Cruises - Room not matching description

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You should always expect a service you’ve paid for to match up to what was described.

However, there may be an instance when the room provided doesn’t match the description given by the service provider. 

The room may either lack in amenities, be poorly lit, have a smaller bed, may not have the promised view or attached Jacuzzi as assured or may lack in any other service which was assured by the person at the time of booking.

In such a scenario you have a legal right to approach the concerned authority and demand the amenities be provided. 

If the request is denied you can escalate your issue to the Consumer Forum and demand reimbursement for the services not provided coupled with damages for any loss suffered.

You should know
  • Before your cruise, ensure that you have adequate travel insurance which includes cancellation cover in case of an issue.
  • Monitor weather reports before your cruise and check to ensure there are no cancellations or delays to service.
  • You are entitled to compensation if your cruise is delayed unless it is caused by poor weather or other unforeseen circumstances
  • A majority of cruise companies will include a clause in their terms allowing them to change the schedule. Read the fine print carefully to avoid any hassle.

Changes prior to departure

If the changes to your cruise are significant, you have the right to request a refund, or to request an alternative package. If the package is of a lower cost, you can request a refund of the difference.

Post-departure changes

If there is a change you can complain, however, the cruise company will have a clause to allow for changes to the itinerary, as there can be a number of reasons for the change in the itinerary. If there is a significant change then you can make a claim. The cruise company is required to make alternative arrangements or to compensate you.

How to file a cruise complaint in India?

  • You should submit a written complaint to the cruise crew indicating your distress. You should also be able to explain your issue in detail.
  • If the crew is unable to resolve your issue, or if you are not satisfied with the outcome, then you have the option to escalate the matter by approaching the customer care of the cruise line company. Alternatively, you may alert your travel agent or booking agent about the same and expect a solution within a reasonable time.
  • If all else fails, you have the option to serve a month's legal notice to the cruise service provider to allow them a chance of rectification. If they still fail, then you should file a formal consumer case at an appropriate consumer forum.

Can I upgrade my room on-board?

Based on availability, a cruise ship may allow you to upgrade upon paying additional charges.

Is there any baggage limit?

Cruise lines have different luggage weight limits. You must check with them before packing.

Safety & Emergency

For passengers’ safety, every room in a cruise should be equipped with life-jackets. There must be enough life-boats on board. Inquire about the safety measures before boarding the cruise. The crew should also explain safety measures and what to do in case of an emergency. The crew is also expected to be trained to cater to medical emergencies mid voyage.

What if I miss my on-going travel plans?

If you miss a connecting transport service due to a delay or cancellation, your cruise operator must make "reasonable efforts to inform the passengers of alternative connections". However, the cruise company does not have to pay you any compensation for any missed connections.

Insurance

Ensure before you travel that you have travel insurance. This will cover you in case of a delay or cancellation of your travel. If you make a claim under your travel insurance and if the issue is not resolved after eight weeks, you can take your case to the Insurance Ombudsman who will look at your case from the perspective of what is fair and reasonable and provide for free a decision that is binding on the company.

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