Cruises are often a place of rest and relaxation – but ever so often, surprising events can ensue, leaving passengers less than happy.
In a forum on US knowledge-sharing site Quora, passengers revealed some of their worst ever cruise experiences, ranging from cancelled reservations to disrespectful cruise staff.
Sharing their experiences, one user recalled their time on a cruise ship and how it wasn’t what they expected.
“My family and I went on a cruise in 2011 and it was immediately after the ships dry dock had major work. Many other changes/improvements were made in dry dock, but were not completed before the transatlantic cruise that followed.
“Workers were still installing carpeting on the deck above the pool area, and blue-green carpet scraps occasionally flew down as we walked around the pool. But the worst part of being on that voyage was a problem in our stateroom.”
The cruiser said every time the ship would rock, they’d hear a “banging noise in the walls”.
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“It kept us awake the first couple of nights. After we complained, maintenance folks ended up tearing out the walls only to discover a myriad of cables that hadn’t been properly secured during the ship’s refurb. The remainder of the cruise was uneventful.”
The unnamed user highlighted another experience on a different ship, where the sleeping quarters left a lot to be desired.
“One other experience was aboard a different ship in a stateroom that had folding upper bunk beds on the side walls.
“I remember hitting my head on them several times when getting out of our bed.”
Another long-time cruiser shared her experience on a cruise ship that left her infuriated.
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“My husband and I went on a cruise and we always ate dinner in the dining room. The staff there stood by near the front, and we could see them pointing out and mocking the diners’ movements and laughing.
“I watched them, and could see exactly what they were doing.”
The experience became increasingly worse after she ordered her meal.
“I ordered pot roast and mashed potatoes. One of the staff came over and cut the meat into smaller pieces, then took a forkful of potatoes and tried to feed them to me. My husband and I could not believe it. The next night I reported this to the head waiter.”
Carol Morgan, a frequent traveller who has gone on over 25 cruises, shared an incident where the adverse weather conditions had a profound impact on her cruise holiday.
“We had to sail through 25 foot swells which was quite scary.
“We were wearing the patch, so never got sea sick. But you should have seen the rest of the passengers and crew! Water was coming on outside decks and leaking to the inside. The crew’s quarters were literally underwater. You could hear the hangers going back and forth in the closet.
“We got through it just fine, but it did cost us a day in Bermuda.”
Many cruises can take a huge chunk out of travellers’ funds and when the experience ends up less than pleasurable, the thousands spent can feel like a real waste of money.
However, there are ways to make the most of your travel experience without breaking the bank with a few travel hacks that will allow cruisers to enjoy what the experience has to offer while remaining frugal.
In a Reddit thread, avid cruise-goers revealed their tips and tricks to cut down costs.
“Not sure if this is much of a hack really, but my beverage of choice is unsweetened iced tea,” said one user.
Rather than drinking the iced tea served from the juice dispenser, this cruise-goer explained: “I brew a cup of hot tea using three tea bags that I’ve brought from home, and pour it over ice in a large refillable cup. I bring this on board, and fill the rest with water until it’s the proper strength.”
Another user shared their cruise drinking tips, specifically for frozen cocktails.
“Get an empty cocktail cup from the bar in the buffet and get a scoop of coconut sorbet or ice cream from the buffet,” the user advised. “Mix with milk or pineapple juice if available. Add a slice of pineapple from the salad/fruit bar. Add your smuggled on board rum and enjoy your free Pina Colada.”
Beyond alcoholic beverages, users also shared advice on cutting costs during their cruise adventures.
One commentator suggested that cruise goers request for the room mini-refrigerator to be emptied as soon as possible. “Day one, hour one, don’t wait. Have the room steward take every darn thing in the room that costs extra. Funny, even if you don’t use the items, you sometimes can get charged.”
Another recommended one way to take in the sites without spending money with on-board excursions.
“I say skip the excursions offered on board and venture out on your own. However if you do one, look online at the excursions outside of the cruise line. Cruise lines charge a premium and you can book it cheaper. Same excursion, cheaper.”