Casey L.'s review of Caribbean Cruise Line

Caribbean Cruise Line

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Review Posted 8/27/2010
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Review 8/27/2010
I received a voucher in the mail 9-09 and called. The salesperson was really helpful. They allowed us to make payments on the vacation package. For $598 we received 3 nights in Orland, 2 nights in Ft. Lauderdale, 2 night cruise, free rental car, $100 voucher to Universal Studios and all of our meals included!
The only issue we had was confirming the package, we were given on less night and the rental car was not included. After talking with a supervisor the additional night was added as well as the rental car.
They booking agent informed us of the additional fees at the time of booking and there are a lot. $138.95 for port taxes at the time of booking the vacation; $10-20 a night at each hotel for hotel taxes, $12 a night per person on the ship for gratuity, $8-$15 a day for the rental car parking while on the cruise and a $300 refundable security deposit for the rental car.
All but one customer service rep have been really helpful and we're really looking forward to taking our vacation in November.
Worst case scenario, we'll pay $929.95 for an 8 day/7 night vacation minus airfare. We spent $4,500 for a 5 night vacation to an all inclusive resort 3 years ago, so we figure we're getting a really good deal!!

This is a follow up to my other post.
I have since taken the trip and wanted to share my experience. Our offer was for 3 nights in Orlando FL with $100 in entertainment money to be used at the Universal Theme Parks, 2 nights in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and 2 nights on the Bahamas Celebration cruise with $50.00 in casino money. All meals were included for the entire stay at the hotels and we were responsible for taxes and tips and anything else we wanted to buy.
Our experience with customer service prior to our trip was very good. You can read my previous review regarding their mixup with our confirmation and the adequate remedy to the situation.
My review of the actual trip is not as good.
The rental car was a Kia Rio, we really didn't care for the upgrade and got decent gas mileage. There was a problem with the brakes being too "sticky" and so they only charged us $27.00 for the week rental, as opposed to $47. They really push the rental insurance, but we declined.
The hotel we stayed at in Orlando was the Ramada Maingate West. It was a decent hotel. Our water pressure was non existent in our room and the room definitely had a very strong unpleasant odor. We stayed there for one night before going to Ft. Lauderdale, so I did not request a room change. The charge was $15.00. The food at the Orlando Ramada was very tasteful, but very limited in selection and they serve the same menu at least 2 days in a row. Taxes and tip for the meal ended up being around $3.50 for both my husband and I. Overall, the staff was very polite but the hotel itself is rather run down and I overheard the desk clerk inform a potential guest that the nightly charge is $29.99. So, basically, we got the room for half price.
We went on to stay at the Ramada Plaza in Ft. Lauderdale. This hotel was much nicer but the food was definitely not as good. Again, we paid $15.00 per night. The staff was fairly nice at this hotel as well. The day we spent in Ft. Lauderdale, we were able to drive to the Florida Keys and spent a really nice time. :)
The Celebration cruise cost us $84.00 total for tips and taxes. Getting on board was not difficult at all. The process was relatively smooth. They strongly push the excursions on the island as soon as you board and we politely declined all attempts because of other reviews we had read. The boat was nice. I really liked the facility. Being my first cruise, I was impressed with the cleanliness and our room. It was small, but not awful and we were given a King size bed because I was pregnant. Pretty much everything on board, except for the included food costs a lot. They started off offering us a liter of water for $5.00!! Only water, coffee and tea are included beverages. They charge for soda and anything else. They even charge for upgraded deserts like cheesecake. Unfortunately I do not have a basis for the review regarding the Crystal restaurant. I had to leave shortly after the entrée arrived due to awful seasickness. 6pm is definitely NOT a good time for a reservation if you eat there the first night because you will be in the throws of the sea at that time. Many patrons were leaving half way through their meals because of the rocking. The restaurant was really nice though and the food look amazing! My husband and I dressed very nicely, but there were people there in sweatpants, which kind of ruined the fancy feel of it.
The Del Rio restaurant was nice as well. It was more buffet style, but the food was really good and the service is very friendly. Overall, we really enjoyed the cruise more than any other part of the trip! Our documentation stated we were to get $50.00 in casino money, but we never received a voucher and honestly, it wasn't a big deal because neither my husband or I cared to gamble.
The island was really easy to navigate. As I said, we declined all offers for an excursion. As soon as we left the boat there were people there to take you to the shopping and beach. On board they wanted to charge $20.00 per person for this excursion!! We got to the beach and back for $20.00 total! $5.00 per person for the taxi. It was beautiful! The shopping was ok, but we didn't buy anything. The beach was really a thrill for us.
Disembarking was not as smooth as leaving the US. The process took literally 3 hours and we stood in line the entire time. Once we were at the terminal it was really quick to get back. We
spent our last two nights at the Ramada Maingate in Kissimee again. We had planned to use our $100.00 in Entertainment money the next day towards Universal Orlando.
This is where our trip took an awful turn. The travel terminal would not accept our certificate and stated we had to contact Caribbean customer service to get noted on our account that we could use the voucher. I did not take all my notes and documentation with me regarding our previous conversations, only my confirmation information, that was already incorrect, but supposedly had been fixed in the computer.
I spent one hour on the phone in the travel lobby with customer service. The final "supervisor" I spoke with was extremely rude and informed that I did not purchase the upgrade needed to include the Entertainment dollars AND the rental car. I told him that I had and this was supposedly already resolved. All I needed him to do was note in our account that we could use the money. It was awful and I was on the verge of tears and the man told me that if I wanted to contest it I had to submit my request in writing. He was awful and rude and criticized me for keeping him from his other clients. Needless to say, because of this one man, we will never travel with Caribbean again. The "supervisors" name is Andrew and he stated his corporate office #8007.
We ended up paying $174.00 for the Universal tickets. I still have yet to dispute the charges, which is laziness on my part. I hope to get around to that with in the next week. I will update once and if Caribbean refunds us our $100.00.
The final night in our hotel in Kissimmee I got up to use the restroom and was greeted by a cockroach. I informed the front desk staff, but they stated that it's Florida, and these things happen.
Overall, I rated the trip 2 stars. Most of the staff was really nice but due to the lower quality Kissimmee hotel, the cockroach and the awful customer service representative, I can not give more than 2 stars.
I hope my review helps. :)
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