Legend of the Seas Cancellation Ripoff

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Nov 14, 2016
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#1
My wife and I were booked on RCCL's Legend of the Seas for a cruise from Brisbane to Hong Kong for next April 2017. We had booked our trip to Brisbane using American Advantage miles, traveling from DFW on American and Hawaiian Airlines through Honolulu.
About six months ago we got notice that RCCL had sold the ship and was cancelling the cruise since the Legend would no longer be in service. Of course, they refunded our deposit but, when it came to refunding the $200 we paid to reinstate the frequent flyer miles to our account, they refused to pay.

Here's the RCCL policy statement:
"To accommodate guests booked on the affected sailings, Royal Caribbean will provide vacationers with a full refund of their cruise fare, the opportunity to re-book on another Royal Caribbean ship as well as an onboard credit to use during the newly booked sailing. In addition, vacationers who purchased airfare through Royal Caribbean will receive a full refund. Guests purchasing their own airfare will be given a refund for their airline change fee. All refund transactions will be automatically processed back to the original form of payment within four to six weeks."

From my travel agent:
"I again have pleaded our case and received the following answer. You may want to contact Guest relations to see if you get any farther. I again apologize. Robert

RCCL email to my travel agent:

Hello Robert,

Thank you for your email. airline change fees were being reimbursed for any
reservation that moved to a different Royal Caribbean sailing. Airline
change fees do not include restocking fees for airline miles.


Here is the direct information on Air Change Fees from the compensation
letter

o If you incur a fee due to the change in your airline reservations you
will be reimbursed up to $200 per person, for Domestic Flights & $300 per
person, for International Flights.

If you are unable to re-book by 6/22/16, a full refund for the amount paid
on your current reservation will be processed to the original form of
payment. Please note future compensation will not be available due to this
circumstance, including air change fee reimbursement.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."

The "INCONVENIENCE" is taking $200 out of my pocket to reinstate my 120K+ miles when it was their decision to sell the ship and leave us "high and dry". I gather that, if we had rebooked another cruise, they would have paid the fee for us to "change" to a new destination for another RCCL cruise.

I have expressed to them my extreme displeasure with this policy. I have vowed to never sail with any of their affiliates again: RCCL, Celebrity, Azamara (and I have over 300 days of cruising). Admittedly, this is a rare occurrence when a ship is sold but to be penalized for being a frequent flyer award flyer versus a fee paying flyer is outrageous in my opinion!

I'm sure there must have been others on this sailing of the Legend of the Seas who are in the "same boat" (so to speak!!). This sailing was apparently sold out. I believe RCCL cruise patrons should be aware of this corporate lack of ethical treatment of their customers. They are completely unsympathetic. NEVER AGAIN FOR ME!!!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#2
Did you have travel insurance? Some policies cover frequent flyer mile redeposit fees.

If not, I suggest writing to the executives at Royal one by one. This is unfair - what if you have no intention of flying again?

Write to the first executive on our company contact list here.

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

Give him/her a week to reply. If the answer is no, move to the next one. Repeat weekly. If you get through all the executives and still get a no, come back and update us and we'll tell you the next steps.
 
Nov 3, 2015
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#3
I suspect by saying that you'll never do business with them again you've pretty well burned their desire to do something for you to keep you as a client.

Nevertheless, we do have a list of company contacts for RCCL here: http://elliott.org/company-contacts/royal-caribbean/

I would craft a very polite and business-like letter requesting the refund or a credit of the $200 redeposit charge (if indeed you would be willing to sail with them again if they gave you this credit.) And I would tell them how many times I'd sailed with this line or their sister lines, and how otherwise pleased you've been with the services, if that is at all close to the truth, and leave out the "never gonna do business with you again" part.

Start with customer relations, and if you don't get a reply in a full business week (since the holidays are upon us), or if the reply isn't what you want to hear, move up the food chain to Ivette Geri, the primary contact... go on up the chain at one business week intervals till you get a yes. Do it by email, so you have a record of what was said.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#4
All the cruise lines have the same policy, we have read or seen the same from all of them.

Basically, if you didn't book the air fare through them, then the transaction is outside their scope of responsibility. As a matter of goodwill, they offer to pay the change fee. It was your choice not to purchase a refundable ticket or to just change it to use for something else.

They were not a party to your airline ticket purchase, so they legally owe you nothing. As others have said, by stating you will not cruise them again, there is no incentive for them to provide you any further goodwill.
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#5
I suspect by saying that you'll never do business with them again you've pretty well burned their desire to do something for you to keep you as a client.

Nevertheless, we do have a list of company contacts for RCCL here: http://elliott.org/company-contacts/royal-caribbean/

I would craft a very polite and business-like letter requesting the refund or a credit of the $200 redeposit charge (if indeed you would be willing to sail with them again if they gave you this credit.) And I would tell them how many times I'd sailed with this line or their sister lines, and how otherwise pleased you've been with the services, if that is at all close to the truth, and leave out the "never gonna do business with you again" part.

Start with customer relations, and if you don't get a reply in a full business week (since the holidays are upon us), or if the reply isn't what you want to hear, move up the food chain to Ivette Geri, the primary contact... go on up the chain at one business week intervals till you get a yes. Do it by email, so you have a record of what was said.

Did you have travel insurance? Some policies cover frequent flyer mile redeposit fees.

If not, I suggest writing to the executives at Royal one by one. This is unfair - what if you have no intention of flying again?

Write to the first executive on our company contact list here.

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

Give him/her a week to reply. If the answer is no, move to the next one. Repeat weekly. If you get through all the executives and still get a no, come back and update us and we'll tell you the next steps.
Since the cruise was about a year and a half in the future when originally booked, I had not purchased travel insurance as there was still over one year when I could get a full refund if I needed to cancel. It never entered my mind that the ship would be sold! Also, the insurance would have cost more than the out of pocket loss in this particular case. It's the principle of the matter that irritates me most (and, no, this is not a catastrophic loss).
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#6
Did you have travel insurance? Some policies cover frequent flyer mile redeposit fees.

If not, I suggest writing to the executives at Royal one by one. This is unfair - what if you have no intention of flying again?

Write to the first executive on our company contact list here.

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

Give him/her a week to reply. If the answer is no, move to the next one. Repeat weekly. If you get through all the executives and still get a no, come back and update us and we'll tell you the next steps.
I sent a letter to the President of RCCL and did get a polite phone response from one of his representatives but their only offer was a credit of $200 toward a future cruise. Since most of our cruising has been with Holland America and other Carnival corporate providers, I was not inclined to accept their offer as I truly have no desire to give them any further business. I would reconsider if a cash refund were provided but, alas, that seems to be out of the question in this situation.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#7
HP, I understand your frustration and what is seemingly a capricious policy. But my colleagues are correct ... if your requests are not polite, your letter is very often discarded. Stating that you will never do business with them again is a guarantee that they won't help you ... why should they? Why not get a good travel agent, rebook on an RCCL cruise, and have the agent ask them nicely to reimburse you the redeposit fee for your miles as part of the purchase? The point is to obtain satisfaction, not tell a cruise line what you think of them ... they don't really care. Again, it's frustrating, but it's life in the travel business.
 
Likes: Patina
Nov 14, 2016
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#8
All the cruise lines have the same policy, we have read or seen the same from all of them.

Basically, if you didn't book the air fare through them, then the transaction is outside their scope of responsibility. As a matter of goodwill, they offer to pay the change fee. It was your choice not to purchase a refundable ticket or to just change it to use for something else.

They were not a party to your airline ticket purchase, so they legally owe you nothing. As others have said, by stating you will not cruise them again, there is no incentive for them to provide you any further goodwill.
You are correct. I just want to make others aware of this potential for trouble so that perhaps they can avoid future problems. Frequent flyer travelers be aware! I stand by my decision to avoid Royal Caribbean and its affiliates in the future.
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#9
HP, I understand your frustration and what is seemingly a capricious policy. But my colleagues are correct ... if your requests are not polite, your letter is very often discarded. Stating that you will never do business with them again is a guarantee that they won't help you ... why should they? Why not get a good travel agent, rebook on an RCCL cruise, and have the agent ask them nicely to reimburse you the redeposit fee for your miles as part of the purchase? The point is to obtain satisfaction, not tell a cruise line what you think of them ... they don't really care. Again, it's frustrating, but it's life in the travel business.
I did have a travel agent (Robert in my thread). He DID plead my "case" but to no avail. He works for a large cruise travel agency. I was polite in talking to President Michael Bayley's representative. I didn't want another cruise. The one I booked was a very unique itinerary (no one since has offered the same cruise) and I didn't want RCCL to hang onto my 200 bucks until I might use it sometime in the distant future!
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#10
@HPScottie for future reference when booking a cruise 4,6, 12, 18 or more months out you can still purchase Travel Insurance. The trick is that you only cover the money extended at time of the initial deposit and then continue to increase the coverage as you put up Non Refundable funds.

So if your initial deposit is $1000, you purchase your insurance during that 14 Day period so pre existing medical is covered. Then add to the coverage as you purchase your Flights and anything else none refundable. Each additional coverage needs to increased within the 14 day period after the new expense.

One of the rules to doing this is that you MUST cover your entire trip, door to door and not $1 less. This method will protect you but limit your loss considerably.
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#11
@HPScottie for future reference when booking a cruise 4,6, 12, 18 or more months out you can still purchase Travel Insurance. The trick is that you only cover the money extended at time of the initial deposit and then continue to increase the coverage as you put up Non Refundable funds.

So if your initial deposit is $1000, you purchase your insurance during that 14 Day period so pre existing medical is covered. Then add to the coverage as you purchase your Flights and anything else none refundable. Each additional coverage needs to increased within the 14 day period after the new expense.

One of the rules to doing this is that you MUST cover your entire trip, door to door and not $1 less. This method will protect you but limit your loss considerably.
Thanks, that's good to know.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#12
Since the cruise was about a year and a half in the future when originally booked, I had not purchased travel insurance as there was still over one year when I could get a full refund if I needed to cancel. It never entered my mind that the ship would be sold! Also, the insurance would have cost more than the out of pocket loss in this particular case. It's the principle of the matter that irritates me most (and, no, this is not a catastrophic loss).
Jville has it correct.

I understand your thinking and in addition to what Jville said, this is the trade off when deciding to buy insurance or not. But for the future, if you have a pre-existing medical condition that you need covered and you buy third party insurance, you lose the ability to have those conditions covered by waiting since most policies require you buy insurance within up to 21 days from the date you make a deposit.

We had clients learn this the hard way when they thought the same way - they could buy the insurance at final. Two months after they made the deposit, one of them was diagnosed with cancer. She called at that time and wanted to buy the insurance and it was too late to cover the cancer. She had to make a decision at final payment whether she would be well enough to travel when the cruise came. She decided to cancel her bucket list cruise. When the time for the cruise came she could have traveled as she was still healthy enough.
 
Likes: jsn55
Feb 9, 2016
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#13
I think a $200 voucher towards a future cruise is a generous offer considering the cruise companies sell bundled packages that contain cruise and air. If you had done air thru them, they would have refunded your air completely. as well, the cruise line offers a lot of perks (such as delayed travel help, etc) if you book air thru them.

The cruise line tends to feel that, If you book air on your own, you accept full responsibility for it.

I agree with the suggestion of travel insurance. Just make sure the policy you purchase covers items that are important to you.
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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St Louis
#14
@HPScottie for future reference when booking a cruise 4,6, 12, 18 or more months out you can still purchase Travel Insurance. The trick is that you only cover the money extended at time of the initial deposit and then continue to increase the coverage as you put up Non Refundable funds.

So if your initial deposit is $1000, you purchase your insurance during that 14 Day period so pre existing medical is covered. Then add to the coverage as you purchase your Flights and anything else none refundable. Each additional coverage needs to increased within the 14 day period after the new expense.

One of the rules to doing this is that you MUST cover your entire trip, door to door and not $1 less. This method will protect you but limit your loss considerably.
Could you post that information in a sticky somewhere about travel insurance? These are good things to know. Apologies if the information is already posted.

I think a $200 voucher towards a future cruise is a generous offer considering the cruise companies sell bundled packages that contain cruise and air. If you had done air thru them, they would have refunded your air completely. as well, the cruise line offers a lot of perks (such as delayed travel help, etc) if you book air thru them.

The cruise line tends to feel that, If you book air on your own, you accept full responsibility for it.

I agree with the suggestion of travel insurance. Just make sure the policy you purchase covers items that are important to you.
The bad thing about cruise air is that the flights are often inconvenient because the cruise line is generally trying to get the cheapest air.

Most people book the air on their own or through an agent, and pre-cruise hotel if necessary as well. Only on the luxury lines do they sometimes charter flights to get to cruise port.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#15
Also good to know: some credit cards now offer travel insurance coverage at no extra cost as a perk. So your non-cruise nonrefundable expenses can be handled through that coverage and make life a little simpler.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#16
Could you post that information in a sticky somewhere about travel insurance? These are good things to know. Apologies if the information is already posted.



The bad thing about cruise air is that the flights are often inconvenient because the cruise line is generally trying to get the cheapest air.

Most people book the air on their own or through an agent, and pre-cruise hotel if necessary as well. Only on the luxury lines do they sometimes charter flights to get to cruise port.
There is information about travel insurance in a sticky on the Insurance board.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,989
12,233
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
Also good to know: some credit cards now offer travel insurance coverage at no extra cost as a perk. So your non-cruise nonrefundable expenses can be handled through that coverage and make life a little simpler.
It isn't full coverage and doesn't include everything that a true travel insurance policy does. Usually terrible medical coverage.
 
Likes: JVillegirl541
Aug 28, 2015
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#19
@HPScottie I must be the outlier bc I completely agree with you. The cruise line decided to reimburse more than obligated by the contract anyway (change fees for separately booked flights) so there is no logical reason not to extend that compensation to the cost of redepositing miles, your "change fee".

RCCL drew an arbitrary and unfair line in the sand which reflects terrible customer service. I would be angry as well.
 
Likes: ORresident
#20
selling the vessel is outside the realm of normal cruise related maladies - such as illness, mechanical problems, civil unrest, etc. By not informing you that they had the vessel for sale - they directly caused the loss. you might have taken other steps to safe your funds and made different decisions as to the airfare choice and how you protect that expense.

It is not something that a cruise purchaser considers when making these decisions.

I would certainly send them another letter but it should be a little sharper as to the demand for compensation . . . .

PS: Legend of the Seas stunk anyway when it came to amenities - they're selling it because the refit to a modern vessel with modern amenities would prob cost more than the value of the ship - someone else with a different business model could prob retrofit it and make it workout better -