For those of you who might have some type of problems with HAL, be aware that the top brass are not the BRIGHTEST BULBS in the world. My partner of 12 years and I were to leave this weeek, 4/18 for a10 DAY Valendam sailing. Peter had emergency back to back brain surgery last Mon. and Tues. We only booked this sailing the week before and since we are both younger 44 and 53, and we thought in good health, we waved insurance. Peter's surgery went well but he suffered a stroke late this past Sat. afternoon.
I had sent three faxes to HAL excutives including the CEO, these faxes went out THrus and FRi. prior to Peter's sroke. When I never heard back form anyone at HAL I call the customer rep. for the Volendam, this Mon. 4/14. He told me he would see what was going on ASAP. He called back to say that the BEST, HAL could offer was that either Peter or I would have to sail this Fri. but we could change one of the passenger names on the tickets.
I talked to his manager and asked him if his wife, partner, lover, etc. was laying in an Neuro ICU unit fighting for their life if he would go on a crusie. Told me this offer was what came down from up TOP.
I think I would have felt better if HAL had told me to go to YOU KNOW WHERE! We were not asking for a refund, but just to postpone the cruise until Peter might be able to go sometime in the future. Even USairways was wiling to make a special allowance and reissue our plane tickets, from Philly to Fort Lauderdale for a future date.
HAL, needs to take another look at who is at the TOP. Maybe a call to their Parent Company, Carnival, might help?
For the whole story read the post emergency Medical help.
Without sounding mean, thats why you buy medical or cancellation insurance. Things do happen in life and its much cheaper to pay the insurance than loose a whole cruise fare. No one can predict unexpected medical problems. You had the option of getting cancellation protection and you declined. This is a perfect example of why people need to accept the cancellation coverage rather than save a few bucks and decline the added protection. You had options to protect yourself and did nothing. Hal owes you nothing. You have no right to complain(although I understand how dificult this must be) becuse YOU didn't take cancellation protection.
Non caring executives, what about your obligation to protect your investment(cruise fare) by taking the insurance. Again I am sorry for your situation, but it was your intension NOT to take the insurance protection, not HAL.
If you had read his original posts (which he referenced) you would have seen that insurance for the cruise would have been over 60% of the price of the cruise, since it was booked so close to sailing. I don't think he's grousing so much about being out the cost of the cruise, but at HAL's lack of service or understanding - the HAL corporate orifice just doesn't care - they would lose nothing by allowing the change, but instead, prefer to alienate two loyal customers forever, by being hard-nosed cold-hearted corporate jerks.
I've noticed that on many cruise lines, the corporate skin-flints act with the attitude of "customer be damned - we might lose a penny on our corporate bonus! After all - customers aren't human - they're just numbers!"
I can only assume you are writing to me since I was the last post in the thread and you didn't address your post otherwise. My friend, I have read his posts which he referenced. I am very sympathetic to Dan and Peter's situation. I am not defending HAL or Dan and Peter. I am merely looking at the broadest of pictures. I see both sides of this very unfortunate occurrence. After thinking it through, my opinion for what it is worth, is that HAL owes Dan and Peter nothing. If they break their policy just this one time, they will have to break their policy every time. Then the retroactive folks will come out...
I hear that you helped Dan and Peter. Two years ago I brought a silmilar occurrence to you for consideration and you did nothing for me. I want the same response as Dan and Peter, retroactively.
Since civil court is the American way, maybe Dan and Peter have an ally there, but I think the fine print will cover off HAL
Yes, what happened to you and Peter is a tragedy, but this is exactly why we buy insurance for every cruise. We buy the premium package from an outside insurance company which is true insurance- 100% coverage. I read on these boards so often the 'I am young and healthy, I don't need insurance'. Well, the insurance covers an emergency to all and any family members, not just the cruisers. We used our insurance in February when an elderly family member got sick as we were about to board our ship! Got a 100% refund from the insurance company, only needing a doctor's statement of the emergency. Best $$$ we ever spent. We just returned from a cruise and luckily had no problem and didn't have to use the insurance. But I don't regret having paid for it- I could relax knowing I wouldn't be out many thousands of dollars if an emergency arose.
And, yes, HAL does have something to lose by giving you a credit towards another cruise. They most probably are out the fare for your 4/18 cabin. Your emergency was so near sail time it is doubtful they could have re-booked your cabin.
A policy with a company this big has to be a policy they stick to for all the obvious reasons. You had the option of covering any possible loss and didn't choose to take it. A good lesson for anyone reading your posts. Best of luck to Peter in his recovery!
No one ever cancels at the last minute because of good news.
The company has to be hard nosed. Insurance is the only protection available.
Strange you should mention the age and health of the typical HAL guest. I was ostracized for showing one nice little old lady the horn button on her motorized cart. A large number looked like they shouldn't have been there without someone to care for them. Felt sorry for them sitting around the dance floor looking lost. Then they played a line dance and every damn one of them was up doing the electric slide! At least they were on a cruise.
To those who offered Peter and I, their prayers and best wishes, THANK YOU.........He is getting better everyday. He is still at risk for another stroke. He'll need weeks in a Rehab Hospital once he is out of danger. They'll have to each him to walk and learn to use his left arm and hand. We believe he'll be 100% but only God knows that
To those who have nothing better to do than lecture us about INSURANCE, you missed the whole point. I COULD NOT CARE LESS ABOUT THE MONEY. We fully understand that we had the option to get insurance, we didn't because of the hight cost aqnd never have in the past. I called HAL to see if they could offer an option. I never asked for or wanted cancel. I asked if we could either postpone the sailing until Peter was well enough to travel. Letting HAL pick the sailing, even trading a 10 day for a seven day. Since many weeks out o the year HAL ships sail way less than full. The other option I asked about was, if we were able to find some family or friends, could we sent them in our place. AGAIN never asking to canel the cruise or get a refund.
THE FACT THAT THE TOP BRASS CAME UP WITH AN OFFER TO CHANGE ONE NAME ON THE CRUISE IS WHAT GOT TO ME. THEY SAID EITHER PETER OR I WOULD HAVE TO BE ONE OF THE PASSENGERS ON THE 4/18/203 SAILING.
Would anyone of you go one a cruise while a LOVE ONE was in a NEURO ICU unit? When I asked that question of the Customer Service Manager, there was silence on the other end of the phone.
Sorry ,but I would have felt better if HAL just told me TO GO TO HELL. I am writting this at 1:00 AM and those who got the point made me feel better, the rest of you could use some lessons in being a little caring yourselves.
Not ot beat this into the ground, but I think that you would have found the exact same response from all of the cruise lines in the industry. You may want to change your sig from Former HAL passenger to Former Cruise passenger.
Dan, I think you are being unfair here and on your other post on this subject to say that those who brought up the insurance issue were uncaring and did not understand what you were asking for and that you did not request a refund. I think everyone who has answered you has wished both you and Peter the best and his speedy recovery and empathize with your situation.
However, asking to change to another cruise date after Peter's recovery is in affect asking for a cancellation of the 4/18 cruise and re-booking another. Cancellations for any reason so close to sailing time are covered under the booking contract with HAL. Of course your situation is heart-wrenching, but if HAL allowed you to cancel and re-book at this point it does open a can of worms- many people have reasons just as important to them as Peter's health is to you for wanting to change the date of a cruise by cancelling one booking and re-booking on another date. Saying this and bringing up insurance does NOT mean everyone here does not feel sorry for both you and Peter and do not care.
As for HAL insisting that one of you must go on the 4/18 cruise and not substitute 2 different people, I cannot answer for HAL and a more complete explanation by customer service would have been helpful. Because your problem occured so close to 4/18 it may be that there are security issues involved, I don't know. I know they do close off new passenger bookings close to sail time and since 2 entirely different people would have been identical to a new booking, security regs may have come into play and HAL could only break the rules to the point of one new passenger. I have only sailed HAL one time and am not an apologist for everything they do or say like many on these boards are. I am just throwing out some possible reasons that they were not able to fulfill your requests. That their customer service techniques need improvement is a given.
Yes, we know the benefits of buying travel insuance. We also understand HAL's policies and the reason that they need to stick to me as far as cancelation is conrcerned.
Point is the they would allow one passenger change. If one why not two? When I first contacted them, 4/10/2003, one could have still bought passage on this sailing. There was more than enough time to allow for two new passenger tickets to be issued. We don't even know if we could have found two others to go in our place. As a former TA owner, I know the workings of a the Cruise Lines. Since HAL has come under Carnival control things have went down hill as they have with ALL Carnival owned lines. Just the fact that "TOP MANAGEMENT" came up with this "UNCARING" option is what got to me, this is just my opinion. USAirways has made special exceptions to their policies to allow us to rebook our tickets for a later date. The airlines are less likely to be able to change policies for emgerencies than a Cruise Line.
For those who would like to know, Peter is getting stronger every day. We are take two steps forward and one step bakcwards. Yesteray they found that he has blood clots in this upper leg area, from where they removed the sheath that was inserted to do his surgery. Looks like some one made a mistake and didn't check that area before he was released last Thrus. The doctors now feel that one of the clots broke off and move up through is left Carotid Artery and this is what caused the stroke last Sat. afternoon.
His PT and release to Magee Rehab Hospital will be delayed until danger of another stroke reduced.
Thank you again to those who are praying for and wishing him well.
Aside from the insurance, there is one other major concept to consider here. Frankly, with any type of booking discrepency or booking change, it is not going to be "upper management" dealing with that. That would be like sending in a letter to the President of Dayton Hudson, etc. for a shirt refund. It is much more pragmatic to deal at the reservations level (supervisor, etc.)
If I WERE to write to a CEO of a company for a refund, etc. I would assume that I would not get the chairman's board contacting me about how I'd like the refund, etc. The most power in this case would really be about dealing with the res. staff (and supervisor if need be) and working within that realm.
That is just my viewpoint and I'm sure that if anyone disagrees, etc. then we'll be reading about that next - hehe : )
I only wish that the post was BOGUS. I assure you it was not.
The who posted it.
PS: Peter is doing very well. It is five weeks ago today since he took the stroke and he is recovering nicely. His doctor told him yesterday that he can except to recover between 90% -100% but it could take up to two years to get back to normal. We hope to start cruising again in the fall. For now we are just glad he can walk and we are looking forward to my daughters wedding in a couple of weeks.
I tend to want to side with Dan here. My wife and her sisters and mother were scheduled for an Eastern Mediteranian Cruise on September 28,2001. Because of the attack on the America on 9/11, they were afraid to travel on a cruise that would take them into an area where US warships were being deployed. My wife and her mother had insurance, which they were able to use because her mom's heart condition was aggravated by the 9/11 events. Her sisters didn't have insurance. HAL's response? Too bad. In response to a letter that was sent, their reply was that "In keeping with President Bush's recommendation, we are continuing to operate our cruises". Nevermind that on the HAL website, the had schedule changes posted because they "cared about your well being". Among the cancellations were all Eastern Mediteranean cruises for 2002. It's nice that they cared enough for folks travelling in 2002. For those who travelled mere weeks after the tragedy - just suck it up and go. Her sisters only asked for a cruise credit, not a refund. HAL's response has pretty much kept all of us away from any of the HAL/Carnival/Windstar/Cunard/Costa/Seabourn cruises.
Interesting that the cruise lines make last minute changes that are for their beifit but will not flex the rles for a clients.
In our case we were not even asking for a cridet but just to send other in our place. I thing that go me was they said YES that one name could be change. When I asked the Custom Service manger if he would leave a loved one in a Hospital intensive care unit while he went on a cruise his reply was, NO. Then he told me that the option came down from "Top Brass" at HAL. He told me that he saw my point and he offered to upgrade us on a futher sailing, which I thought was very nice. My whole point was how could any "Top Executive" have come up with the option offered.
I just came into this thread and I really hope your partner does well. I have a friend whose daughter developed blood clots in the hospital and things just snowballed. But she's out and about today, so just hang in there. As for HAL, I have no respect for them because they definately have a mean-spirited attitude. When I bothered to write to them about my dissatisfaction with my cruise I received a rather cavalier response. Even cancelling a cruise (with no penalty) didn't faze them in the least. Now, I hope you two will be able to travel again in the future. I suggest you look into insurance from a third party insurer and not the policy offered by the cruise lines which are overpriced. Try a company like Travel Guard or Travelex. Their rates or not only lower, but at no extra cost, they will waive their pre-existing condition clause if you purchase the insurance within 2 weeks or so of your first deposit. But most importantly, I hope all turns out well for you 2.