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Kids thrown off Anthem!


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Well I'm on my last full day onboard of Anthem OTS and about to go and get tested onboard for our back2back sailing next week...and guest services rang...their land based team informed them that unvaccinated kids cannot do back2back sailings!!!  The land based team told crew that they had already communicated this policy to us.  They hadn't and all onboard with kids doing a back2back were informed this morning that they are being kicked off tomorrow!  I booked the back2back directly with RCL ... appealing behaviour!

But apparently I can take the kids back home, where the covid rate has sky rocketed, let the kids run a higher risk of picking up the virus, and then return a week later, do a PCR test on all passengers and if negative, reboard the ship with the same unvaccinated kids.  But I'm not allowed to get off tomorrow, pop down to the testing centre near the port, take a same day pcr test, and reboard the ship later on in the day as a new passenger.  But turning up next week and doing the same is fine.  BONKERS !!!

We thought we had 2 weeks onboard so had spread out all the activities and were due to do certain activities/shows next week.  If we had known beforehand then we would have at least been able to pack everything into one week.  As it is I'm only being offered refund on next week's cruise and no compensation for this week's cruise!  Very poor behaviour so far ... all I get onboard is "we're so sorry" ...

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I'm paying pretty close attention to this stuff and I've not seen it. First time I've heard about it. If you haven't done this already/exhausted all options on board, I'd fight it up to asking for a sit down with the Guest Services Department Head AND the Chief of Staff (usually a Captain in waiting). Ask them to show proof that this restriction was published and that you were notified. It may not get you anywhere right now but showing a track record of how you handled this on board could be important post cruise. Post cruise, I'd go right up the chain of command and ask for compensation in some form. This, to me, is no small matter. TBC, I rarely complain about anything. I'd be furious about this. 

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I deleted my comment...and vow to keep my opinions to myself from now on. ?

I will stick with reading the blogs and grabbing whatever info I can from them...and enjoy the quick-witted bantering that sometimes goes on.    Did not mean to offend anyone with what I said earlier.  That's not what I stand for!   Thanks...

Edited by PPPJJ-GCVAB
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41 minutes ago, PPPJJ-GCVAB said:

So, I am not sure why compensation would be needed for a cruise fully sailed?  I get that you spaced out your activities but I don't think it ruined your vacation enough to warrant asking for your money back.

Two weeks to empty activities bucket. Sent home after a week with bucket still half full. I would be frustrated too.

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1 hour ago, PPPJJ-GCVAB said:

Please don't crucify me for stating my (and maybe only my) opinion but here goes:

So, I am not sure why compensation would be needed for a cruise fully sailed?  I get that you spaced out your activities but I don't think it ruined your vacation enough to warrant asking for your money back.  Perhaps I am not understanding the situation and I am happy RCG is refunding your $$ for next week's cruise...but thinking you deserve some kind of compensation for a cruise you have enjoyed from beginning to end seems strange to me.

No, this is a fair take. But my consternation over the OP's treatment has noting to do with the two cruises directly (one being fully refunded). That's nice of RCL and comports with their typically generous approach and wish that guests are happy. This isn't a fly in the soup kind of complaint. It is springing a highly disruptive policy on guests that were not informed of it and is probably buried in some 2000 word Health and Safety page and that even the ship's staff appear to have been unaware of.

I don't buy the excuse that RCL is dealing with a lot and can be excused for this kind of error. No they can't. One simple thing for them to have done pre-cruise was recognize the second leg of the B2B involved kids under 12, that policy prevents B2Bs in that circumstance and cancelled the 2nd leg straight way, then refunding the OP in accordance with existing policy to do that...... or and the right thing to do in the now is to advise the OP, as they did for @Matt that we understand you were probably not advised of the new policy welcome aboard. Don't do it again. 

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7 hours ago, JeffB said:

I'm paying pretty close attention to this stuff and I've not seen it. First time I've heard about it. If you haven't done this already/exhausted all options on board, I'd fight it up to asking for a sit down with the Guest Services Department Head AND the Chief of Staff (usually a Captain in waiting). Ask them to show proof that this restriction was published and that you were notified. It may not get you anywhere right now but showing a track record of how you handled this on board could be important post cruise. Post cruise, I'd go right up the chain of command and ask for compensation in some form. This, to me, is no small matter. TBC, I rarely complain about anything. I'd be furious about this. 

I agree 100%.  I would try and get John Heald's assistance team involved, as they seem to be able to resolve some issues by email.  The certainly should have specifically notified you long before boarding, their IT team may not have the best reputation, but this would have been a very simple task.  And if they were not aware of it onboard, how could they expect the passenger to know.  I think this is by far the worst situation of this type I have heard of.

 

I won't change it to try and deny how stupid my memory can be, but that name should be Michael Bayley,

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19 minutes ago, CruiseGus said:

Maybe Matt can point to this information for us.

Sounds like a good blog subject also

I agree.  But if I cannot find it and I am specifically looking for it, the ship didn't know it, how were they supposed to know?  I would also want to see how RCCL claims they notified them.  Why would they notify them and not cancel the kids reservations from the second cruise?

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9 hours ago, 12thman said:

WOW! really sad to read how your vacation has been ruined. Do you know if you are the only ones in this situation? 

Nope there's at least another family onboard in the boat...this will happen on every sailing until the end of the school holidays because the Anthem normally does 2 week itineries out of Southampton, during school holidays. And now they reissued the itineries as 1 week durations.  The number of kids onboard is set to go up week on week, next week due to be 400 kids onboard.

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9 hours ago, Matt said:

Really sorry this happened to you. They pulled this when we had a B2B with unvaccinated kids in June, but we got an exemption since it was a brand new policy and they introduced it at the last minute.

I wonder if the B2B restriction for unvaccinated kids is posted anywhere.

No-one onboard knew about this policy until earlier today.  This is the first sailing that's longer than 4/5 nights and the 1st sailing that's within the UK school summer holidays.

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6 hours ago, JeffB said:

I'm paying pretty close attention to this stuff and I've not seen it. First time I've heard about it. If you haven't done this already/exhausted all options on board, I'd fight it up to asking for a sit down with the Guest Services Department Head AND the Chief of Staff (usually a Captain in waiting). Ask them to show proof that this restriction was published and that you were notified. It may not get you anywhere right now but showing a track record of how you handled this on board could be important post cruise. Post cruise, I'd go right up the chain of command and ask for compensation in some form. This, to me, is no small matter. TBC, I rarely complain about anything. I'd be furious about this. 

I haven't fumed about it as I have been trying to max out the fun for the kids as it turned out to be our last day.

They haven't been able to do much onboard and I couldn't get through to anyone onshore.  Big faceless corporation type of scenario...wondering how I can go up the chain of command as I never get passed the (hopeless) customer service people, rarely get responses from emails either...

I am annoyed as we came onboard expecting to be onboard for 2 weeks, and spaced out what we were planning on doing onboard (ie there is events that we haven't done as we thought we could do next week).  So, I would be interested in compensation for this week's cruise, as well as a refund on next week's (which they can't guarantee until after the weekend).

The onboard staff were left to deliver the news thinking we already knew, and they have their hands tied.

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4 hours ago, MrMarc said:

I agree 100%.  I would try and get John Heald's assistance team involved, as they seem to be able to resolve some issues by email.  The certainly should have specifically notified you long before boarding, their IT team may not have the best reputation, but this would have been a very simple task.  And if they were not aware of it onboard, how could they expect the passenger to know.  I think this is by far the worst situtation of this type I have heard of.

Thanks for the name bomb ... do you have an email address for this John Heald and his team please?

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35 minutes ago, em.down.the.rabbit.hole said:

Thanks for the name bomb ... do you have an email address for this John Heald and his team please?

Wrong name.  Michael Bayley: [email protected]rccl.com I believe I have seen some people get assistance by communicating with him (his team), sure couldn't make things worse.  So sorry for you.

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42 minutes ago, em.down.the.rabbit.hole said:

I booked direct with RCI, so their booking line team doesn't know about it.

I really do love RCCL, but they really are not handling this situation very well.  I've had issues with them before where two different teams gave two totally different answers to the same question.  I understand they are proud of their team structure, but they need to get all their teams on the same team. 

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Facebook and email Michael Bayley ... on it both and will let you know how I get on.

I've got my fingers crossed that the head of guest services succeeds in getting the cruise fare refunded as an onboard credit for my other cruises (I use the spa a lot, spoil the kids, and I'm taking my brother onboard for his 40th and he he likes a drink)...also wanting that to be a 125% refunded credit!  Again, I'll let you know how things develop.

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