Can I write a happy ending to this Celebrity horror story?

If they gave an award for the longest complaint letter, then Cornelia Stumpf’s missive to Celebrity Cruises would definitely be a leading candidate.

At 3,661 words, it is an epic-length tale of a vacation gone wrong — a tale to which Stumpf would like me to help her write a happy ending.

Today, I’m moving my Tuesday feature “Can This Trip Be Saved” to Monday, and there’s no better case to start it off with than Stumpf’s.

To her credit, she didn’t bury the lede.

“The biggest and most pressing item for this letter is the issue that the Celebrity Constellation broke down with a mechanical failure of one of the turbines on the second day of the voyage in the port of Key West on Dec. 15,” she wrote in a complaint to Celebrity.

The problems were well documented in the local media, which reported the Constellation had technical issues with one of its gas turbine engines. As a result, it stayed in the Southernmost City an extra day.

As I review her lengthy email to Celebrity, it seems Stumpf is bothered by many things, from the contradictory statements made by the crew after the mechanical failure to its proposed resolution.

For example, the cruise line sugarcoated the Key West delay, saying it would give passengers extra time to enjoy the city. It gave travelers misleading information about the status of their departure and bent some facts about the revised itinerary. In the end, she says Celebrity headed to Nassau instead of Mexico.

Here are her demands:

I expect a compensation from Celebrity for a minimum of 50 percent of my paid rate/price of my cruise including taxes and port charges, as I did not get to the port I had booked and my vacation was totally ruined, the money I spent wasted, due to the fact that the mechanical failure of the Constellation ruined my vacation, did not bring me to the port of call which is sold as the highlight of the cruise, and kept me over 38 hours waiting for repairs in a navy pier location.

I do not consider being docked for over 38 hours, in addition to the regular stop in Key West, as cruising, it is docking due to repair and does not warrant CRUISE EXPERIENCE. I could have booked a nice hotel in Key West and been on a beach if I wanted to stay in a place for over 48 hours. I elected cruising, not staying!!!

Then, she goes into excruciating detail about exactly how Celebrity let her down.

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I’m impressed by the saga. She leaves nothing to the imagination. It is a classic laundry-list of complaints that seems to be common among cruise passengers.

But her main point, which I think is perfectly valid, is this: She booked a cruise to Cozumel; she got a cruise to Nassau.

“A day sitting at a naval dock in Key West, waiting for updated information, is not a relaxation day in my opinion, nor is the port of Nassau a replacement for the Mayan highlights of Cozumel,” she says.

Can Celebrity just change the itinerary? Yes. Here’s the relevant language from its ticket contract, the adhesion contract between the cruise line and its passengers.

Carrier may for any reason at any time and without prior notice, cancel, advance, postpone or deviate from any scheduled sailing, port of call, destination, lodging or any activity on or off the Vessel, or substitute another vessel or port of call, destination, lodging or activity.

Carrier shall not be liable for any claim whatsoever by Passenger, including but not limited to loss, compensation or refund, by reason of such cancellation, advancement, postponement, substitution or deviation.

Stumpf phoned Celebrity to complain. Here’s how it responded:

It is never our intent to create difficulties for our guests and we make every effort to avoid any itinerary changes or delays. In this case, it was necessary for our shipboard team to delay the departure due to a mechanical failure. However, we did our best to find a suitable alternative to the original port of call. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

During our conversation I shared with you that we will not be able to offer you compensation for the missed port. However, we would like to extend an offer of $75.00 Onboard Credit per person, as a goodwill gesture, due to the inconveniences encountered with your stateroom.

Ms. Stumpf, I am sorry for your unpleasant experience. Sometimes, despite our best efforts and good intentions, things do not go the way we had hoped. I can assure you we will continue to improve our services to meet the needs of our guests. We truly hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back again.

That’s not enough for her. Doesn’t the cruise industry’s “bill of rights” entitle her to some kind of compensation? Celebrity apparently thinks not.

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I’ve read and re-read the correspondence between Stumpf and Celebrity, and it appears the cruise line didn’t offer her any kind of compensation initially, because her cruise wasn’t abbreviated. A refund of port fees? No, because Celebrity still had to pay port fees in Key West and Nassau. Celebrity doesn’t think there’s anything to refund.

I can certainly understand Stumpf’s frustration, although the laundry list novel probably didn’t help her cause. The cruise wasn’t what she booked and she deserves some compensation. The onboard credit will buy her a nice bottle of wine, if she ever cruises on Celebrity again.

Something tells me she won’t.

Should I mediate Cornelia Stumpf's case?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at Read more of Christopher's articles here.

  • Sam Varshavchik

    These kinds of issues are a lost cause.

    People will just have to learn that they are promised that their cruise guarantees them absolutely nothing, so if they don’t get what they thought they paid for, too bad.

    The only way to deal with this problem is not. go. on. cruises. any. more.

    The cruise industry has absolutely zero incentive to change their consumer-hostile practices, as long as they continue to rake in the cash.

    When people are no longer willing to bend over and get screwed over, when these things happen; when the cruise industry is facing falling revenues, and they understand that people are no longer find their offering acceptable; only then we’ll see some well-deserved changes here.

    But not before.

  • John Baker

    Her letter was longer than half the essays I wrote in college… Combine that with her over the top language, I’m betting that someone hit the delete key before they got half way through. The OP really needs a class on how to complain effectively. Long diatribes and YELLING is not really an effective way to get what you want especially when you need them to make an exception to do it. I’m willing to bet that her phone calls were not that much more productive.

    Look … I’m sorry that she didn’t make it to Mexico and Nassau is absolutely no substitute for anywhere but … In order to be compliant with US law they had to sail somewhere outside the US. Due to their engine trouble, they couldn’t make Mexico so it had to be Nassau.

    I’d also be interested because its isn’t mentioned… Chris do you know if the cruise did anything for passengers during the experience?

    Looks like a lost cause to me

  • Helio

    If she has so many complains (she started it with 3,661 words), she needs to go to court, instead looking for mediation.

    And I have the impression if you do not achieve 100% of her demands, she will write another novel to complain about you.

  • commentfromme

    If a traveler is mind set on going to a specific location ( in this case, Cozumel ) then do not take a cruise. Fly to the location.

  • Alan Gore

    Cruise passengers are supposed to understand that a port can be skipped in case of bad weather or a “routine” (however that may be defined) mechanical problem. But in this case, OP is right: spending half her cruise sitting at a naval dock because of a major engine failure and the other half going to a totally unplanned part of the world is not the deal she booked. Flipping a $75 funny-money voucher at a customer who has been through this is a total insult. If Celebrity is going to give store credit, she deserves a total ‘redo’ of the original cruise

  • Christina Saull

    As a six time cruiser, I can offer this advice: Cruises don’t make it to scheduled ports for a variety of reasons: weather, mechanical, etc. If she lost money from something she had booked in Mexico, the only way to avoid this is to go through the cruise line for shore excursions. Unfortunately for passengers, cruise lines have their contracts written to allow a huge bending of the rules. As a previous commenter said, if she really wanted to go to Cozumel, she should have flown there.

  • Excellent answer, Sam. I agree with you 100%. Consumers have got to start voting with their wallets. I spoke yesterday to a group of timeshare owners and said that. There is no incentive other than money or lack thereof to force any change on any industry. Right now, the cruise industry and the timeshare industry have all the power because consumers continue to given them that power.

  • TonyA_says

    Cruise at your own risk, baby!


    I voted to steer clear of this one. Laundry lists of complaints are a red flag to me. Attempting to bolster support for a legitimate complaint by nit-picking everything that made you unhappy leads to no resolution at all. I believe compensation is due for the missed port—Cozumel and Nassau are not similar at all. (Nassau should be avoided at all cost in my opinion.) But the extensive list of complaints tells us she would not be happy with any resolution to her problem. Even if they had made all their scheduled ports she would still have a long list of complaints and would not be happy. I am sorry about this missed port as that does change the tone of the vacation. (I have been on several cruises that have missed/changed ports. Mostly weather related and one that no reason was every given.) But stick to the point at hand as criticism of every aspect of the cruise simply tells the cruise line and everyone else that she would not be happy no matter what happened.

  • Douglas Stallings

    Perhaps Celebrity made a strategic error here by not offering that $75 onboard credit to everyone for this cruise to make up for the inconvenience, but to me that is sufficient compensation. Cruise itineraries change, and the cruise line has the right to do that by contract of carriage (and, to be honest, the responsibility when ship and passenger safety is an issue). These are short cruises that don’t allow for much leeway in port departure times, so I understand the necessity of switching ports here. This cruiser is asking for and expecting too much compensation. I wish I could be more sympathetic, but that’s the way it is.

    I do think that cruise lines should do something when a cruise itinerary changes, but they rarely do. But the passengers here got their timely information, didn’t have a reduction of service, and made it back home on time. That’s really all the cruising bill of rights requires. Mechanical issues happen, and other than the lack of an onboard credit, Celebrity seems to have handled everything by the book.

  • TonyA_says

    But some people just love the cruising experience whatever that is. Regardless, you still go to a made-up tourist spot built for Americans that just happens to be in Mexico soil. Some people call that Travel and Tourism :-)

  • TonyA_says

    What is it with Cheap, Cheap, Cheap that some folks do not understand.
    Most Americans want a real cheap, almost decision free, sunny break from the monotony of a real lousy job (or lack thereof). Cruising is like the “meth” of travel for many Americans. This is why many travel agents still exist today – as they still have something to peddle that has good commissions.

  • TonyA_says

    I wonder if she started her 3,661 word epic while the lame boat was docked for 38 hours? At least she had something to do.

  • John Baker

    I know… Key West is such a boring town … Not sure what I would do with an extra day there….

  • sharpasice

    HAH! This same person is complaining on the Cruise Critic boards.. Most interesting..I don’t believe she is entitled to anything. This happens frequently with cruise lines, ports are changed or skipped all the time. This person is a joke and there are much better ways to complain with will also garner the complainer a little respect.

  • Blackadar

    Even though I think she’s owed something, I voted no.

    Nassau and Cozumel are very different types of vacation. Nassau is a pit that no one should want to travel to, while Cozumel is decent. That’s like booking a trip to NYC and getting to visit Jersey City instead. So I believe that some credit or refund of a couple hundred bucks is probably warranted. While Celebrity does not have to do that via their absurdly one-sided contract, it makes good business sense to do so.

    At the same time, a 3,661 word essay is an absurdity and kills any chance anyone had of taking the OP seriously. A short, concise letter would have probably done the trick, so let this be a lesson to the OP – brevity is your friend.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    I usually vote yes on these sorts of cases, but voted no this time just because of the letter. Wanting a minimum of 50% back is over-the-top so it seems clear there’s going to be no way to satisfy the OP, so why even bother trying? There’ll just be a 3,000 word email about how the resolution still wasn’t good enough or how Christopher didn’t do enough to help. It’s a lost cause on every possible level.

  • TonyA_says

    Umm, some parts of NYC are just like Jersey City. NYC has 5 boroughs and some places in NYC are probably worse than Jersey City. Maybe you are referring to the wealthy areas of Manhattan?

  • Lori Manganelli Wiesner

    And she’s sure not getting any love there! lol Cruise Critic boards seem to be fairly intolerant of entitlement and nonsense…

  • Joe_D_Messina

    Parts of Nassau like the old town are very pretty and historic. And that’s as far as a cruise passenger is going to get.

  • Cam

    What is a ‘lede’?

    No vote from me. I hate laundry lists.

  • JenniferFinger

    I’m not sure what you can get back for her. Cruise lines sell tickets but write their contracts with absolutely no guarantees, not even to take you to the port of call they sold you on the ship they sold you.

  • MarkKelling

    Lede: the introductory section of a news story that is intended to entice the reader to read the full story.

  • Cam

    A new word of American English for me. In Australia we would say lead or intro.


  • emanon256

    You two have torn me in two. I personally don’t cruise, I pick a destination and go there because that is what is important to me, so I agree with CommentFromMe. If she wanted the cruising experience, she still got it, because she had access to the boat for the same amount of time, even though it was in Key West an extra day and didn’t go to Cozumel.

  • sirwired

    What exactly is she looking for? A 50% refund for a missed port isn’t even close to reasonable.

    If I was Celebrity, I would have offered immediate ~$100 onboard credit to everyone on-board for the delay, since the delay was a result of mechanical difficulties instead of, say, weather. That might have gone a long way towards soothing some ruffled feathers.

    When writing a letter, she certainly did herself no favors by writing a detailed epic. It actually tells the company that you are SO dissatisfied, there’s probably nothing they can do to make you want to buy from them again, and therefore there’s no point in offering you anything.

    Update: Somebody here linked to the thread by the same person on cruise critic. A few interesting tidbits:
    – The day the ship was supposed to be in Cozumel was “a complete rainout”; it’s unlikely the ferry to the mainland (where the mentioned Myan ruins are) would have been operating. (It’s a rough trip at the best of times…) The passengers probably had a better time in Nassau than they would have in Cozumel.
    – While the ship was “stranded at the Naval base”, the passengers were not. Reportedly, the line ran tenders all day and all night so passengers could make use of the extensive amount of things to do in Key West. Not an ideal situation, but not bad.

  • Helio

    According to one poster who took the same cruise, she missed at Cozumel… a rainy day!!!!

    You missed Cozumel but got Nassau and from those who were in Cozumel the day we missed, it was a total rainout.

  • Helio

    BTW, I just counted the words in Chris article exposing this problem (OK, it’s a lie, I used MS Word for it ;-)

    The text itself, including the quotes from OP, ticket contract and Celebrity reply has 926 words (a little more if included the title and pool). Her complain is about 4 times longer!

  • bodega3

    Oh lordy, some people should never leave home to travel.

  • TonyA_says

    Personally, I don’t consider those closed loop cruises as traveling. Hence, I don’t cruise and I fly to my intended Destination.
    However, I must point out that there are millions of Americans that are not like us. Due to a lack of words or understanding, I just rationalize it by saying these folks love the cruising experience.
    While Im not one of these folks, I do understand why they are upset just like a kid would if the ice cream parlor didnt have their advertised 31 flavors.
    So there is still some sympathy left in me for the OP even if she took risks she was suppose to understand.
    But, I am not smart enough to suggest some kind of compensation scheme thst would be fair to cruisers.

  • emanon256

    Oh wow, I just read those. Other people on the same cruise were posting and saying that the new itinerary was actually much better than the planned one. They had an extra day in port off set by one less day at sea, and missed a rainy day in Cozumel. Sounds like the OP got a better cruise than she booked.

  • John Keahey

    It’s a word used by journalists. I don’t know about Australian journalists, but in the U.S., that’s the way it is spelled in Webster’s Collegiate 11th edition.

  • LeeAnneClark

    She says she wanted the “cruise experience.” That’s exactly what she got: several days onboard a cruise ship. As noted elsewhere in these comments, cruise ships skip ports all the time, and nobody gets a refund. The contract clearly states that. She got what she paid for. She got a cabin on the ship, food, the pool, the entertainment, etc.

    Many people cruise just to be on the ship; the port stops are secondary.

    I’m not at all surprised at the responses on Cruise Critic. The folks who post there are dedicated cruisers, and understand the ins and outs of that type of vacation, including that ports are never guaranteed.

    I have done quite a few cruises, and I do carefully select my itinerary, but always with the understanding that we might have to miss one or more of the stops. When I cruise, it’s for the purpose of spending some time on a particular ship that I like, in a region where I want to visit a number of sites without having the inconvenience of between-city traveling, packing & unpacking, etc. I’ve missed ports before, but never more than one stop on the itinerary. Yes it was disappointing, but we did see the other ports, plus we had pre- and post-cruise stays. That’s travel: you have to remain flexible. Stuff happens. You deal with it, and find a way to make the best of your vacation. She could have done what I’m sure every other passenger on that ship did: find a nice spot on deck, read a book, pig out at the buffet, take a dip in the pool, drink one of the frou-frou nuclear-colored specialty drinks. Instead she sat around stewing.

    What makes me laugh is that she seems to think that her rant is going to get her something, when there were a couple thousand other folks who suffered the same situation as she did, and they clearly didn’t get anything either. Did it not occur to her that if they give her what she wants, they’d have to do it for everyone else? Does she think that her disappointment in the cruise is somehow special and more deserving of money than everyone else’s?

    Run, Chris. Run away and don’t look back.

    Edit: I just read the thread on Cruise Critic. It’s a laugh a minute! Boy did she pick the wrong place to spew her overly-entitled demands. It’s worth the read, folks!

  • Cam

    From wikipedia:

    The most important structural element of a story is the lead or intro (in the UK) and the story’s first, or leading sentence. Some American English writers use the spelling lede /ˈliːd/, from the archaic English, to avoid confusion with the printing press type formerly made from the metal lead or the related typographical term leading.

    So, as I say, not a spelling found in non-U.S English

  • omgstfualready

    It takes a special person to turn the lemonade back into lemons. Your vacation is as fun as you want it to be. I feel badly for whomever was traveling with her, s/he had no peace.

  • Linda Barbone

    I was to sail the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas on March 23 out of Galveston, TX. The prior day a collision in the ship channel caused a major oil spill. The Coast Guard closed the port until the damage could be assessed. We were allowed to board the ship since the delay was expected to be just a few hours. In reality, we were still docked on Tuesday, with no idea of when the ship could leave. At that time Royal Caribbean cancelled the cruise, gave everyone a full refund, AND said we would stay aboard the rest of the week to enjoy the usual cruise amenities. While people were disappointed, the fact that we got a free Cruise to Nowhere, especially since Royal Caribbean had no part in the oil spill, seemed very generous…considering the contract said they can make any change, at any time, for any reason and not be held liable. The next day, the Coast Guard opened the port and Royal Caribbean UNCANCELLED THE CRUISE!!! We set sail on a 4-day cruise to Cozumel, AND we got the full refund of the 7-day cruise! We were astounded at this gesture. Has this ever happened to anyone else?

  • Judy Serie Nagy

    Too bad, so sad, my heart bleeds for this unfortunate woman. She must have a truly miserable life. However, she does get the 2014 award for best whiner. Yes, know it’s only March but what could possibly be a greater whine than someone who got to a port different from the one she thought she was going to and was forced to spend an extra day in Key West?

  • tom65xke

    Basic good customer service would have given her a larger credit on a future cruise.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    I read the cruise line blog and it’s pretty hilarious and one thing came out: apparently, the weather in Mexico was a rainout anyway.

    I’ll agree with Celebrity on this one. These things happen and they did their best to deal with it. This is a good lesson about all travel related mishaps as well. I have missed connections (due to late flights) and gotten rerouted and had to grin and bear it and sometimes haggle for a meal voucher or something like that (and did so with a smile, not a scowl.) This is how TRAVEL is. Travel is fluid and unpredictable. If you want the comfort of home traveling, you either better put out big bucks for that class of service or just stay home.

  • TonyA_says

    Went to Celebrity’s website. The 4-day Nassau cruise was actually more expensive than the 5-day Cozumel cruise. Weird.
    Of course the 4-day cruise did not include 38 hours staring at walls :-)

  • TonyA_says

    Miserable Life? From just one stupid cruise? I don’t think so. Her bio is pretty cool:

    Cornelia G Stumpf—Principal and Owner of CSCP Consult has over 25 years
    of international management experience in public relations, sales and
    marketing, with a diversity of companies and industries. Her current
    focus is Public Relations and Event Marketing for firms in the
    architecture and design field. Upon earning her degree in Business and
    Tourism from the University of Munich, Ms. Stumpf began her career in
    the travel and tourism industry, followed by marketing and hospitality
    consulting for a variety of high-end European and International
    companies, including Lufthansa, United Airlines, Mercedes Benz and Clive
    Christian Cabinetry. Her experience in the field of Public Relations
    and international marketing expertise for these corporations gave her
    the necessary experience to start her own firm working with the
    Architecture and Design communities and their related fields. Ms. Stumpf
    has significantly furthered the level of exposure and recognition her
    clients have received since signing with CSCP Consult, and plans to
    expand her business include branching into other industries and signing
    new clients in the immediate future.

  • Annie M

    While I think Celebrity should have given everyone a small credit toward a future cruise, this woman is the type who makes everyone cringe. If her life is that wonderful that a change of port ruined the entire experience, she is a lucky woman. I once went on a cruise to the Bahamas that missed two of the three ports were we were supposed to stop at and we spent two extra days sailing in circles. What did we get back? The port fees.

    She ate, slept and entertained herself on the cruise, no way is she entitled to 50%.

    She agreed to the cruise lines terms, which were that they can change the port if they needed to. I would have been happy to have extra time in KeyWest, one of my favorite places.

    This is a travel companies worst passenger. I hate to think of how she would react if something really serious happened in her life. She should be embarrassed to even have sent you her laundry list.

  • emanon256

    Well, the OPs 5-day cruise was still 5 days, one less day at sea, and one extra day in Key West. I also read later from other people on her cruise, that to make up for the change of itinerary they threw a party and provided free alcohol. It sounds like they got more than they paid for as a result of the engine trouble.

  • TonyA_says

    It is becoming clearer to me after reading more comments here that the OP did not understand that cruise ports of call are not synonymous to (airline) destinations.

  • disqus_wK5MCy17IP

    Don’t mediate.

    stumpf – December 20, 2013 4:44 PM
    We were on this cruise as well, it was the worst customer service experience we ever had. On top of the mechanic failure and the forced added 38 hrs. dock time in Key West plus the horrible port of Nassau, instead of a Western Caribbean cruise and Cozumel, the staff, executive office and crew did not care. The ship was dirty, nobody has manners and nothing was offered as compensation, on top of all Celebrity tried to make money out of this by selling added shore excursions. When calling the Customer care line of Celebrity the snappy agent informed me” that I got a cruise”- no I actually did not-I got docked 2 days in a naval dock and then shipped to the horrible port of Nassau including 10,000 more guests from 6 mega ships that came the same day. Not what I booked or signed up for. Celebrity wasted my time and my money , and does not care or offer anything so far!!!!! My travel agent told me to write to the Office of the president at Celebrity and list all incidents minute by minute, as she was horrified to hear about the neglect and treatment. I suggest all of you do the same!
    PS: Crew told us that the prior cruise was with over 250 guest from Celebrity HQ and they were happy that nothing had happened on this cruise. Plus this has happened before and that guest had been as well kept in the ” dark / uninformed” as we had been, told just info when really pressed and then send home with nothing. This is very bad customer service and really needs to be stopped. the cruise lines make money with docking us and not fulfilling their contracts of transportation, but never give money back- what’s next a cruise on a dock in port everglades.?

    There are 2 additional comments where she describes posts she made in their Facebook page that were deleted. And she posted in the comments of some other blogs, complaining that her Facebook posts were deleted.

  • “Meth of travel”… Love it… (although I do like to cruise as well!)

  • So… you’re saying everyone on that original cruise should get a re-do?

  • Mel65

    I’m conflicted. The OP seems a little… cranky. But, at the same time, if my Alaskan cruise had, for example, stayed in Vancouver or Seattle, I’d have been P*SSED!! And staying in a Florida port? Eh, that’s not so much … a cruise. Also, it bothers me that an airline owes passengers in the event of a mechanical breakdown, but cruises say “too bad, so sad” when THEY have a mechanical breakdown. I think if the OP had been more sympathetic and less… “YOU OWE ME” about this whole thing I’d have said she should get SOMETHING, but realistically, I have no idea WHAT she should get… So, basically I just used a whole lot of words to say “hellifIknow”…..

  • Sweet!

  • Sleuth!

  • TonyA_says

    I’m conflicted, too. It’s the principle that bothers me. A cruise to Cozumel; well, should be a cruise to Cozumel. And if not then what is the compensation if there is a substitute? Will any 5 days in sea be the same? Dunno.

  • Helio

    Are you sure she began her career in the travel and tourism industry, followed by marketing and hospitality consulting?!?

    Her bio seems to be a little inconsistent…

  • Helio

    I may agree with you, but cruising is usually about the trip, not the destination – if I’m not wrong, the departing and arriving ports use to be the same.

    I tend to consider in this case missing Cozumel something similar to go to Disney and find out that the Space Mountain was closed to maintenance. I’ll be upset, but it is only an attraction of the park, I’ll be able to ride the other ones.

    The concept is almost the same. But OK, if was me, I’ll be more upset in missing a port that I was interested to visit instead of a Disney ride.

    (BTW, I’m not good in conditional phrases in English, as you may notice…)

  • Joe Farrell

    According to their contract, Celebrity does even have to leave the port of embarkation . . . they can stay in port, claim pretty much any reason, and you are not entitled to a refund.

  • Joe Farrell

    We have not gone on a cruise since 1998. Too much hassle. Even in a premium cabin. Then you read the horror stories, read the contracts ,and realize the only reason you actually go anywhere is because if all they offered was all you can eat buffet and a cabin for a week they would not rake in the cash any longer.

    Cruise companies force you to pay for their staff in outrageous tips per cabin – which should be covered by the fare You don’t get a bill from the hotel for the maid, do you? Or for the waiter in the restaurant?

    You pay for everything on board, even things they imply in the brochure are free –

    Sorry, I”m out. You are not getting my hard earned vacation money until you actually care about the individual customer experience and what you pay for versus what they have to legally supply.

  • TMMao

    Royal Caribbean was supposed to take us to the Caymans but due to unforeseen weather, we ended up going to Haiti. Quite a contrast but still enjoyable in its own way, especially when the market vendor’s eyes lit up when I told her to keep the change (of less than $5.)

  • Leslie

    I saw that! The fellow cruises really let her have it and rightfully so-7 pages worth! She has all her facts mixed up between Celebrity and ROyal Carribean (said they owned them) and says she got nothing where now she is offered a $75 credit. Thanks!

  • sunshipballoons

    Her complaints are valid as a matter of principle, but she’s clearly a bad “client” and, what’s more, even if she were a good one, this requires a more system-wide resolution. No one person is going to fix this overall problem.

  • Will Belden

    The problem isn’t in the issue, the problem is with the contract. If the cruise line is unable to meet its basic selling point (going to specific places) then passengers should be compensated. Tackling this individual passenger case isn’t the solution — getting changes made to the contracts (passenger rights) is.

  • pauletteb

    With the cards stacked so ridiculously in the cruise lines’ favor, it seems to me that every gangway should have the same notice as that before the gate of Hell in Dante’s Inferno: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

  • Naoma Foreman

    Nothing is promised “for sure” to my knowledge. We sailed to Alaska to see the Fjords and the ship broke down for 2 days outside of the passage into the Fjords. We were in Haines,
    Alaska for 2 days. A nothing town. But we did get some compensation upon return. There is no “guarantee” — so get over it!

  • Naoma Foreman

    We have owned timeshares in the past. Still own a couple — and they are
    “worthless.” We use the Marriott one once a year but “get over it.” They want you to change to some other “plan.” (not worth it either). Buyer beware.

  • Naoma Foreman

    In past cruises we have “opted out” of letting the cruise line decide on what
    tips we will leave. Usually your steward is the only one who really does anything for you — or if you have a good waiter on the ship. We give them a
    very large tip and they are quite happy. Why tip someone who does not do anything for you on that “prepaid tip?” You can decline for the overall
    “packaged tips.”

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