Planning Cruises: Not Rocket Science, but still pretty Important when it’s YOUR Vacation!
With a name like CruiseDeals.com, people expect us to be all about price and we certainly are known for our deals. But it’s not the only thing we’re about. We also understand that a vacation is likely the most important week of your year and it’s essential that the people behind your vacation choice have your back.
We recently had two customers share their stories of how Royal Caribbean Cruises and CruiseDeals.com really came through for them. It’s the words of our customers that remind us that while we may not be doing rocket science, what we do is still important and we’re gratified to have partners like Royal Caribbean.
Stepping Up to “Make it Right”
The Landry family had booked two adjoining staterooms on Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas to Europe, but due to some cabin refurbishment taking place during their cruise they had inadvertently been re-assigned to rooms that were no longer adjoining. When we became aware of the problem, our agent Gayle Bowman, worked with RCI and was able to secure a two-bedroom suite which ended up being a far better experience for the Landry’s. To quote Mrs. Landry from a letter she sent:
“My husband asked me again today if I’ve properly thanked you for that unbelievable cabin! A two-bedroom, two-bath, living room and wrap around balcony cabin! Plus since it was such a “high ranking” cabin, we had extra concierge services available to us and we really enjoyed that. Our special concierge, Raj, was such a wonderful man and he actually invited our family for a tour of the captain’s bridge – what an experience.”
In addition, Mrs. Landry shared a very personal and touching experience from their cruise. Rather than paraphrase, let me share her words again:
“Also, I have to tell you that David (our youngest with Down Syndrome) couldn’t have had a better time. I wish I could somehow inform Royal Caribbean how special the gentlemen are that manage the rock climbing wall on the Grandeur of the Seas. They went above and beyond to help David climb that rock wall, not just to ring the “low bell” but to ring the “big bell” at the very top of the ship 200 ft above the water! David is also afraid of heights, but with the encouragement of his brothers and the expert assistance and encouragement of these gentlemen, he overcame his fear and pulled off the most difficult physical challenge of his life! They even gave him a gold medal to bring home. They were amazing. It was all amazing.”
Even those of us that plan cruises for a living have a bad day now and then; when that happens, I look at Mrs. Landry’s letter (it’s tacked up on my wall) as a reminder of what precious time is all about and our responsibility for making it right. It also serves to remind me what a great partner we have in Royal Caribbean. . .all cruise lines are NOT the same and it’s increasingly evident that RCI understands that every guest is an individual, not just a ticket sale. That was also brought home in another recent episode.
Going Above and Beyond
We had a planned a family cruise for the Socolofsky family onboard Rhapsody of Seas to Alaska this summer. The guests in one of the staterooms were cruising Holland America’s Westerdam from San Diego to Vancouver where they’d board the Rhapsody and join their family, however, nature had another plan. Because of some bad weather their arrival in Vancouver was going to be much delayed and they would miss their departure. Their CruiseDeals.com agent, Sharon Pyle, became aware of this situation the day prior to their departure and immediately went to work coordinating between Royal Caribbean, Holland America and the guests.
Fortunately, Sharon’s diligence and Royal Caribbean’s flexibility paid off. Knowing about the delay, the ship was held for them and Royal Caribbean had a guest services agent awaiting them when they disembarked so they could personally escort them to the Rhapsody of the Seas with literally just minutes to spare before tides dictated they could wait no longer. What did this mean to just two guests among thousands? Mrs. Socolofsky put it best:
“I just wanted to take the time to express our heartfelt thanks for the extraordinary efforts of everyone involved. It is a rarity in today’s busy world to see this kind of response and caring. Every day we make choices and have a chance to make a difference. Everyone involved in our journey was committed and focused and truly MADE a difference. THANK YOU Royal Caribbean and Rhapsody of the Seas! The sea was calling ~ and you answered royally!!”
In addition to recognizing Royal Caribbean’s great work, I also want to thank our agents, Gayle and Sharon, for being great advocates for our customers. Neither of these challenges were of their making, but they embody what we mean when we say saving you money is the second most important thing we do. Making sure we get your plans right and then standing by you is first!
Last of all, thank you to the Landry’s and Socolofsky’s for sharing their kind words with us. . .we are truly humbled.