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Got Docs....but they're wrong!


karenj4546

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I got my documents today for our Tahiti trip next week. I now know WHY we didn't get them until now.....apparently the TA decided to use someone other than RSSC for the flights, pre and post cruise (contrary to what my receipt says and I paid for....YES, I have receipts, all e-mails sent, etc.). Therefore, we're NOT staying at the hotels which we carefully chose, nor are we in an OWB. We were supposed to stay at the IC Tahiti in an OWB for 2 days pre-cruise. We're listed on our itinerary as staying at the Sheraton Tahiti in a deluxe lagoon view room.

Our post-cruise was supposed to be at the IC Moorea, now it's at the Moorea Pearl Resort. Also, not an OWB...instead, it's one night in a garden pool bungalow and 2 nights in a beach bungalow.

I do wonder why, when I called RSSC, they told me that the hotel vouchers had been sent with the cruise docs. I don't know how they could have been, since the TA from @#$$ didn't (apparently) use RSSC to book this.

Could anyone assure me that I got a good trade-off? Or, if not, would anyone who's stayed at these "new" places let me know what to expect, since I didn't research these places in the past 5 months when I'd THOUGHT that I was going to the IC's? (I tried to "see" the Pearl via the internet, but the website is not functioning!)

All of this reminds me of an internet-e-mail I've read a few times about "expecting to go to Holland, and instead, going to France" (it's a tear-jerker about having a disabled child, for those of you who have never read it).

Sorry....just venting and wondering how much it'll cost to sue the #$%^ out of this FL TA.

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Karen:

 

I can't help on your hotel dilemma, but I'd be on the phone to a supervisor at the TA's office pronto. Considering what you've been told, and what you've had to do to get your docs, you should at least be given an explanation why your plans were changed without your knowledge.

 

The TA who's no longer there has a supervisor, and it's time you found out (nicely) just who he/she is, and they need to know what's happened.

 

I hope that it all works out to your satisfaction, and, once on the cruise, all of your consternation will be but a fleeting memory!

 

Good luck!

Paul

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Karen,

 

I understand your need to vent here but , as Paul suggests, if I were you I would get busy trying to get some answers from the manager of the Travel agency you used. I think it is very telling that the TA you dealt with is no longer there. At the very least, if the new accommodations they are offering you have a price differential vs. the OWB, they should credit the difference back to you.

 

Regarding the hotels, I just looked in http://www.tripadvisor.com .The Moorea Pearl resort is rated the #1 hotel there with lots of positive comments. The Sheraton Tahiti gets mixed reviews.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

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If you get no satisfaction from the Travel Agent, you might call the ICB in Tahiti and book an OWB there on your own. You can call the Sheraton and cancel as well - just make sure you get the cancellation number.

 

I have stayed in Papeete last year at both the Sheraton and the ICB and the resorts cannot be compared. But if you are "stuck" at the Sheraton, there really isn't anything terrible - the rooms were quite nice, the beach very pretty. The ICB was magnificiently beautiful. Tahiti is very pricey and service is on Island Time - just know that going in.

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I have a feeling that speaking with a supervisor at the TA's office (if there is one) may be more of a waste of time than a benefit as I am sure the supervisor was involved at some point.

 

Karen, first I would check with Regent directly to be sure their records are not different from what you have. (I hate to think that your hotel rooms do exist...but just not for you.)

 

I would also check with the hotels directly and see if they can assist you. They may agree to cancel the charges for the hotels without penalty, upgrade you to the type of accommodation that you paid for, etc.

 

If you put the charges on American Express, for example, you may be able to put a stop on them by disputing them.

 

You might also check with the hotels you were going to stay at to see if the accommodations are available. If they are, you just might find that you can secure them for less than the cost of the Regent package.

 

Now is the time to keep a cool head and organize things so they work out. Later you can deal with the bad TA after you return...tanned, relaxed and after having a great time. (Also known as "Don't let the bstrds get you down!")

 

Breaking it down into simple tasks is not as overwhelming as looking at the fiasco as a whole.

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Thanks to all (Iamboatman....you've been very helpful for the past couple of days; Extra thanks to you!)

Here's where I am, right now.

Can't get to a supervisor. I've left messages at every extension (even dialed "0" hoping for "live" help).

I got this agency via a banner ad on this very website. It took me to a site which allows you to post what you want and then has agents reply via that site. That's how I ended up with a TA in FL. (Usually, I'm a "do it yourself" person, therefore I do not have a regular TA). Do wish I could use names, because although I'm unhappy with my agent and that agency, I'm mighty happy with this particular site and its' CEO! He asked for details and has contacted my agent via e-mail (with a copy to me) asking for help. No answers yet, but at least I'm not feeling so alone.

More later,

Karen

PS> In checking the rates at the different hotels against what I paid, I see that there are no OWB's to be found....either at my original hotels or at the "replacements".

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Karen,

 

Regarding the hotels, I just looked in http://www.tripadvisor.com .The Moorea Pearl resort is rated the #1 hotel there with lots of positive comments. The Sheraton Tahiti gets mixed reviews.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

 

 

Actually, I'd already looked. The Pearl Ranks #1 of 3 hotels in Maharepa in TripAdvisor's popularity index (not exactly sure what Maharepa is, I just cut and pasted that from TripAdvisor). The IC Ranks #1 of 13 in Moorea.

 

My DH and I spent a long time deciding on which hotels we wanted back in April, when we were deciding what to do for our 25th anniversary. Also, we paid in full in May. I do know that we could contact our CC again over this (the agency double-charged us, initially, so our CC company already has dealt with them), but since I paid it off in June, I don't know that there's a lot that they can do about it.

Again, though, thanks to everyone for suggestions. And for letting me vent!

Karen

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Karen,

The CC companies are not off the hook or out of the loop until after the date of delivery on purchase. In your case, you have not stayed at the hotels yet. The clock on the CC company's involvement does not start ticking until after delivery, not after date of final payment on the bill! Just FYI.

Again, good luck and congratulations. Enjoy your 25th anniversary celebration in paradise in any event, Debbie

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Karen, years ago I paid in full for a cruise through an unreputable TA who never passed our payment (or even our original deposit) onto the cruiseline (Princess). As far as Princess knew, we didn't exist. The cc was paid in full (American Express) and we were able to get every penny refunded. The TA went out of business and filed bankrupcy as this scam was surfacing. I'm hoping you paid with AmEx because they are the best to work with in getting monies refunded IMO.

 

I hope you have a wonderful cruise inspite of all that you've gone through. For your next Regent cruise I hope you select a Regent specialist who deals in only luxury cruises. Many people on this board use one in particular who is excellent. She was recently recommended to me as well and I couldn't be happier.

 

Good luck...you deserve it. Happy Anniversary.

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I'm rather sure of whom you mean. I found another board and I'll be sure to use their services, in the future.

Thanks for the information on the CC. I thought that once it had been paid, I was SOL. AND, since this agency already double charged me, initially, I bet that my VISA company would actually ENJOY going after them.

BTW, I filed a complaint through the FL BBB and the State Attorney General's office. However, the AG referred me to the FL Dept of Agriculture (yeah, believe THAT one, as they're the ones who oversee the FL travel industry).

Karen

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I'm sorry about the stress you're going through. I hope that you can get the hotels rearranged to your satisfaction.

 

Your experience ( and others I have read from time to time) have convinced me that in the area of vacations it doesn't pay to go through one of these "anonymous" internet sites where you usually deal with somebody that only identifies themselve by a first name.

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This helps to prove my belief that it is extremely important to have one local TA whom you trust, with whom you have a personal relationship and who can count on earning commissions on all of your travel. As a commissioned real estate broker, I can tell you all that customer loyalty counts for alot. A reputable TA who knows that he or she will get all of your business and referrals to your friends will work overtime to make sure that your travel goes smoothly! Being penny wise can often be pound foolish.

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Karen,

 

Where does Regent stand on the hotel/voucher issue?

 

As a TA, I can tell you that what you see online is not necessarily what a hotel actually has in inventory...nor are the prices necessarily their best rates. Pitch your situation nicely and perhaps something will open up for you. (Last minute cancellations also happen.)

 

BTW, Tripadvisor is only one place to check out how a hotel is perceived. I have found the information to be very inconsistent both between comments and accuracy. Always get info from at least 2-3 sources.

 

Finally (for now), you are still protected by your credit card. Simply put (and that many times is the key when dealing with these issues), you paid for an OWB and you received something else. Ordering steak and getting chicken doesn't work in a restaurant, and so it doesn't with hotels. I would look into cancelling the hotel bookings and making new ones. See what it costs...if anything. (Again, I am going on the premise that you have saved those emails!)

 

Let us know.

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Karen,

 

Where does Regent stand on the hotel/voucher issue?

 

As a TA, I can tell you that what you see online is not necessarily what a hotel actually has in inventory...nor are the prices necessarily their best rates. Pitch your situation nicely and perhaps something will open up for you. (Last minute cancellations also happen.)

 

BTW, Tripadvisor is only one place to check out how a hotel is perceived. I have found the information to be very inconsistent both between comments and accuracy. Always get info from at least 2-3 sources.

 

Finally (for now), you are still protected by your credit card. Simply put (and that many times is the key when dealing with these issues), you paid for an OWB and you received something else. Ordering steak and getting chicken doesn't work in a restaurant, and so it doesn't with hotels. I would look into cancelling the hotel bookings and making new ones. See what it costs...if anything. (Again, I am going on the premise that you have saved those emails!)

 

Let us know.

 

Boy, you sound like the kind of TA I'd LIKE to have chosen!

An RSSC employee apologized yesterday for not having checked to see if the agency had indeed booked through them, on Tuesday when I contacted them per your advise. The agency did not.

There aren't many choices left in FP for next week. Well, the Sheraton still has room, but that's what we've got.

Luckily, I've got the "go-between guy" (that banner ad from cruisecritic) going to bat for me. I did a cost comparison between what my receipt says and what rack rates are at the two hotels where we're now booked. Not including taxes (yes, my itinerary says that we're responsible for hotel taxes) and the breakfasts that RSSC includes in their packages, the difference is $921. That's money that the TA got from me which wasn't applied to this trip. Oh, the CEO of the banner ad got an offer from the TA for a credit on our cabin in the amount of $200. I called that "insult added to injury". If the CEO can't help out, I'll contact VISA next.

Thank you again for your wonderful advice,

Karen

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Thanks for the compliment. :o

 

If you have contacted the hotels directly and there is nothing, have they mentioned anything about putting you on a waitlist?

 

Also, just out of curiousity, did Regent say if they would still book the package for you? That way you would get the better Regent pricing and Visa can have the TA eat whatever cost was associated with the improper bookings.

 

And, if you can't find a solution that works perfectly, just remember you are going mostly for the sun and sand. When you have your lounge chair under the thatched umbrella drinking a coconut/passionfruit/rum whatever with the seas lapping at the shore and your DH next to you remember: It isn't the hotel room that really makes it special! ;)

 

Hang in there.

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Karen,

 

I felt your pain last October on my dream cruise to Tahiti on Regent. I booked my precruise/air/cruise VIA my TA with Regent. I HAD used this TA for over 10 years with no problem. I didn't get my tickets until 2 weeks before my cruise, after calling my TA several times starting about 4 weeks beforehand. When I did receive them, I was booked at a different Island/Hotel for my precruise stay. Long story short, My TA that I had used for years totally messed up. She obviously never checked my tickets, etc. I have no idea why....

 

I spoke to Radisson (Regent now), and explained my problem admitting that my TA was at fault, not them, and Regent was WONDERFUL. I told them I was officially "dumping" my TA. They made sure I was rebooked in my original precruise hotel/Island, and all was well. When we boarded the PG we were welcomed with a bottle of champagne, flower arrangement and godiva chocolates. We were also invited to dine with the Captain and had a personal tour of the bridge. I'm pretty sure that Regent was trying to make this trip extra special for my dh and I, considering the problems that we went through.

 

Good luck with your situation. I know you will have the trip of a lifetime as I did.

 

Babs

 

PS I know book directly with the cruiseline. Unfortunately, I do not trust TA's to do the right thing.

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Babs:

 

I don't blame you for not trusting TA's after your bad experience. However, there are some good ones out there and they can add value, give better prices and "work outside the box" with different products.

 

Vigilence in finding a good TA and making sure things are all set no more than 30 days prior to your trip (and registering online with the cruise line long before that) won't prevent problems, but it will most certainly assist in catching them sooner.

 

I'm glad Regent tried to make things right for you. Those things go long, long way!

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IAMBOATMAN,

 

Thanks for your response. I did register with Regent Online, and I did check with Regent several times to confirm everything. Probably TOO many times. The long story short is, that the Bora Bora Pearl resort had been overbooked. Regent tried to contact my TA for weeks to advise them of the change and to make other arrangements to see what their client (Me) wanted to do. They couldn't get a hold of her and just rebooked me.

 

I was confident that I was booked properly after speaking to Regent many previous times before. I did contact Regent, along with my TA when my docs were late, and Regent assured me that my TA had received them and had even signed for them. At that point I didn't go over the details of my trip again with Regent, because I didn't think it was an issue.

 

Sorry for my comments about TA's. I've just been burnt, that's all!

 

Babs

 

I assure you that my next "luxury" cruise will be booked with a well known luxury cruise TA! Live and learn....

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All of this makes me think of the phrase, "when life throws you lemons, make lemonade". I know we'll have the water, the sun (to ferment them just right), and the sugar will be at my side (my DH). It's just not what I was expecting.

I'm sorry to know that this has happened to others, as well. I hope that you enjoyed yourselves, regardless. We will....no kids for only the 2nd time in 23 years!!!! (Again, this is our 25th anniversary...we'll wake to Bora Bora and do the waverunners that morning....I prebooked that one!)

Regent can't help me. Everything's booked. They're really sorry that this is the result.

My DH made a comment on his way to work this morning....."remind me to never divorce you.....you can be really vindictive". Yes, I can. I've found multiple avenues to pursue this through and am actively doing so.

I, too, will find a better TA in the future or book directly with the line. I've only used two TA's EVER (have circumnavigated the globe a few times... my first TA was a walk-in in South Africa back in my college days). Usually, I prefer the control of "do it yourself".

I do thank everyone who has taken the time to either offer ideas or sympathy/empathy. Again, we're going to have a WONDERFUL trip!

Karen

 

Iamboatman> my e-mail is karenj4546@adelphia.net Feel free to contact me so I can talk to you about our next trip (if you dare work with a vindictive woman, that is!)

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Karen I have been following your saga and I am so sorry that things were not done they way you expected, but you have a terrific attitude about it all! We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on the PG in Tahiti four years ago and I can tell you that it was heaven on earth!!! I know you will have an incredible trip and in the end that is all that really matters.

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Thanks Sundial! (ah, another person who joined cc years ago but doesn't feel that they need to make tons of comments or post everywhere)

I am sure that we'll have a great time. Hey, we're going there to spend time with each other and in the water. The hotel change is NOT going to ruin this trip.

Karen

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