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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2004, 01:17 PM
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Default re:Cruise Nightmare!

On Feb.29, 2004, my husband and I went on a 14 day cruise on Royal Caribbean, Legend of the Sea Voyage. We flew from N.Y. to Miami airport, picked up our luggage and purchased 2 transfers at the RC counter to go to the Miami pier. A RC employee led us to a truck which was being loaded with luggage by a RC employee, told us to leave our luggage and that we will find them in our cabin.

Then they led us to a bus where after about 20/30 minutes, a bus came and took us to the pier. We sailed and that night we had no luggage, complained at the front desk and told us they would do a search of the ship. Royal Caribbean did not know where our luggage was. At one point, they told us they thought they found them at Miami pier but weren't sure. They also told us that they could not send the luggage on to us without being accompanied by a passenger. This went on for 3 days and when we arrived at our first port (Aruba) again they could not confirm they had our luggage so we decided to leave the ship. Please note that we were with our winter, now dirty, clothes from N.Y. for 4 days. After six days, we received our luggage at home that had traveled to Panama. When we returned home we wrote a detailed description of our problem to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Customer Service Dept. and they told us they would investigate.
Four weeks later, I called them and they said they could not verify what I was saying even though I have proof that I purchased 2 transfer tickets from Miami airport to the pier. They told me it could not be since as of 9/11 they could not separate passengers from their luggage.

Well, they did separate us from our luggage. They have dismissed me. This was to be our dream cruise and it was awful. We also had to pay for our airfare from Aruba to N.Y. Our total loss is for Cruise for 2 in the amount of $2,736.60,
Air: N.Y. to Miami $295.20, R.C. Transfers $22.00, Non refundable airfare from San Diego to NY $328.20, Taxi from Aruba pier to airport $15.00, airfare from Aruba to NY $1,502.90, a total of $4,889.90.

My husband is a recently retired NYC School Teacher and this money doesn't come easily. Until today, I have not received communication from Royal Caribbean. I am appealing to you or if you know of anyone who could help me in refunding my expenses, I would be forever grateful. Thank you for reading this long letter and for any help you can give me.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2004, 02:04 PM
Mike M's Avatar
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!


I am sorry this happened to you. It sounds like you did not purchase insurance. Did the crew offer to help you out by providing you with clothing and toiletries? I personally know of one couple on Celebrity's Mercury who's luggage was lost and the crew provided them with clothing for the seven day cruise and even a gown and tux for formal nights.

Was Panama part of your itinerary? Even if it was not you should not have left the cruise. You should have raised a bit of heck with the senior Customer Relations staff onboard and at least got a few items of clothing and toiletries and purchased some clothing in port. This would have been far less expensive than a trip home.

Who have you spoken with at Royal Caribbean? I would not speak to anyone other than a manager or Director in the Customer Service area.

This also shows others how valuable cruise and travel insurance is when taking a cruise.

I'm sorry for your problem and I wish I could undo it but you'll have to pursue it through RCI.

Take care,

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2004, 03:00 PM
David Starkey
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

Big issue here....Why didn't you take baggage insurance? Why leave the ship..couldnt you get some clothes on the islands? I am sorry about your baggage, but you did have the option of paying for the insurance but you didnt.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2004, 05:03 AM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

So sorry to hear about your lost luggage. Carry on bags are the only way to go even on the cruise. Pack light and take the bare minimum. I always take two small carry on bags and handle them myself. I give up one bag to the porter at the pier but carry the other one onboard with me.
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Old July 16th, 2004, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

I'm sorry this happend to you also. I can only reiterate what the others said...this is why travel insurance is so important. Additionally, wouldn't it have just been cheaper to buy some new clothes onboard and enjoy the rest of the cruise instead of missing your trip of a life time. I know that is not what you wany to hear and I am not be unsympathetic..but if it were me, I would stayed onboard and tried to have a great time.
Please don't let this experience sour you on cruising.

Mary Lou Scanlon
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2004, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

Sorry to hear of your problem too, but I'm also not sure why you left the ship. Couldn't addl clothes & supplies been purchased?? (Personally I would have demanded that the cruiselines buy them for me!!)

Hopefully your next experience will be better.....and hmm, I haven't heard of baggage insurance...


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  #7 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

unfortunatley since it sounds like you did not purchase travel insurance , you just might be out of luck in terms of reimbursment. A couple of things should have happened. The cruise line should have given you some money towards the purchase of clothing and basic essential items. Did you ask?
I will again ask the question that the other have asked? Why did you leave the ship? You most certainly could have purchased some clothing in the boutique on board or on the island for much less than the cost of an airline ticket home. If you had done this and had saved your receipts and had travel insurance you might have gotten back some of the costs for your purchases.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

Ummmm...Hello? You were in Arruba (kind of like NY south...) not a 3rd world country.

By a quick scan of the internet, there are more than 20 clothing stores in downtown, and 8 "department" stroes. In adiition to the t-shirts on the streets, and of course the clothing shops in any of the big hotels.

You could have been completly re-outfitted for a couple of hundred bucks, and a few hours.

Instead you chose to ruin your vacation.

I was on a cruise a couple of years ago where this happened to a group of people. They were so good spirited, that the cruise staff started to joke around with them. They put out a hat for "the people with no clothes"

By the end of the cruise when they walked into the dining room everyone got up and cheered, and the cruise line brought them a big bottle of champagne!

I wonder if they now consider it the best crusie they ever went on? Different attitudes for different people.

Bottom line - the cruse ship should give you a little something for your troubles (like an upgrade on your next cruise, or a couple of hundred in credit), but 5k??? I would tell you the same thing...get lost.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2004, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

I always pack a change of clothes in carry on just in case. I hate your vacation was ruined, what a bummer. We always get the insurance, not for just the bags but the cruise too. You never no if you are gonna get ill or someone in immediate family die. Then you are covered. Good luck with some type of refund. We always cruise with Carnival, they have the quarantee.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

i really think you are going to be out of luck with the cruiseline on this one. i'm sure if you had spoken to the purser onboard you would have been able to get your complaint dealt with once you returned home, they cannot usually arrange to have a substainsal amount of money credited to you whilst onboard and i would have thought that something would have been forthcoming when you got back.

But as you walked off the cruise part way through you essentially broke your "contract" with them, you were contracted to be taken point to point and returned to a point specified in your itinerary. As you walked off and made other arrangements to get home on your own i feel this is why you are being told to "go away." As another poster asked was Panama a stop in your itinerary? if it was and your bags were taken there, then there is really nothing RC owe you.
i know they mislaid your baggage and essentially they could have broken their contract with you as regards transfering your baggage to the ship and i do appreciate that this ruined the cruise in your perceptin, but you could have purchsed clothes onboard or in various shops on land when you stopped.

What i would do is try and get a hold of a copy of their passenger charter, they will have one it may go under various names and specifically ask for the part regarding transfers from airport to port, purchased from RC and check what it says about where they are to take the bags to, i suspect it will say that you have paid to get from point A (airport) to point b (pier) and does not mention about you actually getting to the vessel and the same will apply to your bags. The loading of the bags and the check in is no doubt handled by a third party and it would be them you will have to take the matter up with.

i think this has the potential to get really messy and expensive. As i say check about the transfers (did you actually see your bags being loaded onto the truck at the airport by the way, i assume so as you say your bags were found at the pier) and check about who does the loading of bags onto the actual ship. But i really think that trying to get 5K out of them is just not going to happen, if you go to them and ask for a discount off another cruise or maybe onboard credit you will probably get it, but there is no way you will get the 5k back unless you bring in a lawyer. there are too many technicalities to fight for that much on your own. i think you are best just putting this down to experience.

i know it's long, but it may help.

please note, this is given as friendly advice and is not intended to be seen as 100% accurate advice or legally correct.

What do you mean this isn't how they eat onboard?

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

I usually have more stuff than I can carry in a carryon case, so I'll do as someone else said and put 2 of everything that I would absolutely need in the carryon, just in case my checked luggage gets lost. Even then, I only check that luggage with the airline and never with anyone else. I feel safer taking my own luggage to the port and personally giving to the ship's luggage people. I realize this doesn't help you now for what's already occurred, but you could use this as a learning experience for future trips.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2004, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

Never, ever, ever cruise without insurance. I have learned from one experience that the $99 I pay for it can save me thousands. I have paid about $900 in insurance over the last 10 years, but my cruises totaled over $18,000. Small amount to pay for peace of mind.


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  #13 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2004, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

I don't think the insurance would help me. I'm not sure the stuff I carry is worth much more than $100 since it's all considered used. I've taken 17 cruises over the years and never lost a bag, so I'm probably $1700 ahead since I don't believe that kind of insurance is cost effective. But for those who need the security of the insurance, go for it. It's just a matter of personal choice.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2004, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

Sorry your trip was ruined!

Questions for you:

*Did you purchase any kind of insurance or waiver?

*Was medication in your checked in baggage?

I worked in customer service in the travel business for years. I can tell you this: whatever correspondence you send to the cruise line, be sure to CC the Better Business Bureau in its area. That way, the line must reply to you asap.

Also, I would ask for cruise credit, as you elected to leave the ship, technically (even though your luggage was lost) the line does not "owe" you anything.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old July 19th, 2004, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: re:Cruise Nightmare!

funny thing, Ren hasn't replied to any of these messages, makes one wonder............
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5k, arruba

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