Royal Caribbean bans Cleveland couple for life

It appears that cruise lines will only take so much complaining.

Royal Caribbean has banned for life Cleveland residents Brenda and Gerald Moran after the couple has spent the last four years sailing with the company — a total of six voyages — and complaining about it every step of the way

“On all but one of those sailings the Morans felt there were a variety of service failures they experienced,” Michael Sheehan, a VP at Royal Caribbean, tells the Associated Press. “In a small number of cases we agreed and compensated them appropriately. In most cases, however, we disagreed. Having concluded that we are unable to meet the expectations of the Morans, we have told them that they would be best served by sailing with another company.”

What’s really gotten the couple in trouble is that they posted all of their complaints — including Brenda Moran having her birthday greeting sent to the wrong stateroom! — and dealings with RC on their Web site Cruise Critic. There latest run-in involved a two week Alaska cruise on the Radiance of the Seas. Here are the bits that apparently sent RC over the edge, direct from the Moran’s “review”:

Our stateroom 8276 (AFT D1) was nicely appointed but the bathroom reeked of sewer smell for the entire 14 night cruise. Guest Relations did nothing but tell us about other guests who flush oranges, apples, silverware, diapers, etc down the toilet so we should talk to them. So our balcony door remained open the entire cruise even in 40 degree nights to keep the air fresh. Night 14 at midnight we have a guy banging on our door to deliver an envelope from the Hotel Manager giving us 20% off our next cruise. Too bad it took 2 weeks to do it.

Other Group Cruises, a gift was on the bed each night, but this cruise we got only 6 – DVD zipper case, a compass that is a clock also, pens that light up & unscrew to be a light, tote bag with Royal Caribbean scarf, backpack looking item that is actually a duffel bag with a Royal Caribbean scarf in it & what resembled a bench seat that actually the felt blanket pulls out to be a waterproof Royal Caribbean poncho which we used in 4 rainy days at ports.

We are Diamond members and on other Member Cruises we had FREE Seattle’s Best Specialty coffees (Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino as well as regular & decaf) but not this one. The Concierge Lounge is now for Suite Guests only. We have a Diamond Lounge which past Member Cruises had the machine with china cups & plates for continental breakfast for all Diamond & Diamond Plus to enjoy. This Diamond Lounge on Radiance had a plastic push button coffee server with paper cups & milk on ice. 30 minutes after it was delivered the coffee was cold.

While I can’t understand whole sentences here, it seems in general to be pretty trivial stuff (the sewage problem notwithstanding). Still, RC sided with the couple on this on, offering them $500 in addition to that 20 percent off voucher.

Not long after their review went live, a RC customer service executive contacted them to demand they take it down. They refused. A day later, they were blacklisted.

In fairness, other cruise fans who frequented Cruise Critic had been complaining that the couple was using the site, and complaining in general, simply to get freebies from RC. Some posters on the site even contacted RC directly to complain about, among other things, the couple getting that 20 percent off voucher and $500 for the sewage incident.

Whether the Morans were diligent consumer advocates or simply scam artists, RC is finished dealing with them. Last November, they sent the Morans a letter making the travel ban official: They cannot set foot on any RC ship, including subsidiaries Celebrity and Azamara.