Last week, I went to speak with our travel agent about our experiences. She took down the information and photocopied all of the papers that I had. She is going to be filing a report with Celebrity Cruises on our behalf and requested that I write a letter to her that she will forward along with it. This way, all of the pertinent information is sure to be included, and it will get sent to the appropriate people since AAA works with Celebrity Cruises often and has their own contacts. Even though you already know the situation, I’m including the letter that Darren and I worked on together after the break. Hopefully something will come out of all of this.

Dear Fran,

As you know, my husband Darren and I chose to celebrate our honeymoon by taking a Mediterranean cruise with Celebrity Cruises. In addition to the cruise itself, we booked a three day Florence and Rome cruisetour package, so our trip was from May 17th through June 1st. Being our honeymoon and also the first cruise that we were ever going on, you can imagine how much we were both looking forward to it. Unfortunately, certain events and situations made it a less than ideal vacation.

We flew Alitalia from Boston to Milan and then from Milan to Pisa. However, our luggage (all four pieces) did not make it from Milan to Pisa. We filled out a claim form, and we were assured that our luggage would be delivered the following day to our Florence hotel. When our luggage didn’t show, our tour director (Constance Weirich) told us that she would continue to follow up on our luggage situation. It turns out that she was acting as a middleman and had her home office actually do most of the calling. When we still did not receive our luggage in Rome she started acting very rudely towards us any time we asked her the status of our luggage. We asked her if there was anyone we could call ourselves and she told us no because everyone only spoke Italian (also, we didn’t have a phone of our own, and she wouldn’t lend us hers). Finally, she said that the bags were waiting for us to pick them up at the Rome airport and that we would have to give her 250 Euros so that she could get a car to take us there. We asked her if there was a car service that would take credit cards because we did not have that much cash but she said that we had to go through this one service (actually a taxi) and that they would only take cash. Later we found out that our bags had not even arrived at the airport yet, let alone the port, so had we gone it would have been a wasted trip (both time and money – not to mention that we might have even missed the ship). While enroute to the port, she told us that the bags would meet us there in time for us to get them before the ship left, but they did not – as I had said before, they were not even at the Rome airport until later and by that time it was too late for them to get to the port in time. So we ended up boarding the ship with only our carry-ons, and did not actually get our luggage until the seventh day of our trip (third full day on the ship). We would have gotten them sooner (on the sixth day), but apparently there was an air traffic controller strike so there was no way for our luggage to get to the airport at our first Greek port (Mykonos).

During all of this, we had to run around buying the essentials that we had already purchased and packed, along with enough clothing to last us a few days. We were unable to enjoy the sites of Florence and Rome on our own because all of our alone time was spent shopping, and unfortunately not fun vacation shopping. I almost hesitate to mention this, but my husband got quite depressed during this part of the trip, because it was very difficult to shop for a large man in Italy (also, we were only able to find one t-shirt in the ship gift store that fit at least decently). Also, my husband hardly ever gets sick, even during cold and flu season, but during this time (in 65-80 degree temperatures) he managed to get a cold, or at least exhibited cold symptoms that I believe were caused by all of the stress.

Back to the cruisetour, Constance was also in charge of choosing the restaurant where the entire tour group ate dinner in Florence. Since this was our first dinner in Italy we were really looking forward to an excellent and authentic dinner and instead she chose a place that no one in the tour group enjoyed. The food there was mediocre at best, and didn’t feel like Italy. Another disappointment was that we did not get to see the Pantheon or Piazza Navona. When we chose the cruisetour these were both listed amongst the things we would see in Rome, but Constance said she never shows those on her tours and there was not enough time anyway (a far cry from knowledgeable Tour Directors who can deliver guests to the area’s grandest sights, and point out its subtlest curiosities). If our time was not spent running around purchasing essentials we could have at least seen them on our own, but unfortunately we needed to buy more things since we then knew that it would be even longer before we got our luggage.

When people ask us how our honeymoon was, it’s upsetting that we can’t be enthusiastic and upbeat with our response. We saved up and were looking forward to this for a long time, which makes it even more disappointing that this happened. I hope that you will forward this on to your representatives at Celebrity Cruises so they also know what happened. Thank you.


Lindsay Greenberg

4 Responses to “Letter to Celebrity Cruises”
  1. Awesome letter, I hope they reimburse you for the whole trip. Or maybe offer you a free cruise for two at a future date. The suite cabins are breathtaking, and include private butler service. 🙂

  2. That’s what we’re hoping for – the free cruise at a later date. Usually when they do that they require you to take it within a year, though. Or they give something like $2500 towards another cruise (which would be fine if we don’t do the med again.. caribbean here we come!) Cross your fingers for us! If nothing comes out of this letter, like if they don’t offer us anything, I will be making a phonecall…so this isn’t where it will end. 🙂

  3. are YOU a celebrity? then, what the heck did you expect, to be treated like one? caveat emptor.
    seriously though lindsay, i’m glad to hear that you guys are not letting this go. alot of people do and that’s how these big corporations get away with things of this sort. this was unfortunate on so many levels. even if you did retrieve your luggage, it would have still been disappointing because of this amateur tour guide who was reminiscent of a taxi driver we had on our honeymoon in santo domingo. we finally said to him “isn’t there any place you can show us where you don’t have to pay to get in?”, knowing he was getting a kickback each and every time.

  4. you go, girl! if this doesn’t work…go straight to Ellen D!

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