I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out how to even blog about this trip. As you all know, last year I booked a cruise with Deidre to go to Bermuda. It was a spur of the moment thing and as the cruise got closer, we obviously got more and more excited. This was going to be my first cruise! Well, as the title states we ended up being sent to New Jersey because of the hurricanes. I’m not even that mad over the change of Port. I get it, safety first! No one can control the weather, but Royal Caribbean can control their communication with us, and their reactions.
We knew something was up when our cruise ended up leaving Baltimore about 1-2 hours early. About 60 people missed the ship because of it but in the end, they’re the real winners here. The Bay was closing at Midnight and we needed to make it out, and Carnival had a ship coming up. Now, at this point there had been no changes announced. I was up on the top deck of the ship, watching us go under a bridge when I overheard another guest mention they got an email from their travel agent saying our itinerary had changed and we weren’t going to Bermuda. I checked the RC website, checked my own email, and saw nothing. This was probably only 10-20 minutes after leaving Port. Then finally, around 7-7:30PM that night (Saturday), the Captain made an announcement that we weren’t going to Bermuda, but they didn’t really know where we were going. Um, OK? We didn’t find out about New Jersey until Sunday around 1-1:30PM.
Between those announcements though we hit some very awful weather. You could barely walk around the ship, and people who did make it out of their rooms were walking around with barf bags. Our window leaked, and we know that rooms with balconies had horrible leaks as well. We heard a few passengers talking about how their luggage/clothes were ruined because of it. By the end of the cruise a lot of the rooms and hallways started getting that bad water smell. The glass ceiling in the Solarium where the indoor pool/hot tubs were located, broke. Three of the glass tiles broke which of course caused water to rush in from the storm and obviously they had to close that area off. That means no indoor swimming/chilling, and one of the smaller food options had to close as well. Basically for the first full day you couldn’t go outside because of the weather and none of the pools (including indoor) were available until we were on our way home on Wednesday. Oh and did I mention that the Coke FreeStyle machines that were part of our drink packages weren’t working? 90% of the time they only had one or two drink options, and none of them were diet which is a huge deal for anyone who’s diabetic.
Also, RC was telling people on social media about our plans and compensation before we were told. Melinda sent screenshots of things they said on Twitter and it was before any of us were told what was going on. What kind of communication is that? Some of these people weren’t even on the boat, but were asking for friends/family. Don’t you think we should be updated and kept aware of things first? I mean, we’re the people stuck on this ship! Like I said before, my main issue was the lack of communication. I know things happen, but keeping us informed is important and necessary especially when the weather was as horrible as it was. In the end, my opinion is that the ship should have never left Baltimore. They knew we weren’t going to Bermuda before the ship ever left and we should have been given a choice about what we wanted to do. A friend left Baltimore on Sunday via Carnival and guess what? They got an email on Thursday about their changes! So you’re telling me, Royal Caribbean, that you didn’t know you’d have to change course until we already left? Please. I’m not a fucking idiot.
I’m sure everyone is waiting to hear what the cruise line has done for us. Well, we received a 100% credit to use on a future cruise but according to Deidre, it expires in a year. I’m still waiting to receive the paperwork in the mail. It’s a pretty sweet deal for RC. Either way, they’ll be making money. People will still need to purchase beverage packages, and probably pay taxes/fees on their cruise fare. Or some people won’t use it at all. I have San Diego next summer and I’m sure as hell not going to cancel that for a fucking cruise. And obviously I’m not taking another cruise this time of the year. We tried to get a refund but they wouldn’t budge, which is shit. Nothing like feeling forced into taking a vacation in order to feel compensated for a shitty experience. If I did take another cruise, I really don’t want to take it out of Baltimore. Grandeur of the Seas (the ship) needs a lot of work but then I’d have to put out money to fly to Florida or drive up to Jersey (LOL) to take another ship.
I’m surprised this post has made as much sense as it has. It probably helps I took a few days to decompress before trying to write anything. I’m just pissed I wasted 40 hours of vacation time to go to fucking New Jersey. It took us 24 hours to get there. I can drive there in 4 hours! And if I wanted to go to the NJ/NYC area, I would have gone for New York Comic-Con! And obviously I’m pissed that I can’t get a refund and to get any sort of “closure” about this I have to take ANOTHER cruise because that’s totally what I want to do after having a horrible first time experience. But hey, unless the next one sinks it can’t get any worse, right?
We received an email about the cruise credit and it has to be used by 10/31/2017. You bet your ass I looked up contact info for Royal Caribbean and have sent an email. This is unacceptable.