TERRIBLE Cunard experience...
The below message was sent directly to the Cunard Line President and Managing Director by my father. I want as many people to know about his terrible experience and how he was treated by Cunard after being loyal to the cruise line for many years. I will continue to post this information on as many forums as possible to ensure widest dissemination.
I have stopped myself from mailing this to you many times; however, since I tried to disassociate myself from your company and the Cunard World Club Membership, your company keeps sending me brochures and come ons so… I am finally going to send you my thoughts.
I am a cancer survivor—twice. In 2005 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer which was subsequently cured through radiation therapy. In May 2006 I booked a cruise with Cunard Cruise Lines on the QE2, a voyage my wife and I had previously enjoyed two times in the past. In June 2006 I was diagnosed again with cancer, this time on my tongue that required six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. I received a letter from my attending physician that precluded my taking this trip. I sent to Cunard requesting them to allow me to postpone our trip to another time (NOT to refund my money--$6748.50!) I attached my physician’s letter as proof that I needed the radiation treatment and sent the package by fax to Ms Kathy Sanchez, Cunard Guest Relations at (661) 284-4771 on 10 Jul 06.
On 27 Jul 06 I received a form letter signed by Ms Rebecca Phillips denying my request.
Several things really bother me about the manner in which I have been treated. First, my wife and I have been loyal Cunard cruise passengers for several voyages in the past. My parents, before passing away, took five crossings on the QE2 and my sister has also cruised multiple times on the QE2. Consequently, I felt that, over the years through two generations of friendship, we had built up a solid respect for each other and deserved some compassion and understanding as a long time client of Cunard. When they got word that I had cancer and could not take the planned cruise, Cunard jettisoned me like a piece of flotsam and kept my money. My sister cruised on the trip I had planned and I know from her that the stateroom I had previously reserved was occupied by another party on the cruise—so Cunard was not out one dime by my postponing the trip—in fact, they made a profit on me of $6748.50!
I’m also outraged that my letter never got to Ms Sanchez, but was shortstopped by some lower level bureaucrat.
Finally, I’m sick of this whole mess and the way it’s been handled. The final outrage is the example of how a money grubbing, mercenary, bureaucratic bunch of dirtballs can treat a long time, loyal client. A lot of people should see the way you people do business and it should be against the law to do what you have apparently gotten away with by your actions! Obviously customer loyalty doesn’t exactly mean a lot to you.
Incidentally, since my recovery, we have taken two long cruises to Alaska and Eastern Canada and have thoroughly enjoyed another cruise line that respects their clients.
Consequently, I would very much appreciate it if you would see to it that my name is removed from your World Club clientele—Member Number: ######### and that we have no further communications in the future.
This message has appeared on other cruise sites and it's the first post for this poster. I'm sorry for the gentleman and cancer has touched all of us or someone very close to us but I have a problem when it's the first post and they start off with a big rant and expect us to back them up.
The letter indicates the traveler had experienced cruising before, even claiming to be a "long time, loyal client." with Cunard. My question is: Where you not aware of travel insurance? This is one of the most talked about issues that newbies ask on any MB related to cruising. And many on-line agencies promote travel insurance. Even the cruise ship companies in their literature have "written" information about the benefits of buying travel insurance.
Post this wherever you may... But in all things in this world, it is your responsibility to know the terms of the contract; and yes, it is a contract when your purchase!
I'm sorry the letter writer has cancer and sorry for the inconvenience and suffering it has caused.
Unfortunately the world has changed. My parents firmly believed that they established relationships with their banks and insurance providers and other large corporations they did business with on a regular basis.
It just isn't that way anymore. For ANY company these days a customer is a statistic, an account number and nothing more. The world is run by lawyers, contracts and fine print.
The only way to expect compensation from a cruise line, airline, hotel, Disneyland or anyone these days is to have travel insurance.
I don't have a problem with the person posting this online - he is expressing a legitimate thought and personal experience. In his personal world he has a point, but my experience is that it is pretty hard to get around a strict company policy.
As far as QM2 is concerned, her sheer size and numbers make attention to individuals difficult.
However I found the QE2 experience more intimate and personable.
I think his expectation of compassion and sympathy from a large Corporation are misplaced frankly- he can expect that from friends or family, but what he has with Cunard is a business relationship.
I knew before reading very far into this letter that he had not bothered to buy Cruise Insurance and would now demanding reimbursement because of his own neglect. We have all seen this many times on Cruise Enthusiast sites.. Playing the poor health card is tasteless. Lots of cancer survivors out there know better than to travel without comprehensive coverage and don't expect someone else to pay for their mistakes.
For someone who claims to have traveled extensively I am incredulous that he did not purchase Travel Insurance. He has himself to blame.
No doubt some media outlet will take up his cause and they will manage to blackmail the company into providing a replacement cruise.
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