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Old July 14th, 2011, 01:23 PM
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Default Clueless at sea

Cruisemates, being the very best educated cruisers on the planet, we sometimes forget how many thousands of people, are first time cruisers, & some are the ones who do none of the planning, & know from nothing!

You know these people..... you ask what ship they are going on, and, you get , I don't know??? Ok...where are you going? Again, that dead eye stare. Huh??

John Heald's blog is an eye opener. Reading what people write, and his day to day experiences, just boggle my mind. One 21 year old never ate in the main dining room, because she thought it was a pay venue

This was another scenario...Oh my!

Mrs.______ stated she was very disappointed with the cruise. Guest said that the number of people onboard was not what she expected, and, she was disappointed that her state room did not have a bath tub. Guest also mentioned that she had expected a “different type” of guest to be on the ship and that she was also disappointed because there were no staff available for dancing with as they had on Holland America. Guest also mentioned that there were not enough choices of books in the library and that the dining room was too loud!

I wonder how many people cruise clueless. There seems to be a level of unreasonable expectation, for many, like this woman. If there is one, there must be 100's.

Have you ever run into a cruiser, that seems to be overwhelmed, oblivious, or, has made complaints that seem, off the wall?
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Old July 14th, 2011, 02:32 PM
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Never have I met that type of individual .
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Old July 14th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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Trip

You may say I am one of those 'clueless' cruisers.

Don't laugh - I can empathise with the noise level in a MDR. I cope by wearing ear plugs.

I first started doing that when visiting Yosemite; I used the cafeteria and could not hear myself think so out came the ear plugs and I never holiday in USA without them.

That is one of interesting facets of Formal Night that amuses me; people get uptight when not everyone adheres to the dress code and they sit in a MDR with a noise level of a chimpanzee tea party Don't get it myself.

Noise from an adjoining cabin does not bother me but a noisy MDR

You can tell I like smaller ships, smaller venues etc

Annie
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Old July 14th, 2011, 04:31 PM
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I have heard the pay for MDR one before, people just eat in the buffet.
I think a lot of people book without looking into the facts ...see an ad or online, don't know anything more.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 04:40 PM
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Annie..nope, I don't think you are one of the above at all There is a difference between liking certain things, and what I mentioned.

This woman had expetations, that with a bit of research, and/or talking with a cruise specialist, would not have come as a surpirise,and she would have not been booked on Carnival. A
while back there were some people who, were upset that the ports on their Italy itinerary, were not where the ship docked. Did they even look at a map, or speak to anyone to ask a quetion?

These extremes are certainly not the norm, but more than I would have thought. ...oh to be a fly on the wall at guest services
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Old July 14th, 2011, 04:51 PM
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Can we walk into Rome from Civicaveccia(sp?)..welll you could if you had a coupla weeks...
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Old July 14th, 2011, 05:48 PM
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JTD

I don't blame cruisers for that kind of error - the cruise lines IMHO have a responsibility for spelling it out the walking time to the city centre.
As we are Europeans, we have inside knowledge. I am not that knowledgeable about USA ports.

I would NEVER cruise to Rome for that reason. I walk everywhere in Rome unless I use the 64 bus.

I have met US cruisers who docked at London (Dover) - that IMHO is downright dishonest.

Annie
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Old July 14th, 2011, 07:06 PM
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I think this sort of thing tends to be even more common on European cruises because it just requires more research.
I met a lady who prebooked a water taxi in Venice for 90 euros, but when she got there and took it, realized she could have walked it. She said she felt like they were laughing at her and felt like an idiot. The hotel then told her about their "free" boat ride to Murano where she was brought to a high-pressured sales pitch and ended up with a vase that she didn't need.
Being a crazy planning freak myself, I have trouble identifying, but that is one of the reasons I am part of the cruise community. I want to help people avoid silly mistakes, if I can. That is why boards like this are so great!
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Old July 14th, 2011, 07:20 PM
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Maybe I was a bit harsh with my statement...Did they even look at a map, or speak to anyone to ask a quetion?

I wonder if this person dealt with a cruise line or travel agent,and, how much conversation went on between them to get the best fit between the client, and the ship.

The owness is always on the consumer to be informed,and assumptions obviously backfire many times, I just wonder where did the breakdown begin, as in, that woman's lament, in my original post? To miss on one or two points, but so many ?


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Old July 15th, 2011, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
Can we walk into Rome from Civicaveccia(sp?)..welll you could if you had a coupla weeks...
Not everyone is born with kowledge. I understand the point of doing a little research.But I dont know how far Rome to Civicaveccia is heck I dont even know where Civicaveccia is.Sure I could look it up especiaaly now a days with the internet and all or I could ask someone whats the diffrence .I am sure there are a few things I know that some other people dont know and if if they asked me I would be more than happy to explain.I have always liked asking questions and felt like it is a good way to learn I mean after all it is a big part of this web site. Whats the old saying (there is never a dumb question just dumb answers)
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Old July 15th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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Maybe I put it badly...the walk to Rome thing is the sort of question that would cause someone to be upset, thinking they could walk "into town" when the cruise line didn't say it was a 2 hour bus ride. Also Southampton is often titled "Southampton ..London" when it is 70/80 miles away. Having said all this though wherever we go we look at how far it is from the port/airport to where we want to be.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 11:10 AM
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i have encountered this a few times especially with people who travel with a group. They will say we are going a cruise, i will say really, great, what ship, where you going? etc and i get that " deer in the headlight" look and they say i dunno, we are going with such and such group and they made all the arrangements, all i am doing is paying. I just smile, shake my head and say well have a great time
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Old July 15th, 2011, 11:34 AM
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We continually meet people on holidays & wonder how they managed to book the holiday & get out of the country, we are convinced some must have won it in a raffle!!
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Old July 15th, 2011, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
We continually meet people on holidays & wonder how they managed to book the holiday & get out of the country, we are convinced some must have won it in a raffle!!
Or some generous relative gave them a holiday as a gift?

I have done that and honestly they would have preferred 1 week in Jersey - I have learned from my mistake.

Annie

PS The location of Ryanair's foreign airports has trained me into checking mileage from airport to city centre.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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It is a funny phenominon that it used to be that first time cruisers had no idea what to expect - but now we find people who are disappointe3d with their first cruise because they had read so much on the internet about how great it would be. (of course, they almost always take a budget cruise line).

One of the most famous misconceptions that happens ALL THE TIME if you believe guest services people are the first imes who come onboard and say they never would have booked a room as small as what they got.

They often have the brochure pictures with them, which of course are always taken with the most exagerating fish-eye lens possible.

But didn't these people look at the square footage or layout of their cabin?
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Old July 15th, 2011, 02:08 PM
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It is a funny phenominon that it used to be that first time cruisers had no idea what to expect - but now we find people who are disappointe3d with their first cruise because they had read so much on the internet about how great it would be. (of course, they almost always take a budget cruise line).

One of the most famous misconceptions that happens ALL THE TIME if you believe guest services people are the first imes who come onboard and say they never would have booked a room as small as what they got.

They often have the brochure pictures with them, which of course are always taken with the most exagerating fish-eye lens possible.

But didn't these people look at the square footage or layout of their cabin?
I honestly believe either these new cruisers have done no research before booking, or had a TA that did not advise of the many criticisms they came back with when returning from their cruise, or just didn't know what to ask.

As far as looking at stateroom layout and sq. footage..... if they were looking at a brochure, the sq. footage is not listed in many brochures, and the pictures are very deceiving for certain !

The complaints that I have heard from some is their sail and sign bills being so high for drinks they thought were included in their fare !!!
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Old July 15th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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I have to admit that I was a pretty naive first time cruise. But I did take the time to learn about the ports we were visiting.

Things I didn't know:
They gave you a little card that you used to pay for everything
Shows are repeated so both dinner seatings have a chance
They play bingo before all the shows, so bingo players get the best seats
We had to do a muster drill and what that was
I certainly didn't know my way around the ship (the last ship I had been on we went between decks on ladders not grand stair cases)
I didn't know whether the pools were fresh water or sea water
I didn't know the lido buffet would be open when we boarded - might have skipped that McDonald's at the airport
and so much more
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Old July 15th, 2011, 03:06 PM
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The guest cited in the OP was not a first timer. She had previously sailed on HAL and had no idea how many pax would be on Carnival Magic.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 12:45 PM
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I honestly believe either these new cruisers have done no research before booking, or had a TA that did not advise of the many criticisms they came back with when returning from their cruise, or just didn't know what to ask.
Now there is an excellent point. I normally advise anybody booking their first cruise that cruising is a complicated business and that trying to book on the Inernet or via an 800 number is only for the brave! A good local TA who is a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor is trained to deal with people's expectations and acquaint them with the wonderful reality of cruising and also with its limitations. But it seems in this day and age people who book a plane flight or a hotel room, things they are well acquainted with, will also use the Internet to book a cruise that they know little about.

Some of the board posters are very experienced cruisers and know all the ins and outs, yet I have seen them advising first timers to book directly with the cruise line or with a discount TA. IMAO it is important to provide good advice to the novice as well as to the experienced cruiser, and that advice may be considerably different.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Now there is an excellent point. I normally advise anybody booking their first cruise that cruising is a complicated business and that trying to book on the Inernet or via an 800 number is only for the brave! A good local TA who is a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor is trained to deal with people's expectations and acquaint them with the wonderful reality of cruising and also with its limitations. But it seems in this day and age people who book a plane flight or a hotel room, things they are well acquainted with, will also use the Internet to book a cruise that they know little about.

Some of the board posters are very experienced cruisers and know all the ins and outs, yet I have seen them advising first timers to book directly with the cruise line or with a discount TA. IMAO it is important to provide good advice to the novice as well as to the experienced cruiser, and that advice may be considerably different.
Mike

A good local TA who has good knowledge of cruising is like hen's teeth - very rare.

I cannot speak for the USA but I cannot find a good local TA and I live near a little village with a population of 850000 - that is why people use the internet.

Annie
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Old July 16th, 2011, 01:24 PM
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We have about 3 TA's in Southampton with either a dedicated cruise dept or they are just cruise agents. I have been into some of the chain TA's & asked about cruises....but as soon as it is apparent that I know more than they do, or they just start ''woffling'' I give up.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
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Now there is an excellent point. I normally advise anybody booking their first cruise that cruising is a complicated business and that trying to book on the Inernet or via an 800 number is only for the brave! A good local TA who is a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor is trained to deal with people's expectations and acquaint them with the wonderful reality of cruising and also with its limitations. But it seems in this day and age people who book a plane flight or a hotel room, things they are well acquainted with, will also use the Internet to book a cruise that they know little about.

Some of the board posters are very experienced cruisers and know all the ins and outs, yet I have seen them advising first timers to book directly with the cruise line or with a discount TA. IMAO it is important to provide good advice to the novice as well as to the experienced cruiser, and that advice may be considerably different.
A Knowledgeable TA is an asset to any client regarldess of experienced or not. They should be advising of the cruiseline/ship that meets the clients requirements, they should be able to discuss ports of call being visited and be able to make suggestions of "must see's" and "must do's". They should be able to assist in travel arrangements to the ship if needed. They should be willing to answer any and all questions a client may have and also provide details that many clients forget to ask about...... Suggestion for purchase of trip insurance is also just another way to look out for their clients as well.

And in the end, they should show compassion for the love of travel if they are worth anything to the potential client !

Just a few topics that make for a good TA in my eyes, and certainly there are more to add to the list.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 02:38 PM
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Things like tips, smoking, children & dress codes are all things that cause conflict on sites, but I reckon this is made worse by a lack of research. People just don't know that on a closed community like a ship everything can be exaggerated.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
We have about 3 TA's in Southampton with either a dedicated cruise dept or they are just cruise agents. I have been into some of the chain TA's & asked about cruises....but as soon as it is apparent that I know more than they do, or they just start ''woffling'' I give up.
Indeed -- and you are most likely a very experienced cruiser and very knowledgeable about the internet or you probably would not be posting here. The advice I gave is for novice cruisers, who also sometimes may be seniors or others not comfortable with the internet.

You are right a good TA can be hard to find. Trying to find one who knows as much as many of the posters on this board about cruising can be even harder. That is why the Cruise Lines International Association sponsors the Accredited Cruise Counselor program. Looking for the diploma on the wall, and using the CLIA site to search for trained T A s is just as wise as looking for the credentials of your accountant or mechanic.

This discussion can go around and around. Anybody with multiple cruises under their belt who wants to book with an 800 number or on the internet. A novice -- which is apparently what the OP on this thread is -- should use an Accredited Cruise Counselor.

That will tend to prevent the title of this thread ... Cluelessness at Sea!! ;o)
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Old July 16th, 2011, 08:34 PM
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Indeed -- and you are most likely a very experienced cruiser and very knowledgeable about the internet or you probably would not be posting here. The advice I gave is for novice cruisers, who also sometimes may be seniors or others not comfortable with the internet.

You are right a good TA can be hard to find. Trying to find one who knows as much as many of the posters on this board about cruising can be even harder. That is why the Cruise Lines International Association sponsors the Accredited Cruise Counselor program. Looking for the diploma on the wall, and using the CLIA site to search for trained T A s is just as wise as looking for the credentials of your accountant or mechanic.

This discussion can go around and around. Anybody with multiple cruises under their belt who wants to book with an 800 number or on the internet. A novice -- which is apparently what the OP on this thread is -- should use an Accredited Cruise Counselor.

That will tend to prevent the title of this thread ... Cluelessness at Sea!! ;o)
Absolutely agree. But WE know some are crap & will be believed by newcomers.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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Absolutely agree. But WE know some are crap & will be believed by newcomers.
Yep, and we all know there are some people who will believe a stock salesman on the phone who is feeding them a load of crap ...

and some who will believe a used car salesman and buy a lemon ...

The trick to avoiding being CLUELESS is to pick your advisors carefully.

And incidentally, another piece of advice I give newcomers is to READ EVERYTHING CAREFULLY, both pre-cruise and on the cruise.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 02:43 PM
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Do you think that people read the stuff but don't think it actually applies to THEM? I know I didn't think people would wear a Tux but they did!
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Old July 17th, 2011, 04:58 PM
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I don't think anybody reads the fine print anymore, especially the new to cruising.

It is absolutely true that you can get a real education online about the finer points of cruising.

JTD - even though I am sur you are smarter than most travel agents (as I could say is also true about myself) there are still advantages to using one to book a cruise - like if you get stuck in an airport on the way to the ship - or you can't get a ride to the ship.

Or if you have a dispute with the cruise line after the fact. A agent with a good track record with the cruise lines can smooth out the bumps on the road many times.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 07:10 PM
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Ah Paul, you see the problem is I am not smarter than TA's BUT if I go into one & ask a question & they haven't a clue what I am on about or just come up with BS then I know not to trust them. A typical thing is on a conversational level they show a distinct lack of knowledge of the product.
We ALWAYS use a TA & have maybe three that are specialist & knowledgeable. I must add though that in our days of land based holidays we had a few flight based problems & the TA's concerned were no help at all. We have also found that with airline problems the TA says contact the airline & the airline says contact the TA...
On our 1st cruise we had a complaint that we put to our TA after addressing the concern onboard....we are still awaiting the result...from 2004.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 07:34 PM
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Ah Paul, you see the problem is I am not smarter than TA's BUT if I go into one & ask a question & they haven't a clue what I am on about or just come up with BS then I know not to trust them. A typical thing is on a conversational level they show a distinct lack of knowledge of the product.
We ALWAYS use a TA & have maybe three that are specialist & knowledgeable. I must add though that in our days of land based holidays we had a few flight based problems & the TA's concerned were no help at all. We have also found that with airline problems the TA says contact the airline & the airline says contact the TA...
On our 1st cruise we had a complaint that we put to our TA after addressing the concern onboard....we are still awaiting the result...from 2004.
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Ring the calendar - I agree 100% with JTD on this.

I do not have or will ever have JTD's experience on cruises - I am primarily a land based vacationer. No UK TA is going to help me get a ride to a foreign port if I am delayed.

Unfortunately a lot of UK TAs are 'tied in' with certain tour operators and only interested in selling their 'in-house' products.

I have used US TAs for my cruises (non-UK cruise lines) and their service level was nothing to write home about.

I think it was MercedMike who suggested using a CLIA accredited TA. I checked their web-site and found nothing encouraging.

I may cruise one more time but unless an on-line TA is giving away a huge OBC, I will probably book direct.

For a novice, I suggest they use Cruise Forums to ask lots of questions because the cruisers there know a lot more than TAs.

Annie
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