Report: #350819

Complaint Review: Ramada Plaza Resorts/Imperial Majesty Cruise Lines

  • Submitted: Sun, July 13, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, February 06, 2009
  • Reported By: bradenton Florida
  • Ramada Plaza Resorts/Imperial Majesty Cruise Lines
    2419 E. Commercial Blvd
    Ft Lauderdale, Florida

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

My wife, daughter and I returned from a cruise on the Imperial Majesty Regal Empress today. We were contacted by Ramada Plaza Resorts a couple of months ago stating that we had been chosen for a "familiarzation trip" in which we only had to pay "port charges" which were $59.00 per person. I have never been on a cruise so I decided to go ahead and do it. The initial charges were $119.00. This was only for my wife and I. For some reason which is still unknown they insisted that I pay for my daughter later. During the call they offered a "cabin upgrade" for an additional $100.00. They stated that the upgrade was for an outer room and led me to beleive that the room was nice and had the expected balcony. I didn't have time to research and realize that NO rooms on this ship have balconies.

In fact, the "upgrade" was probably worse than all of the inner rooms. The only thing it offered was a tiny porthole in a corner of the room that is virtually inaccesable (you wouldn't have wanted to look out of it anyway as it was filthy). The room was so small that the three of us, one of which is 7 months old, could hardly move. These people who you speak to who call themselves "travel coordinators" or whatever are merely telemarketers. I was actually a bit apprehensive about taking this deal because of the way that the people I talked to on the phone spoke. They were obviously uneducated people who were just saying what the script told them to.

With all of that said, I will take you through a timeline of our journey. We departed our home in west Florida the morning that we were to depart. We arrived at the Ramada Plaza Resort Welcome Center in Ft Lauderdale. This place is by no means a "Resort". I didn't stay there and thank god I didn't after simply going there to pick up our tickets. This brings up another point. I couldn't figure out why they didn't just mail me the tickets when the mailed me the confirmation. The reason is that you have to go there to give them a $40.00 cash deposit which relates to the timeshare meeting - nightmare that they do not mention. It is stated on the original offer you receive in small print. If I recall correctly it says something about a short information session regarding timeshares. Anyway, it didn't take too long at the welcome center. We left the Welcome Center for the "15 minute drive" (hahaha) to Port Everglades. This is more like a 30-45 minute drive. We finally arrive at the Port and figured out the parking nightmare which costs $15.00 per day (they will charge you for two days). So then we board the ship. As I stated earlier, this cruise was our first so perhaps the the "prior to boarding" is always this horrible. Essentially it was just a lot of waiting and dealing with incompetent employees. Also, at this point they charge you their $30.00 per person fuel charge and charge your credit card $300.00 saying that they will credit back anything you don't spend. They didn't mention any of this prior to my arrival to the port. If you don't have access this money on your card you can pay it in cash. If you don't have the cash of the credit, you are screwed and won't be going.

After about an hour of sweating and filling out paperwork we boarded the ship. This ship is about 50 years old so don't expect too much. I didn't mind the ship too much but my wife hated it. It does kind of smell and the staterooms are terrible. I doubt that they have replaced the linen since 1970. The bathrooms are so small that you cannot even move much less have a decent shower. These are the drawbacks about older ships but some people prefer history as opposed to convenience so if that is your thing, you would probably like the Regal Empress. With the exception of the help desk, the ships staff were all really nice and helpful (I realize that makes no sense but it is true). I assume the the women at the help desk are asked so many questions that they simply become annoyed. The staff is almost all Philipino and are very nice but can be difficult to understand but, for the most part, the people you deal with speak fluent english.

I have always heard stories of the incredible food on cruise ships. This must be the exception. While it certainly wasn't bad, it wasn't what I expected from all of the stories I have heard about other ships. The wait staff were excellent although they forgot my wifes salad and my glass of wine on the first nights dinner. In their defense, there were so many people in the dining room that it was simply chaos. It would be nearly impossible for anyone to keep up with. They had a buffet at "La Tratorria" which was just average
food but if you are hungry did the trick.

We arrived in Nassau at 9:00 am on day two. It was interesting to see for the first time and to walk around for. a few hours. It was also REALLY expensive. They have really taken advantage of the the tourist industry which supports them. We went to a restaurant called "Conch Fritters". My wife had a grouper sandwich (didn't even come with fries), I had a baked potato and 2 heinekens, total bill $28.00 and some change. I didn't leave a tip because I literally had to go get my bill after I asked for it and waited 10 minutes. We then reboarded the ship and waited around.

The second night they have another dinner which wasn't bad. Other than that they have some bingo, dance shows and some sort of disco that opens at 11 pm which we didn't go to at all. You can go out on the sundeck and watch the sea which is nice. As on all cruises drinks are extremely expensive (8-10 dollars).

On day three we arrived back to Ft Lauderdaly at about 9 am. We got off of the ship fairly easily because we were able to take the elevator because of the baby stroller. For everyone else it was probably horrible waiting in a line going up three floors and down many hallways.

We got out of customs fast and with no problems. After leaving the port we went to the "2 hour max timeshare meeting". This is where it gets ugly. I cannot describe it any better than being a complete living hell. They say 2 hours maximum. That two hours starts when one of the salesmen finally calls your name from the waiting room. The only reason we even attended was to get our $40.00 cash deposit back. They actually give you some vouchers and an additional $75.00 in cash back if you can manage to make it through it all ($115.00 total). We had this woman dragging us all a town in te middle of nowhere, showing us parks we didn't care about all the while we have a screaming 7 month old baby. I felt like I was being held hostage there as did many others. I must have told the pushy salesperson 100 times that I was not the least bit interested but she went on and on and on and on about how I was wrong and making a foolish decision by not buying a timeshare from them. Then, after three and a half hours, I thought it was all finally over and another woman comes over with some "better and cheaper offers". I was so mad that I wanted to kill someone. Then after dealing with this idiot and her line of crap and telling her no about another 50 times I thought it was finally done.

WRONG!!!! Then some "corporate" man comes to the table. The saleswomen said he would just have a couple other questions about their performance.....a complete lie. He started with the whole "how were they" thing and within 1 minute was trying to again sell us that stupid timeshare. At this point I was so mad that I had had enough and insisted that we leave and not hear another word.

You could just not go to this hell meeting and lose your $40.00 cash deposit but I don't know if in the end they might try to charge you what they feel is the "full rate" because you didn't comply to the terms which they don't tell you. That is an unknown but I wouldn't be surprised.

Would I recommend? Absolutely not

Unhappy with rpr
bradenton, Florida

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/13/2008 06:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Response to Beach Traveler

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

I guess Beach Traveler did not comment ofter his return from the "wonderful Trip" offered by Ramada
Is the true is too awful to be mentioned? LOL
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#2 Consumer Comment

A high desire to sell doesn't necessarily mean SCAM

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

Although I haven't yet been on the cruise or stayed at either of the Ramada Plazas/resorts, I have recently purchased my vacation package and I have to say that you people have got me running around in circles about this thing! Since there are people on here saying that they HAVE ACTUALLY GONE on the cruise, I'm not sure how it can be called a scam. It seems to me the only reason people are feeling ripped off is because they're mailed a voucher for a "FREE* Cruise Vacation", and then it turns out that they'll have to pay for a portion of the trip. At no point was I mislead or promised something that I don't think I'll receive.

People, when you see that * symbol next to a sentence offering something for "Free", thats your cue to turn the letter/flier/voucher over and read the fine print. The fine print, which clearly states that you'll still have to pay taxes on EVERYTHING and port fees and full cost of alcohol. That fine print also mentioned a required 2-4 hour "vaction property tour & presentation" in exchange for the apparently discounted rates.

I would think that if RPR would be more upfront about what exactly they're selling, they'd have more "willing" customers, and less cancellations/attempted cancellations after the fact. But instead RPR has chosen to make its sales numbers go up using more devious, albeit perfectly legal, methods. The slightest hint of a possible lie or deception from a salesperson seems to send the average consumer into a scam-claiming online rant, suddenly claiming to have been misled about things I was told very clearly (but indeed very quickly) about when purchasing my package over the phone. Thus putting unfounded fear into the minds of people like me who want an honest review of a vacation and can understand what I'm paying for when it's clearly spoken to me over the phone in plain english.
Not the way I would choose to run a business, but if it makes money & the owners can sleep at night then good for them, I suppose.

So I would have to say this is in no way a scam by definition of the word, but a perfect example of why the term "Buyer Beware" was thought of in the first place. I don't expect either of the hotels to be a breathtaking tropical resort, and I don't expect the cruise to be top-of-the-line. That's because I only paid $698 for all of it, maybe $1000 total after all the taxes & etc are paid. If I actually get what was described to me & what I've seen from lots & lots of pics online, I would probly be willing to pay more! (No RPR, don't call me back asking for more) When someone is trying to sell you something, listen to what they're saying to you!

I'll be sure to come back on and let everyone know how my vacation was.

-the BeachTraveler
Louisville, KY
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#3 Consumer Comment

Cruises.......ahhhhhh yes......

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

......several years ago I went on a cruise, NOT any promotional cruise either. It was an relatively expensive Bahama cruise paid for by my wife's employer. Crappiest experience of my life.
My complaints:
[1] Right upon boarding the ship the cruise company announced the ship's staff were paid a very low subsistence wage. We (the passengers) were told almost verbatum that the ship's staff were entirely dependant upon our tips to "feed their families". Wow! What a welcome. Start with a guilt trip. Subsidise low wages.
[2] No big deal here, but it pi$$ed me off. The staff constantly pressed passengers to deposit all trash into the shup board containers "to keep the sea clean". Several late nights I was on the fantail and witnessed the daily trash in plastiic bags going overboard into the sea.
[3] On the last day coming into port the entire aggregate group of passengers were suddenly persona-non-grata as we were told early on to vacate our cabins so the staff could ready the ship for departure (later that SAME day) by the oncoming (next) group. We were hearded into the dining rooms elbow-to-elbow for at least four hours. I had this strange urge to utter Baaaa Baaaa. Just prior to this we were again reminded to tip the cabin personnel generously upon leaving.
To be fair, the food was great and plentiful. My wife enjoyed the cruise. Me? Put me on my road bike for a tour of the Western U.S. the next time. I guess some people (me in particular) just ain't the "cruise type". Keep your nightly mint-on-the-pillow and faux kissy-kissy (hand out) greetings.
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#4 Consumer Comment


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

So Last Tuesday, I received the call...i will just say i took the vacation for $498, (my husband and our 17 year old) and we just don't understand. You make the vacation how you want it. We had a good time and we know very well we would never be able to afford a 7 day vacation at that price...the timeshare meeting was pretty bad...actually very bad...but we knew to save the movey deal with 3 hours of talk. So not bad Ramada, I would def. recommend and already have. Sorry Bradenton, FL....maybe something good will come of it. At least hope for it.

Cleveland, OH
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#5 Author of original report

Ramada Plaza must have hired a person to file rebuttals all day long!!!

AUTHOR: Unhappy With Rpr - (U.S.A.)

You are an idiot saying that this cruise is some good deal and "doable". Most of my point was about the timeshare scam that wastes half of your day. Get real!!! People be smart - DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING FROM RAMADA PLAZA have been warned!!!!!!!
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#6 REBUTTAL Individual responds

cheap vacation for nothing

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

Once again I'm flabbergasted at the negative responses ramada vacations recieves. Yes people, you have to pay taxes!! If you win the lottery you pay taxes, if you win a car you pay not only taxes, but title fees as well! Are you all crazy? Another example of people wanting a "free ride". I've always said the only people that respond to a "free" ad, are those that don't have money!! For a BUDGET vacation, this is the right way to go. You will never find a trip to the Bahamas for less then $400.00, if you sail or fly, and ramada delivers! Your getting not only a cruise with dining, but a full day in the bahamas plus extras( we got a rental car) the accomadations are not 5 star( but i can't afford 5 star) , but very doable. Stop whining about your refunds and take the vacation. You won't be dissapointed!
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