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Your Worst Ever Cruise Ship

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    Your Worst Ever Cruise Ship

    Whilst onboard the NCL Escape Invite I was asked by one of the Cruisedot staff, "What was the worst cruise ship you have ever been on".

    I didn't really answer the question as I needed a bit of thinking time. Having been on a lorra' lorra' ships, some I only have the vaguest recollection of that are now firmly embedded in Neptune's Locker, it got me thinking.

    I'm talking ship itself.

    Leaving aside poor service, disorganised boarding procedures, lager louts and questionable food, which ship did not come up the expected standard of a modern cruise ship?

    It would be around late 2002, we booked a four or five nighter English Channel hop, Soton, Amsterdam, Le Havre, Guernsey, Soton mainly for the benefit of family members who had never cruised before, who were always in awe of our Formal Night photos and the general impression of quality that cruising had to offer.

    The weather wasn't stormy, just an average winters swell as we made our way around the Isle of Wight heading for Amsterdam.

    The main dining room was on deck 2, close to the waterline, but you didn't need a map to find it. The cutlery jingle jangling on the tables could be heard as you approached due to the vibration of the propellers.
    In fact the vibration was so bad the four of us played a game every night placing the wine glasses in the centre of table, and whoever's wine glass vibrated to the edge of the table first won the game.

    Well the old gal rolled her way across the Channel, the propellers almost coming out of the water, the noise and shuddering was horrendous, finally making it to the other side. Sick Bags tactfully placed in prominent positions around the ship.

    This ship was acquired by P&O from the Princess fleet at a time when P&O were at the top of their game, then one of the most respected cruiselines in the world. The ship was flat bottomed designed for pottering around the shallow, calm Caribbean waters, the English Channel a challenge too far. This was the third ship to be named/renamed Arcadia and to this day I clearly remember walking down the gangplank at the end of this little jolly thinking, 'What the hell were P&O thinking about buying this tug?'

    A short time after that they parked it in the Med at Palma, hardly surprising as this ship had obvious limitations on anything more challenging than a duck pond. The final ignominy came when they ripped out the MDR and never replaced it, painted it in some God awful colours and renamed it yet again, as Ocean Village.

    Incidentally, as far as I am aware, our family members who were so looking forward to their first ever cruise, have not set foot onboard a cruise ship since.

    Anyone else with a worst ever cruise ship tale?.......Wilba
    Wilba

    #2
    We have been on some old ships that probably fit, in no particular order.

    Albatros (not the current one) a 14day Baltic AI charter through Arena travel, long time ago(later 1/2 90s I think) and the ship was old then. scrapped 2003.

    2bed inside had bunks, crazy layout inside some parts of the ship
    I think this was the V-ships owed ship run by Phoenix Reisen and chartered to Arena for the trip.
    (might have the stuff from that trip somewhere)

    Topaz, Thomsons AI ship(RMS Empress of Britain) in need of serious maintenance and very overcrowded pool deck in the sun.
    Steam turbines, just got too expensive to run ended up as the peace boat and later(2008) scrapped and getting hit by a tanker.

    Island Escape rattled all the time everywhere, still going and delivers good value.

    We enjoyed all the trips for various reasons.

    (there is another one but I forget the name A**** will update if I remember or find something)

    Comment


      #3
      The worst ship we have sailed on (at the time) was what was the 'Adonia' P&O which was sent back to Princess and named 'Sea Princess'. We sailed from Miami to Acapulco and the ship was a disgrace. The ship was screaming out for a refurbishment. It wasn't just parts of the ship that was tired it was all of it. Some of the ceilings in the public areas had water marks on them. The sun loungers were a disgrace. The furnishings had seen better days. I could list many things but I think you get the picture. The finishing touches to the cruise was the 12 hour delay on our return flight. Before we left the ship the captain announced that passengers for our flight would be taken to an Hotel when we landed in Cuba for a hot meal. When we arrived at the airport in Acapulco we were just left by P&O staff we had no idea what the flight arrangements were. We eventually informed that there were two flights one for Heathrow and one for Manchester. We boarded the flight for Manchester and were informed that our luggage had been loaded onto the Heathrow flight in error. We got off the aircraft and boarded the other which by this time had been re scheduled for Manchester. When we arrived in Cuba we asked about the hotel and hot meal which the crew hadn't a clue what we were talking about. The crew had also ran out of hours for flying so they spent the next seven hours at an hotel which we spent at the airport (on the floor) with a bread roll and a Coke. It was a complete disaster and we vowed we would never sail with P&O again but we have.

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        #4
        Is this the P&O Sea Princess that became Victoria? If so, we said on her from Durban to Southampton in 1991 or 1992. She had just had a refit and was returning home from the Far East. We loved her and did a few more cruises when she became Victoria. OK, she didn't have all the modern facilities that todays ships have but, the food and atmosphere was something we haven't experienced in recent years.

        Worst ever, was probably Sterling Castle. Bunk beds, no ensuite, but hey we didn't know any different in those days. Beryl

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          #5
          I have told this story before but when CD first started [If I remember right it was called Victoria Travel and the managing director or owner? was Andrew who eventually turned it into CD.]

          They had chartered a ship from a Greek company and we had booked a cruise to the Norwegian fjords from Dover many years ago now , we stayed the night in Dover and went down to the port to board the ship, where we waited and waited by this time there were crowds of passengers waiting, we were told that previous to this cruise they had done a Med cruise and coming up the channel they had something wrong with their steering gear.

          The ship eventually arrived late in the afternoon and the British board of trade went on to inspect her [in the meantime some people were trying to stir up the rest of us calling for this and for that and had called a TV channel who were going around interviewing this agitators].
          The board of trade declared the ship unfit to sail , we were all offered the chance to stay on board for the night free drinks , so we did !!
          We were shown to our cabin and we had bunk beds the ship was in dire need of refurbishing but what a wonderful night we had, the food was good the entertainment included an Irish comedian who really made us laugh and a free bar until 2am.

          That was the cruise that never was , we arrived home to a great bouquet of flowers from Victoria Travel I also had a full refund form them plus to my surprise a full refund from the insurance company!!

          The next day in one of the newspapers there was a photo of a woman sitting on her case with the caption 'the cruise that never was' and do you know I can't recall the name of that old tub of course it was way back .CG
          sigpic

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            #6
            We were also on that cruise .The Cuban airport was too small for the amount of passengers dumped there and we both sat on the tiled floor whilst other people hogged chairs and spread out on three seats!!I remember the cheese roll and bottle of water!The Acapulco airport was also a disaster as there were no flight monitors, so a little Mexican woman walked the area shouting next flight passengers to go to gate....!!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by cornish girl, falmouth View Post
              I have told this story before but when CD first started [If I remember right it was called Victoria Travel and the managing director or owner? was Andrew who eventually turned it into CD.]

              They had chartered a ship from a Greek company and we had booked a cruise to the Norwegian fjords from Dover many years ago now , we stayed the night in Dover and went down to the port to board the ship, where we waited and waited by this time there were crowds of passengers waiting, we were told that previous to this cruise they had done a Med cruise and coming up the channel they had something wrong with their steering gear.

              The ship eventually arrived late in the afternoon and the British board of trade went on to inspect her [in the meantime some people were trying to stir up the rest of us calling for this and for that and had called a TV channel who were going around interviewing this agitators].
              The board of trade declared the ship unfit to sail , we were all offered the chance to stay on board for the night free drinks , so we did !!
              We were shown to our cabin and we had bunk beds the ship was in dire need of refurbishing but what a wonderful night we had, the food was good the entertainment included an Irish comedian who really made us laugh and a free bar until 2am.

              That was the cruise that never was , we arrived home to a great bouquet of flowers from Victoria Travel I also had a full refund form them plus to my surprise a full refund from the insurance company!!

              The next day in one of the newspapers there was a photo of a woman sitting on her case with the caption 'the cruise that never was' and do you know I can't recall the name of that old tub of course it was way back .CG
              Hi Cornish Girl,was it Ocean Glory 1?According to the report I read it was prevented from travelling due to numerous problems including a cockroach infestation!
              Bet you are glad you didn't know that then.Full refund a free night onboard with free bar sounds ok actually..

              Comment


                #8
                It might well have been Phil, but it was to far back in the mists of time , I remember meeting Andrew on the christening of the Eclipse [I was one of the lucky CD members to be invited] I told him I was on it , he said it almost finished them off as they were just starting out but as you know they went onto CD.CG
                sigpic

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                  #9
                  Strange this topic should come up , I keep a book with all the cruises I have done and places I have been to ( mainly because I forget where I have been) and I just happened to count the number of ships we have been on . and it is 24 --------- 25 coming up at Xmas . some we have done twice or more but the worst two were the Topaz and the Island Escape , On the Topaz the lunchtime buffet was put out too early and some of it was in the hot sun , my husband remarked on this and said to me " there is going to be tummy troubles on this ship " and sure enough people went down .
                  On the Island Escape I couldn't believe how some people dressed , football shirts on a cruise and the food was dreadful , needless to say they were two ships we never ventured on again ,

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi Mauden, I went on the Island Escape with my girlfriends when I was working again years ago, and I have to agree with you, in the lounges in the evening when dancing and karaoke was taking place there were babies and toddlers rolling all over the floor!! this was late every night the food was dreadful , but I have to say the entertainment was very good , the only good thing about this ship IMO. CG
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mauden, billingham View Post
                      Strange this topic should come up , I keep a book with all the cruises I have done and places I have been to ( mainly because I forget where I have been) and I just happened to count the number of ships we have been on . and it is 24 --------- 25 coming up at Xmas . some we have done twice or more but the worst two were the Topaz and the Island Escape , On the Topaz the lunchtime buffet was put out too early and some of it was in the hot sun , my husband remarked on this and said to me " there is going to be tummy troubles on this ship " and sure enough people went down .
                      On the Island Escape I couldn't believe how some people dressed , football shirts on a cruise and the food was dreadful , needless to say they were two ships we never ventured on again ,
                      Ok I'll bite but what is wrong with someone wearing a football shirt on a cruise which has an informal dress code?? Better than walking about topless??

                      Back to OP, I have only sailed on 10 ships - no real rust buckets but I'll never forget the smell of diesel fumes from the Ryndam. She is now sailing in Australian waters I believe.

                      Annie

                      Comment


                        #12
                        We only started cruising 8/9 years ago and have never sailed on a ship that we could find much fault with, a couple of cruise lines we have sailed with with once and it will stay at once.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Ocean Odyssey was the worst ship we have ever sailed on but we went to some wonderful places. We sailed out of Goa to the Lakshadweep islands and Kerala then on to Sri Lanka where it broke down, giving us several unexpected days in port while parts for the engine were obtained. I doubt it was sea worthy but we did make it back to India eventually. It was only a small ship ,capacity 250 passengers, but with only 65 on board we had plenty of space to rattle around. Our cabin was very basic, ok if you are used to camping! The water, when we had any at all, was dark brown. We were supplied with bottled water for brushing teeth but had to manage to get washed in it. The public rooms were more like ferry than a cruise ship. It had been marketed as a luxury cruise with a yoga teacher who would arrange classes on the deserted beaches. No yoga teacher or any other entertainment to speak of. Sunbathing on deck was difficult without getting covered in black soot from the funnel until we found a quiet corner in front of a doorway out of the soot line. The captain saw where we had put our sun lounges as he walked past. I thought he was going to tell us to move but he said it was good we had managed to find a place to avoid the soot. Despite the state of the ship we did have a good time and it is one cruise we will always remember.

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                            #14
                            we have only been on two old ships the Marco Polo which performed ok. The other the Balmoral a really clapped out old ship that was always very very late arriving anywhere, normally spending a couple hours in port rather than expected full days, heating broke down, had to wear coats in lounges and theatre etc, rust everywhere, apparently still around not sure if it has had a major refurbishment since then.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              When we sailed Island escape there was a free wait service dining area that most did not know about, better food than the main dining options some days it was just us eating there.
                              Overall a god trip and those were the days when first choice package deal were great late bookings.

                              Comment


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