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Trip July 31st, 2011 10:48 AM

To whom it may concern, I have a

Have you ever written a letter of complaint to a cruise line? What did you complain about, and, do you feel, it was handled correctly, and, what was the outcome?

Many years ago now, I booked a cabin on an RCI ship. Once onboard, the cabin was obstructed. The brochure was not notated as such,and our ta, did not know this distinction either.

I wrote a nice letter about how I enjoyed my cruise but, letting them know,I wouldn't have booked this cabin had I known it was obstructed, and, how come it was not notated in the brochure.

I received a very nice letter back, stating that the current brochure was in the process of being printed, but, in the following brochure, obstucted cabins would now be noted. Included, with the letter was a $300.00 credit, which could be used as part of a deposit if I wished, which was unusual. I was very happy, about the notation, and the gift.

Paul has an article about how to write a letter of complaint, with some good rules to follow, to get the best result.

MercedMike July 31st, 2011 11:06 AM

In 44 cruises we have only had to write two letters of complaint. Both were done on board and handled on board.

The first was a specific shore excursions which had a specific list of what would be seen. When we took the excursion, it did not include one of the specific elements. We wrote to the shore excursion office on board (along with quite a few other people, apparently) and were promptly credited 1/3 of the cost of the excursion.

The other was an incident on boarding in Istanbul when my wife and her friend, along with another couple, were treated very rudely and inconsiderately. My wife wrote a complaint and got back a letter of "apology" which was actually a letter of justification. She was not very happy. Then later she ran into the other couple, and learned that they had gotten a plate of chocolate covered strawberries with their apology! The letter she wrote then did NOT follow Paul's guidelines! I am afraid it was more than a bit STRONG! Next day we got our strawberries too. ;)

Sistersolo July 31st, 2011 11:19 AM

On a Viking river cruise that was supposed to have assigned seating (because of multiple languages) the hotel manager told me that "Germans like assigned seating, so they get it on this side of the ship; Americans don't like it, so they find a spot on that side of the ship; and the English do as they're told." In addition, because my TA made an error and booked my flight home a day late, I could not use the $65 pre-paid airport transfer. In a cab the next day I learned that the fare from the dock to the airport was $15. I wrote mostly to get my $65 back, which they very promptly refunded; but by mail I also received a $500 voucher good on any cruise with them for the next 2 years.

KayAnnie July 31st, 2011 11:50 AM

From what I have read, and anyone feel free to correct me on this, you are wayyyy more likely to get satisfaction for an issue if you attempt to get it solved while still on the boat, rather than waiting to write a letter of complaint. I know John Heald is always talking about doing stuff for people he wouldn't normally do when they complain to him on the boat, just to get them out of his face. It seems that, in writing, they are very hesitant to admit any wrongdoing. I haven't had any experience with complaints (yet), so, again, feel free to correct me.

Trip July 31st, 2011 01:12 PM

Kay Annie, Absolutely, with any on board problems, attend to them immediately, and, document who you spoke to, if things are not corrected, and, you have to deal with the home office. Also, speaking to the correct person from a department, in context with the kind of complaint you have, eliminates alot of frustration.

TravlGrl August 1st, 2011 02:02 PM

Yes, I wrote a letter after a cruise once, and it resulted in a $400 OBC for our next cruise. We were satisfied with that.

We had purchased 3 bottles of rum in the gift shop. Upon payment, we were told (verbally) the staff would prepare the bottles for our checked luggage back home. Additionally, there was signage on the counter that said all liquor purchases are guaranteed to be packed and prepared for checked luggage. Yep, they used the word "guaranteed". Thirdly, the same verbiage on that countertop sign was ALSO printed in flyers from the gift shop that we received in our cabin. So, they were really pushing this guarantee.

Upon arrival to our home airport, we could smell rum on the baggage carousel. Yep, the bottles were NOT package securely, and had not only broken, but had leaked all over our luggage (and presumably over others' as well, though we couldn't confirm that).

Several items of clothing were ruined (the rum caused colors to run from fabric to fabric -- who knew?), as was the luggage itself.

My immediate phone call to the cruise line wasn't received well by the cruise line. In fact, the gal answering the phone was rude. I'll spare the details at this point.

My follow-up letter resulted in a phone call from a Director of (???) can't remember, but he told me verbally that we'd be receiving a $400 "Goodwill credit" aboard our next cruise. :)

green_rd August 1st, 2011 09:30 PM

We wrote once regarding water in our cabin - two decks up. We wrote not because it happened but because of the actions of the pursers' desk. We did receive a 10% discount on our next cruise.

We have also written to praise crew that provided excellent service when provided - and no comment card was made available.

Lakers Fan August 1st, 2011 10:50 PM

We complained about a problem on our last cruise .I posted about that on CM .The majority of people told me that I was lucky to get what I received but I've since spoken to other people who had a similiar situation and received 50% off a future cruise .

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