No refund on the Seven Seas


Q: I made a reservation for a 14-day cruise from New York to Copenhagen on Radisson’s “Seven Seas Navigator” two years ago.

In early 2003, Radisson notified us through our travel agent that the June sailing was cancelled and had been rescheduled for July. They gave us new booking numbers and offered us free flights for the inconvenience.

Since we had already booked a trip to Africa that left July 30, it would not be possible to change to the new dates and we cancelled our trip and asked for our deposits to be return.

I called Radisson several times, but they refused to discuss a cancellation with me since we had a travel agent. Even though my agent said he had cancelled the trip, he received a commission check shortly after we returned from Africa. We were listed as “no-shows.”

Can you help us get a refund of $1,527.65 from Radisson? Your help will be greatly appreciated.

— Stephen Preston

A: As a general rule, any time a trip is cancelled by a cruise line – or any other travel company, for that matter – you’re entitled to an immediate and complete refund. No questions asked.

Someone screwed up here. But who? Was it the cruise line? Or your travel agent – or you?

Radisson says it might have been at fault. “After reviewing the case, we are at a loss to explain why the guest’s bookings were never canceled,” Gair O’Neill, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises’ guest relations manager, told me.

Your travel agent canceled your cruise, but then received his commission check. Did he do everything he could? Perhaps not, O’Neill says. “We show that the change was done and the travel agent knew the change was done, but that is where the trail goes cold,” he told me. “Truthfully, I can’t tell if we dropped the ball or if the travel agent did not call to cancel.”

Either way, your agent should have jumped into action once he saw the commission check and noticed you were erroneously listed as a “no show.” If he had made a simple follow-up phone call he could have gotten your money back, according to O’Neill.

Was your agent more interested in a commission check than helping you? I hope not.

You shouldn’t have accepted Radisson’s answer that it would only work with a travel agent. That’s nonsense. It’s your cruise, and you have a right to call the line directly and make changes to your itinerary or to cancel. I don’t know who you spoke with at Radisson (the janitor?), but the very least you should have done was to take you problem to a supervisor.

Radisson refunded your $1,527.65 and apologized for taking so long – a welcome and long overdue resolution.