As a first time cruiser I was very excited about my 10 day cruise to the Carribean with Princess cruise line. My fiancee and I had a gorgeous room with a balcony and spent weeks preparing for what we thought was going to be the best 10 days of our lives. What followed was 10 days of hell we would never forget, and a vacation that has changed our lives.
My fiancee and I spent weeks shopping, ironing and packing all of our best clothes for this 10 day cruise. He even bought two new bags costing $450 each. We went to the airport and checked in all four of our bags; one was overweight tand we had to pay an extra $25. To make a long story short, we have not seen our bags since. We left Jan. 30 and our bags never arrived on the ship, nor were they ever returned to us. The first three days of our cruise we had nothing but jeans and t-shirts to wear because we were sailing. We stayed in our room because it was too hot outside and we did not have bathing suits. We were denied access to the formal dining room at night because we did not have the proper attire and were denied access to the Sterling Steakhouse as well. Other passengers were disgusted by our apparent disregard for the ship's dress code. We spent the first four days as outcasts on our vacation.
Princess denies responsibility for our lost luggage, even though it was signed for by the Princess Delta rep Peggy Rogers, who then signed it over to Princess' bus company who then brought and had the bags signed for again at the ship. Princess lost our bags; they were signed for by three different Princess employees. After waitng an additional 10 days as we were instructed to do so, we filed a claim with Princess. The end result??? They have offered us a total of $500 as compensation. We had over $8000 worth of luggage in those two bags. They have denied our requests for any additional compensation, and we now have involved an attorney. As a full-time college student with a low-paying job, I cannot afford to replace even a quarter of what I had in my bags. I am disgusted with Princess and I strongly advise anyone considering Princess cruise line to think again- it was a costly mistake. One thing is sure- if Princess' goal was to make a vacation unforggettable-they sure succeeded at that.
Oh Janelle, this is every travelers nightmare! I am so sorry this happened to you.
Fortunately, I have been reading these boards for awhile, and yours is the most unhappy note I've come across.
I wish you a speedy, satisfactory resolution to this horrible circumstance.
So sorry your luggage got lost, hope it eventually turns up, but doubtful after this amount of time. You didn't mention, but did you take out travel insurance? If so, thats a good place to start, if not, just remember for the next trip, I wouldn't travel without it, best of luck to you.
Even if she took out travel insurance, I don't think any policy would have covered $8000 for lost luggage. Most have a maximum of $1500 or $3000 for a premium insurance.
If they had had insurance though, if your baggage is delayed, you get an immediate $500 to buy clothes, so you don't have to run around in the same clothes, or not be able to eat in the dining rooms or use the pools, etc. Of course, you can alway buy a few sets of clothes at the shops onboard so you can take advantage of the onboard facilities. Princess only requires that you not wear swimsuits, shorts or jeans in the dining room. Any other attire is accepted. It may not have been the clothes you would have preferred, but in those circumstances we have to take what we can get.
This is one of those times where insurance can really come in handy. When I went to Hawaii the last time one of my bags got delayed by the airlines, but luckily it arrived the next day. I always travel with an overnight bag with toiletries, jammies, undies, swimsuit and a change of clothes just in case. Unfortunately baggage delays and lost luggage are pretty common in the travel industry.
Sorry this happened to you. It points out several things, as others have said always have travel insurance, for many more reasons than just luggage.
Second, don't take more in value of items than what you are covered for. I don't think most people would be taking $8000. worth of stuff with them,
Now that said I take jewlery and many people take cameras or computers worth a lot, such items should never be checked and should stay in your possession and control at all times.
I am surprised that if you let Princess know right away what happened that they did not extend you SOME amount of credit on the ship to purchase clothing items and necessities. Most lines do.
Anyway, Princess' responsiblity and limitations is clearly stated in your cruise contract and I don't think you will get anywhere on a legal front.
Hopefully your luggage and stuff will still turn up.
Princess usually lets anyone wear most anything in the dining room. I have seen short shorts and halter tops or tshirts. I was told in an official letter from Princess that their dress code is only a guideline and not mandatory so I am surprised they wouldn't let you in the dining room with jeans on. That's too bad.
Princess staff were exceptionally helpful when one of our bags hadn't turned up after dinner the first night. We were told they would help us out if it did not turn up by the next day (it arrived around midnight..... with a broken runner!). We were lucky but worried as all our shoes were in that bag.
I have heard other posters having credits given them or where they could buy clothing in the next port of call and then get reimbursed. You say you spent the first four days as outcasts as you were in jeans and t-shirts.... even tho I have not personally been to the Caribbean I'm sure you could have found a couple of cheap outfits in your first port, eg. shorts or simple dress. I for one would have at least bought new swimmers!
After the bags are in the ships possession they do take some responsibility as they do want all passengers to enjoy their cruise (since they want repeat passengers) and it surprises me that you got no help at all.
Question; Why on Earth would you spend $900 on two bags?? What brand were they...Louis Vuitton! (IMO if you could afford this then you could have bought some clothes before day 4!!)
TIP; Buy cheap luggage coz baggage handlers don't discriminate....they treat them all the same so ALL brands can get damaged!!
Sounds fishy to me, too. Why do I get the idea that those $450 bags were a couple of Wal-Mart cheapies that were delivered to the cabin and promptly tossed overboard by the owners? Let the lawsuits begin!
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Lost luggage
Being denied entrance to the Sterling Steakhouse?? Give me a break!!! It is a CASUAL alternative restaurant!
I've also never heard of Princess reps signing for luggage - YOU are supposed to retrieve your luggage from the baggage claim and then go to the bus staging area.
Also in the start of the story there were four bags, at the end there were two bags; not able to buy casual clothes or a swimsuit on board - just too many inconsistencies in this story for it to ring true.
Post Edited (02-20-04 11:56)
Carnival Breeze with Ray B and Aerogirl 5/4/14!
This whole thing sounds like a bunch of bologna. Why would anyone spend $800 on a suitcase and bring designer clothes on a cruise? How do we know you aren't making this up to get some extra $$$? I just re read the post again. How could you have $8000 worth of luggage in a suitcase? Something is not quite right here.
Why didn't you get your luggage before going to the bus. Its probably at the airport where you left it, you always have to take your luggage from the pickup at the airport to the bus and then they Princess people take care of it, sounds like you never traveled anywhere before.