A family of four from Hadland was bitten by a cruise bug a week later in the Caribbean in 2019.
– I was a little skeptical and thought that only old people traveled on such trips. But it was absolutely wonderful. We really fell in love with this way of spending the holiday, Martin Mikkelsen tells TV 2.
Just before the pandemic, the Mikkelsen Hilton family traveled to the Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise ship.
The Symphony of the Seas had everything we wanted. She says there have been an incredible number of experiences and a lot of good places to eat.
wanted to come back
Mikkelsen thinks it’s good to go on holiday when you get to a fixed table.
– We don’t have to think too much. In addition, there was a lot of freedom. The kids always had something fun to do. You don’t need a wallet or card, because most are prepaid, she says.
When the trip was successful, they wanted to take it again. An epidemic-prone cruise went to the Mediterranean, with the same cruise company.
– This trip was nice too. But it doesn’t beat the Caribbean cruise. So we were determined to go back there.
I found good deals
Royal Caribbean customers get good deals if they book their next adventure while they’re already on board, but offers can also be obtained after you’ve been on a cruise with the cruise company.
– We’ve used this every time. When we got back from the Mediterranean, we wanted to book our next trip to the Caribbean right away.
When the family found a good offer, they jumped at the chance and booked two trips to the Caribbean. The first is in late February and the second is in mid-July.
– In total, both flights cost NOK 43,846. In addition, we have to pay for flights to and from Miami, and hotel accommodations before and after the cruise vacation.
Soon, a contract was sent to them and a deposit was paid for both flights, which amounted to 16,000 NOK.
He thinks the family got the wrong price
So it was a huge shock when, four days later, they received an email from Royal Caribbean.
– It was reported that a system error occurred and that we must get new fares for our flights or cancel both flights.
McLean thought it was weird, because she says she often visits the Royal Caribbiean website.
– They advertise all the time with good offers, and there are big differences in prices from day to day. There was no indication that the prices were incorrect. Plus, I thought we got pretty good deals since we just got home from a trip.
They waited in anticipation when the company was scheduled to present a new show.
– We assumed we might have to pay a little extra, around 10,000 NOK or 15,000 NOK.
But the new prices were far beyond what the family could afford.
In total, the new prices came to 130,701 NOK. The new price was after a 10 percent discount as a plaster on the wound. In addition, they get $500 for every trip they spend on the ship.
The family was not happy about it.
– Our rating has been downgraded to a lower level cabin. We booked a suite initially – and there are so many advantages to that, says Mikkelsen.
And she adds:
– I am quite sure that we would have had a better offer if we had ordered, for example, on “Black Friday”.
Expect the company to clean up
According to the Consumer Council, agreements are binding in principle when concluded, and general reservations about incorrect prices apply to consumer customers. They say the company can still cancel the agreement if the consumer has to realize the price was wrong.
“This will be a very concrete assessment, putting the consumer’s knowledge of the market into action, whether there are sales or campaigns at the time and other conditions surrounding the trade,” Legal Counsel Thomas Iversen tells TV 2.
There is a practice, Iversen says, that price deviations of more than 75 percent in favor of the consumer still do not give the company the right to withdraw from the agreement.
– In this case, the family would get an actual discount of 55 and 75 percent respectively if we consider the original prices real, he says.
In any case, the original contract should apply when it comes to cabin class, the Consumer Council believes.
“I see no reason for the company to deviate from the cabin class in the original agreement,” Iverson says.
Bad customer service
TV 2 asked several questions to the cruise company, but received a short answer via e-mail.
Lucy Radford, director of public relations for the partially Norway-owned shipping company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, said the family booked the cruise when there was a temporary price error on its website.
So the price of the trips was wrong. Changes and errors occur from time to time and we reserve the right to correct errors in both the advertised and confirmed prices. We apologize, Radford writes.
Mikkelsen is not at all satisfied with the company’s customer service.
– I think we have a binding agreement. She says the fact that there is something wrong with their systems shouldn’t affect us.
The family says they are willing to discuss solutions, but the company stands on its foundations.
– We would be glad if they came up with a better offer. But our show is really bad. This is very poor customer service for a very large company.
The family was left with a feeling of bitterness.
– We were really looking forward to the trips. But now it seems we can’t travel. It would simply be too expensive, concludes a frustrated Mikkelsen.
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