A word of advice for everyone...make sure that your
final payment has been charged to your credit card
when the time comes to do so. Don't assume, as we did,
that your final payment will be charged to your credit
card, even if you set it up that way. If it was not
for my wife checking our credit purchases a couple of
days ago, and Shawn Watters with the Costco Corporate
Offices, our upcoming cruise would have been cancelled
without our knowledge.
Approximately 7 months ago, Costco decided to exclusively
handle all operations of "Costco Travel" in house, rather
than farm it out to an independent travel company. And
with that our nightmare began.
Upon finding out that our credit card had not been
charged for our final payment on the due date, we attempted
to call "Costco Travel" to inquire as to why. With the
change over from the old to the new, we were prompted
to chose "2" on the key pad to be redirected to the old
company that originally booked our cruise for us. Un-
fortunately, we found out that the old company did away
with their cruise department and know one was following
up on the cruises that had been booked through them be-
fore Costco decided to go in house. We later (two days)
found out that the redirection to the old company went
nowhere, and no one was even taking calls from those people
that had booked with them when they were handling the
Costco account. For two days all we got was a recording
telling us that someone would be with us shortly, but
no one ever did.
When we discussed this with Carnival, they told us that
we did still have our initial deposit down for our cruise,
but,if they did not recieve our final payment from our
travel agent by Monday (7/15/02), our reservation would
be cancelled. And while I did not ask, I am sure that
our initial $900.00 deposit would not have been refunded.
And Costco Corporate was not much help either, with the
exception of Shawn Watters from the customer complaint
division. Mr. Watters, while keeping me on-line, made
numerous calls behind the scenes to get me in contact
with the old Costco Travel. After 45 minutes, Mr. Watters
finally was able to get through to the right people to
have them call me to straighten this nightmare out. My
wife and I are thoroughly convinced that if was not for
Mr. Watter's intervention, and kindness, our upcoming
cruise would have been cancelled and we would have been
out a sizeable amount of money. I also will be forwarding
this to Costco corporate in hopes that Mr. Watters will
get some much deserved recognition.
In closing, I apologize if my post is somewhat rambling,
or for that matter hard to follow, but my blood pressure
has yet to come back to earth. Make sure that your final
payment has been made, don't assume that just because you
set it up to be automatically charged to your credit
card, that that will be the case. Carnival's policy is
that they will cancel your cruise if they do not recieve
final payment within five days of the final due date.
I used an internet TA that turned out to be the devil himself. I have been a nervous wreck for months until i recieved my documents in the mail. I called Carnival twice to make sure my final payment was in...
Next time im going to deal with a "real person" . I'd rather pay more and not be just another number. The stress isnt worth it.
Sometimes Internet TA's can be a nightmare, other times they can be exceptioonally good and save you a buch of money. I just want to make sure that I can "reach out and touch" my TA and get in contact with him very quickly if I wish to. I seldom if ever actually 'need' a TA, but when I do, I want him/her right there.
Community Staff Leader