Jump to content

Mad at Royal Caribbean-- charged without consent and overcharged.


Recommended Posts

I went on a cruise with a family member and he was able to buy a drink package for me, without me even agreeing for it. I don't understand why they would allow him to make a purchase for me without asking me if I was ok with it. My credit card was charged (He bought the wrong drink package for me, I needed the less expensive one for water and soda).  Also, after looking at my final bill, I saw a $15 charge for "beverages" dining room. I just drank water! Do you think Royal Caribbean guest services will be able to help me? This was my first cruise. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Were you both in same cabin? If so, I would be mad at Family member not Royal.

The deluxe beverage Pkg requires ALL Adults in same cabin to purchase. If one does not drink alcohol you can call Royal and get the refreshment package (pre-cruise).

Were any "premium drinks or wine ordered by somebody at the table. Even with the deluxe beverage Pkg you will be charged the difference for drinks exceeding $13.00.

Hope you can get it resolved.  This forum is a great place to garner info so your Next Royal cruise will be more enjoyable

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When 2 adults are in the same room (same reservation number) and one purchases the deluxe drink pkg…the other adult also must purchase that pkg unless you call Royal to request a refreshment pkg.  Did you ever look at your Royal app or the cruise planner?  You probably would have noticed.  Also not sure why your family member used your charge card only for your pkg because typically one reservation uses one credit card.  Now…If you were in 2 different rooms then perhaps the family member linked both reservations in order to make purchases for both rooms.  In that case…you really should have paid more attention before the cruise to what you had already purchased.  Not saying your family member is in the “right” here but communication is key when you are traveling with others.  
Seems odd that you would have completed your cruise without ever knowing you had the drink pkg.  It is listed right on your sea pass!

No clue what that $15 charge was for.

Very sorry you encountered this but I would not blame Royal for this!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Were you both in same cabin? If so, I would be mad at Family member not Royal."

Yes

"The deluxe beverage Pkg requires ALL Adults in same cabin to purchase. If one does not drink alcohol you can call Royal and get the refreshment package (pre-cruise)."

He bought the alcoholic package and he bought me the REFRESHMENT PACKAGE

EDIT: I guess I was forced to also have the deluxe package because it also includes non-alcoholic drinks, which he said I could have

"Were any "premium drinks or wine ordered by somebody at the table. Even with the deluxe beverage Pkg you will be charged the difference for drinks exceeding $13.00."

He ordered a few alcoholic drinks and I just had water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When 2 adults are in the same room (same reservation number) and one purchases the deluxe drink pkg…the other adult also must purchase that pkg unless you call Royal to request a refreshment pkg.  Did you ever look at your Royal app or the cruise planner?  You probably would have noticed.  Also not sure why your family member used your charge card only for your pkg because typically one reservation uses one credit card.  Now…If you were in 2 different rooms then perhaps the family member linked both reservations in order to make purchases for both rooms.  In that case…you really should have paid more attention before the cruise to what you had already purchased.  Not saying your family member is in the “right” here but communication is key when you are traveling with others.  
Seems odd that you would have completed your cruise without ever knowing you had the drink pkg.  It is listed right on your sea pass!

No clue what that $15 charge was for.

Very sorry you encountered this but I would not blame Royal for this!

 

He told me with the drink package that he purchased for me that I could get non alcoholic drinks. He also gave me a sticker to put on my sea pass which says "Royal Replenish." He commented that he was able to get 50% off his package when he also purchased mine (I was charged BEVERAGE PACKAGE 120.36).  The cruise was 4/15- 4/18.  I didn't have internet on the cruise and I didn't realize they had a cheaper drink package. I saw everyone had cups, so I assumed I needed a package for refills? Could I have brought a water bottle from home and kept filling it up with soda?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wont help you now, but in the future two recommendations:

1. Always dispute billing discrepancies onboard the ship. As you are about to discover, once the cruise is over, it's difficult for the shoreside team to quickly and easily look and resolve onboard spending.  Get billing problems solved before you leave the ship.

2. Look at your bill before the cruise ends. You can go to Guest Service at any time and ask for a copy of the bill.  On many ships, you can also review it on the Royal Caribbean app. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was charged the amount on my final invoice but my online banking also shows two pending charges of $43.50 and $15.34, getting really annoyed.  I had dinner 2 nights at the fancy restaurants, so I assume I'm going to be charged $15 again for water and the alcoholic drinks my family member ordered? The $43.50 looks like it is another gratuity fee even though I already paid for it

4/16 SERVICES ONBOARD GRATUITIES 14.50

4/16 SERVICES ONBOARD GRATUITIES 14.50

4/16 SERVICES ONBOARD GRATUITIES 14.50

= $43.50

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, mrcrab2022 said:

He told me with the drink package that he purchased for me that I could get non alcoholic drinks. He also gave me a sticker to put on my sea pass which says "Royal Replenish." He commented that he was able to get 50% off his package when he also purchased mine (I was charged BEVERAGE PACKAGE 120.36).  The cruise was 4/15- 4/18.  I didn't have internet on the cruise and I didn't realize they had a cheaper drink package. I saw everyone had cups, so I assumed I needed a package for refills? Could I have brought a water bottle from home and kept filling it up with soda?

You cannot purchase a deluxe beverage package with a soda package. This is the combo my wife and I need but when buying a deluxe package the other must purchase a refreshment package. I am not sure the logic behind this but they made this change around 5 years ago.

You cannot refill a water bottle with soda because 1) the refilable cups have a chip in them which activates the freestyle machine and 2) well that would essentially be stealing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 3 separate authorizations for gratuities that you noted above should have been included in your final invoice from the ship.  They should fall off of your account in a few days.  If they turn into actual charges to your card account, call Royal to have them reversed.

Royal had about 8 authorizations run on my card in various amounts during my last cruise.  A single charge for the final invoice posted to my charge card and the other authorizations took about a week to fall off.  Nothing nefarious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, mrcrab2022 said:

4/16 SERVICES ONBOARD GRATUITIES 14.50

4/16 SERVICES ONBOARD GRATUITIES 14.50

4/16 SERVICES ONBOARD GRATUITIES 14.50

= $43.50

These look like the standard gratuities that automatically get added to each guest's sea pass. Below is from my upcoming 3-day cruise confirmation. I always have my TA pre-pay these, so I do see the $43.50 already on my confirmation. Also see: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/onboard-service-gratuity-expense.

image.thumb.png.7fb95b642c1a0b68ad778397a7a0b5bf.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, mrcrab2022 said:

Very sorry you encountered this but I would not blame Royal for this!

 

He told me with the drink package that he purchased for me that I could get non alcoholic drinks. He also gave me a sticker to put on my sea pass which says "Royal Replenish." He commented that he was able to get 50% off his package when he also purchased mine (I was charged BEVERAGE PACKAGE 120.36).  The cruise was 4/15- 4/18.  I didn't have internet on the cruise and I didn't realize they had a cheaper drink package. I saw everyone had cups, so I assumed I needed a package for refills? Could I have brought a water bottle from home and kept filling it up with soda?

Seems by that price you noted he did indeed purchase only the refreshment pkg for you.  Never heard of a sticker noting Royal Replenish???  Not sure what ship you were on but typically and lately the alcoholic drink pkg runs at least $60/day which would have been more than double your charge of $120.36.  If you had a wine or drink with dinner one night that would likely be the $15 charge.  Refreshment pkg (which is any drink but alcoholic) runs between $20 and $28/night so absolutely would equal that charge because they add 18% gratuities to all pkgs.  Several of the drink pkgs come with a refillable cup for soda but bringing a cup from home will not work.

If this was your first ever Royal cruise…and you plan to cruise again with them…be sure to join the Crown & Anchor Society to begin accruing points.  I do hope your next cruise goes better for you which I believe it will since you have found this wonderful forum message board full of ideas, recommendations, and information!  Best of luck…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, mrcrab2022 said:

I was charged the amount on my final invoice but my online banking also shows two pending charges of $43.50 and $15.34, getting really annoyed.  I had dinner 2 nights at the fancy restaurants, so I assume I'm going to be charged $15 again for water and the alcoholic drinks my family member ordered? The $43.50 looks like it is another gratuity fee even though I already paid for it

4/16 SERVICES ONBOARD GRATUITIES 14.50

4/16 SERVICES ONBOARD GRATUITIES 14.50

4/16 SERVICES ONBOARD GRATUITIES 14.50

= $43.50

Echoing what another person was saying about the standard room gratuities which are per person, per day. If you don't prepay gratuities, these will be added to your final bill.

There are also gratuities baked into the beverage packages that, since it sounds like you guys purchased the package on board, may not have processed at the time of initial payment.

 

A tip for the future: check your bill daily during your cruise. You can easily access it via the free Royal Caribbean app or on your stateroom TV. This will have an almost immediate record of all of your charges so you can keep an eye on what you're getting charged. You will probably also get a print out on the last day of your charges up to that point, giving you another chance to go to guest services and get things straightened out onboard.

Also, if you have other adults sailing with you, be sure that they each link their own form of payment to their sea pass. Then you don't end up eating someone else's charge.

 

Sorry this confusion happened; hopefully you can get things straightened out and you are armed with this lesson for you next adventure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Matt said:

Wont help you now, but in the future two recommendations:

1. Always dispute billing discrepancies onboard the ship. As you are about to discover, once the cruise is over, it's difficult for the shoreside team to quickly and easily look and resolve onboard spending.  Get billing problems solved before you leave the ship.

2. Look at your bill before the cruise ends. You can go to Guest Service at any time and ask for a copy of the bill.  On many ships, you can also review it on the Royal Caribbean app. 

This is solid advice. I always seem to notice the charges made in error AFTER we get home and there’s really not much that can be done unless you use Amex. I have had some success with removing $1000 for a cabana that was never rented, multiple towels from the pool and also a Royal Up that was never initiated (go figure). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, mrcrab2022 said:

If I have to end up paying $43.50 x 2 for gratuities, I'll never use Royal Caribbean again. I got my own food (buffet) and I got my own refills (drink stations) most of the time on the boat. 

Maybe cruising isn't for you. Gratuities are normal for most cruise lines, they're either baked into your bill or you pay onboard. Someone cleaned your room, gave you towels, made your bed, cleaned the ship...this is for them. For the buffets, someone cooked that food and someone else refilled that food and kept everything clean. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, mrcrab2022 said:

If I have to end up paying $43.50 x 2 for gratuities, I'll never use Royal Caribbean again. I got my own food (buffet) and I got my own refills (drink stations) most of the time on the boat. 

Its not just Royal Caribbean that charges these gratuities its every cruise line. You should of done more research before you went on the cruise to find out about all charges and practices cruise lines have. Sounds like based on how you feel cruising in general isn't for you. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, mrcrab2022 said:

If I have to end up paying $43.50 x 2 for gratuities, I'll never use Royal Caribbean again. I got my own food (buffet) and I got my own refills (drink stations) most of the time on the boat. 

That gratuity is shared among many levels.  Do you leave your dishes in the WJ at your table? No, well that person cleaning up after you is part of the gratuity you refuse to pay. 

  Are you washing them?  No.

Taking out the trash you make and leave at the WJ? No

At the pool  do you always bring your drink and never go to the bars even to get a glass of water? The bar staff is responsible for filling the water container at the bar.  Do you say no to the wait staff when they walk around picking up empty glasses, but instead do it yourself? Again, do you empty the trash on the pool deck where you tossed your trash?

Are you making your bed daily, and replenishing your towels, toilet paper, etc?  No.  

Do you eat at the MDR for lunch or dinner?  Would you not tip your waiter at Applebees? So why not them?  Your tip at Applebees is like on the ship...a waiter/waitress in the food business shares it with the person clearing your dishes.

People do not understand that the gratuity you pay includes not only food but cabin attendants.

You may say RCCL should pay their staff more. Sure, but the fact and reality is this is a common practice among their industry.  

My husband and I worked through college in the food and beverage industry.  I get not tipping for poor service, but anyone that has worked in the industry knows they live by tips since they are not paid min wage.

I am totally opposite than you.  I respect your opinion, but disagree with it.  We are like many and tip personally certain staff on top of our tips added via RCCL.  For example, we tip about 100 to our cabin attendants for  7 nights. Day 1 we ask for pillow toppers if we are below a suite.  They have made the bed and now have to remake it again . I request due to a knee issue that I need 2 more pillows.  They have to get them.  They went out of their way to make me happy, impo they deserve a reward. 

We tip our MDR staff at the last night we eat in there , we do specialty so we're not in there every night.  However, when we show up they immediately remember our bevs. and ask if we would like that again.  

Finally, look at the hours the wait staff works.  If you only eat in the WJ for all of your meals you probably don't know that the wait staff picking up your dishes also work in the MDR on sea days for lunch and dinner.  When you hit Coco Cay or Labadee  before you get to debark you'll see staff leaving.  They will be your bartenders, wait staff at their private island.  They will than return to the ship and start their shift that night.   

These are people that live on the ship for 9 months in cramped quarters and long hrs.  Yes, they chose this life, but many do it to support their family. They work probably 12 hrs a day.  In essence for your tip, it equals to a dollar or 2 per hour. I don't know how  anyone

Done with my rant and only hope you see 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Pima1988 said:

That gratuity is shared among many levels.  Do you leave your dishes in the WJ at your table? No, well that person cleaning up after you is part of the gratuity you refuse to pay. 

  Are you washing them?  No.

As extensive and accurate as your response is, I'm guessing the OP won't read it. Seems they just like to complain and deflect their lack of research onto others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, mrcrab2022 said:

Well then, don't give me a final invoice and add extra charges to my credit card days afterwards. 

Getting an invoice doesn't mean they won't put further charges. It's just telling you what the final bill will ultimately be. They may simply not have gone through yet before you got off the ship. If you look at the invoice and see extra charges that aren't there on the invoice, then by all means contact Royal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So did you prepay gratuities with your cruise fare?  Unless you specifically requested this, each days gratuities (14.50) are added to your final room charge.  You can look at your precruise bill (or check with that family member!) to see if you have the prepaid gratuities listed there.  If not, you are charged on board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update: The $15 beverage that I was charged on my final guest statement will be refunded back to me (They made a mistake and said I had wine). The Royal Caribbean person that I spoke to told me the extra $15 and $43 charges to my credit card after the cruise will drop off.  They are shown as pending. So now I am feeling a lot better. I'll keep an eye on my online banking.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, mrcrab2022 said:

Update: The $15 beverage that I was charged on my final guest statement will be refunded back to me (They made a mistake and said I had wine). The Royal Caribbean person that I spoke to told me the extra $15 and $43 charges to my credit card after the cruise will drop off.  They are shown as pending. So now I am feeling a lot better. I'll keep an eye on my online banking.   

To the highlighted point, credit AND DEBIT cards will be pre-authorized when you board, and then every so often as charges accumulate that exceed the pre-authorization amount. These will show as pending and usually drop off no later than 5-7 business days after a cruise (the delay is almost always the bank). The app for my credit card shows PENDING if the transaction is pending but will show as a charge towards my limit. 

I know a lot of experienced cruises are aware of this, but since there are a lot of new to cruising people joining the message boards, this is invaluable information.

A couple of tips (from my own experience cruising and from my hotel career) for the financial end of things.

1) NEVER EVER EVER use a DEBIT card at check in. If that is all you have, use CASH. Debit card authorization will hold money on your checking account and can (and has had) very bad outcomes and RC is not at fault. 

2) As mentioned previously, monitor your charges, whether through the RC App or on the In-Room menu where you can see account charges. You can even go to Guest Services at any time and get a printout of your charges, and/or pay them down. I personally keep my receipts and make sure the charges/tips are correctly posted to the account and then dispose of the receipts at the end of the cruise. If you see an issue, resolve it immediately on board! Saves issues post cruise.

3) If there is an issue, CALMLY & POLITELY discuss it with the staff member (wait staff, guest services, etc.), if that doesn't work, CALMLY & POLITELY escalate it to the supervisor/manager. If you're calm with them, they're more apt to find a resolution to the issue as they want to make it as right as they can. If you yell/scream, et al. at them (not saying anyone did, j/s), why would they want to help you? (i.e., treat them, as you would want to be treated in their position/situation.)

4) Know what you're buying. Royal is a business, and they assume when you order something, you know what's up. I got hit on this pre-pandemic and ordered a glass of wine that the waiter recommended but wasn't something covered by the drink package, and I ASSUMED it was on the drink package list. I had a very big shock when the bill came as I was charged for the bottle. If you're not sure, especially when it comes to what is covered under a package, ASK. They will help you and save you from stress. 

(Side note, ship staff are FAR more helpful/knowledgeable than shoreside (call center) staff. Most SHORESIDE staff probably haven't ever been on a cruise so keep that in mind as well.)

Just some helpful advice to all the new (and experienced if you didn't know) cruisers. 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/20/2022 at 10:35 AM, Matt said:

Wont help you now, but in the future two recommendations:

1. Always dispute billing discrepancies onboard the ship. As you are about to discover, once the cruise is over, it's difficult for the shoreside team to quickly and easily look and resolve onboard spending.  Get billing problems solved before you leave the ship.

2. Look at your bill before the cruise ends. You can go to Guest Service at any time and ask for a copy of the bill.  On many ships, you can also review it on the Royal Caribbean app. 

@mrcrab2022 Definitely good advice above from Matt. On a November sailing we had 4 different $2 charges from the Solarium Bar. One problem - we did not use the Solarium Bar (and 2 charges were made at times that we were not even on the ship). Mistakes do happen, whether incorrect charges or failures to provide a refund (the latter happened on Symphony last week). Thankfully this was a relatively cheap lesson for you, but it makes sense to check the account on the cabin TV mid through the cruise and then early and later on the last day to check the accuracy (it is FAR easier to deal with mistakes onboard at guest services than through “customer service” later).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recently returned from a cruise and noticed the charge equaling our statement amount but there was an additional charge pending for a strange sum. Couple days later the pending charge dropped off.

Coming back in September after Covid the numbers were small. On the Symphony we only had 1600. Room stewards, wait staff, all those in service had far fewer opps for their tip income so we felt compelled to up our game and gladly did so. Like some have mentioned here we generally tip additional to our direct contacts, our room attendant, MDR waitstaff, specialty etc. and since we get some free drinks as part of our C&A status we carry a good amount of small bills to tip along the way.

Bottom line in the U.S. is simple, the maids cleaning your hotel room, waitstaff in restaurants, shuttle drivers at the airport and hotels and other similar service workers, are underpaid and tips are vital to their comp. 

Now...does anyone know exactly how they divide out the daily tip charge around the ship? Would like to see how that 29 per day we had recently gets distributed.

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...