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  #41  
Old June 5th, 2013, 05:02 PM
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atlasali atlasali is offline
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Default Our weather experience...

We were on, then off, then back on Vantage's ms River Venture which sailed from Amsterdam to Basel May 15 - May 29.

We have never had "the weather" so negatively impact a trip before. The rain started the day the cruise began. Some precipitation fell every day. Areas above us were deluged by the rain. The river rose 6 - 9 feet over night. The turbulence was awesome to see. Consequently, we were stuck on the Moselle/Mosel river upstream of a bridge in Trier that the Romans built in 16BC. For 3 days we bussed to our locations, then back to the ship. The river never went down. The Saar River upstream just kept gushing water. Bussing was more physically grueling (at least for me), but we got to return to our gorgeous ship, enjoy the fabulous food and be taken care of by the most attentive staff and crew I have ever experienced. Then the decision was made to pack up and go by bus to a hotel in Strasbourg for 3 nights. Me, in my rookie ignorance, assumed we would be getting back onboard the riverboat. Until dinner, which was treated as if it was our "last supper". Nooooo! I did not want to get off. I loved my cabin: seeing the swans, hearing the birds. I paid my tips for the entire two weeks of the cruise. It was not the workers fault; they should not be financially punished. We were put up at a Hilton. Okay but not as wonderful as the River Venture. Our Program Managers worked hard and Vantage paid a lot of money for our trip to remain as normal as possible. They hired a day Riverboat so we could cruise through the Lorelei part of the Rhine...it was raining. They even took on a 3rd Captain to race the River Venture to catch up to us. Thankfully it did, and we were able to spend the last 2 nights on board. Our last day, cruising to Basel, the sun was shining. However, we could not sit up on the top deck. The headroom clearance at the locks was too low. By the time we got to Basel, it was raining again. Typical, for this trip.

I had wanted to recreate a memory. 43 years ago, while bicycling through Europe, I spent one magical day onboard a Rhine riverboat cruising through the Lorelei area. Sitting on the top deck watching the castles go by. This was going to be our one-and-only riverboat trip. We just do not have the financial resources of our fellow cruisers. So I was devastated that we had to get off, and thrilled that we got back on. Would I do it again? I would love to. IF, we can afford it.
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2013 - Vantage River Venture - Rhine and Mosel - 14 nite River cruise - with a 500-year flood
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  #42  
Old June 5th, 2013, 05:10 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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Wow! Thanks for sharing, I'd feel the same about having to leave the ship early

Carolyn


Quote:
Originally Posted by atlasali View Post
We were on, then off, then back on Vantage's ms River Venture which sailed from Amsterdam to Basel May 15 - May 29.

We have never had "the weather" so negatively impact a trip before. The rain started the day the cruise began. Some precipitation fell every day. Areas above us were deluged by the rain. The river rose 6 - 9 feet over night. The turbulence was awesome to see. Consequently, we were stuck on the Moselle/Mosel river upstream of a bridge in Trier that the Romans built in 16BC. For 3 days we bussed to our locations, then back to the ship. The river never went down. The Saar River upstream just kept gushing water. Bussing was more physically grueling (at least for me), but we got to return to our gorgeous ship, enjoy the fabulous food and be taken care of by the most attentive staff and crew I have ever experienced. Then the decision was made to pack up and go by bus to a hotel in Strasbourg for 3 nights. Me, in my rookie ignorance, assumed we would be getting back onboard the riverboat. Until dinner, which was treated as if it was our "last supper". Nooooo! I did not want to get off. I loved my cabin: seeing the swans, hearing the birds. I paid my tips for the entire two weeks of the cruise. It was not the workers fault; they should not be financially punished. We were put up at a Hilton. Okay but not as wonderful as the River Venture. Our Program Managers worked hard and Vantage paid a lot of money for our trip to remain as normal as possible. They hired a day Riverboat so we could cruise through the Lorelei part of the Rhine...it was raining. They even took on a 3rd Captain to race the River Venture to catch up to us. Thankfully it did, and we were able to spend the last 2 nights on board. Our last day, cruising to Basel, the sun was shining. However, we could not sit up on the top deck. The headroom clearance at the locks was too low. By the time we got to Basel, it was raining again. Typical, for this trip.

I had wanted to recreate a memory. 43 years ago, while bicycling through Europe, I spent one magical day onboard a Rhine riverboat cruising through the Lorelei area. Sitting on the top deck watching the castles go by. This was going to be our one-and-only riverboat trip. We just do not have the financial resources of our fellow cruisers. So I was devastated that we had to get off, and thrilled that we got back on. Would I do it again? I would love to. IF, we can afford it.
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  #43  
Old June 5th, 2013, 05:15 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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Thanks!

Carolyn

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Originally Posted by ingo_e View Post
Just added more press & updates on rivers: http://www.rivercruiseinfo.com/conte...-may-june-2013

Short summary: While Rhine is dropping (and maybe open for ships again tomorrow) and the Danube gets better the Elbe still rises.
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  #44  
Old June 5th, 2013, 05:17 PM
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Cruzin Terri Cruzin Terri is offline
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Originally Posted by Peacemkr59 View Post
Cary Cruiser, I really don't think there's any reason to be nasty and sarcastic. I did mention in my post that I understood that these were the worst floods they have seen. I also posted that I understood that Avalon must be swamped with calls. I was simple relating what my clients were telling me. And as kristikae stated so well, if you paid for the Westin and got the Super 8 Motel, I think you might be upset as well! But who knows, maybe I'm wrong.
I tend to agree with you. Everyone is dealing with this the best they know how. No need for sarcasm.
Terri
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  #45  
Old June 5th, 2013, 05:50 PM
jeckstein jeckstein is offline
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We started our cruise a week ago in Budapest. The plan was to travel on the Avalon Visionary from Budapest to Nurenberg and then take a coach to Prague for a 3-day extension. On the second day, the captain told us the cruise had to be aborted due to flooding.We spent a total of 4 nights on the Visionary, and, since then we've been bussed from Durnstein to Strassberg to Regensberg to a small town outside Nurenberg where we were informed we couldn't go to Prague, but would go to Munich instead. We have spent two nights at one hotel in Munich but have to switch to another hotel tomorrow. Everywhere we have gone, we have seen flooding, but we have never been in danger. Now we have been told we will take a bus to Prague 5 hours away on Friday in time to fly out on Saturday.
Our cruise director Sabine has been wonderful and has done her best to satisfy 124 unhappy cruisers. Avalon is giving everyone a substantial refund, but who knows if it is enough to make up for the change from a river cruise to a coach tour with a heavy emphasis on coach. One day we did nothing but ride a bus and stop for meals. Granted it was raining heavily at the time.
I personally will think long and hard before taking another river cruise because this experience has been far from what we expected.
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  #46  
Old June 5th, 2013, 06:24 PM
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Peacemkr59 Peacemkr59 is offline
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This is certainly not what you paid for and I'm sure you paid quite a bit for this cruise. And its unfortunate that this experience has left you with a bad taste for river cruising. I think its very rare when things like this happen. I personally do not think that the compensation that they are giving you is near enough for the disruption to your cruise!

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Originally Posted by jeckstein View Post
We started our cruise a week ago in Budapest. The plan was to travel on the Avalon Visionary from Budapest to Nurenberg and then take a coach to Prague for a 3-day extension. On the second day, the captain told us the cruise had to be aborted due to flooding.We spent a total of 4 nights on the Visionary, and, since then we've been bussed from Durnstein to Strassberg to Regensberg to a small town outside Nurenberg where we were informed we couldn't go to Prague, but would go to Munich instead. We have spent two nights at one hotel in Munich but have to switch to another hotel tomorrow. Everywhere we have gone, we have seen flooding, but we have never been in danger. Now we have been told we will take a bus to Prague 5 hours away on Friday in time to fly out on Saturday.
Our cruise director Sabine has been wonderful and has done her best to satisfy 124 unhappy cruisers. Avalon is giving everyone a substantial refund, but who knows if it is enough to make up for the change from a river cruise to a coach tour with a heavy emphasis on coach. One day we did nothing but ride a bus and stop for meals. Granted it was raining heavily at the time.
I personally will think long and hard before taking another river cruise because this experience has been far from what we expected.
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  #47  
Old June 5th, 2013, 08:29 PM
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Well said, Peacemkr59!

Carolyn

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Originally Posted by Peacemkr59 View Post
This is certainly not what you paid for and I'm sure you paid quite a bit for this cruise. And its unfortunate that this experience has left you with a bad taste for river cruising. I think its very rare when things like this happen. I personally do not think that the compensation that they are giving you is near enough for the disruption to your cruise!
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  #48  
Old June 5th, 2013, 08:51 PM
AngloAustin AngloAustin is offline
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In a cruise forum topic, it is very inappropriate to criticize someone for not giving sufficient weight to locals suffering due to a disruption of the cruise. We come on here to make better decisions around cruising. There are other places to express sympathy and offer support to people afflicted.

It sounds like some of the cruise lines have responded generously. But the argument that they are losing money so no one should be made whole is weak. The cruise line is in a much better position to manage the risk and insure against the risk. As a consumer of a packaged tour experience, I am paying in part for the cruise company to manage the risks of the holiday logistics for me and deliver the experience or the financial equivalent. If I am supposed to suck up a significantly diminished experience due to unusual weather, then I would rather have the flexibility to bail on a holiday and make my own plans when things for wrong. And not pay the premium.

I am on a Danube cruise on Viking at the end of June, and have been impressed with Viking's response and communication during this difficult time
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  #49  
Old June 5th, 2013, 09:31 PM
pully8 pully8 is offline
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thanks to those who are sharing their personal experiences on the rivers to date.

the disappointment is palpable. for many travel is a dream and a much anticipated event. not everyone can fund a river cruise easily and invest hard earnt cash without the expectation of enjoying the product they paid for.

compensation is justified. we have done 6 river cruises and love it but we would not want to be on the rivers under these conditions.

the cruise companies must make commercial decisions and will have taken measures to mitigate their losses. issues around integrity and customer services and safety are also important and companies will be judged by those factors by consumers.
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  #50  
Old June 5th, 2013, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngloAustin View Post
In a cruise forum topic, it is very inappropriate to criticize someone for not giving sufficient weight to locals suffering due to a disruption of the cruise. We come on here to make better decisions around cruising. There are other places to express sympathy and offer support to people afflicted.

It sounds like some of the cruise lines have responded generously. But the argument that they are losing money so no one should be made whole is weak. The cruise line is in a much better position to manage the risk and insure against the risk. As a consumer of a packaged tour experience, I am paying in part for the cruise company to manage the risks of the holiday logistics for me and deliver the experience or the financial equivalent. If I am supposed to suck up a significantly diminished experience due to unusual weather, then I would rather have the flexibility to bail on a holiday and make my own plans when things for wrong. And not pay the premium.

I am on a Danube cruise on Viking at the end of June, and have been impressed with Viking's response and communication during this difficult time
I hope Viking does not disappoint you.
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  #51  
Old June 5th, 2013, 09:53 PM
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Very well said AngloAustin!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngloAustin View Post
In a cruise forum topic, it is very inappropriate to criticize someone for not giving sufficient weight to locals suffering due to a disruption of the cruise. We come on here to make better decisions around cruising. There are other places to express sympathy and offer support to people afflicted.

It sounds like some of the cruise lines have responded generously. But the argument that they are losing money so no one should be made whole is weak. The cruise line is in a much better position to manage the risk and insure against the risk. As a consumer of a packaged tour experience, I am paying in part for the cruise company to manage the risks of the holiday logistics for me and deliver the experience or the financial equivalent. If I am supposed to suck up a significantly diminished experience due to unusual weather, then I would rather have the flexibility to bail on a holiday and make my own plans when things for wrong. And not pay the premium.

I am on a Danube cruise on Viking at the end of June, and have been impressed with Viking's response and communication during this difficult time
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  #52  
Old June 5th, 2013, 10:25 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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Nicely said.

Carolyn

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngloAustin View Post
In a cruise forum topic, it is very inappropriate to criticize someone for not giving sufficient weight to locals suffering due to a disruption of the cruise. We come on here to make better decisions around cruising. There are other places to express sympathy and offer support to people afflicted.

It sounds like some of the cruise lines have responded generously. But the argument that they are losing money so no one should be made whole is weak. The cruise line is in a much better position to manage the risk and insure against the risk. As a consumer of a packaged tour experience, I am paying in part for the cruise company to manage the risks of the holiday logistics for me and deliver the experience or the financial equivalent. If I am supposed to suck up a significantly diminished experience due to unusual weather, then I would rather have the flexibility to bail on a holiday and make my own plans when things for wrong. And not pay the premium.

I am on a Danube cruise on Viking at the end of June, and have been impressed with Viking's response and communication during this difficult time
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  #53  
Old June 6th, 2013, 12:40 AM
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I think that some people may be experiencing the impact that a CD has on troubled sailings. I do feel strongly that the CD can make or break your river cruise experience - and I am sure that none of them have experienced a situation like this. If they are new, or tentative - or perhaps distracted because they have family members in the affected areas, and they can't get home - then this filters across.

It sounds as if different sailings have very different experiences when it comes to communication, alternate accommodations etc. The head offices are very much in damage control mode, and I doubt they have the resources to mentor/support all of their CDs. Talk about "baptism by fire" for any new staff members.

I do think that all companies - and the people that travel the rivers - will be feeling the impact of this situation for many months to come. My next cruise isn't until Sept, and even though the itinerary may follow through as planned, I am sure that our experiences will be different as a result of the floods. I suspect the stops along the Danube will be in recovery mode for most of this cruise season - and perhaps into next year as well.
Fran

Last edited by franski; June 6th, 2013 at 12:42 AM.
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  #54  
Old June 6th, 2013, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Viking appears to only want to collect their money
So sorry to hear of the conditions BLUEHERON2, and very sorry to hear of Viking's failure to be responsible to passenger's needs, safety and security. We are on the other end of this, still in the USA. Booked and paid for the Romantic Danube departing June 8 from Nuremberg. Viking happily says all is well, just can't start in Nuremberg, and no trip to Passau, and oh by the way, no Danube/Mein river cruise. BUT WE PAID FOR THIS! Can't cancel with our own decision. It's SO obvious that we will be encounter similar circumstances as blueheron2. Viking ignores our calls, sends form e-mail back with information we already have and fails to answer our questions, other than cancellation by our choice is out of the question. VERY UNIMPRESSED WITH THIS COMPANY!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngloAustin View Post
In a cruise forum topic, it is very inappropriate to criticize someone for not giving sufficient weight to locals suffering due to a disruption of the cruise. We come on here to make better decisions around cruising. There are other places to express sympathy and offer support to people afflicted.

It sounds like some of the cruise lines have responded generously. But the argument that they are losing money so no one should be made whole is weak. The cruise line is in a much better position to manage the risk and insure against the risk. As a consumer of a packaged tour experience, I am paying in part for the cruise company to manage the risks of the holiday logistics for me and deliver the experience or the financial equivalent. If I am supposed to suck up a significantly diminished experience due to unusual weather, then I would rather have the flexibility to bail on a holiday and make my own plans when things for wrong. And not pay the premium.

I am on a Danube cruise on Viking at the end of June, and have been impressed with Viking's response and communication during this difficult time
If this is what impresses you about Viking, I wish you luck on your cruise.
Terri
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MS Zuiderdam (Sept. 2008) - Magic of the Mediterranean
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Ms Maasdam (Jan. 2011) Southern Caribbean
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MS Veendam (March-April 2012) 31 days South America and Inca Discovery.
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  #55  
Old June 6th, 2013, 03:32 AM
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steamboats steamboats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cary Cruiser View Post
They apparently work mostly on tips. When the boats don't sale they don't make tips (and I imagine don't get salary as well).
No, unlike on ocean going vessels crew on rivercruise ships is not mostly living on tips.

The situation along the Danube river in Bavaria is slightly getting better. But there are regions like the county of Deggendorf which are more or less totally flooded (some areas up to the roof). It will take some time.

The Elbe river has crested at Dresden and the wave is going downriver. Currently Lauenburg (app. 35 km out of Hamburg) is starting evacuation and preparing for the floods to come. Hamburg itself is pretty save as there´s plenty of room for the water to spread out.

In Vienna there are app. 30 river cruise ships stranded. On the Filia Rheni 120 mainly British passengers are trapped as the landing is flooded (according to Austrian news, check out if the video is working for you, doesn´t work at my office). The Filia Rheni is docked at Nussdorf. All other ships don´t carry any passengers but crew only.

As for "subpar" hotels: Please be aware that it is really a major task to find hotel rooms for let´s say 120 to 200 people on a last minute basis. Especially the smaller cities might not even have enough capacity or 4 and 5 star hotels. And usually it´s not just one company looking for hotels rooms for their passengers but several with also several rivercruise ships. It´s the same with food. First you have to find a restaurant able to cater that amount of people without any pre booking (you need to have the food on stock!!). So of course there might be "subpar" accommodations or food but I´m pretty sure that every cruise company is trying to get the best available for their passengers.

I´ve been in this situation in 2005 when my cruise ended in Vienna after 23 hours of cruising. When we left Passau I saw the spot we had parked our car only a couple of hours earlier for unloading our bags and it was already flooded. We´ve been bussed out of Vienna to Bratislava, Budapest (overnight in a hotel) and Melk (we skipped that and stayed in Vienna that day) and back to Passau. And BTW our CD was on his first trip ever!! He really did a great job and I doubt that he ever got some sleep during that week.

Sure this was not the vacation I have expected! But you have to take it easy and make the best out of it! At least you´re not the one who has lost everything due to the flood. It´s just your vacation which had been "spoiled" (and the rivercruise companies will compensate those inconveniences although legally they don´t have to).

steamboats
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  #56  
Old June 6th, 2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngloAustin View Post
In a cruise forum topic, it is very inappropriate to criticize someone for not giving sufficient weight to locals suffering due to a disruption of the cruise. We come on here to make better decisions around cruising. There are other places to express sympathy and offer support to people afflicted.
What an inconsiderate statement, I know people on the boats and lving along the Danube, who always try their best to make the cruise and it's passengers as pleasurable as possible. We are not a bunch of wild animals living in cages where you throw us a banana as you pass by.

We are good enough to give advice and share our knowledge on this forum but not good enough to receive sympathy and good wishes, in such a difficult time for us, from genuine cruisers.

Such cruiser mentality also reared it's ugly head during the sad loss of the Costa Concordia (people only thinking of themselves), where at the muster stations some passengers were ordering crew members to go and fetch their luggage from the cabin and something to eat from the MDR.

Ron
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  #57  
Old June 6th, 2013, 10:14 AM
AngloAustin AngloAustin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.M.T. View Post
What an inconsiderate statement, I know people on the boats and lving along the Danube, who always try their best to make the cruise and it's passengers as pleasurable as possible. We are not a bunch of wild animals living in cages where you throw us a banana as you pass by.

We are good enough to give advice and share our knowledge on this forum but not good enough to receive sympathy and good wishes, in such a difficult time for us, from genuine cruisers.

Such cruiser mentality also reared it's ugly head during the sad loss of the Costa Concordia (people only thinking of themselves), where at the muster stations some passengers were ordering crew members to go and fetch their luggage from the cabin and something to eat from the MDR.

Ron
I didn't make my point clearly if you think I don't care about non cruisers. Clearly, the real world problems far far outweigh cruising concerns. But someone raising a point on a forum that focuses on cruising issues should not feel like they can't because people have bigger non cruising issues.
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  #58  
Old June 6th, 2013, 10:20 AM
AngloAustin AngloAustin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.M.T. View Post
What an inconsiderate statement, I know people on the boats and lving along the Danube, who always try their best to make the cruise and it's passengers as pleasurable as possible. We are not a bunch of wild animals living in cages where you throw us a banana as you pass by.

We are good enough to give advice and share our knowledge on this forum but not good enough to receive sympathy and good wishes, in such a difficult time for us, from genuine cruisers.

Such cruiser mentality also reared it's ugly head during the sad loss of the Costa Concordia (people only thinking of themselves), where at the muster stations some passengers were ordering crew members to go and fetch their luggage from the cabin and something to eat from the MDR.

Ron
I also believe it is radically different for a travel agent to post an issue or concern aimed at remote corporate office staff on an Internet forum than for someone to act like a self centered pig in middle of a live crisis where lives are at stake.
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  #59  
Old June 6th, 2013, 10:24 AM
Jamey Bergman Jamey Bergman is offline
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Default Updated story on river cruise cancellations

We've provided an update with regard to the latest cancellations due to the unprecedented flooding in Europe. You can view it here: http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/news.cfm?ID=5384
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  #60  
Old June 6th, 2013, 10:26 AM
Jamey Bergman Jamey Bergman is offline
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Default Member responses to flooding in Europe

Hi all, we've taken a sampling of responses from our forums (and some of you) and collated them into an article. You can view that here: http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/news.cfm?ID=5380
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