My wife and I booked a 10-day cruise with Oceania in February, 2014, along with two senior widows mainly because we had never been to Belize, Honduras or Guatemala, which were on the itinerary. We had cruised with Oceania once previously and found their onboard service very good.
We normally book our own flight a day in advance to avoid any flight problems.
However, Oceania included the airfare in our booking, citing in their brochure that they recommended this, and, if there were any problems, Oceania would solve them for us.
Well, we had problems, and they let us down. Not only that, they managed to get another $262. out of each of us in order for us to get to the ship.
Our flight was booked out of Edmonton at 12:15 AM MST on February 2, connecting in Toronto at 8:05 AM EST to arrive in Miami to board the ship.
The flight from Edmonton was late leaving, but still arrived in Toronto 40 minutes before the scheduled departure for Miami. However, we were met at the gate by Air Canada representatives saying we couldn't get on the flight to Miami, despite holding boarding passes issued in Edmonton. (Overbooked?) We protested, and were sent upstairs to an Air Canada desk to try to arrange an alternate flight.
They tried to get us to Atlanta, with a connection to West Palm Beach, but that didn't work and we were left with a late afternoon flight arriving in Miami after 7 PM.
We made 4 attempts to contact Oceania by phone while in Toronto, hoping to have them help us, but were constantly put on hold and no one ever spoke to us. (The Oceania brochure we were given gave two phone numbers, but their 800 number stated it was only valid in the USA) Our calls cost us $80.
On arrival in Miami, Air Canada had no idea where our luggage was, but they gave us a number to call the next morning. Air Canada did book a hotel for us for one night.
The next morning, we contacted Oceania. They tried to get us to Key West (first stop on the cruise) but we were told they were not allowed to board passengers there.
Our only alternative was to fly to Cancun, Mexico, (3rd day of the cruise) then to take a van ride to the ship which would be in Costa Maya. The catch to this was that while Oceania paid for the flight to Cancun, we would each have to pay an addition $262. to pay for the van. Not daring to go home and risk losing everything, we bowed to their alternative.
Oceania never contacted us in Miami where we had to book our hotel for an additional 2 nights. Constant calls to Air Canada failed to locate our luggage.
By the time we arrived at the ship, we had missed 3 full days of our 10-day cruise.
We were told to talk to the concierge about our problem. His first solution was to offer us FREE LAUNDRY!!
(This for people with no luggage) Then he said they would give us 25% off in the gift shop. We finally were given free e-mail connection to contact our travel agent and our families. The luggage never did catch up to us and it arrived back in Edmonton 3 days before we did.
We contacted both Air Canada and Oceania about our complaints when we got home.
It was our belief that we had a contract with Oceania to get us to the ship, and the problem with Air Canada was Oceania's problem.
Visa covered some of our expenses, and trip interruption insurance covered most of the hotel and meal expenses.
However, we lost 3 full days of our cruise, had to go without any of our luggage, which upset all of us.
Oceania thought they were being big-hearted by offering us $1,000. off our next cruise. Of course that would have meant us giving them another large sum of money to do this. They also suggested we should have carried more trip interruption insurance!!!
We have told many cruisers and travel people about this shabby treatment by a supposed upscale cruise line, and I don't think this has improved the image of Oceania.
My wife and I have done 33 cruises so far, and had several problems with luggage missing the ship, etc.
In every one of those cases the cruise line went out of their way to make us continue to use their services.
At the very least, we should have been repaid for the 3 days we missed and for the van ride.