Two guests boarding Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas did not receive the balcony stateroom they expected when they first got into their cabin and found no carpeting, upended furniture, no bedding, and industrial driers at work. Fortunately, the confusing situation was eventually sorted, but not without further aggravation and even more confusion.

In a booking mixup aboard Allure of the Seas, a couple checking in for the ship’s November 13, 2023 sailing had challenges from check-in to their stateroom, and the confusion didn’t end there.

The couple, whose full names have not been disclosed, first encountered difficulty when checking in for the 4-night cruise to the Bahamas. According to the couple, the check-in serviceperson thought there was “something wrong with [their] reservation” but continued to check them in for the sailing, and the couple proceeded with embarkation.

Upon reaching their assigned stateroom – according to the room number printed on their boarding pass – the couple had no keys waiting, so they went to Guest Services to receive their keys.

Allure of the Seas Cabin (Photo Credit: Jill MH)

Unfortunately, the 40-minute line at Guest Services was only the beginning of the difficulty, as upon entering the room, the couple was greeted with the absolutely unexpected.

Instead of a made-up bed, welcome letter, and a stateroom ready to begin a wonderful cruise, the couple found bare flooring with torn up carpeting and obvious water damage, bare bedsteads upended and a mattress without bedding, furniture in disarray, a foul odor, and industrial fans working away to dry out the cabin.

Apparently, the couple’s assigned stateroom – Deck 6, room 554 – had a flood on the previous cruise, but their reassignment to a different stateroom had not been effectively communicated prior to check-in.

Allure of the Seas Cabin (Photo Credit: Jill MH)

According to the couple, it took a total of three hours to sort out the confusion, which included going to a new Deck 6 stateroom that had been booked for a different family and still had children’s bracelets and welcome information inside, as well as a delivery of chocolate-covered strawberries.

Even the stateroom steward was unaware of the switch, having asked about the couple’s baby – when they do not have one.

The couple was given $300 of onboard credit to make up for the inconvenience, but is still fuming over the confusion and unsatisfied with not having gotten a more sincere apology for the mixup, nor were they granted the compensation they requested.

“Thanks for your patience. The ship has advised that you were moved to a different room since the original room had a flood, and you had [gone] to the incorrect room. They have advised you were compensated. Again, we apologize for the confusion and disappointment,” a text chat from the cruise line read.

“I was not compensated as requested. Nor was it addressed in a timely manner. Also, no, I did not go to the wrong room,” the guest’s reply read.

The couple has said they were told at Guest Services that their stateroom would be “upgraded” yet they were placed on the same deck, in a similar balcony cabin. They had requested a full refund of their sailing – on embarkation day, after already boarding the ship – so they could simply forget their travel plans and return home, arranging airfare on their own for the return trip.

Allure of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Mark Anthony Ray / Shutterstock)

Royal Caribbean does have a number of balcony staterooms of different categories on Deck 6 of Allure of the Seas; it is possible the couple was moved to a higher category of balcony but didn’t necessarily realize the nature of the upgrade.

Read Also: What Are the Best Rooms on a Cruise Ship?

The original, damaged stateroom – 554 – is a category 3D/4D “Superior Balcony” cabin, but the deck also has several other “Superior Balcony” classifications on the same deck with slightly larger balconies, as well as Junior Suites and Grand Suites.

As for the idea that a full refund would be given for the couple to debark the ship, that is against standard cruise line policy and practices, especially when an alternative and comparable stateroom is available.

The timeliness of the resolution is also in question. While the few hours the couple spent resolving the situation most certainly put a damper on the beginning of their cruise, in all fairness, the situation was resolved within a few hours, though the couple believe it was not handled “in a timely manner.”

Such situations can be confusing to all parties, not only the guests involved but also to cruise staff who may not have received every communication about individual incidents, particularly if it was an emergency or evolving situation on the same day.

Passengers should always be patient with staff when incidents – major or minor – occur, and be flexible with their idea of appropriate resolutions and compensation.

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