celebrity is known for taking you into the unknown including replacement itineraries. two years ago, our family cruised celebrity on the mercury. hurricane michelle was out in the carribean and we were to originally go the western rte. they changed the intinerary day before (saturday) and went the eastern rte (we were already there on a previous cruise). there was no asking if you wanted to go, you just went not knowing what you were about to get into. well, we left ft lauderdale that sunday; it was very windy and white caps were out in the ocean as we left harbor that nite. we were actually chasing the hurricane to the bahamas as we headed south. we would of been better off sticking with the original itinerary by staying overnite in ft lauderdale but no, they had to get the ship on the seas...
well, we won the race and made it past the bahamas. we found out the eye of the hurricane was 40 miles west of us. we knew this becuase the coordinates for the 'cane was on the room tv and some had GPS locators. they never told us how dangerously close we were to the 'cane. well, talk about a swinging ship.. we were rocking!! this captain chose to take this ship with crew and passengers, chase a hurricane and beat it and then ride out the waves once we passed it's projected path. the nite dinner was about 25% full, people were sick all over the ship and these guys were charging for motion wrist bands in the store. fiannly made it to san juan but strange, a ship we left behind in lauderdale beat us to san juan.. i checked with the coast guard when i got back and found out that was not the thing to do for a responsible captain. heard back on our arrival back to fla via the rumor mill that he was relieved of his duties.
in all the wrangling i tried to make when i got back with celebrity, it was fruitless. we got some discount tickets for a future cruise (this is the one we are usng them on, isn' this a coincidence!!) and just no cooperation. we were willing tu suck up the airfare and get a full credit on another cruise. we were never given that choice.even wrote the celebrity president personally and got the same answer back from him that they did the most they could with us. their slogan is :"exceeding your expectations"(it is all over the ship). well, as a floating hotel in the ocean, they never even got close to my expectations!! if you were in any 3or 4 star hotel, they would of bent over backwards to satisfy you. all we got was a bottle of wine, a fruit basket sent to our room and a charge on our room bill for 3 motion sickness wrist bands.. at any first class hotel, they would of been comped for your guest comfort. better yet, they originally gave a $50 credit for each passenger in the room as peace offering to a very upset ship full of passengers on your bill. two days later, they renigged on that and made it only $50 /cabin. said it was an accounting error..
so, if any of you are expecting some sort of miracle cooperation from them, guess again. just take the cruise, act like you are in bermuda and enjoy the lobster dinner. make sure and order several orders!!! at $16.00/lb, lets run up the dining bill!!
>this is the chance you take when you cruise during hurricane season.<
I agree but I wasn't always that smart. It soon dawned on me why the prices were cheaper that time of the year. (Duh?) We took our first Panama Canal cruise the wrong direction - repositioning from SF to FLL in October instead of the other direction during April/May. We were lucky as we were 3 days ahead of a hurricane that did major damage to Acapulco. That was the one where a cruise ship stranded a couple of hundred passengers in hotels when it hurriedly set out to sea to avoid the hurricane. Now those people had a right to be upset.
We took our first cruise in September of 2002 to Bermuda on the Celebrity Zenith. I knew the risk of hurricane season going in (everybody reminded me of it). We did manage to stay ahead of a storm that was churning in the water off the Carolina coast (that was a night I will always remember). I remember looking around and seeing the staff closing all of the curtains in the main dining room and then I realized the swells through the glass (first cruise, what did I know)
We walked away knowing we got a great deal on a suite in September, why, because it is hurricane season. As for Celebrity, the passenger's safety comes first and that is why they need the flexibility to change ports on a moments notice as noted in the contract.
As for first impressions, they exceeded our expectations, they have no control of the weather and the crew did an outstanding job with what Mother Nature handed them!
Cathy, you told George that, "this is the chance you take when you cruise during hurricane season." WHAT????? Did you not hear George when he said, "I checked with the coast guard when i got back and found out that was not the thing to do for a responsible captain."??
If you want to dispute George's facts, then do so. But please don't ignore the most important thing he said by saying that's the chance you take during hurricane season. Almost ALL of the Bermuda cruises are during Hurricane season, and I think everyone wants responsible cruise officers, no matter what the season.
You could have been booked at a land based resort & had many more worries when it hit. Have heard many horror stories over the years.We went to Antigua many yrs ago in Nov (supposedly a safe time) & really got clobbered by the fringes of a massive storm...Never saw the caribbean turn black before that . We were sent to our rooms with candles for the night! Sorry your trip wasn't so good but travel to the Carib in hurricane season is a big risk--that's why we pay so much more to go in March. I wasn't there but have found most captains to have p[assenger & crew safety as a top priority. Where the ships generally fall short, IMHO, is in communicating what is going on...But that's not always so either. When a Med. emergency arose on Enchanment last March--requiring a trip 1/2 way back to port & re-arrangement of sched, the captain & staff kept everyone up to date down to the minute. & the new schedule was arranged & executed flawlessly. Afre attending to the health issue, They must have been up all night insuring the best for the passengers cruise enjoyment. Hope your next cruise is better.
George, you sound so angry over this that I had to go back and double-check when you said it happened. I think it very sad that you've let it bother you for so long. By holding on to it, you're only making yourself unhappy. Life has so much to offer. I hope you can let go of it soon so that you don't miss out on something wonderful along the way.
Michelle was throwing off very wide bands. There just wasn't any escaping her except far to the east of the Caribbean basin.. or very far south. However, to get there you had to go through the bands. Michelle's worst activity was centered around Central America.. and the southwestern coast of Cuba. As she headed n/ne she started to experience shear and lost strength as she crossed Cuba. .. and on to the Bahamas.
As with any hurricane,wind velocity and wave action vary greatly quadrant to quadrant.
I was on Century for the w/e back to back. Oh my.. there were times sitting in the Rendezvous Lounge after dinner when I thought we were on the Mayflower..the wood squeeked and groaned so much...
However, it was not the worst heavy weather I've been through. Hurricane Alberto to and from Bermuda in 2000 was far worse.
I still enjoyed every minute of my 14 days on Century.. weather or not!!!!
A) You chose to cruise during hurricane season and either ignored the possibility that your vacation might be adversely affected by weather, or decided that the odds were in your favor. Either way, it was your decision.
B) You either failed to read the back of the Celebrity brochure and/or your cruise contract, or read it and ignored the caveat that your itinerary could change due to weather or just about anything else at the cruiseline's discretion. Either way, it was your decision to go anyway.
C) The master of every vessel and the cruiseline take passenger and crew safety very seriously. In fact, it's their No. 1 priority. Any passenger who second guesses the master's decision re bad weather conditions is dealing from a point of weakness.
What do you expect when you book during the Hurricane Season?? What do you expect when there is a storm at sea...no matter what time of year it is??
Celebrity requires each passenger to sign a contract before boarding...you can not board the ship unless you sign the contract. You did sign the contract with Celebrity did you not?? You did read the contract that you signed did you not???
Tommy, Cathy was simply making a statement and it's true. This is the change you take when cruising during Hurricane season, especially mid Aug to early Oct, the heaviest season. If cruises to Bermuda only take place during hurricane season has nothing to do with it! How silly! We were one day ahead of Andrew in 1991. We chose to cruise then cause we got a great rate. Would we do it again, absolutely not. As for refunds and changed itineraries, I understand the itinerary change, I would rather be safe then see an island I can see some other time. Refunds, forget it. We were on RCL about 3 years ago during rain storms late November/early Dec. We hardly got off the ship or even to the deck. Did we get anything back, absolutely not, nor did we expect anything. i get so tired of people expecting this or that. NMNIta
How bizarre. George wants to compare the "floating hotel" to a land based operation. Tell me George, how much did you pay per diem to sail the Caribbean in the hurricane season?
<I'm guessing you booked online, because a savvy TA would have told you the dangers you were in. >
Now that we've adjusted the cost per day to around ... what ... $65? $70? Please, I'm ready and willing to hear which land hotel with rates that low will treat you so well. Oh and by the way, don't forget to make sure the hotel tosses in food, drink and entertainment.
Why be surprised? We live in a world of entitlement. GimmegimmegimmeIwantIdeserveIneed.
First of all don't blame Celebrity they don't control the weather. Blame who really is responsible and that is Mother Nature.
Also, if you booked a land vacation during the hurricane and you decided that you wanted to fly home on your own would you also expect the resort to refund your hotel expenses? Come on....yes it's unfortunate that this happened during your vacation but those are the risks one takes. In my opinion any vacation is still better then being at work.
I've been on only two Celebrity cruises on the Zenith and the Mercury. Both were quite fine but neither exceeded my expectations. Hurricane season could be a real thrill for adventuresome cruisers. I'd gladly book a cruise on Celebrity in the fall well knowing we might end up going on a slightly altered itinerary. So what, it still beats work. I.M.H.O.
I believe that when you cruise during hurricane season you will just have to go where the ship takes you. We were on the Zuiderdam a few weeks ago when Fabian was playing around the Caribbean. We could not go into St. Maartin due to the storm and just had one extra day at sea. No one complained. I felt sorry for several passengers who were looking forward to their excursions and had never been to the Island before.
I knew when we sailed that it was a crap shoot - did not know which Islands we would be able to visit. Crusing on the Century on October 25 - will be the same thing....after all, it is still hurricane season. I expect the unexpected.
By your post could see that you were very upset. If you were to read your cruise brochure the cruise line does have the right to change itinearies when they see the need to. In this case it was a hurricane. The cruise line does this for the safety of the passangers and to protect the ship and her crew.
Explain please how substituting Los Angeles for Santa Barbara and switching the dates of San Diego and Catalina on last week's Mercury cruise was anything related to weather or something Celebrity needed to do.
Re: Re: Re: celebrity: exceeding your expectations!!
There's been a lot being said in defense of Celebrity that there is nothing they can do about the weather. Well, NCL can. They just announced the following:
In an industry first, NCL has come out with a weather guarantee
for cruises departing on the Norwegian Dawn this winter. If
departure from New York is delayed longer than 12 hours
because of weather, passengers will receive an onboard credit of
$100 per person ($200 max per stateroom), OR if the passenger
does not wish to continue the cruise, they may receive a full
cruise credit for the same grade stateroom on a future Dawn
If the sailing is cancelled, passengers will receive a full cruise
credit for the same grade stateroom on a future Norwegian Dawn
cruise, and any reasonable incidental expenses they incur in
rearranging their travel vacation plans will be reimbursed by
The company is already promoting the program in The New York
Times Sunday Travel page, with the phrase, "NCL's Winter
Weather Guarantee ensures foul weather won't ruin your cruise
Now let's hope the rest of the industry catches on.
Sorry guys, I have never heard so many whiners in my life! NCL boards whine cause they don't like something about a particular ship, you guys aren't happy about a slight change in the itinerary, Carnival cruisers are unhappy cause there are too many college kids on the holiday sailings, HAL cruisers don't like the food and on and on. Can't you just relax and enjoy the experience of cruising. Does it make a big difference if you go to Santa Barbara or LA? Don't say it does, I was raised in So. Calif.
I would agree a change from Santa Barbara to LA is not a big deal, would you agree that a change to Canada from Bermuda is?
We all know that the cruise lines have final say where the ship is sent to...but wht can't we as the consumer be unhappy about and express our felling w/o having to be on the defensive.
OK, to those of you who think Berth 92-93 in Los Angeles, overlooking container ships, cranes, a gigantic parking lot, an Enterprise rental car office, etc., a location which is way too far to walk for someone with mobility problems is a good substitute for being dropped off by tender in the midst of a gorgeous beach area (Santa Barbara), may your RCL stock drop like dead weight, because you sound like stockholders not compassionate fellow passengers.