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So they changed our itinerary....

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31 minutes ago, Tatka said:

Otherwise you can buy cruise to Alaska or Mediterranean (more expensive) , next day company will change it to Bahamas and charge you penalty fee for trying to switch because of contract. Fair business practice?

That would be a redeployment and you would be allowed to cancel without penalty.  They changed 1 port on your cruise not the entire itinerary.  To prove a bait and switch you would have to prove that they knew they would ultimately change the port when they first released the itinerary.  

 

Yes it's disappointing but unforseen things happen when you book a long way out.

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8 minutes ago, mets123 said:

You need to argue with RCCL, not us.

 

OP does need to escalate with RC, but there is value in having a discussion about their customer service practices. As Tatka mentioned, it raises awareness that these contracts can be used to shield bait and switch advertising practices and not just unanticipated itinerary changes due to weather or mechanical issues. And what incentive does RC have to address these issues if they aren't publicly known?

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We have had this happen more than once. Chose Allure In 2017 because we had not been to St Kitts and then a couple months in advance they changed the ports due to its propulsion issues.  We have learned to expect changes and then be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t happen. 
 

Oh, and you want to talk about port changes. Here is how that October 2017 Allure cruise played out:  

 

  • Originally:  Nassau, St. Kitts, St. Thomas
  • Allure propulsion issue:  Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan (swapped San Juan for St. Kitts)
  • Hurricane Irma:  Nassau, Labadee, San Juan (swapped Labadee for St. Thomas)
  • Hurricane Maria:  Nassau, Costa Maya, Cozumel (swapped Costa Maya and Cozumel for Labadee and San Juan)
  • Tropical storm on cruise: swapped Nassau for Costa Maya due to storm.
     
  • Final cruise itinerary ended up being Nassau - Cozumel - Nassau. 

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24 minutes ago, ONECRUISER said:

Agree... It's not "Bait and Switch" Have had move then 2 dozen changed Ports over the yrs, weather, Ship Maint, Ill Passengers. Royals changed Ports no known reason and even changed my Western Carib to CoCo Cay/Bahama/KW yr out. Is what is, many lines do it.

 

     Believe me, with more than a year on cruises I am perfectly aware that ports are changes.

 Unusual number of people clearly writing (here and in other places) that they only booked Empress because of these ports.

 

    And yes, Royal of course should be able to switch ports for their own reason (unless it is a weather or mechanical failure which is by the way cruise lines problem and usually somewhat compensated), but then some provision should be made for people who are affected by before cruise switch.

  

   Ads to sell cruises are in big letters, contract about switching ports at any time even before cruise are in small. I wonder how many cruises cruise lines would sell if this information about switch was written in large letters on Ads. Germany took cruiselines to court and made them declare on all cruises all charges including taxes and autogratuities in ads. This is maybe going too far, but critical information like changes to ports at will must be present in ads too.

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Thanks for the info everyone!

 

I understand all about cruise contracts...this is my 20th cruise.  Thank you. 

 

I have had itineraries changed before....usually DURING the cruise for an event unforeseen, usually weather related.

 

Stopping at Virgin Gorda was THE reason for this cruise....I've never known of any larger cruise ship stopping here, hence booking a cruise aboard this smaller/30 year old ship.   

 

"To improve your vacation experience, we've replaced our visit to Virgin Gorda with Tortula..."  I didn't ask for an "improvement".  I supposed once they have $500 of which $200 they are guaranteed to keep, one should not be surprised of more "improvements" in the future.

 

Tatka above...You are pretty much on point with exactly my thoughts. I appreciate the thoughts on Tortula to Virgin Gorda. I may do exactly that!  I'm gonna call RC and see. 

 

Edited by abt
Punctuation

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15 minutes ago, abt said:

I didn't ask for an "improvement".

RCI provides them all the time, on their ships, in their app, their web site, C&A program, etc.

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50 minutes ago, thrifty99 said:

We have had this happen more than once. Chose Allure In 2017 because we had not been to St Kitts and then a couple months in advance they changed the ports due to its propulsion issues.  We have learned to expect changes and then be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t happen. 
 

Oh, and you want to talk about port changes. Here is how that October 2017 Allure cruise played out:  

 

  • Originally:  Nassau, St. Kitts, St. Thomas
  • Allure propulsion issue:  Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan (swapped San Juan for St. Kitts)
  • Hurricane Irma:  Nassau, Labadee, San Juan (swapped Labadee for St. Thomas)
  • Hurricane Maria:  Nassau, Costa Maya, Cozumel (swapped Costa Maya and Cozumel for Labadee and San Juan)
  • Tropical storm on cruise: swapped Nassau for Costa Maya due to storm.
     
  • Final cruise itinerary ended up being Nassau - Cozumel - Nassau. 

 

 This is not what I am talking about. You are describing something that happened on your cruise, Right?

 

 I was on cruises (I have a total of 46 cruises and lately do 5-6 a year) which missed ports due to the weather. My last cruise over New Year featured missed Grenada and late times to several ports due to generator failure on Princess (we got $100 each refundable OBC for this). This all is understandable.

Changing ports months before cruise is a bit different.

 

  The fact that one or another cruise line has announced one itinerary, but after cruise was booked by many because of it and line did not give OBC or allowed people to re-book is just plain wrong . Not sure what you are arguing about. There was huge uproar when NCL announced amazing itin from San Juan with multiple great islands, but then removed key ones like several of ABC ones etc. I believe they let people to re book free of charge.

 

     Exotic itineraries sell cruises. You cannot just book people on those (especially on very old and small ships like Empress... It is not Allure where worst comes to worst you are still fine) and then switch long before cruise and not allow to re-book. I love RCI, but this is just plain wrong.

 

      I am not on that cruise btw, but just understand how people feel now.

Edited by Tatka

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32 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

RCI provides them all the time, on their ships, in their app, their web site, C&A program, etc.

 

Seriously...?

"To improve your vacation experience, we've replaced our visit to Virgin Gorda with Tortula..."

 

Nice improvement... this one and on other cruises they substituted Tortola with St Croix from where you cannot even get to VG in reasonable time.

 

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33 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

RCI provides them all the time, on their ships, in their app, their web site, C&A program, etc.

 

Don't forget the improved Cruise Compass format.  Which apparently upsets some people more  than itinerary changes

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2 minutes ago, Tatka said:

Seriously...?

Their web site is notorious for this - with every "improvement" we either lose functionality or it's just simply worse.

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2 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Their web site is notorious for this - with every "improvement" we either lose functionality or it's just simply worse.

 

Sorry I misunderstood!

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1 hour ago, Tatka said:

 

 Ads to sell cruises are in big letters, contract about switching ports at any time even before cruise are in small. I wonder how many cruises cruise lines would sell if this information about switch was written in large letters on Ads.

 

Exactly. We chose to book our Alaska cruise based on an advertising sheet with a giant heading reading "GLACIER BAY". If they hadn't finalized those contracts and it was subject to change, they should have not chosen to market specifically for that single port, or disclosed that it would be subject to change. Had I had that information up front, I would have booked a different sailing.

 

I've been on cruises that changed ports for a variety of reasons, so I know how it works. But I think in these kind of blatant bait and switch situations created by Royal Caribbean, not some unavoidable circumstance, that it's not too much to ask for a little consideration on their part. It's not like waiving a change fee a year out is going to hurt their bottom line, but affected customers will remember their greed when shopping for future cruises for years to come.

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2 hours ago, Tatka said:

 

People signing contract aren't realize that changes are made only due to unfortunate situations on the cruise, but can be bait and switch.

 

I things like this can and should be challenged in court.

 

When Cuba was denied lines did not charge fees even though there were same contracts, right? Because they knew there will be outrage. How is this different? Less people affected?

I think you misunderstand the court system.  If you sue for the $100.00 change fee, after you sign a contract, your expenses for a lawyer would be far greater than the $100 and the chance of success is next to nothing.   3 out of my last 4 major cruises I had a change.  2 of them were before the cruise such is this case.  One was for a political fight between China and South Korea, the other future cruise for uncertain unrest in a country, and the other one was for weather while on the ship.  There is no promise that everything will be exactly the same.  Changes happen all the time.  Dropping a tiny island in the Caribbean and replacing it with another stop, is just part of cruising

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When you bought your ticket, you agreed to THEIR terms...and their terms clearly state they can cancel, change or rearrange ports at any time for any reason.

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Just now, Joseph2017China said:

I think you misunderstand the court system.  If you sue for the $100.00 change fee, after you sign a contract, your expenses for a lawyer would be far greater than the $100 and the chance of success is next to nothing.   3 out of my last 4 major cruises I had a change.  2 of them were before the cruise such is this case.  One was for a political fight between China and South Korea, the other future cruise for uncertain unrest in a country, and the other one was for weather while on the ship.  There is no promise that everything will be exactly the same.  Changes happen all the time.  Dropping a tiny island in the Caribbean and replacing it with another stop, is just part of cruising

 

   I understand how court system works and not proposing to have 1 person to sue. It should be somewhat of a group. As I mentioned before after 46 cruises I clearly understand missing ports, but before selling cruises based on this particular port RCI could've foreseen it can be removed. It is not political unrest or weather, not even sudden mechanical failure. What do you think could have happened?  RCI should be able to answer this better and remove this fee  from people who booked this old and small ship which was only brought back to sail to Cuba.

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6 minutes ago, cb at sea said:

When you bought your ticket, you agreed to THEIR terms...and their terms clearly state they can cancel, change or rearrange ports at any time for any reason.

 

We already discussed this issue. Most people booked this cruise because of this port.

You don't remove it and word it as "Improvement" and "for your convenience". How is it convenient?

The least RCI could do is to wave cancellation penalty of $100. 

 

  People booked to Cuba also agreed to THEIR terms. They booked the same ship and when they could not go to Cuba they were allowed to rebook. What is a difference here?

Edited by Tatka

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5 hours ago, suesnake2002 said:

I had a week on grandeur, three stops. Wound up being anchored up in Chesapeake bay 2 days. Only really made one stop, Coco cay. 

I say only really one stop because we stopped in nassau for 2 hours in the middle of the night. Just long enough to charge us port charges. 

There are no guarantees in cruising so you need to be flexible. 

That is horrendous being charged port fees for Nassau for 2 hours in the middle of the night.  I don't care if the port fees were $5!  I would want my money back.

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1 hour ago, Tatka said:

 

 This is not what I am talking about. You are describing something that happened on your cruise, Right?

 

The first port change happened a few months before the cruise due to the Allure having a propulsion issue.  It removed St. Kitts from the itinerary and that was the main reason we took this cruise. We paid more for this itinerary than the Western itinerary that we ended up on. We tried at that time to move to a different sailing that included St Kitts but they would not let us change without a penalty. So I consider that a similar situation. 

 

The other changes due to the hurricanes were obviously outside of Royal’s control. 

Our final cruise ports ended up being a “worse case scenario” for us as we don’t like Cozumel or Nassau. While any gesture from Royal would have been appreciated due to our entire cruise being changed, it was not required for them to offer anything. And people were facing real world catastrophes from the hurricanes so our ports all swapped out was a non-issue in comparison. 

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I noticed this thread so I went and checked my Empress cruise April 2021 and it appears I have been affected as well.  What is it about Tortula that makes it such an awful substitute for Virgin Gorda?

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1 hour ago, thrifty99 said:

 And people were facing real world catastrophes from the hurricanes so our ports all swapped out was a non-issue in comparison. 

 

  Regardless to our conversation , I do not like this argument because when you go to local store and by spoiled product will you take explanation that it is non-issue because people in poor countries will be lucky to have even this? Cruise is a service just like this and somehow many people would use phrase "you should be lucky you are cruising at all!".

 

 Sorry for your bad cruise. 😞

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1 hour ago, Tree_skier said:

I noticed this thread so I went and checked my Empress cruise April 2021 and it appears I have been affected as well.  What is it about Tortula that makes it such an awful substitute for Virgin Gorda?

 

Tortola is a fine island. Very similar to St Thomas.

However Virgin Gorda is such a unique place only offered by luxury lines. You can get there from Tortola as I posted above , but it does take time and from St Croix (to where it is substituted on other cruises it is not accessible at all). Basically if you want to go to Tortola or any other regular ports you do not need to book Empress with tiny tiny rooms and everything else.

 

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Edited by Tatka

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We have done a ship tour from Tortola to VG. It was great and when we got back we walked around ?Tortola......it only takes half hour to an hour and we went all way into town,

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58 minutes ago, Tatka said:

 

  Regardless to our conversation , I do not like this argument because when you go to local store and by spoiled product will you take explanation that it is non-issue because people in poor countries will be lucky to have even this? Cruise is a service just like this and somehow many people would use phrase "you should be lucky you are cruising at all!".

 

 Sorry for your bad cruise. 😞

Sorry you don’t like the point I was making. To each their own. I don’t call it an argument... I call it being human. You need to put it in perspective of the timing. While people were killed, missing, and homeless in the hurricanes that just happened, I wasn’t about to go and argue for $100 cruise credit because the port I wanted to go to was just wiped out. 

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29 minutes ago, drafterdw said:

We have done a ship tour from Tortola to VG. It was great and when we got back we walked around ?Tortola......it only takes half hour to an hour and we went all way into town,

 

I even posted how to get there, but it is not exactly the same. On some itineraries it is substituted to St Croix

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