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Old May 26th, 2008, 01:25 PM
jzozzaro jzozzaro is offline
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Thanks for the reply FL_Cruiser64. I appreciate your comments and your perspective on things. I am not one of those "rabble rousers" who make posts to stir up trouble and I did not have any particular destructive agenda when I made my original post. I am glad you recognize that. I have seen the changes in cruises over the years, as you stated. The first cruise I ever went on was with my wife, 25 years ago for our honeymoon. It was on RCI and the experience was great. We had a tiny little cabin (my feet stuck off the bed and into the bathroom - just kidding). This first cruise, as I stated in my other post, endeared us to cruising and since this first cruise we have sailed on about 7 other cruises (RCI, NCL, Disney) with our children and relatives. I do recognize that different cruise lines or even certain itineraries cater to a particular crowd - adults, singles, children, families, etc. When choosing a cruise we try to keep that in mind.

I guess when looking at a cruise I compare it to a floating hotel. Maybe like a hotel, cruise ships have different ratings (1 star, 2 star, etc.). As a floating hotel, there can be flaws in accommodations, service, etc. There have been times when I have stayed at a highly rated hotel and there was something wrong with the accommodations like the plumbing, room, heat, air conditioning, etc. There have also been service problems. When I did mention my issue to the hotel manager or staff, they fixed them immediately and in two cases, I was moved into a different room because the problem could not be resolved (one of those time they upgraded me to a nicer room becasue they felt bad). There was also one time when I received a $100 credit voucher toward a future stay. I would say in all my years of travel (business and personal) I have only pointed out a problem or issue to the hotel staff 4 times. Certainly when there are plumbing or heating/cooling problems, these cannot be ignored and you have to say something.

If I were to compare the cruise ship to a hotel, then I would say that if I point out to the staff on a ship a problem like I experienced and spoke about in previous posts, I would expect them to fix it. Having said this and now learning more due to the posts made by others to my comments, I realize that the changes I needed made to our bathroom could not be made due to the age of the ship. Since cruise lines are probably not as flexible as land based hotels when it comes to room availability, they probably could not move me and my family to another cabin, but that would have been nice and in line with what a hotel would have done.

I am not one who goes out of my way to find the smallest problem and then make an issue out of it. Most of the time I just shrug it off and forget about it. I have no tolerance or respect for people who do nothing more than look for problems wherever they go just to get something free out of it. That was not my intention with my post or my initial complaint made to RCI. Also, on this cruise we were sailing with another family who had never been on a cruise before. I spoke highly of cruising and highly of RCI. I guess in addition to being disappointed myself based on what we all experienced on the RCI cruise, I also felt badly that the first cruise experience for this family I directed toward this cruise - this ship and RCI, was not as positive as my first cruising experience.

I guess what really bothered me the most was how RCI handled/responded to my complaint. As I said, I view the cruise as a floating hotel and would expect them to react to a complaint such as mine in a nature similar to that of a highly rated hotel. I felt my complaint was basically dismissed and to be honest, that really bothered me. I did not demand any outrageous compensation or resolution. My complaint was brought to their attention both on the ship and then within 3 days of our return home. The response I received from RCI was not what I envisioned I would receive from a company who really felt bad that my experience was not up to their advertised standards, or from a company who really wanted my future business (not that losing my business would put them in any financial distress).

I guess after seeing this message board I still had some unresolved feelings about my situation and that is what caused me to post what I did on this board. As far as the comment regarding other cruise lines compensation, I only stated in my last post what I have read on other message boards concerning compensation (such as discount vouchers or some dollar value provided toward a future cruise). Since I do not expect to complain when travelling or cruising, I have never really looked into what type of compensation I can receive if I am not satisfied. I guess you can call this naive, but then if I was interested in learning what I could get from someone who did not meet my expectations, then I guess I would just be setting myself up to be unhappy right from the start.

Thank you FL_Cruiser64 and everyone else who provided me with a different view of things (since there is usually more than one way to look at a given situation). I have learned a few things in this newest posting experience. Maybe in the future my plans will take me to RCI again (certainly this posting has provided a "flushing out" of my ill feelings toward them). I could "lick my wounds" quicker if they had just responded to my complaints about accommodations and service as though they really cared that I was unhappy and that they really wanted me to come back to them for future cruises.

Happy cruising to all of you in your future cruises. Travel safe. Who knows - maybe someday you will see a positive RCI post from me in the future (make sure you are sitting down - just joking).
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