I have cruised with Royal Caribbean a few times in the past and thought I would take my new fiance on his first cruise to celebrate our engagement. We saw a ship leaving out of Norfolk, VA and thought it was perfect so we wouldn't ... Read More
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean a few times in the past and thought I would take my new fiance on his first cruise to celebrate our engagement. We saw a ship leaving out of Norfolk, VA and thought it was perfect so we wouldn't have to fly. The day of, we had our family drop us off at the port and in the family frenzy, the porter took my fiances carry on bag with his passport inside. No more than five minutes went by before we told the people at the ship what happened and they told us not to worry because it happens all the time and they could bring us the bag in time for us to board the ship. Over two hours went by and by the time we were told that this was actually impossible, we were standing in the terminal watching the ship sail away.
We immediately got on the the phone with our travel agent and Royal Caribbean to see what could be done. Of course, after hours on hold and talking to multiple people, they said nothing. They wouldn't even let us talk to them directly without our agent on the phone! Long story short, after 5 people teamed up to try to get an answer, we got a letter stating that the only way for us to redeem out trip would be for it to meet it in the next port of call, San Juan. At our own expense of course. None of this was met with a kind word or an "I'm sorry for your situation" from the time we were at the pier to the time we arrived in San Juan.
To top it all off, we were NOT told that someone had gone in my fiance's bag to retrieve his passport and thought it had been lost when they transported it to the room, because it was in the outside pocket of his suitcase. But on the last day on the ship (which was not the greatest ship I've seen), we happened to run into the same crew member who we told about the passport issue in Norfolk and he said "Oh, yeah, hey man, I have your passport". Ridiculous!
How is it possible that you can hold on to someone's property and not tell them? Not to mention if we hadn't met the ship, they would have kept our bags on the ship and we would have had nothing. We saw them turn people away in Norfolk with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and their purses, and these people had no where to go. We were lucky in that we left out of our hometown and had family to stay with.
Admittedly, we have two things working against us, one being we booked through an agent and turned down the agent's insurance. However, we did learn after the fact that the insurance would not have covered our situation and we would have been out the money anyway.
Regardless, what is my ultimate concern is that you can keep people's money without providing them any kind of service. They made real money off of the three days we missed of our cruise and would have made more had we not showed up. Also, what makes it worse is when you encounter sour people with callous attitudes who put you on hold for minutes on end and respond flatly with the company line, "there's nothing I can do". If you're going to put me through a hassle, at least don't patronize me in the process. I have a good many years left in me of cruising, and from what I hear, RC doesn't want you on their boat if you are going to complain about anything, so so long Royal Caribbean! And you can bet, I've told this story to everyone I ran into who sails as well. Sorry to say.
And I guess I should say something about the cruise itself. The ship was okay. Wouldn't recommend it. Had some toilet problems, which happens I guess. In the public rooms and our room. Also, one of the ports, Samana in the DR was awful. Some of our cruise mates said they didn't feel safe. We were stuck on the excursion to nowhere, guess that was a blessing in disguise. I guess the silver lining is that we didn't get sick? That no one was hurt? If that's the best thing about the cruise then what does that tell you? Read Less