Over the years I have learned that the single most critical factor that drives clients to our office is not when a cruise passenger has been injured or inconvenienced.  Stuff happens, and most people understand that.  But when a cruise line treats passengers poorly after injuring or inconveniencing them, that’s when our law firm’s telephone begins to ring.

Over 75% of the cases in our office are against Royal Caribbean.  If a crew member from India or Trinidad calls us and complains that he or she were injured on a cruise ship and then dumped back home with no or poor medical care, nine times out of ten its a Royal Caribbean employee. 

Why do so many RCCL passengers and crew members sue Royal Caribbean?

The answer is what I call the Royal attitude.

Last month, the Royal attitude was on public display following the stranding of 145 passengers in San Juan when hurricane Irene was approaching. 

Unlike Carnival which contacted or at least tried to contact guests ahead of time to tell them the port authorities were requiring cruise ships to leave the port early, Royal Caribbean didn’t do anything.  Carnival paid for over 300 guest’s hotels and offered to fly them to the next port to meet the cruise ship.  But Royal Caribbean did not bother to have a representative at the airport or port to explain what was happening.

Its dismissive press release then added salt into the wound.

Even cruise fans were outraged.   The popular on line cruise community Cruise Critic posted hundreds of unflattering comments about Royal Caribbean’s attitude.  Its editor even wrote an scathing editorial "Bad Weather Blunder: A Lesson in Cruise Crisis Control?"

The other popular cruise community Cruisemates wrote a blog criticizing Royal Caribbean entitled "Carnival 1 – Royal Caribbean 0."

Cruise blogger John Honeywell a/k/a Captain Greybeard, who writes cruise friendly pieces for the U.K.’s Mirror, added an article "How Hurricanes and Art Led to a Series of Right Royal Blunders."  Captain GreyBeard not only joined in the criticism of Royal Caribbean for stranding it guests but mocked cruise line president Adam Goldstein’s decision to avoid the issue in his Nation of Why Not blog and instead write about employees delivering the "Wow factor" by finding a guest’s passport on an airplane and driving it over to the port.  He also blasted Royal Caribbean for Obfuscation the delay and lack of transparency in responding to an inquiry about problems with the art vendors on the cruise ships. 

Greybeard characterized the cruise line’s non-response to his inquiries as a "masterpiece of obfuscation." 

I feel your pain too Captain Greybeard.  I wrote about Royal Caribbean’s skill at obfuscation last year in a blog: Royal Caribbean Press Statements And Other Gobbledygook.

Even when the cruise line changed course in response to the universal criticism and decided to offer a future cruise credit (only 30%) to the abandoned guests, it was unable to issue a clear or genuine apology – calling the incident just an out of norm fluke.   The cruise line then arranged for president Goldstein to be interviewed in the Miami Herald about his passion for running and playing ping pong.  I’m not kidding.  145 passengers stranded in a foreign port with a hurricane approaching and the cruise president is now talking about ping pong.

You can dismiss my criticisms as coming from a lawyer who sues this cruise line every week.  But when cruise fans like Cruise Critic, Cruisemates and even the affable Captain Greybeard start talkin smack about your cruise brand, Royal Caribbean may want to consider changing its attitude toward its customers.  

  • AGompper

    Shocking, a cruise line messed up and still can’t say hey we’re sorry for what happened, we would like to refund you and make up for it. Greed sticks out in my mind.

  • Gabs
  • AGompper

    Oh, you again….funny you always comment on what I have to say, I think you may still work for a cruise line. But I wasn’t asking for your opinion or your thoughts I was expressing mine.

  • Gabs

    AG, I’ll comment on whatever I feel like commenting, whether you are involved or not has no importance to me. As far as I know this is the first time I’ve commented on something you said, but you could be right. About assuming that I work for a cruiseline, you couldn’t be more wrong, but that’s how assumptions usually go. You should consider not posting PUBLIC messages on PUBLIC boards if you don’t want people to comment on them.

  • Nicole Taylor

    I cruised for the very first time with Royal Caribbean on November 2,2012 and was very dissatisfied with the cruise. I heard so much about cruises that I could not wait to take one, but unfortunatley things did not go the way I thought it would please see below the list of issues I encountered on my cruise with Royal Caribbean. The worst thing is when I wrote in to Mr. Goldstein I got a responce from a representative of his by the name of Janice who offered me a $200 onboard credit towards another cruise with Royal.. Why on eaeth would I pay to take another cruise with Roayal after all the bad expereinces I had on the first one to use a $200 onboard credit??? They just didnt get it or just didn’t want to get it..Frankly I think they just dont care and felt as if they already have my money so what the hell, who cares if I’m is another unsatified customer.Janice told me that there is nothing more she could do. It’s sad because if you buy a shirt wear it and it doesnt fit you can return it and the merchant take it back without any dispute, if you eat out and your not satified with the service the manager reimburse you the cost of the meal. But Royal Caribbean refused to give me my money back or give me a full credit for all the bad experience and issues I had while on board their ship Brilliance of the Seas.

    My bad experience while sailing with Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Sea

    I was at the schooner bar and I was overlooked several times by the bar tender who served other guest before me who was not there before I was. I felt as If I was a beggar and not someone who spent their money like everyone else on the ship.

    Everyone was asked to if they wanted to continue cruising at the end of the cruise for an affordable price except us, we were not given that option even though I would have declined, but it just goes to show that we were not treated equally while onboard. I got the feeling that if you were not in a higher paid cabin (balcony or Suite) you did not count.

    Floor 6th to 4th had a horrible odor it was unbearable and very noticeable, I heard many guests complaining about the odor as well.

    We did not get a towel design in our cabin until the 4th day at sea after someone complained.

    Entertainment was very limited, there was Bingo which you had to pay $32 dollars to participate in and there were not too many things to do while at sea during the day time besides the rock-climbing and miniature gulfing which were all outdoor activities could not be used the first 3 days at sea because it was freezing outside. So this is why we needed the ship to provide us with more activities, even so every day the activity list was very limited and short. I truly felt bored and could not wait to get off the boat.

    I only ate at the Ministerial Dining room once we requested a private table and was told that once we got onboard we were to go see our seating arrangements and if we did not like it we would be accommodated to have it changed. That was wrong information given to us by the Royal Caribbean customer service rep over the phone because when I went in to see our table and informed the supervisor there that we did not like the area we were sitting in they told us “sorry but there is nothing we can do to change that because the seating has already been assigned”. I did not eat in the dining room that night but the next night when I went back we were placed at a table with 2 other people which was not what we requested. We specifically stated that we did not want to sit with anyone. That request was also ignored.

    The food tasted like you were at a cheap all you can eat buffet, it was not what I expected from Royal Caribbean at all. The dessert was horrible the cheesecake was jello style cheesecake, it tasted as if it had no real ingredients a cheesecake should have. I just have to say all the reviews I read about the food onboard the Brilliance of the Seas online is true, the reviews I read on cruise critics stated that the food is not the best at all and that it was always cold, which is true because it was sitting out in a warmer and by the time I got to my seat to eat it was very cold.

    The food was very mediocre; there was not a variety to choose from. The yogurt machine was not producing frozen yogurt it was more like a milk shake texture, you couldn’t even get it to stay on the cone because it was so soft. It also tasted horrible more like flavored ice.

    I went to the sea view café and asked for a glass of lemonade and when I tasted it was so watered down there was no lemonade flavor to it, I could clearly see that it was more water than Lemonade even before he poured it but gave it the benefit of the doubt by tasting it. When I informed the server that it was watered down he acted as if I was bothering him.

    Thank heavens that I was able to get off the ship once we started hitting the ports if it wasn’t for us getting off the ship to visit the beautiful Islands I would have said my trip was a waste of time and money. This being my first cruise I would not say it is something I would do again based on my experience on board the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas November 2nd to November 8th 2012. If I do I doubt if Royal Caribbean would be my first choice.

    I did not expect this at all I had high expectations from Royal Caribbean. I feel as if I could have avoided the disappointment and sailed with carnival or another cruise line. I personally did not feel the Royal Experience.