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-   -   Royal Caribbean "Changes Course" on compensation for passengers left behind (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/royal-caribbean-international/384699-royal-caribbean-changes-course-compensation-passengers-left-behind.html)

blueliner September 1st, 2011 02:29 PM

Royal Caribbean "Changes Course" on compensation for passengers left behind
 
Royal Caribbean changes course on compensating stranded guests - Travel Weekly

Looks like RCI didn't like the egg left on their face by their bad press after Irene, and all the comparisons to what Carnival did for their passengers!

Donna September 1st, 2011 03:12 PM

Glad to hear this, they finally did the right thing....

Kuki September 1st, 2011 03:25 PM

It could be just a coincidence that my blog post went up on the Home Page yesterday morning Cruisemates Blog Carnival 1 – Royal Caribbean 0 – Kuki

And yesterday afternoon RCI realized their mistake and changed their policy ;)

There had been some "gefuffle" about it, but I think perhaps they thought a week had passed and anything highlighting it had passed.

I'm very happy the realized the error of their ways, but I'm not sold on the reasoning they've given for not announcing what compensation they are offering.

felix_the_cat September 1st, 2011 04:16 PM

This is my opinion and MY OPINION ONLY not based on fact but on past performance.

RCL will only give the least amount that they are compelled to and it will be case by case. It would not surprise me that some don't get anything - those that had insurance for example.

It is only my opinion that insurance or not, RCL owes everyone they hung out to dry compensation. Certainly they can't be blamed for having to leave early. But the handling from that point on was terrible. I'm sure there will be a lot of people who are not going to be willing to give them a second chance. The money out of pocket would not be small for those left behind, but worse, the lack of help would be even worse.

RCL has been sinking a lot over recent months and I've found myself looking at everyone else first and RCL last. It isn't just having a ship with all the bells and whistles, it's dealing with a company that doesn't put a knife in your back and twist.

My question is - are they actually going to give money back or is it going to be a per cent off their next cruise. In other words, nothing out of their pocket.

blueliner September 1st, 2011 04:39 PM

I really don't think RCI are the monsters they have been made out to be here. They followed their part of the cruise contract, but nothing more. The fact that Carnival Corp. went above and beyond is cause to be celebrated, not a reason to attack RCI in my opinion.

What I find funny, is that we see posters come on here frequently complaining and seeking compensation for a multitude of things including (but not limited to) missing ports, canceling cruises or missing a sailing for a multitide of different reasons and in general we (the regulars) defend the cruiseline because the cruiseline (and I mean all the major cruiselines here) had a clause in their cruise contract that covered that. We ask if the poster had insurance and then tell them the cruiseline did what is required and that they should have had insurance.

In this case, however, we seem ready to jump all over RCI not because they didn't follow their cruise contract, but because they did exactly that, and no more initally.

There is no way to know, but I would love to see the reaction if both RCI and Carnival had initially done nothing more than what is required in their cruise contract. Would we be here defending both RCI and Carnival as doing what is required and that both cruiseline's stranded passengers should have gotten insurance? Or are we just jumping on RCI now because Carnival went above and beyond the requirements in their cruise contract for their stranded passengers?

Just a thought!

Master Chief September 1st, 2011 05:05 PM

The perception is that RCL did nothing while Carnival did something. And as we all know, perception is a very hard thing to overcome. Yes, the cruise contracts cover this and legally the cruise lines do not owe a thing to their passengers. Morally (and I do use that term loosely :-) )that's another story. Just glad nobody was hurt and no damage was done to any vessels. I sure wouldn't want to be the one making decisions.

Trip September 1st, 2011 06:21 PM

Well, we all know that the public outcry, and the comparison to Carnival was what shamed them into doing it. If they really want to step up, let the people who had out of pocket expenses, submit their receipts and get the cash back. Fot the people who just washed their hands of RCI, an onboard credit will be hard to swallow.

I hope RCI learned their lesson, because, the bad publicity could sure hurt their bottom line and they lost face, in many people eyes. After the fact is never a good thing, but I do hope the passengers recoup their loss.

I wonder what their SUPER fans, think of all this.

fun2cruiz September 1st, 2011 06:39 PM

Don't look for RCI to payback in cash..... ain't gonna happen, but instead a future cruise credit will be provided and is typically the norm.

felix_the_cat September 1st, 2011 08:42 PM

I believe people would have said the same thing about both companies had Carnival done the same as RCL did. Common sense dictates a lot of things. What Carnival has received in good PR compared to what RCL received in bad PR is going to make a huge difference.

No matter what the comp is (and I don't think there will be any refunds) RCL has a black eye over this just as they have had several times over the last couple of years. The fact the won't release the comp isn't going to change anyone's minds either.

They have lost business - I can't remember it properly but there is something to the effect - if something bad happens to someone they will tell 100 who will tell 100 who will each tell one hunderd. You can't make good a blunder like this for a lot of people. Bottom line is what suffers.

btw I agree insurance insurance insurance. I always beg my clients to buy insurance but so many won't. And then those that know it all and book directly with the cruiseline - so many don't have a clue. How many times do you see someone who posts "we've booked our cruise online - now what do we do."

There are all sorts of reasons contractually for RCL not to have done anything. They lived up (or down) to their contract. Now. too little too late. I would hazard at guess there are 100 people they will never see again along with all the people they tell.

Trip September 1st, 2011 08:44 PM

A day late and a dollar short aptly applys here:(

Robbie H September 2nd, 2011 01:57 PM

I could easily argue from either podium on this debate but......

Had I been asked to play King Solomon on this one I would have advised "RCI" to take care of the folks who were stranded out of their marketing budget. Take the good press and emphasize that this was over-and-above their policy by emphasizing the positive aspects of their "ChoiceAir" program and/or travel protection.

anniegb September 2nd, 2011 02:21 PM

My understanding is that they will give a future credit of 30% of actual price paid for cruise.

Now if I have got that right how the heck are you meant to pay the airfare and hotel bill out of that?

Please someone tell me I have got that wrong.

Annie

Trip September 2nd, 2011 02:35 PM

Trying to handle damage control, they tossed salt into the wounds, to my mind...they mishandled it again..I should say now..a day late, & 30% short:(

fun2cruiz September 2nd, 2011 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anniegb (Post 1390484)
My understanding is that they will give a future credit of 30% of actual price paid for cruise.

Now if I have got that right how the heck are you meant to pay the airfare and hotel bill out of that?

Please someone tell me I have got that wrong.

Annie

More evidence of the necessity of purchasing trip insurance !

blueliner September 2nd, 2011 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trip (Post 1390486)
Trying to handle damage control, they tossed salt into the wounds, to my mind...they mishandled it again..I should say now..a day late, & 30% short:(

So what do you want RCI to do now Trip? Hindsight is always 20/20, but they can't turn back time. In a recent thread on another cruiselines board, you told another poster that, I'm paraphrasing here, cruiselines are a business and that poster should have had trip insurance to cover them in that instance. I don't understand why for the other cruiseline it was OK for that cruiseline to do only what was required by their cruise contract, but not RCI in this case?

anniegb September 2nd, 2011 03:11 PM

IMHO - they can keep the future cruise credit and reimburse all hotel and air expenses - that is the minimum I would expect.

The PR damage is immeasurable.

Annie

Trip September 2nd, 2011 03:33 PM

Yup....you are right. When a passenger rolls the dice without insurance, they have to deal, with their choices, and, over the years we have read many posts with sad situations. I do think when extenuating circumstances exist, like this one, a company who decides to try and make things right, shows their mettle.

I think what bothers me, is, in this unusual situation, when people were stranded, through no fault of their own, and, I understand the port told the ships to vamoos, and, they had no choice, the cruise line could have stepped up to the plate and helped out the small group they had, in comparison to Carnival's much larger group, in the same way, or I should say a better way.

Do things always seem fair..nope...can I walk on both sides of the street, this time I do...

I found myself in an interesting discussion last night, with some savvy travelers[I thought] and a ta. One cruiser said he never bought ins, because they were in good health and why should they? I asked him did their ta explain it all to him, as far as repatriation etc..he said if they did, he would feel it to be, pushy business practice. Most said they buy it.

The ta said she doesn't expand the discussion, if the client says no, she does not want to come off as pushy. I think the way the discsusion is handled, is important in the client understanding all their options.

If RCI was the only ship sent out of port, the 30 %, while not making them happy, might be better accepted, but since Carnival set the tone for the happier passengers, it seems too little too late...

felix_the_cat September 2nd, 2011 04:13 PM

hmmm payment of 100% extra costs (guessing of course) 25% - offer 30% - loss of vacation 105%. Yup sounds like RCL is helpful - NOT.

A 30% discount off another cruise to be within a year is a crock. I have even less respect for them now than I did before and I've pretty well lost all respect for them over the last 3 years or so. They are only trying to get the same people they left at the dock to spend more money with them!!!!

Yes, one should always always have insurance and I have no problem telling my clients that - but I have a personal antedote that always goes with that. (My DH had a heart attack 3 weeks before we were suppose to go on a cruise 2 years ago. It was so bad that we didn't know if he was going to make it - it was over a week before I was able to call the insurance company and they were extremely co-operative.) I received all my money back. Now, if a client is hesitant I will tell them my story yet at least 50% will not buy insurance.

Generally, I would say no insurance well, no reimbursement but you know, in this case it wasn't the cruisers fault - they lived up to their end of the contract - RCL and Carnival didn't. Not their fault either - but........Carnival was the bigger man.

I agree with Trip - too little too late.

blueliner September 2nd, 2011 05:59 PM

The 135 people or so that RCI left on the dock, because they were ordered out of port BTW, did not lose their entire vacation. As long as they had a passport, they were free to meet the ship at the next port of call.

If they had trip insurance, the insurance would have paid for the hotel and air, and we don't know how many of the 135 had or didn't have trip insurance. We know that 10 or so had their air through RCI, so they were taken care of. And I haven't seen anything official about exactly what the RCI compensation is, so far just postings, rumors and guesses.

I'm amazed at how quickly you assign an "evil" intention to RCI when they actually offer some compensation, but then again I gues I shouldn't be surprised as I have come to expect that from you Felix.

Kuki September 2nd, 2011 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueliner (Post 1390530)
The 135 people or so that RCI left on the dock, because they were ordered out of port BTW, did not lose their entire vacation. As long as they had a passport, they were free to meet the ship at the next port of call.

If they had trip insurance, the insurance would have paid for the hotel and air, and we don't know how many of the 135 had or didn't have trip insurance. We know that 10 or so had their air through RCI, so they were taken care of. And I haven't seen anything official about exactly what the RCI compensation is, so far just postings, rumors and guesses.

I'm amazed at how quickly you assign an "evil" intention to RCI when they actually offer some compensation, but then again I gues I shouldn't be surprised as I have come to expect that from you Felix.

RCI simply blew it. Yes, they did what they were contractually obligated to do.

Their initial reaction, to not even make an attempt to contact any of the passengers with the change of sailing time demonstrates they had no crisis planning in place to handle even if the simplest first step.

Obviously Carnival did have a crisis plan in place very quickly.

I have little doubt that if the adverse publicity from RCI's actions had died down, they would have stuck to their original policy statement on the situation, which was no one would get anything... NADA.

They misstepped again with their announcement of the change in policy; refusing to say what the compensation they were offering would be.

It wasn't just the 130 directly impacted passengers they were talking to in their statement. Their statement surely made anyone aware or watching the situation say HUH???

Their initial reaction and then the change made them look silly and unorganized IMHO.

But, you are right... I have yet to see them make a public statement about what compensation they are offering, and it's not wise to rely on " I heard"....

But even that is RCI's problem, allowing the conjecture, rather than making a clear public statement.

felix_the_cat September 2nd, 2011 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueliner (Post 1390530)
The 135 people or so that RCI left on the dock, because they were ordered out of port BTW, did not lose their entire vacation. As long as they had a passport, they were free to meet the ship at the next port of call.

If they had trip insurance, the insurance would have paid for the hotel and air, and we don't know how many of the 135 had or didn't have trip insurance. We know that 10 or so had their air through RCI, so they were taken care of. And I haven't seen anything official about exactly what the RCI compensation is, so far just postings, rumors and guesses.

I'm amazed at how quickly you assign an "evil" intention to RCI when they actually offer some compensation, but then again I gues I shouldn't be surprised as I have come to expect that from you Felix.

Evil intention???? No, strictly based on information provided. You are an RCL cheerleader - I understand that. I just find it hard to believe that it is now my fault for the ingorance of RCL? I would really suggest you and all the other cheerleaders get a grip. RCL isn't perfect and you all seem to think. They do make mistakes - this one was huge. Gee wizz Blue - if the best you can come up with is to try to put me down, you really arn't doing to well.

So far you are really the only one on here defending RCL. I have also come to expect that from you.

felix_the_cat September 2nd, 2011 08:03 PM

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez confirmed that those passengers who missed the ship and opted not to try to board the ship mid-sailing will now be entitled to a future cruise credit equal to the value of the missed sailing, as well as a refund of prepaid expenses (gratuities, shore excursions, restaurant reservations, spa treatments and the like). There will be no cash refunds for the missed cruise or for hotel accommodations required in San Juan -- or even flights back home.

Yea - right. Big deal. NOT.

blueliner September 2nd, 2011 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by felix_the_cat (Post 1390543)
Evil intention???? No, strictly based on information provided.

Here is exactly what you said in your previous post: "They are only trying to get the same people they left at the dock to spend more money with them!!!!"

My intention is not to put you down, but to point out that just MAYBE RCI realized what they did and MAYBE they were making a genuine offer of compensation, not trying to stick it to their customers as you insinuated. The information of just exactly what the compensation offered wasn't clear at the time, and as it turns out the cruisers that missed the ship are getting an entire future cruise credit.

I'll tell you what Felix, I'll realize that RCI isn't perfect when you realize that everything RCI does isn't always wrong or evil intended.





felix_the_cat September 2nd, 2011 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueliner (Post 1390557)
Here is exactly what you said in your previous post: "They are only trying to get the same people they left at the dock to spend more money with them!!!!"

My intention is not to put you down, but to point out that just MAYBE RCI realized what they did and MAYBE they were making a genuine offer of compensation, not trying to stick it to their customers as you insinuated. The information of just exactly what the compensation offered wasn't clear at the time, and as it turns out the cruisers that missed the ship are getting an entire future cruise credit.

I'll tell you what Felix, I'll realize that RCI isn't perfect when you realize that everything RCI does isn't always wrong or evil intended.





Yes, that is exactly what I said ............... and exactly what RCL is doing............a future cruise credit is all they are getting .................in other words they have to go on one of their ships and spend money. How clearer can that be??

I have never said the RCL is always wrong. But ........hey if pointing out the truth is hard for you to read,,,,,,,,,,,,stop reading.

Enough already. They left people at the dock, they were not able to uphold their end of their contract however that part was not their fault ----- a hurricane forced them out. I have said that from the beginning. I also said having insurance would have been the ideal answer. But then I said RCL gave the finger to the people left behind and now even more by so by telling them the will only get a fcc so they have to "trust" them again. What's hard to understand about that???????

7x57 September 2nd, 2011 09:18 PM

They are going beyond the contract and still the complaints vastly out weight neutral sentiment. Everyone talks about how important insurance is, but that's only been mentioned a couple times here. You cruise in 'cane season and ship happens; heck, it's even priced in (negative). Silly

blueliner September 2nd, 2011 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by felix_the_cat (Post 1390561)
Yes, that is exactly what I said ............... and exactly what RCL is doing............a future cruise credit is all they are getting .................


No, that's your opinion of what RCI is doing. A fcc is what all cruiselines offer for compensation to customers usually unless you have trip insurance of some kind. As I recall, wasn't a fcc part of the compensation that Carnival offered their customers that were left stranded?

felix_the_cat September 2nd, 2011 09:56 PM

What I said above is in fact what they are offering and is now published. Read it on CC.

Yes, a fcc ws given by Carnival along with picking up the hotel and air expenses.

Look, I am well aware the RCL owed them nothing, I am also aware that insurance would have certainly been handy.

The comparison between Carnival and RCL is glaring in that Carnival took care of their clients, RCL did not. Carnival tried to contact thier clients, RCL did not.

I think the FACTS speak for themselves.

thecruisequeen September 3rd, 2011 06:55 PM

Yes indeed the facts do speak for themselves...

RCL was ordered to leave port and so they did. These cruisers that were left behind don't they have insurance :confused: Did they not watch the weather channel a week before sailing to see what is brewing :confused: and why not get to the port 1st thing in the morning during hurricane season :confused: And I hope nobody was flying same day :eek:

Sh*t can happen anytime of the year let alone hurricane season. Now if RCL decided what the heck let's leave port early just for the hell of it is a different story.

A discount for a future cruise is more then enough.

Yes I'm Royal gal for life HOWEVER would feel the same way if it was any other cruiseline.

Bottom line.....hurricane season fly in at least 1 day before, get to port early in the morning, have insurance. And things can also happen outside of hurricane season it's a crazy world we live in. :wink:

fun2cruiz September 3rd, 2011 07:02 PM

Having insurance in this situation would have been a great asset.....

Arriving a day early would not have had any affect on what occured.

"thecruisequeen"....despite being a "Royal Gal" for life.... the general concensus is that YOUR favorite cruiseline blew it big time after the fact and then despite changing their response to what occured, still did their passengers affected a disservice ! RCI has shot themselves in the foot on this one and the way they handled the entire situation. :rolleyes:

anniegb September 3rd, 2011 07:11 PM

150 passengers stranded - cost of moving them to next port - say $1000 pp (hey I have no idea of cost of airfares etc) - so ballpark cost $150K - cheap at the price of massive boost to PR. No brainer to me.

Annie


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