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jordanaire

Not happy with Royal Caribbean's Special Needs Department!

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We just returned from the April 7th sailing of the Allure of the Seas. This was our 3rd cruise with RCI since 1996. We've sailed on 22 Carnival cruises, so this was a cruise that we had something to compare the two. There were some things on the Allure that we really enjoyed. The food in the main dining room was much better than Carnival, the shows were the best that we had ever seen on any cruise ship and the Central Park Balcony cabin was unbelievable! These alone was worth the money spent for the cruise.

 

But there were a lot of things that we didn't care too much for. The ship was just too big for us. It was a long walk from our cabin to the dining room, the auditorium and the shops. We're in our mid 60's and it was difficult at times. We didn't like the high costs of the specialty restaurants, the costs of playing bingo (outrageous) and the rude employees that we encountered during the week.

 

But the thing that really upset me was that six months prior to the cruise, I contacted the Special Needs Department to request an extension cord and distilled water for my CPAP machine and a Sharpe's container for my insulin needles. I even received an email stating that all of these would be waiting for me inside our cabin upon arrival. Well, guess what? None of these items were there when we arrived. I went to Guest Services, with the email, to inquire about this. They told me that they didn't have any record of my request. I showed them THEIR email to me and said they still showed no record of it.  I was not happy. They told me that all of these items would be delivered to our cabin by the end of the day (embarkation day). I got the distilled water on Day #3, the Sharpe's container on Day #6 and never did see the extension cord! It's a good thing that I smuggled an extension cord in my CPAP bag, or else I wouldn't have been able to use it the entire week! Worst customer service that I've ever witnessed. A person uses a CPAP machine for one reason only...to stay alive! RCI obviously could care less. Last time that we ever sail with them!

Edited by jordanaire
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So sorry that you had a problem. It does seem that you enjoyed some parts of your trip.

 

The problems you had with your special requests should not have happened. Curious as to whether you followed up with guest services and/or your room steward.  I would have immediately followed up with them until the problem was resolved.

 

As far as the size of the ship and walking, not much anyone can do about that. Only suggestion would be to study the deck plans and take advantage of being close to elevators and/or locations you knew you would use consistently; dining room, for example. 

 

As you enjoyed some some portions of your ship would suggest trying a smaller RC ship. .  

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12 minutes ago, jordanaire said:

We just returned from the April 7th sailing of the Allure of the Seas. This was our 3rd cruise with RCI since 1996. We've sailed on 22 Carnival cruises, so this was a cruise that we had something to compare the two. There were some things on the Allure that we really enjoyed. The food in the main dining room was much better than Carnival, the shows were the best that we had ever seen on any cruise ship and the Central Park Balcony cabin was unbelievable! These alone was worth the money spent for the cruise.

 

But there were a lot of things that we didn't care too much for. The ship was just too big for us. It was a long walk from our cabin to the dining room, the auditorium and the shops. We're in our mid 60's and it was difficult at times. We didn't like the high costs of the specialty restaurants, the costs of playing bingo (outrageous) and the rude employees that we encountered during the week.

 

But the thing that really upset me was that six months prior to the cruise, I contacted the Special Needs Department to request an extension cord and distilled water for my CPAP machine and a Sharpe's container for my insulin needles. I even received an email stating that all of these would be waiting for me inside our cabin upon arrival. Well, guess what? None of these items were there when we arrived. I went to Guest Services, with the email, to inquire about this. They told me that they didn't have any record of my request. I showed them THEIR email to me and said they still showed no record of it.  I was not happy. They told me that all of these items would be delivered to our cabin by the end of the day (embarkation day). I got the distilled water on Day #3, the Sharpe's container on Day #6 and never did see the extension cord! It's a good thing that I smuggled an extension cord in my CPAP bag, or else I wouldn't have been able to use it the entire week! Worst customer service that I've ever witnessed. A person uses a CPAP machine for one reason only...to stay alive! RCI obviously could care less. Last time that we ever sail with them!

Sorry for any problems that you encountered.  We've sailed on Allure, Oasis, Anthem, etc. and never had a problem with a with getting an extension cord or the Sharpe's container.  Even had the Cabin Steward ask housekeeping to adjust the mini fridge to keep insulin supplies.

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   I've always just asked room steward for those items and received them promptly.

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4 minutes ago, nelblu said:

Sorry for any problems that you encountered.  We've sailed on Allure, Oasis, Anthem, etc. and never had a problem with a with getting an extension cord or the Sharpe's container.  Even had the Cabin Steward ask housekeeping to adjust the mini fridge to keep insulin supplies.

 

I forgot to mention that we had a mini fridge too, but it had to be replaced on Day #4. And the couple next door to us needed a fridge too to store his insulin in. He only had a cooler. He asked for a fridge but was told he had to fill out some form with Special Needs in order to get one, but we had already set sail and it wouldn't do any good.

Edited by jordanaire

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1 minute ago, jordanaire said:

 

I forgot to mention that we had a min fridge too, but it had to be replaced on Day #4. And the couple next door to us needed a fridge too, but only had a cooler to store his insulin in. He asked for a fridge but was told he had to fill out some form with Special Needs in order to get one, but we had already set sail and it wouldn't do any good.

On our recent Symphony sail, housekeeping adjusted our mini fridge and it was sufficiently cool to maintain the insulin and cans of diet cokes. Someone on this board asked if their insulin be kept in RCL's fridge, however, instructions was miscommunicated and they placed the insulin in freezer guess what happened.  RCL's medical doctors had to order special at next port.

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All of the items you listed should have been easily attainable by your cabin steward and in your cabin at turndown had you asked.

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Sorry to hear about your problems. Did you consider going to the medical bay for Sharpe's container? 

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as was stated above all you had to do was to request it from your room attendant................Special needs dept is sort of useless

most of the time on this subject...................

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The cabin steward would have provided all your CPAP needs the first night.  All you had to do was leave them a note if you hadn’t met them before heading to dinner

 

as for the size of ship, we’ll what did you expect?  Did you not bother to do any research prior?

 

bingo and specialty dining is expensive on all cruise lines.  They are also optional purchases

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Note to self.  Smuggle extension cord for CPAP just in case.   Not having distilled water is no big deal as I will just use the ships water but if I dont have a way of powering my CPAP, I dont sleep.  I would be ill too.  

 

Thanks for sharing 🙂     

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4 minutes ago, spookwife said:

specialty dining is expensive on all cruise lines. 

 

Carnivals steakhouse is 35.00 pp and well worth it.  Blows chops out of the water pun intended.  Their Italian place Cucina De Capitano is 15.00 pp and well worth it.  Royal has gotten ridiculous with their specialty dining pricing and I can see where the OP would have sticker shock after sailing Carnival so much. 

Edited by ryano

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I have sailed on Allure 4x so far and have another cruise booked on Allure for June.  I also use a CPAP machine and even though I have requested an extension cord for it, as well as the distilled water, I have never gotten the extension cord because THERE IS AN OUTLET RIGHT NEXT TO THE BED CLOSEST TO THE SOFA.   It is a bit hard to locate, but it is there.  

 

Had you asked your steward for those items, as opposed to going to guest services,  he would probably have plugged your machine in for you as mine have done and brought the water and sharps container.  I have had the water delivered automatically when I have ordered it 3 of the 4 times and the one time I didn't get it, the steward brought it to me.  

 

The steward also has plugged in the CPAP machine when I just left it standing on the night stand.

 

I don't think this is just Royal Caribbean that doesn't deliver these supplies as my husband and I sailed Carnival many times and only a couple of times has the Sharps container been in the cabin when I ordered it.  Here again, asking the steward about the item , it was delivered when the turn down service was provided.

 

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the cruise as much as you would have liked.  I know it is a long walk from one end of the ship to the other.  No matter which ship we sail, I do look at the deck plans to see where things are that I would use the most.  I look where the closest elevator is and on Oasis class ships, we book a Boardwalk balcony near the elevator or an ocean view balcony near the elevator nearer the aft.

 

I hope you get to enjoy your future cruises on whatever ship you choose.

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25 minutes ago, ryano said:

 

Carnivals steakhouse is 35.00 pp and well worth it.  Blows chops out of the water pun intended.  Their Italian place Cucina De Capitano is 15.00 pp and well worth it.  Royal has gotten ridiculous with their specialty dining pricing and I can see where the OP would have sticker shock after sailing Carnival so much. 

Different ships have different pricing for their SR.  Newer ships expectation is to pay more.  Also, can get some good pricing during their sales.

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Slightly off topic:

I am currently on Radiance.  My cord was in my Cpap case.  They confiscated it.  When I got to the room their provided extension cord was there.  It was EXACTLY the same as the cord they had taken.

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Did you speak to your room steward? I always ask for a "sharps" container when I get on board (first day) and usually by dinner time I have it.

 

I suggest that next time you give RCCL a try see if they can provide it for you.

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I know my situation was very different but I am not shocked by OP's story.  I was in an Owner's Suite on the Allure and on the second night of the cruise I found out my wife and I had to leave the cruise as our special needs son was having an issue at home.  We told the Concierge about the emergency and asked if we could get off at the next port.  The staff did absolutely nothing to help us in any way shape or form other than to tell us to go to the dining room with our bags the next morning.  We tried to get help with arranging flights, make calls etc., and literally no one person offered any assistance or even asked if there was anything they could do.  My wife and I dragged our bags off the ship in San Juan and had to figure out where to go to get a cab, go to the airport and find a flight home.  We had never been to San Juan and could have used some basic assistance to help get us home.  I decided to try Royal one more time and booked a cruise on the Harmony of the Seas for June with my fingers crossed that this will be a better experience as we are taking our children with us. I talked to the cruise representative about my concerns and was assured that my experience was an anomaly last time and if my son has issues there are  people on board that can assist us.  I was not looking for anything for free, just some help during a very difficult emergency.  I felt the Allure was a sensational ship that my kids would love and I am keeping my fingers crossed that id we had a problem they would be more responsive this time.  When I read the OP story, it made me think again that Royal really needs to up their game when passengers have special needs.  Any way, I am optimistic that there is no emergency and if there is Royal truly does a better job with assistance in the future.  

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1 hour ago, norway olin said:

Slightly off topic:

I am currently on Radiance.  My cord was in my Cpap case.  They confiscated it.  When I got to the room their provided extension cord was there.  It was EXACTLY the same as the cord they had taken.

 

Ours also was confiscated at security check in.  It was also in the CPAP case attached to the CPAP cord.   No matter how much we insisted it was needed for the medical device, we lost that battle and never saw that cord again.  😩

 

 

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6 hours ago, jordanaire said:

We just returned from the April 7th sailing of the Allure of the Seas. This was our 3rd cruise with RCI since 1996. We've sailed on 22 Carnival cruises, so this was a cruise that we had something to compare the two. There were some things on the Allure that we really enjoyed. The food in the main dining room was much better than Carnival, the shows were the best that we had ever seen on any cruise ship and the Central Park Balcony cabin was unbelievable! These alone was worth the money spent for the cruise.

 

But there were a lot of things that we didn't care too much for. The ship was just too big for us. It was a long walk from our cabin to the dining room, the auditorium and the shops. We're in our mid 60's and it was difficult at times. We didn't like the high costs of the specialty restaurants, the costs of playing bingo (outrageous) and the rude employees that we encountered during the week.

 

But the thing that really upset me was that six months prior to the cruise, I contacted the Special Needs Department to request an extension cord and distilled water for my CPAP machine and a Sharpe's container for my insulin needles. I even received an email stating that all of these would be waiting for me inside our cabin upon arrival. Well, guess what? None of these items were there when we arrived. I went to Guest Services, with the email, to inquire about this. They told me that they didn't have any record of my request. I showed them THEIR email to me and said they still showed no record of it.  I was not happy. They told me that all of these items would be delivered to our cabin by the end of the day (embarkation day). I got the distilled water on Day #3, the Sharpe's container on Day #6 and never did see the extension cord! It's a good thing that I smuggled an extension cord in my CPAP bag, or else I wouldn't have been able to use it the entire week! Worst customer service that I've ever witnessed. A person uses a CPAP machine for one reason only...to stay alive! RCI obviously could care less. Last time that we ever sail with them!

Wow.. I'm sorry this happened to you. Even when I forget to tell them about my CPAP, I just ask the room steward and the extension cord and water are there by bed time. While I think that saying the only use for a CPAP is to stay alive, is a stretch in the short term... but I understand what you mean. Also, since the Allure has an outlet next to the bed you could also use your CPAP without water, and even though there might be some discomfort from dry nares, it certainly does not outweigh the additional stress put on the heart by not using the cpap. 

 

Again I am sorry this happened to you. Early on in my CPAP days, I forgot it on a 4 night cruise. Worst sleep ever!! Also, while I like CCL quite a bit, it is nice that RCI does not charge for the distilled water like CCL does.

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3 minutes ago, CruiseKeeper said:

 

Ours also was confiscated at security check in.  It was also in the CPAP case attached to the CPAP cord.   No matter how much we insisted it was needed for the medical device, we lost that battle and never saw that cord again.  😩

 

 

They didn't take the CPAP cord though right? That is the only one I carry, and there would be a problem if they tried to take that form me. 

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6 hours ago, jordanaire said:

A person uses a CPAP machine for one reason only...to stay alive!

Sorry, I disagree with this.  I use a CPAP machine, for only one reason, but that's to not snore so DW can sleep

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1 hour ago, S.A.M.J.R. said:

Sorry, I disagree with this.  I use a CPAP machine, for only one reason, but that's to not snore so DW can sleep

 

Agree. Cumbersome to not have one? Yes. Life-threatening? No.

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Well to be fair, it is really not for snoring, so that others can sleep. It is to correct a reduction in oxygen to the brain and heart, which leads to a reduction in life if not treated. It is not immediately life threatening, but it is certainly not just for snoring convenience. 

 

I will not get into the lives that have been lost due to lack of quality of sleep, as no one is driving while on a cruise ship. 

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Also,  most, if not all insulin formulations can be unrefrigerated up to 28 days, so not having a fridge for insulin isn’t a medical emergency.

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