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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:14 PM
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Paul Motter Paul Motter is offline
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If I had a nickel for every time I heard the expression "you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts" in this last week I could buy a pack of cigarettes.

Here is the dealeo....

It is because of the fact that contracts do NOT guarantee destinations that I feel even more strongly that people should know the mechanical record of the ship when their primary reason for selecting a specific cruise is the ports of call.

If the destinations were guaranteed, at least I could say "you'll get to see what you are paying for one way or another" - but I can't say that.

If you love days at sea and don't care where the ship goes then you are a certain kind of cruiser, not an uncommon kind, but a specific kind. However, I do believe that most exotic cruises are taken by people who plan their cruise by the itinerary first.

This is only logical - if you do not care about the ports of call why would you book an exotic itinerary? Would you fly all the way to Indonesia and not get off the ship?

So - when the line promises exotic ports of call it seems like the ultimate copout to say "sorry we didn't get where you wanted to go, but you got your cruise anyway."

HOWEVER - by the same token few cruise lines do that. Most of them DO give some compensation for mechanical failure. I believe that deserves to be mentioned as well.

But here is the problem with cruise line compensation - even if you are compensated you will likely only receive compensation for what you missed on the cruise. The cruise line is not going to compensate you for airfare or time off work that went wasted. So you might very well end up flying to Australia and never seeing it. You may be compensated 1/2 the cost of the cruise but depending on why you selected this cruise that could be pretty unsatisfactory.

It's a mouthful, but unless you are willing to pay for someone's cruise if you recommend a ship and it breaks down, I wouldn't be so quick to say "oh, the ports don't matter." But you can say "the ports don't matter to me" - but don't imply the ships never break down.

Along the same line as "you are entitled to your own opinion but not your facts" there is another saying that is applicable...

"Statistics are meaningless to the minority." In other words, the ships may only break down 1% of the time, but if you are in that 1% you are a 100% victim of circumstances.

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