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CocoCay dropped-Grand Bahama instead, not so Merry Christmas

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I have only done one cruise so far (have two more booked) but am already amazed at how all the rules seems to favor the cruise line and not the customer.  I dont know of any other "entertainment/travel" industry that is this lopsided!  Fortunately my first trip went without a hitch (except for the underwater earthquake scrapping some Cayman expeditions.....) so I am not personally tainted at this point.  I dont have a problem with last minute changes due to weather, but find it absurd you can be rerouted because the line is too incompetent (yes, it IS incompetency!) to forecast dry dock schedules, or can simply wipe out reservations to allow a charter of the ship.  I do realize these issues are industry problems and not just RC. 

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On 12/25/2018 at 11:11 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

Lorraine, very sorry to hear this.  While I agree that the hype over CC is excessive, Freeport is such a dump.  Not a good trade off IMO.  Enjoy the ship !

Freeport was a dump in 1972...I cannot even imagine it now.

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On 1/4/2019 at 4:20 PM, Bill H said:

What ticks me off is they are still advertising CoCo Cay as a stop on a lot of their Bahama cruises listed on their website.  Looks like "bait and switch" to me.  This will be my 13th cruise with RC and definitely my last.

Royal Caribbean is still going to CocoCay, so nothing is bait and switch.  There are exceptions, but it's far from the norm.  If you book a cruise to CocoCay, statistically you have a very good chance of going there, especially once the pier is open.

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On 1/7/2019 at 9:38 AM, Matt said:

Royal Caribbean is still going to CocoCay, so nothing is bait and switch.  There are exceptions, but it's far from the norm.  If you book a cruise to CocoCay, statistically you have a very good chance of going there, especially once the pier is open.

Tell me Matt, what do you call it when something is advertised and after you pay for it (without an opportunity for a full refund) the advertiser changes the product. 

There is no way whatever RC shouldn't have known in advance their construction on Coco Cay would prevent ships stopping there but they decided to continue advertising it as a port of call.

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I've been on 2 RC cruises in 4 months (one the last week of aug, prime season for hurricane disruption and the week before Christmas which saw storms blowing through the itinerary and disrupting lots of vessels).  Both went to CocoCay without issue.  Just saying.  😉

Also their construction is behind schedule anyway.  Pier was supposed to be done some time ago based on reading just on this discussion forum.  It is well know (like for decades now) that cruise ships can change ports of call at any time.  The primary reason ships don't stop at coco is when the seas have large swells because it is dangerous to board the tenders from the ship which is just anchored near the island.

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16 hours ago, Bill H said:

Tell me Matt, what do you call it when something is advertised and after you pay for it (without an opportunity for a full refund) the advertiser changes the product. 

It tells me you ought to read that cruise contract you agreed to when booking a cruise. You agreed by booking the cruise that RC is under no obligation to actually go to any of the ports advertised.  

I get that you're upset your cruise isn't going to CocoCay, but unfortunately things happen.  Sometimes rides at Disney World have to close due to maintenance or the Space Needle is not open to guests due to a private event, refurbishment, etc. Nature of travel sometimes.  But it's not a deliberate plot to fool guests into booking a vacation under false pretenses.

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On 1/16/2019 at 2:40 PM, Bill H said:

There is no way whatever RC shouldn't have known in advance their construction on Coco Cay would prevent ships stopping there but they decided to continue advertising it as a port of call.

The pier was originally supposed to be completed nearly a year ago.  March 2018, then June 2018, then December 2018, then January 2018, then March 2019.  It's a complex project that has been years in the making clearing protests and environmental hurdles along the way.

If their construction contractor (an American company by the way) notifies them of another delay they have no choice but to alter more sailings where they intended to have two Vision class ships share the pier.  That's the nature of construction underwater - sometimes you get into the project and discover something that calls for another approach and re-engineering.

Let's be clear, the impacted cruises involved two ships that were supposed to use the pier on the same day.  No pier, only one ship can visit that day.  

On the itineraries that were impacted they stopped advertising CocoCay many months ago.    I just sailed one of them.  

There were a handful of itineraries that were impacted.  That's it.  No other ships impacted.  They are not just randomly cancelling calls to CocoCay.

The intent was to have two Vision class ships share the new pier.  That will eventually happen.  When the pier wasn't ready for those ships that were double booked they had to make a decision and one of the two ships had to find an alternate port. 

For me on Vision last week we went to Miami instead.   That was changed and we were notified many, many months ago.  They stopped selling that cruise with CocoCay listed long before final payment due date.  For OP on Grandeur she was diverted to Grand Bahamas.  Same deal - Grandeur lost and Enchantment lucked out. 

There remain some Vision and Grandeur itineraries that were not impacted.  Next week for example the Vision ports of call are reversed in order compared to what I just sailed.  As a result, she isn't double booked with Enchantment into CocoCay.  That's why they continued to sell that particular Vision cruise with CocoCay still listed - it's still going there.  

Not bait and switch.

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Sorry Matt, but this isn't a "maintenance" problem.  They're advertising "The Perfect Day at Coco Cay" starting in May 2019.  Sounds like they closed down the entire location to do a complete make over which would include substantial planning in advance.  How long ago do you think they were aware of the impact on the upcoming cruises.  I understand the cruise contract completely but I don't agree with the disrespect for their customers who unknowingly booked a cruise thinking that Coco Cay was one of the ports.  

PS Here's a quote from an email I received from RC after I inquired above Coco Cay in July 2018: 

"Thank you for contacting the Shore Excursion Inquiry Desk.

Hope you are having a good day.

Please note that by February of 2019 which is when you will be visiting us we have plan to have open already Oasis Lagoon, Chill Island, Chill Grill and Up, Up and Away.


Thank you. We hope you find this information useful. If you have any other question or request, please let us know.

Regards,
Karla Rodriguez
Shore Excursions Inquiry Team | Global Tour Operations | Royal Caribbean International | Celebrity Cruises | Azamara Club Cruises
1050 Caribbean Way, Miami, FL 33132 | Fax: 305-539-4131 | Email: shorex@rccl.com"

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20 minutes ago, Bill H said:

Sounds like they closed down the entire location to do a complete make over which would include substantial planning in advance.  How long ago do you think they were aware of the impact on the upcoming cruises.  I understand the cruise contract completely but I don't agree with the disrespect for their customers who unknowingly booked a cruise thinking that Coco Cay was one of the ports.  

They haven't closed CocoCay.  Its taking ships business as usual.  

The confusion here is because they had planned on taking two ships on certain days.  Two Vision class ships.  When the pier didn't complete on time they couldn't accept two ships on the same day.  One ship was given a new alternate port.  One ship visited CocoCay as planned.

They never closed CocoCay to work on Perfect Day. 

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3 hours ago, L454S said:

BUT, they kept advertising it as a stop even though they knew it would not be on the agenda. All while touting the pleasures of their island.

Not true. 

In my case they provided several months notice, well before final payment due date.   In the case of OP in this thread they notified with around 60 days notice.  

At that point they stopped advertising CocoCay and advertised the alternate port.  

As someone who was impacted by this I’ve followed it very closely.  Just like OP I was initially disappointed but once I researched it and understood why I got over it and moved forward.  They were very transparent with my sailing and communicated well.  

If they were trying to be sneaky they would not have notified us well before sailing and came up with an excuse once we were on board.  They didn’t do that.  They stopped advertising CocoCay on the itinerary.  I kept checking for price drops and saw they were not advertising CocoCay.  

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Bottom line is RC is enhancing their future profits even if it means changing the itinerary of  customers who already paid for a cruise which included the ports originally listed.

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