What an incredible disappontment dealing with Celebrity was. We had read all these incredible reviews, so so booked a 9 night cruise for our 20th anniversary, made plane reservations, arrangements for our children, booked shore excursions and reservations for a pre-cruise stop at Disney World. Then, with no warning they cancelled the cruise to "reposition" the ship in Europe less than 7 months before the sail date. We will NEVER work with Celebrity or Royal Caribbean again. Be careful you don't get screwed too.
Surely Celebrity offered you something in return like a discounted future cruise. I have had nothing but good dealings with Celebrity. They once had to cancel my cruise and they gave us a future cruise at half price. I was very satisfied with the whole experience.
There are bound to be interruptions and changes when booking travel so far in advance. The airlines have schedule changes, hotels schedule renovations, and cruise lines change schedules. I also find it very hard to believe that Celebrity didnt attempt to make the situation right by offering some sort of compensation. They are usually very generous when it comes to compensating for even a minor inconvenience if they are at fault. This is situation is not minor so im sure they offered something significant. I personally would never book a cruise so far in advance anyway. There is so much that can go wrong in a year. The incentives offered for booking early are really not that much better than waiting till a few months before the cruise. There are so many ships sailing now and there is so much competetion that it pays to wait and book a sailing that is low on passengers and a month or 2 out.
Something like this happened to me once, and I was upset.
But, please let us know what they offered due to the inconvenience - this may be an opportunity to work with them for a real great vacaction.
As it turned out with me, I was more than happy with the alternative.
Also, come on folks - lets not blame this on planning too far in advance - don't tell me that cruise lines DON'T encourage this - in addition, this was a special event (20th anniversary). I would be a billionaire if I could bet my blackjack hands after all the cards were dealt.
Chris - Celebrity is great - so keep working with them - I would, even though my favorite is Holland America. Enjoy that anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We had a NCL cruise cancelled 1 month before departure and this was a repositioning cruise so we were left with tickets to Honolulu and home from Vancouver, not easy to plan an alternate vacation .
NCL said they wre offering something like 20% of the value we paid for that cruise if we booked another cruise within one year. They also agreed to refund us some airmiles for our unusable airline tickets but then renaiged on that offer. I too was avery dissatisfied NCL customer.
I would like to hear if Celebrity offered you any compensation or tried at all to work with you to find some solution (substitute another cruise on a different ship for instance).
Of course the cruise lines encourage you to book way in advance. They want your money as soon as they can get it. That deposit is money in the bank for them that they collect interest on play with. The thing is just because they do it doesnt mean one has to take the bait.
You only put a small amount down when you book a cruise - most of the money is due just before the cruise - not months in avance.
What bait? These folks were planning a special event!
My point is that it is certainly not JUST Celebrity that does this kind of thing, and I would be interested in knowing what was offered due to the inconvenience.
I know someone whose cruise was cancelled by H/A, but got a great deal instead, keeping in mind that their plans were able to be altered due to their life situation, so actually made out on the deal. jlk
I just wanted to let all the cruisers know how Celebrity cruiselines has chosen to show their passengers just how much they really care about them. On December 22, 2004, I along with my other 16 passengers and everyone else who had booked a 9 and 10 night Caribbean cruise onboard the Century with sailings anytime between 5/5/05 through 10/15/05, was told that their cruise had been cancelled. Celebrity had decided to cancel it's Caribbean sailings and move the ship to the Baltic. Since they had no other ships in the Caribbean during that time, they offered to give each passenger his money back (without interest of course) or a $200 per cabin onboard credit if they chose to book a different cruise with either Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. Sound good so far? Well here's the catch....for all of us passengers who have already booked our vacations or our honeymoons or whatever and only have these specific dates off and want to go someplace warm like the Caribbean, we only have one choice...book with Royal Caribbean! We must now go from a 9 or 10 night cruise to a 7 night cruise and we must pay rates that are 1/3 higher then the rates we paid for the Century! What does Celebrity say when we point this out to them and explain that we are Elite members of their Captains Club for repeat cruisers, when we tell them that we acheived this status by cruising with them so many times and by believing them when they told us that their repeat passengers were what they valued most? They told us that the Revenue department made this decision because that is where they would make more money! So with all of their advertisements and commercials that tell you how much they care about you and how well you will be taken care of....BEWARE!!! What once was a cruise line that was top in the industry is now a business that is top in the "BAIT and Switch" technique!!! To all my fellow cruisers we deserve better!!!!! Let us all let Celebrity know how we feel!!!!
Disappointing but not unusual. I am a travel professional and had four cabins booked on Radisson Seven Seas for Bermuda in June. Last month I had a letter from the cruise line that the sailing was a full ship charter. I booked my clients on Celebrity also sailing from Norfolk.
I just found out today about the cancellation. I went into my online banking and found my deposits were credited back to my account. Called TA, which called Celebrity and found out about the cancellation. We had a group of 14 leaving on July 9th, 2005, we are all dissappointed. Well back to square 1, searching for another cruise, I hope there is some compensation from Celebrity, but I doubt it.
a 200.00 shipboard credit is much better than what they have to do which is absolutely nothing except give you a refund of your deposit. What do you get when and airline cancels a flight? or a hotel has to walk you because they are overbooked? Why should a cruise line be held to a different standard? If a person showed up for the sailing and they were told on sail date that there was no cabin for them or the ship wasnt going to sail then there would be cause for some significant compensation....we are talking several months of advance notice here. I think Mick Jagger said it best "You cant always get what you want". So instead of taking the victim stance just take the 200.00 credit and find another cruise. If thats not good enough then try any of the dozens of other cruise lines out there and im shure you will find that many of them would give you much less under the same circumstances.
Deputy Dog, the money is not the issue, nor is what other industries do relevant. The point is that people have invested time and energy into selecting a cruise. We always check out the ship, the itineraries, the sail dates, the cost, selecting what, in our minds, is the ideal vacation for us at this point in time. I'm sure others do the same.
Once done, people become invested emotionally into the vacation, and for most it becomes a focal point of their lives, planning shore excursions, checking out boards, and generally looking forward to the experience. To then have a cruise line dash their hopes for reasons that can only be viewed as purely greedy is very hard. After all, they have spent their time and energy selecting "This vacation on this cruise line" and now the cruise line has basically said "Pound salt buster, we can make a few extra bucks over here, we don't need you or your vacation dollars"
The fact is, that the time to make decisions on which itineraries a ship will be sailing is before a schedule is published and deposits accepted. Once a schedule has been set, and especially once deposits have been accepted, folks have a right to expect that a ship will be sailing from a certain port to certain ports on specific days unless there are "exceptional intervening circumstances". Such as mechanical problems with the ship or a hurricane. Financial decisions that we can make more money sailing from one port rather than another port don't rise to the level of "exceptional intervening circumstances"
I don't blame people for being hurt and angry by changes of this type. Frankly, I understand and indeed expect this reaction. I can't believe that the cruise lines don't also expect this reaction, it's only normal. That being said, I can only assume that the cruise lines do not care about their customers feeling or whether or not they are return cruisers. To think otherwise would be ridiculous.
I think you put that very well. What Celebrity or any cruise line has the legal right to do based on the very one sided contracts they get cruisers to sign, is not the same as what cruisers have a reason to expect from a company acting in good faith.
If I had been booked on one of those cancelled cruises I would know that I had very little legal redress, but I would also, as you so rightly said, feel that
"the cruise lines do not care about their customers feeling or whether or not they are return cruisers."
As well as this being seen as a slap in the face, that will probably upset many previously loyal Celebrity cruisers, it will also work against the cruise lines attempt to get people to book early. The main reasons I can see for booking early are that you either are very restricted as to travel time and need to nail your cruise down well in advance, or you want a particular cabin which you are afraid will not be available later.
Now you find yourself without a cruise for that important time frame or trying to rebook on another ship which by now has all the best cabins 'picked over'.
This type of profit based cancellation makes early booking a waste of time and a joke.
Well I guess its just a matter of individual expectations and standards. Speaking for myself I never micromanage my vacations by planning every last detail and doing extensive research because past experience has taught me a lesson. The uncontrolled variables surrounding any vacation can and will force you to alter or change plans many times. Sometimes those changes come months before a vacataion ie. canceled cruise and sometimes they happen during the vacation ie. cancelled shore excursion, weather delays, canceled flights, lost luggage.....I guess if a person has an anal retentive personality and needs to micromanage every thing then that person is really just setting themselves up for future disappointment. I still think Celebrity is the best and had this happened to me I would have been upset for a moment then I would have moved on.
No I dont work for Celebrity. I have been on several Celebrity cruises and have enjoyed myself on every single last one of them. They all werent perfect......delays, port changes, skipped ports due to weather, crews that are burnt out, ships in need of dry dock. I still had the time of my life. I would have to say the only time I have ever had a negative experience on a sailing was having to endure listening to my "cruisemates" complain and whine and go out of their way to make sure they and those around them do not have a good time. So many negative people looking for any excuse to be the victim. The issue at hand and the reactions to it are a perfect example. Life goes on. Close to 200,000 people killed in a horrible disaster and the ensuing disease and famine and here we sit complaining and debating because Celebrity canceled a cruise and only offered a 200.00 credit. What a shame. You may ask what the connection is? Well if you put this small inconvenience into perpective and look beyond your little world of standards and expectations you will surely see that in the big picture you should consider yourself lucky that you are in a position to have this happen to you. So go on your cruise...take that 200.00 credit and be thankful. If you decide not to sail Celebrity have them donate the 200.00 credit to a charity of your choice.
"Speaking for myself I never micromanage my vacations by planning every last detail and doing extensive research...I guess if a person has an anal retentive personality and needs to micromanage every thing then that person is really just setting themselves up for future disappointment."
I'm not sure what your present situation in life is, but from where I stand, a person does not need to be 'anal retentive' to need to have major details of their vacations settled a little bit in advance. For me, taking a vacation requires juggling the schedules of my self, my husband and my kids, as well as my job. Even if I am travelling alone I have to make arrangements for those I leave behind and have to go at a time that is not very inconveinient for them.
It is really not possible for me to just change everything at the drop of a hat ( or the cancelling of a cruise.) Smaller things like changes of port would not cause me great upset but to just tell me the cruise I booked is not happening at all, would cause me a major problem.
Maybe you think I should just not take a vacation until I am retired and all my children have grown up and moved out and, if that is what you think ,then I think you should say that, and not accuse people who do not have total freedom of time and schedule of being "anal retentive" or "micro managing".
" If you decide not to sail Celebrity have them donate the 200.00 credit to a charity of your choice."
How exactly would that work? Would Celebrity offer one of the tsunami survivors $200 off a Celebrity cruise in Europe? Get real, do you really think Celebrity is going to donate anything because you decide not to use your credit?
Perhaps they would not but if one is looking to put them on the spot and do some damage then what a great way to do it. Instead of calling for people to boycott them for selfish reasons ask them to donate the 200.00 credits and if they dont im sure some media outlet would be willing to run with such a story. Its at least worth a try. I suppose if they didnt I for one would be very disappointed.
As an example.....I am booked on the Summit 10 day Ultimate Caribbean on 18 February. I am flying to Ft Lauderdale on the 16th, 2 days before the cruise leaves just because I dont want to run into weather problems and miss the cruise. I am not leaving Ft. Lauderdale until 1 March the day after the ship gets in just in case. When did I plan all of this? 3 days ago. Those are the only plans I have. Havent booked a hotel, havent booked shore excursions, havent even booked a rental car yet. I couldnt even dream of planning for a vacation a year out. So much can change in a year. Personal life changes like jobs and people getting sick and...well you get the idea. Things also change for businesses like....oh....lets say Celebrity. If Celebrity called me next week and said the Summit is moving to San Diego and doing the Mexican Riviera, I would simply drive down to the Keys for 3 or 4 days and catch the Millenium or some other 7 day cruise leaving Miami or Ft Lauderdale on Saturday or Sunday.....I suppose I just dont get it. I can have fun and enjoy myself on vacation no matter where I am because im not a difficult person to please. I just go with the flow because thats part of the adventure for me. I understand everyone has different circumstances in life but the world is a huge place full of things to do and there are many options available for cruising. Its not the end of the world because Celebrity canceled a cruise and only gave 200.00 shipboard credits.
People have every right to be upset with Celebrity's decision cancelling their vacation plans.... and I can certainly appreciate the disappointment.
Moving the Century to Europe for the summer creates an even more pronounced situation, because that leaves Celebrity with NO prescence in the Caribbean for the summer. So no X ships to make alternate arrangements to sail.
The cruise industry, as a whole, encourages people to book as early as possible. They want those "deposit dollars" in their bank accounts. Yet, there are no guarantees from any of the cruise lines that they won't make changes before you sail.
There's been cases where companies come in and do whole ship charters, and the cruise lines have cancelled the cruises of those booked already.
"The cruise lines make all these moves with their own financial interest in mind. They weigh the positive financial impacts of the changes against the possible impact of the negative reaction by those passengers who's trips they cancel (and what that may translate to in terms of $$s, even down the road). Then also consider the goodwill factor from those they presume will sail and enjoy the ship's new itinerary.
It's ultimately a business decision based on what Celebrity feels will be best for them in the short and long term.
In the case of the Century, obviously bookings had to be very flat for the summer months, and they also likely have a very good idea of the % of deposited passengers who cancel prior to final payment, and forecasts of future summer bookings. The totals must have been pretty gruesome, or I can't imagine they would have even considered the change.
I do hope all those affected find other ships to cruise on, and enjoy their cruises!
After reading your most recent post I begin to realize that, apart from you being more flexible and less 'anal retentive' than most of us, there is something else coming into play here.
If I could afford to just book air tickets 5 or 6 weeks before my cruise, just walk up to a hotel in Fort Lauderdale when I arrive and pay whatever they ask for a room, make reservations last minute for the Millenium (sorry sir all we have left is the sky suite at $2700 per person -- no problem!) I might be a little more relaxed about things too.
Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge you the freedom. It must be nice to be in that situation. However, I think many people who cruise and who post on this board are not in that situation. Many of us have to plan carefully and to shop around to make a cruise vacation economically feasible.
As you pointed out, we are all lucky compared to a large part of the world, but maybe you should realize that you are lucky compared to a large part of the cruise population and should keep that in mind before you label people with cute tags like 'micro manager' or 'anal retentive'.
Sorry if this post comes out as overly critical or harsh, but I do think that people have a right to be upset about this cancellation and I am tired of people trying to put down other posters whenever they make any critical comments about a cruise line.
As you can see from my signature, we are booked quite far in advance. In fact we have cruises booked through March 2006. This is because, both my wife and I have to put in our vacation slips at work by the 15th of January. Once we put in that slip, that's our vacation, it can't be changed. So, If I have booked a cruise, and put in my vacation request and then the cruise lines cancel my cruise I'm stuck. Either, I have to find a different cruise to go on at the last minute, or I'm loking for something else to do for vacation. In either case, I'm not likely to look very kindly on a cruise line that has inconvienienced me because it's put itself above the needs of it's customers, without whom I might add it would soon be out of business.
As for planning my trips, or "Micromanaging" as you put it, I enjoy it. That's reason enough to do it. I don't begrudge any company making a profit. My point is simply this, the time to make decisions about your business model is before you make an offering. Once an offering is made and money is exchanged, any business has an obligation to follow through.
I am not putting anyone down for micromanaging or anything like that. I think my comments are bing seen as an insult. Perhaps its not what im saying rather its the way im saying it. I apologize if anyone feels offended. I am simply saying that if you plan so far ahead for vacations you have to expect that there will be changes. Flights times are changed (if you do your own air a year out thats a whole other problem). A hotel that you booked a year ago as a Sheraton could have been sold to Best Western. So now your staying at the Best Western Bal Harbor for 250.00 a night instead of the Sheraton. The travel industry is in a constant state of change. Properties are bought and sold. Cruise Lines are bought and sold. Airlines go bankrupt. Schedules change and cruise ships are repositioned. So the solution to this is for people to stop booking cruises so far in advance. Perhaps the cruise lines will get the message and outline in writing exactly what type of compensation you will get in the event of a cancellation. The carrier contract is very one sided at this point and maybe that needs to change. The only way that will happen is if you vote with you dollars and send them a clear message that this type of event is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. So maybe they are getting a little too cocky and take for granted that if they advertise it people will throw money at them for deposits and there is no penalty to be paid other than a token gesture to appease those affected. The bottom line is Celebrity is within the law in what they did. They offered something when they didnt technically have to and thats more than you might get from any other sector of the travel industry.
We did much better some years ago when Celeb cancelled us out of one of the early trips on Millenium. We received a much more generous shipbpard credit & although they tried to move our dates we were stuck with our week & landed Memrcury at a nice discount. They cancelled us for somone who chartered the enitire ship & in exchange for the inconvenience & disappointment they compensated us very well. You don't hear much of that anyore & notice is often late getting out to those who have booked. Having to plan a year ahead for our vacations, we like to have everything set. When you get to your cruiseport it's nice to know you have a hotel room waiting that you selected in advance at a good rate.. same with airfare. The rest of the time on the cruise one can be flexible but getting there & getting home is a bit of a logistical battle. They should have honored the reservation or offered a great deal to keep the customer happy & loyal!
Please go to this same web site and click on the "Practical Advice" section, scroll down to "Cruise Gripes!" and read my experience with Celebrity. Mine is labeled "Geriatric Cruise From Hell" and let me know if you really want to cruise with Celebrity. There were many more things wrong on the cruise than just the old people. That was just our biggest gripe. Read some of the other gripes people had with the Mercury which is another Celebrity ship. Perhaps it was good your cruise got cancelled and it saved you all the aggravation like we went through with Celebrity. We will never cruise again after this really bad experience.....not with any cruise line!! sks