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About steveww48

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  1. I am happy to read this. It took Princess six weeks to do this-- and that is far too long-- but at least they have come to their senses and have taken appropriate steps. I hope they also have updated their "playbook" for how these sorts of things are handled when they occur. As I pointed out in my earlier post, Princess should have done much more to assist you in making alternative plans as soon as this happened. Perhaps in future events of this sort that will be the case. But at least they have taken some steps after the fact to try to restore goodwill.
  2. Same for us-- it's the piano entertainer we care about, not the bar (although the bar did seem to get a lot of business). Indeed, on our last cruise (on the Royal) there was no seating to be found in Crooners most nights and we sat as close as we could, in the atrium area. This has been a very popular venue on every one of our Princess cruises. Today I received a canned email reply to the email I sent last week ("your comments have been forwarded to the appropriate department")-- no reference at all to the specific points I made in my email. Hard to muster much enthusiasm from that.
  3. I was not affected by this incident but I have read about it here, and I am appalled at Princess’ behavior. Yes, there may be legal distinctions as to what Princess is or is not required to do, but that is superseded by the fact that Princess is in the customer service business. And at least in this instance, they have failed in a huge way. I see several levels of failure here. Princess could have made amends (at least to some extent) at several points along the way but the only consistent thing they did was to drop the ball. Every time. a) Front line staff (on the ship) should have been far more empathetic and helpful to those on the ship who were affected by this. Even if Princess chose to provide financial assistance only to those customers who purchased EZ-Air (that may have been Princess’ right under the contract although I personally view that as a bad choice… more about that later), staff on the ship could have and should have provided operational assistance to everyone who was affected, even if Princess was going to insist that some of these people had to bear the costs directly. The same is true for staff at the port of LeHavre, for those passengers who needed to scramble to get to Southampton. b) The lack of follow-up by headquarters staff is also unacceptable. Everyone affected by this should have received a personal apology, at least by letter. (If I were in charge, each person would have received a personal phone call.) And yes, there should be compensation. My own view is that everyone’s expenses should be reimbursed, but if Princess is not going to do that they should offer a significant inducement for a future cruise. And I mean significant. Why wouldn’t they do this as a means of restoring loyalty from at least those customers who might be willing to give Princess another chance? Absent this, how many of these people are going to abandon Princess forever? Perhaps not all, but I’ll bet that many will. I cannot believe how short-sighted Princess' actions have been-- truly penny-wise and pound-foolish. I know that some people have observed that the contract we accept may not require Princess to cover these expenses. But every large business maintains a contingency account to deal with unexpected issues that might arise… including this sort of issue! The contingency budget allows them to “do the right thing” (without directly affecting profitability) and apply good judgment to provide compensation even if legally that may not be required. If you are in any sort of service business these sorts of things happen from time to time and an important way a service business can distinguish itself is to do what’s right, particularly when that exceeds what is required. Good will matters a lot and Princess has just dissipated a huge amount of that. Approximately 600 people were directly affected by this. How many others have read about it—Hundreds more? Thousands more? How do these people feel about Princess now? My view is that Princess has failed miserably in this case, in every respect. My regard for the company has been hugely diminished and I suspect I’m not alone with that view. If anyone from Princess reads this, I hope you will take this to heart and do the right thing. Some contrition and positive action can go a long way, even now.
  4. Our thoughts are similar. From direct experience we know that RCL and NCL are not for us. HAL was not bad, but over the years we concluded that Princess was best for us. Now that is becoming less clear. If we get to the point of taking our business elsewhere we'll certainly give Celebrity a good look (we have friends who are very enthusiastic about Celebrity) and as you point out, Azamara and a few others might be worth considering. But I'm still hopeful that Princess will wise up about this and respond to the feedback they've been getting. Earlier in this thread some folks indicated that Princess says they are listening... we'll have to see what they actually do.
  5. I sent Princess an email about this earlier today. I explained that we spend time in Crooners almost every evening and that it's an important part of our cruise experience (we particularly enjoy the Broadway show tunes that are often performed). I also pointed out how popular the venue is-- most evenings we've found it packed and difficult to find seating. Even if Princess perceives that it might be good business for them to offer another up-charge restaurant (and I certainly understand their interest in doing so), it's incomprehensible that they would do so at the expense of one of the most popular evening venues on the ship. For us, it's a deal breaker-- if a ship does not have a Crooners-like venue, we won't sail on it. If they continue to build ships without a Crooners, we'll have fewer and fewer Princess ships to choose from and we'll move to another line. I hope that Princess gets the message and takes appropriate action. Although I'll be disappointed, I can understand that it might in fact be too late to alter the Sky... but if future builds are Crooners-less that would be very unfortunate and we'll start looking at other cruise lines.
  6. For the moment, leaving aside your observation about the actual behavior of the ships' computers once on board... The flyer I have for the Landmark Sale says in the fine print that the OBC "...is not redeemable for cash, cannot be used in the casino, expires at the end of the voyage, and is not applicable during the land portion of cruisetours." The fine print in my booking (which does reference The Landmark Sale) says that the OBC is "not refundable and not transferable." There is no reference here to not being able to use the OBC in the casino. Nowhere have I seen that the OBC cannot be used for gratuities. Did I miss that somewhere? (Whether it ends up being enforced or not, I would at least like to know if this was stipulated somewhere.)
  7. That's a good point that I neglected to make-- a re-faring would result in a price increase if the fare has gone up since you originally booked so one always has to look at the overall result to see if the re-faring makes sense. Fortunately my fare had not increased so in my case I simply received an additional $1000 in OBC. The phrase in the fine print about "...limited space..." is interesting. It suggests there is a quota (per cruise? per cabin category?) relating to the availability of the OBC in this promotion. So I guess it is possible that a sold-out cabin category could mean this is not available to someone already booked. Seems to me that this sort of marketing (just how much space is available in this promotion?) has the potential to disappoint a lot of people.
  8. I might be mistaken about this, but my understanding is that there is no need to "re-book" to participate in this promotion. Ask for your existing booking to be "re-fared" so that you can take advantage of the promotion. Your cabin is never at risk of being lost because the process should not be one of cancelling your existing booking and then re-booking the cruise. With a re-faring, everything stays the same (cabin, booking code, etc) but you get the benefit of the promotion as long as you otherwise qualify for it. I'm not an expert on this but I'm not aware that the "cabin category being sold out" is a disqualifying factor. If you haven't tried it yet, use the magic word re-fare and see if you get a better result.
  9. Just off the Royal after the 15-day TA which ended November 5th. We saw four production shows, in this order: 1. Colors of the World: Seemed like something that might be put on in Elementary School. In our group of 4, no one enjoyed it. 2. Spectacular: A mish-mash of big costumes and big production numbers done in scenes which had no connection to one another and no common theme; appeared to be an attempt to mimic old-style Vegas reviews. Again, none of us enjoyed this. 3. What the World Needs Now: Themed around the music of Burt Bacharach-- this was excellent! Every one of us enjoyed this one. Great music which was done very, very well. 4. Sweet Soul Music: Themed around 60's Motown and related music-- this was beyond excellent, it was outstanding! All of us enjoyed it immensely, and it was clear the audience felt the same. This show was absolutely great! To be clear, the cast of singers and dancers are talented and they worked hard and performed well in each show. But the content of the shows comes from headquarters and the first two shows were weak in that regard; my negative comments about the first two shows relate to the content and structure of those shows, and not to any deficiencies in the cast. I doubt that it's a coincidence that the shows got better as the cruise went on. Princess probably realizes what they've got and would want to end on the strongest possible note, which is clearly what they did. We did hear that two new shows will be starting up on the Royal-- one show in December and the other in January (I think those were the months). They did not say which of the current shows will go away but I figure that the first two shows we saw will be the ones to be replaced (to put a finer point on it, that is what I would do if I were in charge).
  10. We'll be on a cruise departing from Kobe. My understanding is that the general custom is not to offer tips in Japan. Does this include the luggage handlers at the port-- should the luggage handlers in Kobe be tipped, or not?
  11. Thanks for filling in so many details. This is very helpful.
  12. I've heard back from Yamato Unyu. They do not have an office at the Kobe port so they cannot deliver luggage to the port. But they do have a distribution center (where we can pick up the luggage) that appears to be very close to the Kobe port, although probably not walking distance.
  13. Very helpful-- thanks. I've sent an email query to Yamato Unyu, asking whether they deliver to the Kobe cruise terminal. Their web site has lots of info about airport deliveries but nothing at all about cruise ports.
  14. We'll be spending several days in Tokyo and then will travel to Kobe to pick up our cruise. From research, it looks as though the high-speed train (Shinkansen) is a good way to get from Tokyo to Kobe. But, can you take cruise luggage on this train? I saw a post from a few years ago in which someone said they had their Tokyo hotel arrange for a courier service to transport their luggage directly to their Kobe hotel while they took the train. Is that a necessity or was it just a preference? If it is a necessity, does anyone have an estimate of the cost of the courier service? (We'd probably have two roller bags to send-- one will be large size and the other medium.) And we will not be going to a Kobe hotel, we'll be going directly to the ship in Kobe-- would the courier deliver our bags to the port? With all that said, are there other (practical) ways we should consider for traveling (with cruise luggage) from Tokyo to Kobe?
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