The Voyage of a Lifetime that Never Happened!

Legend of the Seas Cruise Review to Transatlantic
Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 0

Overall Rating:

1 out of 5
Legend of the Seas

14 Night Transatlantic Eastbound (Santo Domingo To Rome)

Sail Date: March 30, 2008

Ship: Legend of the Seas

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review Summary

I had the unfortunate experience of reserving two cabins for April 2008 travel on Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas transatlantic cruise from Santo Domingo to Rome, but due to circumstances within Royal Caribbean’s control we did not go on the voyage. The reason my family and I selected the Legend cruise over others offered by Celebrity, Norwegian, and Carnival was that its destinations included the two Moroccan ports of Agadir and Casablanca. These ports are considered by most travel sites – including RCL – to be exotic and mysterious, and are what set this cruise apart from the others! Our transatlantic voyage on the Legend was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, my wife, and our two daughters ages 24 and 22. My wife had time off in April, our older daughter had accumulated sufficient vacation time with her employer, and our younger daughter who graduated from university in December was not starting her career until July. The cruise was a perfect fit for our grown daughters to accompany my wife and I on this 14-day voyage, as neither was in a serious relationship and both had the time. I can’t tell you how excited the four of us were to take this two-week family cruise through the Caribbean, Europe, and most of all main-land Africa! However, all of this changed in early February. I was doing some trip planning on Royal’s website about February 19 and noticed the two Moroccan destinations had been replaced by only one port, Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. I contacted the customer service department and was advised the Legend would not be stopping in Morocco due to port safety reasons. I explained the selection of our transatlantic cruise was based upon the ship stopping in Morocco and that if it didn’t, my family would be extremely disappointed. I also said I understood Royal’s decision to do what they thought was best to keep its passengers safe; however, I did not respect their lack of understanding of my situation. It should have been obvious that substitution of Tenerife and a Day Cruising in lieu of Agadir and Casablanca would severely devalue the cruise experience. I contacted Royal’s representatives and asked if the cruise line would accommodate us in the form of cabin upgrades, or on-board credit to lessen the blow of missing the Moroccan ports. I was hopeful that if reasonable substitutions were made, my family would regain their initial excitement of going on the Legend voyage. Had we been offered nicer staterooms or credit towards shore excursions, I am certain my family would have felt the cruise was still something special even without Moroccan ports. The RCL representatives said they could offer no compensation. I also asked if I could swap the Legend cruise, without penalties, for another Royal cruise, for instance the Caribbean, and was told no. I made one final more than reasonable suggestion in an effort to resolve this situation. The cabins I had reserved were roughly $939 per person. I noticed the RCL website showed a Z-type cabin for $699. I asked if I could swap my two cabins with the similar less expensive type, which would have brought the price of the Legend cruise, without Morocco, down what I felt was its real value. The Royal representative said he could not offer these cabins with the airfare package we had purchased through the cruise line. Consequently, Royal Caribbean deleted the two most important ports on this $9,000 once-in-a-lifetime family trip and did absolutely nothing make amends! I now had the unfortunate dilemma of determining what to do next, as only half of my family wanted to travel on the Legend cruise. As mentioned above, I contacted Royal Caribbean on several occasions in February and spoke with customer service representatives including Chandler and Jamica, and also Maria in the Resolutions Group, to attempt to find some reasonable solution to this problem. Might I remind you that Royal Caribbean made the decision not to stop in Morocco, even though it was not listed on the U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings page of places not to visit, while at the same time continued to offer, and did months later, ten (10) cruises with Casablanca as a port of call! Their decision to delete the two Moroccan ports from the Legend cruise was totally arbitrary. While Royal may have felt they had no control over their deletion, they WERE in control of offering what could have been a more equivalent substitution of ports, on-board credit compensation, upgrades, or the ability for us to transfer-in-full our money spent for the Legend towards another Royal Caribbean cruise, all of which they didn’t! In summary, Royal Caribbean: • deleted the two Moroccan ports from the April Legend of the Seas itinerary due to port “safety” concerns. • at the same time continued to show Casablanca as a destination on ten (10) future cruises. • failed to offer an equivalent substitution of ports, any compensation, or the ability to apply our money spent in full towards another cruise. I had taken out trip insurance coverage for this cruise. As mentioned above, with only half the family wanting to go on the Legend, I had no option but to cancel the cruise. Prior to canceling I spoke with two different representatives, Chandler and Jamica, both of whom advised I would receive much of the cost credited to my Visa, plus a $1350 credit voucher (singular), which was 75% of my $1800 deposit. I made the insurance claim and several weeks later four separate credit vouchers each with a value of $337.50 arrived, one for each family member. This four-voucher scenario is not the agreement I had with Royal representatives. My family and I have cruised many times on Carnival, Holland America, and Norwegian and have reserved as many as seven cabins on a single cruise. My extended family of 14 people has cruised several times together and likely will again. Years ago my parents cruised around the world three times with Royal Viking and around South America numerous times on the Regency line. Our family has three generations of cruisers with hopefully more to come. My wife and I live within a 4 ½ hour drive of every cruise port in Florida and plan to cruise many times in the future. In summary, Royal Caribbean could view me and my family as one time customers of their line, or look at the total picture. I conservatively estimate my wife and I will cruise once per year over the next 25 years. Using a $2,000 per cabin estimate, without inflation this equates to $50,000 of potential cruises. Add to this our two grown daughters, their now current husbands, and my extended family; I can imagine reserving, or strongly influencing, upwards of $100,000 in cruise vacations over the two decades! One would think Royal Caribbean would want us to consider them for these future cruising needs? I’d like to finish with the following thoughts concerning Stew Leonard, whose family runs a very successful grocery business in the Norwalk, Connecticut area. On their website it states “The success of this family-owned business and their legion of loyal shoppers is largely due to their passionate approach to customer service: Rule #1 – The Customer is Always Right; Rule #2 – If the Customer is Ever Wrong, Re-Read Rule #1. This principle is so essential to the foundation of the company that it is etched in a three-ton granite rock at each store’s entrance.” If a family running a couple of grocery stores in small Connecticut cities exemplifies this commitment to customer service, one would hope that Royal Caribbean, a company with a market capitalization in excess of $25-billion, would share a similar philosophy!

Embarkation

1 out of 5

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

1 out of 5

Onboard Activities

1 out of 5

Entertainment

1 out of 5

Service and Staff

1 out of 5

Ship Quality

1 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

1 out of 5

Ports Of Call

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Did not visit port

Tortola, British Virgin Islands Did not visit port

St. John's, Antigua Did not visit port

Tenerife, Canary Islands Did not visit port

Lanzarote, Canary Islands Did not visit port

Malaga, Spain Did not visit port

Ajaccio, Corsica Did not visit port

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy Did not visit port

Disembarkation

1 out of 5
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