Things About Cruising That Can Make You Crazy
Written by: Kuki
As my job is to follow and write about the cruise industry one might naturally assume I am an advocate for the industry. And it’s true in many ways. I am most certainly a fan of cruise vacations as I believe a cruise could easily be considered the best valued vacation purchase you can make with your leisure dollars.
However there are things about cruising that do make me crazy; and I’d like nothing better than to see them eliminated.
At the top of my list is the “cruise contract”, and the fine print indemnifying or limiting the cruise lines responsibility from most everything that can go wrong on the cruise, from dropping your luggage into the sea at embarkation, to taking you to any place they choose other than the itinerary they promised you with your purchase. The fine print allows the cruise lines to pretty much do anything they choose during the cruise, as long as they supply you with a place to sleep and food to eat. In essence they make everything else your responsibility, and when things do go astray they themselves determine what is fair compensation for you, or make you dance though hoops attempting to negotiate a settlement you’re willing to live with.
I think the reasonable ones amongst us realize that sometimes itineraries changes are necessary due to a number of causes; IE swine flu, hurricanes, flooding, sea conditions, civil unrest, etc. However, for example, in the case of mechanical breakdowns, it drives me crazy that the cruise lines are the ones to decide how passengers should be compensated. I sometimes think they consider themselves benevolent that they give passengers anything in those situations. There is no outside regulatory body, other than the courts, where a passenger can have their concerns regarding unfair compensation addressed. I’d be very much in favor of the cruise industry setting up an arbitration board to deal with these consumer issues, so consumers at least get a hearing a fair shake.
As cruise consumers, particular long time cruisers, we’ve become much to accepting of allowing the cruise lines to decide on the approach to settling what are legitimate passenger complaints.
We’re expected to purchase insurance ourselves covering unforeseen circumstances which may force us to miss a cruise, or leave a cruise before the end of the trip, and other circumstances. The cruise lines too should be required to have insurance (whether purchased or self insured) for circumstances where they aren’t able to deliver the product they’ve sold us, and the compensation for those circumstances should be clearly and precisely detailed in LARGE print.
There’s a few onboard items that make me “Kuki” too.
Ship’s photographers! I understand selling the photographs is a money maker for the cruise lines, and I have no objection to them setting up “photo stations” in the ship’s public rooms for those who’d like to have pictures taken. But don’t interrupt my dinner with a cheesey pirate holding plastic swords to my throat, or the requisite couples shots at dinner, and don’t slow the disembarkation procedure in ports of call by stopping everyone for a picture.
I’d accept a photographer coming by the dining room table on the second last night of the cruise, discreetly asking if each table would like a “table shot” of their group, but all the “staged” intrusions for “candid photo ops” are intrusive.
Moving merchandise from the shops onboard to pool-side for “big sales” drives me crazy as well! I’m not heading out to the pool to buy T-shirts, watches or “gold” by the inch. I may be in the minority in this case, because the congestion on the pool deck caused by my fellow passengers indicates they must like shopping instead of enjoying the outdoors. But if I want to shop, the deck plans tell me where the shops are located, and I’ll happily find my way there.
And of course, we get daily “Ship SPAM” delivered directly to our cabins, informing us of all the sales available on the ship, as well as the “art” auctions, botox, teeth whitening, spa treatments, etc. that are available on the ship… that we’re already told about in the ship’s daily newsletter.
I’m just waiting to see the first time we’re offered penis enlargements, Viagra, or cheap prescription drugs. Or maybe even a letter from a guest in another cabin from Nigeria who tracked me down to help me collect the estate of my unknown recently deceased relatives.
I’m very tempted to bring along a sign to hang on my cabin door saying we DO NOT accept promotional materials. The final irritant in regard to all this junk mail, is when you look at the sign in your cabin washroom asking you to help save the environment by reusing your towels….while they must fill bin after bin after bin full of discarded promotional materials they deliver.
So… I’ve begun the story with the top few things on my list, and I could certainly go on for a few more pages, but I’d like to hear from you cruisers… What things about cruising make you CRAZY?
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Posted: May 12th, 2009 under Kuki.