>>It's really impossible for RCI to contact thousands of people individually<<
Actually with modern technology, no it is not. You can burst fax or email to 10's of thousands of emails/fax machines at once. You can also call about 2,000 in the course of a minute with a pre-recorded message.
I'm guessing RCI reached out to the TA's, but how could they get ahold of people who were heading out to cruise? Unless all of these people had cell phones, etc. I think that would be an impossible task, especailly since lots of people make their own arrangements to get to the ship.
ms Zuiderdam - May 2006
Carnival Mardi Gras - July 1991
RCCL Viking Serenade - November 1994
Carnival Pride - September 2004
I agree that when the coast guard says to go, you go. Considering the massive warnings for more than 24 hrs before, it should have been obvious that getting there earlier than usual was a good idea. Live and learn.
All I can say is this is a perfect example of why I would never consider cruising during hurricane season. Not worth the worry and hassle, cheaper or not.
I wish I had been on that cruise. I always go a day early, and generally
one of the first in line to board. I just love exploring the ship.
Think of all the lobster tails and filet mignon we could have had,
all that food and people left on the dock.
We probably could have found a deck chair at 10 AM.
No lines in the Spa, Johnny Rockets all to myself....................
Mardi Gras 1986 / 1987, Emerald Seas 1988, Jubilee 1989 / 2002, Sunward II 1991, Sea Breeze 1993, Seaward 1995, Celebration 1998, Norwegian Sea 2000, Destiny 2002 /2008, Rhapsody OS 2003, Conquest 2004 / 2005 / 2008, Radiance OS 2004, Pride Of America 2006, Triumph 2007 / 2012 (x2), Grandeur OS 2008, Holiday 2009, Fantasy 2009, Splendor 2010, Elation 2010, Victory 2011
I can't believe some of the harsh replies you received to your posting. I've been on five cruises and I have never experienced a ship leaving early. In all fairness to Royal Caribbean, I was on the Radiance of the Seas in July and the ship waited for a few passangers whose flight was delayed. On the same cruise, a couple at our dinner table had lost luggage and RC provided the gentleman with a free tuxedo rental for the entire week. These are just two examples of RC's commitment to customer satisfaction. I hope you give RC another chance.
If you didn;t know that Hurricane Season runs though June 1st though December 1st, All cruiselines had to fallow that schedule as of Tampa it was closed a day before. I live in Central Fla where the storm went though we were lucky were i'm at but 10 miles down the road south, and east it looks like Hell. Next time you plan a cruise watch the news to make sure a storm isn;t going where the ship disembarks. As Hurricane forecasters say if you want to Visit or live in Paradise you have to deal with things like this.
When you say "dont get cruise insurance," do you mean not to get the insurance RCCL provides and did you purchase third-party insurance, i.e. Travel Guard, Access, etc.?
My reason for asking is that I have traveld on RCCL 7 times and have never had a bad experience. I am not assuming that you did not and I hate to hear what you went through. I am concerned, however, as I will be leaving on an 11 day to the Caribbean in March on the Brilliance of the Seas and I am concerned about your experience with insurance.
Just one more point too....It was unfortunate but I must agree with most of the posts
that you should have planned better. Always, and I mean always, arrive a day earlier
if you do not live in the area. I know that it does not help you feel any better for everyone to bring up your error but view this, as one individual said, as a learning experience.
You did not lose anything but this particular time for your trip. You are getting your money back plus 25% off your next cruise. That is a good deal and excellent customer service. Like most of the individuals responding, I love RCCL. Give them another chance. This could have happened on Princess or Carnival as well. If you plan to be a seasoned cruiser...these are the things that teach you how to be prepared and to lot let them happen again.
We too, were scheduled to sail on the Aug 13th sailing on SOS.
However, our bus from the airport did not make it in time to ship before it was forced to sail early.
We hate that we missed the cruise, but understood that RCCL had to follow cost guard orders, and had to make the best decision for everyone involved. I understand that there were only about 500 of the 2500 that did not make the sailing. I think RCCL did make the right decision. This is what have to expect during hurricane season.
We feel very fortunate that RCCL has agreed to give us full refunds, because they did not have to. They were very considerate and took good care of us during that Friday night that we had to spend with hurricane Charley in Orlando! Thank you RCCL!
That was definitely an experience!
We will definitely try RCCL again. In fact, we hope to rebook in December.