Travel agent frantically tweets cruise line to delay ship to save his clients’ holiday – and a family reunion

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Travel agent frantically tweets cruise line to delay ship to save his clients’ holiday – and a family reunion

Agent Mark Bratt sent a series of desperate tweets to a cruise line to ask them to delay their ship’s departure from Miami after his clients were held up by Storm Eunice.

Manchester-based Mark was especially keen to make sure the couple didn’t miss the sailing as their daughter, who they hadn’t seen for two years, was working onboard.

Their other daughter and three-year-old grandson had flown out to the ship a week earlier, so they were looking forward to a family reunion.

However, the couple’s Lufthansa flight from Manchester to Munich was cancelled due to the storm, so the airline rebooked them on a British Airways’ flight to London from where they were due to connect to Philadelphia for a final flight to Miami.

However, the BA flight to London was delayed so they missed their connection to Philadelphia and were forced to spend the night in London.

Lufthansa and BA then rebooked them on a direct flight to Miami the following day, but that flight was also delayed 90 minutes – meaning they were likely to miss the Oasis of the Seas’ departure from Miami by just 30 minutes.

Mark of Mark Bratt Travel jumped on Twitter and began tweeting Royal Caribbean to ask if the ship could wait until they arrived.

“Would be great if check-in was open just a teeny 30 mins more…can’t bear the thought of parents seeing that ship set off without them,” he wrote.

He then regularly updated Royal Caribbean on Twitter with his clients’ progress.

Mark arranged for the transfer company, Protso Travel, to be ready to meet them ‘the second’ they emerged from the flight to take them straight to the ship and told Royal Caribbean when they were on the road.

“They are with the driver now,” he tweeted, “the ships [sic] check-in officially closed 45 minutes ago and it’s a 20 min drive,” later adding: “They are running for the boat.”

Finally, he tweeted: “THEY HAVE MADE IT” and posted a photo of the family reunited before thanking Royal Caribbean for letting them board late, and the transfer company and Lufthansa for their part in the drama.

Mark told Travel Gossip: “They were running from the car to the ship at 17:52. Check in closed at 16:30 and Oasis of the Seas was due to depart at 17:30. The Royal Caribbean Twitter team had been sent the backstory and the passenger names and had forwarded this information on to the ship.”

He said the couple’s daughter had also spoken to guest services and the head of security to alert them to her parents’ delay.

Mark said there was no way they would have been able to meet the ship at any other point on the cruise if they’d missed the departure because no-one was allowed to board part way through.

“We couldn’t even fly them to Mexico to meet up with their daughters for a couple of days as she’s not allowed off,” he added.

“They sent me this photo along with the words: “We are so so grateful”. It was an exciting, nail biting couple of hours!”

Mark also praised the transfer company, booked through Ratehawk. “They were amazing – willing to wait as long as it took and even sent me an image of where the driver was stood to help ensure they were collected the moment they made it though – very much invested in the cause,” he said.

Travel Gossip has approached Royal Caribbean for a comment. It hasn’t confirmed if or why the ship’s departure was delayed.

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