My wife and I did a back to back cruise this past month, and in the beginning of the second week, our laptop was stolen from our stateroom.
While security worked hard, and eventually recovered our computer from a crew member's room 5 days later, the damage was done. Obviously, it was difficult to relax and enjoy the cruise once we were violated. And,to add insult to injury, the thief had deleted our pictures and files. The cruise hotel manager displayed a callous disregard to our plight, not even offering a bouquet of flowers. Considering we spent $9000 on these 17 days, you would think we deserved something.
While my wife wanted to make a public outcry during the remainder of the cruise to shame them into action, I talked her out of it, assuming that good behavior would count toward something. Maybe they would comp us for the cruise, or offer us a free cruise in the future?
I was dead wrong. The only thing we got from Princess was a phone call apology from some low level clerk in customer service. I eventually sent an email to senior management at Princess and Carnival, but I have not even received an acknowledgment from them.
Short of hiring a lawyer, could some folks please recommend a course of action that could lead to some form of compensation?
While I feel sorry for your loss of pictures and files, I assume your laptop was not in your cabin safe since they are not large enough to hold one. Section 14 of the Passenger Contract states that the Company is not responsible for valuables that are not in your posession, in your cabin safe, or in a safe deposit box in the office. And even then, their liability is very limited.
If the photos are important to you, take your laptop to a good computer shop. Even Best Buy can recovery files. It is not real cheap, but it might save your vacation images.
We had to recover some images from a hard drive that were deleted by mistake. It cost about $100.00.
I would be surprised if Princess does nothing. If they caught a crew member with the laptop, I would think they would offer some form of compensation, even tho they are not required to do so.
BTW welcome to cruise chat.
I was going to say the same thing - the files often are not really deleted although you might think they are. Most often they can be recovered.
That is really all I'd expect Princess to do - cover the cost of recovering the missing photos and files. If you approach them with that I think they might agree. Asking for big compensation is not going to go anywhere. You got the laptop back. They are not going to comp the whole cruise or offer other forms of major compensation. A lawyer won't bother with this either. It isn't worth the time and trouble. Just remember that every cruise line has a whole office floor of lawyers who are salaried and you don't.
If you do a search for recovery software you will get several products. Most of them have a free trail. Looks like you run the software then it somehow shows you what it has found. If it finds the images you want, you then have to pay for the software key to unlock the software and download the images. Might be worth a try.
I know that any recovery software takes a while to run. When we had to pay to recover files it the computer was running close to 48 hours. In our case we were looking for images so that is all they scanned for. We also knew the date they were shot and stored on the computer. They wanted that information.
This weekend I might download one of the products and try it out on my laptop, just for fun.
I guess we tend to forget or overlook sometimes since we are on a cruise that we don't need to take the same precautions as we would if we were on land somewhere vacationing or staying in a hotel...I do hope that you recover what was deleted and that you do get a better apology from Princess soon.
I just curious as to what ship this occurred on, not that it couldn't have happened on any ship. We leave our camera's, GPS unit, ipod, etc out all the time but I'm going to limit their exposure time from now on and charge them at night only.
It seems a stupid that this guy would jeopardize his job for stealing a laptop when it couldn't have been anyone else who could have taken it. Not to smart.
Give this free program a shot. Who knows if it'll get back most of your photo's but it might providing they haven't been overwritten yet.
We have dinner once a month with some friends. Play a few games tell a few lies ect. I talked to our friend Rob about this. He is a lawyer (Real Estate). He was surprised that Princess would admit that one of their employees took the laptop. According to him that makes a big difference.
Your post does not say if it was a crew member assigned to your room, but that really does not matter. In your cabin one as the assumed right of security. Princess is 100% wrong and liable. With that said their is little you can do.
The best thing you can do is send a certified letter to Princess. Go over the chain of events. Then tell them what you would like them to do. If you do not over demand you might be surprised what you get.
Hiring a lawyer will cost you a lot of money with very little return. Trying to find a News Reporter wanting to air you case will be almost impossible, unless they are doing a related report.
Messaging on all the boards, or putting up a You Tube video might open yourself to legal action. Can you prove the crew member took it? Did they put anything in writing or just tell you. If nothing is in writing, it is your word against theirs.
I would fire off a well worded letter. It would not hurt to talk about a few of the good highlights of the cruise that you did enjoy.
Over the years I have had our house broken into, and a car stolen. I know the feeling you must have. I hope you can get some comfort knowing they caught the guy. They never caught the person who broken into our house.
I take a lot of photos while on vacation. All the images are put on my laptop. I also carry a PSD (portable storage device). It is nothing more than a small hard drive. I have never been worried about thief. I worry about hard drive failure, accidental lose. I always carry the drive in a different case that my laptop or camera gear.
Another thing I do is keep a list of serial and model numbers, plus a photo of my gear. I use gmail, one of its features is Google docs. I have all the information logged in there. All you have to do is find a place to log on to the net and you can give the police, insurance or who ever a complete list and images of the gear. I always make sure I have registered the product, that way the Maker also has a record of who owns it. In other words I leave a paper trail back to me.
Hi dcholakian, welcome to Cruise-Chat! Sorry to hear about your problem. Princess is not going to return your cruise fare, you did indeed receive what your contract was for, a b2b cruise. I am very glad they caught the thief. I am truly surprised anyone on board would jeopardize their job for a laptop that can be purchased so inexpensively. You can rest assured that the person who did violate you is no longer working for the cruise line.
Gary has some sound advice. Do not send a letter that is threatening, do not stipulate that they should compensate you. They may pay for your data recovery, if you word the letter properly.
I do hope the rest of the cruise was satisfactory and that you do not hold the entire cruise line at fault for the actions of one stupid individual. Best wishes!
I have been thinking about this today and trying to put myself in your place, dcholakian. Having the laptop stolen and then missing for five days had to have been terribly stressful. Once it was returned, particularly with data missing, I don't know how a person could just automatically say "oh, well", and continue the cruise as though nothing happened.
I think Princess should pay for the recovery of data. But I also feel that, basically, a week of your vacation was spoiled because of a theft by their employee. You should have received a sympathic ear by the cruise hotel manager as well as some kind of compensation. It was a goodwill opportunity that he missed.
My husband and I have learned a lesson from this. Gary and RichC have made some good suggestions that we will try to remember.