Royal Caribbean Refuses To Refund Paralyzed Veteran After 8 Days On Cruise With No A/C
Rick Rettinger and his wife saved up to spend $3,000 on a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. However, the cruise ended up not being what they anticipated for themselves and some of their fellow passengers after the air conditioning malfunctioned.
Rettinger, who is a navy veteran paralyzed from the waist down, said he and his wife returned to their cabin and it felt hot. They spoke to guest services, who said that the maintenance team was working on fixing the air conditioning. It turns out that a number of people’s cabins were impacted by the malfunction
Rettinger says that they kept checking in every 12 to 14 hours to see if it was fixed. However, each time the staff gave him a new time that it was scheduled to be fixed.
Miami New Times reports:
Sweltering inside their cabins, many passengers opted to sleep on pool chairs on the deck so they could catch a breeze. But for Rettinger, a Navy veteran paralyzed from the waist down, that wasn’t an option.
“Even if I could get down from my wheelchair into one of these things, I’d be risking pressure sores and it would take at least two to three people to pick me up to put me back in my wheelchair,” he says.
Friends who were on the same ship offered to let him sleep in their room, which wasn’t affected by the air conditioning failure, but his 26-inch-wide wheelchair wouldn’t fit through the door of their standard cabin.
At the end of the cruise, Royal Caribbean offered $200 in compensation for those who booked an interior or ocean view cabin. The cruise line offered $300 to those who booked a balcony cabin. When Rettinger contacted Royal Caribbean after the cruise was over (something staff on board the ship told him to do), the cruise company said a decision had been made and no further refund would be given.
The cruise line confirmed to a Facebook user that that the issue is now fixed.
It’s certainly understandable that these things can happen. It’s an unfortunate part of travel that sometimes things can go wrong with a company that you’re relying on for a service. However, it’s important when it does happen that the company makes it right.
In a statement to the New Miami Times Royal Caribbean said, “Regrettably, we had some technical issues with our air conditioning system that intermittently affected a small section of the ship several weeks ago.” They acknowledge it happened, but why not offer more — if not even a full refund — than the $200 offered. I would also say that this individual’s situation was complicated because while others could go out of their way to remedy the situation, his being paralyzed prevented him from being able to do that.
It seems like there should be at least some consideration of additional compensation given to somebody who dealt with the issue for the entirety of the cruise. It’s even more shocking to me because a friend of ours received $50 in compensation last May over a showerhead malfunction in the bathroom in their cabin. That was a three-day cruise and the impact on the passenger was minimal.