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Ricky Chan

October 23, 2005 Panama Canal Cruise

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For those who have booked October 23, 2005 Panama Canal cruise from San Diego, do you know that RCI has changed port of embarkation from S.D. to Ensenada?

 

RCI didn't have the decency to inform those who had booked the cruise long time ago (the ship was sold out), I am sure many people have booked the airline tickets like me.

 

My agent didn't know until I informed her. After she contacted RCI, she found out that RCI will charge us US $92.00 per person to transport for a two hour trip to Ensenada from S.D. Airport.

 

I don't think RCI handles change of embarkation port situation professionaly.

 

I need your opinions.

 

Ricky Chan

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Wow that's crazy! Did they say why they did this? They not only switched your city, they switched your COUNTRY. Yikes.

 

 

Bobbie

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RCI pays a lot less to dock in Mexico than in the good Old USA. I'm sure that was the driving reason for the change. Cruise lines are all about the bottom line and not about the passengers. I feel sorry for the people who are affected by this but you are probably locked in to it.

 

Besides that the cruise through the Panama Canal is definitely worth doing so enjoy the cruise in spite of the change of departure ports.

 

Have a great next cruise.

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Ricky, have you joined our Roll Call on the RCI Rollcall board. The only way I found out about this change was on that board. I went ahead and booked the hotel and transfer from RCI which added $262 dollars to the price but we like to fly in a day early. I wrote a letter to RCI but I don't expect anything from them. I was on the phone when my TA tried to get concessions out of them and no dice. Apparently several ships are being moved to Ensenada that day because the port in San Diego is too small to handle them all. I seems to me like the cruiselines should have known that before they made San Diego the departure port. We really like RCI; however, we are seriously considering cancelling this cruise. I do not like the fact that I have to pay RCI for a 2 hour busride to the ship which means that our first day on board will be cut short.

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We had to do that on Legend of the Seas. It was a pain in the rear. You ride the bus for 2 hours, then go to a hotel and check in and get your sea pass or whatever RCI calls them. Then you get back on the bus and ride to the pier and they tell you to stay on the bus till they get you. We waited a long time and finally just got off the bus and got in line to embark. Disembarkation in Honolulu was just as awful if not worse. We had a great cruise, but RCI has a lot of room for improvement in embarkation and disembarkation! At least in Ensenada and Honolulu. Maybe they do better in Florida because I don't remember having those issues when we sailed on the Enchantment out of Miami.

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I'm on that cruise and knew that there would be congestion at the San Diego pier that day. I don't really have a problem going out of Ensenada, except that in a situation like this I think it's outrageous that RCL is profiting on the transfers to Ensenada. Their charge is as least double what it will cost them. I really think they should provide the transfer at no charge, but would accept it at cost. They also are not accommodating many passengers who will be spending a few days in San Diego prior to the cruise and will be in downtown San Diego near the pier. We will have an additional expense to return to the airport to get the shuttle service.

 

Just after 9/11 I was scheduled to sail from New York on QE2. The piers were closed and embarkation was moved to Boston, about 4 hours away. Cunard provided complimentary continuous bus service from midtown Manhattan to the pier in Boston, and back to New York upon our return. Now that's telling your guests that you care for their business.

 

Ricky, you should look in on the Roll Call thread for this cruise.

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For those who have booked October 23, 2005 Panama Canal cruise from San Diego, do you know that RCI has changed port of embarkation from S.D. to Ensenada?

 

I am travelling on this cruise, when quite by accident I found out that the port was changed for this cruise ( we booked this on the 2nd Aug. 2004 ) I phoned

up my TA on the 21st Feb 05, they did not seem to be aware that this had happened, they will phone RCI and find out what was happening. On the 15th March 05 I received a letter from RCI via my TA to say they were very sorry

for the inconvenience this may cause us. The following is an extract from the

letter.

For guests who have booked fly/cruise arrangements with RCI, you will be picked

up from your pre-cruise hotel and transferred by coach to Ensenada. Details of

collection times will be provided at your pre-cruise hotel. There is no additional

charge for the transfer.

For guests who have booked cruise-only arrangements with RCI, we will also

provide a complimentary coach transfer from SAN DIEGO AIRPORT to Ensenada.

Transfers will operate from the airort on the day of sailing between 1000/1530.

We recommend you arrive at the airport as early as possible. Approximate time

from the airport to Ensenada is 2 hours.

 

Please note the sailing time from Ensenada will be 2100 hours.

RCI stated in their letter this was all due to berthing conflicts:confused:

The port of San Diego is still showing the Radiance on their web site.

]

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I am mad at RCI not because they changed the port of embarkation, I know this is norm.

 

I am mad at them because:

1. They didn't have the deceny to notified the customers or even TA, she didn't know until I told her. She later phoned RCI's customer service department and was told RCI was pushed away because the port will be too busy to handle all the cruise ships on that day.

 

2. Then they have the audacity to charge US$92.00 (I am from Canada, add another 25% on top)) for two hr. trip. It should be free as a courtesy or at most the cost of the trip.

 

Putman, I feel better after reading your thread. I hope RCI will keep their promise. I don't think they want to have a bad name.

 

I will join the Roll Call board.

 

Ricky Chan

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Runner Girl; My husband and I also booked this cruise last October... I sure am hoping that they are more organized in getting us aboard..... that is not the way I want to start my vacation being herded about like cattle..... :(

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Payman, I wonder if the letter you recieved saying the transfer would be complimentary is only for non US passengers. This is the first time the word complimentary has been mentioned. Is your TA in the UK?

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Any updates regarding the switch from San Diego to Ensenada?

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