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Extremely Disappointed in Princess Customer Care


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We are still extremely disappointed in the response that we received from Princess Customer Care, last April, 2004. We had booked a cruise in January, which was departing on Feb 21, 2004 out of Ft. Lauderdale on the Grand Princess. We did not opt for insurance, as it was so close (and we have never needed it before). But, of course, the unthinkable happened and in early Feb., I was diagnosed with cancer. We were unable to take the cruise and notified our cruise company, Vacations To Go. They contacted Princess first, and were told that there was nothing they could do; my husband could take someone else, though...! We were not even able to give the tickets away, because of security reasons, I think. They didn't even want medical records for proof, as they said too many people try to cancel because of medical reasons! (That's a good reason to punish those who have legitimate medical problems such as myself?) So, we were offered a refund which amounted to about $3 each, after the taxes, port charges, etc. How insulting, but we really were not even asking for our money back; only a credit toward another week, even a "slow" week, after my treatments were completed.


The reply from Princess Customer Care was polite and concerned, but they said that their insurance company would not allow them to even credit our week. They said that we must understand that they need to honor their integrity. I believe they lost all integrity and my respect with this response.


I am now well enough to fight once again for our cruise; we had selected Princess because of their great reputation and people skills...maybe on board the ship, but not back in the customer care office. I have told many people since this happened, (who have all been appalled,) and will continue to do so, until we have some satisfaction from the Princess Lines. I am hoping that this mechanism will give my situation even more exposure.

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Please don't take this as being unsympathetic towards your situation with Princess, but that is why insurance is available for situations such as yours. I too never purchased insurance up until our last cruise. One never knows what's going to happen in our lives, and having insurance is having peace of mind.

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I'm sorry to hear about your health but this is one of the reasons why it is SO important to take trip/medical/cancellation insurance. We would never think to travel without insurance. There are hundreds of things that can happen beyond your control - such as weather conditions, health emergencies, accidents, illness, emergency in the family, and the list goes on.


I think it is highly irresponsible of people to travel without insurance of some kind. If you can spend thousands of dollars for the vacation then what is a hundred or so more for peace of mind?


A case in point is our own - just last week. We were to fly out of T.O. airport at 6:20 a.m. for Ft. Lauderdale to catch the Star Princess which was sailing at 5:00 p.m. Thought we had lots of time, right? WRONG.....Due to mechanical issues with the airline, the plane was grounded and we all sat in the airport for FIFTEEN hours. Needless to say, we missed the ship. All those without travel cancellation/delay insurance will be out of luck I assume. We had insurance so therefore all of our extra out of pocket expenses will be covered by insurance. We flew down to Ft. Lauderdale at 6:30 p.m. and had to stay two nights there, taking a flight to the first port of call which was San Juan, Puerto Rico, two days later. We kept all of our receipts for those two days and will be able to claim these extra expenses as well as the extra flight to San Juan.


Princess reps. couldn't have been nicer and more sympathetic when we boarded the ship. They greeted us with welcoming smiles and had chilled champagne waiting for us in our cabins. They also gave us a credit to our onboard account for the lost days of our cruise without us even asking or expecting it.

We will definitely cruise with Princess again.

I do hope you are feeling better and on your way to recovery.

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For the first 14-15 of my cruises, we never purchased the insurance. We never had a problem, thank goodness. But, about 10 years ago, we decided that we would rather be "safe than sorry" and started purchasing the insurance. I know that the insurance industry is a rip-off (most of the time), but if something unexpected happens, it sure is nice to have.

I'm sorry for your illness and I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but if Princess (or any cruise line) made an exception in your case, then everyone else would feel the same way. Everyone would want them to cover their cruise, if they had to cancel. It wouldn't be fair to the folks that did pay extra and buy the insurance.

just my $.02 worth.............and I wish you the best.

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No disrespect but what do you think Princess's obligation is? The rules are in place for all to read and understand. Bending for one means bending for all and if that is the case no insurance will ever be needed. Insurance is a cheap investment..

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I hope that you are doing well. I will take a contrary point of view. I believe that insurance is wise if the loss of the cruise fare (and other incidental expenses, med evac, etc.) would create a hardship to you. Otherwise, it's probably best to "self insure" the risk.


Sometimes I take the insurance, and sometimes I don't. However, I would never suggest that it would be wrong if Princess did something for you. Just because I bought an extended warranty on my car, for instance, doesn't mean that Chrysler won't provide extended coverage free to another purchaser who is persistent. I view the insurance as a "painless" way of resolving a claim. In your case, you don't have the insurance, so you will have to be more persistent if you are to receive anything of value.


My view is that if you have sailed several times before on Princess that they should consider doing something for you as a gesture of goodwill.


Just in case anyone from Princess reads these boards, maybe they should enhance their Captain's Circle by providing free insurance coverage to Platinum and Elite members. That's one way they can get around this problem.


Good Luck to you, both with your health and in your efforts to with Princess!

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I don't think it is corporate greed - it is a policy they must maintain - sorry!


Insurance cost varies with the value of the trip and the age of the insured - but, my guess would be, maybe under $200 pp for good coverage.



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Gosh..I would have to agree with the majority..that is why you buy insurance..to hedge against risk...we never can foresee anything that could go wrong..from missed flights to medical conditions to deaths, etc.


I don't think it corporate greed at all..more of cheapness of the passengers who choose not to pay a few hundred out of pocket but then want the cruiselines to hedge their risk for them when something goes wrong. If these companies made exceptions..they would be out alot and guess who pays more for their next cruise..all of us! Can you imagine how many times they are asked to make exceptions to their refund policies by all the folks who didn't think would need insurance? I wish I had a nickel...as the saying goes..


I am sure if you knew someone who worked for one of these cruiselines who was not getting raises because the the cruiselines had lower profits..you would not consider it "corporate greed"...remember..Princess..like any other cruiseline..is afterall a for profit corporation not a non profit corporation. They sell insurance or suggest it at least so they remain profitable and you don't lose your shirt!


EVERYONE! GET INSURANCE..what is a few hundred bucks if you stand to lose a few thousand?? Cmon!

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I am soooo glad that you are well now!!


I truly wish that you could get your trip re-imbursed (or receive credit), but I don't think it is fair to blame Princess or or to state that they lost their integrity, since you agreed to the terms when you booked your cruise.


I sincerely hope that you stay strong and healthy... AND that you soon go on another Princess cruise!!!

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No one wants to spend the money on insurance, if you decide not to that is the risk you take and you forfeit any refund. If Princess gave one person a refund they would have to give everyone a refund (or rebook cruise), then why would anyone buy insurance. If you do not have home insurance and your house burns down, no one will rebuild it for you free.

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I disagree with you that if Princess makes an exception for the OP they need to do so for everyone. That's why humans have the ability to reason and use judgment.


Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket? I haven't. Do you think that the officer who let me off with a warning lets everyone off with a warning? Nope!


Now, I'm not suggesting that the OP deserves anything. Clearly, Princess is well within their rights not to do a damn thing for her. Then, of course, as a consumer, she is free to send her cruise dollar to other lines.


But just because she didn't buy insurance and you do, don't begrudge her for feeling that the cruiseline should consider doing something. I'd think at a minimum they should refund the port charges and taxes, since she didn't go. That could amount to a few hundred dollars.


This world is full of lots of grey. Not everything is black and white, and everyone doesn't have to be treated the same.


So I say, go for it OP, and good luck to you~!

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Oh, boy, I know where this is going...


I'll keep it short. Ditto what the above poster, and what everyone else will most likely say. :rolleyes:


I ditto the above poster too. That is why they have travel insurance. I do hope you are feeling better.

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Trip insurance is money well spent. Who knows what will happen in our lives? When I was in my 20's, I had an emergency appendectomy (now that would have cancelled a cruise!). Now that I'm older, I have an elderly mother to think about (anything could happen with her). Insurance is the way to go, IMHO.


I am very glad that OP is doing well now.:)


Not to threadjack, but "Hi, Grandmacruiser." I'm also from Cincinnati. Hope I'll see you around the boards. :)



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Just as an aside, the coverages can very significantly from carrier to carrier. You may need to cancel because of a work constraint, yet that typically would not be covered. By the same token, your brother-in-law could die, and that likely would not be covered. Unfortunately, you can't "bargain" with the insurance carriers to get better coverage. What they offer is what you get. So, if you are going to buy it, you need to read the policy to make sure you know what you are buying.



OP, just curious, did you give Princess enough notice so that they could re-sell the cabin? Seems to me that could mean something.


Gee....I can't wait til my next cruise!

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Where does a cruiseline draw the line? My mother had a cruise booked in 1980 and she was hit and killed by a car before she could take it. She did not buy insurance and we lost her money. While it was horribly tragic I suspect something horribly tragic happens to at least one traveler on every single cruise and there is a cancellation for a truly good reason for someone that is in terrible straits and probably really needs the money back or another cruise for mental health reasons. Should Princess hire a medical team to decide whose claims are legit? Should they increase the cost of the cruise so someone's unfortune can be covered?


I am truly sorry for what happened to the OP. Cancer is terrifying and horrific. I am so sorry you feel hurt by what happened, but for the line to say that you are more deserving than others whose misfortune may have been truly sad would be wrong and probably actionable.


The only thing I have ever felt was "wrong" was the non transferable nature of cruise tickets. I belive with adequete time that a personal tradgedy should allow you to gift tickets to others or sell them for their value only, to others. This is an industry wide policy however and is probably ironclad since 9/11.


If you plan something as expensive as a cruise please purchase good insurance for this very reason. Oh and my Mom did not ever purchase insurance and she was a travel agent. It took what happened to us to change the family policy.

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How is the OP's post tantamount to a false accusation? I don't know if she thinks she deserves something, but just because she thinks the cruise line is being greedy doesn't rise to the level of a false accusation. But I could be wrong.

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I can understand why Princess would not give you your money back but I am surprised they did not even offer you shipboard credits on a future cruise. We had a number of problems, really bad ones, during one of our Princess cruises and I wrote a long letter to Princess customer service and they offered all five of us shipboard credits for a future cruise booking with Princess. They are trying to earn our business back. I am surprised they did not do something like this with you once they learned of your situation. Cancer is not something we would ever think would happen to us. I hope you stay healthy for a very long time to come. I never buy insurance and I am sure if something like this happened to us we would be out alot of money also. It is the gamble you take when not purchasing the insurance.

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