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Old 06-15-2007, 01:04 PM
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This past weekend my wife and i never made our cruise for a number of reasons. The bulk of it comes back to Delta giving away our seats and shutting the gate to the plane in our face. Next plane out delayed and boat departed 45 minutes before we landed. Royal Carribean is taking the stance that it was not there fault. However, they booked our flights and connections. They will not refund us or give a credit for another cruise. We did not have travel insurance, we departed at the correct time, and made ever attempt to reach the boat in time. RCCL should have booked our flights a day in advance or made better efforts to get us to the ship in time. How do we get RCCL to compensate us for the trip. We want to be able to actually celebrate our one year Anniversary in the Bahamas, not our living room couch after 19 hrs of flying and airports!
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:11 PM
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You are not giving enough details. Why were your seats given away by Delta? And you state RCI made the air reservations....are you saying you booked an air/sea package with RCI? Specifically, what is RCI saying to you about their not being at fault? Did you use a travel agent or book directly with the cruise line? When you were not on the first flight, did you call your agent or the cruise line to update them on your flight status?

And for heaven's sake - you now know why it was really a bad idea to skip getting the insurance.
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:16 PM
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Is it possible you arrived at the gate too late? The airline policies have strengthened since 911, and you no longer can board at the last minute as in the past. Usually an airlines policy is onboard 15 minutes prior to departure, otherwise, your seat goes to standby passengers.
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:26 PM
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The airlines have an arival time at the gate requirement for every flight, normally an hour. They sell standby tickets for just such issues as no-shows and people late to the airport, etc.

Not accusing but asking... were you at the gate within the timeframe given on your docs? If not they had the right to offer those seats to another traveler. Insurance helps in cases where you were not negligent. Even if you'd purchased it and did not meet the recommended arrival times, your claim would be denied.

Everyone seems to believe that the cruiseline air package is a safer way to go than booking air on your own. They take no responsibility for the airlines delays/cancellations. Read the docs they send but nobody ever reads. They distance themselves from any liability/responsibility well and have good lawyers to back their position. The airlines do the same. I'm a believer in travel insurance for these and other reasons but the traveler has the ultimate responsibility to plan well for extra time getting to the airport and planning for delays for traffic, long lines, security, etc.

Again rwiebe13, not blaming you. Just wondering as I'm an agent and have similar situations more often than I'd like. Hoping I'm way off base and something else was the problem.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:37 PM
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I've never trusted the air/sea package. Lousy flights usually, unless you pay extra for a deviation, and as Neil notes - you are still at the mercy of the airline and other variables such as weather and air traffic issues.

My thinking is that the weakest link in getting to a cruise is the air (when needed). And I always prefer to take personal responsibility for the weakest link, since I am the one with the most to lose if that link fails. So going air/sea is not something we do. I book my own air and get to the port a day early. This is an unfortunately expensive lesson for the OP.
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:25 PM
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How long was the cruise? Why didn't you travel to the first port of call and embark there? If it was a short (4 day or less) cruise, then I could see this as not being worth the money, but for a long cruise it may have been. RCCL staff at the terminal should have been able to help there (not saying they would have paid for your travel, but they could have maybe arranged things.)

Many people miss the boat (as the saying goes). Trvlpro and Dave had great posts explaining the air travel mess, so I won't go into that.. but I was just curious as to why you didn't try to go meet the ship?
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Old 06-16-2007, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Everyone seems to believe that the cruiseline air package is a safer way to go than booking air on your own. They take no responsibility for the airlines delays/cancellations. Read the docs they send but nobody ever reads. They distance themselves from any liability/responsibility well and have good lawyers to back their position. The airlines do the same. I'm a believer in travel insurance for these and other reasons but the traveler has the ultimate responsibility to plan well for extra time getting to the airport and planning for delays for traffic, long lines, security, etc.
So let's change this situation a little. I have my flight through RCI and travel insurance. I'm at the airport/gate at the time I'm suppose to be and the flight is delayed. What are RCIs responsibilities, if any? Am I scrambling to find another flight? What if there aren't any? Does it then become my responsibility to get to the next port?
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:11 AM
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Here is an excerpt from the RCI website about their air arrangements:

"...once tickets have been issued it is the airlines responsibility to protect schedule changes resulting in misconnecting flights."

That pretty much sums it up for me. Now granted, RCI knows what flight you are supposed to be on and if at all possible they will delay departure of the ship within reason. But they cannot wait indefintely for you if your flight is delayed. My understanding (may be wrong) is that, for example, if you made it to Miami but the ship has already sailed then you are now going to have to pay to catch up to the ship. RCI will help arrange it but they have no obligation to pay for the extra airfares.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:32 AM
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I saw this gents post on a frequent flyer site too. From what I saw there they were delayed by weather more than once but the way I understood it was the air/sea package from RCCL.

In the end they finally arrived in Miami after the ship had left. Since it was RCCL air/sea I certainly hope he does see parts of his money again since they made the arrangements for same day arrival and RCCL should have been warned they have seen too many of their clients get bumped by Delta over the last couple of months.

They missed a connection because Delta gave up their seats to stand bye pax 20 min prior to SHEDUALED departure not actual departure - the plane was still at the gate with open doors when our members got to the gate. But Delta denied them boarding consequently I hope RCCL nails Delta too since they are aware of who they sell space to - Delta KNOW they are bumping cruise passengers causing huge losses.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Beers:
My understanding (may be wrong) is that, for example, if you made it to Miami but the ship has already sailed then you are now going to have to pay to catch up to the ship. RCI will help arrange it but they have no obligation to pay for the extra airfares.
That's my understanding, as well, based on experiences related to me by other cruisers. With the airline's help, they ended up catching a flight to Nassau (the first port of call), spent the night in a hotel, and boarded the ship when it arrived in Nassau later that day. Their travel insurance reimbursed them for their out-of-pocket expenses.

A few tips: First, work with the airline to get you on another flight. If you can't get to your original destination, go for the ship's first port of call. And CALL the cruise line as well, so they know that you have not cancelled -- and so that they know where you will be boarding. Save all receipts for out-of-pocket expenses as per your insurance policy.

Another reason to work with the airline is to ensure that your return trip remains intact. Many airlines will cancel the return flight if the outbound flight is not taken.

Also, be sure to have on you (and not in checked luggage) the following: cruise itinerary, cruise line 24-hour phone number, travel insurance company 24-hour phone number, and airline schedules to your embarkation port and first port of call (on your original airline as well as others -- they can sometimes work together).
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