In your message, you wrote the following words: "they used to get away with it because the cruise lines wouldn't check.". Well, it looks like this time they were caught in the act. Sorry, but reading this, I have no sympathy for cheaters. Remember one of those "golden rules", "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Gary C and others who have misinterpreted my prior post: You also must read my response under "promotional rate at the pier" wher I explain that my parents had no knowledge that their agent gave them a promotional rate until Celeb advised them of this at the pier. There was no mention of it in their cruise docs either. My parents weren't the "cheaters," they were the one who were cheated.
I am not sure this is cheating & am now very concerned why cruise rates differ for different areas!!!!Doesn't sound right to me--We get a Fla newspaper here in NY for place where we have a condo. If I booked one of those cruises would I be denied the quoted rate???
I've taken three cruises in the last 20 months, surf the internet daily, have spoken with many, many TA's, including AAA locally where I belong, and have NEVER been offered, nor even mentioned in any way or form, any special residential promotional rate. I've heard of special rates for Floridians, may even have read some of the advertisements when in Florida, and as I recall, they very clearly state those rates are for Florida residents ONLY. Now many people have dual residencies, with Florida with it's strong snowbird segment, probably being the most prominent. The cruiseline cannot go by the mailing address provided, since this may be the summer home. It is up to the passenger whom book these "Florida Only" special rates to provide the necessary documentation to show they have some official Florida residence, albeit seasonal. I have carefully read your original memo, and unless you twisted your words, in that memo you stated the rules were explained in the documents, and you also clearly stated that they were able to "get away with it before". This to me indicates prior knowledge as to the chances and illegalities they were undertaking. I'm all for getting the very best rate possible, for anything you purchase, but I'm not for obtaining that rate using lies and deception. I guess the bottomline has to be in this situation, were your parents charged a fair and equitable rate for the product (i.e. cruise et al) they were receiving. (A bit more: AAA is too large an organization to risk this kind of activity, which is obviously easily trackable. How many others out in Cyberspace have been offered these special rates by their TA's? In my years of surfing, I do not recall any such instance previously.)
Gary C: I've responded to your post above and your post under my original heading titled "FYI: Problems with Promotional Rate at the Pier" and indicated that my parents had absolutely no knowledge until they got to the pier that the rate their agent booked them under was any kind of promotional rate. If that was unclear in my original post, I apologize. However, I think I made it very clear above. The "they" that I referred to in my original post when I said "they've gotten away with it in the past" referred to travel agents, not my parents, who have never booked a cruise before this one. I was trying to relate what Celebrity told me: that, in the past, travel agents have booked passengers at promotional rates the passengers do not qualify for and, because the cruiselines did not verify that the rate was applicable, they - the travel agents, got away with it. Also, in my original memo I indicated that Celebrity told me that the cruise documents specified that passengers must bring proof of qualifiying for promotional rates with them to the pier. I've since checked the language (because I've gotten my own cruise documents for the cruise I'm taking with Celebrity on 3/7/04) and there is a one liner on the list of documentation that you need to bring with you that indicates that you must bring proof of qualifying for a promotional rate, if applicable. If my parents didn't know they were booked at a promotional rate, how could they have known to bring proof? I'm not sure why but you seem bent on making the scenario my parents fault. I'll defend them to the end. If you are pointing the finger at them out of loyalty to Celebrity, I'm loyal to them too. I've never had a bad experience with them in the past. I know that it was the travel agent who screwed up on this one. Nonetheless, I can't help but think that Celebrity could find a way to verify the applicability of promotional rates at some point before the passenger reaches the pier. I hear your point about dual residents, but all Celebrity would have to do in such instances is note the address on the booking didn't match the promotion and request proof ahead of time. It seems like they'd want to avoid having to wring additional money out of passengers while they're at the boarding desk. Just my 2 cents.