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About BayWatching

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Francisco
  • Interests
    What could be better than traveling and returning home to one of the world’s most beautiful cities?
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Big cities.

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  1. Considering a river cruise after multiple ocean voyages on larger ships. My wife and I enjoy—and prioritize—being able to control where and how much we interact with fellow passengers. (Not that we don’t like people; we do. We just prefer our privacy when we want it.) I understand that Viking river vessels carry around 90 passengers. Can you generally eat meals at a table for 2 if you wish? Or are most tables more communal than that? Is room service available for all meals? And, while I’m at it, I understand one shore excursion per port is included. I
  2. I didn’t originate this post thread to elicit any particular reaction(s), but yours ought to be etched somewhere for posterity. (Guess that’s called a “bookmark” these days?) You PERFECTLY capture how this all felt (and still feels). For the life of us, we cannot understand how HAL doesn’t have systems in place to address these issues preemptively.
  3. Well said, and fair. My wife, our traveling companions and I were cordial and friendly in all interactions with ship staff. So much so that it took TWO calls before anyone grasped the urgency of the raw sewage situation and sent someone to check it out. We never were offered alternative sleeping arrangements—or asked if we desired them. Just the cheap bottle of wine. (Our cabin steward tried mightily to erase the stench, leaving an odd mix of faint sewage and strong disinfectant for the rest of the voyage. He admitted that it happens with some regularity.)
  4. That’s partly why the Rotterdam was so disappointing—perfect size.
  5. As the original poster, I can’t wait to hear your report next year.
  6. Ok. I confess. I was scowling at the pipe closet, thinking “... you’d better not start seeping sewage into my living space, you crummy old rusty pipe...” And I was glaring at the concierge when she wouldn’t reverse a bar charge for a screwed up drink order; at her ghost when she disappeared from the Neptune lounge and had to be tracked down by a steward; and at her cash drawer when she wouldn’t sell the mix of currency I requested AND declined to call the front desk to see if they had the currency I needed. And I was silently cursing the verandah when its pipe
  7. Appreciate that. My motive was exactly that—share our experience and hope it illuminates others’ choices. Your view of things aligns with mine.
  8. Respect your opinion and that your experience was not ours, but we were not ““searching” for raw sewage. It found us. I don’t know what “our share of plumbing problems” means to you, but that is not acceptable to us while traveling—especially at that price. I’m surprised anyone would be so tolerant. if you read my original post, you’d see that we do NOT hold HAL responsible for the weather or the need to scramble in the wake of canceled ports of call. In fact, you’ll see that I commended the captain for his focus on safety. Nor did I fault them for our decision to sail in that region
  9. That’s EXACTLY what we experienced. Example: Neptune Suite customers are eligible for add-ons, like free room service upgrades. Two years ago, we could order a burger from the Dive-In to our suite at no charge. Now, it’s $5. When we asked the concierge about it, she said (unapologetically) that “...Carnival has made changes, and we have to make them too.” Wonder if that’s behind any of this. All I know is, our experience two years ago was vastly better. Vastly.
  10. Although genuinely sorry—planning these trips is part of the enjoyment; unraveling less so—I truly am confident you’ll be better off. Hope you come back and share a great story about whatever you end up doing. Thanks for the supportive comment.
  11. “People seem to want more given to them...”? Passengers were reacting to a chain of port cancellations. No one was asking to be “given” anything—except information. I theorized that a few hours of free WiFi might have given people a little comfort. (We’d already bought an internet package.) And the internet is where (many) people book shore tours, drivers, etc. Focusing on this narrow point deflects from the larger point: the Rotterdam is an aging ship, not being adequately maintained, and for us, fell well short of the level of service we expected for what we paid.
  12. Tried talking to people on the ship. Including the concierge’s supervisor. To be honest, we felt a palpable lack of empathy from the senior ship staff. Almost as if they were consciously unconcerned.
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