Frustration with Booking Family Retreat Cabana --- HAL Bait & Switched Us

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#21
Sunny Sequim, Washington state
5,925 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
CC member "Cruisin Nana" had a similar situation with a retreat cabana reservation on Nieuw Amsterdam, in February of this year. HAL had given her cabana to Princess Margarite of the royal family of the Netherlands. However, Cruisin Nana argued with HAL, and demanded her cabana back, and, she got it back! Here's the passage where she describes her situation:


Retreat Cabana

We went to check on our cabana, and it was everything wewanted it to be and then some. It wasour home away from home. If you recall,I had asked specifically for the Portofino Cabana and had a verbal responsethat was available for me. A week or sobefore the cruise, I got an email from Guest Services that Portofino had beendouble booked and they had moved me to another cabana. I was not happy so I wrote back with someexplanations of why I should not be moved, and my original request washonored. I could not wait to see who hadthe other cabana they tried to switch me to. Well, it was the Royals! All ofthe Royals! Yes, one cabana for two wasassigned to all the Royals. (I wasshocked that my request was honored!) After arriving home, I found out from myguide in Amsterdam that Princess Margarite and her husband were celebratingtheir 50th wedding anniversary with a Caribbean cruise with her 4sons, 4 daughter in laws and her 11 grandchildren! (and her body guard) While this made forgreat people watching, it did somewhat impact our time in the cabana. Only a few of the grandchildren ran in andout, but all the adults took over most of the lounges in the sun and had thecabana guys taking and delivering lunch orders for all of them before waitingon those of us following the rules of the two person cabana. My husband and I do not sit in the sun, sothe lack of sun lounges did not impact us but definitely did others. The result of that was chair hogs in theRetreat Cabana!!! And I didn?t blamethem at all. I noticed when I arrived atthe cabana one day, that several lounges had towels, books, beach bags, etc. onthem. The people who placed them thereshowed up a few hours later to sit in the sun. The Royals moved to the other end of the cabana area and used up allthose lounges!

The Princess? bodyguard sat in a corner right outside thecabana area keeping watch over the Princess. When she stood up, he stood up, and if she headed toward the door, hewas right there escorting her out. Isoon learned, ?IT IS GOOD TO BE A PRINCESS!?

At 3:30 was the muster drill. We were in cabin 7048 and the Princess was in7040 which I discovered at the drill: The staff in charge kept calling 7040 for a check in at the muster?.noanswer! Finally, an officer came up tothe staff and proclaimed, ?The Princess is NOT coming!? Yes, ?IT IS GOOD TO BE A PRINCESS!? I whispered to my husband that I consideredmyself a princess so what was I doing at the muster??? Hahaha!

I did not bother trying to speak to the Royals, but from myobservations, they were very lovely people, and I am sure they would havejoined me in conversation. Sincereturning, I have read that they are quite beloved in their country and wellrespected. They certainly are a handsomelooking family!
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#22
82,769 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Once on the ship, OP will see and perhaps chat with the occupants of the family cabana.
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#23
USA
368 Posts
Joined May 2016
Originally posted by Old As Dirt Mom
CC member "Cruisin Nana" had a similar situation with a retreat cabana reservation on Nieuw Amsterdam, in February of this year. HAL had given her cabana to Princess Margarite of the royal family of the Netherlands. However, Cruisin Nana argued with HAL, and demanded her cabana back, and, she got it back! Here's the passage where she describes her situation:


Retreat Cabana

We went to check on our cabana, and it was everything wewanted it to be and then some. It wasour home away from home. If you recall,I had asked specifically for the Portofino Cabana and had a verbal responsethat was available for me. A week or sobefore the cruise, I got an email from Guest Services that Portofino had beendouble booked and they had moved me to another cabana. I was not happy so I wrote back with someexplanations of why I should not be moved, and my original request washonored. I could not wait to see who hadthe other cabana they tried to switch me to. Well, it was the Royals! All ofthe Royals! Yes, one cabana for two wasassigned to all the Royals. (I wasshocked that my request was honored!) After arriving home, I found out from myguide in Amsterdam that Princess Margarite and her husband were celebratingtheir 50th wedding anniversary with a Caribbean cruise with her 4sons, 4 daughter in laws and her 11 grandchildren! (and her body guard) While this made forgreat people watching, it did somewhat impact our time in the cabana. Only a few of the grandchildren ran in andout, but all the adults took over most of the lounges in the sun and had thecabana guys taking and delivering lunch orders for all of them before waitingon those of us following the rules of the two person cabana. My husband and I do not sit in the sun, sothe lack of sun lounges did not impact us but definitely did others. The result of that was chair hogs in theRetreat Cabana!!! And I didn?t blamethem at all. I noticed when I arrived atthe cabana one day, that several lounges had towels, books, beach bags, etc. onthem. The people who placed them thereshowed up a few hours later to sit in the sun. The Royals moved to the other end of the cabana area and used up allthose lounges!

The Princess? bodyguard sat in a corner right outside thecabana area keeping watch over the Princess. When she stood up, he stood up, and if she headed toward the door, hewas right there escorting her out. Isoon learned, ?IT IS GOOD TO BE A PRINCESS!?

At 3:30 was the muster drill. We were in cabin 7048 and the Princess was in7040 which I discovered at the drill: The staff in charge kept calling 7040 for a check in at the muster?.noanswer! Finally, an officer came up tothe staff and proclaimed, ?The Princess is NOT coming!? Yes, ?IT IS GOOD TO BE A PRINCESS!? I whispered to my husband that I consideredmyself a princess so what was I doing at the muster??? Hahaha!

I did not bother trying to speak to the Royals, but from myobservations, they were very lovely people, and I am sure they would havejoined me in conversation. Sincereturning, I have read that they are quite beloved in their country and wellrespected. They certainly are a handsomelooking family!
That's quite the situation. I don't recall seeing this previously. Thank you for bringing it up. Based on this I think it may be worthwhile for the op to call holland America again.
#24
North America
377 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by slidergirl
I doubt it was an unintentional action on HAL's part. They played games with me about cabana availability for my cruise bacck in April.
Out of curiousity.... can you share what you experienced?
#25
United States
14,272 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Originally posted by sail7seas
Once on the ship, OP will see and perhaps chat with the occupants of the family cabana.
I suspect you say this with good intentions, but I think it is awkward. If someone approached me and started questioning why I had their cabana, I'd be pretty put off personally. What would the end goal of your approach be, I ask out of curiosity.
#26
Exactly where I want to be
7,044 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by *Miss G*
Out of curiousity.... can you share what you experienced?
Yes, I am not lying...
Eurodam April 2017 the repo from San Diego to Vancouver. First call - nothing available at all, all cabanas booked. Second call - nothing available for just the repo, had to be the entire transit. Third email - no pricing available. Fourth email - contact us in a week. Fifth email - nothing available. Sixth email - surprise - there IS a cabana available and we do have pricing for just the repo...
This strung out for 3 weeks. When dealing with any entity where I don't get a proper response, I HUCA and I escalate... (In case you are not familiar with this protocol, it is Hang Up, Call Again. Works well with airlines and hotels).
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#28
New Jersey
9,028 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by LMaxwell
I suspect you say this with good intentions, but I think it is awkward. If someone approached me and started questioning why I had their cabana, I'd be pretty put off personally. What would the end goal of your approach be, I ask out of curiosity.
If I were in this situation, I wouldn't ask "How did you get my cabana?" I'd go over and ask if I could see what the family cabana looks like, since they were not available and I had to take 2 regular ones. And if the person said something about getting lucky on a late cancellation, I'd say how nice--not "THIS IS MINE." But you can bet I'd go to the front desk and ask to speak to someone about it.
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
28 QE2 - including 2 Midnight Sun, 2 Panama Canal, 6 TAs, 4 Canada/New England, and various Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe itineraries
11 QM2 - 7 TAs, Caribbean, Royal Circumnavigation of Australia, Canada
1 Caronia - Baltic
11 HAL -Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, Alaska
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#29
82,769 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
If I were in this situation, I wouldn't ask "How did you get my cabana?" I'd go over and ask if I could see what the family cabana looks like, since they were not available and I had to take 2 regular ones. And if the person said something about getting lucky on a late cancellation, I'd say how nice--not "THIS IS MINE." But you can bet I'd go to the front desk and ask to speak to someone about it.

The only resolution is if OP goes to ffont desk affer discovering it is, indeed,occupied is for those people to lose use of the acbana. That would be entirelly too awkward a thing to do to anyone, IMO. OP does not know how or why she lost the ca ana but she should not punish people who may have done nothing wrong., as far as she knows. How would that make them feel and do what to tteir enjoyment of the cruise? No point to going go the desk once it is known there are other people using it.

I agree she absolutely should not question or comment it was to have been her cabana but casuaal chit chat between cruisers c an leadtto a new buddy and who know s what the occupant of cab ana might offer in terms oF THEIR STATUs if hey are the Vip that OP has suggested she believes is what happened EVEN if so, I do not think OP should mention any connection to thag c abana. She c an c omplimdent it, ofer good wishes theg roup ednjoy it and tell that she and her family are in ttwo side by side cabanas. Wbho knows but they may actually like each other and become new pals.
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#30
New Jersey
9,028 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by sail7seas
The only resolution is if OP goes gtgo ffont cdesk affer discovering it is, inded,occupied is for those people to lose use of the cbana. t Thatr would be entirelly too awkward a thing to do to anyone, IMO. OP xodes nogt knows hows or why she losf tthe ca ana but shde should not punish people who may have done nothing wrong. How would that make them feel and do what to tteir enjoyment of the cruise? No point to going go the desk once it is known there are other people using it.

I agree she absolutely should not question or comment it was to have been her cabana but casuaal chit chat between cruisers c an leadtto a new buddy and who know s what the occupant of cab ana might offer in terms oF THEIR STATUs if hey are the Vip that OP has suggested she believes is what happened EVEN if so, I do not think OP should mention any connection to thag c abana. She c an c omplimdent it, ofer good wishes theg roup ednjoy it and tell that she and her family are in ttwo side by side cabanas. Wbho knows but they may actually like each other and become new pals.
Mostly, I'd want to satisfy my curiosity. I wouldn't ask for the people to have it to be turfed out. But I'd want to make sure that somebody at HAL is aware of what happened. I might wait until after the cruise and write a letter of complaint with the additional info that somebody booked the cabana after it had been given to me. It wouldn't do me any good, but maybe it would make them more careful so that they wouldn't mess up someone else's reservation in the future.
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
28 QE2 - including 2 Midnight Sun, 2 Panama Canal, 6 TAs, 4 Canada/New England, and various Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe itineraries
11 QM2 - 7 TAs, Caribbean, Royal Circumnavigation of Australia, Canada
1 Caronia - Baltic
11 HAL -Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, Alaska
1 Princess
2 RCCL
5 NCL - including 2 on SS Norway (RIP)
1 Uniworld River Cruise (Tulips and Windmills)
1 American Cruise Line - Queen of the West, Columbia & Snake Rivers
#31
82,769 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
Mostly, I'd want to satisfy my curiosity. I wouldn't ask for the people to have it to be turfed out. But I'd want to make sure that somebody at HAL is aware of what happened. I might wait until after the cruise and write a letter of complaint with the additional info that somebody booked the cabana after it had been given to me. It wouldn't do me any good, but maybe it would make them more careful so that they wouldn't mess up someone else's reservation in the future.

After the cruise, sure but the suggesttion was to go to front office. THAT is during t he cruisee.
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#32
Fort Lauderdale, FL
11,042 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
This may have been in the thread and I missed it, but is the cost of two normal cabanas the same as the family one?

If it's not, make sure you get your money back for the difference. Also, WRITE up a letter expressing your disappointment to the beverage manager. (Pretty sure the cabanas are under his purview.) Hand deliver the letter to the front desk. I'd skip the front desk personnel. You're still going through the proper channels as the front desk isn't in the channel to begin with.
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#33
USA
1,239 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by LMaxwell
I suspect you say this with good intentions, but I think it is awkward. If someone approached me and started questioning why I had their cabana, I'd be pretty put off personally...
Totally agree - what good would it do OP to interrogate the cabana occupants? After all, it was not their mistake that caused the mix-up. And accosting them in this manner will likely make them feel badly or embarrass them and, ultimately, will do nothing to resolve the problem.
Of equal importance is that people with true class would never do something so rude and tacky ... JMO
#34
Valley Center, CA
446 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Well, here is what we've decided to do.

1. We've called Ship Services and were supposed to receive a call back from a Supervisor (that never happened)
2. We've written a letter to Ship Services and cc'd our TA along with the person that made the original reservation.
3. Since it's a weekend, we can't do anything further.

We definitely won't confront the people that are assigned to the Family retreat cabana. We will however take this as far as we can until we can go no further. Had they notified us right away of the overbooking we wouldn't be nearly as upset, but for them to take over 3 months to notify us, this is totally unacceptable in my opinion.

I guess I'm going to go down fighting on this one.....
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Laurie & Mike
Valley Center, CA


Past Cruises:
Norwegian Jewel - Mexican Riviera
Princess - Crown - Alaska
Celebrity - Infinity - South America - Buenos Aries to Santiago
Carnival - Mexican Riviera - 2x
Celebrity - Millennium - Panama Canal
Royal Caribbean - West Caribbean
Princess - Grand Princess - Mediterranean
Royal Caribbean - East Caribbean

#35
The Third Coast - Nashville
7,874 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
This whole situation has to be frustrating and disappointing. Calling it bait and switch is misleading. Here's the definition of bait and switch: "the action (generally illegal) of advertising goods that are an apparent bargain, with the intention of substituting inferior or more expensive goods".


I really don't think that's what happened here.


To the OP, you have to do what you think is best for your family and situation, but don't let it ruin your cruise.


Roz
#36
82,769 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by avian777
Totally agree - what good would it do OP to interrogate the cabana occupants? After all, it was not their mistake that caused the mix-up. And accosting them in this manner will likely make them feel badly or embarrass them and, ultimately, will do nothing to resolve the problem.
Of equal importance is that people with true class would never do something so rude and tacky ... JMO
Acccosting? Really? What do o you picture or imagine. KIndly read my above postt. In no way do I suggest being confrontational or 'acc osting anyone. Vivid imaginatiions at work. Where did these images of violence come from? Le's please lose them. TThanks. Do you not picture calm,, polite, chit chat?
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#37
New Brunswick
41,939 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by slidergirl
Yes, I am not lying...
Eurodam April 2017 the repo from San Diego to Vancouver. First call - nothing available at all, all cabanas booked. Second call - nothing available for just the repo, had to be the entire transit. Third email - no pricing available. Fourth email - contact us in a week. Fifth email - nothing available. Sixth email - surprise - there IS a cabana available and we do have pricing for just the repo...
This strung out for 3 weeks. When dealing with any entity where I don't get a proper response, I HUCA and I escalate... (In case you are not familiar with this protocol, it is Hang Up, Call Again. Works well with airlines and hotels).
I totally get HUCA slidergirl, I have done it myself but...

This is a different situation than the OP's. In your case...

May I suggest that they were not going to allocate cabanas to a repo cruise until they saw what was booked?

If everyone booked on the whole cruise wanted the cabanas, they wouldn't have been available is my best guess.

Once some booked that were getting off earlier (I use San Diego in my example of these cruises but it may not apply in this case) and there were openings, then the cabanas would open.

they don't open stuff for repos right away until they see what is available. JMVHO though.

How did it turn out? Did you enjoy the cabana?
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#38
Warwick, R.I. , USA
38,357 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
Mostly, I'd want to satisfy my curiosity. I wouldn't ask for the people to have it to be turfed out. But I'd want to make sure that somebody at HAL is aware of what happened. I might wait until after the cruise and write a letter of complaint with the additional info that somebody booked the cabana after it had been given to me. It wouldn't do me any good, but maybe it would make them more careful so that they wouldn't mess up someone else's reservation in the future.
Exchanging some chit-chat with the occupants might even reveal that they did, in fact, book the family cabana before the OP did. If so, if might make OP feel a little better that it was her family that lost out.
That would not excuse HAL taking so long to let her know, and offer the resolution, but it could calm the waters somewhat.
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#39
Washington State
588 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
If you have two "side by sides" can you raise the canvas on the two inside "walls" and make it more like one big cabana?
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K & K

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#40
Valley Center, CA
446 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by kevingastreich
If you have two "side by sides" can you raise the canvas on the two inside "walls" and make it more like one big cabana?
I'm not sure if you can or not....the pictures look like they are solid partitions. It looks like the Lido cabanas can be opened up, but I'm not sure about the retreat.

Do any of you know the answer to this?
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Laurie & Mike
Valley Center, CA


Past Cruises:
Norwegian Jewel - Mexican Riviera
Princess - Crown - Alaska
Celebrity - Infinity - South America - Buenos Aries to Santiago
Carnival - Mexican Riviera - 2x
Celebrity - Millennium - Panama Canal
Royal Caribbean - West Caribbean
Princess - Grand Princess - Mediterranean
Royal Caribbean - East Caribbean