Is complaining on a cruise acceptable?

Of course complaining on a cruise is acceptable but how do you justify acceptable?

Recently in the news there was widespread footage of a gentleman screaming in the face of a senior officer onboard the cruise ship Norwegian Spirit.

The cruise was on a 14 night Mystical Fjords cruise departing Southampton on 27th September and was due to visit: Amsterdam, Bergen, Flam, Geiranger. Akureyri, Reykjavik, Belfast and Dublin.

Unfortunately due to excessive high winds the ship had to miss Amsterdam and then called in at Bergen, Flam and Geiranger. She then had to miss both Icelandic ports due to unprecedented bad weather from Hurricane Lorenzo which caused  significant swells, high waves and storm surges that led to some coastal flooding and damage, especially along the western and southern coasts.

The Captain attempted to take the ship into Greenock instead for Glasgow but again due to bad weather had to divert straight to Belfast and then Dublin.

Now this is where it gets sticky as yes I believe you have a right to complain but the way that some people were complaining was not right. The footage on the video shows one gentleman shouting, “Why you picking on me?”, to a Senior Officer before he begins chanting, “You are a liar”, and then encourages other guests to join in.

This quickly escalates into a mob mentality with people screaming and shouting at the crew. Now if that Captain and Officers had attempted to take that ship into the ports when the weather was as bad who do you think would have been complaining if they had got hurt.

The Captain is responsible for not only the ship but all the crew and passengers and if he decided that it was not safe to get into port then he is the expert not me unless you have a meteorology degree and Masters Certificate then you are not qualified to make that judgement.

Personally I think the ringleaders should have been put off at the next port and made to find their own way home for the way they behaved.

If my child had spoken to the Officers in the way this man did they would have been grounded for eternity.

Would love to hear your comments?

By the way Norwegian did offer a 25% refund for every guest on board.






25 Comments on “Is complaining on a cruise acceptable?

  1. complain I did about uncooked food politely to head waiter asked him to eat it he didn’t it was replaced

  2. I personally believe that if you escalate to shouting and screaming, you have lost. Once voices increase in volume, ears do not listen for an answer.
    The captain and crew are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
    I do believe that most tickets terms and conditions state that venues may be changed subject to weather and safety fears.

  3. It is obvious to any sensible person that the Captain is in charge and is responsible for all passengers and crew and therefore beyond crjticism.

  4. From what I read, the food and the sanitation weren’t good either. If this is true, then I think at least a partial refund was in order. I wouldn’t want a 25% discount on a future cruise as I wouldn’t be cruising with them again if it really was bad.

    Bad weather is sometimes unavoidable but this cruise seemed to have multiple problems

  5. I totally agree with you. This sort of behaviour is unacceptable. Nobody can control the weather and safety has to come first.

  6. There’s more to it than you mention in your article.

    Allegedly the sewage system failed, toilets were backed up and some food was rotten.

    The cruise line aren’t responsible for the weather but they ARE responsible for what happens on the ship.

    Norwegian did not offer a refund, only a 25% credit off a future cruise. Obviously a lot of those on this group won’t cruise with Norwegian again.

    Essentially the ship missed half the ports as well as the other privations.

    The behaviour of some passengers was out of order but taking everything into account a 25% credit towards a future cruise isn’t acceptable either; it should be at least a 50% refund not a credit towards a future cruise that many won’t take.

  7. I have been on cruises when we have missed ports due to bad weather and I have been on cruises when people have complained but that kind of behaviour is just lamentable and apart from being the worst manners, will rightly never succeed. I am with you. The chief protagonists should have been put off at the next port and made to make their own way home. I have seen this happen a couple of times on aircraft and it should be well publicised.

  8. 25% discount off your next cruise is a derisory amount, it should have been made in cash, in my opinion.

  9. I agree with you totally the man should have been put ashore at next port why treat people like that
    The captain was right not to enter the ports as he has the welfare of the whole ship in his hands
    I personally would prefer to miss a port then risk any accidents most cruise lines do reimburse you for missed ports , bad excursions etc as we have had experience of these
    Disappointing you miss some ports but better to be safe then end up maybe in a lifeboat !!

  10. Fingers and toes crossed I have never had that kind of situation to deal with but in this case the Captain and crew were correct…Safety first! and yes, the “ring leader” should have been removed from the ship.

  11. we done a similar cruse there was 6 to 8 meter swells on the way to Amsterdam, due to the weather it was slow going to get there, we could not get to Amsterdam where we were to birth due to the tides.
    instead we birthed at IJmuiden where the options we had to stay in IJmuiden or bus to the local train station to go to amsterdam or bus to Haarlem this is where we went to and had a good time there.
    the buses were put on by the the cruise line.
    for Amsterdam we were meant to be a overnight visit but due to the weather at sea we had to leave IJmuiden that night to be able to get to our next port of call Hamburg.
    we had 3 days of high seas and it was down to the captain that we did get the chance to visit other places we had never been to before.
    the weather on this part of the cruise was high winds large swells of 6 to 8 meter and rain deck spaces were out of bound due to the high winds if the doors where opened you could see the ceiling tiles lifting.
    the captain and crew do there very best in these condition and unfortunately on a cruise the weather determines how the ship and crew responds to the situation. and we should all be aware of this before we go on a cruise.
    as for this kind of demonstration it would be well within the rights of the captain to put the ringleader ashore at the next port.
    no one likes to miss out on ports of call, i plan my trips around some ports and on this trip it amsterdam was one of the ports i was looking forward to especially with it been an over night visit, but the way i look at that is i got to see another place i had never been to, and if this had not happened we would probably not got to Hamberg as the only thing that made sure we got there was the fact that we did not stay overnight in the Netherlands.
    this was down to the captain he had the forethought to know his ship and the conditions at sea to ensure we got to see most of the places on our itinerary.

  12. Complaining is perfectly acceptable but NOT screaming in someone’s face. Especially as the man was “complaining” about a situation caused by something beyond the cruise line’s influence.

  13. If I remember from the news it wasn’t quite as clear cut as you make it sound. It made nearly none of the advertised stops, stopping instead further away at closed places or industrial ports.

    Yes the attitude and behaviour of the guests was not acceptable but people were wanting off the ship and a full refund.

    There was complaints about the state of cabins and food as well. From what the news articles showed I would have left at the first or second bad port latest. I would have demanded a full refund too.

    And no I wouldn’t have got aggressive or screamed at staff.

  14. I would have put him in a lifeboat and let him sail off into the bad weather!!!!

  15. Fully agree with you Molly. We have had to miss ports and accepted the reasons given. Health and safety are paramount. Also do not condone passengers being aggressive with staff. Like you would like to see this behaviour dealt with by putting them off at the next port.

  16. yes, safety of passengers should always be at the forefront of decision-making in respect of ship movements. However, I do feel for the frustration of the passengers as they were promised or contracted for a lot nicer ports of call than dreary Belfast or mundane Dublin. The compensation offered is little in the way of adequate compensation (in my opinion) for passengers who expectations were higher, especially since these cruise lines make staggering profits. That being said, there is a proper way to handle the complaint, and shouting and screaming at ships company is not acceptable nor the way to resolve the issue. Cruises cost a lot of money, especially for top fliers in suites and luxury balconies. Weather is always an unpredictable certainty and diversions are inevitable. But the bottom line for passengers is value for money and Norwegian Spirit failed to deliver in spite of its best effort.

  17. Before complaining it is always an idea to apply common sense to the situation!
    Also shouting in someone’s face is bullying especially when the other person is not in a position to respond as they might like!
    There are ways of complaining – politeness always works for me! You get further that way than being rude I’ve always found.

  18. The only hope for idiots like this is punishment. Confinement, hopefully in a dank and dreary place, immediate ejection at the next port. It’s difficult to fathom stupidity in this degree.

  19. I agree with you. Unfortunately the cruise line aren’t in control of the weather and did offer 25% refund which is more than other lines who have to change ports etc. When I have been on a cruise and they have had to miss a port or did an alternative I have never been offered compensation it’s the way it is and everyone should accept that the Captain will put safety of passengers and crews as his or her priority.

  20. Absolutely unbelievable! This is never, ever an acceptable way to complain. Indeed I would say that the poor crew were abused and agree totally that the rinleaders should have been put off at tne next port.

  21. No I don’t think it was a refund but a only a lousy discount off next cruise with them. More money for them! Needs to be a cash refund to be a reasonable and fair compensation.

  22. Firstly you cannot judge or predict the weather, we had a similar experience on the Norwegian star, whereby we missed a number of ports ,but that was due to engine problems, but the same thing happened re the American guests they virtually started a riot, again not justified, we also where given credits for the cruise , if the person shouted like that in my face he might have gone swimming in the sea.

  23. I think the behaviour of these people was disgraceful, I have always found the staff on all the cruises I have been on really professional kind and helpful. They should have been off loaded of the ship.

  24. Hi
    I wasn’t on that ship but was on Royal Caribbean s Exploter of the Seas around about the same time. The captain made a similar decision to skip Genoa and Lisbon and go to Le Harve instead. It was not a popular decision amongst passengers as you can imagine. No rioting or chanting, just a bit of booing in the theatre. However after using the Internet and checking BBC World Weather and various Hurricane tracking websites the were all stating that Lorenzo was heading more North and was reducing in strength. When I tried to speak to the captain about this I was dealt with in a very dismissive and patronising way. Their experts in Miami new better than the BBC. So we passed by Genoa and Lisbon on very calm and sunny days in an effort to get ahead of the hurricane, to quote the captain. We then spent 2 miserable days in a cold wet Le Havre. Had we got in front of the Hurricane? Was it pounding Lisbon.. One of the captains bodyguards, Hotel Director I think, said if we docked in Lisbon we would have been stuck there. No the storm was North of us as your article states. Miami was wrong, the captain was wrong, the Internet sources were correct. Did we get an apology? No, all we got was a miserable Le Harve for 2 days. They did not even put on Shuttle service. The Ports own service meant you had to queue for hours. Strangely enough they manage to source coaches for Shore Excursions to Paris
    A poor show by Royal Caribbean. We are Diamond members in the Crown and Anchor loyalty scheme but will not be back.

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