My wife and I were passengers aboard the Celebrity Summit for the recent Soul Train Cruise. I say cruise, but unfortunately it was a boat ride to Mexico due to the ship not being fir for purpose for 5 out of the 7 days of the trip. Having ... Read More
My wife and I were passengers aboard the Celebrity Summit for the recent Soul Train Cruise. I say cruise, but unfortunately it was a boat ride to Mexico due to the ship not being fir for purpose for 5 out of the 7 days of the trip. Having spent in the region of $14,000 dollars to fund the trip of a lifetime, I got a trip to Mexico, which I could have done for considerably less from the UK (in the region of $3,000. As you can imagine, I am seeking considerable compensation for the lack of ability by Celebrity Cruises to provide Starvistalive with what we agreed for the $8,000 we paid.
Here is a chronologically catalogued explanation of why:
4th March 2017:
Boarded ship and left Everglades Port, Fort Lauderdale slightly behind schedule but not significantly late at this point.
Overnight voyage, heading at this point for Belize, which was atrocious; the sea was rough and the listing of the ship was severe; this transpired to be exacerbated by the lack of speed due to a major propulsion fault with the ship, shortly after leaving port.
5th March 2017:
Informed of a change to the itinerary due to propulsion fault. The ship was now heading straight for Cozumel for investigatory work alongside.
At this point we were reasonably content as the seas had calmed, the food was very good and the entertainment exceeded our expectations. The drinks package was also good, but expensive, BUT I was disappointed that 2 hours of free drinks were given to all passengers when the first port of call was announced as cancelled; this was of zero benefit to me and my wife as we each had premium drinks packages..
6th March 2017:
Ship arrived in Cozumel for inspection. Going ashore in Mexico was never appealing to either of us, but we went around the port shops for around an hour before re-boarding the ship. We started to notice the general tiredness of the ship and I have a picture of the rusty state of the handrails at the rear of the ship, by the ocean restaurant on deck 10.
The majority of people we met on board were absolutely friendly and not at all wary of our colour (white European) and, whilst the majority of the acts I came to see were very good, there were a few acts that came across as less than politically correct, appearing to be racially opposed to my wife and my presence on what was a celebration of black music; a celebration that Robert Bell, Peabo Bryson, The Commodores and Thelma Houston all managed to convey sensitively.
7th March 2017:
Informed by the Captain that the ship’s propulsion problem was worse than he had hoped and that we would be staying in Cozumel until 9th March 2017 to get the issue sorted; the planned visit to Grand Bahama was therefore cancelled. The $500 compensation given, along with the return of our beach excursion fees, when the second port of call was cancelled does not go anywhere near the compensation I feel is warranted. How can a flat fee for all be equitable, when everybody paid different amounts for different standards of cabin?
The free drinks and food are an insult when I paid so much for my cruise, inclusive of food, and an additional $1,000 plus for a premium drinks package for both myself and my wife. In addition, some people were openly abusing their drinks billing and I felt that I was subsidising this due to the lack of control of this practice; why should I be penalised for playing by the rules?
8th March 2017:
Still alongside in Cozumel as the ship was still not fit for purpose.
Now the Starvistalive compare tells us how lucky we are to be looked after so well and that the Captain was not prepared to bodge the ship up with tape to get us back, we were going to get a certified safety certificate to leave port from the U.S. Coastguard; IS THIS NOT THE BASIC MINIMUM I COULD REASONABLY EXPECT? When my wife queried the sensitivity of this flippant remark, the Starvistalive compare threatened to call security to have her removed from the auditorium; not a justified or appropriate response and I complained to the Starvistalive desk and the Celebrity Cruise desk at the earliest opportunity.
9th March 2017:
Finally the ship leaves port in Mexico for 2 hours of sea trials. Still not fit for purpose and no guarantee of getting back to Florida.
10th March 2017:
Ship travels at full speed back to Fort Lauderdale. Please tell me why we arrived back at Fort Lauderdale early (0430) and from a northerly direction? Please explain why the only channel on the TV not working for the last 24 hours of the cruise was the one showing the ship’s position? I questioned this on board and did not get a satisfactory answer; I also made it clear that I felt the ship was not fit for purpose for 5 of the 7 days.
11th March 2017:
Arrive back at Everglades port at around 0430.
So this begs the following questions, which I feel Starvistalive should be reasonably expected to answer to my satisfaction following Celebrity Cruises’ position of “deal with Starvistalive”:
1. What constitutes a cruise please? In my opinion this wasn’t a Caribbean cruise, it was a boat trip to Mexico; changing the itinerary is one thing, cancelling all port visits bar an extended one to fix the ship is not in the spirit of the terms and conditions.
2. If our safety was so important, the Captain should have returned to port as soon as the issue occurred instead of subjecting us to a torturous journey down to Cozumel?
3. Given that the ship was unserviceable for 5 days, I would expect 5/7th of my fare back (approx $5,500). Having said that, there were some positive elements (artists and food) so half of my money back would be a reasonable settlement. This would require a further refund of $3,000 to add to the $1,000 already paid to make up the $4,000 (50%). Why is Starvistalive refusing to correspond with me or answer any of my questions? Read Less