Tuesday, October 11, 2011

RCCL Customer Service telephone call

New to this blog?  Check out the original complaint here: http://royalcaribbeanbabies.blogspot.com/2011/09/to-richard-d.html

I just finished a call with a customer service representative.  I thought I would get more responsiveness and details by phone than I did in my letters.  

I didn't. 

It sounded like the rep was reading from a standard "cranky customer" script.  I'll grant that he did it very well, and he was obviously very practiced.  I'm sure he hears a lot of crap from a lot of people, and his job is just to sit there and take it.

But it still means nothing.  No one has listened to my specific complaints, investigated them, or done anything.  Their letter was disturbingly correct, that I'm an entry in a customer complaint database, and an irritant to tactful reps with refined scripts.

Here are a few quotes that I typed out during the conversation:
  • "We do listen to our guests especially when they’re passionate.  There’s room for improvement.  We can not provide all amenities to all people, of course, but your feedback is taken seriously."
  •  "We take feedback from guests as a whole.  We do not take immediate action, and we will choose to act after 3 months or 6 months based on the feedback we get from all guests."
  • [Will I be informed in any way directly about responses to my letter?  No.]  "You will be able to see the improvements when you board the ship or through a press release."  
  • [Did you investigate my complaints?  Did you confirm they were valid, or whether anything has changed in the last year?]  "There are various test programs on selected ships.  Ships don't always operate exactly alike.  You can find out ahead of time what age groups allowed in certain areas, whether there are fold-out tables for children...your experience might have been unique."
  • "We can not be successful if we ignore our guests.  We are serious and adamant about research."
Let me reach for the dictionary here to make sure I'm using the word "platitude" correctly:


  1. A remark or statement, esp. one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.
  2. The quality of being dull, ordinary, or trite.

Yes, RCCL's responses are platitudes.  Indeed that's a good word.

The conversation continued for a few more minutes, and could have gone on for longer.  This rep was quite obviously experienced at talking until the complainer ends the conversation on his/her own.  And that's what I did.  I concluded that we would not be taking Royal Caribbean again, and would recommend against RCCL to other parents.

In other news, I found a few more good web sites for cruise reviews!  I'll add my comments, and keep on blogging!


  1. This is the kind of response I would expect to get from a front-line customer service rep; they do not have the authority to actually do anything about your problems so all they can do is issue platitudes. This approach no doubt works for some customers.

    I am not sure there's much more you can do as you have shown writing and calling do not have the desired responses.

    I would suggest trying another cruise line - you have reached this conclusion anyway; other lines may have better facilities for babies.

  2. Techwatcher, thanks for your input. You've hit the nail on the head, that the front-line customer service reps simply do not have any authority. In fact I must admit that everyone I've dealt with has been both friendly and professional. They simply had no ability to do anything substantive.

    We're quite happy that Royal Caribbean has competitors for the leisure cruise market, and we most certainly are looking at them for future vacations!