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2Beeze

Help needed from RCL veterans

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Cruisers -

I sincerely apologize for the length, it is hard to explain this without fully explaining! But we could use some folks experienced with RCL to help us with this puzzling problem. 

My parents cruised very early, in the 1970’s and sometimes took us with them (wasn’t a ton of fun back then if you were under 30!). As an adult we continued that tradition between major life events and our education. I have cruised most often on Disney, Holland America, and Norwegian. However, I have never personally sailed on RCL... that will change in fall 2018 when we will take our very first RCL cruise on the Allure! We have been super excited as we booked this late to sandwich between or NCL Cruise last June and one booked for next Jan. So I dug in, as I do, to researching excursions, learn about the ship, and try to figure the details after making the purchase only a short time back.

But my excitement is now dropping like a lead ball. First, I had a couple of questions that I had not been able to find the answers and so on two occasions in the last weeks sent a message via “contact us” at the RCL site; while I received the auto reply, there has been nothing since on either.  Then after researching the excursions, I put two in the cart at the NCL site (this was last Monday).  But my husband and both work long hours and he has a long commute as well, so with that and checking on my sister who had surgery that morning, there was not enough time to go over them with my husband before lights out. When we got home from work Tuesday, I went over them with him and went to check out and my cart was empty.  That was not the shop, the shot came when suddenly one excursion had jumped by $10 for both of us and the other had jumped by $22 overnight! In my years cruising I had not come across that before. So, I called RCL - I polite and explained the issue.  

But in response I encountered a young man who was not only rude, but also condescending and mocking. He said there had been a notification that there was a “sale” Sat-Mon and now it was off. I told him that I went in via a page other than the splash page, but on the excursion descriptions / cart items there was *nothing* about the price being a sale price and nothing about it being time limited. While I was exhausted Monday night, we most surely could have managed to stay awake a relatively brief time to save $30+! But I could not have known.  When I told the representative that he said something like “well everyone else saw it, they were calling all weekend, do you think it didn’t show up on your computer alone?” He followed that with a comment that he could “submit a ticket to technical support” to report the lack of the notice/ads on my computer (only, per this rep).  It was pointless, that was clear, so I hung up rather than deal with him longer.

We have spent quite a lot of money on s large suite for this cruise, we really wanted to see what the RCL experience would be compared to the others.  While I definitely did not and do not expect to be treated in any special way, I was stunned to be treated as if I were not even worthy of basic human respect. And the rep was wrong, there were *absolutely no notices* on the two excursions that we wanted - not a single indication that the price was a temporary or a sale price (on either the Amiga Island Experience or the Perla Community volunteer project). FYI - I also had written a message about this situation (my 3rd in 3 weeks) - but given that I have had zero response from the first two, I have to assume there is not anyone reading those that cares much.

Sorry to unload,  but I am so angry. Right now I am so sorry that we booked with RCL. I am 58 years old and since I have worked in mental health for the last 30 of that I have seen and heard quite a lot. Despite that, I was completely taken aback by the attitude and commentary that I heard on the phone call to RCL yesterday.  If anyone has s suggestion as to how I might reach someone at RCL other than this kind of representative I would very much appreciate it.  Maybe RCL really has so much business they don’t care if they lose us as guests, but it is rally beginning to seem that we may end our relationship with RCL before it has even begun. 

 

Thank you.


The Beeze 🙂

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Every now and then you get one of those! I had a crummy experience a week or so ago. Call back and I hope you get someone who is having a better day.

As far as cruise planner, the same thing happened to me TWICE. I tried to buy excursions for our upcoming Mediterranean cruise and waited until the next day to make the purchase and " lo and behold" the total had gone up overnight by about $100.00 total. I purchased them at that price and a few weeks later there was a cruise planner sale so I cancelled and rebooked at the lower price. You can do that too; just keep an eye on the sales.

And here is a strange one: I was going to book Chops Dining for lunch-listed at "$17.00"pp and when I put it in my cart the next day it had gone up to $22.00. I did not know the specialty restaurant prices changed!

I'm sorry about your negative experience. I've been cruising with them since 1997 and I've noticed some changes recently that are bothersome. I hope they manage to rid themselves of the bad apples.

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First I apologize on RCI's behalf, they usually aren't outright rude but occasionally you get someone with a bad day/bad attitude.

Unfortunately though RCI does have some issues (as do all companies and all cruise lines) incredibly poor websites and an obsession with constant, random, unpredictable sales pitches are two of them. If you wait about 10 minutes and check the pricing again, there will probably be a different sale running by then and you might be able to get it cheaper than it was on Monday (almost a serious statement).

I literally cancelled and rebooked my catamaran sailing excursion 4 times in a ten day period earlier this year as the price bounced all over the place ... only to have RCI cancel the excursion entirely shortly before the cruise once all the good alternatives were sold out :(

Fortunately or Unfortunately (depending on whether you own stock or work for the company) the demand for cruises is very strong and frankly I do think there is some truth to your statement that RCI (and others) really don't care if they lose a guest at the moment ... the line of "new" guests is long.

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SORRY to hear about the RUDE rep you encountered. We have had that happen to us on several occasions.  We have found between the hrs. of 9-5 weekdays you will get the most polite and knowledgeable people.  And all of the comments in this post are correct.  We constantly book and re book excursions, drink pkgs.,etc.   Their is another sale going on now as well. Also it never hurts to ask for a supervisor.  If you don`t use a travel agent you may want to consider one.  An excellent company is MEI.  They can work a lot of magic in resolving issues better than most of us. There is also the option of doing non RC excursions which we do quite often.  Look on trip adviser and cruise critic for ideas.  WELCOME to the blog and to Royal Caribbean.  Hoping you have  a great cruise.

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7 hours ago, 2Beeze said:

Cruisers -

I sincerely apologize for the length, it is hard to explain this without fully explaining! But we could use some folks experienced with RCL to help us with this puzzling problem. 

My parents cruised very early, in the 1970’s and sometimes took us with them (wasn’t a ton of fun back then if you were under 30!). As an adult we continued that tradition between major life events and our education. I have cruised most often on Disney, Holland America, and Norwegian. However, I have never personally sailed on RCL... that will change in fall 2018 when we will take our very first RCL cruise on the Allure! We have been super excited as we booked this late to sandwich between or NCL Cruise last June and one booked for next Jan. So I dug in, as I do, to researching excursions, learn about the ship, and try to figure the details after making the purchase only a short time back.

But my excitement is now dropping like a lead ball. First, I had a couple of questions that I had not been able to find the answers and so on two occasions in the last weeks sent a message via “contact us” at the RCL site; while I received the auto reply, there has been nothing since on either.  Then after researching the excursions, I put two in the cart at the NCL site (this was last Monday).  But my husband and both work long hours and he has a long commute as well, so with that and checking on my sister who had surgery that morning, there was not enough time to go over them with my husband before lights out. When we got home from work Tuesday, I went over them with him and went to check out and my cart was empty.  That was not the shop, the shot came when suddenly one excursion had jumped by $10 for both of us and the other had jumped by $22 overnight! In my years cruising I had not come across that before. So, I called RCL - I polite and explained the issue.  

But in response I encountered a young man who was not only rude, but also condescending and mocking. He said there had been a notification that there was a “sale” Sat-Mon and now it was off. I told him that I went in via a page other than the splash page, but on the excursion descriptions / cart items there was *nothing* about the price being a sale price and nothing about it being time limited. While I was exhausted Monday night, we most surely could have managed to stay awake a relatively brief time to save $30+! But I could not have known.  When I told the representative that he said something like “well everyone else saw it, they were calling all weekend, do you think it didn’t show up on your computer alone?” He followed that with a comment that he could “submit a ticket to technical support” to report the lack of the notice/ads on my computer (only, per this rep).  It was pointless, that was clear, so I hung up rather than deal with him longer.

We have spent quite a lot of money on s large suite for this cruise, we really wanted to see what the RCL experience would be compared to the others.  While I definitely did not and do not expect to be treated in any special way, I was stunned to be treated as if I were not even worthy of basic human respect. And the rep was wrong, there were *absolutely no notices* on the two excursions that we wanted - not a single indication that the price was a temporary or a sale price (on either the Amiga Island Experience or the Perla Community volunteer project). FYI - I also had written a message about this situation (my 3rd in 3 weeks) - but given that I have had zero response from the first two, I have to assume there is not anyone reading those that cares much.

Sorry to unload,  but I am so angry. Right now I am so sorry that we booked with RCL. I am 58 years old and since I have worked in mental health for the last 30 of that I have seen and heard quite a lot. Despite that, I was completely taken aback by the attitude and commentary that I heard on the phone call to RCL yesterday.  If anyone has s suggestion as to how I might reach someone at RCL other than this kind of representative I would very much appreciate it.  Maybe RCL really has so much business they don’t care if they lose us as guests, but it is rally beginning to seem that we may end our relationship with RCL before it has even begun. 

 

Thank you.


The Beeze 🙂

The first thing I would suggest is letting a TA handle that stuff. That’s why they’re there. I suggest MEI Travel, a sponsor of this blog, and a terrific agency. I never, ever, ever talk to RC on the phone. 

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Tim and Michael - I really do appreciate the tip! But since I have already booked the cruise through an online “agent” I believe that option is out 😕 As a business owner myself, I would be furious if employees were losing customers for no reason. But it is easy for something like this to turn into someone’s decision “on principle” and it may turn into that for me. I will enjoy this Owner’s Suite and then probably just not return.  It should be possible to deal with the actual employees of RCL,  but I guess you are saying in your experience that isn’t true? Kind of makes me moving on even more likely. Bummer, really 

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Bob, thanks for your comment (I’m going from bottom to top clearly LOL). In the past I have booked myself most often, but actually when through an larger online broker this time since we booked super late and the room we wanted seemed only to be on that site. Could you tell me my options once someone has booked via s 3rd party, if any? I ran into the same kind of issue with them too to a lesser degree (more disinterested and not helpful rather than outright rude). 

Related - I noticed on your blog the new sale. I am not sure it would apply to us, as in the end it wasn’t quite clear the discount she used (I think military, although I believe the 55+ and GA residence were the same?). I know I should call, but the next time I encounter smart mouth he is going to hear words he doesn’t know southern belles know and possibly some he has never heard! 😏 But is it even worth calling if there are no rooms like the one we have remainding??

Actually, I did book the st. Maarten tour independently with Eagle,  but the two we wanted were necessarily via RCL (one the amiga snorkeling at Labadee and the 2nd a volunteer project in Puerto Rico (didn’t see anything remotely like those anywhere else). 

The Beeze

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Mljstr - that is insane on the Chops issue. It’s the kind of thing that makes me leary!


jticarruthers - wow, that’s amazing there was that kind of change! But as to them not caring, maybe they do not but word of mouth matters in every business. I love the Haven on the Norwegian and could stay I definitely with them, but I did want to at least try RCL. But I also don’t want someone who doesn’t want me, man or cruiseline LOL

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I think what many are saying is that Cruise planner prices fluctuate wildly.  Unfortunately, there is no predicting when a sale will happen, and when it does happen, there is always a time limit on it.  Usually, it's a weekend sale.  On some browers, a banner up top is visible with a countdown clock.  On other browsers, it doesn't come up.  It is true that some RC agents are better than others on the phone.  I can sympathize with you as I have had my share of annoying ones to deal with over the years.  Although not much can probably be done at this point, a tip for the future that many of us do is to go ahead and purchase on the cruise planner (even if there's not a sale) and then watch it.  Or in your specific case, you could have purchased your excursion, then discussed with family, and then cancelled if you decided against it.  You are able to re-price or even cancel (without penalty) up to 3 days prior to sailing.  When is your sail date?  Cruise planner sales pop up every few weeks or so.  Keep checking back.  There will likely be one for Labour Day....Don't let this ruin your vacation...you're in an owner's suite...that alone is really exciting!

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14 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Cruise planner sales pop up every few weeks or so.  Keep checking back.  There will likely be one for Labour Day

Great point! Odds are there will be a sale and the price will revert back to what you saw earlier.

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3 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I think what many are saying is that Cruise planner prices fluctuate wildly.  Unfortunately, there is no predicting when a sale will happen, and when it does happen, there is always a time limit on it.  Usually, it's a weekend sale.  On some browers, a banner up top is visible with a countdown clock.  On other browsers, it doesn't come up.  It is true that some RC agents are better than others on the phone.  I can sympathize with you as I have had my share of annoying ones to deal with over the years.  Although not much can probably be done at this point, a tip for the future that many of us do is to go ahead and purchase on the cruise planner (even if there's not a sale) and then watch it.  Or in your specific case, you could have purchased your excursion, then discussed with family, and then cancelled if you decided against it.  You are able to re-price or even cancel (without penalty) up to 3 days prior to sailing.  When is your sail date?  Cruise planner sales pop up every few weeks or so.  Keep checking back.  There will likely be one for Labour Day....Don't let this ruin your vacation...you're in an owner's suite...that alone is really exciting!

You know, not a single mention of a sale showed up on my iPad or my computer with Firefox. I can see some current prices in red that state it is a sale price, but no such warning existed on the two I was booking. Come to think about it, I do not believe that the little worm (I mean representative 😉 ) even asked which ones had changed prices. But I am now aware that the price for RCL changes often and may show in a different way on another device. 

It was just easier and time saving (given our current life schedule) to not waste time purchasing and then undoing it days later since at that point it did not for a moment occur to me the price would change in the blink of an eye! That’s worse than Macy’s 😂

We sail October 14. We had already booked the Haven 2br with my sister in tow for Jan 19’, but then decided we could squeeze another in! My husband served 30 years in the USMC and spent a lot of years “roughing it.” We married 14 years ago and the first cruise we did we had a nice suite, but then upgraded shortly before to their top suite - Major hubby has decided he likes traveling that way (and is especially in love with big verandas!). 😁 I’m pretty good at getting a deal, so that helps some. But it’s easy to get spoiled.

Matt and Everyone - thanks so much for your help, I have to say I found these responses to be much more helpful and much nicer than so many boards. I really appreciate it very much! And Bob, I would be interested in knowing more ....

And I will surely check back on the pricing of the excursions! But then maybe just going to Labadee is enough without an extra $140 excursion anyway... 👍🏻

The Beeze

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@2Beeze another thing I forgot to mention is that @Matt will always give notice of cruise planner sales and the duration on the main page here. Not this message boards section but the actual royalcaribbeanblog.com page. Also, if you are on FB, Matt will post on his FB page too (also called Royal Caribbean Blog on FB). 

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13 hours ago, 2Beeze said:

Tim and Michael - I really do appreciate the tip! But since I have already booked the cruise through an online “agent” I believe that option is out 😕 As a business owner myself, I would be furious if employees were losing customers for no reason. But it is easy for something like this to turn into someone’s decision “on principle” and it may turn into that for me. I will enjoy this Owner’s Suite and then probably just not return.  It should be possible to deal with the actual employees of RCL,  but I guess you are saying in your experience that isn’t true? Kind of makes me moving on even more likely. Bummer, really 

I could be wrong, but I think if you ask an agent to take over your reservation they can 

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1 hour ago, Michael Vitale said:

I could be wrong, but I think if you ask an agent to take over your reservation they can 

Assuming it's within 60 days of the initial reservation, yes

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1 hour ago, Matt said:

Assuming it's within 60 days of the initial reservation, yes

Hi Matt - so can a reservation made through an online seller be transferred without it effecting the original, particularly the perks they may be from that initial seller? I have zero need to use mass sellers, my parents always used an agent, but the last two times I reached out to an agent they could not get close to what the skymiles, etc resellers were offering (e.g., prepaid gratuities, onboard credits). I would MUCH prefer to use an agent, without a doubt! I have not been able to find great answers to those questions before, but apples to apples I would love to transfer!

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2 hours ago, 2Beeze said:

Hi Matt - so can a reservation made through an online seller be transferred without it effecting the original, particularly the perks they may be from that initial seller? I have zero need to use mass sellers, my parents always used an agent, but the last two times I reached out to an agent they could not get close to what the skymiles, etc resellers were offering (e.g., prepaid gratuities, onboard credits). I would MUCH prefer to use an agent, without a doubt! I have not been able to find great answers to those questions before, but apples to apples I would love to transfer!

If you booked with an online site, it's still technically a travel agent.  You can, however, have the original booking site release the reservation back to RC and then transfer the reservation to a new TA.

To get the release from the original TA, you have to have them okay it.  Not usually a problem, but it can be awkward.

http://www.royalcaribbean.com/content/en_US/pdf/TA_TransferForm.pdf

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8 hours ago, Matt said:

If you booked with an online site, it's still technically a travel agent.  You can, however, have the original booking site release the reservation back to RC and then transfer the reservation to a new TA.

To get the release from the original TA, you have to have them okay it.  Not usually a problem, but it can be awkward.

http://www.royalcaribbean.com/content/en_US/pdf/TA_TransferForm.pdf

@Matt Eeks... well I wrote a PM out and then got the message “Matt can’t receive messages”. Story of my month 😆 

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On 8/3/2018 at 2:17 PM, 2Beeze said:

@Matt Eeks... well I wrote a PM out and then got the message “Matt can’t receive messages”. Story of my month 😆 

Sorry about that. You can always email me matt@royalcaribbeanblog.com

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