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mackley1956

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Everything posted by mackley1956

  1. On day 188 we finally received our 85% refund for a "Round Australia" cruise that was suspended in mid-March. We were a few days into it when Princess suspended all operations worldwide. Arrived back home in the U.S. on March 18, and just got our refund today (credit to the credit card we used to pay for it). Made many calls to Princess to no avail; finally got the email address for the head of customer relations (csteinke@princesscruises.com) from this forum and sent an email on 15 August. It took a little while, but it looks like the email I sent reached someone that could do something about it. Got a call from Kimberly on 4 September saying she had read the email and would be working on our refund. She called back on 16 September to say she had processed the refund and we would be receiving it in 7-10 business days. Showed up on our credit card today (22 September). Obviously we're extremely happy that it finally got resolved, but it didn't have to be this hard. Communications from Princess were extremely poor until Kimberly took charge; I think they could have avoided some of the backlash from customers if they had just been honest and kept us informed. Hope Princess executives have learned something from this ordeal; of course no one could have been completely prepared for a worldwide pandemic, but they sure didn't seem to adapt very well once it became obvious that this was going to be the new normal. We really want to cruise on Princess again when it is safe (especially since we have 85% FCCs from the terminated cruise that we'd like to use), but right now we're just not ready to get on a ship again.
  2. Thanks, but I'd rather not go that route because I think that would be more complicated. Also, I've seen on this forum where some other people have had some problems with Princess clawing back some of that on their credit cards. Don't really understand how they can do that, but just another potential hassle I'd rather not get into.
  3. I am beyond frustrated at this point. We were on one of the cruises that was interrupted mid-cruise back in March when Princess suspended operations, so it has been 141 days since we arrived back home. For the first several months we were patient and wanted to let the process play out, but when we received the mass email from Princess stating that we hadn't informed them of our choice of FCCs vs. cash refund (we had) and that we were being given the higher value FCCs (which we didn't want), we knew we had to get involved and stay on top of it. I've been calling once or twice a week since then (late June) to check on the status, and have been told several times it has been "escalated" and that they are "working on it". Today I had the phone agent transfer me to customer relations (which I've done a couple times before when I've had the time), and that did not go well. Got the usual run-around -- we're working on it, it takes time because it has to be done manually, the calculations are complicated because the cruise was under way, etc. Those explanations just don't fly with me anymore -- Princess has already paid us to settle the shore excursions, port fees, etc., which would be the most complicated part of this. We already have the FCCs, so they know how much cash we are owed -- should be equal to the FCCs -- so there are no calculations left to be done. Seems like all they have left to do is process a transaction to pay us that amount of money. I asked to talk to the customer relations supervisor and was told at first she couldn't do that, but then she tried to connect me and couldn't get through. I refuse to accept that there is not some hierarchy of people to talk to about customer service complaints -- it can't just stop at the person answering the phone. Does anyone on this forum know of other avenues for getting any response to this -- other phone numbers, email addresses, other agencies, that one can contact? Are we the only ones who are getting this type of run-around? There seems to be a total lack of transparency from Princess on this -- we get the same answers each time we call to get us off the phone as quickly as possible. No one can tell us where they are in the process; from reading this forum it looks like there is no rhyme or reason to how they are addressing refunds -- certainly it is not being done in cancellation order. Sorry for venting, but hoping someone on here has some advice that can help us get things moving.
  4. I had the same thing happen to me yesterday. Took 3 tries before I finally got through (and immediately got put on hold). As another poster said, it is because their phone system can only handle having so many people on hold. When I mentioned it to the phone agent, he said that at that moment there were over 260 people in the queue. I know it is extremely frustrating, but hang in there and you'll eventually get through. I've started calling about every 3-4 days to check on the status, and I've been told multiple times our case has been "escalated" or "expedited", but that doesn't seem to mean anything.
  5. No guarantees that they'll answer you, but the email address for customer relations is customerrelations@princess.com. That was given to me by a phone agent at 1-800-PRINCESS when I called about 3 weeks ago, and I sent them a lengthy email with details about our particular situation. I explicitly asked for a reply so I would know they received it but got nothing in return. However, I do know they received it because a phone agent I spoke to yesterday confirmed that they got it. We were on one of the cruises that was cancelled a few days in, so our case is being handled manually, and at 121 days in we still have no actual money in hand yet. We have gotten the Future Cruise Credits we were promised when our cruise was terminated, but not a penny of real money. Yesterday was the first time I was actually able to talk to someone other than an agent answering 1-800-PRINCESS calls. The agent I spoke to was very helpful. She told me that the amount we are owed for pre-paid excursions was refunded to our credit card earlier this week and that our bank had accepted the transaction yesterday, but so far it has not shown up on our credit card. After a little discussion about that, she transferred me to someone in a finance department that has more direct influence on the actual refund process, and she was also very helpful. She confirmed what we suspected all along -- the refunds for cruises that were cancelled mid-sail are being handled completely manually, and they are told by upper management when to work on them. She sent a message to a supervisor to try to get our case moving, and also sent me an email with an itemized list of everything that was included in the amount that was supposedly sent to our credit card company. It included refunds for pre-paid shore excursions we didn't get to take, port fees and taxes that were not incurred because the trip was cut short, and pretty much all of the non-cruise fare items we thought we were owed. So, the good news is they seem to be doing a thorough job of getting everything right, but the bad news is it is still taking a long time. The next part, which is the bulk of what we are owed, should be easy -- just a straight percentage of our cruise fees. Up until 3 weeks ago we were trying to remain patient and let the process play out, but we received an email that made us realize that we needed to be more proactive. The email stated that Princess hadn't received our preference for how we wanted our refunds, so we were going to receive the entire thing in Future Cruise Credits, which is definitely not what we had told them. At that point we made a call, and have called once a week to check on things and see if we can get status updates. Each time we have gotten a little more help and a little more information, so I think it pays to bug them once in a while. I'm always very calm and respectful with whoever I talk to -- I know for the most part the people I'm talking to aren't making the decisions and getting angry at them will not help our cause. Crossing our fingers that the rest will be done soon. Hope you get some satisfaction. I know it is frustrating, but hang in there and keep after them. It will eventually get worked out.
  6. 113 days since we arrived home after our Australia cruise was terminated. Princess originally tried to give us the higher option; i.e., double refund in Future Cruise Credits instead of the option we chose, which was a combination of FCCs and cash back. Called them on June 27 about that, and finally got the FCC part straightened out about a week later, but still not one penny in refunds. Called again today and spoke to a veteran phone agent (23 years with Princess), and although she didn't really have any good answers as to when we might get some money back, she was sympathetic to our situation and escalated our request. However, I don't have much hope that will do anything; the last agent did the same thing and here we are. I did learn from her that the cruises that were terminated in mid-sail are being handled by a different group than the more straightforward flat-out cancellations. Suspected this to be the case since I've been reading this thread pretty regularly and seeing the response times all over the place. Happy to see that some people are finally getting their money back, maybe some day we'll get ours. 😬
  7. Finally seeing some movement on our refund on day 104 (we were on Sea Princess on the Around Australia cruise that was terminated in mid-March). Last Saturday we received the form email that a lot of people got informing us that we had been given the higher value all FCCs: "We don’t currently have a record of your preference, so we’ve gone ahead and credited your My Princess account with the higher value FCC." This was not at all what we wanted, and we had informed them of our preferences, so we called 1-800-PRINCESS and also wrote a lengthy email with supporting documentation about our choices and our expected refund. Coincidentally, on Monday we got a marketing email from a Princess Cruise Vacation Planner. Not one to miss an opportunity when I see it, I dumped the whole thing on her, and to her credit she read my email and replied that she would forward the email to the appropriate group and keep tabs on it. Don't know if her efforts had anything to do with it or if they finally got to our account, but today the FCCs reflect what we expected them to -- actually a little bit higher. We were told it would be 80% when we got off the ship, and it turned out to be 85%. Still haven't seen any credits hit credit cards yet, but from what I've been reading here that usually lags the FCCs by a few days. Fingers crossed that we'll see it in the next few days.
  8. Lots of discussion about refunds on this thread -- I'll add my two cents worth. We were on the Sea Princess on the "Around Australia" cruise that was terminated after a few days at sea (left Sydney March 10, cancelled around March 15). I have called Princess several times checking on the status and have received virtually no useful information from the people answering the phone. My sense is that, through no fault of their own, the people manning the phones are pretty much in the dark and don't have enough information/tools to help people calling about this. I've been pretty patient up to now, but am reaching the end of my rope. To date we have received no cash refunds of any kind, but we do now have FCCs (Future Cruise Credits), which is not what we asked for. Yesterday we got an email (someone earlier quoted the same one) with this quote: "We don’t currently have a record of your preference, so we’ve gone ahead and credited your My Princess account with the higher value FCC. If anytime you decide you would prefer the refund plus the lower value FCC, simply contact our customer service team at 1-800-PRINCESS and they will be happy to help arrange that." This is a flat out lie -- we filled out their form online (twice) stating that we preferred the cash refund. I called 1-800-PRINCESS again today and didn't get a whole lot of useful information. The agent did gather some more information from me and sent an email to whichever department is handling this -- I'm not confident anything will happen anytime soon. I was able to get an actual email address from her for customer relations so I could send my own information to them, which I did, including copies of all of the reply emails I got when I filled out the form. As someone else in this thread stated, it has been over 90 days since our cruise was terminated, and we have nothing yet. Given the above I feel like the process has started all over again -- hope it doesn't take another 90 days before we see something. I really don't want to be angry at Princess about this -- we have really enjoyed their cruises and planned to take other trips with them, but this is beyond frustrating at this point. Sorry for sounding like a whiny baby about this, but I guess I needed to vent a little bit. 😀
  9. My wife and I hope to cruise again some day, but the circumstances are going to have to be different. In hindsight, we probably shouldn't have gone on the Ruby Princess cruise because we both have underlying medical conditions that make us vulnerable to infections. Under "normal" circumstances, these conditions pose no threat to us, but the threat posed by this virus is one that we probably shouldn't have taken a chance on. In our defense, when we left the U.S. on Feb 19, there were only about a dozen cases in the U.S., maybe a dozen in Australia, and none in New Zealand. Things had not yet blown up anywhere outside of China, and all countries were preventing anyone from China from entering, so we felt reasonably safe in going. This was a bucket list type of trip for us that we had been planning for a couple of years. Obviously, things changed rapidly while we were on the Ruby Princess, and then while we were on the Sea Princess all hell broke loose in the world. We came to find out that our family was extremely concerned about us, and we don't want to ever put them through that again. While we made it through the whole ordeal just fine, we did have a feeling of helplessness while we were on the ship watching all of this unfold around the world. We worried that we might get stuck on the ship in quarantine or in Australia (not necessarily a bad place to get stuck) once we disembarked because the rules were changing by the day. I guess what I'm saying is that we'd like to cruise again, but until the cruise lines and governments around the world can demonstrate that they have put what they learned from this into practice, we probably won't be going anywhere soon. Just like 9/11, the world will be a different place after this, and we'll wait until everyone has this sorted out.
  10. Agreed -- wonder what changed between 8th March and 19th March? We were not surprised, and frankly happy that they took the time to check people before we got off of Ruby Princess. I know there were some passengers complaining about having to wait, but I for one was happy that they were being cautious and doing some testing.
  11. The exact quote from the e-mail was: "Late on 28 March 2020, we were advised by the New South Wales, Australia Ministry of Health (NSW Health) of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a guest that travelled on Sea Princess's voyage that arrived in Sydney on 18 March 2020. The guest was infectious only on the day of disembarkation. There does not appear to have been an outbreak of COVID-19 on this ship, however as an abundance of caution, as a passenger on this ship, you are considered a close contact and will need to be in home isolation up to and including 01 April 2020." I'm not sure how they knew for sure that this passenger was infectious only on the day of disembarkation, but I believe you are correct -- they did not have COVID while they were on the ship.
  12. My wife and I were on the Ruby Princess on the trip just before the one that is now being investigated (Feb 24 - Mar 8), and we were also on the Sea Princess for the Round Australia trip when it got cut short when Princess suspended operations. I have read news reports that the police investigation into the Ruby Princess will now include the trip we were on, and that we would be receiving a survey from the police about our experience. We have not yet received it -- has anyone else gotten it yet? I haven't spent the time to go through all 18 pages of comments on this topic, but I've read through some of the comments and I get the sense that most commenters feel like the media are trying to sensationalize this unfortunate incident and find someone to blame. I would have to agree -- although there appear to be mistakes made all around, I just don't see where there was any malicious intent by either Princess or the NSW authorities. I'm sure a lot of people wish they had done something different in hindsight. I can't speak to what happened on the Ruby Princess on the trip after ours, but I feel like the captain and crew were being pretty transparent about what was going on during our time on Ruby. There were multiple announcements made, especially toward the end of our cruise, encouraging anyone who was feeling ill to report to the medical unit for examination. We didn't know how many actually showed up, but we were made aware that there were a number of people who had reported, and as a result our disembarkation was delayed for at least a couple of hours while testing was conducted. While we were waiting to get off the ship, we were out on our balcony and noticed that there was no activity on the dock relating to resupply, removing our bags, etc., so I can only assume that no one was being allowed on or off the ship until the test results were known. When we did disembark, we weren't told of any cases of COVID-19, and we never received any follow-up communication concerning any positive tests, so we can only assume that none were discovered. I suppose Princess could have done a little better by stating as much to ease everyone's minds, but overall I don't feel like we were being deliberately kept in the dark. Our experience on the Sea Princess was very similar. We were a little surprised that there weren't any delays to speak of when we disembarked on Mar 18 -- we expected that it would have been similar to what happened when we got off Ruby Princess. We did receive an e-mail from Princess on Mar 28 stating that a single passenger from Sea Princess had tested positive days after leaving the ship and advising us that we needed to be in home isolation until April 1. Fortunately, we had decided to do that on our own when we arrived back in the U.S., so we hadn't been walking around potentially unknowingly infecting people. We are obviously well past April 1 and have had no symptoms, so we are pretty sure we did not get infected.
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