Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed hopeful, the booking process was relentlessly stressful and needless to say we will probably not be booking again. Our sales rep was helpful up until he made the sale. Once we made our deposit, he had disappeared without a trace. I left several voicemails as well as numerous emails with questions regarding our trip as I had been a first time cruiser. He never returned one voicemail or one email to this day. The final payment process became even more strenuous when we realized the due date to be paid in full was within the week.
Regardless of the lack of help from our sales rep, we paid based on the invoice sent. The month before our sail date, I called him again to inquire about a shuttle from Houston airport to the Galveston port. I was met with quite the shock to find out that Royal Caribbean had decided to cancel our cruise due to a remaining balance. Immediately I pressed zero to speak to ANY representative in order to correct this horrible mistake. I had not received any cancellation notice via email and I was in complete horror that our vacation was canceled. After an hour of being transferred to at least 3 people, I learned that our sales rep had added a vacation protection plan which was Not included on the only invoice that he emailed me.
Therefore, we never knew we had a remaining balance and were extremely frustrated how Royal Caribbean had handled our situation. Not once was there an apology but rather blame on the us, the customer, for not knowing. Finally after 90 minutes of pleading with the customer service department, I spoke with Geneva Harrison and Samantha Koomen who were both a breath of fresh air and the glimpse of hope that rescued our vacation. These 2 ladies exuded empathy by pausing to reflect our feeling of distress and offered a solution.
Although it wasn't ideal, they were able to apply our penalty to the cruise originally booked and I paid the difference in full over the phone. We couldn't get the original price so I paid the rack rate. The additional amount of money spent could have paid for a second cruise however I was completely grateful for the two women that owned the situation and were willing to come up with a recovery solution. These two individuals should be recognized for their distinct skill set that includes positivity, empathy, patience and professionalism which defines customer service.
We were anxious as our sail date approached; hoping that we wouldn't deal with any other problems. Boarding the ship was a smooth process however the guest service/ front desk team on the ship was a mirror image of the phone operators with misinformation. Every employee at the desk gave us a different answer to the same question asked about gratuities and beverage packages. We decided that it would just be best to avoid speaking to guest services and book with another cruise line next time. When we were allowed to go to our cabins, we were informed that one of our suit cases was misplaced and would be sent to the room later in the evening around 7pm. Trying to maintain a calm attitude, our day 1 of our 7 day cruise seemed to start off disappointing.
Needless to say, we were not impressed with setting sail with Royal Caribbean however we met some employees on the Navigator of the Seas that are worth mentioning. These team members brightened our day daily and Royal Caribbean should be honored to have such employees aboard their ship. Shauna and Jakob in the windjammer cafe were a great start to our morning. They were always cheerful and even if we were unable to find a seat in their section, they would find us and make sure we had our coffee and excursions set for the day. Bernadette, Gilberto, Dean, Agnelo and Bobie were absolutely delightful during our evening dinners in the Sapphire room. We never could pick who would serve us each night because each person brought a unique exuberant attitude to our dining experience. We loved our dinner conversations with each waiter and seating host as we learned about their hometowns and family life. It made the vacation more personal and created unforgettable connections. Lastly our room attendant Tanoe was fabulous. He conversed with us multiple times a day to ensure our stay was beyond expectation.
Working for a hotel, I know the importance of the operations team. They run the property/ ship and are the face of the company. These employees operated their functions with pride and perfection as mere advocates for the enjoyment of their guests. None of them knew the experience we had booking the vacation however each of them created new memories and new loyalties to the Royal Caribbean family. Although Royal Caribbean has room for improvement, their employees on their ship make the vacation worth while.
We boarded in Galveston - very easy to get to from the airport
Beach was beautiful and the different fish swam right up to usView All 485 Snorkeling Reviews
Stayed in town - not very impressed by the port
Honduras was absolutely beautiful. West bay - Henry Morgan beach was the best way to end the cruise. Planning a vacation just to Honduras based on out experience here. Love love love!View All 460 Beach Reviews