Okay, I know this is a cruise message board and we are all here to help one another BUT so often there are questions asked that have answers clearly spelled out in the materials that the cruise line publishes.
If you are going to take a cruise, it is important that you read all that stuff. When people ask a really basic question that is covered in the cruise material, it shows that they have not read the materials, and are likely to be unaware of some other, and potentially more important, information.
The cruise companies publish this stuff for a reason - you really should do your part and read it all.
I've thought this a hundred times, Diver. I actually LOVE the research part of a cruise, so don't mind reading thru all the brochures, etc. I suppose some people find it a chore and just decide they don't need to.
And you're correct, they are often the 1st in line to complain about something they *could* have known about ahead of time.
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I think a lot of these people are the ones who are attracted to a newpaper advertisement and walk into a TA's office to sign up for the cruise. The TA tells them the cruise goes to wherever, on this day, your cabin is, your dinner seating is, and your deposit is.
They walk out of the TA's office with a booking number and not much else. So they get on the internet and start investigating cruise web sites.
I totally agree with you. I don't understand why people don't read the information that is available to thme but most people don't read things during the day to day life. Thanks for showing me that other people agee with me.
Some people may be like me! Our first cruise was a "freebie" from DH's job. We had two weeks notice and were clueless. We didn't even get our documents until we met everyone at the airport to fly to New Orleans.
Unfortunately, I hadn't found this site yet. I sure could have used all the wonderful information here!
I also agree with DavidB. If all you do is read the brochure, you will have some surprises!
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Well, that may be fair with regard to the "brochure" and sales pitch stuff. Although I think most people realize that sales brochures are exactly that - and are likely to show all the positives and none of the negatives. But, you have a point well taken about that, and I won't disagree.
I was talking more about all the information at the back of the brochure, that talks about things like documentation (there was a post on the board recently from someone complaining that they arrived at the pier with outdated docs for her non-citizen husband, and were denied boarding - they blamed the cruise line), the possibility that ports may be changed or cancelled, etc., or information about when to book return flights (recent post that essentially said "I know the cruise line said not to book flights earlier than 2:00, and I booked a 1:00 return flight, and now the airline changed it to 11:00, and when I called the cruise line they said I might make it if everything goes well but they cannot guarantee it, and how can the cruise line be so insensitive to people who have early flights?").
To my mind, if you miss a flight that you booked for earlier than the cruise line recommends, you have no right to complain to the cruise line. Or if you don't take the time to get the proper documents and cannot board - it is your own fault, not the cruise line.
All this information is available and people spending thousands of dollars on a trip really should take the time to learn these things.
My gripe is with people who are too darn lazy to read the stuff, then complain when things go differently than they expected. If you are too lazy to read the material, then I have no sympathy for you. People sometimes need to take responsibility for themselves and for theor own choices, and not always try to blame the cruise line.
I have to agree that for the most part brochures are not reality. Everyone in the brochures is Hollywood beautiful, shapely and very well dressed even in very casual situations. Believe me, that 's not what I saw on my cruise. What I did see was people being themsevles and having alot of fun. I also have to say that the information in the back of the brochure should be read by everyone cruising. It gives very helpful and valuable information.
Before I cruised I purchased the book Cruising for Dummies. (no comments please) In this book it states that the brochures are for looks only.
I think most of the posts here have some great points.
I too have to wonder about the cruisers who discover a week before cruising that they should have a passport for their European cruise, or that when it says boarding time is 12 noon, they are mad that they can't board at 10"30 am.
Msot adults realize brochures are " selling " tools, but , the back and the fine print are important information.
As much as I like to look at the glossy photos, I always read the fine print!
I'm about to do my first cruise (okay took one too many years ago to count it). My catalog is well worn and I still have six months to go. I agree many people don't take the time to read, but even after reading it numerous times, I still finding things that I didn't know. That's why I've been trying to read every post, suggestion, tip I can find.
I just wanted to let you all know that i appreciate your imput.
P.S. Some people (me included) like to do what y'all call "Whine" on line. Remember, it may make us feel a little bit better (better than doing something worse!) and it might help others. For example, someone griped about what happend when she use her debit card. If it wasn't for her gripe, I might not have known of some of the pitfalls.
Thanks for all your posts.
Read the brochure! Surely you jest - that's waaay too much acceptance of personal responsibility for many folks nowadays. The people who don't read are also the same people who blab during all the announcements then pester their fellow passengers for the information (which, of course, they don't really listen to either). They are probably the same folks who sit on the stairs and clog passageways while awaiting disembarkation, because - guess what? - they didn't go to/watch/or read the disembarkation information.
As to rule enforcement. Now don't get riled up over this ya'll but . . . MY experience is that Carnival is far less likely to enforce rule infractions than the other lines but when a serious problem (really lewd behavior, fights, roudy late night behavior in hallways) they attend to it promptly. RCCL, NCL and PC seem to be better about enforcing dining room dress code and non-smoking area rules.
read the brochure-find a great travel agent that you can trust who specializes in cruises-come to this website-take more money then you planned-two nights before unpack your suitcase and only take half-have a good time and form your own opinion once you have completed your cruise
I remember check in for the Norwegian Sky when a passenger threw a fit because he was asked to step to the side to fill in his documentation. The agent said that it was explained in his pre-cruise documentation. His bellowing voice boomed. "No one told me I had to READ anything."
It's a cruise memory that will live forever. <VBG>
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I had those two weeks to prepare like you mentioned. Also walked into a TA bought and paid for my trip, left not knowing what to expect. I read what I was given, but it left so many things out. That's when i found you guys. I am just off the ship, so I still have everything given to me from Carnival, and the TA. If I had used only this info, I don't think i would have had as much fun, and been as prepared. In many ways you guys are TA's. You offer someone like me, a chance to ask those questions.