Jump to content

Odyssey Cruise Oct.3 (changed itinerary again)


 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello Y'all,

I'm new to this group but avidly watch the youtube videos. I have some questions and concerns that I wonder if anyone here could help or enlighten. Firstly I booked back in Jan. and the itinerary was Haiti, Jamaica,  and Grand Caymans on the Independence out of Miami. Since then it has completely changed. The first set of changes were with the ship (now Odyssey), port (Ft. Lauderdale), and location (Nassau instead of Grand Cayman). As of today it changed again to Western Caribbean only (Coco Cay, and Mexico). I am not sure how to handle this situation. I have had to call multiple times to their customer service (not including when they randomly increased our fees and didn't tell us. We had to find out and turned out it was a system error) and there was nothing done about it except I was told the usual "if you don't like it you can cancel." Keep in mind, today I had to spend 4 and half hours to conclude with the supervisor saying that. I am obviously fuming right now but I have been a 100% die hard fan of Royal for years and this feels like punch in the gut. I honestly want to know what y'all think and feel about this situation, from one fan to another. *Note I tend to do the bookings myself since I have spoken with cruise agents in the past and I end up finding better deals, lol even for them. At this point is it just better to cancel, rebook, cruise, and never come back? Any suggestions on how to handle this situation better?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Yswift71 said:

At this point is it just better to cancel, rebook, cruise, and never come back? Any suggestions on how to handle this situation better?

Depends on what you are upset about and if you truly feel that Royal is responsible. 

You originally booked in January when no ships were sailing.  Royal moved you to a better, newer ship with more amenities because your original ship wasn't going to be part of the first wave of their restart.  They gave you the option to refuse the change and get a refund.

They currently are only sailing to a handful of ports that they have negotiated agreements with.  Grand Cayman isn't even accepting ships currently and the last I read they wouldn't until February 2022 at the earliest.  As cruises get closer to their sail dates, they seem to be modifying all itineraries to only the ports that are ready to have Royal ships there.

Things are very much in flux right now with respect to cruising, and other than having inept customer service and IT, I am not sure what more Royal can do for you at this time.

If you can't deal with the uncertainty, then absolutely take a refund when offered and come back to cruising when things aren't changing from day to day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can only imagine how frustrating it is to choose based on ports then have them change but like @AshleyDillosaid things are in flux right now and I am sure Royal is doing everything they can to get the ships safely moving again.  I personally feel anyone wanting to cruise this year needs to be flexible and go with the flow whatever that may be. Maybe book the same itinerary for next year?  Just my 2 cents worth or at the rate of inflation 10 cents. Hope it works out for you. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

If you can't deal with the uncertainty, then absolutely take a refund when offered and come back to cruising when things aren't changing from day to day.

So would you happen to have some insight on what major ports would be operational? I obviously know about Mexico but I'm trying to figure out my next step. And by the way, at least in my situation, when they changed from Independence to Odyssey, we didn't even received that notice but on top of that, they didn't mention about being to refuse the change/get refunded. Idk if there was confusion about it but I definitely would taken that option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Yswift71 said:

And by the way, at least in my situation, when they changed from Independence to Odyssey, we didn't even received that notice but on top of that, they didn't mention about being to refuse the change/get refunded.

This is absolutely Royal's fault and part of their notoriously bad IT.  I have a TA that is very on top of it, so I always get notified through her about anything, which is a benefit of using one.  Plus they can also explain all of your options and recourse when anything changes.

As for ports, Royal hasn't had a long sailing from Florida yet.  They've only done the short ones so far.  The 7-day cruises are getting ready to start up, so the ports that those first cruises go to (Allure is the first one) should give you an idea of which ones will be a sure thing.  The short cruises and the cruises from the Bahamas have been visiting Cozumel, CocoCay and Nassau consistently.  Royal's sister company, Celebrity, has been visiting St. Maarten and St. Thomas and I think Costa Maya may have gotten ships already as well.  I haven't seen any ships make it to Jamaica or Haiti yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband and I used to live on RC ships full time for about 3 years before Covid hit. We had an awesome time and a fantastic life  traveling all over the world, running around to catch the next flight, next ship...Then Covid hit the world and from one day to the next we found our selves  grounded at our base-camp (aka home), locked up and waiting for this whole nightmare to pass. In my mind I was positive that we will be back on a cruise ship shortly. I kept myself busy with running my own windjammer in our kitchen, the cancellation aftermath, re-booking, new cancellations, moving bookings, changed ships, changed itineraries, keep track of FCCs, refunds, payment dues. Spent hours, days, weeks, months by talking to RC customer reps over the phone.  Meanwhile I kept a close eye on the virus situation around the world. We were determined to return to cruising as soon as possible ,,,if it is safe and enjoyable. We currently have over 30 cruises booked, and we planned to return cruising full time on Aug. 8th Odyssey. However after a long discussion with my husband ( we are young and healthy btw) we decided not to go back to cruising just yet. I follow all the cruise news, kept in touch with some crew members, and of course kept in touch with a few full time cruiser friends who we met during our voyages. At this point and time, cruising for us would not be the same experience yet, it is too complicated taking flights, crossing international borders, restrictions, testing before flights to certain countries etc. I do not want to pretend that everything is normal, just because I can board a cruise ship. We just got an email from one of our friend who went on a cruise for the first time since Covid shut down, and he said the atmosphere is not the same at all. With a heavy heart, I've called Royal and cancelled all of our cruises for August and September. We haven't gone anywhere in the last 15 months because we were just fully focused on reclaiming our cruising lifestyle. We had to change plans and will travel within the US, dry land and follow the cruising industry. If the time is right we will be back. Just follow your gut feelings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Yswift71 said:

So would you happen to have some insight on what major ports would be operational?

Multiple things here.

1. ports are not guaranteed and can change at any moment. We’ve seen ports get canceled for weather, high waves, and medical emergencies. Sure it doesn’t happen often, but that’s the reality of the situation.

2. cruising in 2021 (and probably parts of 2022) will require patience and flexibility.  It’s no secret that cruising is not back to “normal” so no one should expect everything to be smooth sailing (pun intended)

3. Using a good TA is key to a smooth operation.  I like to do a lot of things on my own, but cruising has so many moving pieces that a good TA really makes it easier.

4. I’m all about getting the deal, but then price on Royals site is the price of the cruise. Any deals you are getting from another vendor (TA or website) could have different rules and policies and could affect many things that are out of Royal’s control.  For example, when we used AAA they would not reprice a cruise without charging a fee, but that was their policy not Royal. I’d recommend using MEI Travel who sponsor this site, they’ve been amazing throughout all this.

 

good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are cruising now you're going to have to be very flexible on ships, itineraries, and overall changes of the rules quickly as new Covid variants appear. Only the most flexible people and diehard cruisers could enjoy all these changes to get on a ship to cruise. I love cruising but with all the changes I've found out that I am not as diehard as I thought I was and flexibility is not my thing.  If you can take all the changes, coupled with all the Covid testing, you are truly a flexible person. If this is not you, the experience will drive you crazy.

Just flying to the port is an adventure in of itself. Once you enter the world of the airlines you will truly see the experience is not the same as 2019 and you are at the whims of those in charge and rules change often. Just getting from point A to B on time with nothing occurring is a win. Then you get to the cruise port and it happens all over again. If you are a flexible person and these rules changes don't bother you than I think you'll be OK. If not, cancel and move on to land based drive to your location vacations. As I'm not flexible person I have chosen land based where I can control some of the vacation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm on the October 3 cruise and they have yet to inform me about the change.  In fact, they are still selling it as Ft. Lauderdale, Falmouth, Labadee and Nassau.

However, my cruise planner shows ports on a Western Caribbean itinerary, so it is only a matter of time before everything switches over.

I sympathize with anyone that bought this cruise for the itinerary.  The only solace I can give is that all cruising is in a major state of flux.

We have only two choices: go with the flow or cancel our cruise.  I choose to go with the flow, but it is rather annoying to have this moving target.

I don't blame Royal for this.  They have to deal with a rapidly changing environment.  This is the unfortunate result.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The biggest issue that I have with it is that I compared pricing when I booked this back in Jan. and the original itinerary was priced higher for Jamaica and Grand Cayman vs the Mexican ports. The changes I agree are out of Royals control understandably at times, but to end up paying more for a trip is one of the reason why this got me. I do appreciate everyone's insight on the matter and see y 'all's point about being flexible during these times. I just have a hard time being ok with paying something higher for what I know what the value is based off of Royal's own website. I'm always checking rates (lol literally every week, i have a problem) and really am not at a point to afford a cruise trip at least once year. It definitely just means more a bit to me given those circumstances. I think the most realistic plan is to stay with what I have until a week before. Maybe hope for a hurricane to come by but if not just end up canceling/rebooking to another date.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/29/2021 at 7:14 PM, Blue Waters said:

. We just got an email from one of our friend who went on a cruise for the first time since Covid shut down, and he said the atmosphere is not the same at all. With a heavy heart, I've called Royal and cancelled all of our cruises for August and September. We haven't gone anywhere in the last 15 months because we were just fully focused on reclaiming our cruising lifestyle. We had to change plans and will travel within the US, dry land and follow the cruising industry. If the time is right we will be back. Just follow your gut feelings.


Can you please give more details on what’s different about the atmosphere of the cruises now?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...