Some of you have asked for a detailed accout...well here it is.
My traveling companion & I booked a specific balcony cabin, A621, on the Ocean Princess Explorer Cruise for April 8, 2001 back in December of 2000.
We had also booked a specific balcony cabin, A638, for my mom & dad. This was to be a very special event, as my dad was recovering from a stroke and it was also his 70th birthday. We has chosen these cabins because I needed a cabin mid-ship with outside air access, due to the fact that I get very sea sick. And my dad needed a cabin near the elevator so he didn’t have to walk very far on his bad leg, and my mother who is claustrophobic also needed a balcony cabin. We also put my parents on the wait-list for a mini suite in case one opened up. He was #29 on the list and 2 days before sailing he was #2.
Our reservations & payments were complete & confirmed and we filled out our excursion request forms & other papers from Princess which were then submitted by our travel agent. I then checked on the Princess web site to make sure we were able to get all of our requested excursions (5 in all) and saw that they were all listed & confirmed on the web site. Also listed on the web site were our correct cabin numbers.
We received our tickets and other paperwork from Princess with the correct cabin numbers on ALL documents (A621 & A638) and were anxiously awaiting our once in a lifetime big trip.
Two days before sailing, Princess called my travel agent & said that the Ocean Princess had been overbooked & asked if we’d give up our balcony for an inside room and the cruise would be free. We all said ABSOLUTELY NOT. Princess called her back THREE times asking if we would take this offer and we said NO! We were assured that Princess couldn’t change our cabin without our permission so we were not worried about it.
We were not prepared for the unforgivable & shameful way we were treated when we arrived to board the ship on Sunday, April 8th in San Juan.
We boarded at noon on April 8th and were told we were now in cabin E303.
Which is 20 BROCHURE categories down and in the BOW.
Up until 2 days before sailing, all of our cabin reservations & excursions were in tact!!!! I had been checking with the Princess online booking site all along!!!!
We were given a variety of excuses, runarounds & lies for FIVE HOURS!
Here are the things we were told by the Purser’s Desk:
1. They said my travel agent had cancelled our balcony room on March 1st
2. They said she did not pay Princess in time
3. They said her check to Princess bounced
4. They lost ALL of our excursions & said she never faxed them
We went to extraordinary efforts to reach my TA on Sunday & she made a special trip into her office & faxed 5 pages of documents directly to the Ocean Princess proving that we had cabin A621 & A638. It showed amounts & payment dates & our cabin # from Princess.
We were then told:
1. That those documents had been altered before she faxed them to the ship
2. That they had a 3-way conversation & she admitted she’d cancelled our balcony rooms
No one would give us a straight answer or let us speak to LA or anyone in authority.
My parents boarded at 3:00 and we were at the Purser’s Desk to fill them in on the horrific things that were transpiring. They were devastated and were ready to get off the ship & not go at all.
This was supposed to be a vacation and it had turned into our worst nightmare.
They said they would see about putting us in our correct cabins after they sailed & they knew how full the ship was. This never happened.
We did not unpack for 1 1/2 days, waiting for some sort of answer, and finally decided they were still giving us the runaround.
And all of our five carefully chosen excursions had been deleted. We managed to get 3 of them back because there were cancellations, but the point is that up until 2 days before the ship sailed, all of our excursions & rooms were in tact.
We ran into 4 couples total who said this exact same thing had happened to them. They had balcony rooms & received windows. We also know there were 2 rather large groups traveling together on board the ship. Could we have been bumped because of them?????
No effort AT ALL was made throughout the remainder of the cruise to try & make us more comfortable or to compensate us in any way.
So now the TA & Princess are pointing fingers at each other & we are stuck in the middle.
We just want the truth at this point.
Wish us luck!
And check on your cruise reservations yourselves...it will be worth the trouble!