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Smokeyham

Ever Been on a Cruise That You Could Not Wait to Finish?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, clo said:

I know. That's the hard part for us. Today is day 14 of social distancing and I'm getting real tired of it. I actually looked up the code here in Reno for parking an occupied vehicle (our small motorhome) on the street. We'd be good for 48 hours. I just want to look at something different when we get up in the AM. Thanks for your reply. Cath

Today was suppose to be the first day of our Caribbean B2B cruise. Woke up to a light dusting of snow this morning instead. Hopefully our September cruise is still a go. 🤞

Edited by davekathy

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18 hours ago, Smokeyham said:

Realizing that we are on a website for those who enjoy cruising, I am curious if anyone has been on a cruise where you could not wait for the journey to end?   If so, what was the reason?  Was it too long, you didn't like your fellow passengers, the service was poor, or.......?

 

 

Yes.  Twice.  The first was on Adventure of the Seas.  I love that ship, but this cruise turned out to be a quinceanera cruise.  The passenger behavior was absolutely awful.  I couldn't wait to bet off that boat.

 

The second was on Norwegian Dawn.  The service, food and cleanliness was atrocious.  I swore I would never cruise that ship again.  

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Posted (edited)

Well, I've told this story before in various forms but since I've got time today, I'll give the long version. Skip over, if you don't enjoy a good lengthy yarn...

 

I grew up cruising from an early age (with my parents) and when I got married in the mid-1980s, I wanted to introduce my new husband to the wonderful vacation that cruising was. We were getting married in Fort Lauderdale, where my parents had retired (and my grandparents lived for many years) so it seemed like a no-brainer to book a relaxing cruise for part of our honeymoon. Only slight hitch was that we would have to depart on a Sunday as the wedding was on Saturday evening -- and back then, there were fewer ships that set sail on Sundays.

 

I'd only ever sailed on two cruise lines at that point -- both of which would be considered mainstream but on the upper end (and perhaps with a more marked difference in those days than now when compared with the mainstream ships/service of today.) The only ship that worked for our honeymoon departure was an older NCL ship, not very large, either the Sunward or Starward (I have totally blocked the name out of my memory...) My mother, as a new retiree but also traveler, cruiser, and designated family trip planner, was well aware that this NCL ship was not going to be to the same standard I knew from previous cruises, and tried to warn me off, but I wasn't having it. How bad could it be?

 

Ay, ay, ay. I should've listened, Sorry, mom. Sorry ex-DH.

 

Initially everything seemed fine. Our room, a window cabin (balconies were very expensive back then), was on the warm side when we arrived, but -- experienced cruise that I was, I said that once we closed the curtains and the ship was underway, it would cool down.

 

We looked around the ship, watched the sail-away -- which in those days was fun, with streamers, people at the docks waving off friends and family, steel drums by the pool -- and then we went to dress for dinner. Room was still warm... I was a little surprised that there was no recognition of our honeymoon, as our TA had told us to expect a bottle of champagne and a little OBC.  

 

I knew about cruise dining and had had our travel agent request and get confirmation that we had a table for two, as newlyweds. Tables for two were much harder to come by back then, and I knew to go the extra step to secure one. First real sign of trouble -- we showed up in the dining room and were escorted to a table for 8.  I politely went to the person at the podium and said we had requested and been confirmed for a two-top. Blank response. Surely not. There is nothing we can do. All the while looking at us expectantly.  We got nowhere. I told NDH (new DH) that we'd get it sorted tomorrow, let's just enjoy the evening. He was a bit cranky but complied.

 

We didn't get back to our cabin until after midnight. I had a travel alarm clock (I still use a similar one) that showed not just the time but also date, and temperature. It was 87 degrees in our cabin. We called the front desk and were told someone would come look at it first thing tomorrow morning.  Needless to say, my DH couldn't help comparing the tiny cabin, somewhat shopworn furnishings, and unmanageable temperature with the lovely suite we'd had the evening before (after the wedding) at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa....  

 

From here it got worse. Much worse. They said air was fixed but the temperature hovered between 82 degrees (at about 6am) and got progressively hotter throughout the day, sometimes reaching 90 degrees. Did I mention we were married at the end of August?  And our cruise was headed to the western Caribbean?  After continuous complaints, they finally brought us one, tiny, fan (about 8") to cool the cabin some. After we both took showers before dressing for dinner and I had dried my hair, it was almost unbearable to get dressed. My makeup literally melted.

 

Guess which type of cruisers really enjoy spending time alone together in their cabin?  Honeymooners. We were left to swelter in the heat and we literally spent as little time in the cabin as we could.

 

At least I could get dinner sorted, right?  Wrong. I brought my confirmation from my TA with me to the maitre d' the following afternoon, in his office. He was what I'd characterize as central casting for a shifty, on-the-take maitre d'.  He smoothly apologized, said there must have been a miscommunication somewhere, then gave us that same sort of pregnant pause we'd noticed the evening before from his deputy in the dining room. We waited an awkward minute, and he eventually pretended to consult his seating chart -- no, he could not change us to a two-top; nothing was available. The ship was fully booked with a large group (more on that later....), and his hands were tied. We left feeling very bleak indeed.

 

When we arrived at dinner that evening and told them our table number, we got the joyous news that we had miraculously been awarded a table for two!   Our happiness lasted about 45 seconds until we were walked to the table: a small two-top that had hastily been added (shoved might be a more descriptive word) at the very back of the dining room, just next to the galley door where busboys were whizzing in and out in an unending stream. Yes, close enough that we could feel the breeze of their passing.  DH's smile became a very deep frown. He admitted to me that he'd gone back to the maitre d' with a hefty tip (at least to us young newlyweds) and the recipient of said tip promised he'd somehow find us a "pleasant" table for two.  According to DH, the tip was what he had been waiting for all along -- I just didn't recognize it as this had NEVER been my experience on past cruises.

 

There were some angry words with the deputy in the dining room -- from both of us. But this was the best they could or would do. (And keep in mind, there were no specialty restaurants at this stage, or maybe just one. This was before "freestyle" was dreamed up. And buffets did not serve similar food to the MDR at dinner time...)

 

We couldn't be in our room, so we spent a fair amount of time around the pool. The ship was small and there was only one main pool (maybe only one pool altogether?). The large group I mentioned above was composed of women who sold Aloette brand cosmetics -- like a kind of Avon or Mary Kay enterprise. They would take over the pool deck for portions of the morning and afternoon: they would all sit around the edge of the pool with their legs dangling in the water, and would sing several "company" songs (including an "Aloette" version of the classic "Gentile Alouette" song that I still hear in nightmares), their leader exhorting them to "sing louder!" No one could get into the pool while they did this, without asking repeatedly for them to move aside. Despite requests from other passengers, NCL staff did not to prevent them from these activities.  The group also blocked off one or two of the main lounges during the day for lectures/sales programming -- leaving us with few places to hang out.

 

My DH just could not understand what I had liked about cruising. The ship was not elegant, the food was not outstanding, the decor was nothing great and the activities were definitely -- different -- to what I had described from previous cruises. About the most pleasant thing I can recall is walking together on the promenade deck at sunset and looking at schools of flying fish near us, or standing near the bow late at night and seeing the moon on the ocean. They had no record of anything from our TA -- no champagne, no OBC. (She later confirmed she had arranged for them... of course, back then cell phones were rare and ships did not offer internet). 

 

After two sea days, we were ready to "jump ship" at our first port but we were just unsure how to go about it. We were in Mexico and I don't think DH even had a passport, plus we didn't exactly have the funds to book a full-fare ticket home (well, we could have, but were very frugal as we were saving for a house). So we stuck it out for the week. Things did not improve.

 

All of the NCL staff we had reason to engage during the cruise seemed to have an attitude of wanting to do as little as possible to help us. I can write lightly about it now, but I felt terrible at the time and trust me, tears were shed as I felt I'd ruined our honeymoon experience. We felt trapped. NCL never acknowledged the cabin issue nor offered any refund or FCC (much less common back then, so we probably didn't even know to ask for one). I could not get DH to try another cruise for 10 years -- literally on our 10th anniversary, when we took a cruise from NY to Bermuda on Celebrity Zenith, and he loved it. 

 

I am not a difficult person; I roll well with the punches and am not picky nor hard to please. I have never, in a lifetime of traveling land and sea, in expensive hotels or cheap dives, been treated as badly as the NCL staff treated us. I vowed I'd never spend another cent with them and I haven't. On the rare occasion that I think about it now, I chuckle and imagine all the money I've spent on travel since then, and how NCL would have benefited from some of that largesse had they treated us -- not even "well" but just "decently".  We were primed to enjoy ourselves -- they put every obstacle possible in our way to keep that from happening. Shame on you, NCL!

 

Edited by cruisemom42
clarity

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Cynthia, OMG.....so sorry this happened to you. I never knew this story (not sure if you ever posted about

it over on the Fashion forum or not over the years) but what a horrific experience!:classic_wacko::classic_sad:

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Two of them, actually.

 

First was a Carnival Cruise that I won at a casino.  Next to us was a cabin with 4 20-somethings.  Across the hall were their four friends.  All day and all night we got to listen to them going back and forth slamming doors and the balcony door.  Pure misery.

 

The other, sadly, was also one of my favorite cruises:  28-day circumnavigation of Australia.  But towards the end it was just too long.  I wanted to go home.

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16 minutes ago, Lois R said:

Cynthia, OMG.....so sorry this happened to you. I never knew this story (not sure if you ever posted about

it over on the Fashion forum or not over the years) but what a horrific experience!:classic_wacko::classic_sad:

 

Crazy, right?  And the Zenith cruise (first on Celebrity) was so fantastic; it was literally like night and day.

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3 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Crazy, right?  And the Zenith cruise (first on Celebrity) was so fantastic; it was literally like night and day.

Yes....crazy for sure.  I sailed Zenith right before she left the fleet (I think in 2006/2007)?...she was a great little

vessel.

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17 hours ago, ldubs said:

I have not been on a cruise that I wanted to get over with because of the cruise or experience.  But, my tolerance for travel is just about three weeks max.  I have been on lengthy trips where I was just ready to come home.   

My wife and I are going to stretch our tolerance level in the coming years with 30 days, then 60 + days, and finally try a world adventure. 

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

I vowed I'd never spend another cent with them and I haven't. On the rare occasion that I think about it now, I chuckle and imagine all the money I've spent on travel since then, and how NCL would have benefited from some of that largesse had they treated us -- not even "well" but just "decently".  We were primed to enjoy ourselves -- they put every obstacle possible in our way to keep that from happening. Shame on you, NCL!

 

Wow!!  

Thank you for sharing that.  So sad that you had a 10-year hiatus from cruising, and that your honeymoon was ruined.   Maitre D sounds like a piece of work!  😡

I'm glad you were able to get back into cruising and have enjoyed fun cruises since then.

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

Our happiness lasted about 45 seconds until we were walked to the table: a small two-top that had hastily been added (shoved might be a more descriptive word) at the very back of the dining room, just next to the galley door where busboys were whizzing in and out in an unending stream. Yes, close enough that we could feel the breeze of their passing.  

 

 

I mentioned Norwegian Dawn as my example.  This part of your story reminded me of a similar experience we had on Dawn.  We too had a table next to the galley door and every time they wizzed by with the door flying open, it actually made my wife's hair blow.  We got up and left the dining room.  

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Posted (edited)

We have no trouble traveling for two months or more at a time.  We do this twice a year.  But neither of us would want to spent a month on a cruise ship.  Three weeks is tops for us.  More often 14 days.    We travelled for six month on retirement with four last minute cruises interspersed.  10 days to 14 days.  Perfect for us.  Our 21 day was done because of a mid trip accident that temporarily hampered DW’s mobility.  Otherwise it would not have been considered.

l

Edited by iancal

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1 hour ago, c-boy said:

My wife and I are going to stretch our tolerance level in the coming years with 30 days, then 60 + days, and finally try a world adventure. 

 

Once you have the objective, the search and selection process in itself can be kind of fun and exciting.  Go for it!  

 

BTW, one of our sons lives in your town.   Looks like Sonoma county is doing ok with the CV, if "ok" is a fair term.  You guys have been through enough with the fires.  

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20 hours ago, Smokeyham said:

Realizing that we are on a website for those who enjoy cruising, I am curious if anyone has been on a cruise where you could not wait for the journey to end?   If so, what was the reason?  Was it too long, you didn't like your fellow passengers, the service was poor, or.......?

 

One request.... If you have not been in this situation, then please just don't post "No."   Most of us have been on very pleasant cruises, so I assume this is the default!

 

Thanks.

 

 

Three or four times. As you get close to the end and get stuck with sea days you just want off. This is especially true on cruises over 14 nights, but to us the real key is the sea days. Never happens if we are in port daily.

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Yes. My first (and almost my last) when my husband surprised me with a New York to Bermuda cruise on one of the Cunard ships for our 25th anniversary. (We have now been married for 54 years so that was quite a while ago).  Anyway, we had barely gotten out into the Atlantic when a big storm came up and I, along with many of the other passengers, got really seasick. Crew were handing out barf-bags and I recall stepping over a pile of vomit in the hallway. My husband felt fine and off he went to the dining room without me, although he later reported very few other passengers were present. Well, we finally made it to Bermuda and I have never been so happy to get off anything in my life. I enjoyed our few days in Bermuda, but dreaded the return sail.  Fortunately, it wasn't as bad, but I was a nervous wreck and it took ten years for my husband to talk me into another cruise. Now I love cruising and with the bigger ships, any wave action I notice is no problem with dramamine.

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On 3/28/2020 at 9:27 AM, davekathy said:

Today was suppose to be the first day of our Caribbean B2B cruise. Woke up to a light dusting of snow this morning instead. Hopefully our September cruise is still a go. 🤞

Yeah, we should have been leaving SEA for Oslo and then a cruise and then Paris. And we're continuing to have spits and spurts of snow. We've already canceled our early Sept. trip. Even IF the virus is better understood our retirement monies have taken a real hit and it's unlikely that they'll have come all the way back.

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Our last cruise was on celebrity and started in hawaii and ended in vancouver. We choose this option because my DH has never been on a flight as long as going to Hawaii and was very apprehensive about it. He ended up doing ok on the flight to Hawaii but was glad to not have to fly back. But this cruise was my first time having 5 sea days in a row. The trip was wonderful; but 5 sea days in a row was tough for me. Had the weather been nice it would have been better but I failed to realize how cold it would be once we left Hawaii. After the second sea day I was ready for it to be over.

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I know of one couple who got married (in their early 60s?)

and figured it would be a wonderfully romantic honeymoon

to go on their First Cruise via Windstar/Windsurf

under the sails and all..

 

They found it dull and confining.

Boarded one day at Barbados.

Jumped ship the very next day at St. Lucia!
Couldn't stand it!! lol

 

Talk about picking the wrong cruise!
NOW they're put off cruising again ever!

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22 minutes ago, Aplmac said:

I know of one couple who got married (in their early 60s?)

and figured it would be a wonderfully romantic honeymoon

to go on their First Cruise via Windstar/Windsurf

under the sails and all..

 

They found it dull and confining.

Boarded one day at Barbados.

Jumped ship the very next day at St. Lucia!
Couldn't stand it!! lol

 

Talk about picking the wrong cruise!
NOW they're put off cruising again ever!

WOW.....sorry they hated it so much and they must have a lot of $$$ to burn as well.

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I'll never understand people who let a few minor inconveniences ruin a great time. There has never been a time where I wanted it to end. Being at sea, being away from normal life, just having fun.

 

If I had to give my closest example, it would be my spring break cruise. Believe me when I say I actually like the party atmosphere, I believe it adds a fun vibe. With that said, there is a point where it is too much, and that is a spring break cruise. Also didn't help that it was choppy and we missed a port. Still, at no point did I huff and puff and want to go home. I still had a blast.

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1 hour ago, Joebucks said:

I'll never understand people who let a few minor inconveniences ruin a great time. There has never been a time where I wanted it to end. Being at sea, being away from normal life, just having fun.

 

If I had to give my closest example, it would be my spring break cruise. Believe me when I say I actually like the party atmosphere, I believe it adds a fun vibe. With that said, there is a point where it is too much, and that is a spring break cruise. Also didn't help that it was choppy and we missed a port. Still, at no point did I huff and puff and want to go home. I still had a blast.

Glad you were able to have a blast anyway.  And happy you have always enjoyed all your sailings no matter what.

Maybe some folks have different expectations.  When you say you'll never understand? That is what makes us

all different people.  Different strokes.

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3 hours ago, Aplmac said:

They found it dull and confining.

Boarded one day at Barbados.

Jumped ship the very next day at St. Lucia!
Couldn't stand it!! lol

Sad story......  Can't tell of course, but I wonder if they aboard with a preconception that it would not be fun, and then everything that occurred just reinforced that.   Can't help but wonder if they had stuck it out for a couple of days if they would not have made some new friends and got settled into the ship's routine.  

 

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49 minutes ago, Smokeyham said:

Sad story...... 

Can't tell of course, but I wonder if they boarded with a pre-conception

that it would not be fun, and then everything that occurred just reinforced that.

 

My presumption is

that they may have boarded with Movie-like notions of Romance under the Sails.

-and it didn't pan-out that way?

 

Why they booked a cruise like Windstar/Windsong/WindWhatever

rather than a more conventional cruise is beyond me.

 

God knows my wife and I have now done 14 conventional cruises
and I would balk at one of those sail-cruise things! unless free -and even then.

But at least we have some idea of what to expect re. onboard conditions, etc.

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Ya know...

I reckon Unrealistic Expectations have ruined more cruises

than any other factor!

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On 3/27/2020 at 6:22 PM, Smokeyham said:

Realizing that we are on a website for those who enjoy cruising, I am curious if anyone has been on a cruise where you could not wait for the journey to end?   If so, what was the reason?  Was it too long, you didn't like your fellow passengers, the service was poor, or.......?

 

One request.... If you have not been in this situation, then please just don't post "No."   Most of us have been on very pleasant cruises, so I assume this is the default!

 

Thanks.

 

sadly this past summer I went on a 23 day baltic and transatlantic cruise on the regal princess. it was 2 cruise segments and started in copenhagen and ended in new york and i couldn't wait to get off the ship and finally go home. the room was great, we had a club class balcony and the ports were amazing. 

 

the staff and food onboard sucked. the service was some of the worst ive ever experienced. the food in the buffet never changed and was never hot. the food in the dinning room was never hot either.  on a 23 day cruise they repeated a lot of dishes and menus and it never seemed like the hire class princess promises on. i hated you had to ask to have drinks like lemonade and juice brought to you. i never understood the concept with this. the service left a lot to be desired. the room steward was one of the worst. barely made the room up. when he did it was messy and not done nicely. always seemed to be in a rush to get his break. didn't deliver notices either.

 

the worst was the crew at the front desk. this really did it for me. we decided on the second go around in copenhagen we wanted to go to sweden for the day. they had sent a notice a few days prior regarding passport collection for the next couple of ports. i went down to the desk with the letter to speak to someone regarding this because i wanted to bring my passport with me incase something happened to us and we got stuck in sweden. the manager at the desk assured me it was no big deal and they would make a note and we could keep them just bring them back that night when we left copenhagen. well apparently princess is big on don't communicate with each other because the day we arrived in copenhagen we tried to go ashore and our names were flagged. so no big deal just go to the desk and tell them the arraignment. well it basically turned into a big todo. they thought we were refusing to give the passports in and didn't want to. they said they didn't have a notice regarding our discussion and they wanted the passport. i explained the situation and they wanted to fight me on the issue. finally after going back an forth i got them to call a manager and release the flagg. we went back to get off and my bf was flagged again. i had to go back to the desk to sort it out. all while during this the staff was difficult and rude and hard to deal with. finally we got off and went to sweden. when i got back i went to the desk to turn in the passports and speak to them about this whole disaster and the lady had the nerve to tell me that they were under the impression we were refusing to turn the passports in and they were in turn preparing to throw us off for non compliance. needless to say this went over like a fart in church and a couple of days later i saw the guest service officer in the passport collection for scotland and i told him about it and he apologized and sent champagne to the room. needless to say i was very unhappy after that just for lack of communication on their part especially since we ended up seeing the original lady i spoke to and she was horrified by the whole situation. it will be a while before i sail on princess again. 

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