On Sept 7 I gave a deposit for the 5/21/06 Pride of Aloha sailing.
The end of Nov my travel agent calls and tells me that the POA is going into dry dock then and we are being moved to the 5/20/06 Pride of America sailing.
On Jan 4 I stopped by the travel agent because I hadn't received any new paperwork from NCL reflecting the change of itinerary or ship. Since when is a verbal agreement over the phone thru a second party binding?
The TA calls NCL. NCL tells her that we were moved to the 5/20/06 sailing but we are now on the 5/27/06 Pride of America sailing. When asked how that happened, they said they don't know! Notes on our account reflect a 5/20 sailing but it got changed. We inform NCL that this won't work. My husband can't get the time off then, since this is 2 weeks later than the original sailing. Some people have to work!! We are using FF miles to get to Hawaii and there are no flights available. We would either have to buy a whole new ticket or use 70,000 miles/ticket to have "anytime" priviledges. NCL will give us $100. We also have to change hotel arrangements in Honolulu, inter-island air to Maui, Maui condo, Maui rental car...All this takes time and money!
NCL informs us that there are no cabins available on the 5/20 POAM sailing. When pressed, what that means was, there were no inside cabins. There were balcony rooms available. Impossible to upgrade us to an outside. The TA suggested that maybe someone else could get upgraded and we take their room. We're not picky...NCL comes back with "NO"...
What really disturbed me was that no one in NCL's customer service showed any initiative at all. We always had to ask "Who else can we speak with?" "who is your supervisor", Today, I asked for my deposit back...this was going nowhere and NCL is completely inflexible. There are cabins on that ship, just not one for us. If we had problems just trying to get on the ship and they wouldn't help us, what would happen if we had a problem while on the ship?
I have sailed on Premier, Princess (Alaska, Western Carribean), American Hawaii, Carnival, OdessAmerica(Russia river cruise), Royal Carribean and have never had problems like this.
Based upon my experience with NCL, I can't recommend them.
Did you book a specific cabin or a guarantee?
How many are in your party?
Did you ask for an upsell to a higher class cabin? I'm pretty sure if you were willing to part with that $100 credit plus a little more, you could move into an oceanview or balcony and cruise your orignally scheduled week.
Your travel agent is probably correct too. But 4 months out from your cruise is much to early to make deals.
Expecting any cruise line to hand over a higher class cabin for nothing is asking too much, even if the original problem or fault is theirs.
By being just a little more flexible and loose with your cash, you'd probably be cruising on the POAm in an oceanview or balcony cabin on May 20. If you're going to be inflexible, NCL will too. All the inside cabins for this ship are selling out anyways.
You booked an inside cabin, and they're offering you an inside cabin a week later.
More than just the May 20 POAm cruises have sold out inside cabins.
Here's today Travelocity report for May 2006
2006 Departure Date(s): May 6, 13, 20, 27
Inside Sold Out
Luckily you found out about this prior to Final Payment Date, and it is your right to cancel if you so choose. You can always sail Hawaii at another time.
In response to your question:
We booked and put a deposit on an inside cabin. I was assigned a cabin # at the time of the deposit.
We have 3 people. 2 adults 1 child
We asked about paying for an upgrade but they told us the only thing was 3 penthouse suites at a little over $3,000 for each adult and I don't know how much for the child. It was a huge difference from the great rate we got.
We were going because we got a cheap rate and my 5 year old is totally into Lilo & Stitch.
What it boils down to is this: NCl sold me a 5/21 POA sailing. They then tell me that I was being put on the May 20 POAM sailing. When I go to check on documentation I find out that in fact they changed me to the May 27 POAM. Who changed me, why they changed me, even NCL can't figure it out. There is nothing I can do. My husband's vacation was set 8 months in advance, he has to work around other worker's vacation and training. The vacation is requested, not dictated. Also, I cannot get direct flights. Everthing from my home airport to HNL is not available. I've checked and re-checked. I am an adventurous traveller but I am not taking a 5 year old from TX to Chicago to Denver to LA to Honolulu! That is why I booked the tickets on Sept 2 for May 19.
My husband and I have been to Hawaii several times. We were going for my 5 year old daughter. She was excited. She has a little grass skirt and was learing hula from a tape.
We never asked for anything that we didn't pay for...We asked if someone else who paid close to a penthouse rate could be upgraded, another higher inside upgraded to an outside and us in an inside. We were just asking for a cabin.
Lucky for us, NCL is crediting our CC and we are moving on.
The reason I posted is to make other people aware that this could happen. Just so happens it was NCL. From now on, I will not accept any verbal communications from my travel operators. I will require fax or e-mail. This being the first time I experienced this, I took them at their word. I expected the updated documentation would arrive shortly. If I hadn't followed up, it would have been March when final payment was due that I would have found out about the change in sailing date from 5/20 to 5/27. So-get everything in writing-everything!
What does your TA say about this? After all, she was the one first informed of the change of ship. Frankly, she should have followed through in late November rather than wait for you to stop by in early January.
Our ship was also switched for our upcoming cruise. We booked Celebrity Millennium a year ago, and several months ago Celebrity reassigned Infinity to Millennium's itinerary, and vice versa. I received an updated confirmation from my TA shortly thereafter.
Now, I admit that my situation was easier as it involved sister ships and passengers were simply switched from one to another, keeping the same staterooms. But, while I realize that saying "coulda, shoulda, woulda" now does nothing for your situation, I still wonder where the TA was when all this was going on.
Can you still salvage your Hawai'i vacation by keeping the air booking and making it a land vacation instead of a cruise?
I'm very happy to read you're getting all your deposit money back.
When booking cruises this far in advance, over 6 months as was in this case, it's a good idea to figure out when the ship's next drydock is scheduled.
Evey cruise ship drydocks every two years for general maintenance and to maintain their certifications. If you don't see a two week break in the ship's schedule every two years, your cruise may be cancelled for a drydock at any time.
It was in the Spring 2004 when the POA last had a drydock, when the ex-Sky was remodeled into the POA. With that knowledge, an informed cruiser should have known that the POA had to have a drydock sometime during the Spring of 2006.
Drydocks are usually scheduled six to nine months in advance. Wait to book your cruise unto you discover when the required drydock is scheduled.
The problems that occured in this case was (1) you booked your cruise on a ship before NCL scheduled a drydock and (2) having to switch ships, and the ships aren't sister ships with the same number of cabins in each classification. The POA has 427 Inside Cabins, 572 Outside Cabins, 257 Cabins & Suites w/ verandas, and 14 Suites. The ship assuming additional passengers, the POAm has 229 Inside Cabins, 846 Outside Cabins, 706 Cabins & Suites w/ verandas, and 52 Suites.
You could probably still sail on her on near your selected date if you were willing to upsell to a higher class cabin. The POAm has 198 less Inside Cabins than the POA, there's no way it can assume all the POA Inside Cabin passengers on one sailing.
I'm sorry you can't be flexible with your vacation plans due to circumstances outside your control. I hope you find an alternate vacation for this May which you'll enjoy. Hopefully you will be able to reschedule another vacation and cruise to Hawaii soon.
"Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Forrest Gump
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