July 2014 - Seven Seas Navigator to Alaska
1ST CHAPTER: INCOMPETENCE & RUDENESS : To celebrate our anniversary ,my wife and I decided to splurge on an Alaskan cruise with the Regent cruise line.
We also purchased the airline tickets and the land package ( 1 night hotel stay and transportation from the airport to the hotel etc)
As the time for departure approached and we still had not received the information about the land package,we had to call Regent. They discovered that they had forgotten ! to book the package and the hotel stay , and promised to get on it and will call us back " the next day". They did not. We had to call them several times. Their excuse was that they were allowed to communicate with their hotel department in Florida only via e- mail ! and had not gotten a response yet. Finally several days and phone calls later! we were assured that everything was taken care of. To be on the safe side , we sent them a short and sweet e- mail asking them to confirm this in writing. Then all hell broke loose . We got very quickly a phone call from a Ms P.H. Everything about her long tirade was haughty ,condescending , and sarcastic : why would we doubt Regent ?; have we not read page 5 ,paragraph 4? ( we had); didn't we see the land package info ? ( we had not as they forgot to include it );and on and on. Mercifully the tirade ended but only after my wife offered to take a picture of that page and send it to her as a proof we are not lonely people calling to chit-chat, or the proverbial customers from hell with time on our hands.
Forward 3 days later , and we landed at the Anchorage airport.We proceeded to the Marriott only to discover that we had no on-site greeter, no welcome letter for information or instructions and no luggage ! Apparently since Regent was so late trying to book us a hotel, they were forced to put us at the Marriott while the rest of their clients were all lodged at the Hilton. They simply forgot to inform their tour operator ! So we had to go to the Hilton to retrieve our luggage.Apologies were given and accepted and we returned to the Marriott. We thought our problems were finally over,until the next morning when we went for breakfast only to discover that our breakfast voucher was for one person only!
2ND CHAPTER : FINALLY IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES; OR HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE THE CRUISE BUT STILL HATE THE PROCESS : Now finally the great news : the cruise itself was a dream! The ship was extremely clean, well-maintained and well- organized.The accommodations were superb ( get a balcony if you can afford it ). The entire ship crew was extremely friendly and professional. The food was outstanding. Everything was above reproach.A simply amazing and delightful experience.Nothing short of spectacular !
3RD CHAPTER : A HUMBLE REQUEST TO REGENT: 1) Please stop sending me ads and e-mails about your various upcoming cruises : my wonderful experience on the Navigator has not yet completely erased the bad taste in my mouth from the distasteful repulsive attitude of most of your phone representatives at headquarters . 2) Think of assigning few of your delightful ship crew personnel to headquarters : they have a thing or two to teach some of your customer service personnel about friendliness , respect and professionalism.