Each morning when I am getting ready for the day, I take my phone into the bathroom and listen to podcasts. Lately, with our interest in cruising, I have been listening to two podcasts; one is La Lido Loca, and two is Cruise News. The podcasters of both of these shows are highly knowledgeable, albeit a little goofy, and stay up to date on what’s going on in the cruise industry, including realistic and straightforward observations on the good and the bad of cruising.
This morning, on La Lido Loca, the podcaster discussed ten things he hates about cruising which prompted today’s topic from our perspective, which may be different from his in some ways. Right now, we must admit, we’re a little apprehensive about cruising with constant changes in policies, pricing, and itineraries.
Also, recently contracting Covid-19 on a cruise may have impacted our view of cruising, at least for the time being. Our recent cancellation of the 42-night triple back-to-back cruise left a bad taste in our mouths when we’d have had to snail mail our passports to a US company to get visas for various countries’ ports of call. This impossible situation gave us no alternative but to cancel the entire booking, losing more money in the process. We’re tired of losing money on cruises with policy changes, leading us to point #1.
TEN THINGS WE DON’T LIKE ABOUT CRUISING
- Cruise lines making changes regarding an itinerary, which may be beyond their control, such as the war in Ukraine but failing to provide full refunds for deposits and final payments.
- Cruise lines do not provide clear and concise visa requirements at the time of the booking.
- Inconsistent Covid-19 requirements and protocol. Poor treatment of infected passengers during their quarantine period in the cabin.
- Failure to compensate passengers for travel expenses when a cruise is canceled last minute. Travel insurance prices have increased since the pandemic, preventing many travelers from making a purchase.
- Mandatory tips added each day of the cruise. Why can’t passengers tip for good service at their discretion? How do we know how the mandatory tips are distributed? We have no problem tipping but employees should be paid sufficiently. We never remove the mandatory tips (which can be done). Some cruise lines include tips in the fare pricing as a perk, which is preferred.
- Constant promotion to passengers during the cruise to pay for additional services that aren’t included in the basic cruise fare.
- Outrageous WiFi fees for their poor quality connection. We need WiFi during cruises. We understand service may be slow at certain points. But, failure to upgrade their often antiquated systems and expect passengers to pay is frustrating.
- Pre-cruise long hold times on the phone when calling with questions. Slow response time from cruise lines when making email inquiries.
- Long waiting periods for refunds, when they are allowed
- Errors on bills. If we don’t check our TV bill daily, we miss incorrect charges. Customer service is good about reversing such charges when they are found. Passengers must take the responsibility for frequently checking their account charges.
When listening to the podcast today, he’d comment about things other passengers do that annoy him such as “cutting in line” and taking more food than they can eat in the buffet. We don’t pay much attention to what other cruisers are doing, finding most passengers to be friendly and likable and the staff who strive to provide excellent service.
We are more interested in how the cruise experience impacts our expectations of quality, seamless situations, safety, and financial equity.
Photo from one year ago today, July 17, 2021: