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Old 12-27-2002, 03:47 PM
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My husband and I were on a cruise that departed 12/14/2002. This trip was planned and booked about 2 weeks prior to the departure date. It was our last trip together, as I'm almost 7 mos. preg and we wanted one last vacation before our lives changed! Anyway, on the 2nd day of the cruise we found out my husband's father died. We spoke to the pursers desk and were told that we would need to meet with the purser in charge of customs "stuff" (not sure what the official term would be) the next morning to arrange our return to the states. At the designated time, we went to find this purser, who upon our arrival berated us for interrupting her and offered no help at all. During an emotional time, it was the last thing we needed. Anyway, we were basically booted off the ship in the Cayman Islands with no assistance whatsoever from the cruise line. It was horrifying how we were treated. My questions are:

1. What advice can anyone give on writing a letter to the cruise line in hopes of getting something, I don't even know what, from them? An apology? A nominal credit towards a future cruise? Something!

2. We had purchased travel insurance through the cruise line, which is turning out to be nearly worthless. We had cashed in miles for our airfare to and from the departure city, which has no monetary value, so we can't even include any sort of airfare cost as part of our claim. In circumstances such as this, do you think that the airline would provide us with a reciept for what the airfare would have cost with a 21-day advance purchase?

I'm grasping at straws here trying to recoup some of what we lost.

I haven't mentioned the cruise line at this point...if its relevant I will post that info. Any help would be appreciated!!!

Jen.
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2002, 03:47 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3
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My husband and I were on a cruise that departed 12/14/2002. This trip was planned and booked about 2 weeks prior to the departure date. It was our last trip together, as I'm almost 7 mos. preg and we wanted one last vacation before our lives changed! Anyway, on the 2nd day of the cruise we found out my husband's father died. We spoke to the pursers desk and were told that we would need to meet with the purser in charge of customs "stuff" (not sure what the official term would be) the next morning to arrange our return to the states. At the designated time, we went to find this purser, who upon our arrival berated us for interrupting her and offered no help at all. During an emotional time, it was the last thing we needed. Anyway, we were basically booted off the ship in the Cayman Islands with no assistance whatsoever from the cruise line. It was horrifying how we were treated. My questions are:

1. What advice can anyone give on writing a letter to the cruise line in hopes of getting something, I don't even know what, from them? An apology? A nominal credit towards a future cruise? Something!

2. We had purchased travel insurance through the cruise line, which is turning out to be nearly worthless. We had cashed in miles for our airfare to and from the departure city, which has no monetary value, so we can't even include any sort of airfare cost as part of our claim. In circumstances such as this, do you think that the airline would provide us with a reciept for what the airfare would have cost with a 21-day advance purchase?

I'm grasping at straws here trying to recoup some of what we lost.

I haven't mentioned the cruise line at this point...if its relevant I will post that info. Any help would be appreciated!!!

Jen.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2002, 04:48 PM
Raoul Fiebig's Avatar
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Location: Paderborn, Germany
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Hi Jen!

Sorry to learn about your bad experience. The cruise line should have dealt with this situation in a much more sensitive and responsible way, that's for sure.

IMHO, you should write a letter to the president/CEO of the cruise line, expressing your feelings and the frustration of being left alone by his company in a situation that was so difficult for you and your husband, anyway. I am unable to answer your second question, maybe somebody else can.

I am very curious which cruise line this is. There is no excuse for the purser treating you and your husband in such a way.

Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig
Das Ruderhaus
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Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig

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Old 12-28-2002, 07:18 AM
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Sorry to hear about your distressing situation. Based on what you said, the cruise line could have been more accommodating.
With respect to compensation, you might be eligible for a refund representing the unused portion of your cruise, so be sure to make a claim for this. Second; you used 'miles' for your plane tickets so you should ask the airline if you can re-claim the miles that you used to get the 'return' portion of your tickets. There will probably be a fee to do this but it is worth checking. The cost of returning from Grand Cayman to the point of embarkation in the States should compensable by the insurance company. Travel from that point to your home town will be at your expense. Cruiseman
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Old 12-28-2002, 09:51 AM
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Since Raoul asked, the cruise line was RCCL.

Thanks for the responses so far, its comforting to know that I'm not wrong regarding my feelings about the situation!
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Old 12-28-2002, 12:28 PM
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So sorry to hear about your problems. I'm very surprised with RCL. I would have guessed another cruise line. You won't be given a refund, but will probably get another cruise for free. I'm very surprised that they did allow you on the ship to begin with, as several brochures that I've read, specifically state nobody in the last trimester. As I understand it, you purchased the insurance directly through the cruise line. NOT a good idea. They restrict things considerably in their favor, and certainly not yours. Our travel agent will do anything to convince you to go to an independent insurance agent. I certainly don't want to be a pessimist in this situation, but trying to get any of your plane fare or miles back, I doubt that you'll be able to do. If you had booked the air with the airline, you'd have a better chance. As far as the pursar desk being rude, write to the President/CEO of the Company. We've done that on a couple of cruises. I would suggest sending it certified mail with a return receipt. That way they can't say they lost the letter. Be prepared to wait SEVERAL weeks for a reply. Good luck with your new one. The New Year will have to be better than the old. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]
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Old 12-28-2002, 07:29 PM
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Hi Jen!

The following is the address for Royal Caribbean you might want to consider sending your letter to:

Mr Richard D. Fain
Chairman & CEO
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
1050 Caribbean Way
Miami, FL 33132

I wish you all the best for this.

Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig
Das Ruderhaus
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Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig

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Old 12-29-2002, 07:13 AM
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I, too, am sorry to hear of the troubles you encountered, not the least of which because we're scheduled on RCCL in February.

My advice to you is this: write the best, strongest, and above all, most professional letter you can muster. Take the time to lay out your complaint accurately, chronologically, and in precise detail. Use plenty of terms like "disappointed", "frustrated", "dismayed", and "disgusted". Don't threaten to sue, but do threaten to tell everyone you can find how badly you were treated. Try hard to express your emotions in terms of how far short of the mark the company and staff fell, not just how bad you feel. Proof-read, no spelling or grammatical errors! Make it look nice and formal, like a cover letter when applying for a job.

It's been my experience, both as a reader and writer of complaint letters, that the better-written ones get the most attention.

I wish you luck.


-Scott H
Chicago
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2002, 11:16 AM
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I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Scott H.'s comments. You are much more likely to receive recompense if your letter is well-written, specific, assertive and courteous.

When I've launched a complaint against a company, I often include a line such as, "I look forward to hearing how you intend to restore my confidence in your organization...". I've also made a point of sending a follow up note of thanks when they've responded well. But I also don't let go of the issue if I'm not satisfied with their response!

Another tack to think about (if your initial efforts fall short) is to contact a Better Business Bureau, or an industry association, or if all else fails, a consumer reporter for your local media. The threat of negative publicity is often an effective call to action.

Good luck!
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2002, 11:33 AM
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Thanks again everyone for the advice.

Just to follow up on Sue's question regarding sailing while I was in my 3rd trimester. I actually was 25 weeks, turning 26 weeks during the cruise, so I wasn't in my 3rd trimester yet! I move to that milestone later this week! Anyway, most of the cruise lines I spoke with when trying to book this cruise will not let anyone on beyond their 26th week. Some lines were as early as 24 weeks. I did have to fax RCCL a letter from my obstetrician stating it was ok for me to cruise.
 
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