First-time Cruiser Complaints? Take a Chill Pill
Written by: Paul Motter
Kuki is upset with first-time cruisers who only post in CruiseMates to complain after a bad cruise. You have pretty high expectations from the first-time cruisers. It reminds me of that old 60-Minutes Point/Counterpoint segment, and the SNL take-off Chevy Chase rejoinder “Jane, you ignorant slut!”
“Kuki – you over-reacting cruise snob!” is my version of that. Perhaps the first-time cruiser would not have a complaint if they had read the contract first, but who reads the fine print anymore? Life is too short and its all jabberwocky anyway.
You make one good example – itinerary changes due to a hurricane. People who complain when the only other choice would have been to sail into the hurricane (“that’s where the brochure said the ship would go”) are nuts. Obviously, no one would actually want to sail into a hurricane, yet there are always the bozos who will demand a refund when they don’t – as in the recent Carnival Miracle case.
For those not familiar – the ship sailed out of New York just as Hurricane Ike was making its way towards North Carolina. Instead of following the charted brochure route to Port Canaveral and Nassau, Bahamas, the ship north went to Newport, RI instead.
Protestors on the ship, led by a few professional attorneys on vacation, passed around a petition and staged protests at the purser’s desk. They demanded more compensation than the cruise line had already given them.
OK, I agree with you there. Kuki. The protestors were all wet and captain should have turned the ship around and sailed right into the hurricane. The ship would have weathered the storm intact – and the crew probably could have withstood the mal de mar. But something tells me those bottom-feeding attorneys demanding compensation would soon be threatening to sue if they didn’t turn the ship around right away.
Wouldn’t that just be the day? Give them what they want and shut them for good.
Still – I think you are too hard on many people with your rant against anyone who complains after a first cruise – even if it is about something they could have known but didn’t. Cruising is a complicated travel product. I have never met a first-time cruiser who didn’t have many unanswered questions or misconceptions. There are some things you never really understand about cruising until you actually do it.
For example, cruise lines give you free 24-hour room service. What does that mean? It means there is a room service menu in the room and a number you can dial at any time and they will bring you freshly prepared food to your stateroom for no charge. I have told 100’s of non-cruisers about that, and in my research they never remember it. Do you know why? Because it is a level of service no one else in the hospitality business gives to you. It’s simply unbelievable. You would have to see it to believe it.
I don’t believe anyone could ever do enough research to know everything there is to know before their first cruise. Especially when there are dozens of cruise lines – all of them different in policy, procedure and quality.
Now here IS where I agree with you. people should always use a travel agent, with tons of cruise experience, to book a cruise. They can get to know you and match you to the right ship. You need to be talking to someone with TONS of cruise experience, not your neighbor’s hairdresser’s plumber’s dog-walker. Only someone who has been on at least five different cruises, preferably a dozen cruises, should be advising people on what cruise to take.
And it IS up to that advisor to tell the new cruiser a few basic things, like if you sail during hurricane season you “might” get a change in itinerary.
In any case, I can deal with a non-knowlegable first-time cruiser. The people who really tick me off are the cruise bashing web sites who want the cruise lines to adopt a set of policies making the lines responsible for any and every little thing that could possibly go wrong. You know who I mean – the people who blame the cruise lines if a person gets stung by a jellyfish in port.
Those are the cruise bashers who need to jump in a lake. And if that kind of complaining is what they want to do – there are a few (fortunately for us), highly unpopular web sites who will listen gleefully to anyone’s cruise complaint – even it isn’t true.
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