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Direct to the point Dave March 21st, 2009 10:19 AM

:evil: And that is what a multitude of crusers and us on the Radiance cruise during Rio Carnival week Feb 15 to Feb 28 2009 feel about Royal Caribbean's BAD ATTITUDE on the fact that we caught them with a price so high comparred to what the price should have been for the Carnival Samba Parade after we attended the Parade.. They OVERCHARGED everyone who purchased from them $1000.00 for a pair of tickets and refuse return of it. THEY IGNORE REALITY OF BEING CAUGHT. THEY ARE ARROGANT. The credit card company was unabel to help because the tour was bought more than 60 days in advance of my complaint to them.
Royal charged all those that bought from them $650.. per ticket. At the event we found the tickets for sale in the Carnival Brocure for $150.oo per ticket for the same section we were assigned to and the same night.
Royal Carribean has acknowledged that they will not refund the overcharge. There layers of "customer service" people are worthless.
I cannot use the words here to express my anger but i can tell you that if you cruise with rcc make sure you DO NOT buy any tours from them. The same tours can be bought just off the ship, on the internet or at the tourism office in the town you are visiting for one quarter of their price. They offer no benefit to safety. AVOID BEING ABUSED BY RCC. They took an extra $1000.00 from me and it will now cost them a former good customer. There are other companies to sail with for sure. I'M HOPING THAT THIS RECESSION NOW WILL PUSH THEM INTO BANKRUPTCY. Take my advise avoid their ships.

thecruisequeen March 21st, 2009 10:31 AM

Sorry that this happened to you. That is way too expensive. I would never pay $650. PP for any tour. :-?

Ephraim March 21st, 2009 11:09 AM

Sorry this happened to you. I'll second the queen, but half her limit. I'd pretty much need to be seeing Lady Godiva in person for $325.

seadog2 March 21st, 2009 03:11 PM

Very unfortunate. I hope that there is some resolution for you.

Dave the Wave March 21st, 2009 03:15 PM

You had to pay money to watch a parade???????????????? :roll: :shock: :-? :?:

WildRover March 21st, 2009 03:58 PM

I am not sure I follow...
Did you know RCL was charging $650/pp for the excursion when you booked it?
Or is it that you found out Carnival charged less for the same excursion?

FL_Cruiser64 March 21st, 2009 04:49 PM

I don't know if I understand correctly.

You paid $650 to attend some parade. After the excursion you found out that another cruise line charges less. So you are upset now that you paid more for an excursion on one cruise line then you would have on another.

a) sorry to hear that
b) unless I am being flown by private helicopter I would never pay $650 per person for any excursion
c) does Carnival offer the exact same excursion?
d) you won't get far with any customer service since you were obviously willing to accept the price in the first place

Little advice from me: It always pays off to do research before you travel rather than afterward.

Manuel March 21st, 2009 05:42 PM

Boy that is a lot of money to watch a parade!


Galveston March 21st, 2009 06:40 PM

lol @ dtw...sounds like you had too much ~TEQUILA!!!~ when you booked that tour. Thanks for keeping my fav. cruise line afloat. We appreciate it!!

Kuki March 21st, 2009 07:00 PM


Originally Posted by WildRover
I am not sure I follow...
Did you know RCL was charging $650/pp for the excursion when you booked it?
Or is it that you found out Carnival charged less for the same excursion?

They were referring to a port of call at Rio DURING Carnival, not Carnival Cruise Line.

WildRover March 21st, 2009 11:27 PM

Ahh.... that would make a difference, wouldn't it?!! hahaha

I am still confused. (not that my being confused isn't a normal state.)


Manuel March 22nd, 2009 08:14 AM


Originally Posted by Kuki

Originally Posted by WildRover
I am not sure I follow...
Did you know RCL was charging $650/pp for the excursion when you booked it?
Or is it that you found out Carnival charged less for the same excursion?

They were referring to a port of call at Rio DURING Carnival, not Carnival Cruise Line.

In that case they have nothing to complain about. We all know that tours purchased on a ship are more expensive.


Direct to the point Dave March 22nd, 2009 10:30 AM


Originally Posted by WildRover
I am not sure I follow...
Did you know RCL was charging $650/pp for the excursion when you booked it?
Or is it that you found out Carnival charged less for the same excursion?

We had been told that Rio was the most dangerous city in the hemisphere for tourists and to stay with the cruise line tours.....Rcc had confirmed this on the telephone in a conversation one day with them. So, we did not research other options. Yes we paid them up front and way up front because we were told the tour had limited availability of tickets. So for a Feb 20th 2009 tour we paid them "in full" $1300.oo back in early October. We found out the the actual price of the tickets for the section they sold us was 300 REAS (Brazilian money) which converts to our funds at less than a total of $150.00 at time of purchase in Oct 2008. As it turned out they sold and sold and sold tour tickets on board the ship and sent over a three night period of 500 passengers at this price to the Samba Parade. RCC knew exactly what they were doing. No doubt in anyone's mind that RCC gouged them. And it is too late for me to file a complaint with American Express as they only go after "bad eggs" for a period of 60 days after the charge is made. My only recourse now is "to get even" and help put a dent in RCC future earning by making everyone who will listen be aware that they abuse their clients with zealous profits and send out form letters that say" thank you for your concern, and, we will try to improve our service for you in the future". As far as I am concerned there will be no future with them.

I noticed you have a reservatiuon on their new "cattle car", the Oasis.
Six thousand passengers flooding small towns in the carribean all at once along with other ships in the port........What a Zoo these morons are making out of tourisim. And unless you have a cabin near the center of that ship you will need rollar skates to reach the dining rooms and other rooms. To get to the dining room for your 9 PM dinner I suggest you leave your cabin at 6 :15 PM. Why do you want to sail on this thing ? You will never see the same person twice, you will push and shove at the picture sell area, the shops will only have larger quantities of the same tired overpriced "bargains", You will have to put a pool towel on the chaise at 5:15 AM to have the chaise (it will stay all day as they have cut back on help on the ships too. Get set for $4.75 charge in the Dining Room for real orange juice per glass. Bring your own chocolates for your cabin at night, they have eliminated those too. No more Terry Robes and Slippers . No more shower Caps, and no more lotions. Bring lots of charge card mony for the special dining or you will find Denny quality level food on the menu. The Showroom will be so deep that unless you get to it an hour before show time you wont be able to make out faces on stage, I could go on and on with thoughts on it. Wait until you try to disembark this ! My advise.....cancel it. Spend a few dollars more and go on a classy cruise on one of the better cruise lines that use ships under 2000 passengers, or try a river cruise in Europe on a 150 passenger river boat and have a new kind of fun. Dump RCC !
Thanks for listening.

yellosno March 22nd, 2009 12:37 PM

Other than those few small things, how was your cruise? I guess I won't be running into you on the Oasis.

blueliner March 22nd, 2009 02:21 PM


Obviously you are very angry, and we all understand that and why. Just a few points to make here. First, I'm sure the price you paid included more than the tickets, probably transportation, food, guide and security. It is a well known fact that ship's shore excursions are more expensive, however, you usually get more for it. Included is the assurance the ship will not leave without you if a problem occurs on the shore excursion, a perk you do not get if you book an excursion on your own.

Second, Cruisemates is a pro-cruise web site. And on the Royal Caribbean portion of the message boards, you will find a lot of very knowledgeable past Royal Caribbean cruisers, and some newbies doing some research before their next or first cruise. Cruisers, like myself, that have cruised RCI many, many times and love the product. While we can try and help you better understand the cruise and shore excursion product, or help you deal with Royal Caribbean customer service, you're not going to find cruisers here that are going to drop their cruises or fail to book their next RCI cruise because of your experience. We are experienced RCI cruisers like I said. It's really not proper etiquette to come onto the Royal Caribbean board and start slamming RCI to a group of pro-RCI cruisers as a first time poster. We understand and respect your anger, Cruisemates welcomes all points of view, but just understand that your anti-RCI and anti-Oasis OTS point of view will not get posters here on the Royal Caribbean message board that will agree with you.

Finally, if you found other aspects of your cruise experience pleasing, perhaps you can find another cruiseline that better suits you to cruise on. You can try another cruiseline and join that particular cruiseline's portion of the Cruisemates message board to post on and really enjoy this wonderful online community of cruisers called Cruisemates. You'll find some really great articles on this website to help you choose a cruiseline, a cruise ship, shore excursions, get the best price and lots of other areas of the cruise experience. Good luck to you, I hope your issues get resolved and you can find another cruiseline and have a truly wonderful cruise experience on your next cruise.

Direct to the point Dave March 22nd, 2009 05:14 PM

Dear Scott;
Everyone in business is in business to make a profit. I too am an independent businesman and understand how much "margin" is needed to make a profit and stay in business. Obviously your reply indicated you don't understand this and or you are in the employ of RCI. No one needs this kind of "margin" and obviously they thought they wouldn't get caught.

Their bus ride to Carnival may have been worth ten or fifteen dollars a person. A round trip taxi from the ship to the Carnival facility was $13.00 including trip as confirmed by other people who didn't get caught in this gouging situation. There was no food, and there was no special security. We were in a grandstand with a mob of people and there were no extras from RCI. IS THAT CLEAR TO YOU ??

Scott, for your information there was no "nice reasoning" with RCI. The replies from them were all Bull! Their attitude to correct the issue sucked because they offered nothing but a sweet "were sorry" approach on their form letters. Frankly they desrve to have my greif and I am good at giving as I received it from them. Could i be any clearer?

Yes i am aware that this is a RCI website designed to fool newcomers and I am doing exactly what should be done to a company that abuses it's customers and unless I spend time in a court sueing them in a class action suit the only way I can get satisfaction against them is to tell the truth on thier website and let the real people know that they in my opinion are a crummy company to do business with for a vacation cruise. And yes you can bet that they will never see another dime of my mony and of anyones mony who recognizes their actions.

As for Oasis and it's jumbo size.........I hope you enjoy being lost on that monster and that your room is truly at the back or front of the ship. You might want to plan a day in advance for your travel time to any of the venues and in the theatre of entertainment bring 10X magnifying glasses. Oh what fun. As for the food and nickel and dime approach that RCI has acheived....bring change and a large Debit card. Plan on downgraded quality and a bad assortment of sme old food everyday upstairs in the cafeteria on the top deck.

My purpose now as you can see is to make sure no one gets screwed by RCI as they have done to me and others on this Samba ticket issue. You see, I am not mad , I am just doing what I promised them I would do if we did not get refunded the extreme overcharge., and I am going to continue to tell about it. There are plenty of other websites as well that I will write on. RCI will just love the publicity. In addition I plan on writing to magazines, newspapers and even the major TV networks . All of these guys love "meat" like this and because it is all absolutely true may just latch on it for major stories and TV presentations.
And your right, I do not need their Crown and Anchor club or anything from them. There are much better choices and places to spend hard earned mony. I hope that ship sails as close to empty as possible as a reward to them. I hope they go bankrupt very soon. :evil:

Scott if you don't work for them......get a life !

blueliner March 22nd, 2009 05:35 PM


I was trying to be very nice to you. I did not hurl any insults your way. I am not an employee of RCI, just an avid cruiser and a fan of RCI. This is not a website designed to "fool newcomers", just an online community of cruisers. I do have a wonderful life thank you, and it includes cruise vacations on RCI.

Direct to the point Dave March 22nd, 2009 06:11 PM

I'm sorry Scott;

I did not mean to "pound" on you except that your email sounded just like their (RCI) canned reply and thus i felt you sounded like an employee.

Looking at your sailings I can tell you that I suggest that you broden your sailing experience. There is no doubt that some of the other cruise lines might have consumer problems, but these people at RCI just so aggravated so many people on this issue that they need to be "put in place". I volunterred to do that because I am a "letter writer" with fifty years of experience on how to get the truth across "even if it hurts" as learned at New York University during my undergraduate years there.

There are so many finer cruise lines out there. The reality of it is that they don't have to be higher priced. I have sailed on RCI now four times and we went for the itinerary on this cruise or we would not have sailed with them. Truly we did not expect food much better than Dennys. We weren't disapointed. This cruise was the "only cruise in Rio" during the Carnival period. It was docked for three nights. It was what we wanted to do. The entire itinerary was great, but RCI soured the trip by price gouging. Nothing else.

We have sailed with Princess many times and they are the same class of quality as RCI except we were never ripped off by them. We have sailed Celebrity, RCI sister company which is slightly upgraded in food and service and never "ripped-off by them. We have Sailed Holland America several times and they are quality above RCI and even Celebrity on food and service and we were never ripped-off by them. We sailed on Rennisance before their demise (which was caused by too fast a growth and a poor economy) on their great 680 passenger ships and had fantastic everything. We were never ripped-off by them. We have sailed on Carnival, our first cruise and had the fun time of any trip and were not ripped-off by them. We have sailed on Riverboats in Europe, and had magnificent experiences on their tours which are built into their fares and we were never ripped-off by them. On this RCI we were Ripped-off and they, RCI have no conscience ! They disgust me ! Everyone of their clients should know to be careful spending with them. Best yet, take your money back and cruise with other lines that don't abuse their client relationship like RCI did here.

To close our conversation I will say I am sorry if I offended you, but in fact I was just bewildered by your remark that they, RCI might be right, which they are not. If they need to make more than they need to raise the base fare instead of abusing their clients. They don't need to charge $4.50 or $4.75 for a glass of orange juice in the dining room.
They don't need to do a lot of the devious things they do. They need to be legitimate. This time they weren't. They got caught just like Madoff.

Scott, please take my sincere advise, don't sail on that "big-pig" Oasis. I will bet after you get over the awe of it when you get on board you will say this is not the way to cruise.

Kindest regards,

dave 3261 March 22nd, 2009 08:49 PM

Excursions seemed reasonable.
Just booked all my excursions on Explorer in April. The prices all seemed reasonable except for maybe dragons breath in Labadee, something like $100 to go on a zip line. I booked it anyway. I never would have gone for that much money too watch a parade.

Carnival Victory, 2003
Carnival Victory, 2004
RCI Explorer of the Seas April, 2009

Direct to the point Dave March 22nd, 2009 09:16 PM

Re: Excursions seemed reasonable.

Originally Posted by dave 3261
Just booked all my excursions on Explorer in April. The prices all seemed reasonable except for maybe dragons breath in Labadee, something like $100 to go on a zip line. I booked it anyway. I never would have gone for that much money too watch a parade.

Hey Dave..........Really,get your tour money back as you will find the same tours on the pier,dock, or in town for at least a third of the price. Where you are going it is safe to do it on your own or with another couple that you travel with or meet on the ship. Don't waste your money on their outrageous charges. In my opinion based oin my experience on this last trip they are gougers of the lowest order. Don't learn the hard way, get your money back.
And, if you ever get to Rio during their Carnival festival you can buy the same sights for as low as ten dollars and see just as much.....but then you are with "locals" and you mmay have a risk for yourself. The tourist section is the place to be and if you go it is worth every penny of the real $150.00 per ticket price that you can buy yourself witrhout giving RCI a cent. Actually......change your entire cruise to another line and you won't have toworry about being ripped off.

Carnival Victory, 2003
Carnival Victory, 2004
RCI Explorer of the Seas April, 2009

Ron March 22nd, 2009 09:31 PM

I'm not trying to take sides in this unhappy passenger vs.RCCL feud but--
let me say this:
I've been to Rio a couple of times and not just a one or two day stop on a cruise ship. When they tell you it's dangerous, believe it. There's no way I would go there and go out unless it was an organized tour. With regards to the cabs, unless it's changed in the last couple of years, many of the drivers won't or don't want to stop at traffic lights after dark--they may hesitate, then take their chances by blowing on through--they don't want to chance being robbed or worse. You're much safer in a crowd on a tour bus than in a cab. You very well may have had security and not been aware of it. Regarding feeling like you had been ripped off on the cost of the parade at RCCL's price vs the approx. $150. U.S. cost, you would need to know exactly what you would have gotten for the $ 150. Was transportation to and from included in the $150, or would you have been left to fend for yourself as to getting there and back, and once there, would you have had a section to sit in or just dropped and left to fend for yourself in a huge crowd, ripe for the plucking by the muggers and pickpockets. I highly suspect what you saw was a flier basically aimed at locals advertising getting them through the gate and nothing more. What else was or was not included vs. the RCCL tour? Would you have been left standing in a throng of people somewhere, sticking out like a sore thumb, easy prey for the taking by the muggers, pickpockets, etc. for the $ 150., or would you have had decent seats from which to watch? Many unanswered questions here, besides just the price.
If you enjoyed the show, made it there safely to and from the ship, I would consider it a success and not be overly upset about what you perceive as being a rip-off by RCCL.
As I said before, when someone tells you Rio is dangerous, you need to take heed. And too,as I said before, I'm not trying to condone RCCL's prices--just looking at this thing based on my having being to Rio twice and my understanding of ship tours vs. doing your own thing in a very large and dangerous city.
:wink: :wink:

dave 3261 March 22nd, 2009 09:45 PM

Already missed out on segway tour in Old San Juan as it is sold out. Do not want to risk booking at the last minute. On this cruise the inside rooms, balcony rooms and suites are booked solid. Only outside rooms are left with still about a month to go. The Dragons breath zip line can only be booked through Royal Caribbean because it is a private resort owned by RC.

Carnival Victory, 2003
Carnival Victory, 2004
RCI Explorer of the Seas April, 2009

setsail March 23rd, 2009 09:00 AM

Oh good, the OASIS is going to be perfect for us, MIL going and after reading Dave's post, won't have to see her but once.

Galveston March 23rd, 2009 10:34 AM


And unless you have a cabin near the center of that ship you will need rollar skates to reach the dining rooms and other rooms. To get to the dining room for your 9 PM dinner I suggest you leave your cabin at 6 :15 PM.
Thanks for the suggestion Dave, I actually secured a wheelchair for my future trip on Oasis. Should come in handy for those times when I tend to over-eat/drink.

As the saying goes, "A fool and his money are soon parted." At the end of the day, you could obviously afford the tour, and had you had a great time and found out nothing regarding what other people may have paid for the same tour would never have posted this.

I too get flustered when I purchase something and find out someone paid less, but let me ask you, when you buy gas for $2.50 a gallon and the entire population of Venezuela pays around $0.17, do you angrily post on

Point being, if you added up all the times you paid more than someone else for something, it would greatly outweigh anything you were "overcharged" for on a cruise.

Don' worry, be happy mon... :)

Direct to the point Dave March 23rd, 2009 01:04 PM

Hey Galveston;

I see I struck home with you. Thanks for taking it with humor as the only thing I can think of funny is that i would like to see RCI go out of business quickly.

There were at least 500 people who paid this figure while we met countless others on the ship that bought this on the net privately On the net they paid anywhere from the $150.00 price for our section to box seats of $400.00 We got a cushion from RCI and no place to sit as our section was so oversold..

I do have four other traveler's email addresses, enough to start a class action suit if it becomes necessary, that we met at the COMPLAINT DESk which had a mile long line of people like us who I am sure have been subsequently turned down the same way as I have been by RCI.
They, RCI really knows how to make friends.

I just had an email from one of the major travel services who did not like what RCI did here and they are going to go after them. I hope i have the ball rolling.

The fun has just begun. I suggest you get your deposit back before the bankruptcy as your credit card company only honors the loss to return to you for 60 days after the transaction.

No more for now. I must do more productive work. Also remember to keep the brake on while you are on that ship if you make the mistake of going.


Pafuncouple March 23rd, 2009 11:28 PM

For San Juan, I called the Segway Tours directly and thier price was $89 plus tax (dont know what taxes are in PR) but I'm guessing it will come to the same price RCCL is charging for the same Segway Tour of $95. So where is the gouging???

Manuel March 24th, 2009 04:21 AM

When you are told what the price of something is and you pay it, I don't see where a lawsuit comes in. There is allwas someone who manages to get a cheaper price than you did.


WildRover March 24th, 2009 07:10 AM


Originally Posted by Direct to the point Dave

Originally Posted by WildRover
I am not sure I follow...
Did you know RCL was charging $650/pp for the excursion when you booked it?
Or is it that you found out Carnival charged less for the same excursion?

I noticed you have a reservatiuon on their new "cattle car", the Oasis.

Not the "O"... the Serenade. I don't think you'll see me on the "O". It has to tender to most ports or just sail back and forth to the ones it can dock at. Not my idea of a good time. I don't sail for the ship. I sail for the ports.

But I apparently didn't understand the original argument. I thought this was about the different prices between RCL and Carnival. So now I just read the posts. I'll stop responding now. :)

dave 3261 March 25th, 2009 02:44 AM

I missed asking, direct to the point the most obvious was this parade? was this an awesome, crazy party? I would think the parade is to draw the people in so that the hotels and local merchants, etc could make money. It seems to me you sitting in some bleachers or something is not an authentic experience. I've been to Time Square for NYE, there is no fee(just have to get there 10 hours early if you want to get close). I've been to Las Vegas for NYE, There was no fee to watch the fireworks and festivities(just room and airfare). I have been to New Orleans(not for mardi gras but crazy parting every night none the less). In fact I can imagine mardi gras might be too crowded and room rates triple.

I just can not imagine sitting in a grandstand where security is needed and you are not able to walk about freely to see a parade. If this is the case Rio can take this party and shove it unless,I'll ask again was this one of the most amazing celebrations you ever witnessed? If it was to me I'd be able to shrug off getting ripped off.

I'm not trying to be a wise guy I am truly curious, if money was no object, how was this parade!!!!!!

Carnival Victory, 2003
Carnival Victory, 2004
RCI Explorer of the Seas April, 2009

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