And I haven’t even gotten on the ship yet….
I booked a cruise directly on the Royal Caribbean (RC) website. Since there would be 7 people going on cruise, I booked 2 separate suites on the same deck so we would be relatively close to each other. Well, even though I increased the number of people to 4 in one cabin and 3 in the 2nd cabin, the website did not accept the change and reverted to the default count of 2 people in each cabin. I did not realize this at the time and thought I just got a really great rate (lol)!
A couple days later I reached out to a travel agent after seeing an advertisement that the agency saved another family money on their cruise by taking over the reservation. The travel agent told me she couldn’t even come close to that rate and had no idea how I had gotten it. After hearing this, I called RC’s customer service to make sure my reservation was legit. Then I was informed that my reservations were for 2 cabins but did not include all 7 people in my party. To add the additional people would increase the cost of the trip to a fee that I was not willing to pay. So, I worked with the RC rep to change my reservations to a shorter trip and a smaller ship. To even change MY reservation that was booked by ME and paid for by MY debit card with MY name on it, I had to call my mom to give RC permission. The reason was because I wasn’t staying in that room so they need authorization from someone who was staying in that particular room – even though my mother had no friggin clue what was going on.
Anyhow, I called my mom on 3-way and she gave the rep permission to change the reservation that was MY reservation that was booked by ME and paid for on MY debit card with MY name on it. And so the rep proceeds to change our reservations. Unknowingly to me, the rep booked my family on 2 SEPARATE SHIPS!! We would have shown up on the day of our cruise and would have to have boarded 2 separate ships.
Fast forward about a month, I get an email from RC that they are canceling the cruise. The entire cruise. So, my options are 1) change the reservation to a different ship/different port/different date or 2) cancel and get a complete refund. So, I call to cancel. I hold for 27 minutes. The rep picks up the phone and immediately hangs up. So, I call again, hold another 30 mins or so. Ask to cancel. The rep informs me I need to wait a week to make any changes.
Fast forward a week to the day. Call RC to cancel. The rep I get is extremely rude and condescending. I’m not even going to go into details about how this woman spoke to me but she was obviously having a really bad day and I got the brunt of it. She cancels 1 reservation and refuses to cancel the other one because I’m not staying in the room even though it was MY reservation that was booked by ME and paid for by MY debit card with MY name on it (notice a pattern here?). So, I ask her to hold on for a moment while I call my mom on 3way. The RC rep hangs up on me instead.
So, I call back, this time with my daughter on 3way (she was also staying in the 2nd cabin) and this time I get a nicer rep who cancels the 2nd reservation and informs me that I will get 2 separate refunds for the money I’ve paid. A few days later, I get 2 refunds. The first for $20.00 and the second for $17.04. Comically far away from the amount I’ve paid.
To keep this post from going on too long, I will spare you the details of my numerous subsequent phone calls to RC and even more emails. I have now received 6 refunds to my debit card in random amounts. None of them total or come close to the 2 payments I made to RC. I had to friggin write to the executive office to get anyone to help me.
Finally, an executive contacted me and researched their errors. I am now awaiting my 7th (and hopefully final) refund to complete the total amount that I paid to RC.
Like I said, I haven’t even had the chance to step on a Royal Caribbean ship and I’ve already been put through the wringer by this company.
I am still going on a cruise this summer but you better believe I will give my business to ANY OTHER CRUISE LINE rather than go through this nightmare again!
UPDATE: It’s now January, almost 3 months after RC cancelled the cruise and I still have NOT gotten the final refund.