Celebrity Cruises were offering Free Parking at the port on all it’s Summer 2012 Celebrity Eclipse sailings from Southampton providing the booking was made by 31st July 2011.
Sounds great! The offer was worth over £150 on a typical 14 night cruise.
Asking around the team here at Cruise-Traveller we have found that 7 bookings have been made by members of the team, friends or family. All were made by 31st July 2011 and qualify for free parking. The bookings are all for cruises departing between May 2012 and October 2012.
So what’s the hitch?
One of the team has finally, this week, managed to get hold of a printed Celebrity brochure and read in horror that in order to qualify for the free parking a booking has to be made by 7th August 2011 at the ABP Parking website. A fact that none of us were told when we booked. We had all assumed that we would be sent details of the free parking places nearer the time of the cruise. Even now none of us have been notified by Celebrity that we need to book our free parking online.
Out of the seven bookings referred to above only one has gone online and booked their free parking and that was purely luck as they were never notified that they had to.
Two of our team have contacted their travel agents who have queried the matter with Celebrity only to be told that they are too late and there is no flexibility.
This appears to be somewhat of a scam as Celebrity have publicised what seems to be a generous offer to increase bookings and then have used the small print of the offer to ensure that the take-up by customers is very low.
Celebrity Cruises are trying to break in to the UK market and although they have a great cruise product this is no way to enhance their image amongst UK cruisers.
Six out of the Seven families in this instance are extremely annoyed at the underhand tactics used by Celebrity in regard to this offer and several are even considering cancelling their cruises given some of the other great offers being made by competing cruise lines at the moment.
Seriously how many customers would think about going online and booking parking more than one year in advance unless they were told they had to? Something smells very fishy about this offer.
If Celebrity come up with any other cruise offers in future be sure to read the small print …. assuming you can find it!