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  #31 (permalink)  
Old July 22nd, 2002, 08:32 AM
Senior Member
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Default Re: Re: Re: First cruise disaster

Keith, do I understand correctly that you turned down the offer to get you( for free) to Ft Lauderdale by 8pm? That being the case, you would have missed the first night of the cruise, but easily would have caught it by AM the next day in the Bahamas?
Given the weather delay , perhaps the reason for the "heavy handed" response was that in the opinion of the airline and cruiseline you turned down the only truly viable option (presuming that no one was getting you to the ship by 5pm).
Again' I'm just speculating and I certainly hope that you make a recovery from this financially and that you cruise again in the future. I cannot even imagine the disappointment and range of emotions you encountered in the airport that day.
Good luck with your efforts.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old July 28th, 2002, 01:01 PM
Kenny C.A.
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Default Re: Re: First cruise disaster

I have learned a lot from reading all of your posts. First of all, I have learned how important it is to get insurance.

I have learned to leave a day early if it is a long flight.

I have learned that some people who work for the airlines don't really care what your problem is and will not try to help you. I speak from personal experience.

I have learned that if a flight is cancelled the airline will put you on the next flight available if possible. Never mind if it is too late for your cruise and you have missed it.
I think I would have taken the next flight even if I missed the ship and gone on vacation in that city. I would also have tried to see if the airline company could have found me a flight to the next port if possible.

Keith, you did what was right for you. I am really, really, sorry for what happened to you. I hope you are able to get all your money back.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old July 30th, 2002, 04:33 PM
Patticake
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Default Re: Re: Re: First cruise disaster

Keith, I hope we get good news soon on your problem. Several years ago my husband and I were going on a cruise out of St. Martin. There was a hurricane in the gulf so we knew it was gonna be hard to get there. But our cruise line (windjammer) called us the night before, had the operator break into a call we were on. To tell us to get as far as we could and then call them. We got to Puerto Rico and the airport was shut down for several days. We had insurance and we stayed in a great hotel waiting for it to open up again. We were to spend the night before sailing on the ship so we had some time to play with. The tickets we had could be used at almost all of the airlines and any flight. (not sure why yours wasn't like that). The airlines tried to reroute us through every island there is in the caribbean to get us where we needed to be. We kept in contact with the cruise line often. When the airport did open up we were routed to Gernada to catch another ship. The ship we were booked on never made it into port because of the storm. They held another ship for us there in Gernada. It turned out to be the best windjammer cruise yet. Alot of people gave up and went home from Puerto Rico. That's their choice. Like you did. Me I would have went to Miami anyway. And then on to Nassua. Windjammer even refunded us the difference of the 2 days we would have missed.. And the insurance covered all our hotels, meals, cabs. Good Luck, I know how disappointed you must be. Keep trying both the airline and cruise line for answers. Take Care. And don't let this ruin your idea of cruisin in the future.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old July 30th, 2002, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: First cruise disaster

Just in case anyone is interested, I received a letter from Princess July 25th. They regretfully informed me that they could not (would not!) book us on another cruise nor refund us any money. Since we had not purchased their travel insurance, they would not give us the same treatment they would to someone who had purchased their insurance. They wished me well and hoped to see us on a future Princess cruise.

I can't believe that they treat customers this badly! They're in a customer service industry and they have provided me with absolutely no service.

1. They did not provide any assistance helping us get to the ship - unless you count spending an extra $2,600 for airfare help!

2. At a bare minimum (which is still not acceptable to me), they should refund the unused airfare charges.

3. Continental wasn't particularly helpful either. There must have been some avenue to get us to Ft. Lauderdale in time sail with the ship. If not, accomodations should have been made for us.

4. This must happen frequently to Princess, so why couldn't they be more helpful. I've never been on a cruise and it never occured to me that something like this could happen and I'd still be out all my money.


At this point, I have my travel agent working on this. I've filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and I've put the credit card charge in dispute.

I'd appreciate any advice anyone has on how to deal with this situation.

Thanks,
Keith
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old July 30th, 2002, 05:36 PM
Kenny C.A.
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: First cruise disaster

Keith please stay in touch with us. We all care about what happens to you and this serious problem with Princess cruises. I know this problem has happened to a lot of people.

I hope your credit card company can help you
for 'services not provided". You didn't take the flight or cruise. I think that is a good reason to get your money back. I would save the letter they sent you and take them to court. They have a lot of nerve of keeping your money since it wasn't your fault.
They also had a stupid reason not to want to
help you. It wouldn't cost them anything extra to give you a new date for a already paid cruise.

Keith, I also want to add that some people on this thread seem to want to blame the Victim and not the cruise line. Don't pay attention to them. It is so much easier to blame the victim. I don't remember who said What, but I did notice some remarks. Your problem makes us all realize that it could also happen to us.
A lot of people on this thread are on your side and I wish we could all get together and go fight for your rights.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old July 31st, 2002, 09:13 AM
Patticake
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First cruise disaster

Way to Go Kenny C.A.,,, I am in shock that Princess and the airlines didn't refund your money. I would take them to court like Kenny said. Yes, we are all behind you. And I hope everyone has realized that this could happen to any of us. And to think twice about booking with Princess. Shame on them. Thanks for the update and keep them coming. Going the credit card route should get results. Good Luck and Hang in there.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old July 31st, 2002, 01:54 PM
David Starkey
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First cruise disaster

Your not the only previous passenger(attempted passenger) that Princess left a bad taste in there mouth. I have not sailed them for the last 8 cruises because they shafted me in Alaska a few years ago.
Celebrity, on the other hand, has been incredible to work with when things have happened while we were booked with them. They have my loyality and they have done things to prove they value previous passengers.. I guess thats why we have another cruise booked with them.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old August 3rd, 2002, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: First cruise disaster

I've avoided this thread since the beginning because I knew I would be in the minority. What was wrong with getting to FLL by 8:00pm? Who knows, others (with Princess air) may have been delayed and they would have held the ship (its a short cruise to Bahamas). At worst, you would fly out the next morning to Bahamas. I can't see how Princess did anything wrong? As for Continental, sounds like they were trying to do the best they could. Sounds like Keith was trying to tell the airlines how to run their business. He said he wanted to go to Miami instead of FLL, ostensibly so he could get a flight to Nassau. However, if he would have just gotten to FLL, he could have taken a reasonable shuttle, rental car, or taxi to MIA for his flight to Bahamas (plenty of hotels in both FLL and MIA).

Beat up on me all you want....I think Keith is the one in the wrong (and the TA is trying to cover up for his own (that is the TA's) incompetence).

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  #39 (permalink)  
Old August 3rd, 2002, 09:51 PM
Kenny C.A.
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Default Re: Re: First cruise disaster

Hi Marc. I agree with you on the different possibilties that you mentioned. I would have taken the chance that the ship might possibly have waited for lots of people who might have arrived late for the cruise because of bad weather. If I had missed the ship I would have arranged for a plane to take me to the next port.
But in KEITH'S case he felt totally disappointed and didn't see his way out
of the situation he was in. All he saw was
that he missed the boat and went home.

There are lots of people like Keith and there are lots of people like yourself who thinks of
all possibilities.

I am on Keith's side that the cruise line should return his money for a service not provided. It is not his fault the weather was bad. Remember also that he was quoted a very high price for air fare to get to the ship. He might not have been able to recover that money later on. I don't know if he had bought insurance for this trip. I don't think so. That problem also factored into his problem.
Plus, there are cruisers who are on a tight budget and only have a certain amount of money to spend. It sounds to me like you have the money to be able to look at different alternatives. You probably also have lots of experience with this type of problem in your travels.
I am a very sensitive person. If this had happened to me I might have cryed and felt sorry for myself and gone home OR if I was in a great mood I would have said,"Lets go to Florida and have a wonderful time". I am lucky to have the means to do that also.
I still think Keith should get his money back and hope he has gotten a lawyer to fight this case. This problem happens to a lot of people and all the cruise lines say is it is not there fault. It is time we all fight back with the cruise lines who cheat a lot of people of a lot of money. I have been cruising since the 1970's and have heard and seen a lot of problems that the cruise lines will not take responsibility for. It is time they did. Lucy E. Ramirez.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old August 19th, 2002, 11:12 PM
Imlulu
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Default Re: First cruise disaster

I think it all has to do with not having cruise insurance. My dh and I were just discussing this tonight. He insists that we b uy Carnivals. I want to shop around. He also wants to fly in same day in February from Massachusetts(not going to happen)
The other problem here is the airline offered you another option you chose not to take it. They then qouted you a last minute no advacne purchse flight . Yes they can cost that much!!!
I am sorry that your 1st cruise experience was horrible. I guess we can all learn from your trials which isn't much help for you.
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old August 20th, 2002, 06:37 PM
AR
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Default Re: First cruise disaster

Wow!

I can't believe I just read this whole thread!

Actually, this seems to be very simple. It just requires going back to the original post and reading it carefully. There we find that

1) no later flight could get him to the ship IN TIME (my emphasis) for the Florida departure. This information comes from the airline people at the airport.

2) Princess, on the phone, suggests the $2600 alternative.

Keith made an understandable, yet fatal, mistake. His focus was on reaching the ship in time for the original sailing. Had he focused on simply reaching Florida, the airline would have rebooked him at no additional charge to arrive in Florida that evening (he later acknowledges this). From there, as many have pointed out, he could easily have hopped over to the Bahamas to meet the cruise, at minimum expense and with every expectation of having the additional costs refunded.

I'm guessing that Princess' refusal to refund his cruise money is because, from their point of view, he didn't make a good faith effort to take the cruise. I do admit that the $2600 red herring should never have been proposed, and Princess is at fault for that. But as all the frequent flyers in the string have pointed out, flights get cancelled all the time, and we all know the drill: you work out a routing to get where you need to go ASAP, and you're rebooked (and endorsed over to another airline if necessary) to make that happen. You don't pay extra because an airline can't honor your original reservation. That's just out of the question. The cruise line doesn't even enter in to this transaction, no matter who booked the air. One way or another the airline is obliged to get you to your destination at no extra charge ASAP. And there is evidence that they were willing to do so.

And again, once in south Florida, he was just a couple hours away from joining the ship, and would almost certainly have been compensated for his trouble.

If there's any case against Princess at all, it's because of the goofball who started talking $2600 to him. But beyond that, I actually see Princess' side of it. He could have made the cruise and simply chose not to.

Insurance is always a good idea, but I don't really think this is an insurance issue. It's simply a case of a no show, albeit one who was given a bogus, unacceptable and unnecessary alternative by Princess.

I'm sorry for you Keith, and I feel your pain. But I think you simply made some bad choices here.

AR
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old August 21st, 2002, 07:53 AM
Marnie
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Default Re: Re: First cruise disaster

If you don't have the $2600, how could you get yourself to the next port? According to Princess, this was his only option. I would expect them to at least provide him with a credit on another cruise. Maybe require that he take whatever cabin is remaining open.

AR, you wrote

And again, once in south Florida, he was just a couple hours away from joining the ship, and would almost certainly have been compensated for his trouble.

Who would be responsible for this, Princess or the airline? This is something I would like to be better informed about so it doesn't happen to me. I'm confused.


Keith, thanks for all the information, I'm sorry for everything you've gone through. I've never sailed Princess, but now I have a bad impression of them. I always thought that the whole point of booking your air through the cruiseline was supposed to provide security against something like this happening. And that insurance is to cover you if you screw up and don't make it. If the only option is to pay $2600 and you can't (or won't because it's an unreasonable option), then it's not your fault. $2600 is just absurd; I can't believe anyone would propose something so outrageous.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old August 21st, 2002, 10:52 AM
AR
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Default Re: Re: Re: First cruise disaster

Let's go over it again, Marnie:

The people who fly a lot and who have posted here are in unanimous agreement that the $2600 alternative, which Keith says was proposed by Princess and which spooked him into staying home, is an absolutely ridiculous alternative. Here's why.

There are all sorts of confusing rules about what an airline owes you or does not owe you when a flight is cancelled, and some of them have been discussed in this thread. But these all relate to hotel rooms, meal vouchers and the like. What is not in dispute is that when your flight is cancelled the airline still owes you transportation to your original destination at no additional charge. That's the contract they made with you made when you bought the ticket. The airline people understand this and so do most travelers. They can't say, "Sorry, your flight's cancelled. If you want to go you'll have to buy another ticket."

Now, what we have here is a situation where according to Keith's first post, he ascertained almost immediately--and before calling Princess--that no subsequent flights from his originating airport could get him to Florida before the ship left. None. Not on any airline. No way. No how. But, he could have gotten to Florida by 8 that evening at no additional cost simply by letting the airline rebook him on a later flight.

It is unclear what he expected the Princess people to do about this when he'd already ascertained that he couldn't get there in time. Short of hiring a LearJet, Princess couldn't have gotten him there any faster for $2,600 or $26,000.

So what would have been the most reasonable course of action? Obviously, take the rerouting offered by the airline and fly on his original ticket to Florida. Once there, stay overnight in a hotel (maybe $100) and fly the next morning to meet the ship (maybe another $100). Once on the ship, present those receipts to the pursar along with an explanation, and in all likelihood the extra expense would be credited or refunded in some way. But mainly, he'd still have his vacation for very little added expense.

Somehow he got sidetracked by this $2,600 nonsense and as I said, proceeded to make some bad decisions.

For better or for worse, all travel--business and pleasure--follows the jungle maxim of "survival of the fittest." Unfortunately for Keith and others, that kind of "fitness" comes mostly from experience, from knowing the basic rules, and from following the course of least resistance, which in this case would have simply been to chase the ship until you caught it.

Hope this helps.

AR
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old August 21st, 2002, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: First cruise disaster

AR,

In retrospect, your advice is fairly sound, but I disagree with your general impression that I'm at fault here.

First, Princess knows that everyone is flying to Florida on Sunday mornings to start their 7-day cruises. These air flights begin before 6am in some cases - especially if you live in the western half of the U.S.. Princess didn't even have their customer service center open until 9am EDT.

Second, this sort of problem cannot be uncommon. Princess should have been able to advice me of my options much better than they did. Never in my wildest imagination could I have thought of this situation occurring. My travel agent had never heard of it either.

Third, Princess is in the customer service industry. They talk about how great the service is on the ship, but they don't provide much service until you get there.

Fourth, I could have flown to Fort Lauderdale, but Princess didn't even consider that option when I explained the situation. I thought about flying to Fort Lauderdale anyway, but without a ship, I could have been stuck there until my return ticket could be used the following Sunday - without any lodging, food, etc.. I don't see that being a good decision for anyone in my shoes.

Finally, you're speaking from the point of view of an experienced traveller and you certainly were not in my shoes on July 14th. I doubt you've ever experienced anything like this and you probably won't. Whether a person is an experienced traveller or not, should not be the issue. Princess dealt with my situation very poorly. That's bad customer service and they should have tried much harder to be of some assistance.

Keith
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old August 21st, 2002, 01:07 PM
Marnie
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Default Re: First cruise disaster

Keith,
If you knew that it was only $100 pp instead of $1300 pp to fly from Miami to Nassau, you would have taken it, right?

Everytime I ever heard of anyone buying a ticket only a day in advance of a flight, regardless of the distance, it always cost a bundle for coach. After reading all the posts above saying it only costs a $100, I decided to check Expedia and to fly tomorrow from Miami to Nassau was $150. To fly from Miami to San Juan was about $175 (just for future reference). And Expedia is always over-priced.

From what AR was saying, Princess should have provided you a credit for these extra charges, but from what you said, they told you it would be your expense. Either way, the real cost $300-$400 for 2 people, versus $2600 makes a huge difference. I think Princess owes you a cruise just for misinforming you. Paying $400 is nothing, I'd have been ticked off but laughed about later and considered it a valuable lesson learned. And $400 is about the cost of travel insurance anyway.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old August 21st, 2002, 03:42 PM
AR
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First cruise disaster

Well, sure I've experienced these kinds of problems. I've been flying regularly for 40 years. I've never missed a cruise because I always go a day or two early, but I've had similar business and personal "connections" that I've missed and had to improvise. Despite what you may think, the kind of thing you faced is not all that unusual. If you continue to travel, you'll soon discover that. Furthermore--and you'll just have to take my word for this--I have no doubt that I would have simply taken the later flight and hopped over to Nassau the next day. I'm equally certain that I wouldn't have even bothered calling Princess. Why? Because the people that could help me solve my immediate problem (getting to Florida) were right there at the airport, and were perfectly willing to make it happen.

I've already agreed with you that Princess was full of beans with their $2,600 deal, but your problem was that you didn't recognize that.

Fundamentally, your transaction was with and should have been confined to the airline. Regardless of the fact that you got the ticket through Princess, they were essentially acting as an agent with the airline. You were dealing with a plane ticket, and it was the airline's responsibility to make it good, which they were apparently quite willing to do.

I realize that you probably didn't understand that getting from south Florida to the Bahamas is child's play and relatively inexpensive, and I understand why you felt trapped. Princess certainly didn't help, and I think you have a serious gripe with them, not because your plane was cancelled, but because they came up with an idiotic alternative. They should have simply told you to get down to Florida on your original ticket, then run over to meet the ship.

AR
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