I'm really starting to get upset with Royal Caribbean. Through my travel agent I've been attempting to book a July 2004 group cruise to the Southern Caribbean since Sept. 2002. First I was told early March ... then late March ... then early April ... then late April ... then early May ... and finally a date ... May 26.
Guess what? Nothing.
Meanwhile, I'm about to lose a great group rate at the Hilton Caribe, and people I've collected deposits from are starting to question me about it. That's embarrassing.
And all through this my travel agent can't get a straight answer from Royal Caribbean. Both Carnival and Princess have had their July 2004 cruises available for months.
I need to know the ship (RCCL is 90 percent sure it will remain Adventure), the date (that's important for the hotel) and the itinerary that we want (Aruba has to be included).
What's so tough about giving out that information?
We just got back from a Bermuda cruise and want to go again in spring 04. Itineraries are only out for Norwegian Cruise Lines. No one can tell us when itineraries will be out for this either, so you are not alone!!! But, believe me, RCCL's cruses are so wonderful, they are worth the wait!!
My guess is that the world situation and economy are so unsettled at the moment that they are focusing on near term issues rather than distant issues. No one wants to be on an itinerary booked way in advance only to it change or be cancelled (customer satisfaction becomes an issue then). That said, I feel your pain. I'm interested in an Eagle-class (Voyager-class) ship for next June for 16 people, but have to wait also. Although it is an inconvenience at the moment, I try to not get frustrated and give RCL the benefit of doubt as they are such a terrific cruise line. After sailing on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, and RCL; RCL is far and away my favorite.
It wouldn't be so bad had they just been honest with me. I began workign on the hotel deal based on information given me by RCCL..
Also, RCCL says they are loading the prices right now. Therefore, they know the ship, the dates and the itinirary. We're going on the cruise no matter what the price. So why not give me the pertinent information so that I can get everything else taken care of. RCCL is showing me no consideration whatsoever. They will pay for that down the road.
I was told that the itineraries for Europe 2004 would be out at the middle of May, but looks like that wasn't correct, either. Is it just a matter of days, or weeks? We're hoping to book our next summer's cruise from onboard this summer, but need to compare and consider itineraries ahead of time. Why the delay? It's frustrating!
I've been told similar things. I think what is happening is that that RCL staff are trying to be helpful and trying to make sure you check back, but in reality maybe they don't really know when the itineraries will be loaded. The "general" guidance they gave me is that they try to keep at least a year in advance on the website, however they don't have May 2004 out there yet. They just say check back in a couple of weeks. It's no big deal to me since I'm on the net for hours each day anyway. I would much prefer though for the staff to "not answer" the question if they don't know! Don't guess. Credit card companies and financial institutions are great at this. They will only tell you what they know with confidence. RCL phone staff could take a que from them.
Having said that, I still love RCL. I've had such terrific service and support from them. They have gone above and beyond for me on several occasions. When I think of companies that have given me great support and attention, RCCL, Honda, and American Airlines Vacation Desk always come to mind (no, I don't have a vested interested in any of these, if you don't count my frequent flyer miles and my Accord EX with 1/4 Million miles on it :-)
Well, we finally got a committment from Royal Caribbean. Won don't know the price but we're going no matter what it is. But it will be Adventure of the Seas, and it goes to Aruba, our desired port. We also got the date we wanted so I can lock in the hotel rate. We should have pricing within a week. Thank you Royal Caribbean!
:-) Don't know particularly why you would believe that since the other appends on here have been told different things :-)
I think the thing to do is just to visit their site every week or two to see if they are up yet. BTW: Normal of 9 months seems way too short to me. I've seen dates easily a year out, and I believe normally 18 months
It is now definite that Adventure of the Seas will remain in the Southern Caribbean for the summer of 2004. I got the official word from high up at Royal Caribbean on Friday. This was not through the reservations desk, where they rarely know anything that isn't right in front of them. Pricing will definitely be released next week ... and thank God our group of 38 got its wish and AOS will still go to Aruba for our week of choice!
So I was able to meet our Caribe Hilton deadline (May 30) to sign a contract for a very good group rate.
We are off and running ... or should I say sailing.
Aruba is great. And when you are there all day it is even better. I liked that you do not get harrassed by the locals, they are all very friendly people. Not to metion it is beautiful there!!! My husband (boyfriend at the time were there and we relaxed on the beach, when scuba diving and ate a really nice dinner (thought he dinner was slow paced, but that is the point of a vacation). If you like fish, it is always fresh there. Also, if you like to gamble you can find a good casino and have some fun.
Have a great time.
My husband and I are on the Navigator of the Seas for a Western Caribbean cruise on Sept 20,. We are excited!!!