Background: About 30 or so of my friends are on a group cruise booked through a travel agent. The total group was about 200+ people. It is a large party, where they booked the conference rooms and will have classes and seminars. Being an avid cruiser, I was pitching in my two cents every chance they let me. Most of them had been paying on this trip for the last year. It was a horrible price, $650/pp 3 nights - Bahamas out of Miami, RCI. The cruise leaves today and they return on Monday.
First Issue - Cruise Docs
It began to puzzle me because towards the end of July and all of August I kept asking them had they received their cruise docs. They were clueless as to what those were since they were all first time cruisers. I had my old ones and shared with them what they should have received via fedex/airborne. No one out of the almost 30 friends had received them. Most of them left yesterday and had not received their cruise docs. All they had was a letter from the travel agent with the cruise ships itinerary. They didn't know their cabin number nor which dining room sitting. I'm very concerned because they all left for Miami w/out cruise docs. I'm praying the travel agent will meet them at the hotel and have this information for them or something.
I've read a lot of boards and haven't run across any travel agent who meets the group and gives everyone their docs the day before or day of cruising. Is this a common practice? Since no one received confirmation from the TA, what happens if someone was left off the ships manifold?
Second Issue - Price $650/ 3 nights - cheap rooms
The price for this 3 night cruise was horrible. When I questioned the TA about why the price was so high, she mentioned that the contract was signed at that price prior to Sept. 11. I told her prior to 9/11 or not that was extremely hight for a 3 night cruise. I told her the price before 9/11 and afterwards was around $400. I asked her would we receive a difference since the price was lower. She said no because this was the contract price.
Question: Is this possible to cheat my friends out of $200 even though the cruiseline is offering the same cruise at a cheaper price? Is this TA getting away w/ a huge commission?
I was glad this was everyone's first cruise so they didn't and won't know what to expect. I pray they all have a room and good sitting and the service is superb so they won't judge this cruise and not want to cruise anymore. Thanks for all responses.