Cruise couple shocked by near $100,000 tip

By Linsey McNeill
12/09/2022
Home » Cruise couple shocked by near $100,000 tip

Royal Caribbean accidentally charged a couple almost $100,000 after a meal in one of its speciality restaurants, leaving the husband and wife unable to use their credit card for the rest of their cruise.

The pair were charged the eye-popping amount after eating at Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver onboard Symphony of the Seas, according to cruise blog Cruise Hive.

It is understood the waiter accidentally keyed in the wrong amount for a tip, which wasn’t flagged up by the ship’s onboard systems.

The charge of $98,638,93 was immediately cancelled when it was spotted by the couple on their onboard account, but it remained as a holding amount by the card issuer for several days. As a result, the card couldn’t be used for onboard or onshore purchases for the rest of the cruise.

The couple had bought Symphony of the Seas ‘unlimited dining package’, which included the meal at Jamie’s Italian, for their seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, but they had left a tip after their meal. According to Cruise Hive, the waiter accidentally added an ID number instead of the dollar amount in the gratuity box.

The customer told Cruise Hive: “This has been pretty stressful to deal with while on vacation. We had our card decline while off the boat on an island, presumably because this authorization was locking up the available credit on the card.”

He said it wasn’t the fault of the waiter, but blamed ‘a tech problem and communication failure’ for the error.

While the ship’s Guest Services team had the authorisation removed from the American Express card, the funds remained locked up for several days.

The customer said he wasn’t told whether anyone from the cruise line had contacted American Express to try to resolve the issue more speedily and he himself spent ‘hours’ on the phone in a failed attempt to get a further resolution.

He told Cruise Hive he was relieved he hadn’t used a debit card for the payment as this could have impacted regular bills payments and other transactions from his bank account.

Travel Gossip has asked Royal Caribbean for a comment.

Photos is a stock image from Shutterstock

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