Dirtly Little Secrets
In reading Kuki's latest blog, I began to wonder what cruising's "dirty little secrets" are. What are those things that would really shock a first time cruiser and even surprise a more experienced cruiser? Please no flames!
My first nomination might be: The published itinerary might not be followed.
There are many reasons that might be the case; weather, problems with the vessel, civil unrest in port, and deviations to evacuate an ill passenger or crew member seem to be the most common of this not too common event. However the fact that the cruise might deviate from the published itinerary is left to the fine print. I just went through the process of booking a cruise on Carnival's website (up to entering my personal information) and have seen no caveat that I might not actually go to Cozumel.
When you walk into a store, you can view the hours of operation on the door, you can see the return policy posted by the cash register, so right off the bat, you know how long you can shop,and what will happen if you need a refund on that ugly whatever you bought..
On a cruise, no one has a sign at Guest Services that states: We may not be able to dock in Grand Cayman, oops!....When we get to Florence, you have a 2 hour bus ride,as Florence is not a seaport. Tough noogies.
The difference is in my mind, these are not dirty little secrets..both situations, tell you up front, what to expect..the store has signs,and the cruise lline offers a brochure, and a ta will explain how things will work, given certain circumstances.
What I do think was a diry secret, on one cruise, was on an Easter Monday holiday in the Caribbean, while people waited to get off the ship, in Guadaloupe, it was announced that due to this family holiday, most of the island would be closed,and the amount of cabs available would be minimal. When asked why this was being told to passengers as they were getting ready to get off, they said they had not known this. I asked, well, what did you do last year? Many of tyhre passengers were ready to mutiny....they knew:(
For the most part, you need to be pro active consumer, and do your research...if you do, the surprises will be at a minimum.
Many passengers feel they are being "had" when unexpected things happen. Sometimes things occcur during between docking and sailing that there is no way for the company to let you know ahead of time. Then, there are the times when there was no way the company didnt know there would be a delay and said nothing til sailaway or the next morning.
Places like Cruisemates and cruising blogs are great ways to get educated on the ins and outs of cruising so that there are fewer surprises on your vacation.
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