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SCAM! Website price bait-and-switch


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4 minutes ago, Balsam said:

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.

Quoted lines from the OP: 

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!!!

But, I will say that one has to seriously question the competency and professionalism of a company on the scale of Royal Caribbean,

Something was clearly wrong with the website - yet their customer service staff are completely unable to assist. 

We definitely do NOT want to do business with a company that engages in bait-and-switch scams with their customers.  

Perhaps you work for RC - or perhaps you're just one of those internet trolls like feels empowered behind a computer screen to insult

 

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).

Just did a mock booking for my AUG cruise, there is only 1 room left in a category and it chooses that room automatically (Yes you get to see the room but you dont get a deck choice or room choice because there is only one left at this price in this category).

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1 hour 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 totally understand your problem. This is an error, a mistake by the RC IT department. This shouldn't happened. 

And the answer you got from customer services was awful and didn't helped at all. Instead of recognize an error and fix it for you they wanted to charge you more. It's simply outrageous.

I think that cancel that booking was your bets choice.   

39 minutes ago, Bean79 said:

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.

I agree. You should give it a try with a TA, your experience will be totally different. 

 

I hope you can sail and enjoy your first cruise as you deserve!

Greetings!

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I'm having to reverse engineer this from the OP original post, trip to Bermuda and something about 4B.

That leads me to Adventure OTS out of Newark going to Bermuda, so say they picked Spacious Balcony, there are 5 cabin categories, 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 6B, so she picked a 4B cabin and there were none available, so the phone agent was telling them for $92, more than likely offering a 6B cabin. It could also be Grandeur or Serenade, Anthem doesn't show a 4B category.

We all know that the cabin itself is the exact same but the difference comes where the cabin is located on the deck in regards to elevators and other things, so they were getting a better located cabin for $92pp, probably a 6B due to no 4B's available on the sailing.

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DID SHE LEAVE YET ?   OMG, I CANT TAKE IT.   EVERYONE IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A PAYDAY.  MISTAKES ARE MADE, WHETHER PERSONALLY OR BY RCI.  THE MISTAKE WAS FIXED.  IT WAS OBVIOUSLY THAT THE VERBIAGE WAS MISUNDERSTOOD ON THE WEBSITE.  IF THERE WERE QUESTIONS, THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN ASKED PRIOR AND NOT JUST THROW DIRT IN THE FACE OF OTHERS AND RCI.  I AM A TRAVEL AGENT AND I HAVE HAD ISSUE WITH RCI BOOKINGS IN THE PAST AND THEY HAVE ALWAYS EXPLAINED THE ERROR ON MY PART OR RESOLVED MY ISSUE AND IN SOME CASES DID BOTH.   I FIND THEM TO BE VERY PROFESSIONAL AND DO NOT BELIEVE THEY WOULD EVER CONDUCT BAIT AND SWITCH OR ANY SORT OF BAD PRACTICES THAT WOULD LEAVE A BAD TASTE IN THE MOUTH OF THEIR CUSTOMERS.  THAT WOULD BE POOR BUSINESS PRACTICE AND THEY WOULD LOSS REVENUE FROM IT.  IT JUST DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.  

btw, I am sorry for yelling.....   lmao....

 

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1 hour 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.

The .UK site is a different layout to .com site. So decided to do a mock booking and take screenshots to understand your confusion. So here is my take on it. Yes you did select “pick your own”  but I think from there you were directed to the first available one which could have been worded as a “guarantee “ cabin. This basically means that you are selecting a certain category of a “guarantee” cabin - it is not your selection as such but you are promised a slightly better cabin in your case category 4B than the “basic guarantee “ which are classified category X. 

I hope this clarifies it for you and you give RCCL another chance. As for Matt our much loved admin, he works very hard to help us make informed choices with our cruises.

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What you experienced on RCI website is correct and I experienced the same thing when I was looking to book my cruise in August 2019.  This will be our first RCI cruise and haven't had a lot of experience with their website.  I chose the option to pick my room, however there was never an option to choose my room number.  I called them personally to book the room instead of using the website to finish my booking. 

Being an experienced Carnival cruiser, I knew something wasn't right with the website.  I use Carnival's website to find prices and rooms available. Then, I call my Carnival TA to book the room.  I truly hope you give cruising another chance either with RCI or another cruise line.

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I checked as well..sounds like the OP is correct. And I am surprised others here aren't aware of that..its been like that for awhile on Royals website..

 

OP did not ASSUME(even though he said that but)...its printed in black and white.......so it is deceiving...and of course  there is lots of small print at the bottom about NRDB and all the rules and regulations.

it is defn NOT straight forward at all..especially for a first time Royal cruiser....

 

To be honest I am not even 100% sure about all the ins and outs and rules and changes and what shows and doesn't show when it comes to Royal and I have cruised a dozen times with them....and I cant even find where the Redfundable deposit price is now...

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Yeah the Royal Caribbean website stinks. We all know this. Unfortunately the OP did not. I can understand why she might think it’s bait and switch, I don’t think it is. But I know from experience that calling Royal Customer Service is like getting a root canal. That’s again why I use a TA. 

Message to the OP if you are still here. Get a travel agent and try a different cruise company if you are mad at Royal Caribbean. Cruising is a great vacation. We are all very nice here and did not mean to be rude and were just trying to help I swear!

 

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2 hours 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. 

I think the OP's problem is that she was willing to pay a higher price to pick her room but never given the option by RC to select a room.  Hence, she felt like she was taken advantage of by RC as she was paying a higher price for a guaranteed room.  Having seen this first hand on the Royal website, I agree that it is quite misleading. 

It is unfortunate that in today's IT age, that the Royal website is so bad.  We all know this and laugh about it but it really gives a horrible impression for first time cruisers.  I've been recently looking at other companies, even Celebrity, and it is amazing how much better their websites are compared to Royal.

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3 hours ago, MEMVA said:

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

 

Definitely best for all involved. 

For a supposed "executive level communications professional", your numerous ranting, tit for tat posts demonstrate a significant degree of immaturity.  

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I'm still saying it might have been a browser issue and maybe not a web site issue, I've just done 10 mock bookings on different dates and different ships (Since I'm guessing which one it is) and on each mock booking I've picked the higher priced option, pick your own room, and I have been prompted to select my room on all 10 mock bookings. One date, it tried to put me in the aft section and I selected midship and the page stated a +18 dollar price differential.

As stated before, using chrome Incognito so the Royal web page should not know who I am, no cookies being tracked. 

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It seems that many people find their way to this message board via google and not by way of the main website/blog and the excellent information that is found there.  Here are some links to some of the many articles aimed at first time cruisers on this site. They all recommend using a travel agent along with a bunch of other tips and insights. 

Best of luck.  

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2018/01/03/first-time-cruisers-what-know-booking-royal-caribbean-cruise

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/06/15/why-first-time-cruisers-should-use-royal-caribbean-travel-agent

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2017/10/30/8-cruise-tips-first-time-royal-caribbean-cruisers

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2014/07/17/first-time-cruisers-ten-mistakes-avoid

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2015/02/28/first-time-cruisers-what-you-need-know-about-taking-royal-caribbean-cruise

 

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33 minutes ago, Jjohnb said:

Definitely best for all involved. 

For a supposed "executive level communications professional", your numerous ranting, tit for tat posts demonstrate a significant degree of immaturity.  

Could you imagine the emails Richard Fain would get if the Towel Animal was not folded correctly or had some hanging threads??

 

towelanimal.jpg

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14 hours ago, MEMVA said:

But perhaps the universe is trying to tell us something...

I've definitely had different experiences with different browsers on Royal's website. I have booked online and over the phone successfully, and mostly using a travel agent. My experience with Royal's customer service staff on the phone has always been pleasant and competent, so I think your experience may be more of a one-off.

Since cruising is so different than other travel vacations, I would always opt for an experienced and reputable travel advisor for a first cruise. It may be that we got lucky booking our first cruise ourselves, but the experience was great, and I was hooked on cruising on embarkation day. There is absolutely nothing like it, and I hope the universe is telling you to give it another chance. If not with Royal, then a competitor may yield a good experience for you. I can't say for sure, because other than European ferries, I have only sailed Royal so far. One thing I am convinced of is that Royal as a company is highly ethical and cares for its guests while it is still a for profit business. I am also convinced that they didn't bait and switch you.

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2 hours ago, tiny260 said:

I'm having to reverse engineer this from the OP original post, trip to Bermuda and something about 4B.

That leads me to Adventure OTS out of Newark going to Bermuda, so say they picked Spacious Balcony, there are 5 cabin categories, 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 6B, so she picked a 4B cabin and there were none available, so the phone agent was telling them for $92, more than likely offering a 6B cabin. It could also be Grandeur or Serenade, Anthem doesn't show a 4B category.

We all know that the cabin itself is the exact same but the difference comes where the cabin is located on the deck in regards to elevators and other things, so they were getting a better located cabin for $92pp, probably a 6B due to no 4B's available on the sailing.

To me, this sounds like the most plausible explanation, and the person in the RC call center may not have picked up that perspective. It's unfortunate that this really seems to be a misunderstanding...that a travel advisor would have been able to avoid.

It also goes to how confusing some of the category designations can be for experienced cruisers and first-timers alike.

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41 minutes ago, DunkelBierJay said:

To me, this sounds like the most plausible explanation, and the person in the RC call center may not have picked up that perspective. It's unfortunate that this really seems to be a misunderstanding...that a travel advisor would have been able to avoid.

It also goes to how confusing some of the category designations can be for experienced cruisers and first-timers alike.

Yea, I get it, but I've been in this situation before, I was on the phone with Royal after an online booking, and I was just trying to move the room closer to the elevator bank and the agent kept going on about 2's, 3's and 4's and what I wanted was a 6 and there would be a $100pp difference, WTF, all I want to do is move closer to the elevator, so we went through it again, finely I stopped them and said, what are you talking about with the numbers and letters?

They explained the designations to me, explained that some are valued more than others due to proximity to things, etc., at that point I said give me the room and I'm ok with the $100pp.

I'm not bashing anyone, but I'm hoping some future cruiser reads these blogs and figures all of this out before they get upset and start bashing Royal.

We all have to be vigilant with how we spend our money and make good educated choices, otherwise we'll be giving our bank account information to a Saudi Prince... 

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Guest MEMVA

Original poster here.

Really saddened by the sophomoric pettiness, trolling, nastiness, and vilification here. You don't know me - yet people like Marti and several others vilify me, mock me, and stereotype me based on my post that contained very legitimate frustration and concerns. In one breath you say - "folks need to do their research! Read the message boards to understand that you can't trust the website." In the next breath, you mock, bully, troll, condescend and attack the very people who are sharing their stories about problems with the RC website! In every interaction, I was truthful and never said anything unkind to any body, mock anyone, or bully anyone. However, yet again, one observes how the internet and message boards can turn people into really nasty, horrible individuals.

When I posted the original message - yes, I was upset and frustrated and my anger and frustration were legitimate. I still find it incredibly illogical that any cruise line operates in such a convoluted and complex manner as to make it difficult for customers to book using online tools - as I also find it incredibly illogical that new cruisers should spend hours prior to booking a cruise, doing deep dives into message boards, articles, reviews, etc, to try to understand something as simple as how book a few nights' vacation. 

That the 'members' of this board (people who claim to be non-stop cruisers and 'experts' on cruising) would attack a potentially new RC cruiser, and continually post such terribly inflammatory and awful things sends the wrong message to anyone who discovers this site in a website search--particularly new cruisers. Put yourself in the position of someone who sees some of these posts - do you really think this reflects well on the members of this "Blog"? Do you really think new cruisers will feel like they can trust you? Do you really think it reflect well on Royal Caribbean?

The thought of being on an RC cruise and encountering even one person on the cruise - who acts like Marti and some of the others have on this message board - leaves me feeling sick to my stomach. 

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24 minutes ago, MEMVA said:

Original poster here.

Really saddened by the sophomoric pettiness, trolling, nastiness, and vilification here. You don't know me - yet people like Marti and several others vilify me, mock me, and stereotype me based on my post that contained very legitimate frustration and concerns. In one breath you say - "folks need to do their research! Read the message boards to understand that you can't trust the website." In the next breath, you mock, bully, troll, condescend and attack the very people who are sharing their stories about problems with the RC website! In every interaction, I was truthful and never said anything unkind to any body, mock anyone, or bully anyone. However, yet again, one observes how the internet and message boards can turn people into really nasty, horrible individuals.

When I posted the original message - yes, I was upset and frustrated and my anger and frustration were legitimate. I still find it incredibly illogical that any cruise line operates in such a convoluted and complex manner as to make it difficult for customers to book using online tools - as I also find it incredibly illogical that new cruisers should spend hours prior to booking a cruise, doing deep dives into message boards, articles, reviews, etc, to try to understand something as simple as how book a few nights' vacation. 

That the 'members' of this board (people who claim to be non-stop cruisers and 'experts' on cruising) would attack a potentially new RC cruiser, and continually post such terribly inflammatory and awful things sends the wrong message to anyone who discovers this site in a website search--particularly new cruisers. Put yourself in the position of someone who sees some of these posts - do you really think this reflects well on the members of this "Blog"? Do you really think new cruisers will feel like they can trust you? Do you really think it reflect well on Royal Caribbean?

The thought of being on an RC cruise and encountering even one person on the cruise - who acts like Marti and some of the others have on this message board - leaves me feeling sick to my stomach. 

Don't listen to them. Not all of us here at royalcaribbeanblog are like that.

Is sad to see how some people on this board has become more and more hostile like the usual members of the "other site".

Please don't be discouraged by some people who only appears to be trolling.

I completely agree with all that you said. 

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39 minutes ago, carlosalonsor said:

Agree. I wouldn't like to be treated like this if this was my first time posting something on this forum...

I am so with you. I am actually surprised by MANY people’s responses here. Including ones I would never expect it from. Thought this forum prided itself on being bigger people than those who critique their cruises on that other forum?? 

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