This was our first cruise. A total of 8 with another family, children ages range from 5 to 9 years old. How could a company whose business is moving passengers throughout the Hurricane season be so unprepared for a port change? On a 5-day cruise to Bermuda, you have the ability to go to one of two places Bermuda or Canada. I understand they want to keep me and other passengers safe but they sloppily ran that cruise like this was their first time they encountered a tropical storm in Bermuda. Are you kidding me?
Since RC was following the storm, couldn't have made the call to go to Canada sooner then the day off the trip. I wonder if they have a plan in place to contact passengers besides the web site. Which had a document dated the same date as the trip July 24 2005 that the trip was going to Canada
No brochures for Canada on the ship? The staff on board was clueless about Canada excursions. That problem could have been solved over the 2004 winter with a one-day seminar for the staff, called
“What Royal Caribbean is going to do for our passengers if we get a Topical storm in Bermuda 2005 and have to go to Canada."
Oh I guess carrying Canada excursion brochures on board in a box labeled “use in case in case of tropical storm in Bermuda.”
That box just would have taken up too much space on a 3-football field size vessel. It would have cost them a case of wine on board.
Now that was just one example of poor execution from an experienced cruise company.
Operating any business is about execution, and they poorly executed the port change from the get go. Oh it was 59 degrees and foggy in Canada --- If it was my company I would have called ahead to St John's and had sweatshirts and blankets ready for everyone. There has to be an overstock of NHL sweatshirts available and they could use the exposure. Yes, it can be done for 3000 people - now that would be customer service, making sure your passengers are comfortable through something you can control which is mother nature.
Also there is not anything to do for 5 to 9 year olds in St Johns or Nova Scotia according to the RC person on boardthe Voyager-I am not making this up.
Oh we took the horse trolly and it said in the description given to us by RC that blankets are provided-and guess what?
How do you say in French -We have no blankets sorry.
Oh did I tell you that when my friend called Royal Caribbean to let them know what happened on the trip to Canada, the customer service rep told her “why did you book during hurricane season”? Great answer----not.
Now that was a well-trained customer service rep.
Again I am not making this up....
I think my reply would have been well why are you running ships during hurricane season to Bermuda. Carnival cruise line does not operate ships to Bermuda during hurricane season – we spoke with them.
So I thought I would pull an excerpt from a cruisemate article that shows, yes some cruise ship companies do compensate for situations like the RC trip to Bermuda and try to do the right thing even though their legal info states otherwise.
Thank goodness for choice because I will choose someone else instead of Royal Caribbean next time because they have showed me they poorly executed a port change that should have been a seamless transition. But thanks for keeping us away from the storm.
One last suggestion RC, why not work with other cruise line companies and the US government to create a customs waiver to be able change a ports to US coast port like Virgina Beach or Florida if there is a potential tropical storm or Hurricane heading for Bermuda.
Staying Ahead of Hurricanes
By Art Sbarsky, CruiseMates Consumer Affairs Editor
July 27, 2005
Carnival is also quite flexible when a cruise is lengthened or shortened due to a storm: “If a guest spends an extra day on the cruise, there is no additional charge for this day. If a day of the cruise is lost, Carnival typically will provide compensation in some form.”
Finally, the big question: What if guests without insurance feel the need to cancel a cruise because of an upcoming storm? Realistically, they may be stuck; it pays to know the policy of the line you’re on.
Some are very humane. For example, as stated in its fleet brochure, here’s Carnival’s policy: “When practicable, Carnival will promptly notify guests of a pre-cruise itinerary change through their travel agents or directly in the case of direct bookings. Carnival will offer such guests an opportunity to cancel their cruise within 24 hours without penalty. No additional compensation for the itinerary change will be offered at a later time. If an itinerary change occurs while a ship is at sea or when notice prior to the sailing is not feasible, Carnival shall attempt to substitute an alternate port. No compensation shall be provided to passengers when an alternative port is offered. If an alternative port is not provided, guests shall be provided a shipboard credit of $20 per person. The Vacation Guarantee shall not be affected by this policy.”
Holland America also maintains a flexible policy. Director of public relations Erik Elvejord says, “It entirely depends on the changes due to the hurricane. Whenever a change is made, we determine the offer to be given to guests. If a port is missed or a cruise shortened, usually there is something from a shipboard credit to a future cruise certificate. On extended cruises, we assist with making air arrangements or giving guests a phone call to reach travel agents or airlines to make changes to flights. In extreme cases, this can change day to day. Our prime goal is to make the guests comfortable and keep them safe. We don't want to disrupt their vacation timing any more than they want it disrupted. But hurricanes are nothing to ignore, so we need to adapt. The worst types are the ones that sit and linger. If they go through an area quickly, the changes are minimal. When it lingers, everyone, both on ships and land, wonders where it's going next.”
I couldn't have said it better myself! I was on that ship also. And, it was my famlies first cruise. We were with 14 people. I believe the main complaint is the lack of PR (personal relations) and customer service! RCCL could care less about our satisfaction!!!!!!!!!!! We were NOT down in the Carribean where an island was changed and the weather was rainy. We were sent to an entirely different climate! With no notice! And the wrong clothes!!! Where is the courtesy/compassion for their customers?
OF COURSE, I certainly understand and appreciate their decision not to put us in a dangerous situation. But, why did the decision have to be so black and white? Obviously other ships took it slow and waited to make the decison based on what the storm was doing. If RCCL did that, they would have found that the ship could go to Bermuda. Maybe later than planned, which would have been fine. We could have hung out in safe waters with sun and heat. We could have at least used the pools, and enjoyed the sun!!! Based on the weather in that area.
I think RCCL should have offered us some amount of credit towards another cruise, since they knew before we left the port that we were not following the orginal itinery. And, offered to people a full credit towards another cruise if they choose to not board. I would be completely content with that, as well as the other people. But, instead, RCCL chose to subject their own staff to 3500 irate people. How thoughtful they are of their own staff! And not so much as offered us a free drink!
RCCL, in the future, the contract should be changed to state port changes depending on the orginal port leaving from, and the itinery of the trip. My contract never said that Canada is the only other port option if we could not go to Bermuda. (Although I think those rules need to be changed also! Canada should not be the only port offered if the Bermuda trip is threatened.)
Frustrated, disapointed and the feeling of being had,
in New jersey (Nan59)
So, Nan - I'll ask you a question asked on another thread - where EXACTLY would you have wanted the ship to go in the five days allotted? I'll help you out a little - the storm was coming from the south, so you wouldn't want to go directly into it, would you? The Jones Act dictates that a cruise originating in the U.S. MUST visit a foreign port - which one would you suggest? Remember, now - you've got only five days and probably shouldn't go south . . . .
Sure other ships went there - they were on SEVEN day itineraries AND scheduled to dock in one of the sheltered ports - big difference.
I've been to Alaska in August when it should have been hot - cold and rainy the whole time, couldn't use the pools - loved the trip. Went to Bermuda first week in June - cold and rainy on Tuesday - couldn't use the pools or the beach - had a great time anyway.
Actually, I'm very glad I wasn't on this trip - the constant whining and gimme, gimme, gimme attitude of my fellow cruisers would have ruined it for me. And what idiot travels without at least a sweater in case they are in a heavily air conditioned room (like the dining rooms on the ship)?????
Complain, complain, complain. The customer service persons question to you is exactly what I want to know; Why did you travel in Hurricane season? Although I am sure what the customer service rep probably said was "This is the chance you take if you choose to travle during hurrican season". I have a cruise booked for nextyear during hurricane season, and there has been a ton of literature explaining what happens and the chances you take in case of a storm. There was nothing else they could have done for you, so stop complaing already. Next time, do not book during HURRICANE SEASON!!!! Cannot stress this enough. That is why the prices are cheaper during hurrican season.
Just goes to show you, there is no reasoning with hurricane season. Mother nature will do as she pleases. It's a chance we all take during this time of year!
Why if you already spent thousand of dollars to go on this cruise would you not go without any type of travel insurance? Makes no sense. To many what if's.
Health wise and trip wise. Next time play it safe, get insurance. For 5 people on a 7 day cruise I paid only $193.00 for $500,000 worth of protection, including trip changes and everythin else.
We had a port taken from our last cruise this july due to Dennis. We missed Grand Caymen. Carnival gave us back $150 per person, not a whole lot of money, but it was something. I see your point though, I too would have been pissed, cold over tropical,
but next time, don't go at this time of year, choose something like April instead and try to leave out of a southern state, that way you have the chance of docking in other ports.
Most of the idiots that have this to say aren't looking at the whole picture. The passengers on the cruise do understand the change of itinerary. If RCI hgandled this properly people would still have been disappointed but would not be so p'd off. It cost RCI MUCH less to go to Canada. Last year they were giving that itinerary away as no one wanted to go. They even dropped the itinerary this year because of lack of interest. The cruise cost 50% less to Canada than to Bermuda. Yes, they have a clause in the contract but good business ethis says to reimburse the difference in the cost of the two cruises
Re: Re: Re: Bermuda trip to Canada poorly executed
I went online and can sail in September, on the exact same trip in the same stateroom for over $2,000 less than what we paid to sail in July. Obviously there is quite a bit of profit built into what we paid, so why isn't RCI doing something to promote goodwill? I have never cruised before and treating me like they have so far will not get my repeat business. I spoke to my travel agent and she said that RCI is very difficult in these situations and rarely budges. Let this be a lesson to us all.
Sorry for your bad 1st cruise experience. The reason it is "over $2000 less" is because it is "off season & hurricane season". July is Prime season and unfortunately hurricanes were early this year. We got caught in Hurricane Frances (F) the first of SEPTEMBER last year. We are already past the "F's" in naming them this year and it is only early August! No guarantees with Mother Nature. Don't let one bad experience stop you from cruising! Try going another time of the year!
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
Also, I forgot to mention that people were also ticked off at RCI for gouging prices on board. The shops on board were selling sweat shirts for $30 when the ship left NJ. When the ship arrived in St. John with cold temps, the price for the SAME sweatshirts went to $60-$65!! Talk about adding insulkt to injury.
Wonder if the complaints would be the same if this had been a plane trip? - Sorry, do to inclement weather we can't land in Bermuda so we will be landing in Nowhere, USA. There are no connections to Bermuda from Nowhere, but you will be safe. Thank you for flying Your Safety First Airlines.
I'll come right back on the plane trip comment. If the plane had not taken off you would perhaps have sat for 48 hours in an airport waiting for the airport in Bermuda to reopen.
(if the storm struck Monday night through Wednesday morning as predicted Sunday on Bermuda TV).
During the hurricane two years ago it was several weeks before the airport reopened in Bermuda.
If you were in the air and the airport closed in Bermuda, you may very well have landed almost anywhere on the east coast and it is very possible that there was no ongoing service to Bermuda. Happens all the time with air travel especially during tropical storms, hurricanes and winter storms. Planes are put down wherever it is safe.
Re: Re: Re: Bermuda trip to Canada poorly executed
Frank Schatz does not know his facts he states. "They even dropped the itinerary this year because of lack of interest. The cruise cost 50% less to Canada than to Bermuda."
Enchantment Of The Seas
7 Night Canada/New England Cruise 2005 Date(s): Sep 04 , Sep 11 , Sep 18(RT Boston)
7 Night Canada/New England Cruise 2005 Date(s): Aug 14 , Aug 21 (RT Philadelphia)
7 Night Boston To Quebec Cruise 2005 Date(s): Sep 25
Ship Name: Enchantment Of The Seas
Departure Port: Boston, Massachusetts
Ports of Call: Boston, Massachusetts; Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Boston, Massachusetts
2005 Date(s): Sep 04
*Prices are per person, shown in U. S. Dollars, based on double occupancy and subject to change. Government taxes and fees are additional.
Ship Name: Voyager Of The Seas
Departure Port: Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey
Ports of Call: Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey; Kings Wharf, Bermuda; Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey
2005 Date(s): Sep 04
I'm so sick of people complaining during hurricane season & how their trips were ruined.
I just went on my first cruise in April on Serenade of the Seas. Let's see....7 days of sun, no rain except one on St. Lucia as we were about to leave the island anyway. Great passengers - NO KIDS - had a blast! And no whining, complaining passengers. Great staff, wonderful Captain who made announcements several times a day about the island, the weather forcast, etc. No sick passengers.
Hmmmmm....big difference than what you folks experienced. Maybe you should AVOID the hurricane season & go in April - where its not too hot yet in the Caribbean....
And, before people start whining about how their jobs won't let them get the time off - Then get another job! No company should tell you how to run your life - EVER. And yes, you can take your kids out of school for a week.
Comparing the Voyager vs the Enchantment is apples to oranges. The Enchantment has just finished a refit that they've hyped the heck out of, and the RCI Bermuda cruise isn't new--they've done it before in various guises, though the Voyager is a whole different category than the Empress. Taxes out of Boston are also higher.
Apples to Apples:
09/04--Priced Cruise Only, Regional Selection of New York, NY For Both, Inclusive of all Taxes
Enchantment 7-night, category N--$903.75 pp, 129/per day
Voyager 5-night, category Q (no N's open)--$610.75pp $122/per day.
I'm betting if the N was available, the daily rate would be equal.
When did the final week of July=low prices? In my observations, the final week of July and the first week of August is the most expensive non-holiday week for a seven-night cruise, particularly for one going out of one of the homeports.
To the best of my memory, the price on the Canada cruises from Cape Liberty on the Voyager were a good deal less than what they've been charging for Bermuda. I can grant Frank a little license for hyperbole.
The way I've been reading his comment about dropping the itinerary was that they dropped the itinerary from the Voyager from Cape Liberty. They've done Canada/Fall Foliage cruises for a while. The Jewel even impaled a whale coming out of one of the ports last year.
So you are comparing the cost of a five day itineray to your cruise which was longer was it not? And you can show us documentation that this itinerary was cancelled due to "lack of interest". How do you know that?
Frank, if this is the way you are argueing with RCCL on behalf of 2000 people, you are not representing them very well. Get facts. Get comparable rates from a reliable TA (for
comparable trips). Drop the arguments about ending up in the storm anyway, their crystal ball wasn't working any better than yours.
The sweatshirt thing is interesting. I doubt it very much , but I find it interesting. My guess is that the $30 sweatshirts sold out and all that was left were $ 60 ones. However , if you can prove that one I would say the price gouging would make a stroger arguement than anything else you have presented.
Again, I hope you receive what you are looking for.
The cruise was the same amount of time....it was a 5-day cruise. Staff from the ship are the ones who told us that the itinerary was cancelled due to lack of interest. They were also angry about the change as they lost some time off because of the change. I actually had a Royal Caribbean brochure from last year on the cruise. That was what I was using to compare prices. The same exact cruise on the same exact ship in the same season (comparing apples with apples). It was packed in my luggage for the return trip and guess what? The envelope with that brochure along with birth certificates and other documentation was removed from the luggage some time between leaving the room and picking up the baggage in port. Luckily I did put the signatures in my carry-on as I thought they might disappear.
Ad to the good arguements the theft from your luggage of your docauments (which never should have been out of your possession) but leave out the conspiracy theorty that they might have been looking for the signatures.
Put together a concisely stated, fact filled request for rCCL to do something. Puntuate it with the sweatshirt story and the document theft story and submit it along with copies of the passenger signatures and send it to RCCL. What can you lose besides a little time a a stamp?