Wedding Planning from Hell [Updated 4.18.17]
1.) I signed a contract with Royal Caribbean's in-house wedding department.
2.) After 5 months of trying to contact my coordinator with no luck, I found out they sold their department to a 3rd party company.
3.) It's been 1+ month of failed attempts to work with them.
4.) I was forced to get an attorney.
I'll let you know how all of this turns out.
HISTORY & BACK STORY:
April 21, 2016: I locked in my wedding by paying for my wedding package in full.
June 2016: We scheduled my initial consultation with my wedding coordinator for June 2016.
June 15, 2016: It was then moved to August 9, 2016 because of a 'medical emergency'.
August 3, 2016: I received a call stating my meeting needed to be rescheduled (again) to August 22nd and that I was being assigned a new coordinator.
August 22, 2016: I had a very pleasant call with my new coordinator. She sent me a follow-up email shortly after our call to touch on some of the things we discussed.
August 26, 2016: I sent a detailed email to her with the items we discussed that needed addressed.
September 19, 2016: I sent a follow up email because I hadn't heard back.
October 5, 2016: I sent a 2nd follow up email because I hadn't heard back.
October 11, 2016: I sent a 3rd follow up email because I hadn't heard back.
Date Unknown: I placed a call and left a message asking for my coordinator to call me.
November 7, 2016: I sent a 4th follow up email because I hadn't heard back.
December 5, 2016: I placed a call, was told to forward my emails to the person that answered the phone because my coordinator has been 'busy' and she could help me.
December 5, 2016: I emailed this 'other person', as directed, and cc'd my coordinator.
January 5, 2017: I sent a follow up email to my coordinator and the 'other person' because I hadn't heard back and I received bounce back emails from both so I tried to respond to an email my coordinator sent me in August in case I had their emails wrong (which was doubtful but worth trying), and it also bounced back.
January 9, 2017: I called to find out what the heck is going on. At that time I was advised Royal Caribbean's wedding department was bought out by a 3rd party company and that the person they thought would be my coordinator was out sick.
January 9, 2017: My new coordinator emailed me 30 minutes following my phone call even though she was said to be out sick.
January 9, 2017: I emailed back 10 minutes after her email asking to set up a phone conference, before I email her my list of items to tackle, to make sure she has all of my information and that she has my wedding file from Royal Caribbean.
January 13, 2017: I hadn't heard back from my new coordinator so I called and left a message on her direct phone extension that morning.
January 13, 2017: I hadn't heard back so I sent a follow up email to my new coordinator that afternoon.
January 16, 2017: Still without a returned call or email I called and was on hold for 50 minutes before the receptionist even picked up. I was told my coordinator is out sick today and was also out sick on the 13th. I asked to speak with someone else. She said no one else was available to speak with.
January 17, 2017: I was on hold for about 15 minutes this time. Was told my coordinator is out sick. I demanded to speak to a supervisor. Was told someone would call me the following day because no one was available to speak with at that time.
January 18, 2017: No one called me.
January 18, 2017: I sent my coordinator another follow up email asking if she's back in the office today.
January 18, 2017: Still no contact from a supervisor, or anyone else, so I called back and I was on hold for 20 minutes before speaking to a receptionist. Was told my coordinator is out sick. I demanded to speak to a supervisor and let them know that someone was promised to call me back today but hasn't yet. Was told again that a supervisor was busy and that they would call me at 12:00pm EST the following day.
January 19, 2017: Still no call from a supervisor or my coordinator.
January 19, 2017: I sent another follow up email to my coordinator providing an initial list of questions that I need answered.
January 23, 2017: Still nothing from anyone so I sent another follow up email to my coordinator.
January 24, 2017: I called, was put on hold for 25 minutes, and finally had the pleasure of speaking with my, very un-educated and un-interested, coordinator. She claimed she hadn't seen any of my phone messages, voicemail message, or emails. She had no idea who I was. She was monotone and sounded like she was out of it and clearly didn't sound like she cared about her job or the fact that 5+ months has gone by without me being able to speak with anyone. She needed me to tell her what email address I used to email her at. I read off her email. She then asked what date I sent the email. I told her the list of dates that I emailed her. She claimed she still couldn't find my emails. She then asked me what email address I sent them from. She conveniently found one of my emails. We discussed a couple planning details based upon what I sent her, each time asking her a question she'd put me on hold for 10 minutes to 'go find out the answer' then she'd come back and either told me no, they couldn't do what I wanted or that I had to figure out the answer to my question myself. I literally sent her the absolute most detailed list of flowers that I wanted and she was clearly pulling stuff out of thin air because she would say "I see you need an archway of flowers" and I had to tell her, no... look at the document I gave you under the "NEED" header (the very first thing on the page) and she said "oh, I see you need vases for tables" and I said again, noo.... look at the document I gave you it doesn't say anything about vases. All I asked for was 3 bouquets, 3 boutonnieres and a table arrangement for my mom. This is when things went from really terrible to I need to get ahold of my lawyer.
January 24, 2017: I received a follow up email to our conversation that literally said this: Thank you for your inquiry with the Royal Celebrations Program. Please find the link to the brochure here to find information on the wedding packages we offer: http://www.royalcaribbean.com/statichtmlpage.do?pagename=brochure_weddings. This brochure will include a price list for the Salon, Food/Bar, Photography & Entertainment options. Ummm..... hello --- I have already signed a contract. I'm not inquiry about your program!
January 24, 2017: When speaking with my coordinator, I scheduled a call for the following day with the supervisor.
January 25, 2017: The supervisor didn't call me at our scheduled time.
January 25, 2017: An hour after our scheduled call, I emailed my coordinator regarding the lack of call and I was told she was called into an 'emergency meeting'
January 25, 2017: The supervisor emailed me apologizing for the missed meeting. Asked to reschedule for the 26th or 27th. I told her the 27th works for me and she confirmed saying "great, I look forward to our call."
January 25, 2017: I received another email from the supervisor saying "from my understanding we are missing some information from your past planner" and she asked me to resend the info to her.
January 27, 2017: As instructed, I emailed the supervisor first thing in the morning with the items to discuss on our call. I received an email back with an 'out of office' response.
January 27, 2017: I emailed my coordinator letting her know these actions are inadmissible and that if things don't change, I'll be forced to get my attorney involved.
February 6, 2017: I (finally) received an email from my coordinator (addressed to the wrong name). It was a reply to an email I sent her on January 23rd and it said "thank you for your email..." ummm.... we already discussed the things in that email, why is she responding to that and thanking me? The email she responded to was me saying "please confirm that you received this email, if I don't hear from you, I will reach back out shortly." Anyways, in her email she told me that she has been transferred to a new department and that I will be getting, yet again, a new coordinator.
February 6, 2017: I (finally) received an email from the supervisor apologizing for missing the meeting 10 days prior and asking to reschedule. I rescheduled for Feb. 10th.
February 9, 2017: I sent my new, new, new coordinator an intro email. She in turn responded within 2 hours with a very nice email. We scheduled a t/c for February 14th.
February 9, 2017: When confirming my t/c with my coordinator for Feb. 14th, I specifically included that she is to initiate the call at my work number.
February 10, 2017: Outcome of call with supervisor: I almost lost it within the first 60 seconds of our telephone call. She started with 'I was told you have some concerns regarding your wedding planning'. I started stuttering I was so angry, yet I managed to stay calm. I said, 'to start, how about you personally missed 3 scheduled telephone meetings with me previously - how's that for concerns'. She didn't know how to respond, she was completely surprised and claimed she had no idea she had any other meetings scheduled with me. I have emails between the two of us documenting 2 other scheduled phone calls - I'm not sure what's so difficult to understand here or how she can act like she had no idea - did she not prepare for this meeting? Quickly passing that without much more than a quick, 'sorry bout that', response, she went into asking if I've ever been on a cruise or attended a cruise wedding. I said I've been on a cruise but never a cruise wedding. She then went to explain, in a way that I felt belittled, that cruise ships are extremely limited to the requests that they can accommodate. She was saying this in reference to the 20+ questions that I emailed my planner. I'm sorry, I'm confused - more than half of my questions had to do with - was my wedding file transferred from RC to your company? Do I have to sign a new contract? Is my wedding date still reserved? My more complicated questions were, can I get pricing on flowers? What can I expect to pay for hair and makeup? Can I have a cocktail hour in my stateroom? - I'm an extremely reasonable person and my questions were really quite simple. For her to question me as if I was asking for the moon was quite disheartening. I'm a paying customer, tell me if you can accommodate what I'm looking to pay for, if not, ok. What I thought was going to be a reassuring phone call turned into me being even less confident in their abilities.
February 10, 2017: I emailed the supervisor an overview of our conversation to recap and included this history and back story of all that has gone on: Thank you for taking time to speak with me today about my mounting concerns. Below is a brief summary of troubles that I've had with my planning process; I apologize for the informal manner in which it is written. If you'd like more information about my experience with ***, I'd be happy to elaborate - just let me know. As you will notice, I left out names of all parties, as this information is publicly posted and I am respectful to keeping company confidences. While as you can see, I've wasted enough unnecessary time with this process, however, should you have any additional questions, please advise. Thank you for your time. I look forward to a favorable outcome.
February 14, 2017: At my scheduled time, my coordinator called my cell phone and I missed the call because I couldn't be on my cell so I immediately emailed her at 2:04pm asking her, again, to call my work. At 2:25pm I hadn't heard anything so I emailed her again saying we'd have to reschedule because I can't wait any longer. 2:36pm she emailed me saying she called my cell because she didn't receive my 2:04 email asking her to call me there, even though I had sent it on the 9th.
February 14, 2017: Finally had a call with my coordinator. It was ok. She was more informative than other individuals I have been in contact with so that's about the only thing going for me at this point.
February 16, 2017: Received email from my new planner with a line stating: "...I just spoke with *** (program manager), and she informed me that because of all the communication errors and stressful issues that you have had with previous coordinators, Royal Ocean Events and Royal Caribbean have given you a $250 discount that can be used towards any part of your wedding!..."
February 16, 2017: Received an email from my planner saying she will get back to me once she hears from the ship regarding some of the items we spoke about. (Two months later, haven't heard back yet.)
February 17, 2017: I emailed Supervisor stating: I'd like to email someone at your corporate level, specifically the person or persons you emailed regarding my situation. Please provide me with their name, email and position with your company. If I don't receive this information within 3 business days, I will mail a letter instead.
February 17, 2017: Supervisor emailed me back: I did forward your email of concerns to our corporate office and did heard back. They would like to offer you a complimentary couples message for the lack of planning you have had. I spoke with Isabella today in regards to your wedding and she has advised me that everything is going well and the planning is coming along great. Please let me know if you have any further questions I can assist with.
February 17, 2017: I responded to Supervisor who didn't acknowledge my sole question: Please provide me with the requested information.
April 18, 2017: I still haven't heard anything from anyone. Cutting my planner some slack, part of this is in my court right now, I have to put together a new list of all of my requests so they can see what they can accommodate and get priced out for me.
GOOD THINGS HAPPENING:
January 24, 2017: That evening I called the Group department at Royal Caribbean grasping for straws hoping I could find someone else to assist me with some planning details. The nice lady I spoke with gave me the direct email address of the Harmony of the Seas on-board events coordinator. I emailed her and got a very nice and detailed response back the next morning.
January 25, 2017: I received the response email from her. She was nice and very helpful. After speaking with my wedding coordinator on January 24th, I was advised that they can't book the cocktail receptions for me outside of actually wedding day event stuff. Not knowing if that was true or not, I wanted to take as much planning stuff away from the wedding company as possible seeing as how they've been screwing me over all this time. The on-board person explained that since I have a Genie for my Star Class Suite, that my Genie will handle the non-wedding cocktail events. She went as far as explaining how this will work in detail. The only thing that left was to find out how many people our room could accommodate for a drink reception, which they were working on finding out for me. Within 5 hours I was given the exact info I was looking for with regard to our room capacity. So within less than a 24 hour period I was able to get a handful of questions answered from the on-board coordinator (for a coordinator I wasn't even paying) that helped take care of some of the details that hold a significant part of our wedding budget. FINALLY something went right!
Kudos to you Harmony of the Seas Shipboard Event Coordinator - you have no idea how this little favor really helped me!