• Report: #709736

Complaint Review: Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

  • Submitted: Thu, March 24, 2011
  • Updated: Mon, January 30, 2012

  • Reported By: Jeff — Friendswood Texas United States of America
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
Internet United States of America

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Discriminatory boarding denial Internet

*Consumer Comment: Wow, you are all missing the point here

*General Comment: Whose Fault, Really?

*Consumer Comment: Perhaps I missed this

*Consumer Comment: Nice try...

*Author of original report: CORY!!!!

*Consumer Comment: Where's the discrimination?

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Funny

*Author of original report: PLEASE READ COMPLETELY

*General Comment: I'd say 80% Fred's fault and 20% RCI's fault.

*Consumer Comment: Common sense...

*Consumer Comment: I suggest

*Author of original report: Making Cory understand

*Consumer Suggestion: It Didn't Matter..

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    Cruise line tickets bought, Royal Caribbean, 11/17/10

   2 weeks before the cruise it was discovered that my girlfriend's passport had expired, she was born in Brazil but has been a United States citizen for 20 yrs. (Naturalized)

   To see if we could still make the cruise we immediately called RC reservationist, who simply asked if she was a "U.S. citizen" of which we said "yes she was". 6 were called over the next 3 days. They all asked the same thing "U.S. citizen" nothing asked about Natural or Naturalized citizenship.

 They said all she needed was a Driver's Lisence and a Birth certificate and if her divorced name was on the drivers lisence, she would need a marriage lisence and or a divorce decree to show that name. I got the reservationist  first and last name and was going to write a letter of acommodation for her, that's why she gave me her last name.

 A.P.S.I. form was filled out, for quick boarding, and had all the above info on it, and was faxed and recieved "confirmed" on 12/02/2010.


 We fly to Miami, on 12/12/2010, rent a vehicle, drive to Ft. Lauderdale cruise terminal and are denied boarding because of improper documentation,which was "no passport".

The RC personnel, at the dock, would not believe our story of the reservationist info of documentation needed for the cruise and thought we had just showed up and discovered her passport expired at the dock, which was not the case.

 Would not refund our $2990, for their mistake, and our baggage was not retrieved and sailed and was not returned to our homes for 3 weeks and 2 days and we had to pay for their return. My camera was missing from my bag. I know this, because I had just put knew batteries in it on the dock before they were loaded on the ship.

 Out of 2 days work vacation, flight money, rent car money, cab fare money and meal money.

 2 days later while talking to their Guest Relations personnel, they must have listen to some recordings, because they said we were both 50/50 wrong. I said, no, you were 100% wrong.

  RC says they cannot find the reservationist that name that I wrote down or the recordings of any conversations.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/24/2011 12:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Royal-Caribbean-Cruise-Lines/internet/Royal-Caribbean-Cruise-Lines-Discriminatory-boarding-denial-Internet-709736. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
3Author 9Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Wow, you are all missing the point here

AUTHOR: MAD Vacationer!! - (United States of America)

I had a very bad experience in April 2010 with the cruise line and their "free cruise" scam, but nothing to do with passports. I can tell you as someone who boarded this ship that you do NOT need a passport if you are a U.S. citizen. I know because I boarded the ship with no passport...I've never even had a passport issued to me. We also called several times to confirm the passport rules, as we wanted to be completely sure...and we were told repeatedly that if we were citizens we did not need one, unless we planned on getting off the boat and taking advantage of the one-night stay on the island (which we did not). No one EVER asked to clarify if I was natural or naturalized...and since I didn't know there were different types, I wouldn't have thought to ask. But the person on the phone is presumably answering these questions all day long, and therefore should know what questions to seek more clarifications about to be sure they are giving you a correct answer. When a person asks the proper questions and  is given wrong answers, or half answers in this man's case, it is not the fault of the person asking. That is what these people are there for...to answer you travel questions accurately...it's the essence of their job. Not everyone knows the laws regarding borders and citizenship and it's not as easy as calling immigration officials or looking it up online...sometimes you still don't end up understanding the rules because they put it in such legal jargon that laymen can't understand it. That is why these "agents" are supposed to be properly trained to answer these questions. Agents are essentially go-betweens...there job is to answer questions and put customer concerns to rest. The issue is not whether or not she had time to renew it after realizing, the issue is a poorly trained staff at a not-so reputable company, who always seems to have "lost" all proof regarding conversations with customers who are now unhappy when they find out the truth. If they wanted to prove they were right, they would produce the tapes and the receptionist...but they don't because they know the tape will prove them to be in the wrong. Companies who use recordings do it to cover their own arses, so you can bet your bottom dollar they keep real good track of them...and the only reason for one to be "missing" is because it proves their fault in something!
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#2 General Comment

Whose Fault, Really?

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

You say you don't want to pay for RCI's $2990 mistake, yet you admitted in your first post that you and your girlfriend neglected to check her passport and allowed it to expire.  Sorry, but that is no one's fault but yours and hers.  That's like allowing your driver's license to expire and blaming the cop for not letting you drive further.

When you spoke to RCI on the phone, you did not tell them your girlfriend was born in another country.  You did not tell them her birth certificate was foreign.  So of course, they probably said a birth certificate was fine, which is true for citizens born here.  And if you think there is no difference, just look at the controversy over our President's birth.  So, there is a big difference in certain matters, including cruise travel. 

Again, you need to suck it up and admit this is partially, no, mostly your fault.   
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#3 Consumer Comment

Perhaps I missed this

AUTHOR: patti - (United States of America)

I would be surprised if Royal Caribbean didn't offer to credit you the amount you paid for a future cruise.  Did you bring this up with them?
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#4 Consumer Comment

Nice try...

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

 I dont want to pay $2990 for Royal Caribbeans MISTAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Your not paying $2990 for their mistake.  You are paying $2990 for YOUR(or your Girlfriends) mistake.

WE DID NOT REALIZE THERE WERE TYPES OF U.S. CITIZENS.................JUST U.S. CITIZENS, PERIOD!!
-
I know people who are Naturalized and they know the difference.  Such as a foreign Birth Certificate is not going to show US Citizenship.  But even if we take that YOU didn't know the difference(which lets say is a possibility), there is no way your girlfriend would not have known.

You and your girlfriend made 6 calls, and people do not make 6 calls for no reason.  One perhaps two calls..okay but not SIX over 3 days.  That is the main point where your "story" looses credibility.
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#5 Author of original report

CORY!!!!

AUTHOR: Jeff - (United States of America)

Cory......you're killing me here. Your last sentence sums it up. We just wanted to be sure that 6 reservationist could not be wrong and went on their knowledge of having proper documentation.

 Remember  we are in a "go on vacation mode", not worried about documentation until we found out 2 weeks earlier that her passport had expired.

 Then we were exactly told not to worry about acquiring a passport since she was a U.S. Citizen, 6 times told this, not once asking about what type of a U.S. citizen. WE DID NOT REALIZE THERE WERE TYPES OF U.S. CITIZENS.................JUST U.S. CITIZENS, PERIOD!!

RCI knew the difference at the dock, though, but not on their phone lines

ALL WE NEED IS THE PHONE RECORDINGS TO PROVE THEIR MISTAKE, but they will not come up with them and say that the reservationist I talked to, and wrote her name down, does not exist.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Where's the discrimination?

AUTHOR: Inspector - (USA)

Your fault, stop blaming everyone for your probelm.
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#7 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Funny

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

HALF of San Antonio has a "very heavy" accent and THEY were born here. I can just hear the howls now. ICE agent "I can "tell" by your "very heavy" --------- accent you bere born in ---------". Can you say lawsuit. Go ahead and blame RCI all you want to. As the other person posted. You wouldn't have called six times if YOU hadn't had doubt. Well OK, but we thought we needed passports.
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#8 Author of original report

PLEASE READ COMPLETELY

AUTHOR: Jeff - (United States of America)

The  2 reservationist TOLD US not to bother to get her passport RENEWED since she was, and has been a U.S. citizen. We and everyone we talk to about this did not know there was a difference in CITIZENSHIP, NATURAL or NATURALIZED.

They told us at the dock that I could board if I did not have a passport because I was a Natural U.S. citizen.

The WHOLE POINT HERE IS that we were TOLD to bring the the wrong documentation by the Royal Caribbean reservationist. THEY DONT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE IN NATURAL AND NATURALIZED citizenship because they have been trained IMPROPERLY.

And you would think just by talking to my girlfriend, who has a very heavy  Brazilian accent, that one of the reservationist would have snapped to the possibility that she was a Naturalized U.S. citizen..............THEY DONT EVEN KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I dont want to pay $2990 for Royal Caribbeans MISTAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#9 General Comment

I'd say 80% Fred's fault and 20% RCI's fault.

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

To Cory - Closed Loop cruises do not require passports from natural born U.S. citizens.  All they need is a government issued ID and a birth certificate.

To Fred - You most certainly are partly to blame here.  It is your responsibility to ensure you carry the proper travel documentation.  Common sense says that if you display a governemnt ID and a birth certificate from another country, the gate agents have no way of knowing her status.  Not checking her passport status earlier is the fault of you and her.  That is not RCI's fault.  And as someone else said, you could have purchased expedited passport service and had an updated passport in her hands in under 2 weeks.  

Ehen RCI asked you if she was a citizen, it never dawned on you that being born of another counrty might be an issue?  Again, that fault falls on you.   
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#10 Consumer Comment

Common sense...

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Had you exercised some common sense you could have avoided this entire situation.

Just on the whole not checking the passports before you booked the cruise angle.  When you finally did discover the expired passport, 2 weeks was enough time to get a renewal.  Yes it would have taken additional work and money and probably would have been close...but it could have been done.  It would have been a small fraction of the $2990+ this ended up costing you.

You are upset that they didn't ask if she was a "Naturalized" citizen in your 6 calls.  How come neither of you asked?  Your girlfriend being "Naturalized" knows that there are differences and you/her should have brought it up. 

By you stating you called 6 times it sounds like you knew that it was not the complete information and were probably trying to see if you can get around the regulations.  I would bet that you called 5 times and could never get a name, then on the 6th call the person gave you a name, you figured that was enough so you stopped calling. You state that they said a Birth Certificate would be enough.  Okay so in trying to prove US Citizenship what good would a Birth Certificate do if it was from another country?  Because if they were not trying to prove citizenship they would not ask if you were a US Citizen.  They would have just said to bring a Birth Certificate.

If the 50% blame comes with 50% credit, you probably should take it.

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#11 Consumer Comment

I suggest

AUTHOR: Stacey - (U.S.A.)

You check out their website - it states "A valid passport is a requirement for air travel to / from Canada, Mexico the Caribbean and Bermuda"

Effective June 1, 2009 only a valid passport (unless otherwise noted below) or other WHTI compliant document will be accepted for entry or re-entry into the United States. For a list of all approved documents visit: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html#compliant_document

U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same port in the U.S.) will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as a government-issued birth certificate and laminated government issued picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth. A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 will be able to present either an original, notarized or certified copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by DOS, or Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Note: Baptismal papers and hospital certificates of birth are not acceptable. Voter registration cards or Social Security cards are not considered proof of citizenship.
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#12 Author of original report

Making Cory understand

AUTHOR: Jeff - (United States of America)

Hey CORY from San Antonio..............What part of not comprehending what you read do you not understand????????

 I said that we were told wrong information by their RESERVATIONIST, 6 times....they said we only needed a birth certificate and drivers license because it's a CLOSED LOOP cruise....this has nothing to do with the law........it has everything to do with the incompetence of training by Royal Caribbean with their reservstionist. WE ONLY DID WHAT WE WERE TOLD!!!!!!!! AND GOT SCREWED!!!!!!!!!
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

It Didn't Matter..

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

Naturalized or not, EVERYONE who leaves the US, needs a passport to get back into the U.S. That law changed a couple of years ago. Two weeks before the cruise you could have expidited and gotten a new passport.
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