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    Royal Caribbean Bumps Cruise Passenger, CruiseCrazies Member

    We've all heard of the airlines bumping passengers onto alternate flights due to overbooking, right? But cruise lines doing the same thing? In what may very well be the first report of such an occurrence, one of our very own members, zebra, has returned from a cruise and is sharing her story. The purpose of this article is not to stir the pot or point blame, but to (1) Make you aware that this can happen to you, and (2) Raise awareness in the hopes that this does not become a trend within the cruising industry. Here's the complete un-edited account, courtesy of zebra....

    We have booked many cruises with RCCL and they have become our cruise line of choice. This article is simply a warning to ALL cruisers that this too could happen to them.

    Tony had a certain week available to be off work, so we made a last minute (13 days before sailing) booking on Monarch of the Seas on June 11th out of Port Canaveral. We were told that it had to be a guaranteed cabin at this late stage, we were fine with that. We liked the fact that it was a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas and also that it had one sea day, which we love, as we can just kick back and relax.

    Four days before sailing I checked the website and confirmed we still had a guaranteed cabin but had not yet been allocated a specific one yet, which I needed in order to print out our Set Sail pass and luggage tags.

    The next day I received a phone call from Royal Caribbean telling me that they are sorry but this cruise has been overbooked and we have 3 options:

    1) We could change our booking to the Majesty of the Seas which sails on exactly the same dates but out of Miami. They would upgrade us to an oceanview (18 inch porthole) on Deck 2 and give us a $100 onboard credit.

    2) We could stay with Monarch of the Seas but would have to choose another date - The same upgrade and OBC would apply.

    3) They would fully refund our money.

    At NO TIME were we offered to be able to stay on our cruise of choice - Even when I asked them to repeat ALL our options.

    I was blown away ... had NEVER heard of this happening on the cruise lines. I called my husband at work to choose one of the options. He said we will have to go with option No. 1 because that's the only week he can get off and because he needs the break he didn't want a refund. I called them and the reservation was changed to Majesty of the Seas, June 11th out of Miami.

    The unfortunate thing is that we like to cruise out of Port Canaveral because it is only 2 hours away with no major traffic problems along the way. Now our new choice was 5-6 hours away with mega traffic problems in Miami. So being 3 times the distance it would also cost us three times the amount in gas and expenses to get to the port. Another thing was that the port parking garage in Miami charges $20 per day and opposed to $15 per day in Port Canaveral.

    After speaking to others we realized that RCCL had not offered us enough to make this worth our while. So I called the RCCL Resolution Department. The first disconcerting thing that they told me was that on our file NOTHING had been noted with regard to who had called us - only that we had chosen option No. 1. Immediately the Resolution specialist gave me another offer. The same upgrade and $300 OBC. I accepted but told them that this was a totally unacceptable practice offered by their Head Office and certainly not a way that loyal Diamond members of their product should be treated ... In fact not a way that any cruiser should be treated.

    I might add - It took us 6 hours to get to Miami battling peak hour traffic along the way. It's for this main reason that after all our years of cruising plus after 25 cruises we have never cruised out of Miami. Also, the UPGRADE was not really an upgrade. The cabins on these older ships are really tiny, the square footage was the same on both inside and outside, the only difference was a small porthole. The other issue was that the Majesty did not have a sea day! They had an additional port .... Key West. While this would be great for cruisers from up North, don't forget we are Floridians and have been to Key West many times before, we would definitely have preferred a sea day.

    We were determined to have a good time when we eventually cruised and thoroughy enjoyed the Majesty of the Seas, the staff, and everything on our cruise.

    We are merely posting this to warn all cruisers to be on the lookout that this not only happens on airlines but is now also happening on cruiselines ..... -
    Zebra, CruiseCrazies Member

    How do you think Royal Caribbean handled this situation? Do you think the cruise line could have offered more? Let's hear it in your comments below!

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    I think they certainly should have offered more OBC right from the start...

    But more to the point for me is........do they do this often? I would be very leery now of trying to book at the last minute with no specific cabin available....

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    Not sure I see the issue here. This wasn't a cruise of a lifetime booked over a year in advance. This also isn't rare. Cruiselines are constantly making "move over offers" as they always overbook. They, like the airlines, have statistics saying how many bookings typically cancel. If that number isn't met, then obviously someone isn't going, and why wouldn't it be the people who booked last? Perhaps they tried calling some other people first to see if they would move, with compensation, or maybe they did it the easy way and called the people who didn't have assigned cabins, and told them the news. Either this certainly wasn't the first, and definitely not the last time this has happenned. And I do think $300 OBC for a 4 day cruise is quite adequate (generous actually) compensation.

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    It does not surprise me that this kind of thing happened with this cruise line. I am also a veteran cruiser of many cruise lines and just having completed a 42 day cruise on the Voyager of the Seas. The administration or lack of it on that cruise was unbelievable.

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    Being very new to the world of cruising (I started in May 2010), I have never heard of this happening. Frankly, I'm shocked! I feel it would have been reasonable for RCCL to arrange flights for the couple as well. Perhaps that is naive of me, but it did not seem they were apologetic about overbooking, therefore I would not be apologetic about trying to arrange free transportation.

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    I have to say I always wondered if this would eventually happen with the way you can book "guaranteed cabins". We typically book "last minute" within 3 months of sailing, and by doing so we have kept our cost down by watching until our flights come to a price we want. Then we book hotels, cruise, and airfare all at the same time. I believe from now on I will have to be a bit more careful about booking a cruise without a real room assignment...

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    I'm so sorry that this happened to you. They should have given you more onboard credit for the extra drive and for parking fees.

    A few years ago Carnival called that they had overbooked the 4 day Carnival Imagination cruise that I had booked with my mother for her birthday. They offered for us to go on the next voyage the following week which was 5 days. I was on summer vacation and wanted to take the offer, but my mother couldn't take the it the following week because it was the closing of the month at her job. They allowed us to stay on the 4 day Imagination, and called someone else to make the offer. They were calling those who lived here in Miami.

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