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tregatti

Veendam lanai bait and switch? - help, please

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We just got on the Veendam this afternoon. We had booked a guarantee lanai and were assigned to CA 331 10 days prior to sailing. The problem is the door to the deck is broken - and judging by the condition of the wooden block screwed to the sliding door channel to keep the door closed, the door has been broken for a considerable while - far longer than 10 days ago. So HAL knew about the condition of this cabin when they assigned it to us. 

The guarantee terms state we'll receive "an equal or better" cabin if we booked a guarantee, but what we have is basically an ocean view with a larger window, so in essence a step down. We were told we can't be moved to another cabin because the ship is fully booked. HAL has offered the difference in price between a lanai and an ocean view as a future cruise credit - but our planned vacations for the next couple of years don't include any cruises (on any lines not just HAL). I asked if this amount could be converted to OBC on this cruise, and this request is under consideration, but we may not get an answer on that from corporate until after Xmas. I am asking those wiser than me in the ways of HAL and cruising for their advice... Is there anything else I should be asking for? (Is OBC ever refundable?) We are both sorely disappointed in the room situation and I'd deeply appreciate your advice on what to do. Many thanks! 

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I think you deserve a cash reimbursement for the difference between an ocean view on the same deck, with a little wiggle room for your two dedicated deck loungers that you were still able to enjoy, even though it took a longer trek to reach them.

 

What happened is beyond what one should expect with a guaranty. Keep the pressure on them.  Unless you will be satisfied with another in-kind reimbursement.  I hope you took photos of the permanently blocked lanai door. Did you go through a cruise discounter?

Edited by OlsSalt

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Thank you for the advice! We booked directly with HAL, and I have photos of the door block (I'll try to attach it here). 

IMG_20181221_141406122_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

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You also got smaller usable space with the lanai cabin compared to an ocean view since they had to give up one wall space for the sliding (ahem) doors. I believe you lost a whole set of drawers under the desk area to get the lanai option. HalFacts can show you cabins on your deck for both cabin classes so you can compare them. 

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21 minutes ago, tregatti said:

Thank you for the advice! We booked directly with HAL, and I have photos of the door block (I'll try to attach it here). 

IMG_20181221_141406122_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

 

My guess would be that someone on the ship did this and forgot to inform Seattle that the lanai was no longer accessible.  Would not be the first time that there is a big disconnect between what happens on the ships and what Seattle actually thinks happens 🙄  You are definitely entitled to compensation, both for the difference in cost between the room you booked and the room you actually got PLUS an additional amount for your aggravation.

Edited by taxmantoo

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Agree with the posters who say you should be reimbursed.   

I would rather have an inside than a lanai.  To me the privacy issue is paramount.   I don't sit around on the deck but I guess if I did, I'd like the reserved chairs.    A lanai is an obstructed OV at a much higher price IMHO.

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Is there anything to indicate the door is broken other than the wooden block in the sliding door channel? If not, you could ask them to remove the block to see if the door would work correctly.  Since this is listed as a handicapped room on the deck plans, it could be that the lip coming out of the room was thought to be unsafe for wheelchairs or scooters.  Whatever the reason,  it still shouldn't be listed and sold as a lanai cabin if the door doesn't open.

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The minimum you should receive is a refundable OBC (what you don’t use you get returned to you) for the difference between what you paid for the lanai and the price of an ocean view cabin.  You were given an ocean view cabin on the Promenade Deck and that is what they should charge you for.   They should apologize with a bottle of wine and a complementary Pinnacle dinner.

Stand your ground on the refund.  Write it up on one of those “Let us Know” forms letting them know that you are unhappy with your stateroom assignment.  These forms get action because you put it in writing and the officers actually read them.  You can get the form at the front desk.

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Must be just me, but the analysis of this situation does not make sense to me.  Tregatti's cabin's interior is fully functional, so there is no loss there.  Their deck chairs are still reserved, so there is no loss there.  They have the same view from their cabin whether or not the door opens, so no loss there.  They cannot exit their cabin directly to the deck, so they have to walk down the hall to the nearest exit to the deck and walk a short distance to their chairs, this is an added inconvenience, but really adding a few steps to get to their chairs, requires HAL to reimburse hundreds of $$$.

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19 minutes ago, MikeD4134 said:

Must be just me, but the analysis of this situation does not make sense to me.  Tregatti's cabin's interior is fully functional, so there is no loss there.  Their deck chairs are still reserved, so there is no loss there.  They have the same view from their cabin whether or not the door opens, so no loss there.  They cannot exit their cabin directly to the deck, so they have to walk down the hall to the nearest exit to the deck and walk a short distance to their chairs, this is an added inconvenience, but really adding a few steps to get to their chairs, requires HAL to reimburse hundreds of $$$.

 

Yes. This was a bait and switch. HAL should make good on this.

 

 Easy access to your own loungers and the promenade deck is the whole point of a lanai cabin.  It is how they market it and how they use photos to sell it. Plus the lanai cabin has less useable space cabin due to the lanai door configuration,  so it is not apples to apples. They got in fact less than an ocean view cabin due to this space configuration, and missed the whole point of having a lanai special deck access cabin.

 

They should not have to pay any more than had they booked, when all they got was a de facto ocean view cabin.  Adjusted for use of dedicated loungers. How do you price that. This was a clinker and HAL needs to track this sort of thing better. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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49 minutes ago, MikeD4134 said:

Must be just me, but the analysis of this situation does not make sense to me.  Tregatti's cabin's interior is fully functional, so there is no loss there.  Their deck chairs are still reserved, so there is no loss there.  They have the same view from their cabin whether or not the door opens, so no loss there.  They cannot exit their cabin directly to the deck, so they have to walk down the hall to the nearest exit to the deck and walk a short distance to their chairs, this is an added inconvenience, but really adding a few steps to get to their chairs, requires HAL to reimburse hundreds of $$$.

HAL charges a premium for Lanai cabins....considerably more than ocean view.  They got less than they paid for.

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Again what did they lose?  The difference between an ocean view and lanai cabin is the reserved deck chairs, and accessing the deck directly from your cabin. So the only thing they lost was the direct access to the deck, which can be accessed a short walk down the hall.  I stayed in a lanai cabin twice, then I figured it out, I was paying $500 extra for the reserved deck chair, we moved on to Veranda cabins.  Feel invited to explain to me other than direct access to the deck, what did they lose.

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It seems to me that having direct access to the deck is what you are primarily paying for.  I would be at the front desk every day and filling out those comment cards every day.

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Send an email to guest relations along with the picture, I agree you didn't get what you thought you paid for.

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There was no bait and switch involved in your booking.

 

The conventional wisdom when booking a guaranteed is to hope for the best, but be aware that one can receive the worst cabin in the category.

 

It appears that you did receive the worst cabin in the category.

 

I can see maybe receiving the cost difference at the time of your booking between a lanai cabin and and an oceanview cabin on the same deck, but other than that, you actually received what you paid for.

 

Next time, pay the fare for booking the cabin you want.

 

 

Edited by Homosassa

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OP got an oceanview cabin, not a lanai cabin. HAL's description of  a lanai cabin is all about the sliding glass door. " Along with being spacious, what makes these staterooms unique is a sliding glass door that leads directly onto the walk-around Lower Promenade Deck for instant access to reserved deck chairs that make it easy to enjoy the gorgeous, panoramic views."  https://www.hollandamerica.com/blog/ships/ms-amsterdam/the-lanai-a-unique-stateroom-experience-on-a-holland-america-line-cruise/

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Hard to believe that the on board HAL mechanics can not fix this door. Have you requested or even demanded that the door be fixed? If it can not be fixed during the cruise then I agree you certainly deserve an OBC for the difference between the Ocean View fare. Situations like this are the reasons we never book a guarantee cabin. The small amount you save is not worth being able to pick  a preferred cabin and location. Good luck on this.

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32 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

The small amount you save is not worth being able to pick  a preferred cabin and location. Good luck on this.

 

 

But this only is true if the booking agency is aware of the defect when the booking is made, which would appear to be unlikely from HAL agents or TA.  I cannot imagine the cabin would be labelled as defective on anyone's site.  I an sure  this could happen for any cabin with any major defect.

 

Ruth

Edited by Been There, Planning That

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1 hour ago, Homosassa said:

The conventional wisdom when booking a guaranteed is to hope for the best, but be aware that one can receive the worst cabin in the category.

 

It appears that you did receive the worst cabin in the category.

 

They did not receive "the worst cabin in the category" they booked, because they did not actually receive a cabin IN the category they booked.  If the sliding door does not open, then by definition it is not a lanai cabin. 

 

I'm kind of befuddled by the few posters here who think the OP should not be upset by what happened.   

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1 hour ago, Homosassa said:

There was no bait and switch involved in your booking.

 

The conventional wisdom when booking a guaranteed is to hope for the best, but be aware that one can receive the worst cabin in the category.

 

It appears that you did receive the worst cabin in the category.

 

I can see maybe receiving the cost difference at the time of your booking between a lanai cabin and and an oceanview cabin on the same deck, but other than that, you actually received what you paid for.

 

Next time, pay the fare for booking the cabin you want.

 

 

 

How would the OP know up front if the lanai door was permanently blocked when booking a specific cabin?

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OP booked directly with HAL - HAL failed to disclose she would not be getting the "unique option" they were marketing directly to her.  She got a "traditional outside" cabin at best. And not even that due to the more limited space configuration required by the lanai door.

 

From the HAL website:  

Lanai stateroom on Deck 3 on Rotterdam.

So now you know that in addition to traditional inside, outside, verandah and suite stateroom categories, Lanais offer a unique option on your next cruise. If you’re interested in enjoying this special experience, book a Lanai stateroom directly on the Holland America website or through your preferred travel professional.

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Love all the legal experts. This is not bait and switch. You got exactly the level room you booked. I don't expect the people doing the room assignments in Seattle to know the idiosyncrasies  of each individual room, particularly as these oddities can change minute by minute. The room was listed as available, that is all they know.

 

That being said, the room was deficient. For that you deserve compensation. Does HAL deserve compensation for false accusations of bait and switch?

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