October 04, 2019

Home for the weekend

As is usually the case I am awake before the alarm goes off at 7:00. Just as I leave the cabin at 7:30, the announcement is made that my luggage tag number has been called an I can proceed to the gangway.

A few minute wait for an elevator and I arrive at the departure point. My sea pass card is scanned for the last time and I start the walk to the great hall to retrieve my luggae and be checked thru customs. I have done this dozens and dozens of times.

I was totally unprepared. As we enter the luggage room there is a bank of cameras that captures each departing passenger's image. Facial recognition software compares the image of the passenger with passport information and if approved, we are sent on our way to get our luggage. No lines! No waiting! Maybe a 15 second process. I grab my suitcase and walk to the awaiting shuttle bus.

From my cabin to my car is less than 30 minutes. Historically I have often spent 2 or 3 hours just getting past CBP. 

In am quickly on the road and arrive home at 9:30, probably the earliest I have ever been home after a cruise.

Some obligations over the weekend and then it will be back to The Mariner Of The Seas on Monday October 7th. Same port, same ship, same itinerary, different cabin and mostly different passengers.

Another day at Coco Cay

The weather at Coco Cay on our second stop here is perfect. Blue skies, a gentle breeze, nearly flat seas and temperatures in the mid 80's. Nearly everyone goes ashore. For the first time there is seating available in the Solarium all day long.

It is seldom that I ever need anything from guest services, and ususlly when I do it is something simple like a replacement key or to get some lager bills broken.

This trip there was a different need. There were two separate on board credits that should have been applied to my account, there was only one. I was missing a $50 credit.

Fortunately I had the original emails from Royal. But that made little difference. When I was told it was the booking credit that was missing I produced the documention for that credit. The representative disappeared for 15 minutes and upon his return announced that was indeed the credit on my account.

Showing him the Stockholder credit confirmation, he again disappeared to the back room and returned to say the stockholder credit was the one on my account.  When I challenged him to make up his mind, he just mumbled something I couldn't understand.
Having stood at the counter for about 45 minutes and being totally frustrated with his incompetence I told him I wasn't going to waste any more time over $50, but his handling of this issue would certainly influence my decision on future business with Royal. I walked away with the issue unresolved.

After I thought better, I returned, saw the same representative, and demanded to see a manager. 

Surprisingly he too only wanted to offer a bunch of excuses that this was done by shoreside.

It was only after I reminded him how many cruises I had purchased from Royal, and that I had choices of other lines that he relented and said he would issue the $50 credit.

Probably one of the worst customer service performances I have encountered.

Very obviously had I not had the confirmations, and had not been very aggressive in pursuing the issue, it would have never been corrected.

Oh well, just another day and another story to share. A story that will not help Royal fill their ships.

The lounge is a little less busy tonight. I leave in time to go to the theater to see the production show, a show I have not seen before. The theater is about 60% full. About half way thru the show everything comes to a halt. The performers exit the stage, and there is an announcement that due to technical difficulties the show was halted and will resume momentarily. We have all heard this type of announcement somewhere.

Well 20 minutes later, no further announcement, no resumption of the show, and very few guests left in the theater. Another passenger shared with me than the previous week there was no show at all by the production cast.

I pack my suitcase and set it in the hall to be off loaded in the morning. Usually passengers bring alcohol onto the ship for consumption while onboard. I find myself packing up some of the free wine and taking it home. Is having too many bottles of wine a disadvantage of being a top tier frequent customer?

The alarm is set for 7:00, my scheduled depature time is 7:30 in the morning. Yes I remember why I usually don't take such short cruises.