TRAVEL THERE: WHEN YOUR CRUISE LINE SAYS OOOOPS
I want to begin this post by saying I love Sandra Rubio and CTC Travel. They have been more than good to me. They get all my lavish dreams and help me balance them with my frugal husband’s concerns. They have wonderful travel events. They treat me like a star, even though my travel is small beans in comparison to some of their clients. When I get all flustered and frustrated, Sandra is a rock. I’m about to complain, but I want you to know I’m not complaining about Sandra or CTC. In fact, they saved the cruise!
I wasn’t exactly sure what Celebrity meant when I read “obstructed view” in an email from my travel agent. I’m actually a pretty easy-going traveller. Some people think obstructed view means that if you stand on your tiptoes and hold your head just right, then a tiny corner of the balcony above you can be seen. That’s not me.
Then I saw they were talking about and they were 100% right. I was going to have an obstructed view. It was like a porthole view, not a veranda view. I’d booked my cabin 18 months ahead and NOW, after I’d already booked my non-refundable air they were telling me about an obstructed view.
I’d booked the cabin especially, to be close to Eden, because I saw that as a sort of gathering spot for all of us who were traveling together. Then when we booked the vow renewal ceremony, I’d requested for it to be in Eden for all kinds of reasons. I was emotionally married to this Deluxe Ocean View State Room w/ Veranda 1B and now it was flawed! You might say I was even a little hysterical.
I’m a reasonable person and while I wasn’t crazy about the fact that a mistake had been made, I was willing to get over myself and change cabins. But guess what, after they had made the mistake of allowing me to book a deluxe veranda cabin, which was actually an obstructed view mess, they were ONLY going to charge me a $100 fee PER PERSON to transfer our reservation to another cabin. Oh and if the cabin was in a higher category, then I’d have to pay for the upgrade also. I could live with that, but $100 per person for their mistake was just a little more than I was ready to fork over.
My Little Russian Powder Keg
If I was a little hysterical, then you might also say my friend Viktoriya was Mount Vesuvius. She wanted heads to roll. To be honest, I kind of wanted a few heads to roll also, but I didn’t want those heads to be on the shoulders of anyone at CTC Travel. I told Viktoriya to dial it way back. I also told her the first thing we should do was pray, especially before we started lopping off heads.
What I most felt like doing was going somewhere to mourn, but if I didn’t do something and quickly, things would get ugly. While I’m certainly not a travel celebrity, I have been travel blogging for a decade now. I have thousands of followers on social media and hundreds of thousands of people see my Travel Advisor reviews. In fact, I’m one of the Top Twenty reviewers in Dallas. While Bill has tried to get a few upgrades with that information over the years, I do my best to downplay it. I don’t want to be feel beholden to anyone and feel like I have to say anything nice, especially if I don’t feel there was anything nice to say. I also don’t want anyone to think I’m just saying something nice because I was compensated for it.
For once, I was changing my policy. It’s one thing to tell some housewife in Heath that she’s looking at the Mediterranean through a big circle. It’s another to know that hundreds of thousands of people will hear how you ripped off someone celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary on your cruise ship. I can tell you one thing, those hundreds of thousands Travel Advisor people might not have cared and maybe even my 2,000 some odd Twitter followers might not have either, but let me tell you, my 500 plus Facebook friends would care and they were going to hear all about it.
I wrote a very apologetic email to Sandra, but I did give her all my social media stats (including a copy of one of the emails Travel Advisor sends me regularly about my status in the Top Twenty) so she’d have some ammunition to use with Celebrity. I assured her I didn’t blame her, but that I expected a different cabin and I wasn’t going to be paying $100 per person for it. In fact, I suggested an upgrade was probably in order.
I’ve already told you that Sandra saved the day, but come back next week and find out what she did for us.