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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 06:42 AM
Angela L.
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Default A warning for all cruisers, especially single ones!

I posted this on a different message board and many appreciated me sharing the warning of what can go wrong on a cruise. I hope some regulars here appreciate the warning as well.

This may seem hard to believe, but it is true. I've been on 19 cruises, having started when I was 20 (young and carefree), and this was the first that I have ever seen anything like this, let alone have it happen to me at this stage of my life.

The short version of my cruise experience is that my roommate and I (both single ladies) were ultimately stalked while onboard the Tahitian Princess, March 13-23, 2005. Somehow our cabin number got into the hands of a crew member that turned out to be a sexual deviant, someone that had a fondness for full-figured women (lucky me!), and who throughout the cruise (starting on day #2) phoned our cabin at all times of the day and night and tried to woo me with his ideas about how we should spend the cruise together. He made comments about seeing me onboard, knowing what I had been doing, and what I was wearing, and was very sexually explicit with what he wanted from me. After begging him to stop calling for a few days, and at times having to unplug the phone, and with nothing but fear in me day and night at the thought of being watched, I gave in and followed the advice of my roommate and other professionals that I had been e-mailing while onboard and filed a formal complaint at the front desk. The crew member was eventually discharged after being caught phoning me in the middle of the night. He was a total stranger to me; not being someone that I recall serving me at any time. The last thing I wanted was to cause a crew member from being discharged, and having him discharged was equally unpleasant and did not put an end to the situation. The remaining days I was in fear of the reactions from his fellow countrymen.

This incident led to several other issues that I found extremely alarming, but would never have come up had there not been any phone calls. The main problem that needs to be brought to the forefront is how I believe the catastrophe began. It is my belief that the crew member obtained my cabin number from the use of my keycard for a beverage purchase. Princess could not confirm or deny this assumption -- they could not answer how he had gotten our cabin number. There was no other way this crew member could have obtained my cabin number, except perhaps when I bought the soda sticker -- and it could have been from him or a co-worker. Being a dining room waiter, I was told that he did not have access to the cabin numbers (I was told only head waiters and the maitre d' had that information).

Printing the cabin numbers right on the keycards is such an obviously questionable practice of Princess Cruises -- it creates an unsafe atmosphere for its passengers by boldly displaying information that should be considered private and off-limits. In my opinion there is no valid reason for imprinting the cabin numbers right on the keycard. The only reason I can see is ease of accounting for Princess. If those keycards are lost, not only are the cabin contents available to the finder of the keycard, at least temporarily, but depending on the mental state of mind of the finder, there is the potential for personal harm to the occupants of a cabin. I know this subject was discussed on this board in July 2004. I dug it up and brought it to the attention of Princess Cruises, but that seemed to be of little interest.

I've been in contact with Princess's legal counsel and do not get the impression that my concerns about the keycards will be addressed. Nor are they eager to return to us in full the vacation that we had dreamed about but never thought would be possible to enjoy. I have read about a lot of changes with Princess Cruises lately and read of some other problems that have been going on there, and truly hope that they get their act together soon.

I have received an enormous amount of information on these boards. I've always tried to help out when I saw the occasion, and hope this experience makes people more aware of what can go wrong on a cruise ship. We were told by many staff onboard that anything that can happen in our own cities/towns can also happen onboard. It's a shame that they don't make changes to prevent this from happening. I certainly hope there are changes by November which could very easily be my final Princess cruise.

If you'd like to hear the long version, e-mail mail. I have got EVERYTHING documented! (My internet charges were over $200!)
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 04:17 PM
Ferret
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Default Re: A warning for all cruisers, especially single ones!

wow, what a story.

After reading your post, I went to check some of my room keys (I collect them as souveniers) and sure enough, my room number was listed on my Princess one, but NOT on Royal Caribbean, Carnival or Celebrity (the only other lines I've been on.)
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 04:25 PM
Ferret
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Default Re: A warning for all cruisers, especially single ones!

I also recalled one other thing after I submitted my post....

Our room had our names on the mailbox thing outside the door on the Golden Princess. It says exactly who is in the room, and it's easy to to tell if a single woman is in there.

A lot of people took theirs off, but a lot of people will walk by your room before you ever get a chance to go in half the time. It seems like some kind of privacy is compromised there.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: A warning for all cruisers, especially single ones!

Sorry to hear about your experience--I do agree, names on mailboxes outside the door and room numbers on keycards is a bad idea for lots of reasons.

Carnival does put your room number on your receipt if you buy anything with your card (a fellow cruiser once used that when she forgot what room she was in), but that's not quite as bad as putting it on the card.

Todd

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Old August 12th, 2005, 01:21 PM
Jenjen
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Default Re: A warning for all cruisers, especially single ones!

Hey Angela:

That is just awful. I wanted to let you know that you might want to talk to a lawyer. The cruiseline's legal counsel is there to protect the cruiseline, and not you, so I am not surprised that you got nowhere with them. It seems to me that you have a very good argument that they negligently hired this predator, and that they negligently printed room numbers on keycards--and this is probably what ended up giving this predator access to you. I think they should be held responsible, at the very least to the tune of what you paid for the cruise (if not more). A nasty letter from an attorney would probably get them to cough up the amount you paid for the cruise.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: A warning for all cruisers, especially single ones!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela L.
The short version of my cruise experience is that my roommate and I (both single ladies) were ultimately stalked while onboard the Tahitian Princess, March 13-23, 2005. Somehow our cabin number got into the hands of a crew member that turned out to be a sexual deviant, someone that had a fondness for full-figured women (lucky me!), and who throughout the cruise. . .
It sounds like the crewmember had "past relations" with guests and felt that most of the females on the ship are fair game. I guess this is why having romantic relationship with crew members should be off limits.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 04:14 PM
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As this is a few months old and I personally have not been on a Princess cruise I wonder if this is still the case. CCL who is the parent company now did away with putting the cabin numbers on the S&S cards years ago and I have never heard of them placing your names on the cabin mailbox! Bottom line is should ANY crewmember make any advances towards you they should immediately be informed that these advances are unwelcome and will be reported in the future, (Everyone deserves to be notified before reporting them). If they persist then you immediatel go in person to the front desk and file a formal complain in writing. Insist upon it! There is no doubt that the person will be punished or discharged if there were any other reports or this type behaviour. Cruiselines are VERY strict about this. My best friend who is female served onboard a ship and she would not even enter my cabin oast the entranceway and with the door open at that and my wife also in the cabin! Keep in m,ind that this lady has slept over at our home many times and we hers. Does not matter as far as the cruiseline is concerned, it is forbidden.
Jim
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 10:12 PM
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I cruised on the Caribbean Princess last January with a singles group and a lot of the women in the group complained of constantly being hit on by crew members which made most of the girls feel very uncomfortable to say the least. Even though cruise lines say that this type of thing is not permitted, it was, and is, obviously a big problem. The male crew members were not discreet about it either and were quite bold about their needs and were shocked when their unwelcome advances were shot down. As your example shows...you can never tell when things could get ugly. I spoke to a number of officers about this problem and they assured me that they took this issue very seriously, but it was clearly happening right under their noses. I wrote a letter to Princess but never received a response from them. This sort of things is bad enough, but when you mix in the ease of obtaining passenger cabin numbers it is very disturbing. All cruise lines should respect passenger privacy and do everything in their power to prevent incidents like yours from happening. I'd call a lawyer and hit them hard!
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Old October 4th, 2005, 05:09 PM
Pat Hagan Singles Editor's Avatar
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I totally agree with everything Jim Bragg said.
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Old October 4th, 2005, 05:38 PM
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[quote="Jim Bragg"] I have never heard of them placing your names on the cabin mailbox!

I sailed on the Diamond Princes during Spring Break in 2004. There was a little space where they entered the names of the cabin occupants by the door. I cruised with my then significant other, and his name as well as mine were listed. I don't know if this is still the case.

Bottom line is should ANY crewmember make any advances towards you they should immediately be informed that these advances are unwelcome and will be reported in the future, (Everyone deserves to be notified before reporting them).

I think that one advance is one too many. Life has rules. If you break the rules you suffer the consequences. I work for a school district and employees as well as students know what the boundaries are. I'm sure that the employees of the cruise lines know what is expected of them when they sign their contract. I'm probably in the minority, but to me bad behavior is still bad behavior. What is to say that the same person won't move on to another target and succeed. They are still violating cruiseline policy.
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Old November 7th, 2005, 09:13 PM
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Angela,

Long time, no hear-from! Apart from this incident, how are you?

As I'm sure that you are aware, I gave up cruising with Princess after the shareholders of hte parent company voted to merge operations with Carnival. I have been cruising with Celebrity since, and am quite satisfied.

Princess has a longstanding reputation of not tolerating fraternization between members of the crew and passengers, but they have recently started mixing Carnival and Princess staff. I'm not sure if this might account for the behavior that you describe, which was extremely rare on Princess ships in the past. In any case, it's important to remember that you did not cause the crew member's dismissal. Rather, the crew member caused his own dismissal by his grossly inappropriate actions. You merely alerted the line to those actions -- and it's to the line's credit that the ship's officers acted so decisively to resolve the problem.

That said, I fully appreciate your concerns about possible retribution by other members of the crew from the same county.

On the whole, cruise ships are one of the safest environments available to solo travellers. They have security cameras throughout the public areas with staff monitoring hem around the clock, plus tight security to control access to the vessel. Most lines also screen their staffs and crew members very thoroughly, so problems like the one that you encountered are extremely rare. I'm sorry that it happened, but I hope that you won't give up cruising as a result. If you are not happy with Princess, why not give Celebrity a try?

Norm.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 09:13 PM
Pat Hagan Singles Editor's Avatar
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Like Jim Bragg, I have never, ever, seen a person's name posted on their cabin door.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 08:07 PM
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Pat,

Like Jim Bragg, I have never, ever, seen a person's name posted on their cabin door.

Have you ever taken a cruise with Princess?

On all thirteen of my cruises with Princess, the stewards inserted cards with the name(s) of the occupants in a holder on or next to the cabin door, just like many people have their names on their mailboxes at home. The practice is a double-edged sword -- I appreciate Angela's concern about personal security, but it probably prevented far more problems than it caused by allowing people who were calling on their friends to verify that they had the right cabin before knocking on the door. Also, on the other side of the fence, have you ever known a woman to give a wrong room (or telephone) number to a man, either accidentally or deliberately? If the names are on the door, the man realizes that he has a wrong number before he disturbs the lucky occupants of the cabin whose number the woman gave rather than after an annoyed occupant opens the door and informs him that no such woman is staying in that cabin.

Norm.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 02:32 AM
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Does single men get hit on? I just can't see the female crew members being this aggressive.

I have been on three cruises in my life and I plan on taking many many more. In the past, I was always with somebody; however, I am seriously considering taking a singles cruise. I want to meet somebody to start a romance and hopefully it will translate into something off the ship.
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Old December 25th, 2005, 12:36 AM
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Princess and probably a few other cruise lines put your names on the door. It is a just a slip of paper though which you could take out or turn around so that it shows blank.

I hate when my roomm number is on my key card, and I REALLY hate the fact that my phone numbe IS my room number. I wished they were different numbers.

Cheers!!
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