If you want to save a little money on your next SeaWorld vacation, booking it all in the same place might be a good move. That’s what Jim Strasbaugh thought when he found a two-day package at SeaWorld Orlando through SeaWorld Vacations.
He was wrong.
It took a personal tragedy to find out about some of the restrictive terms and conditions on his package that made it not such a good deal.
“After spending the first half day in the park we returned to the hotel, only to find that there was a death in the family that day,” he says. “Needless to say we had to cut our vacation short. The hotel was very accommodating and checked us out in the morning to show that we only used one of our two night stay.”
Kudos to the DoubleTree on I-Drive for helping Strasbaugh in his time of need, by the way.
But then things came unraveled. There was still the matter of the unused all-day dining, the tickets, two premium “adventures” and the actual hotel refund, which would be up to SeaWorld Vacations, not the DoubleTree, to refund. I’ll let Strasbaugh explain what happened next.
At first they were very accommodating, refunding the additional monies we had paid for the premium adventures and said to get confirmation from the hotel that we had checked out. We said that would not be a problem and we would like to continue our stay at a later date and we would be happy to be issued vouchers for the unused portion of our vacation or refund what ever was easier for them.
They said they would most likely just refund the hotel but the additional day in the park as well as the all day dining would be lost. They stated that the additional day in the park had to be used with in the week and the all-day dining would not be honored.
After speaking to a supervisor, we were later issued a voucher for the additional day to be used within a year.
Bear in mind that package deals are highly restrictive, and even if you buy these items a la carte, they still can’t be used any which way.
Five days later, after not hearing from SeaWorld Vacations about the hotel refund I called them.
The vacation specialist knew nothing of the request for hotel voucher or refund. She wrote an email to the hotel department for follow up.
The hotel department did call back one week after our vacation ended and said since no voucher could be issued for hotel stay we would receive a refund for the second night of the hotel.
By this time, Stasbaugh had become frustrated. All of the same people who, after he had to cancel his vacation under dreadful circumstances — circumstances that were beyond his control — seemed to be turning their back on him.