“We feel we need a vacation from this vacation”

One of the most memorable trips of my life was seeing Denali National Park years ago when I edited the Alaska section for Travel Weekly.

But for Charles and Cindy LeCroy, it was a different kind of memorable. Their Denali tour was part of a Princess Alaska cruise, and in retrospect, they should have probably stayed on the ship.

Everything that could go wrong went wrong, from power outages to missed connections. Worse, their cruise line offered a $100 voucher for the trouble, which means they’ll have to take another Princess cruise to benefit from it. They think the company can do better.

Let’s hit the highlights. Their Denali disaster started two weeks before their cruise, when Princess said it had overbooked their train from Whittier to Denali, and asking them to take a bus for part of their journey.

Here’s what happened when they arrived at Mt. McKinley. Take it away, Cindy:

It was a long bus ride so my husband and I decided to rest up a bit and make reservations for dinner.

I picked up the phone and it was dead. We then walked all the way to the front desk and reported it.

We ended up reporting it three times and the girl at the front desk finally said, “We’re well aware of it.” The phones were only out in the unit we were staying in.

We walked to the restaurant to make dinner reservations at that point. Later that night we tried to set the alarm clock to NO avail! It didn’t work. Luckily we both woke up in time to leave for our next destination.

When they arrived at the Denali Lodge and checked in, they found two people cleaning their room. So they decided to visit the gift shop. That’s when the power went out in the entire hotel.

We went back to our room and noticed several people trying to unlock their room doors with their cards, to no avail. My husband just pushed our door open because they didn’t shut it all the way.

No lights OR water! We couldn’t even use the toilet!

The electricity was out for an hour.

We then went to check out the restaurants at the lodge and they weren’t letting anybody inside. After the electricity came back on we went to a restaurant and everybody had to wait another 45 minutes for the restaurant to heat the ovens.

My husband and I had to brush our teeth, wash our face and my husband had to shave in the bathtub because the lever on the sink was broken off and the stopper was completely down and wouldn’t come up! Such a mess!

The final insult came when they showed up for the train to begin their journey home. That’s when they discovered they didn’t have seats because Princess had overbooked that leg of the train trip, too. They didn’t have seats.

We ended up sitting in the lounge area in two swivels chairs for five hours. We then ordered a cold sandwich from the little bar and the lady said they ran out of sandwiches.

The train stopped and picked some people up and the manager had spoken with a Princess employer at that time and brought the man back to where we were sitting and he had a computer with him and he said my husband and I were in the system just not in the train system!

In short, the whole land tour was a “bust,” she says. “We feel we need a vacation from this vacation.”

Princess’ liability for land tours is covered in section 15 of its passage contract, the legal agreement between you and the cruise line. See section F for details.

Carrier makes no warranty, either express or implied, regarding the suitability, safety, insurance or other aspects of any such contractors, transportation, tours, services, products or facilities, and Carrier’s liability for non-performance of any independent contractor providing such facilities or services shall be limited to a refund of the amounts received by Carrier on the Passenger’s behalf, if any.

Princess offered the couple a $100 voucher when they wrote to complain. It wasn’t enough for the LeCroys. I suggested they send a brief, polite appeal, which they did. Here’s the company’s response:

We constantly strive to provide the best customer service possible.

At this time, we have thoroughly reviewed your file. I am truly sorry for your continued disappointment with the circumstances regarding your sailing and for any additional frustration as a result of our correspondence.

I assure you that all of their concerns were taken into consideration in our response to their original letter. I do wish every facet of your time onboard had met the standard we strive to maintain. While I regret your disappointment, I must respectfully deny your request for additional compensation.

Our onboard credit offer of $100 per person was a sincere gesture to encourage you to sail with us again.

Their travel agent called to follow up on the rejection and according to Cindy LeCroy, was not only given a firm “no” but also “spoken to rudely.”

No doubt, the LeCroys had a terrible time in Alaska. That’s a shame, because it’s one of the most spectacular destinations on the planet.

The $100 credit came with too many strings attached and an unacceptable form apology, but Princess is technically correct. Its own contract, which the couple agreed to when they booked the cruise, is clear about its liability. Or lack thereof.

I’m moving this into my “case dismissed” file, but I’m not happy about it.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirportParkingReservations.com

With nearly 20 years in the industry, over 128 airport covered in the U.S. and Canada, and over 1,000 Hotel and Parking Partners-we provide travelers the best options on how to get to the airport when flying. Whether you want to; drive yourself and park near an Airport (Airport Parking), stay the night before your flight at an airport hotel and leave your car (Hotel and Parking Package), or take a shared Shuttle/Private Car/Limo to the Airport- we got you covered. The best deals can be found online, and booking a reservation has never been easier. You can explore all of our options by visiting us at AirportParkingReservations.com, ParkSleepFly.com, AirportParking.com, and ShuttleFinder.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Generali Global Assistance

Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of travel insurance and other assistance services for more than 25 years. We offer a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance and emergency services. Generali Global Assistance is part of The Europ Assistance (EA) Group, who pioneered the travel assistance industry in 1963 and continues to be the leader in providing real-time assistance anywhere in the world, delivering on our motto – You Live, We Care.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by G1G.com

Since its inception over three decades ago, G1G has continued to revolutionize the travel insurance industry by being the only aggregator to operate a customer portal, placing all of the user's primary needs in one place. We have continued to innovate and disrupt the market by reimagining the way travel insurance can be delivered to the end user in ways no competition can. Simply put, no one knows the market as well as its founders and no one else shares G1G values and mission.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

VisitorsCoverage is one of the world’s most trusted providers of travel insurance for millions of global travelers in over 175 countries. Working with top-rated travel insurance partner providers, VisitorsCoverage’s award-winning search, compare and purchase technology simplifies the travel insurance process and finds the best deals for the coverage you need to explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at VisitorsCoverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend