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SCAM! Website price bait-and-switch


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Guest MEMVA

Hi - Sharing this every where I can - because I am pretty appalled and disgusted with Royal Caribbean and want to warn people about their bait-and-switch techniques.
This evening, as a celebration of our wedding anniversary, my husband and I decided to book a cruise on Royal Caribbean. A trip to Bermuda. Our first cruise ever. We've never been on a cruise and thought we'd try one for a major wedding anniversary we are celebrating, even though we've heard and read some pretty scary things about cruise lines. We used the Royal Caribbean website. When we got to the option of select your stateroom, we were given two options (1) "Let Royal Caribbean Pick Your room" - (price $979) - or (2) "You pick your room" (price $1076.) We selected option #2 for $1076 - assuming this meant we would be given the option of picking our own room!! To be clear - THERE WERE NO OTHER OPTIONS, DETAILS, SMALL PRINT OR OTHER CLARIFICATION OFFERED TO US. THERE WERE SIMPLY TWO OPTIONS DISPLAYED IN TWO LARGE WEBSITE BOXES - NOTHING ELSE!!!!! The website immediately took us to the page where we were asked to provide personal information, which we provided. We were then taken to the payment page. We entered our credit card information and received our booking number. However, we were concerned because we were never given the option of a floor plan to pick our room, so we called the Royal Caribbean number on the screen to better understand the process. We connected to someone who claimed that in order for us to pick our room we had to pay AN ADDITIONAL $92 PER PERSON!! and who kept saying something about 'you picked selection 4b' (as if I am supposed to know what that means!!). I kept trying to explain that no - we had already picked the option on the screen that said "we get to choose our room" - and we had paid the higher price for it already. However, the so-called customer service rep could do nothing to help us and kept insisting that I had to pay more to get the option that I already paid for!!! To make matters worse - if we went back into the online system - the page still appeared which said "#1 Let Royal Caribbean pick your room" $979!!! So, we already paid extra to pick our room, Royal Caribbean customer service staff is claiming we need to pay more, and the website is saying we could actually pay less than we did for the service Royal Caribbean is claiming we purchased!! What a disgusting mess.  If this isn't some sort of scam/bait-and-switch - I don't know what is!!!!

This was our first attempt at a cruise and it will be our last. We weren't sure about cruising to begin with, but now we are. We definitely do NOT want to do business with a company that engages in bait-and-switch scams with their customers.  - Mary M., Virginia.

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Guest MEMVA

Hi - thanks for asking. I cancelled then and there when I was on the phone with the customer service rep. They claim I will get 100% of my money back (including the deposit). I recorded the conversation just to be safe. (I made sure I told the customer service rep I was recording the conversation.) I also got a cancellation number. The whole situation just doesn't make sense. Something was clearly wrong with the website - yet their customer service staff are completely unable to assist. Hugely disappointed and angry.

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It’s a shame you didn’t look at this Blog prior to attempting to make your reservations. The advice and suggestions here are spot on and would have provided you with words of wisdom and guidance in booking your first cruise! Now, you have a bad impression of RCL and cruises altogether, which is a real shame. Cruising is awesome and RCL surely delivers! We always use a travel agent, at no cost to us, to handle everything! Takes away any chance of confusion or possible stress. Hopefully, you can get everything sorted out and go on your first cruise! I’m sure you would enjoy it. And if you don’t, I’m sorry.

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There is a reason that many of us use travel agents to book with Royal. They then have to deal with the website and customer service phone nonsense and all the stress and headaches that come with it. I think it was less a bait and switch scam and more just a website glitch and a customer service agent who just couldn’t comprehend that and/or didn’t believe you for some reason (but still very annoying and I understand your frustration!) If you are willing to give Royal another try, I would try having a travel agent rebook it so that they can navigate that for you. The nice thing is that they come with lots of knowledge and experience and it costs you nothing extra. They get paid by Royal so it’s a win/win. 

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Guest MEMVA

Thanks everyone. Appreciate the nice replies - truly. We actually did quite a bit of research ahead of time - looking into pricing, talking to other folks that had experience cruising,  (including talking to a family member who worked for several years with the cruise lines), looking at different cruise lines, watching videos - and even reading blogs. Never saw anything that said 'use a travel agent' - although I am sure it is good advice. The only thing I will say is that numerous other major companies around the globe - such as airlines, online retailers (large and small), etc., manage to deliver products and services at the price advertised via their website, without a lot of hassle or problems. Airlines are a classic example. They probably do infinitely more business than a cruise line and I've never had a problem booking an airline ticket using the airline's actual website. I recognize that there are a lot of devoted cruisers on this blog - and I totally respect that. But, I will say that one has to seriously question the competency and professionalism of a company on the scale of Royal Caribbean, if they can't even manage their website correctly - and the "word-on-the-street" (so to speak) is "don't use Royal Caribbean's website because it is really bad and you can't trust it." With that said, really bummed because now we have nothing planned for a major milestone anniversary. We'll come up with something, I am sure - but I was interested in exploring a cruise. But perhaps the universe is trying to tell us something...

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I used the Website for my first 2 cruises, on the first 1 had had no issues and everything went smoothly, on the second there were issue. Amount on invoices did match what they had on their system, I owed more than the statements they sent to me stated, transfers I'd booked apparently weren't book... bit of a nightmare.

Since I've switched to using a TA (Mostly from being on here and reading peoples advice) its been smooth, well at least for me, maybe the TA is fighting off all these things that previously I had to but if they are they are doing it very well and keeping the stress of me and the family. Its certainly something I'd now recommend to others now as its no extra cost for you and makes things soo much easier. 

I really hope you get everything sorted as a cruise can be such a relaxing/fun/exciting way to holiday. Don't give up on it

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My husband and I returned recently from a wondeful cruise (Grandeur to the Bahamas). One of my takeaways: the remarkable difference between the truly excellent service on the ship and the awful customer service pre-travel on the phone. I used a TA, but she was mediocre (lesson learned, will find another option for the future), so ended up calling RC a couple of times. In addition to extremely long waits, I got wrong information. For example, was told there was no concierge service for grand suites on the Grandeur. Because I had read this message board in advance (thank you!!!) I knew the info was wrong. I pushed to speak with a supervisor, who corrected the information, but went on to give me other information that turned out to be incorrect. Nothing that impacted how much we enjoyed the cruise, but it was frustrating. I’m sorry you ended up canceling as you may really have enjoyed the trip, but given your initial experience I can’t blame you for backing out. 

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Use the website to get a price and cabin number you want, then just call them to place your booking. Ask them all the question you need to and make repeated calls if needed before final booking. Never had a problem doing it that way

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We always use our AAA travel agent for bookings, although we research RCI website online.  In your shoes, I would be angry about the glitch in the website, but I don't think it is bait and switch.  Hopefully, your experience will help them fix the problem before others are affected.  I have heard others state they get better service from Crown & Anchor folks than from the RCI phone centers.  Again, having an agent has been wonderful for us over the years.

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Its to bad that this Is the kinda reaction and impression first time users of Royal get. I agree, since they changed the deposit program, the options and process is defn NOT clear or straightforward.

 

This is not a tech glitch or problem like we joke about Royals IT department...it is a blatant effort on Royals part to make this more complicated and/or make it easier for them to collect more $$.....

 

It's a shame, but just another reason and example why I tell everyone NOT to every use the website to book any longer. As I stated before here, I learned the hard way my first few cruises with higher rates and lower incentives by booking Royal directly.

 

That being said..I do love cruising and Royals ships and products so I hope the OP can and will still enjoy their cruise to Bermuda!

 

 

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I've recently seen this when I was looking at an Alaska cruise.  I was trying to figure out what rooms were available.  When I was looking for an Interior for 4 people, it would go from you pick your room to where you put in your info.  I always use a travel agent but I like to figure out my own rooms.  My travel agent later said that the only interior rooms that were available were in a guarantee interior rooms.  It is unfortunate the website isn't more transparent but I don't think it was a bait and switch just a very bad website.  

I do most of my travel plans myself. I also do most of my own research including picking my staterooms, however, I still use a travel agent to actually book the cruise.  In the last 6 weeks, my travel agent had to advocate for me on 3 of my upcoming cruises!  The power behind a good agency can really help one out when things go wrong!

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If there is only 1 room left in a given category you cant really choose between multiple rooms and it will just assign it.  I dont see this as Bait and Switch at all.  RCCL always gives you 24 hours to cancel with 100% refund regardless if you picked a refundable deposit or not.  I would say thats pretty nice of them so you have a chance to get in on a sale and then do all the vacation requests etc the next day.

Bait and Switch would be selling you a balcony room and dumping you in an interior room.

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10 hours ago, MEMVA said:

We selected option #2 for $1076 - assuming this meant we would be given the option of picking our own room!! 

"Assuming" is the key word here. You assumed, instead of verifying. This is a classic example of why working with a travel agent, and NOT booking on your own (especially for first timers) is so important.

There is no bait and switch, just a consumer who didn't do their homework, guessed at what things ought to be, and was disappointed in the outcome.

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Guest MEMVA

Hi Matt-- Thank you for your response. However, I must confess that I find your response a little unusual.

First,  I am an executive level communications professional with 30 years of experience, including managing websites at Fortune 50 organizations. I can assure you I am not so naive as to "assume" anything, particularly when it comes to language and words. The website specifically said "You chose your room" and gave the price of $1076. To me (and the vast majority of sensible people) this means exactly what it says - the purchaser gets to pick their room. 

Second, in terms of 'verifying' - the fact that I called RC immediately is proof that I did try to verify. There was no other way to verify anything on the RC website.

Third, my husband and I are extremely experienced travelers. We've traveled the globe, including visits to multiple continents for extended periods of time, such as Europe and Australia. I can assure you that I've made complex travel arrangements multiple times before last night and been very successful at it, solely relying on the language presented on a website.

Fourth, as I stated in one of my other responses, the fact that every other major corporation, such as the airlines, big and small retailers, cloud service organizations, etc, can offer and deliver services and products via a website at the price advertised with no problem, suggests to me that RC has some major issues with their back-end website programming, their website messaging, and their promotions.

And, finally I did extensive research on cruising, including watching countless videos and reading numerous articles and blogs about "Things a First-timer Should Know" - and never once did I read or hear someone say: "Don't book your travel with the cruise line website. They're notoriously bad. Contact a travel agent." NEVER. Ultimately, what you're suggesting is that first time cruisers with a major reputable corporation need to jump through hoops, diving deep into research to plan a simple five day vacation. You're also saying that RC as a company can't be trusted.

I learned a lot from my experience with RC. Unfortunately, I will not be cruising.

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Guest MEMVA
1 hour ago, marti314 said:

If there is only 1 room left in a given category you cant really choose between multiple rooms and it will just assign it.  I dont see this as Bait and Switch at all.  RCCL always gives you 24 hours to cancel with 100% refund regardless if you picked a refundable deposit or not.  I would say thats pretty nice of them so you have a chance to get in on a sale and then do all the vacation requests etc the next day.

Bait and Switch would be selling you a balcony room and dumping you in an interior room.

Hi Marti314 - Respectfully, I can't agree. A classic bait-and-switch is *by definition* "A fraudulent advertising claim or sales offer for a product or service that is not available or not for sale at the stated price, made with the intention of luring customers who are then offered something else or forced to spend more money to get the same thing." This is exactly what RC engaged in when they offered me the option of selecting my room on my own, charging me more for it, then claiming in order to get what I expected, I needed to pay more. 

Perhaps my experience is a website glitch. Either way, it doesn't matter. It left a pretty bad impression of RC.

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Guest MEMVA
1 minute ago, marti314 said:

THANK YOU!

Marti - Not sure what I did to get your hackles raised. Perhaps you work for RC - or perhaps you're just one of those internet trolls like feels empowered behind a computer screen to insult. Based on the other numerous nice respectful responses I've received from folks, I will give the rest of the RC-cruisers the benefit of the doubt and assume they are nice people, and you're just one of those sad folks that likes to try to make other people feel miserable.

To the other respectful, kind folks that have responded. Thank you. I do appreciate your advice, suggestions, and kind words of support.

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Yes, you are so right websites never ever have issues, you must have been targeted personally.

Im guessing you order from Amazon and Im guessing you have ordered something only to have it cancelled on you because of some reason or another.  We should all boycott Amazon, and banks and also grocery stores where the item rings up wrong its all bait and switch!

Searching the rest of this forum i found 0 cases of anyone ever having this issue so I am guessing they are out to get you....    

 

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1 minute ago, MEMVA said:

Marti - Not sure what I did to get your hackles raised. Perhaps you work for RC - or perhaps you're just one of those internet trolls like feels empowered behind a computer screen to insult. Based on the other numerous nice respectful responses I've received from folks, I will give the rest of the RC-cruisers the benefit of the doubt and assume they are nice people, and you're just one of those sad folks that likes to try to make other people feel miserable.

To the other respectful, kind folks that have responded. Thank you. I do appreciate your advice, suggestions, and kind words of support.

You had an issue, RCL fixed the issue, sounds like a good outcome to me but you felt the need to bash a company and make some conspiracy claim on a site where people take truly enjoy talking about Royal Caribbean Cruises.  

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Guest MEMVA
Just now, marti314 said:

Yes, you are so right websites never ever have issues, you must have been targeted personally.

Im guessing you order from Amazon and Im guessing you have ordered something only to have it cancelled on you because of some reason or another.  We should all boycott Amazon, and banks and also grocery stores where the item rings up wrong its all bait and switch!

Searching the rest of this forum i found 0 cases of anyone ever having this issue so I am guessing they are out to get you....    

 

Marti - I have never had a bait and switch experience on an airline website or any major retailer's website. I am not suggesting that anyone is out to get me. And, I am a little baffled by your hostility. What I described as happening on the RC website is exactly what happened. It was frustrating and I felt it was important to share this with other cruisers - experienced or first timers.  I am respectfully asking that you please quit trolling and attacking me or I will report you to the site owners. Thank you.

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3 minutes ago, MEMVA said:

This is exactly what RC engaged in when they offered me the option of selecting my room on my own, charging me more for it, then claiming in order to get what I expected, I needed to pay more. 

You've got it backwards. You get a discount for allowing RC to choose your room.

As for "needing to pay more", this is no different than if you book an airline flight and select a seat with extra leg room or an emergency exit row seat. Preferred room options come with a higher cost. 

12 minutes ago, MEMVA said:

I can assure you I am not so naive as to "assume" anything

In your original post, you wrote in big, bold letters "assuming this meant", so yes, you did assume.

I understand this isn't your first foray into travel, but cruise vacations are different from land vacations. I'm not sure why you did not stop when you reached the point of not seeing the options you expected and completed the booking.  

I'm sorry your first experience was not to your liking, but I think your experience and/or expectations were out line with pretty much everyone else here. If you think you've discovered some vast conspiracy by Royal Caribbean to dupe their customers, well, I'm sorry to say that simply is not the case.  Reading your experiences speaks to a first time cruiser who made assumptions and ended up with a different result than they expected. 

My advice going forward is to give RC another try, but employ some of the advice and strategies we all happily share.  I think with a bit more footwork, you could easily come away with a great cruise vacation.

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Guest MEMVA
1 minute ago, marti314 said:

You had an issue, RCL fixed the issue, sounds like a good outcome to me but you felt the need to bash a company and make some conspiracy claim on a site where people take truly enjoy talking about Royal Caribbean Cruises.  

RCL did not fix the issue. Fixing the issue would've been acknowledging the fact they made a mistake and honoring the price they quoted on the website. They did not do this. They only offered to charge me more. I made the decision to cancel.

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10 minutes ago, MEMVA said:

Perhaps my experience is a website glitch. Either way, it doesn't matter. It left a pretty bad impression of RC

I'm really sorry things went south for you

Before the website update the UK site was very difficult to navigate and understand, often timing out and losing the information that you had just entered on the form.

If you ever do consider cruising again, and I hope you do, I cant say enough good things about a cruise holiday experience, I would certainly push for a TA who will fight all these battles for you with regards to bookings, glitches and anything else they can throw at them.

Hope whatever you end up doing for your holiday turns out great but I do hope you give cruising another go some day, best of luck :)

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5 minutes ago, MEMVA said:

Marti - I have never had a bait and switch experience on an airline website or any major retailer's website. I am not suggesting that anyone is out to get me. And, I am a little baffled by your hostility. What I described as happening on the RC website is exactly what happened. It was frustrating and I felt it was important to share this with other cruisers - experienced or first timers.  I am respectfully asking that you please quit trolling and attacking me or I will report you to the site owners. Thank you.

Matt is the site owner.  Now you are introduced.

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Guest MEMVA
2 minutes ago, Matt said:

You've got it backwards. You get a discount for allowing RC to choose your room.

As for "needing to pay more", this is no different than if you book an airline flight and select a seat with extra leg room or an emergency exit row seat. Preferred room options come with a higher cost.

Thank you, Matt for your reply. However, I do not think I got it backwards. The website had two boxes - the *discounted* price was $979 for letting RC pick my room. The other option was "you pick your room" - and the price was $1076. I picked the second option. I was fully aware of and understood the concept of the discounted price to let them pick my room. Again - I did not chose that option and did not pay for that option. I paid for the higher priced option to pick my room.

I can appreciate that you're an administrator of this blog and want to defend RD and keep folks happy on RC - because that means it keeps them coming back to the blog. I completely understand. 

I am not suggesting any vast conspiracy. And perhaps RC is an ethical company. And, I was thinking about giving RC another shot, until I read a couple of the condescending and unkind posts here.

Thanks.

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Guest MEMVA
4 minutes ago, marti314 said:

Matt is the site owner.  Now you are introduced.

Ok. Thanks. Good to know.

Bye everyone. I can pretty much gauge the nature of the folks that run this site and their willingness (or unwillingness) to treat a fellow first time cruiser with respect and kindness. 

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26 minutes ago, MEMVA said:

Hi Matt-- Thank you for your response. However, I must confess that I find your response a little unusual.

First,  I am an executive level communications professional with 30 years of experience, including managing websites at Fortune 50 organizations. I can assure you I am not so naive as to "assume" anything, particularly when it comes to language and words. The website specifically said "You chose your room" and gave the price of $1076. To me (and the vast majority of sensible people) this means exactly what it says - the purchaser gets to pick their room. 

Second, in terms of 'verifying' - the fact that I called RC immediately is proof that I did try to verify. There was no other way to verify anything on the RC website.

Third, my husband and I are extremely experienced travelers. We've traveled the globe, including visits to multiple continents for extended periods of time, such as Europe and Australia. I can assure you that I've made complex travel arrangements multiple times before last night and been very successful at it, solely relying on the language presented on a website.

Fourth, as I stated in one of my other responses, the fact that every other major corporation, such as the airlines, big and small retailers, cloud service organizations, etc, can offer and deliver services and products via a website at the price advertised with no problem, suggests to me that RC has some major issues with their back-end website programming, their website messaging, and their promotions.

And, finally I did extensive research on cruising, including watching countless videos and reading numerous articles and blogs about "Things a First-timer Should Know" - and never once did I read or hear someone say: "Don't book your travel with the cruise line website. They're notoriously bad. Contact a travel agent." NEVER. Ultimately, what you're suggesting is that first time cruisers with a major reputable corporation need to jump through hoops, diving deep into research to plan a simple five day vacation. You're also saying that RC as a company can't be trusted.

I learned a lot from my experience with RC. Unfortunately, I will not be cruising.

No one can refute your experience, and your logic seems sound.  Thanks for pointing out the issue.  Hopefully, you have noticed this appears to be an uncommon event with RCI.  Happy travels however and wherever you go.

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1 minute ago, MEMVA said:

I am not suggesting any vast conspiracy. And perhaps RC is an ethical company. And, I was thinking about giving RC another shot, until I read a couple of the condescending and unkind posts here.

I apologize for any posts that you felt were attacks on yourself.  Now and then we get someone who comes in here and posts outlandish accusations about a horrible experience and then never come back to provide any feedback. It does not excuse anyone insulting you by any means.

I can appreciate your dedication to following up with posts in this thread and I can tell from your responses that you're not being unreasonable, but did have a first-time negative experience. I really think if you gave it another shot and followed some best practices, you could easily avoid the pitfalls you ran into previously, and then enjoy a great cruise vacation.

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2 minutes ago, MEMVA said:

Ok. Thanks. Good to know.

Bye everyone. I can pretty much gauge the nature of the folks that run this site and their willingness (or unwillingness) to treat a fellow first time cruiser with respect and kindness. 

Can you provide the exact cruise that you were going to book (Or booked)? Ship and date, room category you were looking at?

I've booked upwards of 12 cruises on Royals web site (and 100 if not thousands of mock bookings) and I have never seen this issue, when it says click here to pick you room it always redirects me to a floor plan where I select my room. I now use a travel agent mainly for simplicity reason, I don't have time to do the research that I used to, so I let them do the research and present me with options. I currently have 7 future cruises booked through 2021 and have not had any of the issues you describe.

I have seen issues where 1 browser verses another browser will receive different feedback from Royals web page, but most of the time this is a security or pop up blocker. I have found the best results using Chrome and opening an incognito session. 

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11 hours ago, MEMVA said:

Hi - Sharing this every where I can - because I am pretty appalled and disgusted with Royal Caribbean and want to warn people about their bait-and-switch techniques.
This evening, as a celebration of our wedding anniversary, my husband and I decided to book a cruise on Royal Caribbean. A trip to Bermuda. Our first cruise ever. We've never been on a cruise and thought we'd try one for a major wedding anniversary we are celebrating, even though we've heard and read some pretty scary things about cruise lines. We used the Royal Caribbean website. When we got to the option of select your stateroom, we were given two options (1) "Let Royal Caribbean Pick Your room" - (price $979) - or (2) "You pick your room" (price $1076.) We selected option #2 for $1076 - assuming this meant we would be given the option of picking our own room!! To be clear - THERE WERE NO OTHER OPTIONS, DETAILS, SMALL PRINT OR OTHER CLARIFICATION OFFERED TO US. THERE WERE SIMPLY TWO OPTIONS DISPLAYED IN TWO LARGE WEBSITE BOXES - NOTHING ELSE!!!!! The website immediately took us to the page where we were asked to provide personal information, which we provided. We were then taken to the payment page. We entered our credit card information and received our booking number. However, we were concerned because we were never given the option of a floor plan to pick our room, so we called the Royal Caribbean number on the screen to better understand the process. We connected to someone who claimed that in order for us to pick our room we had to pay AN ADDITIONAL $92 PER PERSON!! and who kept saying something about 'you picked selection 4b' (as if I am supposed to know what that means!!). I kept trying to explain that no - we had already picked the option on the screen that said "we get to choose our room" - and we had paid the higher price for it already. However, the so-called customer service rep could do nothing to help us and kept insisting that I had to pay more to get the option that I already paid for!!! To make matters worse - if we went back into the online system - the page still appeared which said "#1 Let Royal Caribbean pick your room" $979!!! So, we already paid extra to pick our room, Royal Caribbean customer service staff is claiming we need to pay more, and the website is saying we could actually pay less than we did for the service Royal Caribbean is claiming we purchased!! What a disgusting mess.  If this isn't some sort of scam/bait-and-switch - I don't know what is!!!!

This was our first attempt at a cruise and it will be our last. We weren't sure about cruising to begin with, but now we are. We definitely do NOT want to do business with a company that engages in bait-and-switch scams with their customers.  - Mary M., Virginia.

Honestly I get why you are frustrated and that you are an experienced traveler however, you are not an EXPERIENCED CRUISER. Cruising is a whole different Animal.. Its nothing like airlines or hotels.. One should never use Royal Caribbeans Website to book a cruise.. Their website is horrible but also very confusing for a new cruiser.. I know in this day and age booking online is the way to go but NOT when it comes to cruising on ANY cruise line.. A First time cruiser NEEDS a travel agent who specializes in cruises.. They will be able to guide you in all the ways of cruising. You choose not to do this which is your right but then you shouldn't say Royal was doing a bait and switch. They weren't. you just are unfamiliar with how the cruising industry works. 

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I truly feel bad for the OP. She had a bad experience with RC's website. She is correct in that there are some serious problems with the site and obviously how it is managed. Give it a try with a Travel Agent this time around and I hope you have a better experience and ultimately a great vacation to celebrate.

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First, congratulations on your anniversary!  I hope you do give RC another try.  Like others have recommended, booking with a TA will avoid the website issues you experience.  Also, TA who specializes in cruises are a wealth of information that you cannot gain by simply watching YouTube videos such as stateroom selections, itinerary selection, etc. 

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Interesting.... I've never actually booked a cruise on Royal's website.

I have, however, made many, many mock bookings, and every time I've selected "You pick your room" as I simply don't like the idea of a guarantee room.

In every case, after selecting this, I was given the option to look at deck plans and select the room of my choice.

I can therefore understand that if this didn't happen for the OP, he is now rather frustrated.

I don't buy the concept of "maybe there was only one room left" as when it gets to that stage, Royal will generally remove the option to pick your own room and all you can book is a guarantee (in my experience anyway).

From this, I think a few people here have been very harsh on the OP.

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42 minutes ago, MEMVA said:

Thank you, Matt for your reply. However, I do not think I got it backwards. The website had two boxes - the *discounted* price was $979 for letting RC pick my room. The other option was "you pick your room" - and the price was $1076. I picked the second option. I was fully aware of and understood the concept of the discounted price to let them pick my room. Again - I did not chose that option and did not pay for that option. I paid for the higher priced option to pick my room. 

I can appreciate that you're an administrator of this blog and want to defend RD and keep folks happy on RC - because that means it keeps them coming back to the blog. I completely understand. 

I am not suggesting any vast conspiracy. And perhaps RC is an ethical company. And, I was thinking about giving RC another shot, until I read a couple of the condescending and unkind posts here.

Thanks.

I actually agree with you 100% here.  I always choose the pick my own option as we travel with our sons in a separate cabin and I like to pick the cabins close together.  Paying that extra money is worth it to me.

The only thing I can think of that happened here was (as somebody said) there was only one of that cabin left for you to choose from...therefore not really a "choice" so the site bypassed the cabin selection page.  The $92 upcharge when you called may have been the cost to bump into the next cabin category where there were multiple cabins available that you could choose from.  Whenever you select the "Let us choose your cabin" option, it says that they will choose that cabin category for you at a  minimum.  It there aren't any cabins of that category left at the time of cabin assignment you will get bumped up into the next available cabin category.

In any event, I don't think you should swear off an entire means of vacationing just because you had a bad experience with one vendor.  That is like me having a bad experience at McDonalds and swearing off all fast food.  That would cause me to miss the wonder that is Chick Fil A.  I would suggest checking out other cruise lines to see if there are any trips that interest you. 

As a hint...whenever you choose the "Pick my own" option...before you get to the payment screen, you are always presented with a page that shows you the available cabins to choose from in that category (it is usually the very next screen).  If you don't get that option before it asks you for your payment information...try the booking again on the site...and then call if you still don't see it.

Good luck and I hope you guys find a trip that you are excited about for your anniversary.....maybe it will be a cruise.

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