Rhapsody O/T Seas was nice ship, staff super friendly, food excellent. . . deceitfulness of RCCL was abhorable!! Some of us actually did not know that the Mississippi was closed and had no clue that we would likely not be docking in New Orleans for Mardi Gras as we had planned for nearly a year until we had not only boarded the ship, but it was ALREADY MOVING!!! We were stuck with either staying on the ship once we reached the great port of Gulfport, or face a three hour round trip every day for three days on a bus full of very intoxicated people. Or, of course, we could forfeit the money we already paid the cruise line and pay an additional $200+ per night to stay at a hotel in New Orleans. The $150 shipboard credit was so thoughtful (EXTREME sarcasm). I have heard there could be a class-action type of suit developing over RCCL's deception to their passengers. If anyone knows about this, please respond to this message. Thanks.
I'm not understanding how there can be a class action suit against Royal Caribbean. I'm sorry that under the circumstances, that cruise was not able to leave and I'm sure a lot of people are upset about that but what was Royal Caribbean supposed to do?
If the port is closed off, how did people expect the cruise to continue? They made the best of the situation at hand.
I don't agree with the policy of not refunding the money to all the passengers though. That would have upset me but again, there was no way of knowing the port would be closed off.
From what I've heard about this sailing, RCI handled the unexpected turn of events very well. The accident happened on Saturday, and at the time it wasn't clear to anyone how long the channel up the Mississippi wuuld be closed.
I understand RCI at one point even looked at switching the passengers from the Grandeur (which was locked in NOLA because of the blockage) with the passengers on the Rhapsody. The logistics simply made this is impossible.
Other than missing the 2 day in New Orleans, the Rhapsody passengers don't seem to have lost anything. 5 crew members of the ships involved in the collission that blocked the riverway lost their lives.
Think those Rhapsody passengers should be thankful they got to enjoy the rest of their cruise and return home to their families.
Sorry, but RCI did know that the port was closed and would not be opening soon before the Rhapsody ever left port. I read in my Sunday morning paper that N.O. had been closed on Saturday and would be closed to ocean-going ships until further notice and that it would be later rather than sooner reopening. The Rhapsody was not due to leave on the Mardi Gras cruise until later that afternoon. Don't try to tell me that RCI didn't know what I already knew in Smalltown,U.S.A. They should have informed the passengers of the situation when they checked in for boarding and at the very least offered those who did not want to continue a credit for a future cruise, if not a cash refund. I posted a query about the situation on this board before the ship ever sailed and got only one reply, days later from a guy who was trapped at sea on another RCI ship that couldn't get back into N.O. at the end of its cruise. THAT was not RCI's fault..... the Rhapsody situation was. I have been wondering ever since how they handled it and now that I know I very well may never sail with them again. At the very least, I will be sure to take out trip insurance with an independent co.(not affiliated with RCI) that will cover this type of situation.
I guess I should have posted, "How was Royal Caribbean supposed to know how long the port would be closed??"
Still, yes, they should have offered refunds or vouchers for future sailings at equal or lesser value. It's the same as if, god forbid, a lightning bolt struck someone's house. Are they going to file a class action suit with the homebuilder for not installing a rod to ground the bolt?
Better safe than sorry!
So you knew about the accident. This is not what you said in your first post on the subject.
You should also know that it states in your cruise contract, the the cruise lines may, for any reason, change the itinerary. This clause is included specifically to address issues which may arise, that they have no control over.
You're insisting that RCI should have given you the option of cancelling your cruise. I'm not sure why you'd expect the company to accept the responsibility of the financial loss for a problem that was not of their doing.
Had you been on cruise that changed to avoid a hurricane, or other natural disaster, for your safety would you also expect the cruise line to be financially responsible for compensation?
As an aside.. I understand the weather in New Orleans, the last few days of Mardi Gras was abysmal, and parades were cancelled, and attendance was down considerably.
As for travel insurance.... I think it's ESSENTIAL that everyone purchase travel insurance. One never knows when a medical emergency can arise, and you need to be hospitalized, or need to be medi vacd from the ship.
However, in this case, insurance would not have covered a situation where you wanted to cancel the cruise because of an itinerary change.
Kuki, get your facts straight. I'm not the one who was on the cruise, that was "live2travel". I was paying attention to this cruise because my husband and I had thought about going on it. We decided we had too many other commitments and we'd try for next year. When I saw the story in the paper about the port closing, my first thought was " the Rhapsody is supposed to sail for New Orleans today." Believe me, I would have been very upset had I been on it. Most of those passengers were on that ship for the Mardi Gras part. If they were just there to go to Cozumel, they would have gone the week before or the week after. To say that it was okay that RCI waited to inform passengers of the situation until they were trapped on the ship because the weather was bad and Mardi Gras wasn't that good this year is like saying that any cruise line can take you anywhere they want to at any time with no notice-regardless of what you paid for. Skipping Grand Cayman because the sea is too rough to tender is one thing, skipping Labadee because there is a rebellion in Haiti and it might put the passengers in danger is understandable and praiseworthy. The February 22nd cruise was called "the Mardi Gras Cruise" To wait until the ship was underway to tell the paying customers that there would be no Mardi Gras in the "Mardi Gras Cruise" was in MHO duplicitous in the extreme, if not downright fraudulent. Incidentally, we have given up any thought of going on this cruise, EVER.
Libbyann.. I do sincerely apologize for my mistake!!!! Thought you were the original poster. NEXT time I will read more carefully!
We'll have to disgree on RCI's responsibility to give everyone back their money because circumstances beyond their control cancelled the scheduled port. I don't understand why it should be them that bites the "financial bullet".
You said....To say that it was okay that RCI waited to inform passengers of the situation until they were trapped on the ship because the weather was bad and Mardi Gras wasn't that good this year is like saying that any cruise line can take you anywhere they want to at any time with no notice-regardless of what you paid for
That's exactly what it says in the cruise contract. Though they do their best to take you on the scheduled itinerary.
RCI gave passengers on the Grandeur, which was in New Orleans, and couldn't get out for three days, a full refund plus a 25% discount on a future cruise. I'm attempting to find out if they've offered similar compensation to Rhapsody passengers.
That would be great if they would give them SOME compensation....... I just feel that a cruise geared to a specific occasion in a specific location is a little different from your average cruise. People are there, generally speaking, just for that occasion and if they don't get that, they don't get anything. NO one is saying that RCI was to blame for the situation; but they are to blame for how they handled it. If they had informed passengers of the problem at check-in and offered options, I think most people, having gotten that far, would have elected to go on with the cruise. I think what has upset folks so bad is being kept in the dark until there was no option and/or not being offered an option. RCI needs to remember that you catch more flies (and repeat passengers) with honey than with vinegar.
I'm sorry, but I have to give an opinion here....You were not on the cruise, yet you're basing your information from news sources even though you were not on the ship. How do you know what the passengers got, or how they felt, or what took place on the cruise? I cannot belive you are going to base your opinion of RCCL on other people's experiences.
So if I told you that in Las Vegas, this lady put 3 coins in a machine and the machine malfunctioned and she hit the jackpot but didn't win it because the machine malfunctioned, would you not go to Las Vegas? It clearly states on the machine that all winnings are voided if the machine malfunctions. I guess that would be considered a risk you have to take when playing slot machines. Just like a risk you take when you book a cruise.
If I told you that it rained the whole time I went to Walt Disney World and we were very disappointed that the happiest place on Earth was not so happy, would you discontinue going there as well?
Same situation with the cruise, so RCCL claims, "It's like no vacation on Earth." Obviously this cruise wasn't but should people really file a class action suit and refuse to go on RCCL again because there was a collision of two ships in port?
Buttercup, live2travel told us what happened to her on the ship...... I am basing my opinion on her account and the news stories. I am sooooo sorry about the collision and about the 5 crewmen who died, but that is really irrelevant to the discussion. The issue is how RCI dealt with people who had payed hard-earned money to go to N.O. for Mardi Gras. The issue is not that it rained during Mardi Gras and that it might not have been much fun anyway....... the issue is not why should RCI have to take a financial hit becuase 2 ships collided....... for that matter, why should the passengers have to take a financial hit (i.e.not getting what they paid for) because 2 ships collided...... if someone has to take a financial hit, better it should be RCI...... part of the cost of doing business...... their insurance would probably cover it. The issue is how RCI handled the situation vis-a-vis their passengers. In MHO, they dropped the ball badly. This affects me in that I tried very hard to be on that cruise. If I had been able to find someone to go with me, I would have been and I had been planning to go next year (I have since had a couple of friends say they would have gone had I thought to ask them. Believe me, we are thanking our lucky stars that I didn't). My decision not to go on this cruise is based solely on RCI's treatment of their paying customers in what was, admittedly, a difficult situation. As I said, I think most passengers, given a choice, would have continued on with the cruise. I probably would have myself. The problem is no choice or even notice was given when it easily could have been.
That's fine, I agree they should have been given the option to get a refund or continue with the cruise but honestly, what would your choice have been? Especially during Mardi Gras. Hotels have minimum stay requirements down there of anywhere from 3-7 days so they can't check into hotels. And like Kuki stated, it states in the brochure that itineraries are subject to change or cancellation at any time.
I think a class action suit is going to extremes because neither party could have predicted what would happen a day or two prior to the cruise.
I guess I'm just flustered as to why you stated you would never go on RCCL again because of one person's story. What's bad for one person may not be bad for the next.
Believe me, some of my clients have told me what a dump this place was, or how bad the service is at this place but I don't base my decisions on them!
If I can just interject here...I work as a sideline TA, and during that week, our parent company sent out numerous (and frantic) e-mails asking if any of us had updated information from RCCL about the status of the Grandeur - because we couldn't get any direct information from RCCL.! I/we called and called. I/we e-mailed our sales rep. We never got a legitimate reply. Would you like to know how we found out about the daily status of the Grandeur? From our client/passengers onboard who e-mailed us! We finally found out that RCCL gave 100% refunds and 25% off future cruises, but we didn't get this information from RCCL until AFTER we got it from our client/passengers who were aboard that ship. And....they weren't given the option of the 100% refund until DAY THREE. I really hate to say this, but after NCL (the worst) , my personal opinion is that RCCL has the second worst record for notifying us (TAs) of a problem. Carnival hit us with blast-faxes as soon as they knew that the Conquest would have to sail into Gulfport and sail out of there, after having to scrounge up any available buses from NO that weren't involved in Mardi Gras. At least Carnival kept us informed, while RCCL did not.
I am really surprised by the comments made in this thread. I know I'm a bit late in reading and responding but here are my comments...
I was on this sailing and no, we were not informed about the accident upon boarding. We had flown down to Houston the day before so we hadn't heard about the accident. The first I heard of this was at the Muster drill from another passenger.
Shortly thereafter(yes after sailing) there was an announcement by the captain informing everyone of the accident. He also stated that the river was closed without a definate day/time for it's reopening. We were heading there, to get in line. Monday am the captain informed us that the river was still closed and there were over 100 ships waiting to enter. Do the math, even if the river was open we still wouldn't have made it with all that traffic. He then informed us of all the options they attempted with the Coast Guard and the eventual outcome. Gulfport was the only option. Not ideal... but it would get us to Mardi Gras!
Royal Caribbean did everything they could under the circumstances. Yes, this was a Mardi Gras cruise. Did we go to Mardi Gras? We sure did! They provided us with transportation to NOLA, snacks, drinks and BATHROOMS! After all the expense the put out in Gulfport I was surprised by the cabin credit. I didn't feel it was necessary. RCCL didn't have to go to Gulfport, we could have went to Key West instead and it would have been a lot less expensive for them. But, they did what they could and I applaud them!