IF WE'D ONLY KNOWN...Royal Caribbean

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#1
January 6, 2017

We're both recently retired, and haven't been on a vacation in over a decade. After saving for many months, we planned on taking a cruise.

We were booked on Royal Caribbean / Rhapsody Of the Seas for a cruise to the Western Caribbean
from January 7 - 14, 2017. The cruise ship was to leave Tampa at 4PM on 1/7/16. We used Costco
as our travel agent, and they contacted Royal Caribbean to handle booking the roundtrip airfare for
us. Boarding for this cruise was to be from 11AM to 3PM on 1/7/16.

We were confirmed on Jan 7, 2017, on Delta, which was to arrive in Tampa at 9:54AM on 1/7; this flight was cancelled due to severe weather.

We discovered by searching online that we had been rescheduled by Delta, to arrive in Tampa at 7:15PM on 1/7—keep in mind the ship leaves port at 4PM AND we had received no notice of this new flight. We notified Costco travel that the new flight arrangements would arrive in Tampa AFTER the ship sailed, so these arrangements were unacceptable.

The next flight scheduled for us was on American, to arrive in Tampa at 9:37AM on 1/7/16. When I attempted to get our seat assignments on this flight, I learned that it had ALSO been cancelled.

I contacted Costco again and we were rescheduled on another American flight, to arrive in Tampa at 4:29PM on 1/7… once again, arriving well after the ship had sailed.

We were told then by Costco that Royal Caribbean would contact us directly, and would find a way to
get us there. Royal Caribbean never called back; over two hours later, we called Royal Caribbean
again. Without fail, each time we would eventually be told that the person we were talking to couldn’t
handle our question and we were being referred to another group, who in turn told us to call Costco;
and Costco would eventually tell us to call Royal Caribbean.

Over the period of a day and after numerous calls, directly to Royal Caribbean and directly to Costco
travel, Costco asked what our preference was…we asked to be booked on a later cruise since this
cruise clearly wasn’t going to happen. We were PACKED AND READY TO GO! Our schedules are
flexible at this point, and we understand no one has control over the weather! Flying out from other
hubs (i.e. Nashville or Atlanta) wasn’t an option; travel advisories had already been posted and driving conditions were deteriorating rapidly.

So what was left? Royal Caribbean refused to reschedule us and told Costco that we should take
that last flight (assuming it too wouldn’t eventually cancelled) and arrive in Tampa Saturday after the
ship had sailed. Royal Caribbean would provide us a hotel room for one night; we were told we were
‘ON OUR OWN ’ for food and hotel and transportation to Honduras? for the following days and night until we meet up with the ship — two days later. No credit would be given on our cruise cost, and no idea WHO was going to pay for the flight to Honduras! All we were told at that point was that we were ON OUR OWN after Saturday night. After our experiences with Royal Caribbean to this point, it should come as no surprise that we wanted the details in writing.

We asked Costco agent ( who relayed this information to us) if he would put Royal Caribbean’s proposal in an email to us. We ALSO asked for written documentation that Royal Caribbean could not get us to the ship prior to sailing; it had been our understanding all along that we needed to use Royal Caribbean to schedule the roundtrip flight because that was the only way we’d be guaranteed we’d make it to the ship on time! This was specifically told us by the Costco agent who initially signed us up! He had mentioned that the call was being recorded, so Costco has the ability to verify this. (I have since learned thru these threads that many travel agents suggest flying in a day early..wish we had known this)

Costco said it was against their policy to put anything in writing; however, they had made notes on each of our calls during the day…should we need those notes, he suggested we contact Member Services. He also said Royal Caribbean would not put their responses in writing either.

Clearly, neither Royal Caribbean nor Costco are responsible for this severe weather situation that has occurred. In a day when over 600 flights were cancelled and millions affected, we try to be
understanding and flexible in our travel arrangements. However, after spending 6+ hours on the
phone talking with Costco and with the Royal Caribbean folks, we were beyond frustrated. Royal
Caribbean’s response, time and again, was they weren’t responsible for the problem and we could
forgoe the two lost vacation days and extra costs associated with waiting to meet the ship in
Honduras, or FORGET IT. Costco said there was nothing they could do, either in helping us get to the ship OR in getting our money back.

Because we could not get to the cruise ship in time for the complete cruise we’d signed up for, at the
agreed upon price, AND because Royal Caribbean refused to compensate us entirely for getting us to the ship two days later, we asked to cancel. We were THEN told Royal Caribbean would not cancel because it was less than 24 hours prior to sailing!! Keep in mind, when we’d started all this we were well within that timeframe.

We later found out that even as late as 9:15 PM on January 6th there WAS a flight from Chattanooga to Tampa via Dallas with 3 empty seats, a flight that WOULD have arrived in Tampa in plenty of time (12:30PM) and one we could have been booked on!! WHY WOULD ROYAL CARIBBEAN NOT HAVE OFFERED US THIS OPTION?? We were unable to reach Royal Caribbean or Costco by this point to see if there was ANY way we could still go.

The sad thing in all this is that one of our fondest memories had been on Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas many years ago on a cruise to Alaska. There is no similarity to the efficiency, tenor and helpfulness of the Royal Caribbean folks from then to now. Since the total amount of this cruise is already just under $4K and we also are losing an e-certificate our daughter had sent us for onboard credit on that cruise— we wanted to exhaust all possibilities to work it out. Unfortunately, we were unable to do so.

Any help ANYONE can give us to get monies refunded would be appreciated.
 
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Feb 9, 2016
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#2
Ugh, what a nightmare! I'm so sorry you encountered so much stress!

My first thought is, have you researched the trip insurance you have on the credit card that you used to book this trip? Assuming you used a credit card to pay the fees, yours might have some sort of insurance that can help you. The costco visa has decent trip insurance. The costco, I believe, has trip interruption insurance. This would have helped you arrive where you needed to be in order to catch the ship (caveat on that below)

My second thought is, did you ask RCCL for a credit for the cruise so you could re book? A politely worded letter,to custmer service, explaining that the Rhapsody holds fond memories for you, and gently outlining all you did to try and make it to the ship, might do the trick to get a full credit, which you can then reapply to a later sailing. Your costco rep should be totally on board with helping you with this idea. You're going to have to be sure nice in the letter, even tho you feel let down. Ask them to reapply the eCertificate your daughter had (include the certificate number in the letter/email)

My third thought is, your costco rep should be able to secure you airline credits that you can then reapply to the new booking. There should be no penalty or change fees associated with this.

My next thought is, consider purchasing trip insurance for your future vacations. $80 pp will get you trip interruption and trip cancellation insurance (along with other important items) that will cover you when $#%^ hits the fan :)

My last mention is, if this ever happens again, this is the caveat, please remember that you can fly into the first port of call and board the ship (bring your passports) I know this info comes too late but, if you cant make it to the port of departure, the next thing you try for is the first port of call. Yes, you will have missed a day or two on your cruise, but you'll still get on the ship, and your travel insurance will cover a day or two of tropical accommodations - not a bad deal, eh?

Im sure my other colleagues might have other insight and instruction to offer.
 
#3
thank you SO MUCH for your help! I have to say, in retrospect, there is so much I would now do differently AFTER having read thru many of these blogposts.

Yes, we are first going thru the credit card company, I think 'disputing' is the term, but they also provide an insurance in case you can't make it to the port thru no fault of your own. Not sure about the entire process, but am hopeful.

As for RCCL...we were treated so callously AND have read another persons 'nightmare' experience with RCCL and their stay in Roitan Honduras (similar situation to ours, with scary results.. see TRIED EVERYTHING, We're At The End of Our Rope) that I'm concerned about anything associated with RCCL. Am I being unreasonable??

And as for the Costco rep...we LOVE LOVE Costco, but their travel dept -- what's Christian for-- SUCKS...??? The initial rep we got must have been new, because he kept having to ask a supervisor for answers to our questions. He assured us they had to make flight arrangements thru RCCL in order to be guaranteed to make it to the ship on time. All the time we were speaking with Costco folks, they were nice and polite, but at NO TIME were they our advocates. They consistently refer to RCCL as one of their partners. No help was given in finding alternative flights, recovering monies spent, advising to fly in ONE DAY AHEAD, etc etc . He even advised against the trip insurance because RCCL would guarantee we'd make it to the ship if we booked flight thru them... --all the things you need to have in a good travel agent, things I've since learned from this forum!! We ended up speaking with the Cruise Supervisor, who could and would do nothing but relay what RCCL was saying. So no help here.

And ABSOLUTELY next time we will purchase trip insurance!!

One last thing that makes me SICK. We checked...at 9:15PM last night we saw that there WAS a flight with 3 seats open, from Chattanooga via Dallas to Tampa, that would have gotten us to the ship in PLENTY of time. Why wouldn't they have booked us on that flight?? We tried contacting RCCL and Costco, to no avail. The severe weather coupled with the tragedy at Ft Lauderdale put thousands of travelers in limbo; trying to reach anyone for help became pointless.

No, I didn't know we could just fly down there ourselves separate from the RCCL itinerary and walk onboard with our passports. But this is good information to have.

One last thing. Bless you for caring enough to share your expertise. We should have done our 'due diligence' regarding travel as we have done for everything else throughout the years. I learned, long ago, the importance of becoming your own 'patient advocate' in the medical arena, and am reminded that lesson extends to all aspects of our lives. Thank GOODNESS there are folks like YOU and ELLIOTT.ORG!
 
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Carrie Livingston

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#4
Yes, we are first going thru the credit card company, I think 'disputing' is the term, but they also provide an insurance in case you can't make it to the port thru no fault of your own. Not sure about the entire process, but am hopeful.
You do not want to pursue a dispute at this time I don't think. If your credit card has insurance for this, call them and explain the situation and ask what you need to provide to be covered.
 
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Feb 9, 2016
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#5
From what I recall with RCCL (I am a diamond member but haven't sailed in a long time) they do what they can for their passengers but they also cant hand hold everyone and they do expect the passenger to mitigate their circumstances, especially if air travel wasnt arranged thru RCCL. Truly, here, costco travel was the ones who dropped the ball.

BTW, that airplane that flew with 3 open seats - you have no idea if those seats were because of passenger no shows at the last minute, or were never booked and paid from at the outset. My guess is that these were last minute passenger no shows.

Do not dispute the original charge, you will lose. RCCL has policies in place about cancellation and terms and conditions regarding the passengers obligations. The dispute will not be awarded in your favor.

Work with costco travel and the trip insurance you may have on your card, and write RCCL asking for credits for everything. It will help your case with RCCL if you can identify a sailing you want to sail on in the letter and ask them to book you on it. Be prepared to purchase air, etc, if you do this. Start with customer service on our contacts list and wait one week. If no response or a negative response, email the same letter to the first executive. Continue the process until you get a resolution in your favor or reach the end of the contact list.

Make sure you check in and let us know how it is going. Good luck!
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#6
Did Costco book your air through Royal Caribbean or did they book it separately?

It is never a good idea to fly to the ship on the day you are sailing. A good travel agent would have recommended up fly in a day or two before the cruise just for these reasons - flights are constantly canceled. So that is the first thing that was done wrong by Costco bot advising you this way.

Unfortunately., even buying air through Royal doesn't mean they are responsible for getting you to the first port. This is what travel insurance is for. Did you buy it?

The right way to handle this would have been to either fly to Tampa and then on your own, buy tickets to meet the ship in Honduras and submit the bill to the travel insurance, or to get Costco to fly you directly to the first port to meet the ship. The right insurance would have reimbursed you for the extra costs to meet the ship.
 
#7
Air travel WAS arranged by RCCL. We went thru Costco to book the cruise, but they insisted RCCL had to arrange air travel. I certainly do understand RCCL can't hold the ship for late boarders...we believed booking air thru RCCL took care of the possibility a flight was delayed, etc.

RCCL said we couldn't cancel the trip because it was less than 24 hours to the cruise. We have verification that we cancelled by 4PM the previous day (yesterday), which is 24 hours before the ship sails (today at 4PM) But perhaps that's immaterial at this point..?

As for writing the letter and using RCCL again...frankly am unsure about them now. Blogs on this site relating experiences with RCCL have made me even more reticent. I RARELY travel, so perhaps am only seeing isolated incidents? You've read recent sailing 'experiences' with them. . . Given that, Would YOU still use them??

I hadn't considered the possibility that those 3 open seats might have been recent changes...and of course, that makes sense. I will call the credit card company about pursuing insurance route on the card rather than disputing the charge...I see your point. THANK YOU BOTH!!
 
#8
Did Costco book your air through Royal Caribbean or did they book it separately?

It is never a good idea to fly to the ship on the day you are sailing. A good travel agent would have recommended up fly in a day or two before the cruise just for these reasons - flights are constantly canceled. So that is the first thing that was done wrong by Costco bot advising you this way.

Unfortunately., even buying air through Royal doesn't mean they are responsible for getting you to the first port. This is what travel insurance is for. Did you buy it?

The right way to handle this would have been to either fly to Tampa and then on your own, buy tickets to meet the ship in Honduras and submit the bill to the travel insurance, or to get Costco to fly you directly to the first port to meet the ship. The right insurance would have reimbursed you for the extra costs to meet the ship.
Did Costco book your air through Royal Caribbean or did they book it separately?

It is never a good idea to fly to the ship on the day you are sailing. A good travel agent would have recommended up fly in a day or two before the cruise just for these reasons - flights are constantly canceled. So that is the first thing that was done wrong by Costco bot advising you this way.

Unfortunately., even buying air through Royal doesn't mean they are responsible for getting you to the first port. This is what travel insurance is for. Did you buy it?

The right way to handle this would have been to either fly to Tampa and then on your own, buy tickets to meet the ship in Honduras and submit the bill to the travel insurance, or to get Costco to fly you directly to the first port to meet the ship. The right insurance would have reimbursed you for the extra costs to meet the ship.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#9
Air travel WAS arranged by RCCL. We went thru Costco to book the cruise, but they insisted RCCL had to arrange air travel. I certainly do understand RCCL can't hold the ship for late boarders...we believed booking air thru RCCL took care of the possibility a flight was delayed, etc.

RCCL said we couldn't cancel the trip because it was less than 24 hours to the cruise. We have verification that we cancelled by 4PM the previous day (yesterday), which is 24 hours before the ship sails (today at 4PM) But perhaps that's immaterial at this point..?

As for writing the letter and using RCCL again...frankly am unsure about them now. Blogs on this site relating experiences with RCCL have made me even more reticent. I RARELY travel, so perhaps am only seeing isolated incidents? You've read recent sailing 'experiences' with them. . . Given that, Would YOU still use them??

I hadn't considered the possibility that those 3 open seats might have been recent changes...and of course, that makes sense. I will call the credit card company about pursuing insurance route on the card rather than disputing the charge...I see your point. THANK YOU BOTH!!
That is a lie that Royal Caribbean has to book your air. That is patently not true - you had the option of Royal booking it or booking on your own.
 
#10
Nell, wish I'd known all this prior to booking HA! No travel insurance purchased; didn't know we could fly there ourselves and still get on the ship. Costco, unfortunately, even though they advertise as a travel agency, is unable/unwilling to help with any of the above. Thanks for taking the time to share this.
 

Neil Maley

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#12
Wow, you really got an incompetent agent at Costco.

However, Royal states this on their website about their Air 2 Sea program so I think you should go to Royal's executives but I have seen many cases lately where their Air2 Sea throws up their hands and doesn't help. You have a good case against them I believe if you quote their own policy:








NEED FLIGHTS? ROYAL CARIBBEAN GUARANTEES
THE LOWEST PRICE FOR YOUR ASSURED ARRIVAL.


Booking flights for the cruise vacation of a lifetime has never been easier. With Royal Caribbean International®'s Air2Sea program, you're guaranteed the lowest priced airfare on your choice of preferred airlines. Plus you get all the peace of mind of assured arrival to your ship and 24/7 support from our air specialists. Just choose your flights, and we take care of the rest. Start relaxing right away with Royal Caribbean International®'s Air2Sea Guarantee.

What are the Benefits of AIR2SEA?
Whichever city you're flying from. Whichever port you're headed to. Whatever carrier you prefer. You'll get the lowest priced fare on your choice of airlines, or we'll credit you back 110% of the difference to spend onboard.
When your vacation comes around, you don't want to miss the ship because of flight delays or cancellations. Book airfare through us and we guarantee our travel experts will get you to your cruise.


Here are our company contacts for Royal Caribbean:

http://elliott.org/company-contacts/royal-caribbean/

If you have already corresponded with our customer contact email address, then write to the first executive listed, or you have not, start with Customer Service. Send a letter with what happened and copy their guarantee from above. Tell them you want a refund of a future cruise credit because they did not do what they guaranteed. Give whoever you start with a week to respond. If they don't, or don't take care of it, move to the next contact which will either be the first or second executive. Repeat weekly if you have to go all the way up the executive chain. If you get all the way up the chain with no results, let us know because our writers can take a look at this.

Have you used our company contacts to contact Costco? I would write and explain about the incompetence you experienced, first with the agent lying about the air, second that the agent didn't offer insurance and third that and explain to them that the agent never suggested that you fly in a day or two early to avoid the exact situation that occurred. See if you can get them to do something too.
 
Likes: Jo Peck
Nov 14, 2016
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#13
*sigh*

What...a...mess. All the way around. This is one of those sad tales where everyone has some culpability here.

Costco should not have told you that you have to book airfare through them via RCCL. That's outright not true.

The below section is dependent upon whoever you actually paid (RCCL or Costco). Whoever you paid is who you should be communicating with. If it was Costco you should be communicating with them and it's their responsibility to communicate and coordinate with RCCL/Delta/American and whoever else. If you ended up getting charged directly by RCCL then get Costco out of the loop. Whoever it is, get on the horn with them (record the call if you can) and get them moving. Politely, but firmly, state what the situation is and ask them how they're going to fix it. Furthermore, mention about the RCCL Air2Sea program and simply ask Costco/RCCL how they're going to enact this for you.

If they act quickly Costco/RCCL still could get you to Honduras to meet the boat. That's probably where I'd start because if you refuse this option they may not refund you anything. They can't do anything about the weather and note the guarantee doesn't say they'll get you to the boat on time. Just that they'll find a way to get you there. Getting refunds for last-minute cancellations from cruise lines- even if they dropped the ball - is difficult. Getting you to that boat is their obligation. Again, ask them simply how they're going to comply with their guarantee and get you to the boat. If they can't then they're going to owe you a refund.

You made a couple of major mistakes that also contributed to this problem. Never, ever book airfare the same day as your cruise. Even if everything was on time you would have arrived AT BEST right as RCCL started boarding once you got your luggage and took the 25 minute cab ride over from TPA. That four hour window simply isn't enough as you found out. We always recommend coming in about 24 hours before the ship is supposed to leave because that leaves enough time in case something happens (like a winter storm). Also on a trip like this we would recommend trip insurance robust enough to cover this loss.
----

Now...if all else fails you're going to have to start building a customer care care on whoever you paid. They can't control the weather but they can control their customer service. So if no one is willing to do anything immediately why the situation can still be salvaged then it's time to start that process. Write a concise, polite email (we suggest bullet points) to Costco/RCCL to discuss the poor connections, missed flights, hours on the phone, etc. Wait a week and if they don't respond, escalate one level. You're looking to build a case for either entity to provide you the vacation you paid for, enough credit o you can take it later or enough proof that Costco/RCCL didn't comply with their contractual obligations in order to get a chargeback (which is only done if all else fails!!!).
 
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#14
Wow, you really got an incompetent agent at Costco.

However, Royal states this on their website about their Air 2 Sea program so I think you should go to Royal's executives but I have seen many cases lately where their Air2 Sea throws up their hands and doesn't help. You have a good case against them I believe if you quote their own policy:








NEED FLIGHTS? ROYAL CARIBBEAN GUARANTEES
THE LOWEST PRICE FOR YOUR ASSURED ARRIVAL.


Booking flights for the cruise vacation of a lifetime has never been easier. With Royal Caribbean International®'s Air2Sea program, you're guaranteed the lowest priced airfare on your choice of preferred airlines. Plus you get all the peace of mind of assured arrival to your ship and 24/7 support from our air specialists. Just choose your flights, and we take care of the rest. Start relaxing right away with Royal Caribbean International®'s Air2Sea Guarantee.

What are the Benefits of AIR2SEA?
Whichever city you're flying from. Whichever port you're headed to. Whatever carrier you prefer. You'll get the lowest priced fare on your choice of airlines, or we'll credit you back 110% of the difference to spend onboard.
When your vacation comes around, you don't want to miss the ship because of flight delays or cancellations. Book airfare through us and we guarantee our travel experts will get you to your cruise.


Here are our company contacts for Royal Caribbean:

http://elliott.org/company-contacts/royal-caribbean/

If you have already corresponded with our customer contact email address, then write to the first executive listed, or you have not, start with Customer Service. Send a letter with what happened and copy their guarantee from above. Tell them you want a refund of a future cruise credit because they did not do what they guaranteed. Give whoever you start with a week to respond. If they don't, or don't take care of it, move to the next contact which will either be the first or second executive. Repeat weekly if you have to go all the way up the executive chain. If you get all the way up the chain with no results, let us know because our writers can take a look at this.

Have you used our company contacts to contact Costco? I would write and explain about the incompetence you experienced, first with the agent lying about the air, second that the agent didn't offer insurance and third that and explain to them that the agent never suggested that you fly in a day or two early to avoid the exact situation that occurred. See if you can get them to do something too.
 
#15
Neil, your insight has been INVALUABLE. Thank you SO MUCH. And Kahhas, GREAT IDEAS...we are writing the letter now. However WE did not book the flight the same day...our mistake was using Costco travel, I guess. And of course, next time we WILL purchase travel insurance.

You guys are terrific...will post the outcome online. Hopefully there will be some good news in all this mess.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
#16
Also Kahhas: flight to Honduras, hotel, meals, 2 days -- charges would be OURS. That is in addition to the 4K already spent. Have you read the blog TRIED EVERYTHING, We Were At The End Of Our Rope...Can Anyone Help (about RCCL and a couple they said had to go to Honduras to catch the ship??) Scary stuff...all RCCL would do is pay for hotel one night in Tampa, WE ARE ON OUR OWN for the remainder. Do you still think this is an acceptable option? I appreciate your input -- we're NOT experienced travelers, and don't intend to make these same mistakes again. Thanks Kahhas
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#17
Also Kahhas: flight to Honduras, hotel, meals, 2 days -- charges would be OURS. That is in addition to the 4K already spent. Have you read the blog TRIED EVERYTHING, We Were At The End Of Our Rope...Can Anyone Help (about RCCL and a couple they said had to go to Honduras to catch the ship??) Scary stuff...all RCCL would do is pay for hotel one night in Tampa, WE ARE ON OUR OWN for the remainder. Do you still think this is an acceptable option? I appreciate your input -- we're NOT experienced travelers, and don't intend to make these same mistakes again. Thanks Kahhas
We're trying to help. But we're not going to be able to get on the phone and get them to respond in time to save this vacation. Only you can do that. That's why that Neil provided that information - have you tried calling RCCL and asking about this "guarantee" to get you to the boat? If so, what did they say? If they guarantee getting you to the boat, then having you pay for the flight to Honduras is illogical. After pointing this out what was their response?

Writing a letter is fine if it's after the fact. But your boat left today. If you're not proactive with either Costco or RCCL (again, who did you pay?) I fear that trying to get reimbursed on the back end is going to be more difficult. For instance what if RCCL actually held the boat (unlikely, but hear me out) and you've refused to take the AA flight that landed at 4:30? They could claim - unjustly in my eyes, mind you - that they tried to get you there and you refused. That's the type of thing that can severely impact getting reimbursed. That's why it's absolutely imperative that you are proactive in building your case that you tried to work within their system and still were thwarted. Travel companies can be slimy and you want a very clear set of actions that show you continually gave them opportunities and they failed to uphold their own guarantees.

PS - I'm not trying to upset you but ultimately you did book the flight today. It is your money and thus it is your final say-so. If you had wanted to leave yesterday that option was available to you.
 
Likes: Jo Peck
#18
We're trying to help. But we're not going to be able to get on the phone and get them to respond in time to save this vacation. Only you can do that. That's why that Neil provided that information - have you tried calling RCCL and asking about this "guarantee" to get you to the boat? If so, what did they say? If they guarantee getting you to the boat, then having you pay for the flight to Honduras is illogical. After pointing this out what was their response?

Writing a letter is fine if it's after the fact. But your boat left today. If you're not proactive with either Costco or RCCL (again, who did you pay?) I fear that trying to get reimbursed on the back end is going to be more difficult. For instance what if RCCL actually held the boat (unlikely, but hear me out) and you've refused to take the AA flight that landed at 4:30? They could claim - unjustly in my eyes, mind you - that they tried to get you there and you refused. That's the type of thing that can severely impact getting reimbursed. That's why it's absolutely imperative that you are proactive in building your case that you tried to work within their system and still were thwarted. Travel companies can be slimy and you want a very clear set of actions that show you continually gave them opportunities and they failed to uphold their own guarantees.

PS - I'm not trying to upset you but ultimately you did book the flight today. It is your money and thus it is your final say-so. If you had wanted to leave yesterday that option was available to you.
 
#19
Thank you so much-- you're not upsetting me.. you're HELPING!! RCCL says we have to talk thru Costco, so we've been on hold for the past 25 minutes with Costco. Wish I'd had you for a travel agent! Trying to get to Honduras Monday when the ship gets there-- not staying at a hotel in Honduras but flying in the same day the ship gets there. Your suggestions make sense to us-- we really are trying to work within their parameters...will let you know what happens. Have to say how grateful we are to have found this resource!!
 
Likes: sas80
#20
Wow, you really got an incompetent agent at Costco.

However, Royal states this on their website about their Air 2 Sea program so I think you should go to Royal's executives but I have seen many cases lately where their Air2 Sea throws up their hands and doesn't help. You have a good case against them I believe if you quote their own policy:








NEED FLIGHTS? ROYAL CARIBBEAN GUARANTEES
THE LOWEST PRICE FOR YOUR ASSURED ARRIVAL.


Booking flights for the cruise vacation of a lifetime has never been easier. With Royal Caribbean International®'s Air2Sea program, you're guaranteed the lowest priced airfare on your choice of preferred airlines. Plus you get all the peace of mind of assured arrival to your ship and 24/7 support from our air specialists. Just choose your flights, and we take care of the rest. Start relaxing right away with Royal Caribbean International®'s Air2Sea Guarantee.

What are the Benefits of AIR2SEA?
Whichever city you're flying from. Whichever port you're headed to. Whatever carrier you prefer. You'll get the lowest priced fare on your choice of airlines, or we'll credit you back 110% of the difference to spend onboard.
When your vacation comes around, you don't want to miss the ship because of flight delays or cancellations. Book airfare through us and we guarantee our travel experts will get you to your cruise.


Here are our company contacts for Royal Caribbean:

http://elliott.org/company-contacts/royal-caribbean/

If you have already corresponded with our customer contact email address, then write to the first executive listed, or you have not, start with Customer Service. Send a letter with what happened and copy their guarantee from above. Tell them you want a refund of a future cruise credit because they did not do what they guaranteed. Give whoever you start with a week to respond. If they don't, or don't take care of it, move to the next contact which will either be the first or second executive. Repeat weekly if you have to go all the way up the executive chain. If you get all the way up the chain with no results, let us know because our writers can take a look at this.

Have you used our company contacts to contact Costco? I would write and explain about the incompetence you experienced, first with the agent lying about the air, second that the agent didn't offer insurance and third that and explain to them that the agent never suggested that you fly in a day or two early to avoid the exact situation that occurred. See if you can get them to do something too.
Neil--I'm new to this and having trouble finding the Costco company contacts you're referring to?? We need to write them asap-- thank you!!