WHAT TO DO IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG ON BOARD
Good advice from cruise expert Dallas Sherringham
Most of us enjoy a relaxing cruise which goes like clockwork, and you have nothing to do worry about.
However, like all travel experiences, things can go wrong.
If your cabin is noisy, dirty or has plumbing or air conditioning problems, tell your steward immediately. If nothing happens ASAP, go to the Front desk and seek action. You have paid good money for your cruise so it is up to the cruise line to fix the problem.
The Front Desk traditionally has a long queue of people on the first day with every type of problem or complaint from cabins being too small, luggage going missing to cabins being occupied by other people.
Be patient and carefully explain your problem to the staff. If they are unhelpful, ask to see a manager. This may mean an appointment at a later time.
Check your shipboard account regularly by getting a printout. If there is a charge you are not responsible for, go to the Front Desk immediately. The cruise staff has to produce your signed receipt for the charge to be legal.
Double check if the cruise line is taking out automatic tipping for staff. If they have, tell them to remove it immediately if you do not want this charge.
Noisy neighbours can be a problem, although newer ships have better noise installation. You can ask them nicely not to have the TV or stereo blaring at 2am or simply go to the Front Desk.
One common problem is people hosting parties in their cabin at all hours. Phone the Front Desk and they will send security to the cabin. Anyone not a resident of the cabin will be asked to move on.
Hypochondriacs be warned! Don’t go to the ship’s doctor or hospital unless you are genuinely ill. It will cost you a small fortune and they could over react and evacuate you from the ship at the next port.
If you do not like the people at your dining table, the restaurant manager will normally arrange for you to go somewhere else in the dining room. We have all been seated with the traditional pain-in-the-backside know-it-all loudmouth or drunk. You have paid good money and deserve better.
If a group dominates a public room, is over-the-top noisy or is drunk and disorderly, a quiet complaint to a manager is better than confrontation.
If you are accused of or victim of an illegal act or activity, ask to see video evidence. Cruise ships have hundreds of security cameras capturing your every move. The video evidence should clearly show your face and what happened.
When the ship misses a port of call, normally because of bad weather, there is not much you can do. It is covered in your Cruise Ticket disclaimer. However if the ship misses several ports, especially because of a mechanical problems, you will normally get a partial refund or a good offer on your next cruise.
No use moaning, this part of cruising and best thing to do is suck it up and enjoy an extra relaxing day at sea.
If you take a privately organized shore tour which is not part of the ship’s program, make sure it is designed to get back to the ship well before departure. If you miss the ship, and it happens all the time, they may wait an extra half hour but after that you are on your own. You will have to pay for transport or air fares to take you to the port of call.
Finally, if the cruise falls well below what was promised by your travel agent or the brochure, let the agent for the cruise line know.
Cruise lines love feedback and they even place a review form in each cabin so you can rate your cruise experiences.