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pingpong1

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Everything posted by pingpong1

  1. Too bad one of the survey questions wasn't, "Is this survey too long?"
  2. I'm not really sure why they should waste valuable minutes of their lives! :D
  3. Of course, there is another option, also.....If you were "really nice and generous" you could slide some extra money over to the in-laws in order to upgrade them to a suite, as well. All the problems you list would then be solved! :cool:
  4. Hi Wes - Good info! I think everyone might "understand" when things like this happens if it is explained and acknowledged. Regent could help itself a lot by having a more proactive and forward leaning public relations operation. Would you consider coming out of retirement!!??
  5. RachelG - I always enjoy your insight and posts on these boards. Your experience with the Fairmont in Vancouver raises a question (and is really goes to the core of this discussion). Did you reserve/guarantee that room at the Fairmont with a credit card and with the booking agreement that if you didn't eventually show up at the hotel (a late arrival guarantee), your card would still be charged for the agreed upon room rate for that night, whether you used the room or not? I (and most likely many of us) have stayed at hundreds of hotels all over the world and whenever I have ever pre-booked/reserved a room at a hotel, I have always provided a credit card to hold and guarantee the room for the night - and no matter whether I show up or not - my credit card is charged for the room. Under those booking conditions (guaranteed late arrival), unless I missed some basic legal loophole - the hotel cannot legally "resell that room" to someone else, since they have entered into a legally binding reservation contract with me and received pre-payment from me to bind that contract. If they're going to charge me for that room, whether I show up or not, that room better darn-well be empty and available for my use no matter whether I show up at 3PM in the afternoon or at 1AM in the middle of the night. Otherwise, the hotel is in breach of contract. They cannot "sell" the same room for the same night twice, as long as they're receiving payment for it from the first customer. So, that is why I'm wondering in your example, if you "guaranteed late arrival" with your credit card with that reservation? One thing that is also "helpful" (and also a courtesy) is if the booked guest can call or email the hotel during the course of travel to inform them that your travel has been delayed and that you'll be eventually arriving late (which I have also done many times) - but that notification is not a condition of the "late arrival guarantee" - just a courtesy. I have never heard of a case where a pre-paid room was sold out from under a previously paid booking. In the OP and Msmillie's examples, the passengers didn't even arrive late to the hotel. There simply were not rooms available for them upon their arrival! I think the question many of us have with the OP's experience is that Regent is a huge worldwide corporation (under the umbrella of NCL), with tons of lawyers at their disposal and tons of lodging contracts worldwide. As TC pointed out in post #33, Regent "knows", almost exactly, how many rooms they'll need, on which night, and at which hotel - 60 days out. If they have contracted (with Fairmont SF) for "X" number of rooms, on "X" night, at a rate of "X" dollars per room, and have paid a huge contractual amount of money up front to that hotel to "hold" and guarantee those rooms -- It seems, at least to "this guy", that it would be a contract violation for those "X" number of rooms NOT to be available on that day for the required number of booked Regent guests who show up at the reception desk. In a "past life", I used to be on the board of directors of a large humane society. We would have annual functions where I would "book and block" many rooms at a local hotel for out-of-town supporters. I would reserve "X" number of rooms at the hotel and would pre-pay for those rooms. All of those rooms were ALWAYS available for all the number of guests I and the hotel had agreed to, without fail, and no matter what hour of the day the guests arrived. It was not difficult or "uncertain". This should not be an "issue" with Regent passengers either, UNLESS Regent's contracts do not contain a prohibition against the hotel "rebooking" or alternatively using those rooms for other non-Regent customers! In that case, this would be Regent's "fault" (oversight) and not the hotel's - and would be a failing on the part of Regent to "protect" their customers from disappointment and a poor "luxury experience". From a simple risk management (and public relations) standpoint - unless the public relations "fallout" from a screw up like this is inconsequential to Regent (which I'm not asserting here) - I would think that Regent would make certain that their lodging contracts were written in such a way as to legally forbid any of their contracted hotel properties from "reselling" those guaranteed number of blocked rooms to anyone else after Regent has contracted and paid for them. Particularly when that "promise" of a "pre-cruise luxury hotel experience" is one of the prime cornerstones of their marketing plan.
  6. TC - I think we actually "kind of agree" on this (hey - doesn't happen very often!)) Legally, and as is usually the case, Regent is probably "protected" from any liability, "unforeseen circumstances", or claim for "financial damages". But as a public relations matter and for the good of the corporate image......It would seem that some OBC's or perhaps a reasonable "credit" toward a future cruise for those affected passengers would go a long way to restore some goodwill and burnish a tarnished "first impression". Through her contacts, MsMillie was able to add a few more details to this unfortunate experience. I wonder just how many people got "bumped" to another hotel and had to somehow get their stuff over to the alternate lodging? No company can say that this was a "good outcome". For Regent corporate, the matter should not "stop" here. Could this potentially (and really) happen again to others with little or no notice? Probably - at least where this particular property is involved. Is there anything that Regent could do in the future (when negotiating lodging contracts) to ensure that their customers would not be "bumped" to another hotel at the last minute and on such short notice? In the business world, I don't believe that there is such a thing as a "problem with no solution". Provisions and safeguards can be written into any contract if there is the corporate will to do so. Regards
  7. Ibjen - Correct. And furthermore, merely having a drivers license is no particular proof of U.S. citizenship either (just like having a Social Security card does not convey or "mean" the holder is a U.S. citizen). My Australian cousin has a U.S. Social Security card, and several states are now giving out drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. I would never take the word of "someone on the phone" (i.e., the "RCI guy I talked to"). There's really no guarantee that he's anymore knowledgeable on the subject than the next "guy". RCI's Home page (written word) gives the complete, full, comprehensive guidance regarding the necessary documentation REQUIRED for U.S. citizens to embark and debark their ships in North America and the western hemisphere. It's there for all to read - and not at the last minute. On these boards, it seems to me that some folks spend more time deciding what food & drink packages to purchase, what excursions to go on, how many bottles of wine to try and "sneak on the ship", and what particular stateroom they want to book, than they do prioritizing what's really important....like having the proper documentation applied for and and in their possession, well in advance, prior to their embarkation day. I apologize for sounding like an "old carmudgeon" (but I guess I am!). I also cannot understand the apparent "false frugality" (that I often see on this board) from people not wanting to fork over $145 for a 10-year "nothing-to-worry-about" passport that will speedily get you on and off cruise ships and through immigration checks, yet the same people (who try to "get by" without one and "save" the money) are apparently willing to spend thousands of dollars each year on air travel, hotels, multiple cruises, excursions, and premium drink packages over the same 10-year period? I don't get it?? It's like buying a brand new Chevy Suburban, but then balking at the price of a gallon of gasoline! You can easily spend the cost of a passport in just one night at a casino, or at a bar, or for bottle of wine and dinner at a nice restaurant. I'm thinking some folks are placing a lot of unnecessary stress on themselves by trying to save a few bucks. Best Regards.
  8. Ronrick (and others) - There's a lot of truth to parts of what each of you are saying. I guess my "bottom line" would be that for the OP, "the cruise" (meaning from the time they arrived in SFO - under Regent's "care" at the time of transfer from the airport - to the time they debark the ship) did NOT start out for them as a "luxury experience".....which is what's being promised in all the sales literature. I know, I know......some of you have told me that the marketing materials are just advertising "fluff" and should not be relied upon....but the fares we're being charged are certainly NOT "fluff" and if you can't rely upon the company's own literature, what are you supposed to rely upon in making a financial determination on whether to buy the "advertised product", or not? Ronrick, if the Fairmont felt it necessary or proper to "refund" anyone, wouldn't the refund (legally) go to Regent, since they are the hotel's actual "customer" (the entity who is paying them) and not the OP, who is the next level down on the "totem pole"? Call me a pessimist, but I seriously doubt that Regent would even consider or feel any moral obligation (legally or ethically) of passing any compensation or refund they received along to the cruisers who were affected (by the inconvenience and disappointment), since it is technically correct that the cruiser did get "a room" for the night prior to the cruise; even if it was not at the hotel that they were led to believe (by Regent) that they would be staying at - at least a week before their trip began. If given enough opportunity and advance knowledge (that they weren't going to be staying at the Fairmont), the customers might have opted to "back out" of Regent's pre-cruise hotel option, take the credit, and separately book their own pre-cruise hotel and transfer option (as RachelG and many of us prefer to do). But they were unable to make an informed decision for themselves if the company they're dealing with (Regent) does not provide them with all pertinent information to make an informed decision. It is correct that when you first book with Regent, you don't necessarily and definitively know which pre-cruise hotel you're going to be staying at in the embarkation city. The hotels that Regent "uses" in each city are the topic of hundreds of posts on CC, but the "final/selected hotel" which Regent has picked for you is definitely "known and disclosed" when you receive your final sailing documents 2-4 weeks out from the cruise date. In this case, the OP's "actual selected hotel" wasn't known until they were transported from the airport and walked up to the reception desk at the Fairmont. As we would say in the Navy, that is "totally UNSAT". Regards to all.
  9. TC - Respectfully, I don't believe that anything in my comment could be construed as not agreeing with you.
  10. A question....If these thing "just happen", then what could Regent do to prevent it from happening in the future? Apparently, the consensus seems to be that if it does "happen" to any of us, we're to just sit back and "take it"? Customers are paying extra (to Regent) for upgraded suite packages (concierge?) in order to get an "included pre-cruise luxury hotel" benefit. They are told in advance exactly which "luxury hotel" has been selected for them (by Regent) and which "luxury hotel" they're going to be taken to by Regent's "included airport transfer" service. The hotel was selected by Regent and disclosed to the customer well before the trip began. They may have chosen a different cruise option if the selected/announced hotel was not to their liking. Barring an event like the hotel burning to the ground the day before they arrive at the embarkation city, I think customers should have the reasonable "right" and expectation (admittedly, passengers don't seem to have too many "rights" anymore) to be accommodated in the specific promised hotel for the night, regardless of any economic advantage the hotel might potentially gain by giving that pre-promised room to a higher paying alternative (non-Regent) customer. It is also reasonable to assume that the customer may have specifically chosen the "included" pre-cruise hotel benefit based specifically on the "promise/expectation" that they would be staying at the Fremont Hotel (the hotel they were told by Regent that they would be staying at) and not an alternative hotel (no matter what "class" it may be rated at) across the street or down the block....and the hotel that Regent's airport transfer service has taken them to! Just how many "unavoidable changes" are customer expected to simply "accept and roll with"? With all due respect to Papaflamingo, I don't think his experience as a pilot (employee) of an airline is applicable or equivalent to the OP's situation. As an employee, the airline personnel are simply being provided a "lay-over" accommodation for the night by the airline before they proceed on their next-day's work. As employees, they are not "paying" for that room and they have no "say" or option over where they're being put up by the airline for the night. As employees, they are at the mercy of economics, their employer, and wherever a room happens to be available for the night. As a 38-year traveling employee of the federal government, I had to stay at whatever hotel or government quarters my employer told me to stay at. I believe the conditions of the "luxury pre-night hotel accommodation" agreement between a paying customer and Regent is completely different.
  11. That "safe area" used to be the MDR in the evenings. Then, it got taken away. :D:D:D:D
  12. Ocean Patter - Thanks a lot for the review/comparison. I've been giving Viking Ocean "a look", myself. Since I will never set a "goal" for myself of becoming a "Regent Platinum" (or be willing to spend the bucks necessary to accomplish that), it's interesting to explore, research, and try out different cruise line experiences. I'm pretty impressed (so far) about what I've read and heard about Viking. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. Best Regards
  13. Perhaps "Casual" means flip-flops are okay, and "Smart Casual" means sneakers.
  14. Cruiseluv. Please re-read my post. No where do I say that I'm "expecting the worst". In fact, I say that given the choice of cruises "I would pick Regent every time"! How do you see that as a negative comment about Regent? The subject of my post was to point out the "unrealistic" claims made in Regent's marketing products, to suggest that they be written a little more realistically, and to opine (by inference) that Regent might "help itself" by not building expectations quite so high. It's unfortunate that some posters mount such a fervent and relentless "defense" against any and all "negative comments" regarding their favorite cruise line, that it leaves no opportunity for "cruise critics" to be .......critics!
  15. I've come to believe that Regent is primarily a "victim" of their own marketing description/s. I just received the newest 7/18 - 6/20 cruise catalog. Every page is filled with statements like "Our ships are pinnacles of elegance and grace", "spectacular gourmet restaurants", "exquisite gourmet cuisine", "no detail is overlooked and no service is too extraordinary", "committed to exceeding your expectations", etc., etc. It goes on like this for nearly 200 pages. After reading an entire catalog of this, it's naturally going to be a bit disappointing (particularly on a first or second cruise) if/when you walk into your suite -whether it be a deluxe veranda or the master suite - and find stains on the carpeting, worn upholstery on the chairs, a lack of storage space in drawers or shelves, long waits for wine service, or a "whistling balcony door". Particularly after you have been promised "perfection" at every turn, and when you're paying close to a $1,000 per person per night. After having gone on both Regent and "mass market" cruises, there's no doubt that I'd pick Regent every time (assuming it was in the budget), but I wish they'd just throttle back a bit on some of the superlatives! Regent is the one whose promising "perfection"......not the customer.
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