susierphillips and homeatlast:
I would have agreed with you 100% until this last cruise. We had had a few miscellaneous problems on prior HAL sailings but they had always been dealt with courteously. But not this time. As Irich said, it was obvious HAL could care less.
Yes we had the cabin number and yes we checked the deck plan. But the deck plan was inadequate. (Have you ever seen a deck plan that shows what crew stuff is actually next to the cabin areas? I never have.) This cabin was near all the ship's docking machinery, so very early every morning all hell would break loose. It was like being inside an earthquake or volcano at 4 or 5 AM. I did specifically ask about what was adjacent to the cabin area and was specifically lied to. They even e-mailed me a picture of the ship and then explained incorrectly where the cabin was located in relation to the picture.
And you are right, I did learn a valuable lesson. However, it would have made no difference what category the cabin was in or how much it cost. When I asked specific questions about the location and was specifically lied to there is a problem. No amount of additional diligence on my part would have helped. But I was mostly appalled at HAL's "we don't give a damn" attitude. I run a business myself, and I certainly could never stay in business if I treated my loyal customers this way.