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-   -   New to cruising - denied boarding - anniversary ruined (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/royal-caribbean-international/351698-new-cruising-denied-boarding-anniversary-ruined.html)

Hipshot May 28th, 2008 08:36 PM

New to cruising - denied boarding - anniversary ruined
 
1st, understand we are not world travelers. In fact we barely ever get out of town. But I wanted to fufill a 20+ year promise to my wife and finally give her that anniversary cruise she wanted. This was our 27th.

We understood that a Birth Certificate was legal proof enough for citizenship in the US for a weekend Bahamas cruise. And it is. And I thought I had the proper documentation. At least it was 29 years ago when we went to the Bahamas. But with homeland security the way it is, apparently it is not good enough anymore.

What I thought was our birth certificates from the State of Pa. that were handed to us by our parents many many years ago were actually only legal notifications that they were on file in the state. Ok, my mistake. Who knew. Fortunately, there were options in place to resolve these issues. We were told we could either have the state of PA. fax our certified certificates to the pier or produce our childs certificate because our names were on it. Here is where the things got sticky.

Although some states do, I found that the state of PA. would by no means fax our birth certificates anywhere! When I explained our situation and then questioned why, I was told thats the way it is. Some reason! I did find out however during our argument with the state, that in the 80's they started to send out those certifed birth cetificates. My kids were born after the 80's and I thought ok We're saved.

I was told at the pier they would except my daughters state certified birth certificate with the raised seal because our names were on it. I called my daughter and had that document faxed to the pier. Even though it said the 'Commonwealth of Pennsylvania' across the document, It had the required certified raised seal, our names were of course on it, and it said 'This is a certifed copy of the origional birth certificate' right on it, it was DENIED at the pier by the employee because the letters 'PA' were not next to our names!

I asked her to clarify this, even though I presented the optional legal document required for us to board that boat, simply because of the way the document was formatted, which I had no control over, I was being denied our anniversary cruise.

I was out of options, My wife a blubbering mass crying for over 3 hrs sitting in a chair. And even though they don't accept hospital certificates I had my daughter fax it anyway because it DID state our names with the letters 'PA' next to our names. But... since it was not considered "legal'... it was ALSO denied.

Ok, I understand the homeland security thing. But I felt this was obviously being carried too far! There was absolutely no common sense or logic being applied here. And when I asked the woman at the pier for a superior to talk to, I was DENIED that as well!!!!

At this point I realized there was NOTHING I was going to able to do to resolve this. So I asked for my luggage to be returned and of course my money refunded. I was given a number to call. When I asked for my refund I was denied that as well! The BEST they were going to be able to do is give me a 75% credit on another cruise? WHAT? They wouldn't let me on the FIRST one!!! We didn't miss the boat, THEY WOULDN'T LET US ON!!! And to top it off, when our luggage was returned eventually, it was destroyed. Sodas and water we were told to pack on the recommendation of our husbands travel agent, well two of the sodas were literally torn open at the seams and the clothing & suitcase ruined. Something that just couldn''t happen by accident.

I never felt more like a second class citizen in my life! And never felt more abused. What STUPIDITY we just endured! Not only after a 10 hour drive, was our anniverary ruined, but I was stuck in Florida without a hotel room, and out my cruise money besides. After checking into a dive for a hotel room, we tried to salvage was was left of our weekend.

My point to all of this is yes, we made a rookie mistake. And there were options in place to resolve it. But when we provided that legal document that was supposed to solve all this, it was denied anyways! A poor judgement call from an employee at the pier in my opinion. If we would of not provided the legal documentation necessary to board that boat, I would of went home calling this a lesson learned. But we DID provide what was legally necessary and was denied anyways in the name of homeland security? That's all we kept hearing.

If they have an issue with the state of PA, well then they should take it up with them! 2 letters missing in the wrong place? Give me a break!

I have written letters to my travel agent, the CEO of the cruise line, Filed a formal complaint with the line, And written a couple of lawyers familiar with the cruise lines, and posted on a few sites. It's been 11 days. As of today , no one has yet responded satisfactorly.

I spent alot of time and money preparing for this trip, And alot of fuel getting there. And I don't think a 75% coupon for another cruise that I apparently cannot get on anyways is satisfactory compensation for what ridiculous bureaucracy we endured. NO US citizen should be treated in this manner.

We of course are not blameless, but we feel we provided the viable legal option they requested. It may be homeland security rules they are citing, but it was the interpretation of those rules by a cruise line employee that ruined our vacation.

If we were wrong, and I'm missing something, if I'm going after the wrong entity, someone please let us know. I will drop this. But if we DO have a legal leg to stand on and you can help us, also please let us know. Thank you

In any case 'BE SURE TO HAVE THE PROPER DOCUMENTATION' seems to be a relative term. As a rookie , you can try but be prepared to be denied for ANY reason!

Another friend taking the same cruise was also met by this woman that day. And even though she had taken 4 previous cruises this year with Royal, THIS TIME she was being required to provide a marriage certificate to track her name change! Are you kidding me? She told us the ONLY reason she got on board was this rule was not a wrtten rule as of yet and could nor be enforced. Are they making this stuff up?

Oh and as far as PA is concerned. we were told that apparently if you KNOW a congressman, all it takes is a phone call because THOSE folks got their Certificates faxed in 10 minutes! Umm... It's not WHAT you know...but WHO! No kidding.

I'm not complaining. I feel the way we were treated was wrong. If this helps ANY new cruisers out there avoid the nightmare we endured with Royal, then this was worth posting.

And I won't fault the line for the poor judgement of one employee. Mistakes happen. Of course I will give the line every opportunity to resolve this satisfactorly and try to book again. And will post the results.

So far... not yet.

To be continued...

FL_Cruiser64 May 28th, 2008 08:57 PM

Re: New to cruising - denied boarding - anniversary ruined
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hipshot
1st, understand we are not world travelers. In fact we barely ever get out of town. But I wanted to fufill a 20+ year promise to my wife and finally give her that anniversary cruise she wanted. This was our 27th.

We understood that a Birth Certificate was legal proof enough for citizenship in the US for a weekend Bahamas cruise. And it is. And I thought I had the proper documentation. At least it was 29 years ago when we went to the Bahamas. But with homeland security the way it is, apparently it is not good enough anymore.

What I thought was our birth certificates from the State of Pa. that were handed to us by our parents many many years ago were actually only legal notifications that they were on file in the state. Ok, my mistake. Who knew. Fortunately, there were options in place to resolve these issues. We were told we could either have the state of PA. fax our certified certificates to the pier or produce our childs certificate because our names were on it. Here is where the things got sticky.

Although some states do, I found that the state of PA. would by no means fax our birth certificates anywhere! When I explained our situation and then questioned why, I was told thats the way it is. Some reason! I did find out however during our argument with the state, that in the 80's they started to send out those certifed birth cetificates. My kids were born after the 80's and I thought ok We're saved.

I was told at the pier they would except my daughters state certified birth certificate with the raised seal because our names were on it. I called my daughter and had that document faxed to the pier. Even though it said the 'Commonwealth of Pennsylvania' across the document, It had the required certified raised seal, our names were of course on it, and it said 'This is a certifed copy of the origional birth certificate' right on it, it was DENIED at the pier by the employee because the letters 'PA' were not next to our names!

I asked her to clarify this, even though I presented the optional legal document required for us to board that boat, simply because of the way the document was formatted, which I had no control over, I was being denied our anniversary cruise.

I was out of options, My wife a blubbering mass crying for over 3 hrs sitting in a chair. And even though they don't accept hospital certificates I had my daughter fax it anyway because it DID state our names with the letters 'PA' next to our names. But... since it was not considered "legal'... it was ALSO denied.

Ok, I understand the homeland security thing. But I felt this was obviously being carried too far! There was absolutely no common sense or logic being applied here. And when I asked the woman at the pier for a superior to talk to, I was DENIED that as well!!!!

At this point I realized there was NOTHING I was going to able to do to resolve this. So I asked for my luggage to be returned and of course my money refunded. I was given a number to call. When I asked for my refund I was denied that as well! The BEST they were going to be able to do is give me a 75% credit on another cruise? WHAT? They wouldn't let me on the FIRST one!!! We didn't miss the boat, THEY WOULDN'T LET US ON!!! And to top it off, when our luggage was returned eventually, it was destroyed. Sodas and water we were told to pack on the recommendation of our husbands travel agent, well two of the sodas were literally torn open at the seams and the clothing & suitcase ruined. Something that just couldn''t happen by accident.

I never felt more like a second class citizen in my life! And never felt more abused. What STUPIDITY we just endured! Not only after a 10 hour drive, was our anniverary ruined, but I was stuck in Florida without a hotel room, and out my cruise money besides. After checking into a dive for a hotel room, we tried to salvage was was left of our weekend.

My point to all of this is yes, we made a rookie mistake. And there were options in place to resolve it. But when we provided that legal document that was supposed to solve all this, it was denied anyways! A poor judgement call from an employee at the pier in my opinion. If we would of not provided the legal documentation necessary to board that boat, I would of went home calling this a lesson learned. But we DID provide what was legally necessary and was denied anyways in the name of homeland security? That's all we kept hearing.

If they have an issue with the state of PA, well then they should take it up with them! 2 letters missing in the wrong place? Give me a break!

I have written letters to my travel agent, the CEO of the cruise line, Filed a formal complaint with the line, And written a couple of lawyers familiar with the cruise lines, and posted on a few sites. It's been 11 days. As of today , no one has yet responded satisfactorly.

I spent alot of time and money preparing for this trip, And alot of fuel getting there. And I don't think a 75% coupon for another cruise that I apparently cannot get on anyways is satisfactory compensation for what ridiculous bureaucracy we endured. NO US citizen should be treated in this manner.

We of course are not blameless, but we feel we provided the viable legal option they requested. It may be homeland security rules they are citing, but it was the interpretation of those rules by a cruise line employee that ruined our vacation.

If we were wrong, and I'm missing something, if I'm going after the wrong entity, someone please let us know. I will drop this. But if we DO have a legal leg to stand on and you can help us, also please let us know. Thank you

In any case 'BE SURE TO HAVE THE PROPER DOCUMENTATION' seems to be a relative term. As a rookie , you can try but be prepared to be denied for ANY reason!

Another friend taking the same cruise was also met by this woman that day. And even though she had taken 4 previous cruises this year with Royal, THIS TIME she was being required to provide a marriage certificate to track her name change! Are you kidding me? She told us the ONLY reason she got on board was this rule was not a wrtten rule as of yet and could nor be enforced. Are they making this stuff up?

Oh and as far as PA is concerned. we were told that apparently if you KNOW a congressman, all it takes is a phone call because THOSE folks got their Certificates faxed in 10 minutes! Umm... It's not WHAT you know...but WHO! No kidding.

I'm not complaining. I feel the way we were treated was wrong. If this helps ANY new cruisers out there avoid the nightmare we endured with Royal, then this was worth posting.

And I won't fault the line for the poor judgement of one employee. Mistakes happen. Of course I will give the line every opportunity to resolve this satisfactorly and try to book again. And will post the results.

So far... not yet.

To be continued...

Were you just venting or did you want a response from any of us?

Hipshot May 28th, 2008 09:19 PM

Maybe a little of both. :roll:

1st, I'd like to know if there is anything that I or anyone else for that matter could of done to resolve this situation at that time. It may prevent someone else from making the same mistakes I did at the pier.

2nd, No one may know, but if the document they requested WAS actually the right thing to satisfy homeland security in this situation. And it WAS just an interpretation of an employee that ruined our anniversary, what can be done to make it right?

I'm not the kind of person to take things lying down. If I'm wrong I pay my dues. But if I'm going to take a financial hit becuse of someone else's poor judgement well... I'm going to go down swinging. So far I haven't been convinced it was all me.

Or maybe I AM just beating my head against the wall.

PH8 May 28th, 2008 09:21 PM

Re: New to cruising - denied boarding - anniversary ruined
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hipshot
1st, understand we are not world travelers. In fact we barely ever get out of town. But I wanted to fufill a 20+ year promise to my wife and finally give her that anniversary cruise she wanted. This was our 27th.






I was out of options, My wife a blubbering mass crying for over 3 hrs sitting in a chair.

Sodas and water we were told to pack on the recommendation of our husbands travel agent, well two of the sodas were literally torn open at the seams and the clothing & suitcase ruined. Something that just couldn''t happen by accident.



I'm not complaining. ...

I am REALLY confused.. :?: My wife...my wife......our husbands???? HUH???


Glad you're not complaining.. :roll:

Hipshot May 28th, 2008 09:30 PM

Gees! :roll: ok I'll clarify my typo's

My wife. = my wife.. I know...... continuity... :shock:

Husband's travel agent... oops.. Travel agent's husband... :oops:

:wink:

ragtiki2005 May 28th, 2008 09:31 PM

I have read many times on this board and others that it is always recommended that you have a current valid passport for cruise travel. They used to allow people to show a passport even if it was expired up to 10 years. I used to do this and upon returning from a cruise and going through customs 17 hours before the war in Iraq started, I was grilled by a customs official in Fort Lauderdale. He told me simply to get an updated passport and that the next time there would not be any questions asked. I did what he requested and I suggest to anyone traveling on a cruise to do the same. Why have to worry about the hastle? Bob

CA Cruiser May 28th, 2008 09:32 PM

Sorry to hear about your situation. If you used a travel agent, they should have verified all your necessary documents since it was your first time. Also your TA should have recommended having passports and travel insurance. If you wrote to RCI the same story you wrote here then I would be a little more patient and wait for a reply. Another cruise line took 4 to 6 weeks before we heard back from them in a positive manner. Couldn't they or would they just let you reschedule to take it in a couple of weeks or so? If they write back with the same 75% offer, write back once more, stating in a very nice professional manner what you think would be an acceptable compensation and why. If they don't offer a better deal then I think you learned a valuable lesson. Again sorry.

PH8 May 28th, 2008 09:36 PM

I think 75% off is very generous..........plan another cruise (and have passports) and you'll soon forget all about this as you and your wife are toasting each other on your anniversary....

Hipshot May 28th, 2008 09:40 PM

Thanks CA Cruiser for your suggestions.

At this point it's history, the damage is done. I'm in damage control mode and just gathering information and ideas to help minimize the pain.

Man! I think I found a popular site here! Thanks folks!

blueliner May 28th, 2008 10:02 PM

Hipshot,

I am truly sorry to hear of your experience. Let me add my 2 cents in here. The proper documentation for boarding is clearly spelled out in your cruise contract and cruise documents. The first mistake was you not making absolutely SURE you had the proper documents before you left. Your travel agent should've been your first line of defense here. I've seen others denied boarding because they thought the fancy ceremonial pieces of paper their parents got from the hospital were legal documents, they are not by the way. I used my legal birth certificate for my first cruise many years ago, after that, I got myself a passport and it has made traveling SO much easier in the post 9/11 world.

Travel insurance would've helped as well, I don't know if you purchased it, but I recommend it for everyone taking a cruise or vacation out of the country. I cannot speak to the PA issue, as I live in Illinois and have no idea why PA wouldn't fax a birth certificate.

The cruise lines are under tremendous scrutiny when it comes to proper documentation from the Dept. of Homeland Security. They tend to error on the side of protecting the cruise line by ensuing there is NO problems with the documentation. I know it seems cruel to do what the cruise line did here, and if you did indeed have the documentation that they asked for, then you have a legitimate grievence with RCI. While it may seem wrong or cruel to deny boarding because of the make up of a document, if the cruise line doesn't follow the Homeland Security guidelines EXACTLY, they get in BIG trouble, even if it means denying boarding.

Your going to need to give the customer service dept. at RCI a month or so to respond. Don't expect anything back quickly, as they have to research everything, and with 20+ ships sailing, which means over 200,000 passengers every month, you should hear from them in about 6 weeks.

I hope you and RCI can come to a good resolution of this issue for you. I hope everything turns out OK and you can take your Bahamas cruise on RCI and have a great cruise experience.

Hipshot May 28th, 2008 10:31 PM

Blueliner,
Thanks for your perspective. When you put it that way, maybe I'm expecting too much too soon. Hey... Ii'm new at this! :wink: I will certainly give them the time needed to resolve this.

Yeah I made some rookie mistakes.. I admit that. But I did go over the documents we faxed them again and again... And it WAS exactly what they requested. There was just nothing more I could of done. They just CHOSE to deny it. A matter of interpretation I think that needs to be resolved. It's my opinion that if your going to allow an option, and then that option is provided, it be honered. Thats all.

In the mean time, I'm getting the 'proper' documentation in line... this is no longer a vacation...its a QUEST!


birth certificates,
passorts,
marriage license,
gun permit
3 yrs of 1040's showing I actually PAID my taxes!
my subcription to the white house weekly
Then wrapping my a$$ in an american flag, waving a little one
Shove an apple pie under her nose then MAYBE.. they will let me on the boat! :roll: GEES!

thecruisequeen May 28th, 2008 10:37 PM

Hang in there Hipshot! I hope it all gets resolved and you and the Mrs. do take the anniversary cruise! :)

FL_Cruiser64 May 28th, 2008 10:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hipshot
Blueliner,
Thanks for your perspective. When you put it that way, maybe I'm expecting too much too soon. Hey... Ii'm new at this! :wink: I will certainly give them the time needed to resolve this.

Yeah I made some rookie mistakes.. I admit that. But I did go over the documents we faxed them again and again... And it WAS exactly what they requested. There was just nothing more I could of done. They just CHOSE to deny it. A matter of interpretation I think that needs to be resolved. It's my opinion that if your going to allow an option, and then that option is provided, it be honered. Thats all.

In the mean time, I'm getting the 'proper' documentation in line... this is no longer a vacation...its a QUEST!


birth certificates,
passorts,
marriage license,
gun permit
3 yrs of 1040's showing I actually PAID my taxes!
my subcription to the white house weekly
Then wrapping my a$$ in an american flag, waving a little one
Shove an apple pie under her nose then MAYBE.. they will let me on the boat! :roll: GEES!

Why are you ranting about the cruise line? They don't make the document requirements.

You definitely barking up the wrong tree.

a) you should bark at yourself for not having the proper documentation.
The instructions are pretty clear and who cares what or how PA does things. A birth certificate is a birth certificate.

b) from your post it reads like you used a TA. There, go bark at the TA as well. This is your point of address. They should have gotten all the things clear for you.

c) bark at yourself again for not taking the 75%. You have no travel insurance, no proper documentation and the cruise line who has to follow rules and regulations from the bureaucratic "WTF" Homeland Security still offers you 75% on your next cruise?

I would have taken that offer and quietly left.

Once again, like so often, my question: you said you planned for this for a long time. You obviously did not ask the question here or on another forum where there are people who can help you in advance of your cruise but your very first post is a complaint on the internet.

You somehow found this forum (and probably many others), why did you not use the internet pre-cruise?

blueliner May 28th, 2008 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hipshot
Blueliner,
Thanks for your perspective. When you put it that way, maybe I'm expecting too much too soon. Hey... Ii'm new at this! :wink: I will certainly give them the time needed to resolve this.

Yeah I made some rookie mistakes.. I admit that. But I did go over the documents we faxed them again and again... And it WAS exactly what they requested. There was just nothing more I could of done. They just CHOSE to deny it. A matter of interpretation I think that needs to be resolved. It's my opinion that if your going to allow an option, and then that option is provided, it be honered. Thats all.

In the mean time, I'm getting the 'proper' documentation in line... this is no longer a vacation...its a QUEST!


birth certificates,
passorts,
marriage license,
gun permit
3 yrs of 1040's showing I actually PAID my taxes!
my subcription to the white house weekly
Then wrapping my a$$ in an american flag, waving a little one
Shove an apple pie under her nose then MAYBE.. they will let me on the boat! :roll: GEES!

Hipshot,

Two other things came to mind after I first responded. One, don't think that RCI wanted to in ANY way deny you boarding. You and your family are a revenue stream onboard the ship, and onboard the ship is where the cruise line wants you to be, buying drinks, pictures, souviniers and so on. They cannot resell the cabin at that late stage, so keeping you off the ship loses them money. That alone should tell you that denying you boarding is entirely a Homeland Security documentation issue.

Second, as for your luggage, I really don't think anyone purposely ruined your clothes. The porters that took your luggage when you arrived do not work for the cruise lines, they work for the port. It's hard to tell just who or where your luggage was damaged, by the porters or by cruise line personnel when the porters hand off to them for security screening.

I believe a 75% credit is standard for a denied boarding for documentation reasons from RCI. I believe I read or heard that before, but I'm not positive. Either way, in your letter to RCI customer service, you should definately put in copies of the documents you did try to use to board, and explain why these documents should've worked. You might get someone in the RCI office that agrees and may give you 100% credit for another cruise!

One of the keys to getting a good resolution to a complaint from RCI customer service, is the tone of your letter. Cruise lines love repeat customers, and one of the 1st things they look at is not only the legitimacy of your complaint, but whether they believe, from the tone of your letter, if they can salvage you as a customer. If they believe they can salvage a repeat customer, they are more likely to make a genuine effort to resolve your issue to your satisfaction. If you are calm, objective and open minded, you are more likely to get a better resolution to your claim.

Good luck, I really hope you and your spouse get your cruise and all turns out ok for you.

Snoozeman May 29th, 2008 01:14 AM

So sorry for all your trouble, that sounds like a terrible day. :(

I think if you turned down the 75% coupon that was as big a mistake as not having a passport. 75% seems fair. Get it if you can, then get a passport and try again.

Again what a terrible weekend, but it's over.....don't dwell on it too long and get out there.

Donna May 29th, 2008 05:39 AM

So very sorry to hear about your missed cruise. I'd suggest going ahead and getting passports and also travel insurance for your next cruise. We recently had a thread about getting or not getting insurance, here is another example.

You actually should feel better about getting anything back, normally under those conditions, you wouldn't. So, just live and learn.

LisaK May 29th, 2008 08:40 AM

the thing that pops out at me was the fact that you stated that the agent refused to let you speak to a supervisor to try to resolve this issue, that is a huge no-no and is probably against company policy, you have every right to speak to a supervisor at anytime regardless, i know its too late now but you really should have insisted on speaking to a supervisor.

Hipshot May 29th, 2008 08:41 AM

Well I'm certainly learning alot here. Thanks for all your replies. Although this may have come off as a rant.. (maybe a little :oops: ) please understand although lengthy, it is not the whole story.

I left out some things I thought were not relevent to my information gathering goals here. I mean gees, it was long enough so as it is. :roll: Like while some of the attendants were sympathetic to our situation, the woman I was dealing with seemed relatively indifferent to our plight. As a matter of fact, down right rude. Witnessed and experienced not only by me but others I was to meet on board that had similar experiences with her that day. I really don't think she had the assets of RCI in mind at that time if you know what I mean. I don't quite know what her problem was that day, but she must of experienced it long before WE got there.

I did not bring this up because I DIDN'T want this to sound like a rant. And yes, as it is most certainly a Homeland Security Issue, I believe the RCI employee had the the power, the latitude, and opportunity to apply some common sense & logic here which remains to be seen. Which is one of the things I'm trying to find out. I mean gees! The "I" wasn't dotted on an official document? Comon! We're just an inexperienced older couple trying to take our first cruise here for God sakes! Not terrorists!

My point is... although we were inexperienced and made mistakes in this matter, we were givin the opportunity to resolve the issue with an option. We provided that option. And for what I believe was a very minute formatting issue out of my control, this got way out of hand.

And although I did not in any way get unprofessional in this matter, I did send a polite letter to the CEO explaining this very situation. While a 75% credit may be the norm, being inexperienced with the lines, I would not know that, hence why I'm here as well as other places....to learn. And maybe get a pointer or two on how to handle this properly.

No I did not turn it down, as a matter of fact I thanked the rep for her kindness. I understand its on its way. At this point, I'm just trying to find out if their is anything else I can do to minimize the financial damage here.

You see we are inexperienced because we never could afford to do this before. And we still shouldn't have tried it, but this was a long time promise I tried to fulfill before it was too late to do so. This was financial strain on us. I shot our wad to pull this off for my wife. And I spent more than we had available trying to salvage the disaster. But this is not anyone's problem but ours.

I'm not the woman who spilled coffee in her lap and expected a million dollars from McDonalds, I'm just trying to minimize the damage here, and learn.. That's all. And maybe try this againat a later date.

Thank you to all those trying to help.

PattyG12 May 29th, 2008 09:18 AM

If you have a passport you can leave all the other documents (except your set sail pass) at home.

FL_Cruiser64 May 29th, 2008 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hipshot
Well I'm certainly learning alot here. Thanks for all your replies. Although this may have come off as a rant.. (maybe a little :oops: ) please understand although lengthy, it is not the whole story.

I left out some things I thought were not relevent to my information gathering goals here. I mean gees, it was long enough so as it is. :roll: Like while some of the attendants were sympathetic to our situation, the woman I was dealing with seemed relatively indifferent to our plight. As a matter of fact, down right rude. Witnessed and experienced not only by me but others I was to meet on board that had similar experiences with her that day. I really don't think she had the assets of RCI in mind at that time if you know what I mean. I don't quite know what her problem was that day, but she must of experienced it long before WE got there.

I did not bring this up because I DIDN'T want this to sound like a rant. And yes, as it is most certainly a Homeland Security Issue, I believe the RCI employee had the the power, the latitude, and opportunity to apply some common sense & logic here which remains to be seen. Which is one of the things I'm trying to find out. I mean gees! The "I" wasn't dotted on an official document? Comon! We're just an inexperienced older couple trying to take our first cruise here for God sakes! Not terrorists!

My point is... although we were inexperienced and made mistakes in this matter, we were givin the opportunity to resolve the issue with an option. We provided that option. And for what I believe was a very minute formatting issue out of my control, this got way out of hand.

And although I did not in any way get unprofessional in this matter, I did send a polite letter to the CEO explaining this very situation. While a 75% credit may be the norm, being inexperienced with the lines, I would not know that, hence why I'm here as well as other places....to learn. And maybe get a pointer or two on how to handle this properly.

No I did not turn it down, as a matter of fact I thanked the rep for her kindness. I understand its on its way. At this point, I'm just trying to find out if their is anything else I can do to minimize the financial damage here.

You see we are inexperienced because we never could afford to do this before. And we still shouldn't have tried it, but this was a long time promise I tried to fulfill before it was too late to do so. This was financial strain on us. I shot our wad to pull this off for my wife. And I spent more than we had available trying to salvage the disaster. But this is not anyone's problem but ours.

I'm not the woman who spilled coffee in her lap and expected a million dollars from McDonalds, I'm just trying to minimize the damage here, and learn.. That's all. And maybe try this againat a later date.

Thank you to all those trying to help.

We just don't know how you acted towards the customer service rep. If I read some of your lines here and you put them out in front of the customer service lady - stuff like
Quote:

birth certificates,
passorts,
marriage license,
gun permit
3 yrs of 1040's showing I actually PAID my taxes!
my subcription to the white house weekly
Then wrapping my a$$ in an american flag, waving a little one
Shove an apple pie under her nose then MAYBE.. they will let me on the boat! Rolling Eyes GEES!
- I wouldn't blame her to be indifferent.

Cruising to the Caribbean is not a question of "are you a world traveler" or not. It is like getting on the bus these days.

The cruise line has no interest denying you boarding. They'd loose revenue. If they denied you boarding your document violation was big enough that it could have delayed the departure of the ship thus affecting 2000 to 3000 people.

Cruise lines have NO leverage when it comes to documentation required. It is what it is. Your TA should have caught it. You should have caught it. And you could have searched the internet just as you searched for a place to vent after the fact.

Still, they offered you 75% off of your next cruise. What are you actually looking for in compensation?

Maybe you should start right there.

Texasmunk May 29th, 2008 09:41 AM

Keep Plugging away
 
the 75% is a start, you might get lucky and recover the balance...

Now I have to ask:

We have all read the original post, WHY do people think they need to re-print the post? What are they worried others got lost and have no clue what was said?

STOP filling pages with repeat info!!!!!!!!!!!!

PH8 May 29th, 2008 09:41 AM

You shouldn't have accepted their offer of 75% off if you are not satisifed with it and plan to continue asking for more..

Hipshot May 29th, 2008 09:55 AM

Quote:

We just don't know how you acted towards the customer service rep. If I read some of your lines here and you put them out in front of the customer service lady - stuff like
Quote:

birth certificates,
passorts,
marriage license,
gun permit
3 yrs of 1040's showing I actually PAID my taxes!
my subcription to the white house weekly
Then wrapping my a$$ in an american flag, waving a little one
Shove an apple pie under her nose then MAYBE.. they will let me on the boat! Rolling Eyes GEES!
- I wouldn't blame her to be indifferent.

Still, they offered you 75% off of your next cruise. What are you actually looking for in compensation?

Maybe you should start right there.
Well you are right there.. you don't know. I can tell you I was as professional as I could be considering the circumstances. They didn't haul me off in cuffs! :wink: I guess that is kinda relative though. Depends on which side of the fence you on eh? :wink:

Anyways, please don't take my poor attempt at a little levity duing this insanity as something I would actually do... I mean Gees! It was a joke! LOL

Compensation? I really don't know. If they were wrong, certainly something better than a 75% discount. I shouldn't have to take a financial hit if they were. Maybe compensate me for the extra expenses I'll incur for having to do this all over again? I mean I drove over 1000 miles! Think thats fair? I really don't know. Maybe let my kids go along? who knows..

But on the outside chance I didn't provide what was required as an option well then I'll thank them for their graciousness and try to come up with the funds to try it again someday.

Does anyone ELSE think I'm being unreasonable here? :-?

FL_Cruiser64 May 29th, 2008 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hipshot
Quote:

We just don't know how you acted towards the customer service rep. If I read some of your lines here and you put them out in front of the customer service lady - stuff like
Quote:

birth certificates,
passorts,
marriage license,
gun permit
3 yrs of 1040's showing I actually PAID my taxes!
my subcription to the white house weekly
Then wrapping my a$$ in an american flag, waving a little one
Shove an apple pie under her nose then MAYBE.. they will let me on the boat! Rolling Eyes GEES!
- I wouldn't blame her to be indifferent.

Still, they offered you 75% off of your next cruise. What are you actually looking for in compensation?

Maybe you should start right there.
Well you are right there.. you don't know. I can tell you I was as professional as I could be considering the circumstances. They didn't haul me off in cuffs! :wink: I guess that is kinda relative though. Depends on which side of the fence you on eh? :wink:

Anyways, please don't take my poor attempt at a little levity duing this insanity as something I would actually do... I mean Gees! It was a joke! LOL

Compensation? I really don't know. If they were wrong, certainly something better than a 75% discount. I shouldn't have to take a financial hit if they were. Maybe compensate me for the extra expenses I'll incur for having to do this all over again? I mean I drove over 1000 miles! Think thats fair? I really don't know. Maybe let my kids go along? who knows..

But on the outside chance I didn't provide what was required as an option well then I'll thank them for their graciousness and try to come up with the funds to try it again someday.

Does anyone ELSE think I'm being unreasonable here? :-?

How can they be wrong if you bring the wrong documentation?

I am not saying you are unreasonable, well you kind of are, I am just always totally flabbergasted of people not researching pre-cruise yet if something goes wrong they seem to find every avenue to voice their opinion.

Obviously you didn't provide what was required otherwise you would have been allowed to board.

See, for you to not board, a cruise line loses important onboard revenue. That is the much bigger income maker. They may have initially made a couple dollars by keeping your cruise fare but that would be negated when you'd use the 75% off. So the cruise line has absolutely no benefit whatsoever to deny you boarding.

If they deny you boarding something had to be wrong with your docs. You can twist it and turn it the main responsibility lies with you.

Do you live in OH by any chance?

Hipshot May 29th, 2008 10:34 AM

Quote:

How can they be wrong if you bring the wrong documentation?

Obviously you didn't provide what was required otherwise you would have been allowed to board.

Do you live in OH by any chance?
See now... thats where we differ. I NEVER said during all this that we didn't make a mistake. We did. Unknowingly but.. that's a given.

But a viable OPTION was presented to us by the line to resolve the problem. And I feel we satsifactorly provided that option. They don't. In there lies the matter of interpretation. I don't think this is actually as cut and dry as one might like to think.

I'm really not twisting anything here. This is what happened. And so far... the only official answer I got to this situation is from a woman with something less than a pleasant attitude behind a counter at the pier apparently not willing to work with me as well as others as I came to find out. Did she have that opportunity to resolve this? I don't know. That's one of the things I'm trying to understand.

In any case. If I didn't think I had a legitimate complaint here, I wouldn't be bothereing you fine folks with it.

And no. I don't live in Ohio. 1074 miles round trip according to the handy dandy google maps. And you know what? It was within 1 mile! I was impressed! :shock:

ragtiki2005 May 29th, 2008 11:20 AM

I would have taken the 75% offer. Lesson to be learned.

fitter638 May 29th, 2008 11:44 AM

i think everyone miss something here how would you get back in to the country without proper proof. maybe they did you a favor i am sure that people that have gotten off in miami know what i mean.

Kuki May 29th, 2008 11:55 AM

Frankly, I'm amazed that anyone at the pier would even suggest a child's birth certificate would be adequate. That itself raises issues, and I don't believe HS would deem that acceptable, and even if you went on the cruise through that mistaken route, I wouldn't have been surprised if you faced problems trying to return to the country.

Without having proper identification, if something happened in the Bahamas, the lack of ID would have proved to be much more of a headache than one can imagine.

So... #1 piece of advice... no matter where anyone travels the small fees for a passport negate so many possible problems they are invaluable.

I do have to agree with the posters who suggested..... SO MUCH of this could have easily been avoided if you're researched the trip PRIOR to booking, and PRIOR to sailing.... rather than afterwards to find a place to give yourself a voice.
75% discount on a future cruise actually sounds like reasonable compensation to me. I'd think at least 25% of the damage was caused by your attempting to travel without necessary documentation.

Of that 25%, I'd recommend looking to your travel agent, who obviously didn't do much of a job of informing you, other than telling you to pack water and sodas in your luggage..... which I would never do; pack them in seperate bag, and check it with the porter with your other luggage to prevent an occurance where it ruins your other possessions.

Ron n Jon May 29th, 2008 12:02 PM

We find it a little disturbing that so many of the posters are so unsympathetic towards this man's predicament. As if they were never at one time novice travelers. Some perhaps even a little vindictive on behalf of the line.

Some leeway could have been made, no differently than when we went ashore and inadvertently did not take photo identification with us. We were prevented from reboarding until the matter could be resolved with security but the matter was resolved.

As customers of this line, we strongly suggest that they re evaluate the circumstances surrounding this case not only to review their own boarding systems but also to take into consideration the man's unique case.

Hipshot May 29th, 2008 12:22 PM

Interesting points. I wonder too if there would of been issues in the Bahamas. However, if it would of sufficed to board here, why would it of been an issue there? I'm sure that was already resolved with the Bohemian Government. ( I guess I said that right.. :roll: )

Anyways, we didn't make this stuff up. They brought this up as an option to us! And I just feel we satisfactorly provided that document.

Of COURSE we are in the process of correcting this issue so it doesn't repeat itself. I'm ordering our proper Birth Certificates from the state and going to pursue the passport process. I CERTAINLY don't want this to happen twice! :shock:

Just another part of my damage control! :wink:

Oh and Thanks Ron n Jon... I'm glad to see I'm not alone on this side of the fence.

Did I just buy a hat from your surf shop in Cocoa Beach? :shock: hehe..


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