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Help, MSC separated young family's cabins with no notification


AmiSwe
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Hi! I am an experienced cruiser but will be traveling for the first time with MSC with a trip planned for the Meraviglia, leaving 11 August from Copenhagen, and have just discovered a major issue with our booking that I need help understanding and resolving.

 

In January, my mother booked tickets for herself and her husband plus my family of five (kids 2, 7, 12). She booked three balcony suites very close to one another (two of which were directly adjacent to one another, for my family of five). Obviously my young family wanted to be together and my parents wanted to be close to us, especially as my mother needs to use oxygen if she has to walk much. 

 

Sometime between January and now MSC changed our cabins with no notification. My mom's is the same but my young family has been split very widely around the ship, we are talking several floors away and on complete different ends and sides. It is such a big ship that apparently now I am going on vacation with the two-year-old and my husband is having a separate vacation with the older kids and my parents are having yet another separate trip and we will just try to meet up sometimes? 

 

It seems the new cabin numbers were on documents sent later but unfortunately we didn't notice the change until just now and there was no explicit notification. And of course now the ship is fully booked and MSC says the originally booking, done by calling them, was done incorrectly and somehow didn't indicate we were traveling as a family and our cabins were thus able to be shifted individually. MSC said they will talk to corporate and look into it but there is not much room to maneuver. 

 

Any ideas what we can do to get moved together/closer or resolve this? (We never cared about having balcony suites in particular, my mom was only told by the agent that getting the those particular rooms was the only way at the time of booking to for our group to be close together.)

 

Thanks! 

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1 hour ago, AmiSwe said:

 

 

Is the cruise booked in the US or in Sweden? Have you talked to MSC in Sweden? Their customer service in the US is not very popular but I have found MSC in Sweden very helpfull. They probably can't do much if the ship is full but give them a call. I think I have used the number on their site, 08-503 377 70.

 

Maybe they can downgrade you to other cabins and upgrade other to help you get cabins close together?

Edited by sverigecruiser
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1 hour ago, AmiSwe said:

MSC says the originally booking, done by calling them, was done incorrectly and somehow didn't indicate we were traveling as a family and our cabins were thus able to be shifted individually.

 

This may also mean that you are assigned different times in the dining room and you are most likely not seated together! (I'm sure that will be fixed when you are on the ship.) 

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It was booked through the US but I did try the customer service in Sweden, however they said they couldn't even see my booking so were no help. 

 

I hadn't thought about the dining implications. What a headache!

 

Yes, while we like balconies we would be okay with a lower class if it's necessary to be close to each other. I guess I will call US customer service again when they open and clarify that. But would they give us a refund in that case? 

 

 

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Sounds like they offered upgrades on the cabins, that no one caught.  Especially if somehow the rep didn't link the bookings.  I have 4 cabins booked for the Meraviglia in September and all four of our bookings clearly show the booking numbers of all of our cabins linked together. Some of us are booked through MSC while others used a TA, but we are all still linked.   

 

The ship however isn't that huge that it isn't super easy to meet up and set meeting places.  I do realize the tougher part if the kids/adults now not being in cabins beside each other. But it is super easy to call each others cabins and arrange places to meet.  Our groups of 9-12 do it all the time and meet up with no issues.   

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2 hours ago, mom2tcdx2 said:

 all four of our bookings clearly show the booking numbers of all of our cabins linked together. Some of us are booked through MSC while others used a TA, but we are all still linked.   

 

Hmm, our bookings look linked from what I can tell. The various booking numbers are all listed for each. MSC said the problem was that we weren't booked as a "super family"--how is that different, do you know?

 

It's so frustrating because we would have taken any kind of room as long as they were close, so we ended up getting three balcony suites as we were told that was the only option at that time to be close, and instead here we are all spread throughout the ship with overkill rooms for us, all because the booking agent made mistakes. I hope MSC will fix this so we can have the family trip intended. 

 

 

 

 

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I am not super familiar with the super family cabins, though I thought if booked as that it is technically one cabin and one booking to make up that cabin. I didn't think they would have three separate booking numbers?  The original documents should however show the cabin category booked.  Do your original cabin booking show the super family cabin?

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No, evidently they should have been booked under I guess one booking number and as a super family cabin, but they were not, they were all booked as individual cabins/bookings (and it was my parents who booked it and have not cruised, and they didn't send me the details, just the room numbers). Hence when MSC needed to shift some rooms around, I guess there was nothing in the system preventing then from separating us. The screw-up, then, was by the rep doing the booking, and nobody noticed the room numbers had changed (something I personally would have checked when I paid the bill, but this trip is a treat by my parents) until I did the online check-in, and now it is perhaps too late. But MSC said "corporate" will see if they can move us closer together again. 

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Hopefully they will be able to do something.  Though it gets tougher the closer it is to sailing.  My guess is somebody else also wanted a family room booking, they saw you had those rooms, but not booked for the super family and figured swapping you couldn't hurt anything.  Though sadly if they had actually looked at the rooms and saw the ages of the kids even, they may have kept them together.  

 

Though if on paper an adult was in each cabin, they probably wouldn't have noticed.  Though honestly it won't be hard to keep track of each other.  I do this with my parents and my dad is in his seventies and my mom has had a knee replacement twice (both went badly).  We keep up with them pretty well and their whereabouts on the ship.  

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Not to be rude...but rather than ask questions to people here on Cruise Critic...why not try calling the cruise company, MSC?  You said 12 hours ago you would call customer service again...what did they say? 

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12 minutes ago, MrMike45 said:

Not to be rude...but rather than ask questions to people here on Cruise Critic...why not try calling the cruise company, MSC?  You said 12 hours ago you would call customer service again...what did they say? 

 

She did called before she asked questions here.

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2 hours ago, MrMike45 said:

Not to be rude...but rather than ask questions to people here on Cruise Critic...why not try calling the cruise company, MSC?  You said 12 hours ago you would call customer service again...what did they say? 

 

What is the purpose of posting this... she said she called MSC and if she's in Sweden it's likely nighttime.  There's so much gatekeeping on CC, just let people ask their questions!!  

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We had this happen once.  Our solution, while not the easiest:  We all went to our cabis as soon as they were ready.  Stood outside the cabin and we literally started asking neighbors if they would be willing to move.  In about 30 minutes and an additional 30 minutes at guest services, we had 3 cabins very close together.  

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So we have had several more rounds with customer service and they have not offered any solutions. We have reiterated that we are willing to be downgraded etc. if at least the family with young kids can be near each other and we are waiting for them to reconsider that. 

 

The dining arrangements were properly linked but we are also having problems with our web logins to get our boarding passes due to the original booking agent (who messed things up so much) not working there, which sounds odd to me.

 

We haven't gotten an answer about why we were not notified about the cabin changes. 

 

Thanks for the help, will update if there's anything to update!

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4 hours ago, #1TravelMom said:

We had this happen once.  Our solution, while not the easiest:  We all went to our cabis as soon as they were ready.  Stood outside the cabin and we literally started asking neighbors if they would be willing to move.  In about 30 minutes and an additional 30 minutes at guest services, we had 3 cabins very close together.  

 

Oof, okay, we might have to do that if worst comes to worst. One of the cabins is extra large with a large balcony so maybe someone will want to move to that one. 

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 Oof- I agree! My husband was not thrilled at all. We had to take other people too guest services. Now, we have learned to make sure all of our reservations are linked and decline upgrades.  To be fair to the cruise line, this happened when we booked balcony guarantee cabins.

 

It sounds like a complimentary upgrade may have been what happened to you We have been on many cruises and have never had our cabin change. I think it is in all of the cruise lines fine print that your cabin can be changed without notice.  I think I've only heard of it happening when they think they are giving you an upgrade.

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7 minutes ago, #1TravelMom said:

It sounds like a complimentary upgrade may have been what happened to you We have been on many cruises and have never had our cabin change. I think it is in all of the cruise lines fine print that your cabin can be changed without notice.  I think I've only heard of it happening when they think they are giving you an upgrade.

 

Oh no, the cabins they moved us to are definitely no upgrade. They are the same class but clearly smaller with smaller balconies (we had big ones on the back of the ship...) and of course not connected like I believe the original ones were. (Not that we really care about the size, it's the adjacency we care about.) Feels a little bait and switchy in fact but more likely the family was just not indicated correctly, which was regardless an error on MSC's part.

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14 hours ago, kodesthemoose said:

 

What is the purpose of posting this... she said she called MSC and if she's in Sweden it's likely nighttime.  There's so much gatekeeping on CC, just let people ask their questions!!  

 

The purpose is, as I stated, 12 hours prior to my post she said she would try calling MSC USA Customer service.  

 

Do you really think anyone here on CC can help her or give her an answer?  If that was me, and I was in the situation she was in, I would be on the phone until I got it straightened out.  You, nor I, not someone with 20 MSC cruises under their belt could do anything to help.  Only MSC could. 

 

So I wasn't trying to be rude, but I also think the OP should stop posting and start calling non-stop IMO

Edited by MrMike45
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@AmiSwe  May I ask how the passengers in the rooms are assigned?  Is it?

 

Room 1 - Your mother and father

Room 2 - You and your husband

Room 3 - 3 underage children

 

If so, have you tried arguing the fact that having 3 underage children moved away from their parents and grand parents is against the law, that they have to be under adult supervision and must remain in the cabin connected to yours?  

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12 minutes ago, MrMike45 said:

 

The purpose is, as I stated, 12 hours prior to my post she said she would try calling MSC USA Customer service.  

 

Do you really think anyone here on CC can help her or give her an answer?  If that was me, and I was in the situation she was in, I would be on the phone until I got it straightened out.  You, nor I, not someone with 20 MSC cruises under their belt could do anything to help.  Only MSC could. 

 

So I wasn't trying to be rude, but I also think the OP should stop posting and start calling non-stop IMO

 

Oh we have called a bunch and will continue to do so, but it is helpful to get others' perspective on the situation to get some ideas, e.g. accepting a downgrade. 

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13 minutes ago, MrMike45 said:

@AmiSwe  May I ask how the passengers in the rooms are assigned?  Is it?

 

Room 1 - Your mother and father

Room 2 - You and your husband

Room 3 - 3 underage children

 

If so, have you tried arguing the fact that having 3 underage children moved away from their parents and grand parents is against the law, that they have to be under adult supervision and must remain in the cabin connected to yours?  

 

My parents booked it like this on the advice of the rep (whose judgment in hindsight is questionable):

 

Room 1: mother and father

Room 2: Husband and two older kids

Room 3: Me and toddler

 

I don't know why it was done that way (personally I'd have preferred a different constellation) but I figured we could adjust it aboard if we wanted, but it means that the supervision issue is not one we can argue in this case. 

 

 

Edited by AmiSwe
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18 minutes ago, MrMike45 said:

@AmiSwe  May I ask how the passengers in the rooms are assigned?  Is it?

 

Room 1 - Your mother and father

Room 2 - You and your husband

Room 3 - 3 underage children

 

If so, have you tried arguing the fact that having 3 underage children moved away from their parents and grand parents is against the law, that they have to be under adult supervision and must remain in the cabin connected to yours?  

3 underage children is not allowed, there has to be at least one grown upin a room 21 y.o. in USA or 18 y.o. in Europe.

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42 minutes ago, AmiSwe said:

 

My parents booked it like this on the advice of the rep (whose judgment in hindsight is questionable):

 

Room 1: mother and father

Room 2: Husband and two older kids

Room 3: Me and toddler

 

I don't know why it was done that way (personally I'd have preferred a different constellation) but I figured we could adjust it aboard if we wanted, but it means that the supervision issue is not one we can argue in this case. 

 

 

 

They probably did this so every under age child does have a supervising adult in the room.  Unfortunately, this might hurt your case of moving rooms back to how they were, as every room is "legal" in terms of adult/child 

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If the original cabins were interconnecting it does seem that you were booked into a superfamily cabin, but without it being booked as such.  

We are on the ship the week before you in a superfamily cabin and when we booked, were told you can’t book a specific family cabin as they allocate them all closer to the date.  This is so they can match family groups to cabins due to the configurations of some being sold as either double interconnecting and or triple.  

 

It doesn’t really help you but explains why you can’t just get your cabins back as it would’ve been sold to others as a superfamily cabin, and they are therefore guaranteed interconnecting rooms and can’t be moved out!

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2 hours ago, Belliniginfizz said:

If the original cabins were interconnecting it does seem that you were booked into a superfamily cabin, but without it being booked as such.  

We are on the ship the week before you in a superfamily cabin and when we booked, were told you can’t book a specific family cabin as they allocate them all closer to the date.  This is so they can match family groups to cabins due to the configurations of some being sold as either double interconnecting and or triple.  

 

It doesn’t really help you but explains why you can’t just get your cabins back as it would’ve been sold to others as a superfamily cabin, and they are therefore guaranteed interconnecting rooms and can’t be moved out!

 

And presumably because the OP didn't notice when they originally received the change of cabins information, MSC didn't think they had an issue and they were then sold to others.

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