My buddy booked a 7 day cruise for two 9 months in advance with a down payment for a mini suite.
A month before the cruise he was informed that he was not able to go on the cruise because the cruise line had chartered the ship (he was unable to get any details beyond that very basic explanation). He was offered another cruise departing on the same day, but for 10 days at the same price, but they down graded the room stating that there were no more rooms in the category requested. They led him to believe that this was a great deal, but being a veteran cruiser with the same cruise line his read on the situation was that the 10 day cruise was hurting for passengers, and if this was the case he could get kicked off of that one also due to a charter. When asked why such short notice, he was advised that "they forgot to advise him and one other group." The travel agent got the room upgraded back to the original category (which means the original claim of no more rooms at that category was basically a lie), but they would hear of nothing further (eg: a token $100 ship credit, etc.).
They were very reluctant to refund the down payment.
My buddy went on the cruise but feels that the entire situation reflected shabby treatment, and is not keen on using the same cruise line again. Luckily, he and his wife were flexable and could arrange to take the 10 day cruise. His feeling is what if they were not flexible - the representative of the cruise line was not the least bit sensitive to that situation when asked. To me, this is one step below steerage.
Has anyone else out there experience anything like this?
I have heard of this happening in the past, unfortunately I would not be that flexible to go from a 7 to 10 on such short notice. In that case I would of demanded my money back and just book something else. I find this case a little strange, that they only notified your friend a month before the cruise after final payment had to be made??? I'm just lucky this has not happened to me.
This was a few months ago, and I don't remember the cruise line - I will find out (although my buddy is not able to readily be contacted now) and let you know.
My sudden interest in this is because I am going to schedule a cruise in the future, and I want to know if this is isolated case or something that regularly happens which I would have to plan for. If it happens regularly, this ruins the "looking forward to it feeling" a bit.
If things are the same as they were before with cruise lines here is the scenerio:
--GOTTA BOOK EARLY!!!!!
--GOTTA HAVE A DOWN PAYMENT!!!
--GOTTA GET THE INSURANCE OR YOU COULD LOOSE ALL YOUR MONEY REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS (SICKNESS, DEATH, ETC.)!!!
--CAN BOOK A FLIGHT RELATED TO THE CRUISE DEAL AND PAY $300 MORE FOR SOME REDEYES WITH 4 OR 5 HOUR LAYOVERS!!!
--CAN GET A ROOM THE DAY BEFORE FOR A LOT MORE THAN THE NORMAL PRICE OF THE ROOM!!!
--GOTTA, GOTTA GOTTA!!!
Then, all of a sudded in my buddy's case, - OOPS, YOUR OUT OF LUCK - HERE IS WHAT WE GOT (EMBELISHED)- TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT AND OF COURSE WE'LL CONTINUE TO HOLD YOUR MONEY!!!
In the past, I have cruised HA, Princess, Norwegian, RC, Carnivale, Costa and some independents a long time ago and have NEVER experienced anything like this nonsense - the experience has been pleasant even with the GOTTA's factored in.
To respond to Donna - I failed to fully explain - my buddy found out about the bump a month before the cruise was to leave when he contacted his travel agent to make final payment - there was no pro-active cruise line effort to inform him - he may have gone to go on the cruise only to then find out he had been bumped (he had arranged for his own airline transportation).
Though this (full ship charters) is not an everyday experience, it does occur every once in awhile. The name of the cruise line is sort of irrelevant, because we've seen them all do it at one time or another.
And NONE of them handle these situations well, from what I've heard.
His end result, in this situation wasn't too bad. Went from a 7 to 10 day cruise, in similar category.
We were once in a similar situation having booked months in advance, when the cruise line (through our agent) phoned us & offered us the chance to go 2 weeks earlier in a suite instead of the i/s on the date we had booked, naturally we jumped at it as we were able to re schedule our hols!
While not common it can and does happen on ALL cruiselines. What the line will do is notify your agent and it is their responsibility to notify you. You will in turn get a complete refund at the very least or more often than not the option to book at a later date with a nice credit or upgrade or another cruise again with a nice credit or upgrade. 7 to 10 day is considered a nice upgrade BTW. This is all spelled out in the contract and conditions and your TA should also let you know that this sometimes does happen to all cruiselines but is rare and you always have th option of getting you entire money back.
Re: Re: Re: kicked off a cruise because of a charter
Strange that your "buddy" contacted the travel agent to make final payment just one month before departure. Those payments are usually due at least 60 days out on 7 day or longer sailings. Wonder, too, why the t/a didn't contact him for final payment earlier, too. Something fishy in Denmark here.
Re: Re: Re: Re: kicked off a cruise because of a charter
Earnie/Lisa - do you mean you feel the TA was somewhat at fault also? In thinking it over, you are probably correct - no follow up here, and perhaps my buddy should have asked some questions also (eg: when is payment due, etc.).
These points are good ones - that is, if I do decide to take my cruise later, I will have a
"heads up" on how to follow up as the cruise comes nearer.
However, I still think that it is a raw deal with greed the main motive - many of those kicked off were probably repeat customers of the cruise line.
I read it but it didn't sink in until I saw Ernie and Lisa remark on it. Yes, something isn't correct. If your buddy didn't make an error or slip of the tongue and it really was just a month beforfe sailing and final payment had yet to be asked for, the TA did something wrong and knew beforehand it had been cancelled and just forgot to tell your buddy and only called when he/she noticed it in the books. Fortunately YOU won't have that happen to you because you found Cruisemates and are able to learn what to expect from your TA and your cruise. <G>
Re: Re: Re: kicked off a cruise because of a charter
Jim... yes, it could well be the t/a. I continue to wonder, though, why the passenger waited until 30 days before sailing to call and offer to pay for the cruise... when it was due at least 30 days before that. Something just doesn't fit.
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: kicked off a cruise because of a charter
Unless the passenger was a new cruiser and the TA was totally irresponsible......then I can see this happening. If youdon't research and ask questions (if you even know which questions to ask) I can see this getting to this point.
Carnival Breeze with Ray B and Aerogirl 5/4/14!
Re: Re: Re: Re: kicked off a cruise because of a charter
Ernie, when I was reading this I also questioned some things but when I thought about it deeper I concluded it could have been a simple mistake.
Such as, maybe the passenger had moved and changed his phone number which neither the TA or Cruiseline had. If this was the case, he may have had a different e-mail address too, if he had one, and maybe they sent him snail mail which was forwarded to his new address which he failed to open because it appeared to be junk mail. Simple and innocent mistakes.
I am scheduled to go on the 04/12/03 Mercury out of San Francisco. My final payment isn't due until March 4th. That's right, about a month before our sail date. I questioned my agent about this and she replied that Celebrity is changing over each ship's due dates to 80 or 90 days (don't quote me on this I don't recall what she said verbatum) from the normal 45 days. As NOT all ships have gone through the process, some, including the Mercury, have 30 day prior due dates. I even called the cruise line to check this one out.
We booked our cruise in early January and for the longest time we couldn't find our sail date anywhere on Celebrity's website. It's there now, but I was told our dates opened up because a charter or huge group consisting of many, many people recently CANCELLED their booking on our ship.
I hope when I make my final payment in March I won't encounter any pitfalls like this.
We booked a Carnival Cruise 2 months in advance through a .com company and booked our own flight.
After being away for a few days - we came back to a message saying that the cruise was cartered and canceled to us. Not only that but we had only 12 hrs left to respond or they would credit our account. They were not going to deal witht the flight because we didn't book it through them or a TA.
I took the day off from work and spent 13 hrs on the phone repeating "this is unacceptable, can I please speak to your manager?" In the end - we are renting a car and driving to another port 4 hrs away. They are paying for the car, upgrading our cabin, and are open to an upgrade.
I appreciate the effort - but the hassles have been endless.
J-in NH - just so I understand, do you mean that the original cruise was cancelled and you went on another leaving for a port 4 hours away from the port the original cruise was to leave from?
If so, having lived it, what is your opinion of the cruise line chartering the ship and, basically kicking you off? What if you were not flexable, or couldn't get to the other ship, and what about the hours you spent? This would tick me off - basically it is greed and they treat people like garbage.
While I appreciate some of the comments by others, we seemed to have gotten hung up on who should know when the final payment is made, how good is the travel agent, etc., rather than the real problem - cruise line greed. In addition, the travel agent has to do the dirty messenger deal - the greedy sit back. Also, if the passenger can't be flexable and gets a refund, the travel agent gets no fee. jlk
James, just curious but are you and "your buddy" one and the same?
As others have said, full ship charters happen from time to time. Not that knowing that makes it any better for the person who has their cruise plans interrupted, but it's a fact.
If you have money on a cruise and the ship is chartered, the line will refund your money as they have no right to keep payment for something they didn't deliver.
Call it greed or good business for the cruise lines--it happens.
I think you are worrying too much. Is your "buddy" still worrying?
You really cannot classify this as greed on the part of the cruiseline. This is just how business is done and quite frankly the cruiselines handle it better than others. Cruiselines will not only refund your money but also offer you other perks to have you come back or book something else through them. Hotels, resorts, convention centers, airlines, and lots of other things also take charters and tell those that have already booked, "sorry, here's your refund" and that's it.
Actually, my buddy enjoyed the cruise - he is out of the country now for a few weeks, and when he gets back I will find out the name of the cruise line - someone asked me that, and I sure wish I knew.
Ron asks if this was me who experienced the situation - I almost feel it was.
My situation is that I want to book a cruise in November on Celebrity to go through the Panama Canal (14 days, Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego). I love cruising, I have done the Mex Riv 4 times as well as Alaska, and several others, some short 3 or 4 day cruises.
I will book it, and make a down payment, and get the insurance. - no airfare from the cruise lines as I don't want any 6 hour layovers and redeyes for double the price if I book airfare myself (this attitude comes from talking to MANY not just my buddy). I have just retired after 40+ years of service with the same employer the first week of January, this year, 2003. I will be starting a new job on 3/20 (some people think I am crazy). BUT, I have to PLAN TO TAKE THE CRUISE - MY NEW EMPLOYER EXPECTS SOME RESULTS FROM ME.
Here is the point:
I have to adjust my schedule with my new employer to take this long trip - he is being liberal with time off, etc. - I have to arrange my schedule to take it - this affects others as well as me. Lots of planning for the cruise. I DON'T WANT TO FIND OUT THE LAST MINUTE THE CRUISE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE TO THE WORKING MAN AS THE CRUISE LINE FOUND "SOMEBODY" TO TAKE THE CRUISE INSTEAD (THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY SEEM TO ADVERTISE)!!!!!
As a sidenote, I cannot believe is that most people who have commented on this don't seem too concerned about the attitude and operation of the cruise line.
Re: Re: Re: Re: It happened to me too! (kicked off)
James, exactly what do you think people should do about " the operation and attitude'' of the cruise lines? The cruise lines are in business to make money, the same as your employer.
You have been told several times that charters are a fact of cruising, although it happens rarely. If you are afraid to book a cruise because of a charter, perhaps you should consider a land vacation at a resort.
You really shouldn't let this worry you. A number of things could happen to keep you from a cruise, such as an falling in the bathroom at home while getting ready to go on you cruise,wrecking or being wrecked while enroute to the airport, being carjacked, skyjacked, a terror attack, etc. I think you get the point.
I think that many of us trust in people to follow through. It's not just a trust - it's almost like a contract. When that "contract" is broken, it's very disappointing.
I work all year long in a crappy little job and take just one week a year to get away from it all. Having only paid $300 for a cruise - I felt like I got a wonderful deal. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Even being compensated - the hassle has taken the fun out of this. I worry what is left ahead of me when dealing with Carnival. I hope very little hassle and a whole lot of fun.
For the average consumer - it's just discouraging to lose money and feel betrayed. At one point - it was going to be cheaper to simoly not go then pay the fees of switching plane tickets, etc. The ONLY reason this was taken care of was the fact that I spent 13 hrs on the phone dealing with this myself and not taking no for an answer.
Having said that - I leave on Friday. I expect I will have a wonderful time. I hope that this cruise was as fun as my last.
J-in NH: I certainly hope you enjoy your well earned cruise. If it hadn't been for your persistence and time you spent you probably wouldn't be - this shouldn't have happened to you.
RON: My employer couldn't afford to treat customers the way my buddy and J-in-NH were treated and stay in business. Also, your comparison of other events that could lead to not being able to go on a cruise (car wreck, slipping in bathroom, etc.) are not at all valid - these are all unfortunate unplanned events. However, proactively booking someone on a cruise and subsequently kicking them off is a planned strategy.
We are back from the cruise and had a wornderful time. However - we spent almost two full days traveling to get to the new port and back. It ended up costing us almost double than we expected and would prob. go to a resort next time to prevent this sort of hassle from happening.
Am interested in writing a letter to carnival but am not sure who to direct my letter to.
Your travel agent should be able to advise you who to write, but also the Carnival official web site has a section called "contact us" - you should probably try this first, relate your experience, and perhaps they could give you a future perk (or at least an apology). I wrote to Celebrity Cruises to ask some questions about a November cruise we are planning and they were very responsive. DON'T PUT IT OFF, and be sure to mention the good things as well as the bad.
While this stuff STINKS, I wouldn't write off cruises entirely in the future - I have been on many and this has never happened to me, and I always had a great time. My buddy had the same experience as you, and he feels the same way now, but I am sure he will come around (I haven't talked to him in some time). jlk
Oh wow, sorry to hear of such an unpleasant experience!
Which cruise line was it? My hubby and i are planning on our first cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary in May, aboard the Royal Caribbean "Majesty." I hope we don't have the same fate as your friend!