My husband and I called CheapCaribbean (CC for the rest of this review) to book a trip to the Bahamas in June. We have used CC in the past and we wanted to stay at the same place we did the last two times, the Breezes Bahamas. We did not even think to look at their website since we had been there before. We told the booking agent what we wanted, including the fact that we were looking for a place for adults to relax. She found the hotel and booked our trip. Easy, we are all set! Not so fast...
We get to the Breezes Bahamas at noon, no problem. Our room is not ready yet, so we say "No problem," we can wait at the beach. During this conversation, the counter agent asked us if we were told that there were going to be a lot of kids there. WHAT?! NO, we were not told, nor do we want anything to do with a lot of kids running around. What is going on, we asked. He points to a large banner out front. It is "Grad Week" and the resort is full of 16-18-year-olds! As we were discussing it with the counter agent, a bus full of 100+ teenagers pull up and they start piling out. THIS WILL NOT WORK! The only kids we want to see have four legs and are waiting for scraps under our breakfast table! This is not the mature adult relaxing atmosphere we were looking forward to. More like Spring Break on steroids!
We proceed to call CC and wait and wait and wait for someone to pick up the hold line. I explain the situation and the agent on the line tells me that they were not aware of any "Grad Week" so it is not their fault and we will need to deal with it. How could they not know about it, I argue? She puts me on hold then comes back and says she pulled up their website and that there is nothing on the site about it. She repeats that there is nothing they can do, and we will just need to deal with it. Did I mention that I had to move four times in order to find a quiet place where I could hear the agent?
While I am on hold, my husband has found the resort manager. I tell her what CC said and she verified what I knew in the first place. They tell all their partners when their events are over a year in advance and it is posted on their website. I pull up their website on my phone and there it is - Grad Week is held May-June 2019. We would have seen this if we looked at the site, but instead, we depended on our travel company to make us aware of these types of events.
The manager was very understanding and told us if we did not check in, she would release our room and we would not be obligated to pay. That’s great but now what?
I call CC back and am on hold for eternity until someone answers. I tell them who I am and had to repeat the entire situation. They put me on hold again, so I wait on hold, wasting international phone minutes and a beautiful afternoon in the Bahamas.
After three more hold times, I am finally told they will try to find us another place to stay and do I know what places are around there. Isn’t that their job? Luckily, I am familiar with the area and told them two resorts that I knew of close by.
After three hours of waiting to hear back, they call to tell me that they can get us into the resort next door for the same price we paid, but it is not all-inclusive. This won’t work because we were not expecting to pay for all our meals and drinks and do not wish to do so now. I tell her we will wait to hear from the all-inclusive one.
Another hour goes by and we finally get the call saying we have a room at that Melia but that we will have to pay $180. I argue with the agent until finally they agree to cover the cost.
It is 7 pm by the time we take a cab to the Melia. Our first day is wasted because of a simple detail that CC knew about and tried to act like they didn’t. I do have to say that the Melia is AWESOME and we will be staying there the next time we travel to the Bahamas. Much more sophisticated with free paddle boards which we thoroughly enjoyed. AND no drunk teenagers puking in the pool or smoking inside the building. Finally, vacation can begin.
So, the review has a happy ending, right? Not so fast...
On the 4:30 PM return flight home, I find out that we could catch an earlier flight in our connecting city. We got off the plane and head to the gate where the earlier flight would be leaving. No problem the counter agent said. There would be a $25 per person change fee. $25 beats waiting in Charlotte for almost four hours. I give her my credit card and there is a problem. The system is not allowing her to change the flight. Why? Because it was booked through CC. The only way we can make a change is to go through CC. Oh boy.
I make the call and I wait. And wait. And wait. We have an hour before the flight leaves, I should be able to get to someone, right? This is something else I would investigate before booking with them. I have never seen or dealt with this before and did not know there was even a restriction. I have my husband call on his phone and choose new reservation thinking that maybe he can get through sooner than I can on the customer service line. He waits. The clock is ticking, and the flight is boarding. I pled with the agents to let us change the flight but even though there are 16 empty seats on the flight, there is nothing they can do since we booked through CC. After 20 minutes, my husband gets through to someone and I take the phone. Unfortunately, they are unable to do anything since it is the wrong department. I stress the urgency of the call hoping to get transfer immediately and he tells me that there are three people in line before me and “Good Luck”. With the doors closing, we give up, knowing we are sticking around the airport a few more hours because our booking company would not answer the phone. Thanks, CheapCaribbean. Disappointing start, disappointing finish.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
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