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I booked a cruise with Direct Line Cruises (DLC) which started in Europe and disembarked in India. I booked the cruise by telephone using their agent, Barbara Gronowski. After booking the cruise, I had been in constant contact with Barbara telephonically as well as by e-mail to find out the requirements for my cruise. Barbara failed to let me know that I needed a travel visa for India and as a result my husband and I had to disembark the ship in the Middle East. We lost several days of cruising which we had paid for in advance and in addition had to buy new airline tickets from Dubai to the US. DLC failed as a travel agency on two accounts. According to the US Department of Labor, one of the job functions of a travel agent is to make the client aware of the visa requirements for a travel itinerary. I have written to DLC about this. The response I received was that I signed an acknowledgement package that stated that it is my responsibility to determine, obtain and provide all necessary documentation. I did sign the acknowledge form and tried to determine from my travel agent, Barbara Gronowski what paperwork was necessary. I do not understand how else I am supposed to determine requirements other than through my travel agent. Unlike DLC, I am not a licensed professional in the travel agency industry. DLC did get payment for services rendered as a travel agency but did not perform the duties of a travel agency. The second way in which they failed was in not providing me with assistance in returning home from the middle east. When I found out that my husband and I had to disembark early I e-mailed Barbara several times requesting assistance in booking flights back. I received an apology e-mail back for the inconvenience but no assistance. Again, the US Department of Labor defines a travel agency as providing assistance to clients if they become stranded.The poor quality of service provided by DLC had ruined our vacation, caused a huge emotional and financial burden to my husband and I.
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