My initial reservation was made with Imperial Majesty Cruise Line as the result of my answering a survey. The cruise was described as a promotional 2 night cruise to Bermuda for which I would only be required to pay $118 in taxes, fees, and port charges.
I received my first written communication from Imperial Majesty Cruise Line in December 2007. A follow-up phone call informed me that I had until June 12, 2009 to take advantage of this complimentary cruise. At no time to this point was I aware of connection to Ramada Plaza Resort.
In late August 2008 I called the reservation number contained in the letter from Imperial Majesty. During this conversation I reserved a 2 night cruise scheduled to leave on December 20. For an additional $99 I took an upgrade for an outboard cabin. It was in this call that I learned of some relation with Ramada Plaza Resort. I was offered several vacation packages and the rental of an Alamo. I reserved a car for five days, and two nights in Ft. Lauderdale, one night on either side of our cruise, for an additional $149. A
t no time during this conversation was the requirement for my wife and I to take a resort tour discussed. Nor, was it revealed that the cost of the reservation non-refundable. The direct relationship with Ramada Plaza Resort was never mentioned by the reservations operators during this call. I was told to expect a complete package describing my trip about three weeks before my trip.
I proceeded to make airline reservations to Fort Lauderdale.
Having not received my travel package, I called the reservations number on December 4, 2008. I was told that the package was mailed on November 20th and that it would not be re-mailed. I agreed with the operator that the package would be FAXed that afternoon or the next morning. I asked that a call be made prior to the FAX being sent. During this call no mention was made that I was speaking with agents of Ramada Plaza Resort instead of Imperial Majesty Cruise Line.
During the afternoon of December 5, 2008, I received the promised FAX without a warning call. Luckily, my FAX machine was already functioning. It was with this FAXed material that I learned that the package had been made in conjunction with Ramada Plaza Resort and that there was a requirement for my wife and I to take a Resort Tour prior to our leaving for our
promised Complimentary cruise. Again, this was the first time that I had any information linking these reservations to Ramada Plaza Resort.
After reviewing the materials, I called the Customer Care Department number listed on the December 2007 letter from Imperial Majesty. After voicing my concern about being scheduled for a Resort Tour without my previous knowledge, I was transferred to a reservations operator. The first thing the operator told me was that the two-night cruise that I had reserved back in August was now canceled. This is only one day after I had called about not receiving my cruise information in the mail as promised. I was also told that I had to take the tour, even though that had never been discussed, and that I had never agreed to that condition.
I was given the option of coming on another date for a two-night cruise, or for $99.00 more, take a three-night cruise, scheduled to leave on December 19. I agreed to that proposal and was transferred to an operator who would take my credit card information. When this person informed me that it was $99.00 each for a total of $198.00 I reconsidered and asked to be switched back to a reservations operator. The reservations operator then offered me four nights at the Ramada on State Road 7 for an additional charge. But agreed to remove and refund the $99.00 that I had paid for an outboard cabin. I agreed to this proposal and ended the call.
This trip was an anniversary present for my wife. When I looked at the location of the Ramada where we would be staying, I decided that I needed to cancel the whole arrangement. In fact, I was very much of the opinion that I was the victim of a classic bait and switch.
I called the Customer Care Department and was once again transferred to reservations. This operator told me that none of my funds were refundable and that my choice was to come another time before June. I explained that this December time frame was my only opportunity, and that plane fare had already been paid. When I asked to speak to a supervisor this person became belligerent, insisting that there was no one else to talk to other then the reservations operators and that I had to deal with them. I must admit that at this point I became belligerent myself. The call ended when the operator hung up on me.
I next called Imperial Majesty and was told that they could do nothing to help, that the funds are given to them by Ramada Plaza Resorts only at sailing. So I called Ramada Plaza Resorts and eventually spoke to a gentleman who was able to look up my account. After some discussion he agreed that Ramada could restore my credit card for the $149.00 paid for the two-night in the motel and the four-day car rental, but to complete that I had to be transferred back to a reservations operator. I was then placed on hold for a half hour, at which time I had to hang up due to a prior commitment.
The next day, December 6, 2008 I reached a reservations operator named John (ext. 4124). John refused to refund any of my money. Based on this conversation, I found that the $99.00 upgrade had not been restored to my credit card as promised on the previous day. John informed me that most of my $217 paid in taxes, fees and upgrade had already been paid out to the cruise line company, and that the balance went to Ramada Plaza. I was still unable to get information as to whom I could speak with other than reservations operators. John did confirm that he was a representative of Ramada Plaza Resort.
I was not able to pursue this matter until December 9, 2008. I again called the reservations number and spoke to Lashanda, with the purpose making sure that my reservation had been completely canceled and to again ask for a full refund. Lashanda informed me that in order for a full refund to be considered, I had to contact the Compliance Department. This was the first time that any representative for Ramada Plaza Resort was willing to provide me with a person or office that could review this situation.
So far I have had charged $217.00 for a cruise that I cannot take. This was supposed to be complimentary and the charges were for port charges and government fees connected with my travel, as well as the cabin upgrade. In that I will not be traveling, due to the change in schedule on the part of the cruise line, those fees and charges will not be needed, and the cabin upgrade will not be provided to me.
I also paid $149.00 for two nights at a Ramada in Fort Lauderdale along with a rental car from Alamo. These reservations were made under false pretenses. I was led to believe that they were part of the cruise promotion, and at no time was I informed that this was a Resort promotion that included a required tour. Therefore, I was unable to either agree or disagree with such a requirement. Had I been properly informed at the outset, I would not have agreed to any of this.
I believe that each person that I dealt with in this matter was trained to be a skillful liar. From the beginning, I should have known better, but these people trade on our faith that others are as honest as we.
The bottom line is - don't call, and if you do don't believe anything they say.
Branchville, New Jersey
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