Royal Pacific failures

posted by Jeff | Monday, January 17, 2011, 7:57 PM | comments: 0

The start of our vacation did not go particularly well. The travel itself wasn't bad, aside from having to get up in the middle of the night (thanks, Joe!) and Simon's total lack of plane napping. I was giddy to arrive at the hotel.

But things took a horrible turn. It took a grand total of eight phone calls to obtain the things we booked in advance, namely a crib and a mini-fridge. The crib arrived about three hours after we checked-in, the fridge an hour after that. They also wanted to charge for the fridge, though they indicated on the phone previously that there was no charge because it was for baby supplies. I think it's pretty normal for most hotels to offer those for medications and/or baby stuff. That the hotel doesn't have them in the first place is kind of lame. Then a call to replace the feather pillows (we're both allergic) took two calls and 90 minutes, only to have a guy show up with one pillow. Twenty minutes after that, he showed up with three more, one of which was feather. Wow.

I really don't think we were asking for anything out of line or atypical. In a hotel that gets a four-diamond award in particular, these are slam-dunk easy things to provide. Two years ago, I probably could have even just rolled with it, but when you cross three time zones and have an infant with you, your tolerance for this kind of service failure basically ceases to exist. Simon was a mess last night from the lack of sleep, so you can imagine what my patience was like.

In the morning, I talked to one of the managers, the same one I talked to the night before, prior to the pillow swap fail. I wasn't a dick about it, but explained my displeasure over the whole thing. I also told her about a number of things that I found about the room to be substandard for the hotel's rating. Things like a broken phone, lights unplugged, broken shower curtain rings, dust accumulation in the corners, etc. I mean, it wasn't stuff that bothered me exactly, but you just don't expect that from a hotel allegedly of this caliber. Even a Holiday Inn Express gets this stuff right.

The manager offered us a comp breakfast for the rest of the week, which was good enough for me. I was done thinking about the prior night's issues, and moved on. Of course, and I wish I could be surprised, there was no breakfast coupon left under the door as she said there would be, so I ended up talking to yet another manager tonight to get that squared away.

This is the first real vacation we've had in more than a year, where we more or less have no obligations (not counting visting my mom, which we did today). I'm not trying to scam anyone, I just want to get what I'm paying for. That's why I don't mind paying for four and five-diamond hotels. I told the manager that in four or five visits to Disney, staying in the "shitty" Pop Century hotel, I never had issues like this, and that place was like $60 a night! One time I had a king size bed request failure, but that was the worse of it, and it was fixed the next night.

I think we're squared away now, but I just couldn't believe how many screw ups we encountered, over simple things. Travel weary me plus substandard service is not a good combination.


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