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Mistake in promotional ad... will it be honoured?

Holland America Line - boards.cruisecritic.com
Hello HAL people

I just booked my first HAL cruise the other night. I've sailed NCL before, and was torn on choosing them again (they had a great promotion on that would get me a lot more) but so many suggested I try HAL so we went for it. I did a lot of research on here and on other websites and was looking forward to it.

So, as part of my research, I clicked on the "Ready Set Sail" promotion at the bottom of the HAL website. I went through to see what the select sailings were, and my sailing and date were listed. The banner add said "Free upgrade to oceanview."

So we ended up booking an inside, anticipating that. We booked online in the evening after their offices closed, so I called them first thing in the morning to inquire how I would go about getting the upgrade. The girl I spoke to didn't seem to know what was going on (she first told me the promotion only applied to suites, then said it didn't apply to my specific cruise). I told her the exact buttons I pressed and showed her exactly what it said and how it listed my cruise. She ended up getting my manager. They then said, sorry, your cruise has free upgrades to verandah.

Ok.. so then I clicked on every date of that ship's sailing, listed under the banner that said "Free upgrade to oceanview" and every sailing has the same price for oceanview and verandah, but it says nothing about that being the promotion. I looked at some other cruises/destinations, and noticed that the banner either said "Free upgrade to Oceanview" or "free upgrade to verandah" depending on the ship/itinerary.

So clearly someone made a mistake with putting that banner above my itinerary, because apparently they intended for it to say "free upgrade to verandah." I understand it is a mistake- but it very clearly says to oceanview, and I booked thinking I was eligible for that promotion.

Now I haven't experienced these problems with NCL, and I was a little disappointed with the customer service rep arguing with me with incorrect facts. I am so tempted to switch to NCL,. I would be getting an oceanview and unlimited drinks OR $200 onboard credit, but the embarkation port is more conventient with HAL and our family from abroad is all set for this cruise and booked in as well.

IMO, since it was an error in their advertising, it should be honoured (and they should fix the ad so there isn't the same mistake). Any experience with issues like this with HAL? I do not like conflict and hate being "that person" that complains... but I feel like I did my research to ensure that our cruise/date was, in fact, eligible for the upgrade based on the Ready Set Sail page!
Date: Jan 18, 2015   


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