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Old September 26th, 2005, 12:24 AM
Little Red Little Red is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 28
Default Beware of pre-purchasing gift certificates

I made all the arrangements for my parents cruise. Several weeks before they departed I went to the Celebrity web site and found a link at the bottom of the home page that said "Shop Celebrity". I ended up ordering a $100 bar credit for them, as well as dinner for the two of them in the Olympic dining room ($30 per person). The woman on the phone said that the gift certificates would be in their cabin when they boarded. The $160 charge appeared on my credit card the day after the phone call. Before my parents left for the cruise, I got a funny feeling about the gift certificates so I wrote a letter to my parents stating exactly what I had purchased for them and put it in a sealed envelope and told them only to open the envelope once they were in their cabin. Well wouldn't you know it - in their cabin is a certificate for ONE person for dinner, and $100 CASINO credit. My parents don't gamble, and I would never pay for only one of them to go to dinner. Armed with the letter that I had written them, my mother went to the purser's desk to straighten the problem out. They were unco-operative and insisted that I had ordered a casino credit and dinner for one. My mother decided to let it be, and worry about it after they got home. During the cruise, they accidentally found out that they could go to the casino, get the cash from the casino credit, and just go put it on their on-board account and that is what they did. When making their reservation for the Olympic dining room they mentioned the gift certificate screw up and the person taking their reservation actually did some legwork for them and determined that I had indeed bought dinner for both of them.

When I phoned Celebrity customer service the following week, I spoke with the most unbelievably rude person. She asked if my parents ended up getting what I had paid for, and I said yes they did. She then stated that they got what I paid for, so what exactly is my problem. I was dumbfounded at her response. I am kicking myself now, but that was the end of it. I just let it go.

All I wanted was to do something nice for my Mom and Dad, but next time I will have to think of another way of doing so. Obviously I won't be relying on Celebrity to help me out.

BTW - My Mom and Dad had the time of their lives, they haven't stopped talking about it and I have booked them on another Celebrity cruise this December - a 14 night Panama Canal. Two cruises in one year - they are finally spending my inheritance!
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