It's really a shame that an obvious clerical error can ruin an experience. We sailed on the Avalon Expression from Budapest to Prague in October. Boarding, we walked onto the boat, showed our boarding pass and were immediately taken to our beautiful Royal Suite. It really was lovely. King Size bed, beautiful large washroom and wonderful cabin attendants. No checking in appeared to be required. On the 2nd day, there was a note on our desk, would we please come and give the cruise director our credit card. FOOLISHLY, we didn't think anything of it. We went to the front lobby and exchanged pleasantries with the cruise director and gave him our visa card. ASSUMING that it was for incidentals, bar bill etc.
When we got home, there was a charge on our visa of 182 Euros. I immediately phoned Globus/Avalon and was told that it was for excursions that we booked on board for Prague. We did not book any excursions on board for Prague. They replied that we must have as there were no "no-shows".
Well that tells you only that "Someone" took the tours, not that it was me. They then said that whether we attended or not, we still had to pay. I said, but you have already said that there were no no-shows, and I can prove with pictures that I was not on a guided tour in Prague at the specified time, so that must tell you that someone else
took the tour. Obviously the person who booked the tour and in error, gave our room number. They said, hmmmmm, we will look into it and get back to you in 3-6 weeks.
We asked our travel agent, Expedia Cruise Ship Centre to try and intervene and they have written letters but have been told, no, we gave them our credit card, therefore we must have booked the tours.
It will be 8 weeks on Monday since I called and they haven't even had the courtesy to respond to me.
I have now started a dispute with visa and hopefully will get my $ back.
I am not quite sure what we could have done differently. We had no knowledge of the charge until we got home and saw our statement. On a large cruise ship, they give you admission tickets for your excursions. IF there had been tickets left in our room we would have known and we could have dealt with this on board. I am quite positive that it was simply human error. Whoever booked and subsequently took the tour gave the wrong room # by mistake.
All in all it was a lovely trip and we will definitely do more river cruises, but I guarantee my travel dollars will not be spent with Globus/Avalon. In this day and age, and the $ value of these trips, would you not think you would at least receive a reply email or phone call.