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Total Lack Of Admin Support. by Shaw, Norwich

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Sea Princess

OVERVIEW: Sea Princessspends most of its time cruising in Australasian and South Pacific waters. As is the case aboard most large ships, you will be well attended if you live in the top-grade cabins; otherwise, you’ll be one of a very large number of passengers.

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Total Lack Of Admin Support.

Overall Rating: 1

Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
Cruise Ship:
Sea Princess

Reviewed By: on
The ship was great and the crew helpful as far as possible - however:-

Upon arrival in Montego Bay we were given a key card for a cabin on a lower deck. We were told that we needed to sort things out with the purser’s desk. We waited in line at the purser’s desk for ages before being told cabins were assigned by head office. Because of the 5 hour time difference and closure over the weekend they would not be able to contact head office for three days.

We were not at all happy as it meant having to occupy an inferior cabin for three days and then all the upheaval of having to re-pack and unpack yet again.

Ok - mistakes happen - so we accepted the above.

The steward was expecting someone else and was confused that we had turned up instead. The name outside our door said Mr Stephen Curphey and Mrs Natalie Curphey. Inside the cabin we found letters and shore excursions in Mr & Mrs Curphey’s name which we returned to the purser’s desk (having waited in line yet again). This only strengthened our belief that a mistake had been made and that it would all be resolved on Monday. We just assumed that Mr & Mrs Curphey had been given our cabin on the Dolphin deck and we had their cabin by mistake.

On Monday we were told our agent had overbooked the cruise and had agreed to a downgrade on our behalf. we were given $25 compensation to spend onboad. We were not interested in compensation of $25 on board spend. We wanted the cabin and holiday that I had paid for as a birthday present for my fiancée.

The Senior Assistant purser Manuel Silva said that the mistake was made by our agent and that Princess Cruises had no liability to resolve matters or change or cabins. However, Manuel did offer to send us a bottle of wine as a gesture of goodwill. He helped us as far as he could.

Manuel promised us that he would provide us with a letter setting out in full an explanation as to why we had been downgraded and explaining that had accepted the downgrade on our behalf and that the mistake was made by He said that he would not be unable to write the letter until the following week – just before we disembarked at Montego Bay, which we were not at all happy with. Why would it take one and a half weeks to write such a simple letter? We were left with the impression that we were simply being fobbed off and the blame passed to someone else who we could not contact to clarify matters with.

To cut a very long story short...

Eventually we spoke to the First Purser who also said that as the mistake was made by, Princess Cruises had no liability in the matter and that he was not prepared to either send an e-mail on our behalf or give us credit to use the internet to send an e-mail to our agents ourselves. He was not able to provide us with anything in writing to show that had made a mistake, we had to accept his word. He also said that we were only entitled to $25 and that (in not quite the same words) we should be grateful. I found this chap most unhelpful and completely patronising.

Upon return to the UK I checked my e-mails and found the attached response from -

...Princess Cruises contacted us (the day before you sailed) to tell us that they had overbooked your cruise and therefore they were having to make changes to your cabin grade. They provided us with the appropriate details to pass on. Their intention was to provide with with two options; to accept the changes that they were proposing or to cancel your cruise at this late stage.

Our records show that my colleague, Pasq, tried to contact you on more than one occasion to pass on the details and options provided by Princess Cruises.

Once it became apparent that we were not able to contact you prior to going away, we communicated to Princess that we were unable to pass on their message and therefore unable to present the options to you. Our preference would therefore have been for Princess Cruises to contact another customer on the cruise and at least be in a position to forewarn the affected party that their cabin was to be changed.

From this position, Princess forced us into a corner and suggested that if we dug our heels in over the cabin change, they would simply cancel the arrangement. The only instruction that provided Princess Cruises was that they were not to cancel your holiday under any circumstances.

I am therefore incredibly disappointed to learn that the messages that you have received from the ship seem to be laying blame at our door. We empathise with the position that you currently find yourself in and are happy to continue to offer our assistance where appropriate.

I feel very badly let down by Princess Cruises, not only have they spoilt a special occasion, but if the contents of the e-mail from are true (and I have no reason to doubt them) then they have also left me feeling deceived and completely cheated. How despicable to seek to blame someone else for their own oversight.

I have subsequently written and e-mailed Princess Cruises on several occasions for explaination as to why we were downgraded or comment - they simply ignore my letters and e-mails.

Great ship and crew (aparty from the First Purser) - but the attitude of Princess Cruises head office is appaling. They seek to blame others and tell you to sort things out after the holiday with their head office. Iy you go with this company and anything goes wrong - DONT DO THAT - HEAD OFFICE WILL SIMPLY IGNORE YOU.

Great holiday - if all goes to plan. If anything goes wrong - dont expect much help or support.

Times cruised before: 0
Sailed: November, 2009
Age: 46-55
Cabin: Outside
Occasion: Birthday

Quality of Food


Shore Excursions

The Junior Assistant purser Katie Hewitt - helped us as far as she could and was patient

Children's Facilities

Onboard Activities


Overall Rating
Review useful?
Dobson -
, Holme Upon Spalding Moor - Commented about this Review
I'm quite loyal to Princess Cruises, but in view of your comment, it does look suspiciously as though Princes have bullied a smaller, and less influential travel agent into a corner, which in my opinion has been Princess' fault. Hoew could they not know long BEFORE your due departure that the holiday was over-booked? It seems like poor management and organisation on their part! I'm hearing more and more stories of Princess Cruises bullying smaller travel agents and not listening to customer worries and complaints. My partner is a platinum member and as he's heavily influenced by ME (lol!) we will be giving Princess a wide berth if this is going to be their future attitude. I've had my holiday (27th March 2010) booked through Cruise Finders since July 31st 2008! If I find that they do that to ME, a day before I cruise, it will be the last time we sail with them. It will be 'Goodbye Princess', Hello, RCI, NCL, P&O, Cunard ...' Can you tell I'm angry for you????
05 Jan 10 20:17 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Shaw -
, Norwich - Commented about a Comment by Dobson (05 Jan 10 20:17)
This site really does work - since posting my review and sending the link to Princess - finally had a response. They say - my downgrade was voluntary. They also say it is regrettable that I was not made aware of the fact that I was going to be downgraded prior to arrival at the ship. In which case how could it be voluntary. I can assure them my downgrade was far from voluntary. They also say - quote " As this downgrade meant that the pasenger would still be in an outside stateroom as a gesture of goodwill they were offered $25 per person on board credit." What they dont accept is that we spent most of that $25 on internet e-mails from the ship to our agent trying to sort this out - so ended up with nothing. Very poor response indeed .
09 Jan 10 22:53 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
williams -
, wolverhampton - Commented about this Review
Crikey! nearly booked a princess cruise to the carib. with iglu yesterday but chose thomsons instead.please let us know how you get on and good luck!
05 Jan 10 11:50 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Shaw -
, Norwich - Commented about a Comment by williams (05 Jan 10 11:50)
Dont write Iglu off. They wrote to Princess on my behalf and have taken this matter up with them. If you read below you will see that I have recieved a very poor response from Princess. iglu have responded to them on my behalf and have done all that they could to help me. I would book with Iglu again - not so sure about princess - given their poor response I would probably go with someone else. Their head office do not care about their customers at all.
09 Jan 10 22:59 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Jones -
, Birmingham - Commented about a Comment by williams (05 Jan 10 11:50)
I feel sorry for Iglu - a very difficult position for them to be in.
06 Jan 10 17:23 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
jones -
, wrexham - Commented about a Comment by Jones (06 Jan 10 17:23)
Feel sorry for you and the travel company sea princess should get their act together. we met people who were having a comp. wine just because their dinner wasnt as hot as they expected. shame on sea princess because with the itinery you were on they could have moved you for your second week, but prob ship full with family of the officers having a very discounted cruise.
07 Jan 10 00:24 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Shaw -
, Norwich - Commented about a Comment by jones (07 Jan 10 00:24)
We asked if they would move us on the second week - they refused. Again - so much for their response that our downdrade was voluntary.
09 Jan 10 23:03 - Reply - Was this comment useful?

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