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Old 04-21-2008, 10:16 PM
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I dont know if its petty or not, but I just left a 7 day cruise on Voyager of the Seas. I know its a quite lengthy post, but I shortened it as much as I could. Advice will be greatly appreciated.

My 90 year old grandparents were my transport to and from the terminal. I called RCI 3 weeks before the cruise and explained that I needed to be through Customs before noon, because they were going out of town.

I was told to ask the Pursers Desk once on-board and they could get me out early (I had too much luggage to carry off by myself).

I go to the Purser's Desk and they refused to change my time because I didnt have a flight, even though Crown and Anchor said they would. He did offer the suggestion that I get a porter and tell the porter I was pushed for time and they would help me get through faster.

They called our color group at 10:15AM. It was 12:30 before the line made it into the area where the luggage was. I went to the porter line, already past my goal of 12:00PM.

A Royal Caribbean employee walked up and said it would be a 30 minute wait for a porter because they were all sent to help the people board that had come early for the next cruise. There were still hundreds of us that hadnt been through customs yet.

This irritated me, along with a minor problem with an excursion guide abandoning us at Dunns River Falls in Montego Bay. I know RCI isnt responsible for that, but they need to know what happend so they can get the tour operator to correct it in the future.

I called Crown and Anchor and they were horrified about those 2 problems, and because the 'Loyalty Ambassador' refused to book a transatlantic cruise for me. She said I wouldnt fit in with the 'demographics' of the guests on the ship. So I couldnt book the big trip for my cousin's 21st birthday.

Crown and Anchor gave me a number to call for "Past Cruise Comments". The woman that answered the phone was beligerent and RUDE. She deeply offended me. She made a comment about how my male 'cousin' and I travel alot and maybe they just didnt want that 'type of stuff' on the transatlantic. She also said, "You should have known how you would be dealth with at the terminal, you have cruised with us before."

Maybe I am being Petty and took it way too personal, but I am extreemly offended. I called Crown and Anchor again to address it and the lady was just beside herself with disbelief and she apologized and was genuinely concerned.

She gave me the address to send a letter to the Executive Offices and said she would escalate the issue to her Supervisor when she comes back on Wednesday.

I am debating on whether I should send the letter or not. The ship and ship personnell were EXCELLENT. The Captain sat with my cousin and I for an hour in the schooner bar, he had recognized us from the Crown and Anchor reception. He even gave me a free drink (my cousin is 20, so he didnt get one). It was the RCI shore personnell that were so terribly bad. I was treated in a similar manner when I tried to book with Carnival in 2007, and I told them then that I would NEVER sail with Carnival.

I like Royal Caribbean alot, and I do not want a bad reputation with them; however, I want some sort of action on this behavior. I am not looking for money or anything like that, I just want to be treated the way I treat them and their employees/crew.

I look forward to the time I can spend with my family and friends and wanted a really nice trip next year and in the near future. 6 weeks ago I was told I may not live more than another 5 years (to the age of 30). I want to see as many things, and meet as many different people and cultures as I can. I am just dumbfounded

So should I send a letter expressing my concerns. and potentially cause RCI to like black list me? Or should I just let it go?

Thanks for listening (reading) my rant.
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:40 AM
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Hi JasonCPht, sorry to hear of your problems. I don't know why the Loyalty Ambassador would refuse to book your upcoming cruise. I cannot believe anyone would say that you didn't fit the demographics. I don't know why they wouldn't accomodate your request to be off the ship at an earlier time. You don't have to have a flight in order to get a different debarkation time. You will not be black listed for writing a letter. Royal may be like a lot of cruise lines, where the shore personnel are not true employees of the cruise line. They are, however, suppose to represent the cruise line. You should write a letter to the contact that the Crown and Anchor representative gave you. Keep it as concise as possible. State that you did have a marvelous cruise, that the crew members with the exception of the Loyalty Ambassador were outstanding. Explain that you're not looking for compensation, but that you would like them to rectify their problems before you cruise with them again.

I can totally understand wanting to see as many things as you can. I am undergoing cancer treatment and have no idea what the outcome will be. I do know, we were never promised tomorrow, so do try and make the most of today. I will keep you in my prayers and encourage you to write that letter today. Your letter may make someone elses experience that much better.

I am so very glad that the rest of the cruise was a success and I see it didn't deter you from going on another one, which is wonderful.

Best wishes and hope to see you on board one day soon!
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:05 AM
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Jason,

Shore operations has always been a weak point for RCI, but this your situation is over-the-top. If I had anything to do with it, I'd fire the loyalty ambassador as well as the employee who insinuated you had something going on with your cousin.

I urge you to send the letter.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:59 AM
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In January a group of about 2500 men and 23 women booked a cruise on the Liberty with RCCL. They were a special interest cruising group--Atlantis. Atlantis is a group for Gay and Lesbian individuals. I am in no way implying anything about you and your cousin, but a business venture who can accommodate this special interest group to their satisfaction--well I would not expect them to bat and eye at any couple or family who wishes to spend their money with them. I can't believe it would even come up. This has to be a bias displayed by one person who has their own problems.

I hope that you give RCCL another chance. I would write the letter--Kill them them with kindness if you desire to maintain this business relationship, but don't pass a chance to bring erroneous treatment to management's attention. I hope that you get to see lots of glorious things in the coming years! Your are in our prayers.

I have felt, however, that those people in guest relations (who admittedly see the worse side of the traveling public) do not display the same level of customer focus other personnel on the ships do. My husband uses the word "snippy" about them.

Last cruise a guy was insisting on getting the customer loyalty gift for Crown & Anchor cruisers. He felt he should have it as he paid a fuel surcharge.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:55 AM
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Jason, I'd write the letter. Being kind is imperative otherwise it will probably not even be read in its entirety and you'll get a form letter response they send to the hundreds of complaints they recieve each week. All the cruiselines get a massive volume of complaints each week and the folks with the unenvyable job of handling them can get quite jaded in a very short time, I would too. I'm just glad I'm not in that end of this business, its got to be among the worst jobs imaginable. The vast majority of complainers are professionals at complaining and seldom have legitimate issues. They're trying to get a sympathy hand out of a refund, onboard credit, future cruise credit or some other compensation from a large faceless corporation they feel can afford to give them something for complaining. It really is a shame there are so many of these people out there. When a legitimate issue develops that really does deserve these folks attention it can be hard to tell if its real. As a result those who deserve to be heard get the same treatment as the whiners trying to scam the system.

I wish you the best with the outcome but I don't think I'd dwell on it past writing the letter. You may not ever get satisfaction over any of the issues. Start planning your next cruise, that has a way of easing the frustration of a poor experience on the last. Never expect that the cruiselines, any of them, will handle special requests well. They deal well with the masses but are very poor at dealing with individual circumstances. Pack lightly so your fate is somewhat in your hands for disembarkation on future cruises. They have procedures and going outside them is dificult. Without a flight itin they don't honor early departure requests on the ship, no matter what someone in the office assures you of. If they didn't have this policy they would have far more early departure requests than they could accommodate. Never trust anything you're ever told verbally by anyone at an office onshore! The staff onboard the ship and at the pier is under different command than the personel you're speaking with.

Good luck with the letter and best wishes with your medical condition. A friend of mine was given 6 months to live 15 years ago and I had a beer with him last week. At his last Dr's visit he told the DR he was planning on being a pawl bearer at his (the Dr's) funeral.

Cheers, Neil
 
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