let off.

I think the obvious answer is money, since a docked ship doesn't generate income. The subsequent cruise for INFINITY had already been cancelled by the time we found out what was going on which was going to cost the cruise line millions, plus dry-docking the ship to repair it.
So the sooner it was underway, the better it was for the company. The downside of all this is that it's the customer that really suffers through this whole event....and that's the person paying the tab. I can accept that things break, and that cruises can get cut short due to unforseeable circumstances. But its those 'crisis management plans' that companys have that are supposed help smooth over the rough spots. I also agree that Celebrity acted in the bests interests by cutting the cruise short. If the boat won't go, whattya going to do? However, after you make that decision you better have a plan in place to deal with the fallout.

Celebrity did, and had the best of intentions, however it was not handled propery. An operation of that size, to handle 2000-passengers, takes time to organize and execute. Celebrity knew the airport couldn't handle that many people at once. They knew they didn't have enough flights to get everyone out at once. I believe that Celebrity did what they did because the financial clock was ticking and they needed to get the boat fixed and put back in service. I consider that to be backwards thinking since it takes the customer out of the equation. I considered myself fortunate in the sense that I'm in my 40's in good health. I can't begin to imagine what some of those seniors had to go through. There was lots of 'walkers' and wheelchairs on that cruise....

There's a saying in retail that one unhappy customer will tell ten friends about their experience. Imagine if only half of the 2000-guests on this cruise tell their tale.... Celebrity's plan was poorly executed.

Maia, to answer your original question, all guests were provided a 25-percent refund, however they cut the cruise short by roughly 25-percent.

We were also offered 25-percent off on our next Celebrity cruise. My initial impression is that isn't enough compensation for what we were put through.

I'll cruise again, and I may even go with Celebrity again, since the first ten-days were grand. But the only thing I remember right now is standing in that Acapulco airport for 6-7 hours, on my vacation. It sucked. Hope your parents got home alright.
 
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