biglaketrading
Contributor Level: Purser

Fall/Winter Itinerary change/ Fraud

As one of many who yesterday found out that their Allure of the Seas ship was being diverted from St Thomas to Puerto Rico, you can imagine my disappointment. While itinerary changes are very common (and usually welcome) due to weather, this recent change unfortunately is not the case. 

The current issue that is causing the cruise to change itinerary is mechanical related. Upon discussion with RCCL, the ship is no longer able to reach the speeds necessary to complete the trip in the allotted time. Upon further investigation the ship is also now scheduled to be dry-docked in January to repair these major issues.

As I worked my way through their customer service channels, to find out what my options were, I was met with confused reps who were not aware of the changes. Even worse, were the reps who are poorly trained. When you ask to speak to a supervisor you are told that they do not have to transfer you to anyone and that their word is final, and anyone else I spoke to will say the same thing. That is clearly not good customer service.

I finally reached out to the executive customer service team and was able to get a hold of Keith Oliver. His office number is 800-256-6649 ext 11702. His email is Koliver@rccl.com. He is a very helpful gentleman but his hands are tied on what he is able to do...which is nothing. He acknowledged the current mechanical issues, and he was the one who informed me of the unscheduled dry dock in January to fix the mechanical issues.

After a long winded explanation about the "fine print" on the agreement. I asked him how long the company knew about the issue, and did they purposely wait until the largest amount of customers would be locked into their deposit before telling us. His silence was very telling. In my opinion this is surely fraud as they misrepresented the ships itinerary, knowing in advance that they would not be able to produce a trip accordingly.  

They have made the decision to not offer any compensation to any customers for the remainder of the year for these cruises. So what is our remedy to be made whole after being lied to? We only have one, and quite honestly it is the worst possible remedy any good person would want to partake in, but we are left with no choice. 

Over the last 24 hours I have made contact with over 40 other couples customer scheduled for Allure of the seas cruises though the end of the year. Our goal of being made whole due to their fraud, is very limited. And it effect's the people we care about most on the trip. We are going to withhold all gratuity for the ship. I understand this is not popular. These people work very hard for very little. However, If enough people withhold their entire gratuity for this cruise, RCCL will be forced to cover the difference in order to keep up morale. A company like this will never learn unless you go after their money.  

Under no circumstance should a company be allowed to fraudulent mislead consumers and withhold material information that would alter a potential customers plans. Our only remedy is the money they have not taken from us. Gratuity.  

Instead of gratuities, the group of over 40 couples will be leaving an envelope thanking their staff for the outstanding service, but our ability to leave a tip was taken away by the dishonesty of RCCL. We are also planning on enclosing Keith's name, email, and phone number for them to follow up with. 

And before all the responses come about being cheap, please understand on average I tip 3-4 times the 'prepaid' gratuity price. I just have a real problem with being lied to. While I' sure we will still enjoy our vacation, please join us in sending a message to RCCL the fraud Is not okay and there are repercussions when you mislead to your customers.

Tags: Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Fraud

117 Answers

ctav
Contributor Level: Captain

You said fraud. I didn't see any fraud.

ToddTheCruiser
Contributor Level: Staff Captain

I believe you and I think you're doing the right thing.  

biglaketrading
Contributor Level: Purser

Misrepresenting the condition of a ship in order to secure deposits, when they knowingly will not be able to complete the advertised itinerary would be fraud.

biglaketrading
Contributor Level: Purser

Thanks Todd.  In all honesty is sucks to have to do this as I really value the service teams on board.  They do great work and should be compensated.  But when the company steals from me in that I lose money on excursions that can not be refunded etc, we literally are left with no choice.  

 

When you contact their executive service team and offer to keep the gratuities as they are, and instead refund the equivalent amount from the original fare, and they say no, it's very easy to see they don't care about their employees.

 

So we are left wit no choice. I know its not popular, and its not what I want to do, but it's the right thing to be made whole.

BonMike
Contributor Level: Captain

It would be disappointing, but the cruise contracts specifically say that itineraries may change.

i would never remove the gratuities - the cabin stewards, wait staff etc all work so hard that they earn every penny of the gratuities. It's not their fault that the plans changed, and they still work harder to make sure everyone has the best time possible.

Excursions booked directly through cruiselines are fully refundable, but taking a chance on booking through another company or privately is a risk that people take. 

I hope you and your group will still have a great time and appreciate that you are so fortunate to be able to afford cruising even if the ports are not the ones you planned for. Time to make lemonade out of lemons.

biglaketrading
Contributor Level: Purser

When life throws you melons you may be dyslexic :).

 

We will still have a great time, I'm sure.  If they were honest about the conditions of the ship, the excursions would not have been booked as we would have known we were not going there.  If the ships propellers broke down the week before, no issue and I'll eat the cost.  But this is known issue for a significant amount of time in advance.  Yet they still advertised they were going to these ports when the reality is they knew they were not.  

 

They waited to notify consumers shortly after the 90 day full refund for their largest group of customers over the next 90 days would be impacted.

 

As I mentioned, I offered to leave the gratuities in return for the cruise ship taking the $200 cut out of their end and not their hard working employees.  Guess which one they went with?  Take it out of the crew.

 

What are my other options to be made whole?

Sodapop
Contributor Level: Deck Hand

  One of the ways cruise lines offer affordable prices to passengers is on the backs of those very hardworking people to whom you and your 40 friends are going to withhold their pay. They are still going to change your dirty sheets, scrub your toilet and pick up after you, but for no additional pay. They come from all over the world largely from places where this is considered a great job---but it's hard hard work and if you don't appreciate that---it's no different than stealing. The cruiseline can't refund you something you did not pay them for...that's absurd. Just because the person at RCCI did not have an answer or was silent isn't evidence of anything---you're just assuming it's true---it's like saying "he just LOOKS guilty" or "their silence is an admission of guilt"....I think your anger shouldn't be directed at the people who make a cruise so effortless for you. 

DVCruise
Contributor Level: Captain

Having read more info about this in the news, looks to me like this has Class Action Lawsuit written all over it ... numerous cruises are impacted and numerous people involved ... 

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2017/08/17/allure-of-the-seas-slowed-propulsion-issue

AuntPinkie
Contributor Level: Captain

 

I agree this looks like a better plan and is taking the "high road"!

JCOAKML
Contributor Level: Captain

 

Reading the full story above I wasn't 100% sure what was being said. The brief summaries in your following posts says it very well. The company sold an itinerary that they knew they couldn't do. After getting everyone's money and waiting after the 90 day full refund period they revealed the truth that the ship couldn't complete the trip but they'd do a different one and had no plans to give money back. I agree with DVCruise, need to get lawyers involved. What they've done is flat out wrong . IMO, I don't think withholding gratuities is going to do anything. Need to kick them in the middle of the legs. Withholding gratuities is just a flick on the wrist.

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