At Sea Wedding Package & CruisePoor service afer cancelling my wedding

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In short, my wedding dreams have been shattered!

Through no fault of my own, I now find my wedding plans have been cancelled. Countless preparations organising this event have got to be rectified. Friends and family have to rearrange their plans. Printed stationery has got to be discarded. Booking fees have been lost. All this and more because your company has let me down at a time that should of been one of the happiest in my life. I am of the opinion that your company has shown no remorse what so ever for cancelling our wedding and shattering our hopes and dreams of our perfect wedding day onboard the Caribbean Princess Ship.

It is my understanding - though I have still not received any written conformation from you - that our cruise of 5th April 2009 it is cancelled, ending my plans for marriage on 13th April 2009.

I am very disappointed and feel deeply distressed that you have cancelled what should have been the happiest day of our lives.

When organising a wedding it is very stressful and expensive, trying to ensure that everything has been considered and arrangements are made, and in ample enough time to ensure that you can arrange exactly what you want. This is an arduous enough task for most weddings, but when a cruise is added and dates and travel are involved, this stress is multiplied tenfold.

Therefore, having achieved what we felt was a monumental task in organising family and friends to join our holiday cruise wedding; we were devastated when your company cancelled.

Can you imagine the inconvenience? The changed plans? The spoiled stationery? The lost purchases and irredeemable expenses?

As I am from an Italian background, I am including some of the Italian traditions in our wedding. When our plans were set, we had our wedding bands designed and made. Within these are engraved our names and wedding date. These are now worthless.

It has always been my dream to get married on a cruise ship so we did a lot of research and contacted various companies to get information and prices for the cruise and wedding. After many recommendations and reviews for your company we decided to book our wedding and cruise with you. We had been told your service was better than other cruise companies.

As you had exactly what we wanted on offer we decided that we would book with your company.

Obviously at a wedding, planning for family members is critical. As my brother is studying for his A-levels and is unable to take time off school during term time we had to ensure that we booked our cruise during set and published school holidays. Therefore we decided to go Easter 2009.

We spoke to our other family members who were joining us to ensure that the time was convenient for all and as you can imagine, this took some organising, especially as a number of them run their own companies and time away is for them very difficult to plan for.

Eventually everyone confirmed that they were available at our desired time and we decided to book November 2007.

Unfortunately things didn’t run smoothly. Looking back at the whole experience of booking with your company the first time I became unhappy with the service I received form your company was to do with our departure flights from the UK. We were given the option of flying from Manchester or London Heathrow to Miami for an over night stop, as we live in the midlands area and have 2 members of the party that are over the age of 70 we decided that Manchester would be the best option for us as the travelling time would be less that travelling to London. I contacted yourselves to find out which airline you would be arranging our flights with so I could find out their baggage restrictions for transporting my wedding dress. I was advised that you would be using American airlines having contacted them I was told that they do not fly direct from Manchester to Miami. So I contacted your company again to find out what flights we would be taking to arrive in Miami. I was then advised that we would be taking the following route Manchester to London Heathrow to Chicago to Miami. With waiting times at the transfer airports our journey time would have taken approximately 27hrs to fly from Manchester to Miami although if we had flown from London Heathrow to Miami which does have a direct flight journey time would have been approximately 9 hours. At no point were we made aware of this and had I have not requested details of which airline we would be using, we would not have been informed until closer to our cruise date when we would have been unable to cancel. I don’t understand why an option of flying from Manchester instead of London Heathrow is offered if the first part of the journey will be a flight from Manchester to London Heathrow.

Our evening wedding reception for when we returned to the UK for all of our family and friends that are unable to make the cruise had been arranged and payments made. As we are now looking at possibly changing the cruise to the following year we are going to incur additional costs due to the hotels annual price inflation. The hotel can not confirm the additional costs until 12 months prior to the event date.

We had designed and produced our own evening wedding invitations and save this evening card’s, as we wanted them to be unique to us and in keeping with our wedding theme and colour schemes. Our save this evening cards had already been given out to most of our family and friends which we have had to contact and tell them that it is cancelled.

Our grandparents that are within this party will also be incurring additional costs for their travel insurance, they are still awaiting a response as to whether they will loose the money that they have paid for the April 2009 cruise and to get travel insurance for the following year will have an increased premium as their age will have increased as they will be 71 and 76.

The cancellation itself, if it has indeed actually occurred, has been very poorly conducted. Despite the fact that I booked the holiday and a contract therefore existed between your company and myself, I was NOT the one who was notified of the cancellation. It was my mother who was told the cruise was cancelled, even though my mother is not essentially a part of the contract agreement between ourselves. I find this lack of professionalism particularly disturbing, especially when – as already stated – I have yet to receive written confirmation of the cancellation.

Fortunately my relationship with my mother is a good one and I trust her word. It’s easy to imagine that in some other families bonds between family members are not so strong and that messages could be misinterpreted, forgotten or even withheld. I genuinely hope this practice of contacting uninvolved third parties is not a standard one within your company.

The whole experience has been extremely stressful and has had an affect on our health. We are finding that we are having sleepless nights; the matter is always on our minds and we are unable to concentrate on things and, frankly, it doesn’t look like this stress will ease any time soon. I had to miss an afternoon off work, which I was unpaid for, due to the fact that I was absolutely devastated that our wedding, the day I had been planning and was so excited and looking forward to have been cancelled. We are having to ensure that we have cancelled all arrangements for April 2009 and looking to rearrange for the following year. Which we are now finding will incur further costs to ourselves, which we had not previously budgeted for.

Therefore I feel that your offer to price match our cruise price of what we would have been paying for April 2009 and a $250 onboard spend for each couple is not acceptable as this is nowhere near the costs that we will incur due to you cancelling our cruise and wedding. My brother will have finished his A-levels, when we are looking at other cruises, therefore we will not have to stick to school holiday times and we are finding that the prices that we are being quoted are less that that of what we would have paid for April 2009, therefore the price matching is of no advantage to us as we will not save any money.

I appreciate that I am certainly very emotionally involved in this matter but then weddings are an emotional subject – and holiday companies do attract us with their offers. So when these services are cancelled (or not, as only third party conveys this message to date, not a letter), when arrangements need to be undone, when money is lost and people are disappointed and inconvenienced, the matter cannot help but be an emotional one.

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