Total lack of admin support
|Reviewed By: Shaw, Norwich on 5th Jan 2010|
|Cruise Line: Princess Cruises||Times cruised before: 0|
|Cruise Ship: Sea Princess||Sailed: November, 2009|
|Destination: Caribbean||Age: 46-55|
|Cabin: Outside||Occasion: Birthday|
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 Iglu.com had accepted the downgrade on our behalf and that the mistake was made by Iglu.com. 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 Iglu.com, 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 Iglu.com 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 Iglu.com -
...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 Iglu.com 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 Iglu.com 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.
|Quality of Food|
|the Junior Assistant purser Katie Hewitt - helped us as far as she could and was patient|
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