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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 19th, 2002, 10:40 PM
DeniseToAlaska
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Default icruise has me in tears

I booked over 18 months ago for June 26th, 2002 to Alaska on Carnival Spirit through icruise.com.

Since I've decided to go all out on vacations from now on, my roommate and I booked a category 9A. We wanted a big room, big fun.

It's now 7 days until my cruise (6 by tomorrow) and I have NO tickets, no brochures, no excursions pamphlet, NOTHING.

The tickets were scheduled to arrive the 12th.

A billing girl called me Thursday (13th) to tell me that my name had been misspelled, but it was no problem, I'd be fine, they'd send the tickets to arrive the next day (14th).

How anyone could misspell a name from an ONLINE reservation I'll never know.

She left me a message late on the 13th that the airline is NOT OK with it and she would Email her supervisor to get them changed. Her supervisor was on vacation but checked Email every day.

I called her the 14th, and she said there was nothing she could do to fix the tickets until Monday, when her supervisor got back.

Monday, I called bright and early Pacific Time (9:30), 12:30 their time. She said she would talk to her supervisor and call me right back.

Three hours later, I called and was told her supervisor had been away for lunch but she would talk to her and call me right back.

Over an hour later I called back and asked to talk to Customer Service. They told me my tickets would be fixed and sent overnight that day.

The next day (Tuesday, 18th) I called and was told that no, they weren't fixed and they didn't have any idea why I was told they would be sent. I called the supervisor and BEGGED her to at least send my roommate's tickets and our excursion listing so we could figure out (eight days before the frigging cruise) where we want to go. She said she definitely would.

The next day, TODAY, Wednesday the 19th, I waited at the front desk of my work for the Airborne delivery. Nothing for me. By then I was in tears.

I called the supervisor, and she said Airborne had left before she had a chance to get them out. But she has sent them for tomorrow. I asked about my airline tickets and was told they are still not fixed, but they will be, thanks, <click> and she hung up.

I called Alaska Air, the airline we're on, and asked how long it takes to make a name change on tickets, even from Canada. Fifteen minutes.

I called back and asked for HER manager, which I guess is the president, because when he answered and I asked if he had time to talk to a disgruntled customer he said no, he doesn't deal with day-to-day affairs, the 'supervisor' does. I told him it was her that I had a problem with. He said to Email him.

I Emailed him, by this point in tears in my office at work, my dream vacation and not even an itenerary or brochure or NOTHING with 7 days left to sail.

I never got a response.

So I'm home now crying.

This has been the worst experience of my life, with the RUDEST people I've ever encountered. Between me and my roommate, our total tab to icruise was $4900. They totally could care less.

I've been looking at cruises for next year. I finally have disposable income and definitely want to spend it all cruising. But never in a million years will I ever book with icruise.com.

Does anyone know of travel agents that actually CARE?

Denise
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Old June 19th, 2002, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

Denise.
Sorry to hear you are having problems with the agency. Lack of communication can be very frustrating. I've had a couple of cruises where documents didn't arrive until the week of my sailing.

When you spoke to Alaska Air were you on their manifest? The air, at this point, is this important part I would think.
If you have a confirmation # on your cruise booking, your name should be on the manifest, and you'd be able to board. BUT.. you do have to get there.

Go to www.carnival.com and you can check the shore excursion info there.

Hopefully, it will all fall into place for you tomorrow. Please let us know.

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Old June 19th, 2002, 11:50 PM
DeniseToAlaska
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Default Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

As far as I know, I am on the ship at least. We'll see tomorrow if the ship tickets arrive. I was told they would arrive today and no one ever called to say they missed the deadline.

But the air is the problem, and they seem to be taking their sweet time with it, in the mean time holding up all of our other documents until I begged them to send them independentely.

They just seem to have the "too busy for YOU" attitude when I spent 5 grand with them. Amazing.

I've never, in my 37 years, had this bad of treatment from anyone, for far less dollars.

It's boggling. I guess you have to be a party of 100 to get any service from icruise? They are one of your advertisers, sorry to bash them, but I've never cried this much in years. My dream vacation has me in tears. That's just not good customer service!
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Old June 20th, 2002, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

Can't you go ahead and book air again and then if your original tickets are lost you'll have a flight to the port? If the originals show up you can cancel your second reservation. If you paid for them with a credit card, dispute any charges when the bill comes.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old June 20th, 2002, 06:42 AM
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

Hang in there - once you get on the cruise it will be worth it!

I had a bad TA once and it was awful - similiar to your experience. This TA never returned my calls/emails. I was leaving 2 days before the cruise and my final payment had not been processed and I was afraid we would get down there and not be allowed on the ship due to not paying final payment (which I had authorized 2 months earlier).

There are a lot of great TA's out there. Sorry you got stuck with a bad one.
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Old June 20th, 2002, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

In reading your thoughts I was reliving our own nightmare experience of several years ago when our local full service cruise only agency was bought out by one of the big 800
number cruise only factories. My wife cried every night for a week as we struggled to get
documents and airline tickets for our dream Hawaiin cruise. No one at the airline or cruise line wanted to give us any information or assistance as we had booked through an agency. We finally struck a gold mine in the form of a sympathetic cruise line supervisor who went out on a limb and overnighted us a complete new set of documents which arrived 36 hours prior to our scheduled departure.
Is there a TA out there that cares? Yes, but not at any of the on line or 800 number agencies. You are a number, and a computer record and a manilla folder to them.
I have booked 6 subsequent cruises and made countless successful referals to friends and family members to our current TA. We get research , information, planning, bookings, confirmation of arrangements and follow up. I deal with a specific person
who has to hold her head up high as a member of our community and cannot hide behind a wall of email and 800 numbers.
I hope all works out for your vacation and then I suggest you find a local full service travel agent to work with in the future.
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Old June 20th, 2002, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

I agree with Bill, after my big fiasco with the Spirit being cancelled and being stuck in SLC, I will not ever risk using anyone other than my TA. I paid $150 more for my cruise on the 29th by booking through her as opposed to an online cruise discounter, but I have the peace of mind that if there are problems, they will be taken care of immediately. It is worth the little extra money to have the peace of mind.

Jodi

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Old June 20th, 2002, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

Bill is right. A good TA is a valuable asset to your peace of mind.

I recently booked a cruise by finding the best price on line (icruise.com as it turned out) and then contacted my TA and asked if he could get within a few bucks of this price. He actually got me a better price and I booked it through him, but had he been a little higher I still would've booked through him.

Hope it all works out for you. Think about this, when you are on the deck with a cool drink in hand and wondering what kind of dessert you'll have after dinner, it'll make the heartache of your getting here that much more of a distant past.

Regards.
Thomas
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Old June 20th, 2002, 08:43 AM
worktocruise
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

AMEN...Bill. I agree with you 100%. I have a wonderful TA and wouldn't trade him for an online or 800 agency ever! There's no being tossed here and there if I ever encounter a problem....he's there to handle it for me! God Bless our local TA's!!!!!!
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Old June 20th, 2002, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

Hi - sorry to hear you are having so much trouble - I think you can do "pier pick-up" of your cruise tickets as long as you have your ID and confirmation/booking number if they don't arrive. As far as Alaska air - you can also call them directly if the Icruise jerks don't take care of it for you. You can also call Carnival - do you have your booking number?? Explain what is happening so they can document your computer records and that way you will have less trouble at check in just in case the tickets aren't right or don't arrive! Don't worry, sounds like you basically have it figured out - just try to look at the bright side - a week in Alaska!!!

I am also doing this same sailing on 6/26 and my tickets are scheduled to arrive today from my agent - traveling with another girlfriend - she is 22 and I'm in my 30's - maybe we could meet up on the cruise - heard there isn't very many singles. Our flight doesn't get into Anchorage until 2:22 Alaska time so we won't even be on the ship until probably 6:00 - we are traveling from the east coast - we are avid cruisers too!! Another cruisemates person hooked me up with two crew members that are supposed to be really cool as well as know what excursions are best, etc.

And yes I know of a WONDERFUL agent that does CARE, has awesome customer service - and would NEVER, EVER leave you hanging like this!! If we meet up on the Spirit I'll be happy to give you her card - she ALWAYS has the best rates and is really great - I recommend her to EVERYONE! And she has NEVER disappointed me or ANY of my freinds/family!
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Old June 20th, 2002, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

Hi, Denise ...

Wow. What an upsetting situation. Just had one myself when the cruise line issued the air tickets for the wrong date and the TA didn't notice.

Fortunately, my husband looked at the tickets. I just threw them in my tote bag.

You need to find out two things:

Are you on the ship's manifest?

Are you on the airline's manifest?

Now, buck up, girl. Don't CRY, snarl. If you would like lessons, I provide them free of charge.

If you have a booking number, you SHOULD be cool.

I can't tell you not to be upset and not to worry. But here are some pro-active steps.

Call the airline to confirm your flight and get a confirmation number. Write it down.

Call the cruise line to confirm your cabin number. Get another confirmation number. Write it down.

Even better, ask both to fax or e-mail you with the numbers.

Your air tickets MUST match your official photo ID. How could your name get bollixed up? Sometimes an employee is reading from a screen and doing data entry into another base at the same time. The larger the system, the more likely it is to be out-dated. This is the voice of experience speaking.

I had TWO faxes from a cruise line about the air tickets and they STILL showed up wrong.

Take a deep breath, sit up straight, and prepare to do battle.

The occurrences are rare, but they do happen.

And, please, let us know how it comes out.

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Old June 20th, 2002, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

There is a lesson to be learned from your plight. Hopefully everything will work out except your blood presure an anxiety which is not called for. As I see it you used an Internet placement for the cruise. If, in the final outcome your cruise has been spoiled, what recourse might you have against the Internet travel provider? If you obtain no satisfaction and push comes to shove, if youy need to take legal action who and where would you sue ?

I have cruised for many years and prefer to rely on a reputable local TA. I hasve never had to file a lawsuit against an agent but if I did, at least I would know who to sue in what court.

You might bring your experience to the attention of the FCC( Federal Communication Commission), It does not handle individual complaints but if the accumulate other complaints against your provider they will take action.

Many years ago we had a similar experience with Royal Caribbean where we were informed our passenger tickets would be at the departure terminal but they were not. We had enough paperwork to show we had booked the cruise, what our cabin was, etc and the front desk knew we were a paid guest. As for air, we rarely use that provided by the cruise line so in the anecdote I desribe we had our own air.

I hope by the time you get through reading this epistle you will be well on your way.
No Reply needed. No I am not a lawyer nor hustling business for lawyers.,
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Old June 20th, 2002, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

Hi Denise,
Hope all these ticket problems work themselves out and you can go and just relax and enjoy your cruise. I also agree with everyone on this thread, sometimes the best price isn't everything, so do some checking and be sure you can work well with your travel agent, there are so many good ones out there, you should not have to be dealing with this a week prior to your cruise.

Have a wonderful time and do let us know when you finally get those tickets in your hands, OK?

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Old June 20th, 2002, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

The most maddening thng is when you try to give the agency a chance, or two, or three, to get it right and they still don't take care of you.

This is really bad and I will call I-cruise for you myself tomorrow morning. Customer service is extremely important and it needs to come first no matter what. They are merely advertisers with us, but CruiseMates does care who it is affiliated with.

We had a similar situation on a CruiseMates cruise once. Sometimes it is not the cruise agency's fault. Sometimes the people they have to deal with at the airlines or cruise lines are causing the problems.

Regardless, there is a bad lack of communication going on here and I will help you get to the bottom of this.

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Old June 21st, 2002, 12:20 AM
DeniseToAlaska
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Default Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

Glad to hear you're going!

I received a 'sincere apology' from the president of icruise.com today with the assurance that my air tickets will arrive tomorrow.

I got everything else FINALLY and went to my neighbor (aka cabinmate)'s house tonight and we drank champagne and planned shore excursions. Now I'm happy!

Look forward to seeing you, we're in 7299, I'm mid-thirties, she's 50 , does NOT even look it, with the heart of a 20-year-old, both singles, cruising with another neighbor couple, their pre-teen girls and their single male friend (late 30-ish) (with his own cabin) that we've met but don't know well. Everyone but us booked directly through Carnival.

So us three will be at the singles meet if there is one. Feel free to ring us!

Denise
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Old June 21st, 2002, 12:30 AM
DeniseToAlaska
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

Paul, I love your sig line! Too funny.

After a second Email to the President I think it's all taken care of.

I do now have everything in hand but my airline tickets, which I was assured would come tomorrow. That's all it took to brighten my day--an itenerary, big gorgeous brochure, shore excursion details. I wrote them advising them to send those things first even if anything goes wrong. Those are the things I needed to get happy and excited about my trip. Having nothing feels like... having nothing!

Here is the Email from them:

Denise,

Don't worry...I have looked into the situation and everything is OK!!! You
will get your cruise tickets TODAY, they were sent out overnight yesterday.
Your air tickets will either be delivered overnight or will be sent to you via
eticket. I am following up on your behalf...dry those tears , there is nothing
to cry about. Additionally. I want to offer you a sincere apology for all of
our team. As it occurs sometimes in life, all the wrong things seem to have
happened at the wrong times...leading to a breakdown in our commitment to you.

Let me assure you that icruise stands totally behind it's service and
appreciates you more than you know.

Alex

P.S. Update...your name on your tickets have been changed and we are doing all
that we can to get you the air portion via overnight mail!
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Old June 21st, 2002, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

Enjoy your cruise. May you be repaid with sunshine, good service and happy experiences for all those tears you shed. I know from a similar experience (as I said above) exactly how finally having that paperwork in your hand can feel.
Happy Crusing
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Old June 21st, 2002, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

Do the Document Dance, Denise !!!

So glad it all got sorted out for you. But really sorry for the front-end anguish.

Here are two bits of Alaska wisdom for you:

If you see something that looks like a beer bottle with a golf ball on top, that's a Bald Eagle.

If you see something large, brown, and furry coming toward you, that's trouble.

Have a wonderful trip and tell us all about it when you return !!!

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Old June 21st, 2002, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

Glad to hear everything is taken care of, and I also apologize for the problems. I didn't speak to Alex this morning but I sent him an email.

As I said, there is often a reasonable explanation for mistakes, but lack of communication is bad customer service. Especially waiting for a package to be delivered that never arrives. That is the modern day version of Chinese Water Torture as far as I am concerned.

Have a great trip.

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Old June 21st, 2002, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

I've been following Denise's story. Sometimes it's hard to remember which site it was on. Glad it all worked out for you.
Have a great trip. we're lucky to have cruisemates.com as a resource for solving our cruise problems. I recommend this site to everyone I know. You would think that I have stock in it. I check it constantly.
Can't wait for my next cruise.
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Old June 21st, 2002, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

Hey - can we buy stock in CruiseMates????

Seems with all the aggravation Denise has been through that icruise would have given her one big credit on board. Hope they still do. Plus a bottle of wine in her cabin ... and some Carnival tokens - like T-shirt(s), coffee mugs, and all the other goodies that cruise lines have to make people happy.

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Old July 9th, 2002, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: icruise has me in tears

I was just wondering, instead of the "scare" lecture on the internet guys, why don't you you local agents just meet their price? I think most of us would use you if you did.
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Old July 25th, 2002, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Re: icruise has me in tears

Small agencies can meet big 800 agencies.

I remember a sign I saw in a barber shop once.

Fast, Good, Cheap!!

You chose the two you want.

We can't have lowest price and the good downhome service.

I always go to the internet and find the price and my local agent has always met the lower price.

I try hard not to do business with anyone i can't look in the eye.
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