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Old 11-21-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
CruizinTigers
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Disappointed victim of Hurricane Sandy

After waiting till the last possible minute, my family which had booked a year and a half in advance, had to cancel our 11/3 cruise on the Fantasy after getting socked in by Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately we had trip insurance through DCL, so it appears that it will be a total loss for us. But I've been trying to get some help from DCL toward rebooking this trip, and have found no relief from them. Needless to say, I am totally disappointed and frustrated with them. This experience has changed my opinion of them, not favorably. This would have been our fourth or fifth Disney cruise, and we been to Disney World and Disneyland numerous times.

To the point, I want to write to someone high up in the Disney company and share my story of disappointment. I'm wondering if anyone here can suggest who I can write to, and how I could find their contact information for doing so.

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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I'm not sure why you are having difficulty in booking another cruise, but that's not the point of your post.

Karl Holz is the president of DCL. That's where I'd address my concerns.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
CruizinTigers
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Thanks for the quick reply and suggestion. Any suggestions how I might find Mr. Holz's contact information? Also, if I wrote to him, what would be the best way (email, snail mail) where there might be any chance of him reading it?
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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May I ask in what ways they have fallen short? How are they not helping you rebook?
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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Do I honestly believe that he's going to read it--no. But a senior assistant probably will. In the past, I've addressed stuff to the address on the document book. It used to be Celebration, FL, but has changed to Lake Buena Vista, I believe. I'm still old enough to believe that snail mail is more effective than e-mail. This is a general DCL e-mail site: https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/contact-us/

Story--a letter to Michael Eisner was how I found out how to get onto the maiden voyage of the Magic. I wrote to him 2+ years before that event basically saying that I'd heard rumors and how would one go about booking this. A reply from an assistant included some large postcards of characters along with a letter asking that I have my travel agent contact them at a given number. My info would be kept on file and at the appropriate time, more info would be forthcoming. It was actually cute because it was along the lines that "while we can neither confirm nor deny the rumors that the Walt Disney Company is developing a cruise product....." at the time when in retrospect, the ship was under construction! Gotta love them.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:56 PM   #6
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Could you explain the situation more?
Are you saying your flight was cancelled and you could not make it to the cruise? You said you had Disney's Insurance coverage but they will not cover the cruise loss? What do you mean "socked in"?
Basically you are saying that they will not accept your excuse for not making the cruise on time? Why will they not cover it?
I'm confused as to why you are saying it is not covered by the insurance.

Personally, we no longer get the coverage DCL offers but get the outside options we read about here on the Disboards.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Im_A_Princess
Could you explain the situation more?
Are you saying your flight was cancelled and you could not make it to the cruise? You said you had Disney's Insurance coverage but they will not cover the cruise loss? What do you mean "socked in"?
Basically you are saying that they will not accept your excuse for not making the cruise on time? Why will they not cover it?
I'm confused as to why you are saying it is not covered by the insurance.

Personally, we no longer get the coverage DCL offers but get the outside options we read about here on the Disboards.
I *think* the OP just made a typo and meant to say it will NOT be a total loss, they are just having problems rescheduling.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:13 PM   #8
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Doesn't the insurance actually come through another company? So, are you waiting for the insurance company to reimbursement you for the cost of the cruise? In the meantime, you can call DCL or go online and rebook, can't you? I'm just a little confused and was looking for clarification.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:30 PM   #9
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Cruizin Tigers - I am so sorry to hear that you got hit by Sandy, and hope you and your family are able to recover quickly. Best of luck in straightening things out with Disney. I'm sure that's the last thing you need right now. I'll be rooting for you.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:30 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the advice.

The issue we are having boils down to the options we have. When Hurricane Sandy hit, like some many in NJ and NY, we lost power for days. Our plans were to save from the insane airfare that week out of NJ by driving down to Florida. We would have left Thursday and taken two days to get down. We lost power and did not get it back all week. Without power, we could not leave as we needed to keep a generator running to keep our basement from becoming an in-ground pool. On top of that, gas was hard to come by and many roads were blocked in the area for days. Last minute, we had to cancel our trip when we realized there was no way we could make it.

I immediately contacted the insurance and filed claims as instructed by our travel agent and Disney, fully expecting them our claims to be denied and for DCL to issue us a cruise credit in the amount we paid for this trip to put towards a future sailing. Short story long, the insurance company Allianz, screw up handling of our claims and after my follow up after 7 business days discovered this and was told our claims were then sent to the right place, but we'd have to wait another 5 - 7 business days. We are still waiting. In the meantime, we are looking at future sailings on the Fantasy with the same (Eastern) itinerary, that we might be able to reschedule our trip to. Without taking our kids out of school for a week (they already missed two weeks thanks to Sandy) and conflicts over the summer with other family functions and kids activities, we found the ONLY sailing we could make was June 29th, 2013. Problem was, this sailing is about 50% more expensive than that which we had booked for November this year. I personally called DCL (after finding my TA useless) and spoke with a supervisor, explaining our situation and hoping to find some sympathy, asked if they might be able to help us at all with the price of the June sailing, or at least help us with a little on board credit to help us out given the situation. The supervisor I spoke with was very courteous and sympathetic and said he would ask higher up to see if anything could be done. After not hearing for a few days, I called back, only to learn that they would do nothing.

I understand, business is business. I wasn't asking for the world, just some assistance so that our family could reschedule our trip. Our kids grandparents who were also coming with us, are both retired. The increase in price will be really difficult for them. This was an extreme situation that forced us to miss this trip. DCL doesn't seem to care if or when we'll ever be able to go again. Under this circumstance, I was shocked that Disney would not be any more helpful.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:42 PM   #11
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Hmm. I'm very sorry you have to deal with this hassle, HOWEVER, you stated that the reason there is only one other sailing you can make was because of the kids' school (legitimate), other family functions, and other activities your kids participate in. I don't think that's really Disney's fault at all so I'm not sure what you would hope to gain from a letter? Would it be amazing to get a discount from them? Yes. Would I complain about NOT getting one? I wouldn't, personally.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:59 PM   #12
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Just to note -the June 29th cruise (which I'm booked on) is technically a holiday cruise as it's over the 4th of July - so more expensive because people (like me) with limited vacation time are more likely to spend more to get on this cruise because it's one less PTO day they have to take off! It's also summer, which is higher in price than November in general (which is less popular because kids are in school, so lower priced to get people on the ship).

I can understand the limited schedule, but unfortunately the cruise you're looking at is at peak time, over a holiday, so will command a premium in price. It's all supply and demand - until a few months out and they have a bunch of rooms open, they're not really going to discount summer cruises because someone is likely to snap up a room at their current pricing. It's likely the only way to get a discount would be to wait until March or April and see if any GTY rates are released.

Is there any way you can go next November instead? Itineraries are available through the end of December, 2012, and anything after September (except Christmas/New Year) will be less expensive than July. Another alternative would be to book out as far as you can, and move the cruise to 2014 once those dates come out.

If this cruise is definitely the only one that works for you, transfer it to a Disney TA (like Dreams Unlimited) - not only will they advocate for you (and may be able to get you a lower rate if they come out later), but even transferred reservations will get some added OBC, which might help out a little bit.

Good luck! I hope everyone is safe and healthy! Have a happy Thanksgiving and good luck with rebooking!
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:03 PM   #13
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Don't worry about the kids having missed two weeks of school.... EVERYONE in the district did, so they are not, in any way, behind, nor penalized.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:09 PM   #14
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So, if I understand your situation correctly -- your original cruise, which you paid for, was during low season and therefore cheaper (which is November) and now you want to re-book during high season (June) when rates are always much higher and it's Disney's fault that they won't lower the rates for you??? Hmmm.... I'm sorry you and you're family had to experience Hurricane Sandy and glad you are safe, but I personally think you are expecting too much from Disney.

If you want to re-book and take your cruise, then adjust your other plans accordingly to take your cruise at the rate you originally paid for. Or cough up the money for the more expensive cruise. You shouldn't get something you didn't pay for as it wasn't DCL's fault that Hurricane Sandy interrupted your original travel plans. Writing to anyone at DCL won't get you anywhere.

This is my personal opinion... let the flaming begin!!
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:10 PM   #15
CruizinTigers
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sonnyjane,

You are right. Our reasons for not being able to choose another date is not Disney's fault. And my point in writing is not to complain that they are not willing to discount this June sailing for us, but rather to express my disappointment in Disney that they seem unwilling to assist us in any way. We did not wait until just two days before sailing on 11/3, just to ask Disney to discount a sailing 8 months away. If that were the case, we would not have originally booked this trip a year and a half earlier!

No, if not for this catastrophic storm that turned our state on it's head for weeks (still a disaster in many areas), we would have been on that ship and none of this would have happened. But it did. Our disappointment was huge, my 9 year old daughter's even greater. I vowed we still take this trip but just that it would be delayed because of the storm. It was something positive were holding on to. Not sure if I mentioned our trip was to include both sets of grandparents, both of whom are retired. They see this as maybe the last family vacation they'll take with us with our son, who is now a junior in high school, and looking at college in the near future. The financial hit from this increase in price is even more impactful on them.

I was not asking for DCL to pick up the difference in price. I was merely asking to see if they could help us out in some way. Were they to offer us even $100 on board credit, it might have demonstrated some concern over our situation. But not even that. Maybe I was asking too much, but really! Would a little help here really have affected their bottom line?

We will make this trip now regardless. Somehow we will come up with the extra money, no thanks to Disney. I will not let my kids and the rest of my family down. I just think it would have been nice to be shown a LITTLE decency for a loyal customer and frequent passenger. This has really jaded my opinion of Disney and DCL. To tell you the truth, I wish our insurance had settled the claim and were willing to pay us our settlement. I would have used that money to book on Royal Caribbean. They have a sailing on the Freedom of the Seas that leaves the day after the Fantasy, also from Port Canaveral, same exact itinerary (except for RCCL's private island in the Bahamas instead of Castaway Cay). That cruise with the same type of cabin was around the same price as what we paid for the DCL cruise in November! But unfortunately, I am lead to believe that the insurance company will deny our claim.

I hope 7 months takes this really sour taste I have in my mouth for DCL away, otherwise that much more expensive cruise is now going to be a great disappointment.
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