Everybody wants to break away and have good time. But would you head to the nearest travel agent if presented with this description:
Your room may be the smallest you’ve ever paid for. It might not even have a window. To find your room, you’ll need help and have to carry a map. You’ll be told when you can leave and return, and stand in line for both. To check out requires clearance from local authorities. You’ll be dealing with people who don’t necessarily speak much English.
You could possibly get sick through the course of your stay and have to pay someone to make you feel better. To truly enjoy the venue, extra charges will be levied for sightseeing. You’ll eat with strangers in a dining room which seats hundreds. When it’s all over, you’ll be heavier than when the week began. And when you do leave, you will thank everyone and tip them something extra.”
Congratulations, you chose a cruise.
Cruising is hot. No other form of vacation operates on its own peculiar clock, with a setting familiar for its opulence, yet foreign for the unfamiliar. Prices seem to get better each year because more ships are being built. Unlike airlines, which refuse to discount shortly before departure, cruise ships sailing partially full benefit no one. There are deals to be found, even at the last minute.
Traveling by air used to be part of joy of a vacation. Now air woes are the main problems of travel. Cruising is safe and sane, and the inside anecdotes about those who do are just plain funny.
Some analysis–the expectation level for a cruise is high. Cliché it may be, friendliness and personal service define the cruise encounter. But that reputation has caused a halo to form like this were a trip to heaven. “I paid for my cruise and everything better be perfect.” Usually it is. But what if it’s not?
“It’s such a happy ship. I said to my waiter, ‘You know it’s been three days since I came in.’ The waiter said, “‘I’m serving the food as fast as I can.’ ” – David Reid, comedian.
When in doubt, complain. These are real complaints and you have to laugh.
1) Complaint: Mr. and Mrs. Jones came to the reception to register a complaint regarding not being able to sleep for the past two nights due to the movement of the ship. Mrs. Jones stated that she has not experienced anything like this before with past cruises.
Outcome: Apologies given. Passengers told that the ship tries to avoid rough seas when possible and their comments would be documented
But maybe: The seas were calmer on a previous cruise. Wonder how she would handle turbulence on an airplane).
2) Complaint: Passenger complained that she was disturbed in her cabin even after placing the “Do Not Disturb” sign on her door.
Outcome: Apologies were given. The cabin steward was contacted. He reported that the passenger had placed the “Make up room” sign on the door. Passenger then said someone must have changed the door card, but was happy with the actions taken.
But maybe: Many door cards are being changed by a mysterious someone trying to ruin everyone’s cruise. We’re trying to track down that culprit and call the police.
3) Complaint: Passenger came to the reception desk to complain about his pizza. He claimed he was denied croissants with his onion soup and was brought a different pizza, other than what he had ordered. He said he would disembark the ship if these discrepancies continued.
Outcome: Apologies extended. Food and Beverage staff was informed of this tragedy.
But maybe: Threatening to cancel your vacation over a pizza and onion soup. Get a grip.
4) Complaint: One gentleman complained to the casino manager that he doesn’t understand how Black Jack is played and has been consistently losing (so badly that he picked up his lost bet and threw it at the dealer.
Outcome: Casino Manager informed him cordially that this was unacceptable behavior and he would not be allowed at the tables any more that evening.
But maybe: He should try the slots and rant that they are all bandits. Have dinner with the guy who got the wrong pizza. Sounds like they’d have a lot to talk about.
Does anyone actually have a high expectation of air travel and its service standards? The most we hope for is on-time arrivals. That’s it. An announcement by the pilot pointing out the Grand Canyon below is a bonus. “I paid for my airline ticket and this flight better be perfect.” No, not likely.
“People can get worked up over little things on a cruise because it’s an insulated environment,” says one customer relations representative. “They can’t just check out and .”
Fortunately all cruise lines have a good product. Relax and enjoy the world of cruising.