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Old January 15th, 2001, 06:28 PM
Tim Rubacky
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Default Re: Mercury 12/22 South America Cruise Review

Dan,

First off, I am sorry that your cruise did not live up to your expectations but I would like to respond to some of the issues listed above in kind. Please bear in mind that I am in no way excusing any possible errors on Celebrity's part or trying to minimize or "downplay" your situation.

In regards to the weather, as you know, this is totally beyond the control of the cruise line. And when an ship encounters rough or extreme conditions as you stated above, especially when they are unexpected, the safety of the ship and passengers comes first and foremost. And when such conditions descend upon the ship so quickly and unexpectedly, it is likely that the Captain and the Officers of the Watch on the bridge were 100% consumed with controlling and stabilizing the ship. In most cases, this leaves precious little to know time to issue a directive to anyone on the bridge to make a PA announcement and that is why they made the announcements after the case.

I've been in many an usettling situation in the past and have found it all to easy to harshly criticize the managment and staff without knowing exectly what was happening behind the scenes.

I do know, at least this has been the case on every cruise that I have been on, that the subject of adverse weather is covered during the lifeboat drill and passeners are urged to use extreme caution and move about as little as possible.

In regards to the Shore Excursions, I'd suggest that if you havent already voiced your displeasure with Guest Relations on board, that you write a letter to your Travel Agent and specify that you would like compensation for the excursions that were not up to your expectations.

Ports and Timing: As we know, port timings do change and sometimes cruise lines must adjust their itineraries which results in disappointed passengers. But I can assure you that the cruise lines do not do this intentionally.

Additionally, the South Atlantic is well known to be a ferocious place and as many of the crew had probably never experienced such conditions, it's only logical that they would be just as scared as you.

In short, I highly suggest writing a letter to your TA and have them fwd it to Celebrity with an appropriate cover letter and be very specific as to any compensation that you are asking for.

I'm going to pass your comments along to someone from Celebrity and see what the Voyage Report says.

Tim Rubacky
Consumer Affairs Editor.
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