I just found out that the May 17th trip on the Radiance's pacific northwest itin just dropped by a considerable amount. Since I booked back in Feb, I decided to give Travelocity a call to see if I could get a free upgrade to a higher category (since the higher category was now equal to what I had paid for the lower category). Thus, the travel agent would not lose any commission since no fare would be refunded.
Travelocity said that should be no problem, but when they called RCCL, they said NO WAY. My travel agent was shocked, so she kept calling back (spoke to several supervisors -- all who said that they would NOT give me the upgrade due to the fare in the new category being restricted to new bookings only). When I asked Travelocity to conference me in with RCCL, they did and they told me the same thing.
Is it me or is this just flat out rediculous? Plus, to add insult to injury, the RCCL person I spoke to was just flat out condesending & callous. She essentially compared RCCL to an airline and said that sometimes cruisers get screwed when they book too early. WHAT THE??? I couldn't believe my ears. Is this what the cruise industry has come to??
Know what else, the so called "happy hour" promotion & its restrictions were not stated anywhere on the Travelocity website. When I pointed this out to the RCCL agent, she said "We are not responsible for what Travelocity has or does NOT have on their website" -- How rude and annoying could she have been??
ANYBODY out there have any advice on how I can get upgraded? Or get my money back? I don't think I want to travel RCCL ever again. They suck (I'm a Crown & Anchor member and I sure as heck don't make me feel good about sailing with them again).
I've seen these type of offers on other lines also. They are valid for new bookings only. There's been a lot of press lately of the Cruise Line fare policy becoming more and more like the airlines. I don't believe it is in our favor anymore to book early to get the best price.
RCCL..... on my last two cruises with rccl they had an office down by the pursers office where they sold upcoming cruises. The big pitch was that you may as well book early, since you will receive any lower price that comes along. On my cruise last Sept the adult-only cruise price took a huge price drop. I called my contact at bestpricecruises and was given a $900 credit for me and my wife. I've seen others with the same problem as yours, but they usually get the credit in the end.
Of course I don't know what a happy hour price drop is... may have special implications.
Check other sites that give the prices on-line for cruises...bestpricecruises is the best I've found, but vacationstogo is also a good site. See what the rate is for cabin now and take it from there.
I guess if push came to shove I'd make rccl know that I would be posting daily notices by their sales office on the cruise that early booking is for suckers only.....
I really get the impression THEY just don't care anymore. I have posted another recent problem regarding "RCI customer service" on the "gripes" board but even the supervisor who helped me the last time is ignoring me this time. I am not a chronic complainer but when they get caught messing up, they just don't return calls or e-mails!
The sunny side is that the cruises themselves go well, it's just that customer "service" is in the toilet!
You will be happy to know that most major cruise lines are supposedly undergoing new costing structures that should eliminate some of this. I personally agree with the airline remark. Book when you think you are getting a good deal. It may go up or come down. Who knows, the cruise lines may end up like the airlines.
I also booked on that sailing with Travelocity and I saw the change in rates too. I just upgraded with Travelocity yesterday and they just applied all of the monies paid to them towards the new cabin I upgraded to. I went from an E1 to Cat. D
Here's a quote from RCI head office regarding their "official policies" on price reductions
According to a spokesperson at Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, "If the passenger meets the eligibility for that price (for instance, if it's a price program that requires a certain residency or age) and there is space available, they can rebook at the lower rate without a fee up until the sailing closes (typically a day or two out from departure). This is one reason why guests should feel comfortable booking early. We encourage guests to book early as it gives them the best choice of staterooms, dining and shore excursions (they can book shore excursions online), and they can rebook without penalty if a lower price is offered later."
I would get in touch with your agent again, and have them pursue this further with RCI, going up the corporate ladder if they have to.