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Worst experience on a cruise ship

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Did you ever have a terrible experience on a cruise ship ? Would you like to share your story ?

 

Many years ago my wife and I were on a HAL cruise to Costa Rica and other places we had never been to before.

This was expected to be a wonderful cruise with 2 other couples,very close friends.We had an OV Cabin.We went to bed the first night at 11:00.At 12:40 AM I woke up to water gushing from the ceiling.Apparently the people in the cabin above us forgot to shut the water in their bath tub.My wife and I were soaked as were clothes and personal items. We called Guest Services .They came,assessed the situation and told us to wait outside the room till they could find a cabin to move us to.We were not wearing that much and they gave us blankets to put over our bodies.In what seemed to be an eternity they found an empty OV cabin on the same deck but there was an odor in the cabin that was awful.After a 2 hour wait they found a balcony cabin and moved us there.

They did compensate us for items not again usable and for everything else negative to the degree that we were able to enjoy the rest of the cruise but that first night was horrible.

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Actually, I think there will be some interesting “worst experiences” posted on these threads by some of the passengers booked on the first cruises to sail once they do start.

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I have cruised over 500 days so far my worst experience was getting sea sick once 40 years ago on tiny Hal ship going to Bermuda.

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3 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Actually, I think there will be some interesting “worst experiences” posted on these threads by some of the passengers booked on the first cruises to sail once they do start.

LOL. I was just thinking about this. Nevada is entering phase 1 of 'opening' and I wonder how many of these things will be required if cruising in the near future. Remove half the seating in dining areas. Bars closed. Servers must wear masks and are recommended for diners. Reservations required - I assume to help with social distancing.

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On our first cruise for our 25th anniversary we had a great flight and nice day in Vancouver . Went to the ship loved every part of it had a great dinner and went to bed.Wake up the next morning (Sept 11 2001) to the nightmare of 9\11. Did not know how to act  ,what to do or what would happen with our cruise to Alaska . We went to breakfast and I could tell none of these people knew what had happened as we left a women coming in must have seen it my face and said ''none of these people know do they'' I shook my head no and walked away. It was a bad experience but the cruise went on and we did our best to enjoy it and not think about how hard it would to get home and the world we were returning to. It did not turn us off to cruising and we went back to Alaska  in 2004 without incident. Have cruised 26 times since then  and hope to have many more.

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My first cruise was so awful that my second one didn't happen until 25 years later, and then only because some family members dragged me along.

 

That first one was on some kind of retrofitted ship, it was a week to Bermuda out of New York in late August.  I don't remember a lot of kids but there was a huge contingent of New York City school teachers on board, some kind of deal they all had access to.  There were also a whole lot of recent high school grads on board, some off to college right after the cruise and some off to work.  It was an interesting mix.

 

The ship was a dump and most of the passengers were rip roaring drunk for a good portion of the cruise.   I was there as a guest, a friend's aunt was a TA who sold a lot of the cabins so she was given one of the best on the ship as a reward, which she passed along to her niece and I.

 

Lesson learned (other than not to cruise at all for a couple of decades) was that it's better to have the cheapest cabin on the nicest ship than the other way around.

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RCI’s Empress of the Seas to Cuba in 2019.  Worst ship experience for us.

 

Cuba was fantastic but the ship had a strong sewer smell in the aft stairwells the entire cruise.  Part of that might have been due to the Norovirus on board but wow, the smell was eye-watering.

 

Our cabin had alternating freezing or broiling temperature control and a jagged metal bathroom sink lever - both of which took a few days to fix despite repeated requests at guest services.

 

My Time Dining was very poorly run. Our requests for tables for 2 was a nightmare and we once ended up at a table for 10 - dinner took 2.5 hours.  
 

Saw an officer sneeze right into a food tray at the Windjammer. 
 

 

 

 

 

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Shame about it having to be a ‘cruise ship’ 😀 I could supply a couple of horror stories of being on a ‘ship’ 😁

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Unfortunately, the worst that has happened to me is being seated at my requested shared table, and not having any tablemates show up. Two cruises (different lines) in a row.

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Cruise and Maritime Voyages ship Columbus on a Baltic cruise a couple of years ago.

  • Extensive epoxy paint fumes in the cabin - ship's response from the Chief Engineer was that they had filters in the air handling units which eliminates the bad stuff, so the fumes are non-toxic. Asked them what type of filters and got blank stares. They later responded the paint wasn't epoxy, but a water based latex paint. Both responses were rubbish.
  • Barman had a glass under the beer tap catching the overflow. After some time, when glass was almost full he topped it up and served it. Didn't drink draft beer after that.
  • In the theatre, observed a waiter with a huge tray of drinks, to which we commented, "Oh to be young again and remember who ordered what". He distributed the drinks, then at the last drink it must have been wrong, as he returned to the first passenger, switched drinks and delivered the retrieved drink to the last passenger. As the first passenger was out of his sight, he had no idea if the drink had been sampled in the time it was with pax # 1.
  • Their security was also a joke, with no scanning of carry-on baggage at embarkation and photos not checked when boarding. One day we had inadvertently switched cards, but were not questioned. This is a requirement for gangway security to verify each person's photo.

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Getting norovirus on an Alaska cruise. Only time in almost 40 years of cruising when I've wanted to get off the ship. 

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3 hours ago, MBP&O2/O said:

Shame about it having to be a ‘cruise ship’ 😀 I could supply a couple of horror stories of being on a ‘ship’ 😁

Oh, well - if destroyer escorts count, I could add one or two myself.

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Doing a short HAL trip up the West Coast to reposition for the Alaska season.  The cruise and ship itself was fine.  But, this was a continuation of another HAL cruise.  Those already onboard had apparently built up groups and friends and times to drink, eat, etc.  I had a very distinct feeling that they thought us "newcomers" were not worthy of being on the same ship and ruining some of the daily traditions they had become used to doing.  I ended up being very uncomfortable in the public environments.  

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18 hours ago, euro cruiser said:

 

Lesson learned (other than not to cruise at all for a couple of decades) was that it's better to have the cheapest cabin on the nicest ship than the other way around.

 

 

Worth quoting.

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6 hours ago, 1025cruise said:

Unfortunately, the worst that has happened to me is being seated at my requested shared table, and not having any tablemates show up. Two cruises (different lines) in a row.

Had this happen to us on our last cruise .Did  know how to handle  this are they going to show up or should we change . It sounds like a minor thing but it did effect our enjoyment of the cruise. This seems to happen a lot these days I hope they find a better to deal with this.

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1 hour ago, dolittle said:

Had this happen to us on our last cruise .Did  know how to handle  this are they going to show up or should we change . It sounds like a minor thing but it did effect our enjoyment of the cruise. This seems to happen a lot these days I hope they find a better to deal with this.

We asked, and were told that maybe they just didn't show up the first night. On the second night, I thought I was pretty polite with the Maitre D that we were hoping for tablemates. I was hoping he would propose moving us. By midcruise, it was determined we were the odd couple at a table of 8, with the other 6 choosing to dine elsewhere (seems they didn't want to have late dining). Our waiter's section was hardly inhabited, so I think the Maitre D was hesitant to move us. It seemed we were his only table.

 

Not sure what we're going to do in the future, since we aren't going to be cruising this year.

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On 5/8/2020 at 4:56 PM, clo said:

LOL. I was just thinking about this. Nevada is entering phase 1 of 'opening' and I wonder how many of these things will be required if cruising in the near future. Remove half the seating in dining areas. Bars closed. Servers must wear masks and are recommended for diners. Reservations required - I assume to help with social distancing.

Clo - drive a few hours on I-80 to West Wendover.  For some bizarre reason, Utah actually opened up their bars!!!  

 

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We were on a 15 day Hawaiian cruise in 2015 where the seas on the first night got totally rough. Not only that the next morning a older gentleman was running down the hall way looking for help because his cabin had flooded. Right away we notice water coming out of a room two doors down. We kept hearing of water issues on the cruise and on day 13 our cabin flooded with water. We always remembered that cruise was our worst cruise experience. Then a year and a half later we had a 10 day Alaska cruise out of San Francisco. We flew in a day early and had a good time seeing the sights in down town San Francisco. On the morning of the cruise all was going well until the staff told us to sit in an area adjacent to where our security pictures would have been taken. Right away a lady approached us and said "you are the lucky ones who get to board the ship in the first group but please follow me"? Right away we knew something wasn't right but followed her where she introduced us to the Hotel Manager? He said that there was a small issue and he would take care of us. Finally after getting our room key he took us to the room and said there were five rooms on the ship that got flooded the night before (nice). Of course ours was the worst and right away my wife stated that the room as it was would not be acceptable. As it turned out we had not even got on the ship and we had a flooded cabin!#? The rest of the day was not a good one. By 6:00 PM we found out that there was a new dry room ready for us but what a hassle. No need to mention the cruise line since these thing can happen on any ship. At the time we had done 15 cruises before getting washed out. Will cruise again but remember anything can happen.   

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10 minutes ago, slidergirl said:

Clo - drive a few hours on I-80 to West Wendover.  For some bizarre reason, Utah actually opened up their bars!!!  

 

That is truly hilarious! But we can get 'take-out-cocktails" now. Had lunch from a fave Mexican/Margarita place today.

 

20200509_122756 - Edited.jpg

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I wish we could get take out cocktails. Unfortunately, we're only allowed bottled beer or wine. No mixed drinks.

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Here is another cruise from the 'horror zone'. In 1986, we and 2 other couples took a Caribbean cruise on a now defunct line. One afternoon lounging around the pool several deck hands raced over to the pool filling up pails of water and racing back to 'somewhere'. Presently the ship stopped moving. Power to the ship was knocked out by a fire on board. Panic  and rumors abounded. No lights in hallways, no air-conditioning ( in July). Friendly passengers turned into zombies, fighting over deck chairs to sleep on as the sun waned.  An S.O.S. was sent out and in a short time a freighter pulled up along side calming the passengers. The freighter stayed along side until the ship was able to regain power and it sailed into the sunset. Everyone got vouchers for 1/2 off a future cruise. One of us quipped that the' Repeaters' Party 'next summer would probably consist of just us 6, held in a vacant elevator with a bottle of warm "Cold Duck" and 6 straws.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2020 at 11:30 AM, 1025cruise said:

Unfortunately, the worst that has happened to me is being seated at my requested shared table, and not having any tablemates show up. Two cruises (different lines) in a row.

This has also happened to my husband and me, twice, when we were seated at a table for 8 where nobody else ever showed up. Luckily, both times had happy endings. During that first experience, we subsequently met 3 other folks on an excursion traveling together who had been seated at the end of a table for 10 where everyone else was a different ethnic background and totally ignoring them. We asked the 3 to join us at our empty table and thoroughly enjoyed their company for the remainder of the cruise.  The second time, again at a table for 8 where nobody else ever appeared, by the 3rd night (of a 17 day transatlantic cruise) we asked another couple in a similar situation several tables away to join us. We liked them so much we remain in touch to this day.

Edited by lynncarol

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Posted (edited)

I worked for Carnival Cruise Line as an Entertainment Technician, mostly handling backstage things for their shows. This story is late in my contract in 2007 onboard the Carnival Fantasy. It was summer time. Maybe June, possibly July. At the time, Carnival Corporate thought it was a good idea to do a "show change" project onboard the ship, instead of during Dry Dock, when no guests would be around, which caused a lot of problems for everybody involved. I was 25 years-old at the time.

A dance school was celebrating the end of their season and wanted to do their final recital in the main lounge with all the lights and sound. They expected the Cruise Director to put their event in the event schedule, I think Carnival Cruise Lines call them the “Fun Times,” so everybody on board would know to come watch them. Again, Carnival Cruise Line does not allow such advertising. Also, this wasn’t a big name, important dance school you would expect to do this. Just a regular, local dance school for kids from age five to eighteen (I guess). The main lounge on the Fantasy held around 750 people, but only parents and teachers from the class came to the performances. They booked two performances during the cruise, both at 7am, during the show change.

They booked two performances during the cruise, both at 7am, DURING THE SHOW CHANGE.

I just think it was important enough to point that out twice. Now hold on, because this story gets better.

 

This group were paying three technicians $50 an hour (maybe $100 because it was a full technical show) in a basically empty lounge. I don’t know what the event coordinator for Carnival Cruise Line told them would be available but they didn’t like that I wouldn’t unlock the dressing room for them to use. We had expensive costumes and props in there, no unauthorized people were allowed in those rooms. That was the first issue I had to “smooth over” for them. There wasn’t a lot of backstage area as this was during show change and we had a lot of extra equipment stored on the stage, effectively cutting the performance area in half from upstage. The best I could offer them for a changing area was between the midstage and upstage curtain. I can understand their unhappiness of having young girls change clothes with a giant dude like myself standing backstage. I wasn’t comfortable with the situation either but that’s all I could offer them.

 

Finally, and most spectacularly, during their second performance the electrical officer and one of his electricians showed up backstage and began working on some wiring directly behind where I was standing. It’s not like it wasn’t obvious something was happening in the lounge. The lights were out except for the stage lights. Music was playing. There were people in costumes but these guys did. not. care. Also, they were making a lot of noise. Katie, the Light/Senior Technician, and the sound technician heard it up in the booth. I was already yelling at the electricians that they can’t be here right now.

You ever try to argue with an Italian man who out ranks you? It’s not fun. He starts yelling back at me, in broken English/Italian, about how they must do this work right now. “FIX! FIX! FIX! FIX!” and “When can we work!?” I think is what he was yelling. Although the question was more rhetorical as my answer of “Anytime after we are finished here!” was not good enough. Those are also not direct quotes because it was 13 years ago.

 

On top of that the most Karenest of Karens is immediately to my right yelling at me these guys can’t be here because they have naked little girls over here. As if I was not aware of that being a problem. ALSO Katie is yelling at me over headset to get the electricians out of there, they can’t be there right now. Meanwhile, the show on stage is still going forward. To summarize, I’m being yelled out three ways, in two different languages, one person doing it remotely.

 

Eventually the guys left and the show ended. It must have been uneventful because I can’t remember anything beyond that moment of arguing.

There are more tales of woe on my blog you can read at https://ifnlovecruising.wordpress.com/?order=asc

Edited by jeremyosborne81

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QE2 trans-Atlantic crossing from Hamburg-Southampton-New York in Tourist Class was my most disappointing one.  My traveling companion and I had just left a 24 day trans-Atlantic/North Cape cruise on Royal Viking Sky.  A truly first class cruise.  While traveling Tourist Class on QE2, we were paying more per day than we had on Royal Viking Sky.  

 

From day 1 in Hamburg, there were labor problems aboard the ship.  Some surly and indifferent Stewards (not all to be sure), for two gentlemen from Southampton to New York we had one wash cloth to use (other linens were OK; requested and could not get another wash cloth or a change of the one we had), cracked tea service with no tea spoons in the Queen's Lounge, menu items offered didn't sometimes match what one was served (i.e. I ordered Entrecote and was served beef liver; when I complained to my Steward, I was told "that's what entrecote is").  We had friends sailing in First Class on that same voyage and they experienced similar service.  To be perfectly fair about that sailing though, I had the absolute best Deck Steward service by a gentleman who battled windy, cold conditions on the aft open Tourist Class sun deck that I have ever experienced.  

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

Entrecote

I learned a new word today. Thanks. Should I ever be caught in France someday.

Edited by rattanchair

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