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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 11th, 2007, 03:28 PM
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Default Celebrity cruise Nightmare

I Just returned exhausted from the July 30th sailing of the Celebrity Millenium. This is a warning to those who are considering Celebrity cruises. They do not have an acceptable crisis management plan in place for the large amount of people that they "service." The ship crashed into a rock at the first port. They damaged 5 propeller blades. There was no communication for the first hours of the fiasco. We made it to the second and last stop and spent the last week being given conflicting communication. To make matters worse, anyone who did not benefit from a tip had such a bad attitude because they could not handle the stress of the situation. It was one of the worst weeks of my life. Celebrity flew 50 plus people in from their Miami offices, however none of them had any real authority to do anything. I caution anyone who is considering these cruises that you look carefully at the safety record and safety procedures of the cruise line. I will never take a Celebrity cruise again. Please be aware that these companies also have their staff monitor these websites for negative press and may post contradictory comments as damage control. Thanks to my Celebrity experience, I prefer to stay on land where I have more control over the success of my vacation.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 03:36 PM
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"I Just returned exhausted from the July 30th sailing of the Celebrity Millenium."

Ummmm, do you time travel?
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Old July 11th, 2007, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
"I Just returned exhausted from the July 30th sailing of the Celebrity Millenium."

Ummmm, do you time travel?
Very cute!
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Old July 11th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Yet another "drive-by" posting...

*Sigh*

Norm.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 07:28 PM
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The situation was the pits for all those onboard, and those scheduled on the next cruise - which is cancelled.

However, the compensation is quite reasonable..... full refund, and a credit for a future cruise equal to what each passenger paid for this ill fated cruise to use on a future cruise.

It doesn't make up for losing out on your Mediterranean cruise, but you at least get your money back, plus a free next cruise.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 09:28 AM
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Since you have no intentions of sailing on Celebrity again, I would be willing to take your free cruise or cruises whichever applies....

Don
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Old July 13th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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I feel compelled to respond to this posting, although that is not typical for me. I was a passenger on this cruise (my first) but my impressions were totally different.

Obviously everyone involved would have preferred this incident never occurred. However, under the circumstances I think Celebrity did an incredible job of handling a difficult situation. We had written and verbal updates from the Captain on a regular basis -- sometimes 5-6 a day. They flew in equiptment and divers at an enormous expense from around the world to try and repair the propellers. Corporate headquarters sent teams to help. Celebrity arranged free bus tours to several of the ports of call for the passengers. They also helped us get home, refunded all our money (despite having fed us well for over a week), and gave us credit for our next cruise. The staff bent over backwards to help, and were always polite and helpful (even when some guests were incredibly rude and obnoxious).

Did everything go flawlessly? Of course not. Could you really expect that it would, given there were 2000 people to deal with? Overall, I was impressed and think they tried everything humanly possible. And I personally enjoyed a "free" vacation in the Mediterranean sun.

I think it is easy to look good when everything goes as planned. The true test of an organization is how they handle a crisis, and in my book, Celebrity gets 5 stars.

Gail
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Old July 14th, 2007, 05:57 PM
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Default Disappointed

Everyone may have a different view of the event & the response by Celebrity as indicated in many more posts on another board about the whole unfolding event..but I am disppointed that the OP was not given very much sympathy for what must have been a very traumatic event. DH & I are experienced cruisers & ongoing participants on this board
Anyhow, we are still very nervous abt our Sept cruise on Century to W Medit... we have have never travelled to Europe, this is costing us an enormous amt of money & I am praying things run smoothly.. I can appreciate that someone might react as the OP did because maybe that was her genuine experience. I would be frantic trying to figure out how to get back to my designated departure city or re-arranging air to get home from a foreign country! I feel that even though it is a first post it is entitled to some respect as she was there & most of us were not! Cruising can be lots of fun but there are many pitfalls that some may not be aware of when they set out!
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Old July 14th, 2007, 05:59 PM
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Sorry the bold feature did not work--hence the little "b"s
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Old July 15th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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I have a response for new cruzr. I was a passenger on this cruise, my first and last. The cruise cost me ALOT of money, planning time and family expectations that were never realized.
As you say, everyone involved would have preferred it never occurred, including the crew (which was obvious). I think Celebrity’s response was a how-not-to as far as crisis and safety management.

First mistake: no communication from the captain for 36 hours.

Second mistake: no one did an assessment of damages at the beginning. The captain’s announcements clearly indicated this. He would announce that they were having trouble with a bolt but as soon as it was fixed, he said we would move on. Then that bolt was fixed but they found another stubborn bolt and as soon as that was fixed, he said we would move. Then as that bolt was fixed, the housing was stuck on. The crew should have checked all of the bolts, the housing and everything else to see what the repair time would be. In addition, how come they told us only five blades were broken and eight blades were on the dock? It cost a lot of money to transport those blades – each one weighed four tons. If we were told from day one at Civitavecchia that we would be there for eight days, we could have made different and enjoyable plans.

Third mistake: this group of passengers was written off. This was clearly the case. They made us wait in ridiculously long lines for information, they could not do laundry, they ran out of towels, the basketball nets were ripped, the workout room stopped being stocked, the sewage was drained right next to where we were disembarking (what a smell), shuttles ran infrequently, etc…

Fourth mistake: sending teams from corporate. These teams had no authority. We wanted to leave the ship and were told we would not get a refund if we did (policy). We wanted a refund of tuxedo money but they could only tell us to call headquarters when we got back. I waited two hours in line to talk with these corporate people (not counting the time I was erroneously paged by them and waiting another hour to be told that). It was a waste of time.

You said they tried everything humanly possible. How about providing train tickets to Rome, Florence or anywhere else? It was a much more effective means of transportation than those European (cramped) buses. How about accurate numbers for how long it took to get to the tour destinations by bus? We were told Sorrento would take four hours, it took 6 ½ hours. Not a smal lthing after what we endured. I travelled with 3 two children. How about free internet connections? How about free water, soda, etc. The Celebrity profit makers were still holding art auctions.

You said you enjoyed a “free? vacation? It cost me money to be there even if they refunded the cruise – plane fare, water, drinks, tux rentals, transportation to and from airports, etc. We were stuck in Civitavecchia for six to eight days (depending on when you left) and told each day to be back by 5:00. That did not allow time for even one Italian meal (restaurants open at 8:00). Those cabins are fine if you are enjoying yourself but as a room that you spent time in, they were small. The announcements got to be torturous as nothing stated in them was accurate.

Everything done was the least they could do. As stated in the initial previous e-mail, I agree you may be an employee attempting to install “damage control?
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Old July 15th, 2007, 07:14 PM
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Landrover and D Burke:

What proof do you have that the cruise lines plant people to respond to negative issues such as with the Mille cruise. Using your own logic, I might draw the conclusion that you work for say Carnival or Princess and are planting negative comments about Celebrity. My accusation would be just as accurate as yours.

Don
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Old July 16th, 2007, 08:58 PM
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I don't want to get into an online debate, but need to make a couple of points.

First, I have absolutely NO conflict of interest in stating what I did. I do not work for Celebrity, have no relatives working for Celebrity, have absolutely no connection with Celebrity, and in fact, this was my first cruise with Celebrity.

Secondly, this trip meant as much to me as to anyone. This was our 40th anniversary, and we had been planning it for years.

Third, I have worked for many large corporations, and I can tell you that how Celebrity handled this was well beyond what 98% of all major corporations would have done.

Sometimes life gives you lemons. I have a good recipe for lemonade.

Newcruzr
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Old July 17th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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Some of the stories being shared on this & other boards are sad but also inspiring as to how poeple made the best of it--some at great finanancial & emotional cost. At least we have this added way to communicate--some yrs back it would all be a mystery!
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Old July 18th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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I could not imagine this situation being handled any different with any of the other lines. As they say "Poop Happens".

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Old July 21st, 2007, 01:12 PM
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So sorry for all those inconvenienced by an unfortunate accident. My first cruise on Celebrity Galaxy last year was not perfect..many upset because we crossed through some stormy weather in the Mediterranean! I had a few issues with other matters, contacted customer service when I got home, was more than adequately compensated. I think the key to Diane's posting of her "awful" experience is in the last line of her posting
" where I have more control ". First thing to learn is, YOU have no control! I'll be glad to take the the vouchers for your free cruise as well!
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Old July 21st, 2007, 06:56 PM
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You know, I think the experiences people have are directly related to their personalities, and how THEY respond to things.

Myself, my DH, my sister, and her DH were on a cruise where we missed 2 port calls due to 2 different medical evacuations.

The 1st was because the guy had heart surgery and travelled against medical advise, and the 2nd because an elderly lady (poor thing) fell and hurt her eye.
The evacuations took forever because the ship had to turn around to meet the helicopter and accompanying fuel tanker, and we did lose our tours.
My sister was furious and is still complaining 2 yrs later, swearing she will never cruise that line again.

We realized that "stuff" does happen, and if it were us needing the help, that we would get the same quality.
It is just a matter of different reactions--People are different.

IMO
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 04:26 PM
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As for the inturruption of the trip... you did purchase travel insurance, didn't you? Things happen..things go wrong. Make the best of it. Count your blessings, and don't dwell on the bad things. I've traveled extensively, and have had things go wrong...trips cancelled, excursions changed, bad weather, flight delays...all of it. If you want it to be like home, don't travel, stay home. Nothing is perfect in this world...stop complaining and realize that you aren't the most important person in the world. Given the same situation, if you were in charge, I doubt that you could have done any better than the crew and Celebrity did...perhaps not as well. It's very easy to sit back and "armchair quarterback" how you would have done it...it's quite another matter to actually deal with the problem and deal with angry customers. You always catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. End of pontification from my soapbox and my 2 cents worth.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 08:16 PM
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dsealy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
As for the inturruption of the trip... you did purchase travel insurance, didn't you?
No, absolutely not. Never. Not ever.

The purchase of insurance is always a LOSING gamble. The insurance company must (1) pay the apportioned salaries, benefits, and overhead of staff and agents who sell and process policies and claims, (2) pay commissions to independent agents and adjusters involved in selling policies and handling claims, (3) pay the amount of all claims, and (4) generate a profit for the insurance company's stockholders -- all out of the premiums that its customers pay for their policies. The only part of the premium that goes back to the customers is the amount actually paid out in claims. Over the course of several cruises, those who buy trip insurance spend far more on premiums than they recoup on claims.

The bottom line here is that it makes sense to purchase insurance only to cover losses or liabilities that would be catastrophic if one must pay them out of pocket. If the cost of a vacation trip is in that category, one simply cannot afford that vacation trip in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Things happen..things go wrong. Make the best of it. Count your blessings, and don't dwell on the bad things. I've traveled extensively, and have had things go wrong...trips cancelled, excursions changed, bad weather, flight delays...all of it. If you want it to be like home, don't travel, stay home. Nothing is perfect in this world...stop complaining and realize that you aren't the most important person in the world. Given the same situation, if you were in charge, I doubt that you could have done any better than the crew and Celebrity did...perhaps not as well. It's very easy to sit back and "armchair quarterback" how you would have done it...it's quite another matter to actually deal with the problem and deal with angry customers. You always catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
With this, I agree completely. When travelling, we need to expect that things will sometimes go wrong.

That said, it seems that 99% of dissatisfaction when things go wrong on a cruise comes from passengers who plainly do not understand the terms set forth in the cruise line's Contract of Passage, to which they implicitly agreed when they bought their cruise tickets. Most travel agents should do a much better job of explaining those terms to their customers, especially when their customers are cruising on a line for the first time. ("Before I accept your booking, you should understand that the cruise line may change the itinerary without notice for any reason and that you are not entitled to any compensation if the ship skips a port of call or substitutes an alternate port of call. Also, you should understand that the ship may disembark passengers who don't follow the ship's rules or whose presence poses a danger to themselves or to others in any port of call with no further obligation to provide transportation, lodging, refund of the apportioned balance of the cruise fare, or any other compensation or assistance. Knowing those conditions, do you still wish to book?")

Norm.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
dsealy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
As for the inturruption of the trip... you did purchase travel insurance, didn't you?
No, absolutely not. Never. Not ever.

The purchase of insurance is always a LOSING gamble. The insurance company must (1) pay the apportioned salaries, benefits, and overhead of staff and agents who sell and process policies and claims, (2) pay commissions to independent agents and adjusters involved in selling policies and handling claims, (3) pay the amount of all claims, and (4) generate a profit for the insurance company's stockholders -- all out of the premiums that its customers pay for their policies. The only part of the premium that goes back to the customers is the amount actually paid out in claims. Over the course of several cruises, those who buy trip insurance spend far more on premiums than they recoup on claims.

The bottom line here is that it makes sense to purchase insurance only to cover losses or liabilities that would be catastrophic if one must pay them out of pocket. If the cost of a vacation trip is in that category, one simply cannot afford that vacation trip in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Things happen..things go wrong. Make the best of it. Count your blessings, and don't dwell on the bad things. I've traveled extensively, and have had things go wrong...trips cancelled, excursions changed, bad weather, flight delays...all of it. If you want it to be like home, don't travel, stay home. Nothing is perfect in this world...stop complaining and realize that you aren't the most important person in the world. Given the same situation, if you were in charge, I doubt that you could have done any better than the crew and Celebrity did...perhaps not as well. It's very easy to sit back and "armchair quarterback" how you would have done it...it's quite another matter to actually deal with the problem and deal with angry customers. You always catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
With this, I agree completely. When travelling, we need to expect that things will sometimes go wrong.

That said, it seems that 99% of dissatisfaction when things go wrong on a cruise comes from passengers who plainly do not understand the terms set forth in the cruise line's Contract of Passage, to which they implicitly agreed when they bought their cruise tickets. Most travel agents should do a much better job of explaining those terms to their customers, especially when their customers are cruising on a line for the first time. ("Before I accept your booking, you should understand that the cruise line may change the itinerary without notice for any reason and that you are not entitled to any compensation if the ship skips a port of call or substitutes an alternate port of call. Also, you should understand that the ship may disembark passengers who don't follow the ship's rules or whose presence poses a danger to themselves or to others in any port of call with no further obligation to provide transportation, lodging, refund of the apportioned balance of the cruise fare, or any other compensation or assistance. Knowing those conditions, do you still wish to book?")

Norm.
ALWAYS a losing gamble, I think not. Wife's aunt was going on a cruise with us, first cruise, bought insurance, got appendicitis prior to cruise and after payment deadline. Did not go and received full payment for cruise.

Do not agree with your comments about catastrophic loss and not going on a cruise... Losing the money for most would probably not be a catastropic loss but certainly would not be something they would want to happen. How about insurance for those who are not covered by medical insurance when traveling such as the millions not covered by Medicare.


Don
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 01:34 PM
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I'm sorry to hear of the unfortunate events which happened on the original poster's cruise.

I agree with both sides of the fence. There's nothing like a huge disappointment after spending a considerable amount of time and money and looking forward to your [first] big cruise. On the other hand (no matter how large your corporation is or how great your lemonade recipe is) nothing happens 100% the way we ALL think it should. As one poster said, "poop happens". As much as we belly ache about it, don't want it to happen and resist ANY form of light or positive thinking-we can either learn from it, accept it or be angry and bitter.

In an emergency situation such as this, there isn't a perfect plan. Working here in San Francisco and preparing for terroist attacks, earthquakes, etc., as much planning that goes into emergency preparedness, nothing is perfect. We want it to be, hope and pray that everything will work out fine, but something will go wrong. It's life.

I do think it's admirable that Celebrity refunded the passenger's fare as well as offered a free cruise in the future! Being a devout Celebrity patron I have only positive experience with them (even though we lost a port last November due to a medical emergency). Perhaps if you had been on a cruise (or few) prior to this experience, you would have had a different outlook?

Regardless, it is too bad this happened. And you can "vote" with your dollars just as we all can. I guess we won't be seeing you!

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Old August 3rd, 2007, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
dsealy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
As for the inturruption of the trip... you did purchase travel insurance, didn't you?
No, absolutely not. Never. Not ever.

The purchase of insurance is always a LOSING gamble. The insurance company must (1) pay the apportioned salaries, benefits, and overhead of staff and agents who sell and process policies and claims, (2) pay commissions to independent agents and adjusters involved in selling policies and handling claims, (3) pay the amount of all claims, and (4) generate a profit for the insurance company's stockholders -- all out of the premiums that its customers pay for their policies. The only part of the premium that goes back to the customers is the amount actually paid out in claims. Over the course of several cruises, those who buy trip insurance spend far more on premiums than they recoup on claims.

The bottom line here is that it makes sense to purchase insurance only to cover losses or liabilities that would be catastrophic if one must pay them out of pocket. If the cost of a vacation trip is in that category, one simply cannot afford that vacation trip in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Things happen..things go wrong. Make the best of it. Count your blessings, and don't dwell on the bad things. I've traveled extensively, and have had things go wrong...trips cancelled, excursions changed, bad weather, flight delays...all of it. If you want it to be like home, don't travel, stay home. Nothing is perfect in this world...stop complaining and realize that you aren't the most important person in the world. Given the same situation, if you were in charge, I doubt that you could have done any better than the crew and Celebrity did...perhaps not as well. It's very easy to sit back and "armchair quarterback" how you would have done it...it's quite another matter to actually deal with the problem and deal with angry customers. You always catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
With this, I agree completely. When travelling, we need to expect that things will sometimes go wrong.

That said, it seems that 99% of dissatisfaction when things go wrong on a cruise comes from passengers who plainly do not understand the terms set forth in the cruise line's Contract of Passage, to which they implicitly agreed when they bought their cruise tickets. Most travel agents should do a much better job of explaining those terms to their customers, especially when their customers are cruising on a line for the first time. ("Before I accept your booking, you should understand that the cruise line may change the itinerary without notice for any reason and that you are not entitled to any compensation if the ship skips a port of call or substitutes an alternate port of call. Also, you should understand that the ship may disembark passengers who don't follow the ship's rules or whose presence poses a danger to themselves or to others in any port of call with no further obligation to provide transportation, lodging, refund of the apportioned balance of the cruise fare, or any other compensation or assistance. Knowing those conditions, do you still wish to book?")

Norm.
Rev22:17,

As you instructed a cruisemate in one of your other posts, please do not SHOUT when posting. SHOUTING can be taken as rude and some will bypass your message altogether.

Blessings-
Ashante
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 04:46 PM
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OK I'm confused....ok more than usual this time.

Did the thread start out with someone pointing out that the OP's issue was
the July 30th sailing yet it was posted Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:28 pm ?

Then Kuki follows with what seems to me to be a confirmation of an incident.

Did the thread deteriorate and have some posts been lost or was the OP wrong on the date of sailing?

Phil & Liz
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Old August 6th, 2007, 06:42 PM
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Phil&Liz,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
OK I'm confused....ok more than usual this time.

Did the thread start out with someone pointing out that the OP's issue was
the July 30th sailing yet it was posted Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:28 pm ?

Then Kuki follows with what seems to me to be a confirmation of an incident.

Did the thread deteriorate and have some posts been lost or was the OP wrong on the date of sailing?

Phil & Liz
There was an error in the date of sailing. IIRC, it should have been 30 June 2007.

Norm.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landrover
I have a response for new cruzr. I was a passenger on this cruise, my first and last. The cruise cost me ALOT of money, planning time and family expectations that were never realized.
As you say, everyone involved would have preferred it never occurred, including the crew (which was obvious). I think Celebrity’s response was a how-not-to as far as crisis and safety management.

First mistake: no communication from the captain for 36 hours.

Second mistake: no one did an assessment of damages at the beginning. The captain’s announcements clearly indicated this. He would announce that they were having trouble with a bolt but as soon as it was fixed, he said we would move on. Then that bolt was fixed but they found another stubborn bolt and as soon as that was fixed, he said we would move. Then as that bolt was fixed, the housing was stuck on. The crew should have checked all of the bolts, the housing and everything else to see what the repair time would be. In addition, how come they told us only five blades were broken and eight blades were on the dock? It cost a lot of money to transport those blades – each one weighed four tons. If we were told from day one at Civitavecchia that we would be there for eight days, we could have made different and enjoyable plans.

Third mistake: this group of passengers was written off. This was clearly the case. They made us wait in ridiculously long lines for information, they could not do laundry, they ran out of towels, the basketball nets were ripped, the workout room stopped being stocked, the sewage was drained right next to where we were disembarking (what a smell), shuttles ran infrequently, etc…

Fourth mistake: sending teams from corporate. These teams had no authority. We wanted to leave the ship and were told we would not get a refund if we did (policy). We wanted a refund of tuxedo money but they could only tell us to call headquarters when we got back. I waited two hours in line to talk with these corporate people (not counting the time I was erroneously paged by them and waiting another hour to be told that). It was a waste of time.

You said they tried everything humanly possible. How about providing train tickets to Rome, Florence or anywhere else? It was a much more effective means of transportation than those European (cramped) buses. How about accurate numbers for how long it took to get to the tour destinations by bus? We were told Sorrento would take four hours, it took 6 ½ hours. Not a smal lthing after what we endured. I travelled with 3 two children. How about free internet connections? How about free water, soda, etc. The Celebrity profit makers were still holding art auctions.

You said you enjoyed a “free? vacation? It cost me money to be there even if they refunded the cruise – plane fare, water, drinks, tux rentals, transportation to and from airports, etc. We were stuck in Civitavecchia for six to eight days (depending on when you left) and told each day to be back by 5:00. That did not allow time for even one Italian meal (restaurants open at 8:00). Those cabins are fine if you are enjoying yourself but as a room that you spent time in, they were small. The announcements got to be torturous as nothing stated in them was accurate.

Everything done was the least they could do. As stated in the initial previous e-mail, I agree you may be an employee attempting to install “damage control?
Hi landrover,

Sorry to hear about your experience. I agree 100% with all of your points that you made. It always way to easy for those not affected to feel that no matter what happens it is not a big deal. I experienced similar treatment from Celebrity and you are right that when things go wrong Celebrity corporate does tend just to write off passengers and hope to just gain new passengers through saturation advertising to replace those who have been lost.

As far as damage control people who tread this board, I certainly hope not. Although I have been on other boards and already I recgonize quite a few names who do seem to specialize in "damage control".
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