He needs a refund as a substitute of a Royal Caribbean cruise credit score

Q: In 2019, my wife Sandy and I booked a Royal Caribbean cruise to New England and Canada. This plan was to celebrate a special occasion, our upcoming 50th wedding anniversary. We were supposed to be leaving in May but Royal Caribbean canceled the cruise and offered us either a refund or 125% credit. We asked for the credit.

In May, Royal Caribbean granted cruise credit for just $ 1,260 – $ 841 less than the $ 2,101 promised by the cruise line. I called on three different days and spoke to representatives to request a refund and an explanation of how our cruise credit was miscalculated. Shortly after finishing the phone call with the last representative, I received an email notification from Royal Caribbean with a new credit of $ 1,681 (that’s 100% cruise credit).

Royal Caribbean has refused to explain the miscalculation of the cruise balance and will not refund our cruise. We believe a refund from Royal Caribbean is justified. Can you help us get a refund?

– Rich Kanuchok, Baltimore

A: Like most other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean offered a full refund or 125% cruise credit after the pandemic. You have chosen 125% cruise credit. In a perfect world, Royal Caribbean would have allowed you to change your mind and get a full refund. However, once you have chosen to credit, the usual terms and conditions apply. The most important of the conditions is the expiry: you have two years to use the cruise credit. Here are the other rules: www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/topics/onboard-cruise-credit-offer.

Royal Caribbean should have quickly offered you the full 125% cruise credit. But in the chaos of mass cancellations, it wasn’t. They asked your travel advisor, the cruise line, and finally the cruise line executives to give you the full 125%. But the results were the same.

Should you be able to change your mind about a refund if Royal Caribbean can’t deliver what it promised? I think this is controversial. One thing is certain, however. The cruise line must either give you the full 125% credit or a refund.

I like the way you handled your case. You started with your travel advisor, but then escalated straight to the cruise line and then contacted the executives. I list the names, numbers, and email addresses of Royal Caribbean managers on my consumer advocacy website at www.elliott.org/company-contacts/royal-caribbean. They also put almost everything in writing so that you could follow the correspondence between you and the cruise line on paper. Good work.

In the end, it was up to Royal Caribbean to issue you a refund. I have contacted the cruise line on your behalf. You have received the $ 2,101 cruise credit that you promised through your travel agent.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit that helps consumers solve their problems. His latest book is How To Be the Smartest Traveler in the World (National Geographic). Contact him at elliott.org/help or [email protected]