21 January 2011

A Cruise? NotSoMuchYay.

Right. Back to the bullet points I referred to in this post. But first, a disclaimer....

I am not a princess.

I do not need 5-star accommodation and wireless internet and 24hr cappucinos. Please realise that while a cruise sounds *divine* - this one was seriously flawed. I was not alone in my disappointment - many, many passengers were unhappy.

So, let us begin:

1. We all get sea sick to varying degrees....except Hooli - who is totally immune!

I think that is fairly self explanatory. The ship receptionist was handing out motion sickness pills like smarties....but it did little to alleviate our nausea. Fortunately none of us were actually physically ill, thank God! The Melody is a small ship and they should mention in the advertising that SIGNIFICANT motion can be felt even in calmish waters.

2. We do not enjoy sharing holiday time with 1488 other people.

We queued for breakfast. We queued for lunch. We could never find 5 chairs together. We couldnt get into the entertainment areas - if you had a hope of find a seat you needed to be there an hour before! It was ridiculous. It is not hard : they have 600 seats in the entertaiment arena - they booked 1488 people onto the ship. That is not right.

We spent a good deal of time in our cabin because it was quiet and comfortable and had room service!

3. Entertainment is a very subjective thing.

Two of my kids went to kids club once for a few hours and were totally unimpressed. Twice that I popped my head in I found them with tiny pieces of newprint paper and broken crayons....this was advertised as *Come Make Gifts for Our Captain*. They never went again and I dont blame them.

In terms of adult entertainment....well, lets just say that I want to be entertained...I dont want to be the entertainment. So games where humiliation is the order of the day dont float my boat. Of course there were other options like bingo, making paper flowers and treasure hunts...? Um, ja.

4. I have well-behaved, respectful, patient and resourceful children.

This was well-illustrated in many situations. They had to wait. A lot. They had to stand in queues while they were very hungry. A lot. They couldnt always do the things they had hoped to do. They had to amuse themselves and they did this without complaining.
5. We can all survive quite happily without tv, dvd, laptops and the like.

There was a tv in our cabin. It was about 20yrs old and as big as a box of OMO. It had one channel upon which they played the same dvd for 2 days at a time. And I am not joking.

We didnt take computers. I didnt visit the Internet Cafe once. We didnt take portable dvd players.

And finally the embarkation (3hrs) and disembarkation (4hrs) were shocking. On the last day we were shuffled into a lounge like sardines and ended up sitting on the floor (with 200 hundred others) for 3.5hrs waiting for our disembarkation to be called. No food or even water was provided.This was just the last straw.

My overall experience is one of disappointment although at least I can check it off my list of *things to do in my lifetime* . I chatted to the travel agent and she has asked me to write a letter detailing the experience.

I have learnt something new about myself too.....I am more of a country holiday girl than I thought...bring on Mcgregor any day of the week!



Ness at Drovers Run said...

Do you remember my comment when you first mentioned the cruise? As in - "you might want to skip this one"? For all the reasons you listed! Cruising SA waters is NOT like cruising anywhere else - especially on the Melody - who's predecessor was even worse (as i recall it was the Rhapsody). Again - for all the reasons you listed - especially the small boat bit. The embarkation and disembarkation times are unacceptable as well. It usually isn't a breeze - but then a proper cruising company staggers the embarkation times - and of course bigger ships means more than one point of entry.

If you want to cruise again - I definitely recommend trying one of the big ships in the Caribbean - or for something more exotic Alaska, and the Antarctic cruises are spectacular - but probably not your scene :) (cold). Still don't write off cruising just yet - honestly Mel, the Melody is just not the same thing.

blackhuff said...

It's a pity that cruising SA waters suck like this. They always make it sound so 5-star like.

Lynette said...

I would love to go on a cruise in the Mediteranean. I considered the SA waters until I read your post...thanks Mel.

allie. said...

Ag poppet, I'm so sorry it was such a let down!
So disappointing.
And you really needed the break that this cruise sounded like (horrible English but you know what I mean!)

We are really happy to have you all back though :-)

Stefanie said...

We have had 2 really great experiences with Royal Caribbean, Pricess was ok, not as good in my books. I hate that the entertainment area was not big enough to seat everyone who ate early. These ships are filled with old people who eat supper at 5.30 and then sit and wait for an hour for their shows. I have better things to do.
Sorry that you didn't have the same experience we did, bigger is better maybe?

Andrea said...

It sounds like a living hell, and you def don't sound like a princess, just a normal consumer who expected the experience to be what the brochure said. Will be sure to try my cruising legs somewhere on the Med.

I'm so not a blogger said...

Wow, that sounds so dissapointing.

Andycapp said...

Debs and I are going on a 10 day Meditteranean cruise in May. After reading the reviews on the ship that we are going on its going to be interesting. Thankfully we are not paying for it so will make the best of it. At l;east we will be visiting cities like Barcelona, monaco, Rome and St. Tropez. That will be plus. So sorry to read about your experience.

Kirsty said...

aaargh!!! Blogger ate my comment!!
Anyhoo - do yourself a favour and go on a real cruise, then make your judgement.
One of my best holidays ever was a 10 day caribbean Cruise. On a monster ship - with an ice-rink, running track, 3 super tubes, a surfing pool, kids clubs, teen clubs etc..... and 24 hr icecream on tap... (yip - American)
We stopped at a differnet Caribbean Island every day, the ship never felt crowded, despite their being 3000 passengers and 4000 staff on board....
Give it a whirl before you diss it... maybe we'll join ya??