My wife just completed organizing a cruise for about 70 on the Radiance. The Group department staff in Miami were the worst disaster that she has ever encountered and as this is her business, she has seen some disasters.
She and the travel agent, a patient diplomatic angel spent countless hours trying to get these yahoos to to their jobs. One of many fiascos was the change of dining from late to early two days prior to departure after schedules and tours had been established for weeks. When my wife became demanding about the promised dining arrangements, the response was "what do you want us to do, make some more tables?" UNACCEPTABLE!!! After many more hours of work, the change was made.
The tickets were not received by most passengers until the day prior to departure and the Miami staff had no idea as to their status and didn't understand what the problem was. OK!
RCCL should oust this department and let customers deal with the ship directly. Once this happened at sailing, everything went very well and the cruise was a great success.
She just wanted me to pass this on and vent for her. If she ever does another program with them it will only be with a contract which specifically excludes these non-caring, useless ..... Oops, getting too wound up. I think you get my point.
Well... we work with RCI/Celeb's Group Department day in and day out, with lots of groups, large and small. We find them to be dedicated, helpful and extremely skillful in what they do. It sounds very much to me as though your t/a, nice as she may be, doesn't know what she's doing or dropped the ball somewhere along the way. One red flag... I cannot conceive of why your wife (the client) was talking with the group department to begin with. Another... documents sent so late... sounds like late payment of the final group settlement to me. Dining is ALWAYS confirmed on a group booking months out. The number of seats requested in a particular seating is confirmed at that time and becomes part of the group contract. Again, sounds like a dropped ball to me. I cannot recall an instance, over many years, when one of our group leaders was in direct contact with the group department. This is the t/a's job. I know how frustrating these failures must have been for the group, believe me. But I must say I think you've given that department a bad rap when the blame may lay elsewhere.
Ernie makes exactly the points that I was thinking. Even though I do get frustrated with the various cruise lines at times, we have always been able to work things out. We being myself and the group department, NOT the client and the group department. One problem with them having direct communication is that it leaves many opportunities for something to fall through the cracks with each person ( agent and client ) thinking the other one took care of something. Is it possible that happened here? If not, I'm sorry that you had such a crummy experience. Was the DSM not able to help?
No dice Ernie. We paid for the cruise personally on time and never got a reason for the late delivery of the documents. My point about dining was that the late seating was confirmed way out and then the cruise line changed it just before departure.
My wife always conference called the group department with the travel agent who also had never seen such ineptitude. With the problems they were experiencing, she refused not to be in the loop.
Look at responses on cruise addicts and you will see that we are not alone in this. Maybe it was the specific person with whom my ife and the agent were dealing but it was BAD. And any time that a supervisor was requested, the response was they are in a meeting and can't be disturbed.