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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:54 AM
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Paul Motter Paul Motter is offline
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Default Tuesday May 12

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I got an email from one of my staff telling me my updates so far are great, but have been too positive. So, I guess I have to tone it down today or risk losing my credibility as a critic. Seriously, though, if you found yourself on a cruise where there is almost nothing to complain about wouldn’t you want to bask in that feeling, too? Why nit-pick just to have something to complain about?

Okay, I do recall being on a cruise that everyone beside myself thought was perfect, so I have to consider the possibility someone else could see this cruise differently. Hence I have been challenged to find something to complain about, so here it is.

When we boarded we got the news that the ship has a hobbled pod, which prohibits it from reaching top speed. Because of this problem we were forced to skip our first scheduled port of call, Acapulco. Well, we all know what happened, all cruise ships have canceled all stops in Mexico due to swine flu so it was a moot point. Still, it is always bad news to find out that your itinerary has changed after you board the ship.

This ship just finished a world cruise on the previous voyage and I understand the line wanting to keep a world cruise on schedule. But I hope the pod will be fixed soon or else the same thing will happen on future cruises. I will ask the staff today and let you know in my next update.

I personally like cruise itineraries with more port stops and having seven days at sea in a row is a lot for me. But the onboard experience here is so full I am not sure I would have had a better time in Acapulco. Still, if I had to miss Rio D’ Janeiro or Amsterdam because of this pod problem I would have been more upset, but that is only a hypothetical.

Now, to the next drawback with this cruise, it was booked as a “health and wellness” cruise. In truth, there is hardly anything onboard that qualifies it to be such a cruise other than a guest speaker who specializes in Eastern Medicine, and a special yoga teacher in the fitness area in addition to the regular trainers. We expected almost daily seminars on the topics of health and that isn’t really happening. So be it.

In all honesty I don’t believe many if any passengers booked this cruise it because it was billed as a “health and wellness” cruise. Everyone we have asked, passengers and crew alike were not even aware that it was billed that way. Yes, it makes you wonder if there isn’t a knowledge gap between headquarters and the staff onboard where marketing is concerned, but that is actually not unusual in the cruise business.

These are both temporary setbacks that will be fixed. I did not go into them because I try to report on the overall experience of a ship should you plan to take it in the future. If I spent all of my time focusing on my cruise only much of what I have to say might not apply to you.

Today we have yet another speaker, so that brings the total (so far) of lecturers onboard up to six. The lecturer today is an NFL Referee. That is a pretty cool topic for us sports fans.

Ironically, they have chosen today’s topic to actually acknowledge this is a health and wellness cruise, so the lecture is billed as “The Mind, Body and Spirit of the Referee.” A bit of a stretch, perhaps, but no harm done. This is still a great cruise.
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