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Old August 25th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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Default Two Cruise Lines Different Reactions to Stranded Passengers in San Juan

Due to the approaching Hurricane Irene the Port Authority in San Juan, Puerto Rico ordered the Carnival Victory, and Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas to leave the port early.

RCI had about 150 passengers who hadn't boarded the ship. Carnival had almost 3 times that many.

RCI passengers arriving at the pier after the ship sailed were given the names of available hotels, and had to pay their own expenses for hotels and flights to meet the ship in the next port of call (except those who had booked RCI air package).

Carnival arranged complimentary accomodations for all their stranded passengers for 2 nights (no matter where they booked their air package), as well as flights to meet the ship later.

While I'm sure there will be some disgruntled passengers in both groups, it certainly seems that Carnival went above and beyond what their cruise contract called for, while RCI stuck to the corporate policy.

Interesting?
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Old August 25th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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Disgusting treatment by RCL. Everytime they get an opportunity to step up to the plate on customer service they turn around and give their passengers the middle finger. After the Century debacle last year and now this, who'd trust them? I don't sail on Carnival, but a big thumbs up from me. They keep proving that they actually care about what happens to their customers.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 12:58 PM
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This is bad PR for RCI. So, if you didn't us RCI choice air program or book your cruise directly thru them, u were out of luck. That is not right. I also read a horror story of RCI stranding passengers last month in Gribralter, UK.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 01:41 PM
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Kudo's to Carnival and a thumbs down to RCI.....I can just image both sets of cruisers chit chatting, realizing how some were getting the shaft, and, some getting ready to get comfy for free.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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To be clear, contractually both cruise lines had no obligation to do anything more than Royal Caribbean did. Carnival made the "out of the box" decision to do more.

But this circumstance, once again, demonstrates another reason travel insurance is a neccesity!

Plus, the only caveat on Carnival's offer to their passengers was it was ncessary for those taking advantage to be carrying a valid passport!

On Caribbean cruises beginning and ending in the US passports are NOT a requirement. But in a situation (like this) where you might find yourself stranded without a passport your ability to travel can be severly restricted. Another teachable moment me thinks.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 02:24 PM
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I continue to be impressed with Carnival's reactions to emergencies. This is yet another example of them going above and beyond.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 02:38 PM
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Definitely a thumbs up to Carnival and thumbs down to RCI. Carnival knew that there was nothing they could do but leave San Juan when told they had to and that unfortunately many passengers had not yet arrived and so they really stood up to help their customers. Them requiring the passengers to have passports was something that really they had to do as they knew there would be problems without when returning to San Juan for those people.

RCI also knew there was nothing they could do but leave post when told and they sure did not care about their customers.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 02:50 PM
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Interesting that CCL required a passport to be eligible for their offer when a passport is not required for the cruise or flights to San Juan if a US citizen ! Not having a passport would in no way restrict US citizen passengers on a cruise ship from flying back to the U.S. or impede on travel arrangements at all. Passengers would have to have had the proper proof of citizenship documents and photo ID to board the ship to begin with and would also be sufficient for travel back to the U.S.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fun2cruiz View Post
Interesting that CCL required a passport to be eligible for their offer when a passport is not required for the cruise or flights to San Juan if a US citizen ! Not having a passport would in no way restrict US citizen passengers on a cruise ship from flying back to the U.S. or impede on travel arrangements at all. Passengers would have to have had the proper proof of citizenship documents and photo ID to board the ship to begin with and would also be sufficient for travel back to the U.S.
But the passport was to get to the next port in another country, a requirement from my understanding. Those without, had to return stateside.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by fun2cruiz View Post
Interesting that CCL required a passport to be eligible for their offer when a passport is not required for the cruise or flights to San Juan if a US citizen ! Not having a passport would in no way restrict US citizen passengers on a cruise ship from flying back to the U.S. or impede on travel arrangements at all. Passengers would have to have had the proper proof of citizenship documents and photo ID to board the ship to begin with and would also be sufficient for travel back to the U.S.

I think you're reading it wrong...Carnival flew those with passports to the next port to catch the ship. You couldn't do that if you don't have a passport. It had nothing to do with not helping those that didn't have passports.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Trackypup View Post
I think you're reading it wrong...Carnival flew those with passports to the next port to catch the ship. You couldn't do that if you don't have a passport. It had nothing to do with not helping those that didn't have passports.
That's exactly right. It wasn't Carnival's requirement. Passports are required when flying into any country.

For those who did not have passports, and had to return to the US, Carnival is giving them a full credit for a future cruise.

RCI just waved goodbye, and even said afterwards that passengers will not be receiving credits or refunds.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 03:23 PM
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I was thinking the same thing, reasons to have passports and travel insuance, for sure. Although, when going into port, I don't actually carry my passport...
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Old August 25th, 2011, 03:31 PM
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Right or wrong my FEELINGS are that if you have arrived to board a ship & that ship has left it sure ain't your fault & surely someone should step up to get you on the ship. If cruise lines choose to operate in the Caribbean during hurricane season they should be prepared to act accordingly.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
Right or wrong my FEELINGS are that if you have arrived to board a ship & that ship has left it sure ain't your fault & surely someone should step up to get you on the ship. If cruise lines choose to operate in the Caribbean during hurricane season they should be prepared to act accordingly.
John... but that's why insurance is available; to cover the unexpected events that may occur.

I'm not sure why the cruise line would be expected to "insure" everyone against the incident. especially when they were ordered out of port.

Carnival did take it upon themselves because they felt bad, and likely thought of it as good PR. That move most likely cost them somewhere between $300,00 - $400,000 for the approx. 385 (think that's the number) of passengers affected- in cruise fares and charges for flights, plus the loss in onboard revenues. That's a pretty significant "goodwill gesture".
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Old August 25th, 2011, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
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Although, when going into port, I don't actually carry my passport...
Will you be carrying them now?
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Old August 25th, 2011, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
This is bad PR for RC
hee hee - it happened in Puerto Rico (PR)
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Old August 25th, 2011, 06:15 PM
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John... but that's why insurance is available; to cover the unexpected events that may occur.

I'm not sure why the cruise line would be expected to "insure" everyone against the incident. especially when they were ordered out of port.

Carnival did take it upon themselves because they felt bad, and likely thought of it as good PR. That move most likely cost them somewhere between $300,00 - $400,000 for the approx. 385 (think that's the number) of passengers affected- in cruise fares and charges for flights, plus the loss in onboard revenues. That's a pretty significant "goodwill gesture".
Insurance is pretty much compulsory here. Don't know about the rights & wrongs, but as I said I would feel the cruise line should help. Mind you the ins. companies will wriggle out of things blaming "acts of God"
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Old August 25th, 2011, 07:09 PM
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I may not actually carry my passport, but I will make a copy and have that with the passport # with me at ports. Not sure if that will help or not, but better than nothing. I don't think I would want to have the actual passport with me in ports, there is always a chance of it getting lost or stolen...
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Old August 25th, 2011, 07:10 PM
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JTD

After the volcanic ash episode, UK travel insurance policies have an add-on option to cover such events. Additional premium 20 on an annual policy which I think is reasonable.

Annie
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Old August 25th, 2011, 07:13 PM
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That darn volcano, ruined my chance to see London,and the the Eclipse...I could have had tea with JTD, Annie, & KJ
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Old August 25th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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That darn volcano, ruined my chance to see London,and the the Eclipse...I could have had tea with JTD, Annie, & KJ
Trip - funny at the time of the ash episode I was in JTD and Alan country - Winchester - close enough. Normally I am 500 miles distant.

You will just have to cruise from SOTON some time - now a QM2 TA would fit the bill; just chat up Paul

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Old August 25th, 2011, 08:09 PM
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Having a "photocopy" of your passport may shorten the time it takes to get a replacement by a day or so but it is worthless for transportation or even as a source of identification.

If you don't have your actual passport you will spend a couple of days wherever you are stuck before you fly home. It all depends on how long it takes the U.S. Consulate to issue a replacement or temporary passport. That is if there is even a U.S. Consulate or Embassy where you are.

There are risks to carrying your passport onshore and there are risks if you don't. The choice is yours.

If I'm going for any extended tour I take my passport with me.

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Old August 25th, 2011, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Kudo's to Carnival and a thumbs down to RCI.....I can just image both sets of cruisers chit chatting, realizing how some were getting the shaft, and, some getting ready to get comfy for free.
Trip has said it beautifully; I couldn't agree more.

When we had all the hurricanes in Florida in 2004, Carnival had to keep changing schedule so some cruises became longer and some shorter. They ended up with a four day out of Canaveral. They called their past cruisers who lived in Central Florida and basically offered a free cruise. Great PR.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 10:30 PM
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Default somewhat similar situation

Had a somewhat similar situation a few years ago sailing out of Boston. Got to the port and no ship. A hurricane skirted Bermuda and the authorities did not allow the NCL Majesty to leave port, had to leave the following day. NCL put us all up in nice hotels in downtown Boston, paid our hotel to prepare a dinner buffet and breakfast, transportation both ways and $100 OBC for a 6 day instead of 7 day cruise.

I thought they went over and above, but there were still some people who complained for the 6 days.

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Old August 25th, 2011, 10:34 PM
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Good for Carnival, not so good for Royal Caribbean. Looks like they just won't learn about good PR.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 10:40 PM
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It will be interesting to see how many complaints get posted on both forums....
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Old August 27th, 2011, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
Having a "photocopy" of your passport may shorten the time it takes to get a replacement by a day or so but it is worthless for transportation or even as a source of identification.

If you don't have your actual passport you will spend a couple of days wherever you are stuck before you fly home. It all depends on how long it takes the U.S. Consulate to issue a replacement or temporary passport. That is if there is even a U.S. Consulate or Embassy where you are.

There are risks to carrying your passport onshore and there are risks if you don't. The choice is yours.

If I'm going for any extended tour I take my passport with me.

Take care,
Mike
Mike,

On most ships today, if you miss the ship we first open your safe and look for your passport. If it is there, we turn it over to our Port Agent before we depart. He is then responsible to wait for you on the pier (or find you in the hospital / police station), hand your passport to you, and arrange transport to our next port.

This saves everyone a great deal of trouble, guarantees that your passport will not be lost or stolen, and gets you safely back to the ship.
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