Have you ever been on what you would call a “cruise from hell?” Lorraine has – it was a 13-day repositioning Galveston/Tampa via Aruba over the Christmas/New Year holidays.
The first clue that it would be no ordinary sailing came at departure – it was four hours late. We were advised that the delay was due to our waiting for two charter planes of foreign nationals to arrive.
Well – they finally boarded – all 1500+ adults and God only knows how many family members – ages ranging from 6 months to 8/9 years. And, by the next morning the “rug rats” had taken over the ship! They were everywhere – in the pool and hot tubs (in diapers) – in the bars – pushing all the buttons in the elevators – blocking the stairs – hiding and then running out and slapping women on the rear– in the buffet tasting food with their hands then putting it back – it was total chaos. And it only got worse!
A group of us gathered in the main bar each day “sipping a few” and strategizing how we might get through this fiasco before throwing one or more of these undisciplined brats overboard – and it turned into a bidding war to see which of us would have the courage to act first.
One night around 11 o’clock while Lorraine was at the service desk a young officer appeared with two of these little imps in tow (aged about 2 and 3) that she had discovered running (alone) on an outside deck. When the father finally showed up to claim them he began to berate HER for “touching his children.”
Finally, the Captain took control. Remember Lorraine mentioning the “Refusal to Transport” clause in your cruise contract? Well, it began to be enforced. First with 3 families who were escorted off the ship in Curacao, and again with 5 families who were refused re-boarding in Aruba. Boy did the “rug rat” problem slow down after that!
The remainder of the cruise was quite pleasant – until our arrival in Tampa. Lorraine’s flight back to Houston was due to depart at noon – and at 10:30 she was still trapped on the ship because several foreign nationals had not bothered to get out of bed to clear Customs.... the announcements calling for them did little good... they showed up in their own sweet time and finally the ship was cleared for departure at 11:20. OOPS – A NOON FLIGHT?
Lorraine had never before “cut” a cab line – was her first – she hopped into the first one in line, yelled at the driver to “move it” (and he did, in fact that was the scariest cab ride of her life) but – he made it – and she made her flight.
Have you experienced a “Cruise from Hell” of your own? Lorraine would love to share your horror story!