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Old August 5th, 2009, 05:05 PM
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Default Sewage odor making us sick!

I am writing to share a problem my husband and I experienced on our 6/15/09 sailing aboard the Celebrity Summit from Venice to Barcelona. We invested $11,998 on the cruise fare alone, opting to upgrade to one of the finest cabins on the ship for a very special occasion: our honeymoon. We never expected what was to follow.

6/15 - We immediately noticed a sewage odor coming from our balcony and felt ill before we even set sail (i.e., nausea, headache, dizziness). We blamed the dock and avoided the balcony.

6/16 - We wanted to enjoy sailing from Venice on our balcony, but the smell was unbearable. We hoped the air quality would improve as we sailed to Croatia.

6/17 - We went to the medical facility and were told there was at least an hour wait. We opted to visit a pharmacy in Croatia so as not to miss out on the port and compromise our trip any further. However, once we were off the ship, the air was fresh, and we started to feel better.

6/17 - Sailing from Croatia at over 20 knots, the foul odor onboard intensified, despite the strong breeze. At our expense, we e-mailed our agent at Prestige Travel for guidance, and called Guest Services. Guest Services did not respond, and the Hotel Manager was not available. We then stood at the Guest Services desk until the Hotel Manager, the Chief Engineer, the Chief Housekeeper and their assistants came to our cabin to assess the problem. They only acknowledged a “food odor,” though it clearly smelled like a dirty toilet. The Chief Engineer suggested they "flush" the black water sewage system. In the interim, we were offered no reparations. Our room could not even be changed as the cruise was reportedly sold out.

6/18 - The sewage odor persisted, less so on our balcony, and more so in our cabin as well as the entire Deck 6 hallway. The cruise staff did not follow up with us, so we called the Hotel Manager again. It was maddening to have to spend any more of our honeymoon dealing with this. The Hotel Manager stated that while compensation would be in order, the nature and extent of that compensation would depend on how quickly the problem was resolved.

6/21 - The Hotel Manager offered us in writing 25% of the value of the cruise base price (i.e.., to compensate for 3 of the 12 days) to be issued as either a cruise credit towards a Celebrity Cruise with restrictions, or the same dollar value to be put towards our charges on our current cruise, with any balance being returned to the credit card provided upon embarkation. This would have been acceptable, except that the foul odor was worse than ever. We asked to reassess the situation towards the end of the cruise since the problem was clearly unresolved. However, as we disembarked, the problem remained unresolved.

A Celebrity Cruises representative in Miami who would only identify himself as “Victor” contacted me days later to extend the same offer. I felt the offer was unfair, so “Victor” agreed to contact me after the July 4th holiday to reach a mutually agreeable decision.

7/10 - “Victor” had not called back, so we called him. We were informed that he was not available and no other associate or supervisor could assist us. We left messages all week for his return call with associates who would only identify themselves as "Audrey" and "Pamela."

7/15 - “Victor” finally returned our call, and we informed him that we felt our cruise fare should be refunded, not just because we were deprived of the cabin experience we paid for, but because we spent our honeymoon inhaling sewage fumes and wasting time trying to solve a problem we did not create with cruise staff and representatives who have resisted every effort to right this wrong. “Victor” stated that refunds are never issued, so I immediately faxed him the original offer that was made in writing by the Hotel Manager. “Victor” stated he would call me back after discussing the matter with his superiors.

7/20 – “Victor” called to state that Celebrity Cruises could only offer 25% of the cruise fare as a cruise credit to be used by us alone over the next calendar year, excluding holidays. He further stated that the original offer from the hotel manager in writing only applied while were on the ship, despite the fact that this was never mentioned, in writing or otherwise, by any member of the cruise staff at any time.

We have shared this information with our travel agency and the following cruise ship executives, without any response to date:

• Mr. Daniel Hanrahan - President & CEO
• Mr. Richard Fain - Chairman & CEO
• Mr. Brian Rice - Executive Vice President & CFO

I truly hope that by sharing this information with you, we can help ensure safe and fair travel practices in the future. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear of this problem, you endured on your honeymoon. Compunding the issue, is the less than stellar response you got on, and, off the ship..Documenting the issues, as you have, and speaking with the staff you spoke to onboard, you would think, this type of problem would be handled as a priortity.

The odor issue is sadly, not uncommon, and over the years one would think the ships would have a handle on fixing it, in a more timely manner.

Don't give up, and please let us know how this issue gets resolved.
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Old August 9th, 2009, 12:51 PM
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I read this post and even copied it our reader reviews.

My comment is that it points out what we have recommended to our readers several times. If you have a problem on a ship take care of it then & there. An odor outside is a problem but not insurmountable.

The ship offered them a 25% refund at the time, but they said no. Mistake. It is much harder to get a resolution of a problem once the cruise is over because there is less the company can do.

I am sorry, but they had the run of the ship for an entire cruise, ate every meal, saw all the shows and arrived at all the ports. To expect a full refund is over-reaching and isn't going to happen.

Nowe they are upset the 25% refund is off the table, well it was darn nice of them to offer it in the first place.

We always urge our readers NOT to put off resolving a problem. When the cruise line offers you a compensation VERY rarely will they ever increase long after the fact. They might, but I can't tell you how oftebn we have heard "that is the best we can do, sorry."
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Old August 10th, 2009, 07:08 PM
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mschwa9165,

I feel so sorry for your experience on the Celebrity Summit. It is a shame that you spent all most $12,000 for what you thought was a premium cabin on a premium cruise ship and then had to endure what you went through. Some may have a different opinion but IMHO there is just no excuse for making people ill from foul odors.

As Trip said "The odor issue is sadly, not uncommon, and over the years one would think the ships would have a handle on fixing it, in a more timely manner" is 100% correct.

The changing of what you were promised, the omission of information by Celebrity and spin put on what you were told by Celebrity is also, based on my experience, is not that unusual for Celebrity when dealing with the home office.

My experience has been that letters to the president of Celebrity do absolutely no good. The only response I ever got was a form letter that did not even cover the problem that I was addressing.

The best way is to hang in there and keep after them and do not give-up.

Rather than go into it here, if you need any other ideas on ways to possibly resolve your problem, assuming the letters fail, please feel free to contact me via email.

Good luck in your efforts.

Debra
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Old August 12th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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Sorry to hear about your experience on board Celebrity. I hope you will use the credit to sail on them again, giving them another opportunity.

Good luck-
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Old August 13th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Sewage odor making us sick!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschwa9165
I am writing to share a problem my husband and I experienced on our 6/15/09 sailing aboard the Celebrity Summit from Venice to Barcelona. We invested $11,998 on the cruise fare alone, opting to upgrade to one of the finest cabins on the ship for a very special occasion: our honeymoon. We never expected what was to follow.

6/15 - We immediately noticed a sewage odor coming from our balcony and felt ill before we even set sail (i.e., nausea, headache, dizziness). We blamed the dock and avoided the balcony.

6/16 - We wanted to enjoy sailing from Venice on our balcony, but the smell was unbearable. We hoped the air quality would improve as we sailed to Croatia.

6/17 - We went to the medical facility and were told there was at least an hour wait. We opted to visit a pharmacy in Croatia so as not to miss out on the port and compromise our trip any further. However, once we were off the ship, the air was fresh, and we started to feel better.

6/17 - Sailing from Croatia at over 20 knots, the foul odor onboard intensified, despite the strong breeze. At our expense, we e-mailed our agent at Prestige Travel for guidance, and called Guest Services. Guest Services did not respond, and the Hotel Manager was not available. We then stood at the Guest Services desk until the Hotel Manager, the Chief Engineer, the Chief Housekeeper and their assistants came to our cabin to assess the problem. They only acknowledged a “food odor,” though it clearly smelled like a dirty toilet. The Chief Engineer suggested they "flush" the black water sewage system. In the interim, we were offered no reparations. Our room could not even be changed as the cruise was reportedly sold out.

6/18 - The sewage odor persisted, less so on our balcony, and more so in our cabin as well as the entire Deck 6 hallway. The cruise staff did not follow up with us, so we called the Hotel Manager again. It was maddening to have to spend any more of our honeymoon dealing with this. The Hotel Manager stated that while compensation would be in order, the nature and extent of that compensation would depend on how quickly the problem was resolved.

6/21 - The Hotel Manager offered us in writing 25% of the value of the cruise base price (i.e.., to compensate for 3 of the 12 days) to be issued as either a cruise credit towards a Celebrity Cruise with restrictions, or the same dollar value to be put towards our charges on our current cruise, with any balance being returned to the credit card provided upon embarkation. This would have been acceptable, except that the foul odor was worse than ever. We asked to reassess the situation towards the end of the cruise since the problem was clearly unresolved. However, as we disembarked, the problem remained unresolved.

A Celebrity Cruises representative in Miami who would only identify himself as “Victor” contacted me days later to extend the same offer. I felt the offer was unfair, so “Victor” agreed to contact me after the July 4th holiday to reach a mutually agreeable decision.

7/10 - “Victor” had not called back, so we called him. We were informed that he was not available and no other associate or supervisor could assist us. We left messages all week for his return call with associates who would only identify themselves as "Audrey" and "Pamela."

7/15 - “Victor” finally returned our call, and we informed him that we felt our cruise fare should be refunded, not just because we were deprived of the cabin experience we paid for, but because we spent our honeymoon inhaling sewage fumes and wasting time trying to solve a problem we did not create with cruise staff and representatives who have resisted every effort to right this wrong. “Victor” stated that refunds are never issued, so I immediately faxed him the original offer that was made in writing by the Hotel Manager. “Victor” stated he would call me back after discussing the matter with his superiors.

7/20 – “Victor” called to state that Celebrity Cruises could only offer 25% of the cruise fare as a cruise credit to be used by us alone over the next calendar year, excluding holidays. He further stated that the original offer from the hotel manager in writing only applied while were on the ship, despite the fact that this was never mentioned, in writing or otherwise, by any member of the cruise staff at any time.

We have shared this information with our travel agency and the following cruise ship executives, without any response to date:

• Mr. Daniel Hanrahan - President & CEO
• Mr. Richard Fain - Chairman & CEO
• Mr. Brian Rice - Executive Vice President & CFO

I truly hope that by sharing this information with you, we can help ensure safe and fair travel practices in the future. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
what cabin did you have on what deck
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