Posted December 25th, 2011, 12:38 AM
I was on the same cruise 12/17 - 12/24 and have to say that I disagree with most of the negative comments.....note....most of the negative comments.
Yes, boarding was delayed a couple of hours, yes it was due to the Norovirus outbreak the week before. Yes the waves were rough, was it raining the whole time at sea....no, it wasn't. It rained in Curacao off and on and in Aruba most of the day....Weather is not a cruiselines fault.....not saying that you blamed the cruiseline, but the slant was in that direction. Yes, tendering into Princess Cays was horrendous but wasn't the end of the world. My goodness, the only thing food wise you couldn't get on the ship was a hot dog and hamburger.......too bad......the pizza was great that day! And before you flame me for this......we waited 45 minutes in the dining room for our tender number to be called and gave up. We chose not to let that ruin our trip.
Yes, we weren't able to serve ourselves in the buffet or anywhere else for that matter (read into this, the dining room and the specialty restaurants), but when served in the buffet, if we received less than we wanted, we simply smiled and asked for more....it wasn't a problem and no attitude was felt by any of the staff. They work hard on a regular day so the added duties of serving an ungrateful passenger in some cases......well, don't get me started....they deserve more pay than what they were getting. We have cruised 18 times over 5 different lines.....6 of them being on Princess and this was our first time experiencing the Norovirus outbreak. We never ran into a staff member in a bad mood or for that matter a passenger giving a staff member a hard time......thank goodness, otherwise I might have said something to the rude passenger for being rude and I'm not normally that way.
One poster said something about if there is a certain percentage of passengers sick, then they should cancel the cruise. On one hand I agree with that, the other hand I don't. I like the idea of having a week where they have time to completely sanitize the ship to eradicate the germs.....I also see that it would be completely against any financial sense to do that. Yeah, that sounds bad....I agree...but you have to try to look at both sides.
We always bring the wipes for sanitizing our hands/surfaces on every cruise and this one was no different. When we got to our cabin, we wiped every handle, door knob, button, switch and surface we could think of, twice.....if anything, it made us feel better. We also took caution in pressing the elevator buttons (with our elbows) and didn't eat until we could wash our hands. So imagine........, opening our cabin door (using the handle), then pressing the elevator button.......reaching the Horizon Court. We have to run our hands under the Purell hand sanitizer station, and are handed the silverware and a plate. We then go station to station and tell the crew person what we want and how much and then find a table. We sit down and wait for the server to come and take our drink order (even if its plain ice water)......we then take turns and go wash our hands in the public restroom (doors have been propped open) and then come back to eat. Is that such a terrible thing? Geez, took all of an extra 5 minutes in total.....do that multiple times over a cruise and I can see that perhaps a grand total of 30 minutes over the week was spent being cautious and prudent. I think its worth it, no matter how much you spent on this cruise, no matter how far you traveled......did you ever think that perhaps you might have caught the virus while you were on the plane, or in the rest area on the drive to the port or perhaps in your hotel room and it manifested itself while on board?
So, while there have been a few very negative reviews of this cruise so far.......I wanted to add that there is at least one pretty good review.
Oh, and as far as the captain inciting panic amongst the passengers for his comments about the GALE force winds and it not being like this in 20 yrs......yes, he said those things, but when he made that announcement, I was on the lido deck by the pool and I can safely say that with the probably 400 people around at that time (noon)......none of them panicked.....in fact, I would say that none of them noticed as they were swimming, drinking and eating to even give any concern to what he was saying.
No one has mentioned (at the time I am writing this post) that the first formal night show in the main theater was canceled due to the rough seas.......did that ruin your cruise? I don't think so......it was also a safety measure for the entertainers. When a cruiseline (ANY cruiseline) has to do a 360 degree change in their published plans due to weather......they are making every attempt to keep everyone happy......which they know as well as most people with common sense know...you can't please everyone all the time.
The original OP replied to some comments and said basically don't hate because you weren't there and that they are entitled to their opinion. Well, I agree, don't hate, they are entitled to their opinion, but there were others on the same cruise with a different experience and the other experiences should be heard too.
I do feel bad for those that became ill during the cruise because I know that they were confined to their cabins and that isn't fun for anyone. I know they they saved for a long time and made special plans, like the newlywed couple who got married during the first sea day and were so sick that night that they were confined to their cabin (for the worst reasons).......can you imagine your honeymoon spent being sick? Yeah, they'll talk about this for years to come but I hope they don't blame the cruiseline.
If you are still reading this opinion of mine.......I can say we had a really nice cruise, yes the seas were rough and our cabin shaked like crazy for a total 4 days of the 7 day cruise but we made the most of it. The crew we experienced were pleasant and missing their families so we tried to be more friendly to them during what has to be a really hard time for them.
Again, please don't flame anyone for posting their opinions.....we don't always have to agree with everything.....sometimes we just have to agree to disagree and for me, this is one of them. While I'm sure for the original poster it was the worst, for me it was very nice.