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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 23rd, 2008, 01:47 PM
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Default Beware RC

I would choose any other cruise BUT RC...they dont care about you at ALL. They mis-inform guests on their 800 line then won't stand behind the information that THEY give you! Now some of this was our fault for being uneducated yes....however I wasn't clear that I had to have my birthcerificate to go to Mexico...so I called the 800 number and was informed that I did NOT , however if I got left behind in mexico I would have trouble....I did not understand the info booklet and did the correct thing by calling THEM to ask...I was turned away at the ship...called 800 number lady told me I need to get it and they could put me on next cruise...the excutive call center was closed due to storm in FL at the time call back....did that..and was told it was my fault for being stupid and too bad.....every person I talked to told me something different...it is very clear to me that if they misinform you it's still on you....so if you call them and ask for directions to the ship...and THEY mis-inform you and you are late...too bad so sad you loose your money! If we were late...I understand its on me...if I did something wrong...its on me....I was unclear about my birth certificate and called them for info....how is that my fault? very poor customer service.

good luck!
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 02:12 PM
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Did you read the information that you either downloaded from the RCI site or received in the mail?

It clearly states what ID is required to board the ship and return to USA.

At least they gave you a cabin on the next cruise. They could have told you "tuff" and just kept all your $$$.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:05 PM
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I disagree, your boarding denial is very much your fault. In numerous places on the RCI website, and in both the paper documents version and in the edocs, as well as on the US State Dept. web site it is, in fact, very clearly explained that both proof of Identity and proof of US citizenship (a passport, naturalization papers, or an original or certified copy of official birth certificate) is required for US Citizens cruising to Mexico and the Caribbean. What you may have misunderstood is that if you got left behind in Mexico, it would be difficult to reenter the US by air without a passport under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

I'm sorry you misunderstood the document requirements, the offer by RCI to accomodate you on the next cruise is a sign of excellent customer service on their part in my view, they could have just denied you and said "tough". That shows that they understand you misunderstood the requirements and they are trying to give you the cruise you paid for. The document requirements are those of the US Government and the governments of the countries you would visit on your cruise. Neither RCI nor any of the cruise lines make up thos rules, they just enforce them as they are required by law to do.

I understand your anger and need to vent, but coming on this board as a brand new poster and flaming RCI on the RCI board is really not appropriate.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueliner
I disagree, your boarding denial is very much your fault. In numerous places on the RCI website, and in both the paper documents version and in the edocs, as well as on the US State Dept. web site it is, in fact, very clearly explained that both proof of Identity and proof of US citizenship (a passport, naturalization papers, or an original or certified copy of official birth certificate) is required for US Citizens cruising to Mexico and the Caribbean. What you may have misunderstood is that if you got left behind in Mexico, it would be difficult to reenter the US by air without a passport under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

I'm sorry you misunderstood the document requirements, the offer by RCI to accomodate you on the next cruise is a sign of excellent customer service on their part in my view, they could have just denied you and said "tough". That shows that they understand you misunderstood the requirements and they are trying to give you the cruise you paid for. The document requirements are those of the US Government and the governments of the countries you would visit on your cruise. Neither RCI nor any of the cruise lines make up thos rules, they just enforce them as they are required by law to do.

I understand your anger and need to vent, but coming on this board as a brand new poster and flaming RCI on the RCI board is really not appropriate.
Amen to that.

Reminds me of the lady in the Ft. Lauderdale airport trying to get a six pack of liquor bottles through security and onto the plane. When told she couldn't carry the liquids onboard, she used the tried and true excuse: Well, nobody told ME! As if the airline was supposed to call her personally and tell her. Get a life.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:14 PM
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I agree with the other two posters.

I cruised Royal in June for the first time and while I do think they can improve in some areas, I was very happy with their customer service.

It very clearly states in the documentation, and on the website, that you do need a certifiable ID (i.e. passport, birth certificate, etc) in order to board. Maybe when you called and asked if you needed a birth certificate something got misheard in the conversation, because if you have a passport, you do not need a birth certificate.

I think you need to write RCI and let them know what happened and find out where the mistake was made. RCI did offer to accomodate you, which is pretty generous.

Make sure you read all fine print before you take your next cruise.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:38 PM
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You might find more sympathy here http://www.cruisebruise.com/
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutiecat
I agree with the other two posters.
You don't agree with me?
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:58 PM
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Page Nine Of the RCCL Booklet gives you all the information on documents needed.

When the Booklet is in the mailbox one should read the booklet and not just doc dance.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Here it is directly from the RCI web site, seems pretty clear to me!

It is the sole responsibility of the guest to identify and obtain all required travel documents and have them available when necessary. These appropriate valid travel documents such as passports, visas, inoculation certificate and family legal documents are required for boarding and re-entry into the United States and other countries.

Guests who do not possess the proper documentation may be prevented from boarding their flight or ship or from entering a country and may be subject to fines. No refunds will be given to individuals who fail to bring proper documentation.


Sea Travel Only (before June 1, 2009)

For domestic travel which includes: the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico, a Passport (valid or expired), valid U.S. Passport Card or State or Provincial Enhanced Drivers License is highly recommended.

In the absence of a Passport, U.S. Passport Card or State or Provincial Enhanced Drivers License (when available - this secure drivers license will denote identity and citizenship) or any other Department of Home Land Security approved Identification / Citizenship document(s), a birth certificate (original or certified copy), plus a laminated picture ID card including photo, name and date of birth issued by a federal, state, or local government agency is required.

U.S. and Canadian citizen children ages 16 and under will be expected to present a birth certificate issued by a federal, state, provincial, county or municipal authority.

Note:
Baptismal paper and hospital certificates of birth are not acceptable.

A voter registration card or Social Security Card are not considered to be proof of citizenship.

For U.S. Naturalized citizens, in the absence of a passport, Naturalization papers (either original or notarized copy) plus a laminated picture ID card issued by a federal, state, or local government agency is required.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 04:22 PM
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"Sea Travel Only (before June 1, 2009)

For domestic travel which includes: the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico, a Passport (valid or expired), valid U.S. Passport Card or State or Provincial Enhanced Drivers License is highly recommended. "


this is what I had a question about....so who was I supposed to call to help me understand? the postman? my next door neighbor? my co worker? I thought why not call the cruise line customer service hotline that says call if you have any questions as they would inform me correctly......

Look I don't travel much....that is why I read the booklet page for page...and called with the questions that I had....I didn't fail to produce proper ID because I was informed that I had proper ID by the customer service person I spoke with weeks in advance of my trip. Look you can call me a dummy but I was smart enuff to call and ask someone who was supposed to know.....
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 04:28 PM
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"I think you need to write RCI and let them know what happened and find out where the mistake was made. RCI did offer to accomodate you, which is pretty generous. "


the person who offered that was not authorized to give me that.....if that was the case this would be a post about how great the service was.......when I called and talked to the service center that COULD get us on another boat or a partial credit or a free drink coupon for thier misinformation that would be something...however the final result was it was my fault and if we told you different you still should of known better....one agent said that they record "all" of the customer service calls...I said great let's pull the tape....then I was handed off to someone else that informed me that only some of the CS calls are recored.


this isnt a case of me smuggling booze on board or illegal drugs or a ferret...I would understand that.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 04:41 PM
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Provincial Enhanced Drivers License

This is where the communications broke down. This is NOT a regular State issued DL. This is the new DLs that are being phased-in by the States. I call it the National ID because that is what it really is.

http://www.dhs.gov/xprevprot/laws/gc_1172767635686.shtm
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 04:48 PM
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Irish...this is part of the reason I was confussed. I read the booklet and didn't understand. That's why I called them. I mean hindsight is 20/20.....I grew up in AZ I've been to Mexico over 100 times...lived in San Diego too....walked across the board too many times to count....so when I was mis-informed it made sense to me that I didn't have to have a birth certificate for MEX....

Listen I am the kind of guy that checks the door twice....its almost a ocd thing ...so me and my wife were both sitting at our desk with the phone on speaker and taking notes.....if after that conversation I was informed correctly I would of had my birth certificate asap. I would of checked everyone's twice and ensured we had them before we even got in the car.
we were both on the phone cause she knows i would of had to call and hear the words myself because I wasn't crystal clear from the booket.

FYI monday I am applying to get my brith certificate.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 04:52 PM
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As soon a you get your BC and you are back from your cruise, apply for a passport. No need to worry about airlines or cruise lines anymore.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 04:56 PM
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well I didnt get to go on the cruise...we made the best out of it in cali...actually except the lost 800 bucks...and a little disapointment.... I mean 4 days on a beach in cali and some great whale watching was cool, missed the shark fishing trip cause it's only offered on the weekends...but you are absolutely correct....getting that BC then passport asap.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutiecat
I agree with the other two posters.
You don't agree with me?
Yes, I agree with you. When I wrote that there were only two posts and someone beat me to a third before I posted
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Irish is right passport is the way to go. I always have a passport and use it even for Domestic travel.

Get your passport so this never happens again.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 06:58 PM
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I have dealt with many companies, and I found RCCL"s customer service to be much better than average,

TM
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 11:36 PM
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I am not making a joke when I say; If you have never cruised before and if you don't speak english very well I can see how you were confused.

I'm not defending your position or your feelings. What I'm saying is; you had questions that were valid because you didn't understand how it was written, and because of the info you got from RC you were denied boarding.

I am unable to obtain a passport so when a passport is required for cruising, I'll just find another way to vacation. Because I cannot obtain a passport, I made sure I had a certified copy of my BC to get back into the country because without one, how can you really prove that you're a citizen?
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Old August 24th, 2008, 12:44 AM
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It has been all over the news for about 2 years now about the new passport requirements. How could you have missed it? Initially passports were to be required for sea travel as early as Jan 1st 2007. It was extended several times due to the backlog of passport applications. As it is now, the only way to leave the country without one is by sea travel. That will change June 1 2009. Regardless, a certified copy of a birth certificate AND a state ID has been required for years to enter the country without a passport. Nothing new there.
As for RCI, when you call the 800 number, you are not reaching a travel professional, you are usually reaching an inbound call center of customer NO service reps. This is why using the services of a travel agent is do important. Your travel agent would have made sure that you had all of the necessary documents. You would not have missed the ship. Passengers who book directly with the line or who use a big warehouse online agency are usually on their own when it comes to the fine details. For seasoned travelers this is no problem. Unless you are willing to keep up with all policies and updates, better off with an agent. You never pay more to use one as they have access to all of the fares that line offers directly as well as the online "discount" cruise agencies. You may even get a better deal due to unadvertised promotions or discounts you may not be aware of.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 02:48 AM
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I think a real lesson was learned here. Always have your passport for travel. Bob
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Old August 24th, 2008, 09:59 AM
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Sorry you had a bad experience and I agree with the poster who stated that the best "defense" against something like this is to just get your passport.

Now I'm going to be tough on you - the mistake was yours - it is your responsibility to comprehensively and cohesively read the rules and requirements before you board. RCCL (and the other cruise lines) offer ample opportunity for you to do so, and the rules and requirements are plainly stated. I understand that you are frustrated, however don't point the finger at anyone else...you are human, and you made a mistake. Learn from it instead of eating sour grapes.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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[quote="EMG"]I am not making a joke when I say; If you have never cruised before and if you don't speak english very well I can see how you were confused.

I'm not defending your position or your feelings. What I'm saying is; you had questions that were valid because you didn't understand how it was written, and because of the info you got from RC you were denied boarding.

I am unable to obtain a passport so when a passport is required for cruising, I'll just find another way to vacation. Because I cannot obtain a passport, I made sure I had a certified copy of my BC to get back into the country because without one, how can you really prove that you're a citizen?[/quote]

Don't worry. As long as you cruise from a U.S. port and return to the same U.S. Port you'll still be able to cruise, even after June 1, 2009.

As long as you have a certified copy of your BC and a govy issued ID.

Bill
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Old August 24th, 2008, 05:26 PM
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When you purchased your ticket - it is your responsibility (if you booked this yourself and did not use a TA) to be aware of the contract you are entering into. This really is not RCL's fault. You need to read your contract just like you would any other document you are signing. It clearly states you need a birth certificate or a pass port to board the ship. There are several places this is mentioned in the tickets and at the online pre-boarding area. Sorry for your luck and your disappointment but chalk it up to a life lesson learned.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisequeen
When you purchased your ticket - it is your responsibility (if you booked this yourself and did not use a TA) to be aware of the contract you are entering into. This really is not RCL's fault. You need to read your contract just like you would any other document you are signing. It clearly states you need a birth certificate or a pass port to board the ship. There are several places this is mentioned in the tickets and at the online pre-boarding area. Sorry for your luck and your disappointment but chalk it up to a life lesson learned.
What you are saying is that the OP should have booked with a TA to receive correct info. Now suppose the travel agent told him that he didn't need a birth certificate to cruise and he showed up and was denied boarding because he didn't have proper documentation.

Would it still be his fault for booking with a TA that didn't know what they were talking about or would you say the TA should make it right?

Bill
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Old August 24th, 2008, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.S.Oceanlover
What you are saying is that the OP should have booked with a TA to receive correct info. Now suppose the travel agent told him that he didn't need a birth certificate to cruise and he showed up and was denied boarding because he didn't have proper documentation.

Would it still be his fault for booking with a TA that didn't know what they were talking about or would you say the TA should make it right?

Bill
That would be a pretty poor TA if that were the case. If a TA did tell a client they didn't need a BC or passport to board a cruise, then certainly the client would have a claim against the TA and possibly get reimbursed for the money they lost. The client still wouldn't be allowed to board the ship unless they had the proper documentation, but the client could have a strong claim if the client can prove the TA gave them the erronious information that caused them to be denied boarding.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 10:54 PM
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Default I don't think so

RC is absolutely one of the best cruise lines around. They make you feel special and their ships are open and beautifully designed. EVERYone knows if you are traveling out of this country, you must carry a passport.

We went to Mexico on Carnival last year, before it was mandatory, but I still got my kids passports, there aren't any excuses anymore and this isn't the cruiseline's responsibility.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 01:40 AM
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Jimbrown3,
I wish I could be sympathetic to your cause, but I can't. Everyone who posted before me said everything I was thinking. EXCEPT!!!!! Living in California my whole life and kickin it at the beach is not better than being on a cruise. You said you lost $800 dollars, RCI didn't offer you a credit for a future cruise? Don't let this one mistake (I believe on your part) ruin your future cruising experience. RCI is a good company and I can't wait to go on my next cruise with them. Whether or not you go on a cruise again, it doesn't hurt to have a passport. Go to your nearest post office and find out how to get one.
Krysti
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Old August 25th, 2008, 03:13 AM
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TA's are supposed to have errors and omissions insurance that covers situations where a TA gives the wrong info. I find it highly unlikely that any TA is not aware of the current regulations regarding proof of citizenship.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.S.Oceanlover
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisequeen
When you purchased your ticket - it is your responsibility (if you booked this yourself and did not use a TA) to be aware of the contract you are entering into. This really is not RCL's fault. You need to read your contract just like you would any other document you are signing. It clearly states you need a birth certificate or a pass port to board the ship. There are several places this is mentioned in the tickets and at the online pre-boarding area. Sorry for your luck and your disappointment but chalk it up to a life lesson learned.
What you are saying is that the OP should have booked with a TA to receive correct info. Now suppose the travel agent told him that he didn't need a birth certificate to cruise and he showed up and was denied boarding because he didn't have proper documentation.

Would it still be his fault for booking with a TA that didn't know what they were talking about or would you say the TA should make it right?

Bill
No - What I'm saying is - A good TA will be sure their clients know what documents are required when boarding the ship. NOW I did say a GOOD TA would do this. Yes - there are some TA that will book the cruise and do nothing else for their clients. However, in any case, it is still the clients responsiblity to read their contract. It is very clear about what is needed for proper documentation.

As for Error & Omission insurance - it covers basically mistakes in the booking made by a TA. It would not cover this type of "error" since it was not really an error.
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