My Step mom, sister and I booked a 3-day cruise to the Bahamas with Royal Caribbean using a local travel agent. We had the cruise line book our flight (they used US Airways) and we also took out the insurance. We were scheduled to fly out on Friday, January the 13th at 7:40 a.m. we had a stop over in Charlotte, NC and schedule to arrive in Miami at 1:30 p.m. Where a Royal Caribbean representative was to meet us and take us to the boat. That would be leaving port at 5:00 p.m.
We were sitting in the back of the plane and the pilot came on the intercom stating that the plane had a flat tire and they didnít have a spare. We were instructed to get off the plane and line up at the gate counter, so we could be rescheduled to another flight. The first thing I did was called our travel agent and told them what was going on. He told me there was a 9:15 a.m. flight on another airline. I tried to go ahead in line and explain that we were catching a cruise boat, but of course was told to get back in line. I informed the travel agent that we had about 30 people ahead of us in line and we would never be able to make the 9:15 and he said we should try for the 10:30 a.m. that would get us to Miami by 4:30 p.m. By the time we got to the front of the line it was already 10:30 and there were no flights that could get us to Miami to catch the boat.
We were then informed that we would only be getting a 75% cruise voucher as a refund. Because they said that the reason we cancelled wasnít a listed reason. We have been letting the travel agent try to resolve this for 2 months now and I was wondering what if any legal recourse we have to get a 100% cruise voucher. We are not asking for our money back, we just want to reschedule our cruise at no extra cost to us. We never took our scheduled flight that day, so Royal Caribbean, who scheduled our flights, should be able to get us new air without any cost. Any advise on how to resolve this would be appreciated.
Are you 100% certain that your air was booked by the cruise line? Everything is electronic ticketing now. Was your air schedule printed in the spiral bound book you get from RCL? If the ticket was issued by Royal Caribbean then they should have been contacted when you had the delay. Your Travel Agent should have assisted you with that matter by calling RCI for you. If RCI was never contacted that day then they probably assumed you just cancelled for "other reasons". Their insurance states if you cancel for "other reasons" you may be eligible for cruise credit up to 75%.
I am very sorry this happened to you. While it isn't always possible, I try to fly in the day before a cruise to avoid problems such as yours. Also in the future ask about a third party insurance instead of the cruise lines insurance. Third party insurance such as Travel Guard or Travel Assured. From what you wright it sounds like your Travel Agent may have been just looking in his computer and telling you what flights there were. It doesn't sound like he called the cruise line and was getting instructions from them. That is why I asked are you 100% certain the cruise line issued your tickets.
Yes, I'm 100% certain that the cruise line booked our flight. It was printed in the spiral book. Our travel agent did call Royal Caribbean right away to let them know what was going on and they were informed we needed to get reschedule by the airline. Of course with the airlines all cutting back on flights we couldn't get one to meet the ship. They offered to fly us to Nassau, Bahamas to meet the ship which was our second port, because the first port was Coco Cay (Private island) but then we would have been paying a lot of money for a 1 day cruise.
If I had know about third party insurance I would have gone that way, but I just did what the travel agent instructed me to do. They certainly made it seems like booking your flight through Royal Caribbean was the way to go. We hadn't been on a cruise before so we just did what we were told. Do you think it is fair that we are only getting a 75% trip voucher? What do you think we can do to fix this problem?
Just my opinion. No, I don't think this sounds fair. The cruise line offered you a way to get to the cruise. But under the circumstances of it being a short cruise you turned it down. Which is understandable. I would think the cruise line would have offered you a rebate of your unused portion. But it sounds like maybe you weren't aware of that. I assume your travel agent wrote a letter on your behave. But they probably sent it to Customer Relations. You could write a nice letter yourself to the President of Royal Caribbean International, Adam Goldstein. Explain to him all the details, and why you turned down the offer to join the ship in Nassau. Tell him that you would like to sail again on RCI, that you are not expecting cash but a full future cruise credit. He may just pass it on to someone. But sometimes when you go right to the top it gets more attention. But keep your letter civil. It rarely pays to get angry. You should have their address in your documents. It usually can take 6-8 weeks to hear anything. Good-Luck
DON'T GIVE UP! Last April my wife and I were scheduled on RCCL's Raphosdy out of Galveston. My mother in law fell a broke her hip a week before the cruise. We had insurance with RCCL but we booked American Airlines on our own. We got a full refund from RCCL's insurance but lost out on the Air fare unless we book another flight within a year. It took about 8 weeks before we got our refund. You did the right thing by booking the air fare with RCCL. We always take one or two pre-cruise days.