Is this enough compensation? A voucher for a “completely forgettable” honeymoon

We’ve had plenty of “honeymoon from hell” stories on this site, and they never get old. So let’s hear from Ben Barnhart, who just returned from his post-nuptial vacation at the Riu Guanacaste in Costa Rica.

Just to set your expectations, the Riu describes itself as a “five star” property with “a superb range of leisure possibilities, the hotel offers five modern, fully-equipped conference rooms, and fine restaurants.”

It look like a nice place for a honeymoon. That’s exactly what Barnhart thought when he booked it through his travel agent and Funjet Vacations.

It wasn’t.
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Can this honeymoon be saved? Help, they closed my resort in Fiji

Careful readers of this feature have probably figured out by now that it’s loosely based on the Ladies’ Home Journal column, Can This Marriage Be Saved?. We haven’t saved any marriages here — yet. But this week’s case may come the closest.

Meet Caroline Majsak, who is planning her honeymoon in Fiji. After months of research, she settled on Namale Plantation Resort, a gorgeous property that looks like it’s right off the cover of Architectural Digest. (As a matter of fact, it is.)

But then, only a few weeks before her trip, she was hit with “terrible news.” I’ll let her explain.
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Is this enough compensation? Missed honeymoon cruise because of paperwork problem


Becky and David Hovis’ honeymoon cruise on Carnival never happened. And it never will, probably.

Why not? When they booked their cruise directly through the company back in 2009, they were told she only needed a photo ID to board. Not true.

Here’s her recollection of her conversation with the Carnival agent:

I specifically asked if we needed a passport. She said no, just a photo ID. She left out the birth certificate part. This was our honeymoon.

You can probably guess what happened next.
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Why haven’t I been charged for my honeymoon flight?

Here’s a question that came to me by way of the Monday afternoon Washington Post chat on travel (and by the way, if you haven’t dropped in to ask a question, please do). Karen Luong booked her honeymoon flights from Baltimore to Naples, Italy through Orbitz in mid-June. She received reservation number from the online agency, but hasn’t been charged yet.

How can she be sure she has a ticket?

This is a question that’s come up a time or two. What, exactly, is a ticket? Is it a record locator? A ticket number? A reservation number for your online travel agency?
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Help, my honeymoon in Costa Rica went south

Question: My wife and I recently booked a honeymoon in Costa Rica through Apple Vacations. On the morning we were supposed to leave, our flights on Delta Air Lines were canceled, and they didn’t have any other flights until two days later.

I called Apple and they simply told me to call the airline. They refused to help. Delta’s customer service was only a little more helpful. They ended up getting us to Costa Rica a day later on a different airline.

Because of this we missed one day at an all-inclusive resort and decided to stay an extra day. I again called Apple and asked them to refund our missed day and wanted to book an extra day on the end of our honeymoon. They would not refund any money for the missed day and charged us for the extra day.

I sent a letter to Apple’s customer service like they suggested I do. I have not gotten any response from them after two letters. Any advice on this issue? — Loyd Jobe, Evansville, Ind.

Answer: It sounds as if Apple could have done more to save your honeymoon. But let’s take a closer look at the facts.

Delta canceled your flight, not Apple. So in a sense, Apple was right: You would have to talk with the airline about rescheduling your flight. At the same time, Apple advertises a “beginning-to-end” vacation experience, which includes employees greeting you at your departure airport and meeting you when you arrive.
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Honeymoon in hell: “I wanted to leave and go home”

Jessica Kase describes her stay at Sandals Grande St. Lucian as a “honeymoon from hell” and she wants the all-inclusive hotel chain to make it up to her. But has it done enough for her already? And how do you make up for a honeymoon in which you spend “three days in my room sobbing because what was supposed to be an amazing vacation and honeymoon was completely ruined”?

Kase and her husband booked a week at the resort and another week at a Sandals property in Antigua, despite some misgivings. The online ratings were mixed, but another couple they knew had recommended the hotels.

“I should have been smarter than that,” she says. “It was the worst vacation of my life.”
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Help, my honeymoon flight’s been canceled!

Question: About a month ago, I took advantage of a Travelocity e-mail fare alert for a flight from Minneapolis to Costa Rica. The deal seemed too good to be true: $230 roundtrip on US Airways.

I booked the flight for my September honeymoon and then went to a Web site and bid on our accommodations, which I also booked.

A few days ago, US Airways notified me that it had dropped a connecting flight to Costa Rica, and that our only option was a full refund.

I checked the ticket prices to Costa Rica and found that they had tripled. I felt like I was a victim of a bait-and-switch.

I called US Airways, which offered to fly us to Costa Rica a day after we were supposed to leave. But it would involve an overnight stay in Charlotte, which the airline was unwilling to pay for.

I understand that airlines have flight schedule changes, but I also feel that it is their choice and that if they choose to do so, they should be responsible for the consequences. Is there anything you can do? — Doug Miller, Shorewood, Minn.

Answer: US Airways shouldn’t have canceled your flight. But if it did, it should have offered an alternative flight that suited your schedule, rather than leaving you high and dry for the most important vacation of your life.
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Worst. Honeymoon. Ever.

sandalsAdam Salamon’s honeymoon did not go well.

His all-inclusive resort wasn’t what he expected. The food was lousy, the staff was rude, there were bed bugs and his travel agent didn’t care, he claims.

Although the companies involved in this vacation debacle offered some compensation, it wasn’t enough for Salamon. He wanted a full refund, and he wanted me to help him get it.

Here are the unpleasant details. (A warning to those of you who are squeamish: his account is somewhat graphic.)
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