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View Full Version : Horrible DCL Cruise Customer Service Experience


endorphin8
12-21-2010, 05:22 PM
(Deleted threads, original post was not intended to be a rip on Disney or DCL, just sharing a horrible DCL pre-cruise customer service experience on our first time sailing on DCL and wondering if it was common for DCL Res)

tvguy
12-21-2010, 05:26 PM
This is exactly why I used a Travel Agent instead of booking direct through a cruise line.
I tell the travel agent what I want, I write the check, she makes it all happen exactly the way I want it.

LindaBabe
12-21-2010, 05:30 PM
Well, I wouldn't worry about the missing documents too much. When they arrive, there will only be luggage tags in them - anything else important, you can get on line.

You *will* have a magical cruise despite the missing docs!

MY documents for my upcoming cruise went to my girlfriend's house in California. She's NOT on this cruise, has in fact , only cruised with me ONCE, back in 2003, when she had a different last name and lived in West Palm Beach. I told her that was a sign she should come!:rotfl:

mousejunkie98
12-21-2010, 05:36 PM
As far as rooms being far apart, I don't think it's fair to blame DCL, because if other cruisers booked before you and took up the state rooms before you, they'll have to give you what's available. In my experience they'll do whatever they can to get you as close as possible to each other, but they do have to work around what other people have reserved. How far away is your cruise date? Often rooms open up as the PIF date approaches and passes, so you might be able to move around and get closer.

I agree with the PP, you can get all your travel documents online, so the hard copies they mail are not crucial. Most cruise lines don't send hard copies anymore, so it wouldn't surprise me if someday Disney stops as well.

I'm sorry you've had a bad experience, it is never fun when that happens. Sending you pixie dust for better luck! :wizard: We've never had anything less than great service, so hopefully your experience improves.

kcashner
12-21-2010, 05:56 PM
As above, the ONLY thing in the documents package that you will need is the luggage tags, and even those are not a "need" although it makes life easier for DCL if you are using their transfers.

ALL documents are on line and you are encouraged to do an on line check in and print out the signature forms. Makes check in at port a breeze. Luggage tags can be obtained at the cruise desk of any WDW resort (if you are going there first), at the terminal area from the porters (if you are driving), and if you are going to use DCL transfers, you just go to the Welcome Center and they take the info from your airline luggage checks. Do mention to them that you didn't get the luggage tags so they won't be looking for them.

As to rooms far apart...well, others have said it. DCL can't create availability when other people have selected rooms before you booked. They DO make an effort to put parties near each other with gty bookings, but that's the point of gty--you get what you get.

jkrislc
12-21-2010, 06:06 PM
I've had very good experience with DCL Customer Service. The only exception was a precruise stay at Pop Century where no one knew a thing about the cruise (e.g., luggage handling, transfer pickup, etc.). Once onboard and when speaking with a DCL agent, everything has been fine for me.

turbo teacher
12-21-2010, 06:16 PM
WOW! I was really shocked to read the OP comments. :(

We cruise with Disney for the first time in February 2011 (we booked through an "online" travel company). We have had nothing but TOP notch service, for our pre-cruise experience thus far. My DD has a dairy allergy and I'd sent a "general email" to the "special services" department asking about meals and such. I did not include my phone number. Within 24 hours, a cast member called me, personally, to review my concerns and go over some of the choices DD will have on the cruise. I was so surprised to hear from them, via a phone call, as it would have taken some leg work for them to find the number.

I hope that your experience improves - and from what I hear, the onboard experience is AMAZING.

GL!

Disney Cajun Man
12-21-2010, 06:17 PM
When I have booked cruise through DCL they always confirm addresses that they have on file to ensure that documents are sent to the correct location. Did you not confirm address during your booking process? This is as much the travelers responsibility as it is DCL.

endorphin8
12-21-2010, 06:24 PM
(Deleted threads, original post not intended to be a rip on Disney or DCL, just sharing a horrible DCL pre-cruise customer service experience)

endorphin8
12-21-2010, 06:45 PM
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mousejunkie98
12-21-2010, 06:54 PM
Have you tried calling the DTC and asking to speak with Guest Services instead of just the regular res floor CM? I would expect Guest Services to be a bigger help and try to make your experience better, especially if you make it clear that this experience is turning you off of the line.

endorphin8
12-21-2010, 07:04 PM
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chefbart
12-21-2010, 07:09 PM
:rolleyes1

mousejunkie98
12-21-2010, 07:17 PM
You would think they would work a little harder for an agent/owner of an agency since their disservice will directly result in future sales, understanding they cannot move rooms easily if the lower categories are completely filled as the ship starts to sell out. Other than this issue, I am more excited for this cruise than any I have been on in a long time, but I will be very hesitant to want to help others book or recommend DCL if someone asked today.

You're right, they should! Is your agency Earmarked, by chance? I always call in on the Earmarked-Only hotline and get very good service; on the odd occasion when I don't get good service, I ask for Guest Services and they always make it right. This should apply to the general DTC line, as well. That's why I would think telling Guest Services that this experience is putting your recommendation at risk would get the matter fixed for you.

Good luck!

endorphin8
12-21-2010, 07:34 PM
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kcashner
12-21-2010, 07:35 PM
I have 2 approaches when the regular DCL line doesn't result in the response I need/want. First, not all CMs are created equal. It sounds harsh, but when I get something that I just KNOW isn't right, I thank them, hang up, and re-dial. I'll get a different person who will probably have the right info.

The other approach is to ask for a supervisor. Of course, they laughed at me when I called and asked for a supervisor first thing (I'd had a similar situation on another cruise). The CM wouldn't give me a supervisor till I'd explained the situation to him at which point he agreed that this situation required a supervisor to over-ride the computer.....thanks, dude. I already knew that!

Do I think you should get "special attention" as an agent? Did you book as an agent or did you book as a regular guest? Actually, you SHOULD get excellent service regardless.

My experience has been that everything goes right after you are on the ship....it's the getting there that can be a hassle!

endorphin8
12-21-2010, 07:56 PM
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Suz D
12-21-2010, 09:28 PM
Booking a GTY cabin is always a gamble especially when you are traveling with another family/group. Sometimes you get lucky and get an upgrade AND cabins beside each other (which we did once from a 12 to a 9, once from a 12 to an 11, and our cruise coming up in less than 2 weeks from a 12 to a 10). Then sometimes you get sort of lucky and get an upgrade but not next to each other (which we did once from a 12 to a 9 but as far away as you could and still be on the same deck. We were the 2nd cabin from the front on one side and my sister was the very last cabin at the back on the other side LOL!).

When you paid the $300 for the upgrade that put you in a GTY status? Then your other traveling party was in a different category but not a GTY status or you paid for an upgrade for them too?

I'm totally not flaming you here but when you book a GTY that means that you are willing to take what Disney assigns you.

Dicecatt
12-21-2010, 10:24 PM
I agree with SuzD, and if you are a travel agent, then you should expect the luck of the draw with any GTY, no matter what company, it should not come as a surprise. Disney tries hard to put linked cabins together, but GTY means they can put you where they need to fill space. Sometimes you get upgraded for giving them that ability. I don't understand why that is bad customer service...you agreed to take a GTY cabin.

As far as the documents, that would frustrate me too.

Sinderelly
12-21-2010, 10:30 PM
popcorn::

endorphin8
12-21-2010, 11:59 PM
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MTmomma
12-22-2010, 12:08 AM
Our cabins were originally assigned, next to each other.

BUT you agreed to "upgrade" with an "upsell" to a GTY cabin..... Not terrible Customer service with this one. Def not good customer service on the cruise documents.

ga9497
12-22-2010, 12:17 AM
Don't get me wrong, I am very excited for the cruise, especially with the DIsboards, magnet exchanges, and FEs organized. This site is very cool. Just a bad customer service experience that Disney could have done but did not. Yes, it was my bad that I let DCL Res agent upsell me and agreed to pay more and do an upgrade. I should never have paid them more when our room was assigned next to each other for her to give me GTY room. How dumb is that, I know! Even dumber because I am a seasoned cruiser, book trips regularly. I cruise all the time and do electronic FunPass check-in as I did on this one the day we confirmed our reservation.

I have seen exceptional service experiences while working for Disney and being a guest. It is probably more with how they said it as what they said. If I could get refund at this point and go on another ship or line right now I would. So far Disney doesn't seem to be worth as much in comparison to value. I really do hope that when I get on the ship though, I will be glad and think it is worth nearly double the price we paid over friends and family who were going to go with us and just returned from another cruiseline. This could be our first and last DCL cruise, or hopefully start to more Disney with just a bad pre-cruise experience.

I find it strange that you are so hung up on the documents. If you have cruised many times before you should know that most cruise lines now do just e-documents and don't mail anything at all. In fact some will charge you if you prefer to get paper documents.

They WILL re-print the documents but for a fee. They are printed by an outside company
I am sure they gave you this option but you probably don't want to pay for them to be re-printed.

RCCL will charge you $35 per reservation to print documents even the first time. They do everything by e-documents as does Carnival and other cruise lines

There isn't anything in the documents that you cannot print online or just fill out when you arrive at the ship terminal. Why is this such a big deal
Up until 2010 Disney did mail the documents by UPS with a tracking number. I guess with online check in, the documents not really needed, etc mailing them is probably saving them a ton of money instead of paying the UPS prices

Also since you have cruised so often you should be well aware that GTY doesn't mean the rooms will be anywhere near each other. You take that chance when going with a GTY. The cm shouldn't have talked you into the higher category in a GTY without explaining that there is that chance you will not be near each other but someone that has cruised often should already know this

I am with the others on the address. They always confirm the address when making payments, adjustments, etc. The address is also printed on your email, fax or mailed confirmation. They also can mail any document to an alternate address if you ask, for example they could have mailed it to your home address simply by asking. If you didn't double check all the components on your confirmation letter or if you didn't really listen when they were confirming the address then they really aren't to blame.

If the agency moved it is the owners responsibility to contact all the vendors they deal with to update their information. It seems that this wasn't done.
You mention that the address on file is one that is over a year old. This also tells me that you have not booked any Disney cruises in that time since the agency moved or you would have noticed the address problem long ago.

It seems like you already are planning on not having a good experience.
I hope this is not the case and I can understand some of your fustration but a lot of it could have been avoided simply by double checking the confirmation information

Not everyone we encounter in a customer service position is pleasant and at Disney I would expect more but every once and a while you get the less than stellar person and it can be really of putting. I hope you have a great time on the ship

I hope you don't take this as a flame but some of what you are not happy about could have been resolved easily when the cruise was first booked just by reviewing the information.

Happy Holidays

Suz D
12-22-2010, 12:22 AM
Our cabins were originally assigned, next to each other.

On our very first cruise we booked 2 category 12's for my DS's family and mine and a cat 7 across the hall for my mom & dad. Our TA advised us to stay with those assigned rooms even though we could have booked a GTY and possibly been upgraded because 1. we were going on our first cruise and it was important to us to be near each other 2. it was my parent's 50th anniversary celebration and they had a balcony & wanted to be close to our DD so she could just pop over to their room and sit on the balcony with them.

If we would have changed to a GTY cabin we would have lost our input on whether we were even on the same deck. People will occasionally post on here that they are traveling with their children in one cabin and they are in another. Booked GTY and are either sweating bullets until they get their room assignment and find out if they are near each other, or upset because their underage children are on a different deck etc. It can happen (and has happened).

Again, it doesn't matter what you've booked previously, where your stateroom is located, who you're traveling with...once you book a GTY you give up your input on location etc. I'm sure it's tough to be in that situation, but it really isn't poor customer service on Disney's part.

Now, the address thing is a different story (I'm assuming you provided them with a current address?). I honestly have no idea how they got the old address on there and agree that if it was their error they should have sent you your luggage tags again.

When do you cruise? If you are crusing in the next 10-14 days then they really should have expedited it. If you aren't sailing for awhile then there is still time to get the tags to you and I'm sure that's what Disney is looking at.

EDITED TO ADD: I see you aren't sailing until January 22nd. I can see why Disney would not send your docs by a more expensive means in order to get them to you by Christmas. I'm guessing that they think they can get a duplicate package sent to you in a reasonable amount of time and you'll have it long before you sail.

ga9497
12-22-2010, 12:26 AM
You're right, they should! Is your agency Earmarked, by chance? I always call in on the Earmarked-Only hotline and get very good service; on the odd occasion when I don't get good service, I ask for Guest Services and they always make it right. This should apply to the general DTC line, as well. That's why I would think telling Guest Services that this experience is putting your recommendation at risk would get the matter fixed for you.

Good luck!

But if there are no rooms to be had that fits their requirements guest service will also not be able to do anything. They can't bump someone else to satisfy one person. I don't think the OP is an earmarked agency since they said tha the address that Disney had on file hasn't been valid for at least a year. This means that they probably haven't booked any DCL cruises in that time

It seems the OP has sailed on Carnival a lot, mentioned funpass, I hope you know that Disney is a lot more laid back and a totally different experience than Carnival.

I think it is very childish for the OP to threaten that the outcome of their issue may result in less bookings for Disney. To be honest if you don't sell a cruise line to a guest that really wants to sail on that line it isn't being a good travel agent because of your experience. Also how can you sell Disney and give a good comparison if you have never sailed on it to begin with.

ga9497
12-22-2010, 12:29 AM
When do you cruise? If you are crusing in the next 10-14 days then they really should have expedited it. If you aren't sailing for awhile then there is still time to get the tags to you and I'm sure that's what Disney is looking at.



Again the documents aren't needed and the porters have the luggage tags upon arrival for those that need more, forget them, booked to close to sailing to receive them, etc

Suz D
12-22-2010, 12:39 AM
Again the documents aren't needed and the porters have the luggage tags upon arrival for those that need more, forget them, booked to close to sailing to receive them, etc
Totally agree with you, but for some people it just makes the trip seem so much smoother. Also the OP, having never cruised Disney, didn't know at the time she made her original post, what would have been in that packet.

When we took our first cruise, DCL sent the docs a lot closer to the sailing date than they do now. We were leaving 11 days before the cruise to go to WDW for Christmas. I was really anxious because at 14 days out we still hadn't gotten our docs so we just called DCL and asked that they be sent to our hotel (which they were) and we got them about 8 days before we sailed. That was before the days of online check in too. It was crazy!

ga9497
12-22-2010, 12:40 AM
Totally agree with you, but for some people it just makes the trip seem so much smoother. Also the OP, having never cruised Disney, didn't know at the time she made her original post, what would have been in that packet.

When we took our first cruise, DCL sent the docs a lot closer to the sailing date than they do now. We were leaving 11 days before the cruise to go to WDW for Christmas. I was really anxious because at 14 days out we still hadn't gotten our docs so we just called DCL and asked that they be sent to our hotel (which they were) and we got them about 8 days before we sailed. That was before the days of online check in too. It was crazy!

I can see that for a first time cruiser but with the OP being a travel agent and also saying they have cruised more than 20 times on other cruise lines they know that the documents are really just a formality

endorphin8
12-22-2010, 01:52 AM
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endorphin8
12-22-2010, 02:00 AM
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endorphin8
12-22-2010, 02:16 AM
But if there are no rooms to be had that fits their requirements guest service will also not be able to do anything. They can't bump someone else to satisfy one person.

It seems the OP has sailed on Carnival a lot, mentioned funpass, I hope you know that Disney is a lot more laid back and a totally different experience than Carnival.

I think it is very childish for the OP to threaten that the outcome of their issue may result in less bookings for Disney. To be honest if you don't sell a cruise line to a guest that really wants to sail on that line it isn't being a good travel agent because of your experience. Also how can you sell Disney and give a good comparison if you have never sailed on it to begin with.

I have not been on every cruiseline and agree it's good and also fun to try different cruises. Disney has been on my wishlist for years but when traveling with larger groups and family, more can go if cost is lower even if its carnival, RCL or NCL. Our groups usually go were we go or what is put together in group, but you bet I hope and plan to have an amazing and wonderful cruise on Disney. And if not, you bet I will share good and bad experience. Post is not about Bad Disney, it was about bad customer service experience that just happened to be with DCL CM. As said before, I have never been more excited for a cruise in a long time. My expectations are probably higher of Disney cause I have followed them and I know Disney's standards of service. I also love RCL and NCL among others and frankly Carnival is cheap, but family likes it, I don't expect anywhere near quality but you don't pay for it either.

KSDisneyDad
12-22-2010, 10:40 AM
I have not been on every cruiseline and agree it's good and also fun to try different cruises. Disney has been on my wishlist for years but when traveling with larger groups and family, more can go if cost is lower even if its carnival, RCL or NCL. Our groups usually go were we go or what is put together in group, but you bet I hope and plan to have an amazing and wonderful cruise on Disney. And if not, you bet I will share good and bad experience. Post is not about Bad Disney, it was about bad customer service experience that just happened to be with DCL CM. As said before, I have never been more excited for a cruise in a long time. My expectations are probably higher of Disney cause I have followed them and I know Disney's standards of service. I also love RCL and NCL among others and frankly Carnival is cheap, but family likes it, I don't expect anywhere near quality but you don't pay for it either.

I hope you enjoy DCL!

I know it's tough to post negative about anything Disney on these boards. I've done it about the inconsistencies in their repeat guest program and have been flamed as well. That said, I have thoroughly enjoyed each of our Disney cruises. Were they perfect - No. But they were each quite special.

We don't book GTY rooms for the very reason you had originally posted about (getting stuck far away from each other). I'd rather cruise in connecting inside staterooms than have two porthole rooms far away from each other or even on different decks.

endorphin8
12-22-2010, 01:22 PM
I hope you enjoy DCL!

I know it's tough to post negative about anything Disney on these boards. I've done it about the inconsistencies in their repeat guest program and have been flamed as well. That said, I have thoroughly enjoyed each of our Disney cruises. Were they perfect - No. But they were each quite special.

We don't book GTY rooms for the very reason you had originally posted about (getting stuck far away from each other). I'd rather cruise in connecting inside staterooms than have two porthole rooms far away from each other or even on different decks.

Thank you. I agree its ok to not have everything perfect and still enjoy the cruise. We are planning on and I think we will have a wonderful cruise with a great plan of what we want to do in port and on board. Happy Holidays!