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We’re Not Holding Our Breath

, , , , , , | Working | March 15, 2022

I booked a cruise for my brother, his fiancée, and myself in the summer of 2019. It was supposed to sail in May of 2020. Of course, this cruise was canceled due to the health crisis. The cruise line refunded our excursions and drink packages, and they also issued us a credit for a future cruise worth more than what was paid for the initial one. We booked a new cruise for June 2021. It was canceled this past April.

At this point, things were starting to open up again. The three of us decided to do something else, and we wanted a refund so we’d have money for a new trip. I’ve now had several conversations with the cruise line.

Phone call #1, in April:

Me: “I booked a cruise for June 2021 using a credit, and I just received notice that it has been canceled. Do I have to accept the credit back, or can I get a refund of the amount paid for the original cruise?”

Representative #1: “We can refund you the amount you paid for the first cruise! Just give me your reservation number and the money will be back in your account in thirty to forty-five days.”

Phone calls #2, #3, and #4, in May, July, and October, respectively:

Me: “Hello. I am checking on the status of a refund for a canceled cruise. The reservation number is [number].”

Representatives #2-4: “Yes, I see you booked using a credit. You are not eligible for a refund and your credit should have been reissued to you.”

Me: “That’s not what I was told initially. I was told I could get a refund for the cost of [Ship #1] even though I used a credit to book [Ship #2].”

Representatives #2-4: “Oh, I see that your account is flagged for a refund. I’ll have to open a case with the resolutions depart to get this refund processed. The money will be back in your account in thirty to forty-five days.”

Phone call #5, in December:

Me: “Hello. I am calling about a refund for a cruise that was canceled in April. It’s been over seven months, and I’ve called now five times. Can you please check the status?”

Representative #5: “Yes, I see you have called many times, but as we are dealing with the effects of [health crisis], refunds are taking a long time.”

Me: “I was told forty-five days. It’s been seven months.”

Representative #5: “Yes, well, it’s taking a long time.”

Me: “Am I going to get a refund?”

Representative #5: “Oh! I see you already got a refund! It was processed in May for $400.”

Me: “That was the port fees and excursions on [Ship #2] that I paid extra for. I am waiting for a refund for [Ship #1] that should be around $3,000.”

Representative #5: “Oh, you had two cruises booked? The only one is linked here for [Ship #2]. Let me see… Yes, it looks like whoever you spoke to in April only linked a refund to the second cruise but forgot to link it to the first cruise. It looks like there’s a little over $2,800 on this cruise that has not been refunded.”

Me: “Yes! That’s what I’m waiting for!”

Representative #5: “Okay. I’ll submit a case for the resolutions department. The money should be in your account in thirty to forty-five days.”

Me: “And that is the fifth time I’ve been told that! Can I just speak to the resolutions department myself?”

Representative #5: *Suddenly frustrated* “Fine, I guess, if you really need to, but they’ll just tell you the same thing.”

Resolutions: “I’m sorry. The thirty to forty-five days was our policy when we initially started canceling cruises because we had thousands of refunds to process. They aren’t taking nearly as long to refund now because we don’t have many cancelations anymore. I don’t know why customer service told you that this time. It should only be one or two weeks maximum now. I am so very sorry that a mistake was made in the first place, and I hope it didn’t completely ruin your summer vacation. Thank you for being loyal to [Cruise Company]. I hope you will travel with us again soon.”

It’s been four days so far, so we’ll see if I actually get a refund this time around.

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