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

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#1
Valley Center, CA
446 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
We have had our Family Retreat Cabana booked since June 21st. We paid for and have a receipt for the cabana.

When my mom booked the cabana, she was told there was only one left.....Yay for us! She paid for the cabana and we have been anticipating it for 3 months now.



Well, we are 2 weeks out from sailing and my mom received a letter stating that HAL was sorry but they overbooked the Family Retreat cabanas and they now want to give us 2 of the smaller cabanas. Has this ever happened to any of you?
Thank you for booking with Holland America Line. We are contacting you in regard to your Family Retreat Cabana reservation on the ms Nieuw Amsterdam, October 05, 2017. Unfortunately, due to an error, the Family Retreat Cabanas have been overbooked on this sailing. When your cabana reservation was made sailing there were no longer any Family Retreat Cabanas available, however our system allowed the overbooking. Due to the error, we will provide you with two regular Retreat Cabanas next to each other in the same area as the Family Cabana. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to welcoming you aboard.

I'm so bummed about this I can hardly think. We have planned for over a year for this vacation and then this happens. Do they overbook staterooms too?


This is our confirmation of booking:

-----Original Message-----
From: Stewart, Clifford (HAL) (HAL) <CStewart@HollandAmerica.com>
To:
Sent: Mon, Jun 19, 2017 12:11 pm
Subject: Gift Order Confirmation



Dear C...........,

Thank you for your recent purchase of Family Retreat Cabana for Caroline Bose on Nieuw Amsterdam 05OCT17. Your credit card ending in 4111 has been charged a total of $899.00USD for these items.

Gifts will be delivered to the stateroom on embarkation day. Please let us know if there is anything more we can do to assist you.


Do they really overbook, or are we just getting booted to someone else? .




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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

#2
505 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
In my experience overbooking is not usual--HAL will waitlist in situations where limited facilities are sold out. That makes me think that this is an honest mistake.

It's unfortunate that this happened, but it looks to me like HAL is trying to make right on that mistake.
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James

Seven Seas Mariner, Western Caribbean, November 10, 2017
Westerdam Panama Canal, January 5, 2018
Nieuw Statendam Premiere Cruise, December 5, 2018
#3
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1,622 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
The regular retreat cabanas are quite large. If you have two side by side (open the curtain between them) you will actually have a space larger than the family cabana. Not sure what you mean by "bait and switch". It's an error and these things happen......not intentional at all. I'm sure you'll enjoy having the regular cabanas. Enjoy your cruise!
#4
The Third Coast - Nashville
7,798 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Enjoy the cabanas and your cruise. If you're that unhappy with what you're being offered, could you ask for a refund?

Roz
#5
Virginia
278 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
It looks like an honest mistake and their offer of 2 cabanas seems fair. I would verify that the 2 are side by side though. Mistakes do happen.
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Ann

Oosterdam = 1
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#6
Exactly where I want to be
7,008 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I doubt it was an unintentional action on HAL's part. They played games with me about cabana availability for my cruise back in April. I'm sorry they screwed with you. But, at least you have 2 "regular" cabanas to make up for it; some will be left with nothing most likely. Take your email that you are promised 2 adjoining cabanas and, if they try to renege on this "promise" also, complain at the top of your lungs. "Oh, we are sorry, but we cannot accommodate two cabanas next to each other. We do have 2 cabanas, each one at the farthest point from the other." I would also write back and say you want to know the names of the 2 Cabanas now reserved for you; this would be another way to be sure you get what they say you are. They will know this so no reason for them not to do so unless they are being sketchy. I had to do this so I had proof a specific cabana was going to be mine. Beware...
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#7
New Jersey
8,989 Posts
Joined May 2007
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 back in April. I'm sorry they screwed with you. But, at least you have 2 "regular" cabanas to make up for it; some will be left with nothing most likely. Take your email that you are promised 2 adjoining cabanas and, if they try to renege on this "promise" also, complain at the top of your lungs. "Oh, we are sorry, but we cannot accommodate two cabanas next to each other. We do have 2 cabanas, each one at the farthest point from the other." Beware...
The only things I would add to this advice are to take the original confirmation, too, and to check where your cabanas are as soon as you are able to.
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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
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#8
USA
1,085 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by Sea Belle
It looks like an honest mistake and their offer of 2 cabanas seems fair ... Mistakes do happen.
Originally posted by Lady Arwen
... Not sure what you mean by "bait and switch". It's an error and these things happen......not intentional at all. I'm sure you'll enjoy having the regular cabanas. Enjoy your cruise!
Spot on, SB & LA!!! Your Posts demonstrate what true classiness is all about - congrats.
Smooth sailing
#9
107,572 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I see it as an honest mistake not bait and switch.

HAL has been known to overbook cruises as well. I remember when the Maasdam's Canada/New England cruises were overbooked a few times as well as some of the Veendam cruises out of Tampa.


Do call HAL and ask the names of the Cabanas they are assigning you -- I know someone here will know the names of the cabanas and can confirm their names for you.


Take all paperwork with you.
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#10
82,471 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I think it was an unfortunate mistake. don' t let it ruin your cruise.
Is the usual price of the two 'regular cabanas approximnately the same as price of family cab ana? If so, you really are not losing.. IMO. The only way you would lose, if you get all convinced someone did this to your family on pupose. I find that doubtful. We all make mistakes and I more than not think this ws an errror.
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#11
Valley Center, CA
446 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
I guess my biggest frustration lies in the fact that they told us there was only 1 family retreat cabana available and we jumped on it immediately. With today's computer systems, they "would" or "should" know when a cabana is sold out. Also, it shouldn't have taken over 3 months to figure out that they "overbooked" the cabana.

It's not going to ruin my cruise, but it's kind of like booking an aft stateroom and when you get on board they tell you "by the way, we over booked the room but we have an indoor stateroom for you".

We were diligent about getting a receipt and confirming the cabana over a month ago, so I don't buy the fact that it just "happened" to be an oversight.
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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

#12
Maui (Kihei)
183 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
I feel your frustration. You were looking forward to this and now there is a change. I'm sure it is an honest mistake. Maybe the new set up will be better. Come back later and update us.
#13
British Columbia
9,091 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
As long as those two regular retreat cabanas ARE side by side, I would think it would be just as good! How do the prices compare?
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Ann
#14
NM Northern Mts
3,946 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
I do agree with your assessment that it should not take 3 months to notice they didn't have what they sold you when they sold it to you. But getting the two regular size cabanas side by side is not the same as them giving an inside room to someone boarding with a booking of an aft room. When they overbook rooms they either upgrade you, or offer you another cruise at significant discount. Glad that it's not going to ruin your cruise! It's hard to have a bad day on a cruise ship! m--

editing to make the exception of an "interline" rate booking, which can get downgraded.
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Maureen --
Carnival Spirit - Alaska 09/2003 , Regal Princess - Panama Canal 1 2/2004, Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean 12/2005 B2B, HAL Maasdam - S Caribbean 12/2006, Diamond Princess - Hawaii 12/2007, HAL Ryndam - Sea of Cortez 04/2008, Carnival Sprit/HAL Oosterdam B2B Mex Rivieria 12/08, HAL Volendam - Alaska 05/2009 , HAL Amsterdam - Panama Canal Dec 2009,Princess - Med/TA Ruby Princess 10/2010, Celebrity Constellation - Caribbean 3/2011, Carnival Liberty - Caribbean 4/2011 , Maasdam - Caribbean 3/2012, Star Princess - Hawaii 11/2012, Carnival Splendor - SA 'Round the Horn 2/2013, HAL Volendam - LA to Sydney 9/2013, Celebrity Solstice Australia to New Zealand 11/2013, Ocean Princess Society Islands and Tahiti to Hawaii B2B 1/2014., Hurtigruten Midnatsol - N orway W Coast 10/2014, Viking Embla - Rhine, Main, Danube 11/2014, HAL Maasdam - W TA 11/2014, HAL Nieuw Amsterdam -E Med 9/2015, Norwegian Jade - TA 19/2015, HAL Amsterdam - Tales of the South Pacific 9/30/2016. Next up: HAL Veendam - Atlantic Adventurer Med 10/20/2017
#16
USA
327 Posts
Joined May 2016
Two cabanas side by side are not really the same. The family cabana has a side view and view to the back. I agree with the OP. It shouldn't take 3 months to discover the error. Makes me wonder if a VIP wanted the cabana.
#17
North America
312 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
I agree with Florida Gal. Two side-by-sides are definitely not the same. I would be most unhappy to have that happen to me.
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Past Sailings:
- Nieuw Amsterdam, Western Caribbean, December 2016
- Queen Victoria, Portugal and Canaries, December 2015
- Zuiderdam, Panama Canal, December 2009
- Zuiderdam, Mediterranean Romance, July 2008
#18
82,471 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by cruzin4us
I guess my biggest frustration lies in the fact that they told us there was only 1 family retreat cabana available and we jumped on it immediately. With today's computer systems, they "would" or "should" know when a cabana is sold out. Also, it shouldn't have taken over 3 months to figure out that they "overbooked" the cabana.

It's not going to ruin my cruise, but it's kind of like booking an aft stateroom and when you get on board they tell you "by the way, we over booked the room but we have an indoor stateroom for you".

We were diligent about getting a receipt and confirming the cabana over a month ago, so I don't buy the fact that it just "happened" to be an oversight.
Many of the mistakes c oming out of computers are because data was not entered at all or not entered properly .. If somone assigned/sold the cabana to another guest but never entered it in the computer it would have shown as available when your family booked it. People make misttrakes. IWhile it is clear you are upset, it might save your cruise if you are able to forgive their error and put the siruattion into perspective Have you all ever sailed without a cabana at the pool? If so, was the cruise wonderful. this one likely will b e as well whether you have two cabanas or one.. You are the only one who can decide just how much anger and angst this deserves and how much of that you wish to carry with you onto the ship.. .
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#19
Sunny Sequim, Washington state
5,909 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by Florida_gal_50
........... Makes me wonder if a VIP wanted the cabana.
I think the scenario mentioned above is a strong possibility.
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