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  #1  
Old February 17th, 2014, 04:45 PM
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Default Noordam plumbing issues, Feb 7 sailing

Just off Noordam this morning from the 10-night Southern Caribbean Seafarer sailing. This was my and my DH's first HAL cruise, but 25th cruise overall, so we're not new to cruising but we are new to sailing HAL. The purpose of this post is to get some feedback from you HAL veterans out there.

First, let me say that DH and I really enjoyed our first HAL cruise -- the food, the crew, the ship's layout, the itinerary -- we really had a good time celebrating our 17th anniversary on Noordam...except for one thing.

The big disappointment was the lack of a flushing toilet 8 out of 11 days (I'm including this morning as day 11). Yes, you read that correctly -- 8 days. Keep in mind this probably meant 2-3 attempts at using our toilet each day as we spent most of our time out of our cabin. Some of those times, the toilet would flush, but other times it would not...but we experienced a non-flushing toilet in our cabin at least one time on 8 different days. This is a BIG deal to us, and completely unacceptable.

Each time the toilet would not flush, we'd call the Front Office, they'd promptly have maintenance visit us, and they'd "fix" it. However, it was obviously never permanently fixed. On several occasions, after not being able to flush, my DH or I would go to a public restroom only to find THAT toilet not flushing either! There were days that maintenance visited us multiple times in one day! Since some of the public restrooms were also not flushing, it appeared the issue was more widespread than just our cabin or our deck.

The Front Office blamed it on someone on our deck who was flushing prohibited objects down their toilets, and that was clogging up the entire line. I don't buy it. If that was the case, it could have been unclogged and fixed. I came unglued after the 4th day of living with an outhouse in our cabin. The Front Office was extremely apologetic, and so was our fantastic cabin steward, but our toilet was never permanently fixed. Just this morning, I left a present for my husband (the toilet had worked both yesterday and Saturday, so I thought it was finally fixed), not realizing the toilet would not flush, and of course, he had to rush up a deck to a public restroom only to leave a nice present for someone there when the toilet wouldn't flush there either.

Please, tell me...is Noordam known for plumbing issues? Or, was this just our "lucky" cruise? I'm still beside myself thinking about it. Have any of you ever experienced this? A friend says this class is known for plumbing issues, but CC's search function seems to be down so I'm not able to search for past threads on this topic.

We'd love to sail HAL again, but if this is a known issue on Noordam and her sisters, we'll steer clear. Experiences please!
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Old February 17th, 2014, 04:55 PM
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I have sailed the Noordam for a total of 28 days and in those times I have never had a problem with a toilet. It is total possible that there was a clog in the line. The line isn't just your room it is a whole section of the ship it can be a few cabins long and a couple of decks high. Until they find the source their is a chance it could continue to have a problem. That is why they use only special toilet paper. Even if you bring your own toilet paper from home it could cause problems.

There are issues with toilets on ships hear and there, they are usually fixed. However, sometimes they linger for a while. I think that this was an isolated incidence and should not prevent you from sailing on another HAL ship in the future.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by GPoll189 View Post
I have sailed the Noordam for a total of 28 days and in those times I have never had a problem with a toilet. It is total possible that there was a clog in the line. The line isn't just your room it is a whole section of the ship it can be a few cabins long and a couple of decks high. Until they find the source their is a chance it could continue to have a problem. That is why they use only special toilet paper. Even if you bring your own toilet paper from home it could cause problems.

There are issues with toilets on ships hear and there, they are usually fixed. However, sometimes they linger for a while. I think that this was an isolated incidence and should not prevent you from sailing on another HAL ship in the future.
Ok, this is good to know. I commented to DH this morning that I feel really sorry for the next couple who gets our cabin, yet, whoever was in there before us may have said the same thing!

Maintenance also mentioned that there were "sections" of the ship impacted, not just our deck, and I didn't ask any of our neighbors if they had issues. I only talked to a few people we met on excursions and they said they had some isolated incidents with their plumbing as well, but nothing of our magnitude. For the life of me, I'm floored it lasted the entire length of our sailing.

Thank you for providing a different experience, but let me ask you -- have you sailed Noordam recently? Could it be that her plumbing is already in need of an overhaul? I hope not, but am wondering. I guess I still go back to this -- if it was a clog somewhere in our section of the ship that caused this, why couldn't they just unclog it, and fix it? Seems simple to me, but apparently not.
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  #4  
Old February 17th, 2014, 05:11 PM
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I regret that you had this problem as well. Annoying, it most certainly is. I have never experienced on any modern cruise ship such prolong issues with the toilet flushing. Sometimes, I would push the button and nothing would happen. Then, all of a sudden, "away we go"!

Whoever "invented" this kind of waste disposal system for cruise ships needed to work more on the design than he/she did.

I have heard more than one Chief Engineer say: "Those that build/design these ships should be made to live on them."
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Old February 17th, 2014, 05:12 PM
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Not recently, however it isn't as easy as fixing a clog at home. Remember these are vacuum system with many different lines. The Noordam is about 6 years old and recently had a complete overhaul. From the sound of it and the experience I have on ships, it is very plausible that a clog in a single line can cause this much outage and it can take a while to find the actual source.
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  #6  
Old February 17th, 2014, 05:13 PM
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I've been reading threads on this board for years now, and non-functioning toilets is a recurring theme. I've even been aboard one of those infamous ships.

Certain ships keep coming up as regular offenders, with both private and public toilets out of service for lengthy periods, but the Noordam isn't one of them.

I would tend to buy the story that there was someone consistently sending down a blockage---in this instance.
What I would wonder, though, is why this offender wasn't identified sooner, and made to stop? They can actually backtrack to determine who was doing it, in case you didn't know that.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 05:26 PM
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RuthC -- That's what I'm wondering. If it was really caused by someone clogging a toilet, and that meant ours wouldn't even flush (it literally just sat there as if the button was broken or something, yet there was no issue with the button), why couldn't they figure out who the offender was and deal with it. But, I'm no plumber, and as GPoll said, with a vacuum system with multiple lines it is plausible why the outage may have not been resolved quicker. 11 days though? I'm still floored that they couldn't (or didn't) figure out the source, and will get over it, but am so reluctant to book Noordam again. We REALLY, REALLY enjoyed ourselves in every other way!

It sounds like this was just an unlucky sailing in that regard if I'm hearing others haven't heard about this on Noordam.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 05:28 PM
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OP Would you mind sharing which cabin your were in?
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Old February 17th, 2014, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TravlGrl View Post
RuthC -- That's what I'm wondering. If it was really caused by someone clogging a toilet, and that meant ours wouldn't even flush (it literally just sat there as if the button was broken or something, yet there was no issue with the button), why couldn't they figure out who the offender was and deal with it. But, I'm no plumber, and as GPoll said, with a vacuum system with multiple lines it is plausible why the outage may have not been resolved quicker. 11 days though? I'm still floored that they couldn't (or didn't) figure out the source, and will get over it, but am so reluctant to book Noordam again. We REALLY, REALLY enjoyed ourselves in every other way!

It sounds like this was just an unlucky sailing in that regard if I'm hearing others haven't heard about this on Noordam.
We left the Noordam on Feb 7 and didn't have any problems with our toilet flushing -we were on Deck 4. Every once in a while a public toilet was out of service, but not all of them at once - so really not an issue on our cruise. I also would have been upset if mine hadn't flushed in my cabin so I sympathize with you.

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Old February 17th, 2014, 05:45 PM
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I was on Noordam for two weeks a month ago. We had no toilet issues. Any public toilet I used also worked as well.

Some will respond that the front desk was blowing you off about some passengers up the line clogging the toilet.

These are marine toilets and there's a load of clueless people out there so who knows? I'm sorry you had these issues on your cruise.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 05:56 PM
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How well I know that a non-working toilet is far from a joking matter. I am still smiling though from your "leaving presents" for people.
I have been the unfortunate receiver of similar presents due to shipboard plumbing issues.
I'm so twisted I'd be tempted to stick a red bow on the lid with a note that says "Do not open till Christmas".
Seriously though you really do need to let Seattle know about this.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravlGrl View Post
RuthC -- That's what I'm wondering. If it was really caused by someone clogging a toilet, and that meant ours wouldn't even flush, why couldn't they figure out who the offender was and deal with it. But, I'm no plumber, and as GPoll said, with a vacuum system with multiple lines it is plausible why the outage may have not been resolved quicker. 11 days though?
It wouldn't have to have been one clog; it could have been several clogs, over a period of days, from the same source.
If someone on your line was, say, tossing Kleenex in the toilet, or wet wipes, every day, then the clog would be cleared, only to be reclogged by the same people the next time they tossed in something they shouldn't have.

There are signs over the toilet to put nothing else down except the toilet paper HAL puts there. "Nothing" means not a thing. No tissues, wet wipes, no diaper liners, no sanitary protection---none of the many things you may toss in a home toilet. There are people who don't think what they toss will be a problem. They don't think, period.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 06:13 PM
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Well said, Ruth C. We will be on the Noordam next month and hope we don't have toilet issues. I do feel that it is most likely an habitual offender in a case like the OP reported. If only people would observe the signs and not display the "but me" attitude....
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Old February 17th, 2014, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
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OP Would you mind sharing which cabin your were in?
I don't mind at all -- Cabin 6034

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankc98376 View Post
How well I know that a non-working toilet is far from a joking matter. I am still smiling though from your "leaving presents" for people.
I have been the unfortunate receiver of similar presents due to shipboard plumbing issues.
I'm so twisted I'd be tempted to stick a red bow on the lid with a note that says "Do not open till Christmas".
Seriously though you really do need to let Seattle know about this.
Hahahaha! If only I had a sense of humor about it while it was happening. It's still very fresh in my mind though since it happened as recently as 10 hours ago. I'm letting my TA handle the conversation with Seattle as I've completely exhausted myself having the same conversation over and over and over with the Front Office while on the ship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RuthC View Post
It wouldn't have to have been one clog; it could have been several clogs, over a period of days, from the same source.
If someone on your line was, say, tossing Kleenex in the toilet, or wet wipes, every day, then the clog would be cleared, only to be reclogged by the same people the next time they tossed in something they shouldn't have.

There are signs over the toilet to put nothing else down except the toilet paper HAL puts there. "Nothing" means not a thing. No tissues, wet wipes, no diaper liners, no sanitary protection---none of the many things you may toss in a home toilet. There are people who don't think what they toss will be a problem. They don't think, period.
Here's what blows me away though (and I'm not using those words on purpose ) -- If it's the same offender over and over, wouldn't they also have to call the Front Office every time this was happening as well? It seems that the source cabin would have had it even worse than our cabin, no?
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Old February 17th, 2014, 06:41 PM
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TravlGrl ... So sorry this happened to you and hope you'll give HAL another try.

We crossed the Atlantic on Noordam in November and had toilet issues ONE day and only for an hour or two. Ruth is right about the multiple offenders. And, Ruth, I'm trying to remember if the plaque by the toilet is written in JUST english or if the warning to not put anything down the toilet is in other languages as well. This could be why someone might repeatedly offend.

Cheers!
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Old February 17th, 2014, 06:43 PM
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So sorry this happened to you and hope you'll give HAL another try.

We crossed the Atlantic on Noordam in November and had toilet issues ONE day and only for an hour or two. Ruth is right about the multiple offenders. And, Ruth, I'm trying to remember if the plaque by the toilet is written in JUST english or if the warning to not put anything down the toilet is in other languages as well. This could be why someone might repeatedly offend.

Cheers!
That little sign is only in English. It's emblaaaazoned in my brain from having looked at it repeatedly and wondered why the issue couldn't be resolved.

We will give HAL another try, and from all of the feedback here, I can see now that this is highly unusual to last this long.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
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IHere's what blows me away though (and I'm not using those words on purpose ) -- If it's the same offender over and over, wouldn't they also have to call the Front Office every time this was happening as well? It seems that the source cabin would have had it even worse than our cabin, no?
No. At least not necessarily. If the reason for your plumbing problem was someone tossing things they shouldn't have tossed in their toilet, it would not have clogged theirs. The clog would have been further down the line.
It can be traced back to the source, however. It takes time and effort to do that, but it can be done.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 06:59 PM
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I'm so sorry this happened to you, or to anyone.

On a cruise last year we had a tablemate who knew "everything". Even though the bathroom tissue dispensers had signs above them clearing stating not to dispose of tissues in the toilet. He, of course, didn't see any difference between the TP and the tissue and flushed them anyway. When they had a plumber fix their nonfunctional toilet the plumber did let him know that indeed the sign meant NO tissue.

These signs were obviously added to the bathrooms. HAL wouldn't have spent the time and effort to install them if they weren't needed. They weren't there merely for decoration. I don't know how many other cabins had to suffer because of him deciding his knowledge was superior to HAL's.

Sadly, over the years we've come to realize that if our health and safety depend upon our fellow passengers being able to follow simple directions, we are toast.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 07:00 PM
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OP

I am so sorry that this happened to you.

When you get your online survey -- definitely mention this. And you may want to write a letter to Seattle as well. This should not have gone on for the entire cruise.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 07:00 PM
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It can be traced back to the source, however. It takes time and effort to do that, but it can be done.
I'm beyond annoyed if that's the case. It's easier for HAL to try to placate me with apologies and flushing my toilet via Maintenance on a on-demand basis than it is to solve the problem, apparently.

I wish this upon no one! I think anyone can handle an outage maybe one time, but not 3/4 of a 10-night sailing. And now I'm getting all worked up about it again.
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Does the cruise ship wait for you? Passengers missing ship - Feb 2009

Upcoming
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