Several hours after arriving home from my vacation aboard the Anthem of the Seas from April 14- 21, 2018, I realized that I left my wedding/engagement rings (fused together) and my diamond earrings in the safe of my stateroom, which was opened and cleared out, but the jewelry must have slipped under the mat or were undetected by my husband when he cleared out the safe. I knew that they were in there because I took off my jewelry the first day of the sailing and put it in the safe to assure that I wouldn’t lose them on vacation. During the vacation, I got out of the habit of putting on my jewelry every day and completely forgot all about them until I got back from after the trip.
Frantically, I tried to call the ship directly (at a ridiculous price of $7.95/minute, even if no one answers), but after 11 minutes (and $87.45) of no one answering, I hung up the phone and called a general customer service number instead. This person walked me through the steps to file a lost and found claim on a website that Royal Caribbean uses called “ChargerBack.” I wrote a detailed description of my items and filled out the ChargerBack report on Saturday, April 21st, but did not expect to hear anything until the following Saturday, April 28th, since new guests were now in the cabin and the policy, as it was explained to me by numerous customer service agents, is to not disturb someone’s vacation. Surprisingly, on April 23rd, I received an email from ChargerBack that said “We have been unable to find your lost items” and it went on to say that my case has now been closed. I was furious because I knew exactly where the lost items were and since they didn’t wait until the current passengers were off the ship, that means that nobody even bothered to look into my case before closing it.
I made a huge stink on social media and I emailed the executive offices of Royal Caribbean and only then did someone (Stephanie) decide to look into my matter and guess what, my items were found. The email that I received from Stephanie stated the following “I’ve attempted to reach out to you a few times today, but unfortunately, I was unable to speak with you directly. I have great news! We’ve located your wedding rings along with your earrings. Please log back in to ChargerBack and fill out the section that asks for your financial information. There is a $27.04 USD charge for shipping, but once you input your information, we’ll send you your belongings.” Big surprise, someone looked in the safe and there was my jewelry, exactly where I said it would be.
I wish that’s where the story ends- I made a mistake and forgot my jewelry on the ship, someone found them, I paid $27.04 to return them by FedEx (the only option that Royal Caribbean/ChargerBack gave me), and I should have gotten them back. However that’s just the beginning.
The FedEx label was created on April 27, 2018 and was scheduled to be DELIVERED on Friday, May 4, 2018. However, it wasn’t even shipped out until May 7th (in other words, it was in Royal Caribbean’s hands and not turned over to FedEx from April 27th to May 7th (11 days- that should have been a red flag right there). Royal Caribbean tried to use the excuse that they had to wait for the ship to be in port before shipping it, but the Anthem of the Seas was in port actually twice during that time frame, on April 28th and May 3rd. On the day that FedEx finally received the package, the Anthem of the Seas was actually in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten and not in New Jersey at all, thus making RC’s argument invalid.
I finally got my package on May 8th, less than 24 hours after Royal Caribbean handed it over to FedEx. When I opened the package, there were no rings. All that was in there were a pair of earrings with mismatched backs, which immediately made me think that they aren’t mine. I would have known if my earrings had mismatched backs. I immediately called my contact, Stephanie, at Royal Carribean and left her several voice messages on May 8, 2018. She did not immediately contact me back, so I emailed her as well. She emailed me back on 5/8/18 and said, “I am so sorry for the delayed response. I haven’t been in the office lately. I am also very sorry for this. I am working with our lost and found department to try to rectify this for you. Please allow me some time to speak with their management to see what can be done. I will do everything possible to retrieve your wedding ring for you.”
During the waiting period, I was very upset, as I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I wouldn’t see my jewelry again.
Finally I received another email from Stephanie from the executive offices of Royal Caribbean on May 14th. It said the following:
“I am so sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been working very closely with our Global Security team to ensure your ring and earrings were sent out by our staff correctly. After review, I can whole heartedly confirm that the earrings and wedding ring were placed in the white envelope that was sent to your home address. I am so sorry that you were unable to locate them in the shipping bag, but after our thorough investigation, we can confirm that the jewelry was secured in the white envelope that was shipped in the FedEx bag. I can understand where this is stressful for you. I can ensure you I’ve done everything possible on my end to locate the missing jewelry for you as well as our onboard staff, but we do not have your jewelry in house. Allison, I am really sorry for any disappointment this has caused.”
Looking closely at the envelope, it is clear that there is an indentation in the envelope and that my ring was once in there. The platinum band of my ring was bent because I apparently bang my hand a lot, and it is clearly the same shape indented in the white envelope, so she is right, my rings were placed in the envelope. Also, I took the earrings that they delivered to me to my jeweler who confirmed that the earrings delivered are not the same ones sold to me- in fact, the ones delivered were cubic zirconia and not diamond at all. When I contacted Stephanie again, I mentioned among other things, “why wasn’t the envelope shipped out for eleven days and who was in possession of the items from the date that the shipping label was created until it was shipped eleven days later and what was the cause for the delay?” I received an email response about an hour later that said the following:
“I’m very sorry for the disappointment this has caused. Please trust our procedures are extremely strict when it comes to matters like these. I assure you we’ve gone back and confirmed every step taken in the process of reuniting you with your belongings and found no wrongdoing or mishandling on our end. To your point about the shipping label, it was created on the same day the items were packaged, which was on April 27th. However, the package wasn’t actually sent out until the sailing ended, which was on May 3rd. I hope this email, in addition to our previous explanations, have put your doubts to rest. However, if you decide to pursue this further by seeking legal guidance, your representative will need to contact our legal department directly through the proper channels.”
This is wrong! The package wasn’t sent out on May 3rd! It was sent out on May 7th and I have the FedEx tracking information, by the minute to prove this. If their policies are so “strict,” she would have known this.
Without a shadow of a doubt, I am convinced that Royal Caribbean found my items and someone in the company, whether it’s on the boat or on the shipping dock, opened the envelope and stole my items and replaced the earrings with other earrings to try to fool me. Well I wasn’t fooled and neither was my jeweler or anyone else who is now involved in this case. Someone in the company is a thief and this company is crooked to not accept the blame. I lost over $10,000 worth of jewelry, plus the $87.45 I paid to have nobody answer the phone plus the $27.04 I paid to have RC ship fake diamonds to my house. I am absolutely disgusted that, even with the facts stacked against them, Royal Caribbean refuses to accept blame. I hope that whoever is wearing my jewelry is enjoying it as much as I did for the past 10 years or if they sold it, I hope that they really needed the money. If you look up Royal Caribbean and/or ChargerBack reviews, you’ll see many other stories that sound eerily similar to mine. Bottom line is, if you do decide to sail on Royal Caribbean, leave anything of value at home. Royal Caribbean will absolutely never get my business again.
Product or Service Mentioned: Royal Caribbean Customer Care.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $10114.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I liked: Staff onboard, Cabin, Overall vacation.
I didn't like: People stealing from me, People lying to me, Companies not taking responsibility for their actions, Companies who place blame on others to cover their own butts.