The swine flu outbreak is making thing tough for people who had booked Mexican vacations. Reader Kurt is one such person. He got a full refund from the hotel, but is dismayed that Continental won’t extend him the same courtesy.
A few different cruise lines took initiative and changed the itineraries of ships heading to Mexico in the near future. However, they won’t let customers who are uninterested in sailing to the tropical paradise of San Francisco rebook or get full refunds.
We’d just like to tip our hats to the cruise ship passenger who helped fight off Somali pirates with a deck chair. [Fox News]
There were lots of problems on the recent Costa Cruise vacation that Krista and her friends took, including lukewarm hot tubs, closed buffets, and missing towels. But the biggest surprise was when their waiter was replaced on the second day with a newly promoted, untrained busboy who abandoned them nightly. Well, when he wasn’t taking their sugar or stealing their basket of bread.
Royal Caribbean is gutting the Crown & Anchor society that lavishes loyal cruisers with perks like discounts, priority boarding, and a concierge lounge stocked with complimentary cocktails. The free booze will now be available only to cruisers who have sailed more than 25 times with Royal Caribbean. Many loyal passengers who don’t spend their lives on Royal Caribbean ships are understandably pissed.
Allison filled out one of those “win a free cruise” forms at a local cask ale festival and almost got dunked in a barrel o’ scam fun for her troubles. Here’s her story:
Royal Caribbean’s odd “steak fee” proved to be such a success that the bleed-’em-dry cruise line has decided to add yet another extraneous charge to their “all-inclusive” service: a late night room service fee! Gone are the days of waking up from a seasick-induced nightmare at 3 a.m. to the comforting thought of, “well at least I can order a cheeseburger.” Now, seasickness cures ordered between midnight and 5 a.m. cost $3.95.
Do you like flying? Well then you’re going to love cruising with Royal Caribbean! The cruise line recently announced plans to charge customers who order steak in the main dining room a $14.95 surcharge.
Leslie and her husband haven’t been able to cruise with Carnival since Hurricane Katrina rained all over their original itinerary back in 2005. Carnival promised they would be able to cruise on a “space available” basis, except Carnival won’t confirm if space is available until three days before departure, making it nearly impossible for Leslie and her husband to buy affordable plane tickets or arrange care for their sixteen-month-old daughter.
There are few things in life more decadent and luxurious than a cruise vacation. Unless of course, you are on a Royal Caribbean cruise and your child gets a cold, and then a paranoid crew kicks you and your family off the ship at night in your pajamas at a foreign port where you then have to spend thousands dollars for passports and tickets to get home. It sounds like a nightmare but that’s exactly what happened to this Florida family according to WFTV. Read the details of their misadventure, inside…
Carnival Corp has reached an agreement with the (pesky) Florida attorney general and will refund $40 million in fuel surcharges to passengers who booked trips made before Nov. 7 last year for trips starting Feb. 1 this year.
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines will refund fuel surcharges to customers who booked their cruises before November 16th, says the Orlando Business Journal. Passengers who have not yet sailed will receive their refund in the form of onboard credit.
Last minute deals are so great because they represent revenue that would otherwise be lost to the company offering it. The cruise ship will set sail with a full complement of crew and supplies regardless of the actual passenger count and an empty cabin represents a lot of lost revenue so selling it at a discount to the rack price is something they’re very much willing to do. It’s why hotels and airlines sometimes have last minute fares and discounts, an empty room or seat is lost revenue.
When storms force your cruise to skip ports of call, don’t sit idly in your cabin watching the whitecaps break menacingly against the ship. Go find your fellow passengers and stage a mutiny! At least that is what passengers onboard the Sapphire Princess did when two typhoons kept the ship from planned port calls in Vietnam, Japan, and Taiwan.
At one point, with passengers assembled in the ship’s theater, she said, “the attorney jumped up and grabbed the microphone away from the assistant cruise director and said: ‘We’re taking over the stage! We have a petition!’”
If you find you’re on a cruise to, say, the Caribbean, and you decide to buy something expensive—like, say, an emerald ring—then be sure to pay with a credit card, take photos of the item and the person who sold it to you, and get a receipt. It may sound like overkill, but if the “emeralds” in the ring fall out and it turns your finger black once you’re back on the boat and have left Antigua, chances are it’s not a cursed pirate ring but a fake, and you’ll be glad you have some documentation when you start trying to make things right.
What Is Already Prepaid Or Nonrefundable? Know what you can realistically expect to get back.
Cruise lines are sullying their heritage as the height of cultured travel by working overtime to squeeze every last penny out of passengers. Though gluttons are still sated by free meals, cruises now regularly charge for sodas, “special venue dining,” and other amenities that were once free. A recent industry convention in Miami revealed that these charges are just the tip of the iceberg.