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Cheated by Royal Caribbean.....


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I booked a cruise on Royal Caribbean as a gift for my granddaughter's Sweet 16.  I was booking online.  I had a question so I called the company directly while I was online.  My question was answered and the gentleman I was talking to said he could finish the booking for me.  I told him that I was being offered a couple of $50 bonuses while booking online.  He told me it would be the same if he did it for me.  Well, that didn't happen.  I paid in full for the cruise and the gratuities.  I booked excursions for both of us in each port.    I called RC twice and got the run around both times.  The second man I spoke to told me that there probably was a price change while I was talking to the man, on the phone, who was doing the booking for me.  He said they never know when the prices will change.  None of this made sense to me and had nothing to do with my problem.  Today I called the corporate offices and told the same thing to a woman there who went on to discuss it with her supervisor.  I was told that once the cruise is paid for there can not be any credits given. I said it was an error on their part, not mine and she pretty much said tough luck.  So I am out 2 different bonuses and a $200 credit for signing up for a RC Visa card.  This offer was a sales pitch when I was online attempting to book.  It said I would get a $200 credit off the cruise if I applied.   Well, the card only arrived 3 days ago, way too late to book this cruise.  I wasn't able to use this new card when I booked because I had to wait to be approved and didn't have an account number yet.    So, I feel I've been cheated of $300 by RC.   

This is my 5th cruise with RC and sadly, it is my last.  I will also be canceling the credit card as well because it can't be used for the purpose I applied for it in the first place.

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Welcome to the message boards.

I'm sorry you ran into this problem. A couple of suggestions to help you out next time.

First and foremost, do not book a cruise directly with the cruise line. Use a travel agent to avoid these kind of issues. I highly recommend MEI Travel. Simply put, these kind of misunderstandings wouldn't have happened with a good travel agent.

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2020/06/15/top-things-you-didnt-know-travel-agents-can-do-your-cruise-vacation

I can't speak for the $50 bonuses, but to be fair, you are still getting the $200 credit from Visa. You might not be able to use it on this particular sailing, but it will be available to you to redeem for another sailing.

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Sorry you feel misled.  I'll second what Matt said, this would not have happened if you used a TA.  At this point, I can't tell if you received the $50 bonuses or not because you didn't provide what the total cost was going to be had you booked it online vs using the phone process.  That's really the measure of the benefit, what was the full price booking your way vs booking on the phone.  

A quality Travel Agent could have handled all of this for you at no cost and if there were any confusion about what you were offered vs what you received, they would have been able to clarify all of that for you.

Maybe take a breath and wait a week or two and then if you still want to cancel the card and toss the credit, that is certainly your prerogative.

I hope you have a good cruise.

Bill

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I second the recommendation to use a travel agent. I worked with Lauren at MEI to plan and schedule a cruise to celebrate our 35th anniversary. It's our first cruise and there were many things I was still unsure of even after watching Matt's videos for months and reading the blog, which is why I took Matt's advice and contacted MEI. She was amazing. She asked questions to determine what I was hoping to do and put together a number of options and carefully walked me through everything all the way up to completing the booking and completing other travel arrangements.  I am completely sold on using her for future cruises!

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In defense of those who don't always use a TA and go directly through RC...I have never had an issue with customer service and fixing issues. I've either received a refund or got a good resolution to my problem. 

I've found the online prices can be good with certain discounts and promos and sometimes the agent on the phone doesn't align with what you found. 

I would fight with the credit card company if they did not honor the promotion but like someone else said, always read the fine print on these things. 

But if you're canceling everything then I guess good luck to you. 

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I booked my first RC cruise (on Mariner in late November) on the RC website a few months ago.  At the time they had an offer of $200.00 off price of the cruise if you applied for their credit card. According to the website, this "offer" was going to end in a couple of hours.  I got it right then, and my invoice showed that $200.00 was deducted from the price of the cruise.   When I went to pay (after being approved for the credit card you could use it right away to pay for the cruise even without having the card "in hand")  and clicked the link that was supposed to let me use this RC Visa card to pay it suddenly said they were having "technical issues" and to check back later.  I tried a few times over the next hour or so and it was still down, so I ended up using a different card to pay for the cruise and I did not get the $200.00 deduction.   I contacted customer service two different times. Once I was told "there was nothing they could do'. The second time the RC employee I spoke to said they could only help me if I had taken a screen shot of the online offer at the time I made the booking that I could show RC. Nope, I hadn't take a picture of my laptop screen when I booked the cruise! Next I wrote a letter (I can't remember exactly, but I think it was to Royal Caribbean headquarters in Miami, someone in charge of "Customer Service--anyway,, I found the address online)   I explained that I didn't get the deduction due to the fact the website was experiencing technical issues, and by the time the "issues" were fixed the promotion was over.   I never got a reply to my letter, but a couple of weeks after writing I was looking at the statement for the credit card I did end up using and saw that RC had issued a credit/refund to my account.   I had to be persistent, but I got the deduction.   Maybe writing is more effective than phoning if you have a problem ad don't use a TA?

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