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Worst Day of My Life
Publication Date: December 10, 2014

I never got on board to see the ship. After the hour wait to check in, my wife made the fatal mistake about being honest that she had a cold. On the health declaration form, she checked "yes" to having a runny nose and coughs. We were ushered to the side of the check-in room and waited over an hour for a nurse to arrive. All the nurse did was check her temperature. She registered 99.7F.

Despite the form saying explicitly that you would not be denied boarding unless you are proven to be communicable, we were refused boarding. I am a scientist and an academic writer. In no respected scientific way would you prove communicable causation by showing someone to be one degree Fahrenheit higher than normal. In fact, the norm of 98.6F is just an average. Depending upon the surrounding conditions and the state of the individual, the norm could vary by as much as one degree. Again, 98.6F is not a fact; it is an average. Some people run normally at 99F or higher.

When we pleaded with the medical staff that she was only one degree over the

accepted norm, they said that they don't deal in "only." I'm sorry but half the people would fail the test because their norm is higher than 98.6F.

The moral of this story is that honesty does not pay. Among the 2000 in line, we witnessed dozens of people sniffling and hacking--and yet only two people, including us, answered "yes" to their question. Now doing a brief review online, I see that everyone lies about their health conditions--and I see why.

THIS ISN'T THE WORST PART!

After being told that we would not be permitted to board, we had to wait THREE HOURS for them to retrieve our luggage. After three hours, they only apologised that they could not retrieve them.

THEY LEFT US ABANDONED AND TOOK ALL OF OUR CLOTHES AND BELONGINGS.

Here we were stranded in Baltimore under freezing rain with nothing but the clothes on our backs. For me, this included a t-shirt, shorts, sandals and a light windbreaker. They were kind enough to let us stand in the lobby, with the doors wide open, while they called us a cab.

To recap, we arrived at the port just after noon. By the time the ordeal was over, it's close to 5 pm. Expecting a rich meal on board, we had nothing to eat all day and we were left hungry, cold, and stripped of all our belongings.

After booking and adjusting our flight itinerary, this debacle cost us $1500.

Thanks Royal Caribbean for ruining our vacation, putting us through five hours of torture, and leaving us in the cold. This must be the basis of some sort of lawsuit and I'll search for a lawyer soon.

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Weather destroyed my fun!
Publication Date: December 4, 2014

It was a doomed trip from the very beginning. Our plane left 6 hours after the takeoff time due to weather on the east coast. Then we finally get into Miami at 12:30am! Then my friend's luggage gets lost and all she has is the set of clothes on her and a swimsuit. Finally we book, normal there. It was sunny that day, but by the next day, a storm with a cold front comes in and we are freezing. The temperatures are in the 60's! My friend's luggage shows up at our first port, Cozumel.

The airline was very dodgy about whether is would be there or not. Carnival tried to help her, gave her a voucher to buy essentials. My friend did buy travel insurance. Then the waves were to rough so we could not go to Belize or Mahogany Bay! Finally the weather started to calm down and made it to Costa Maya. We all got a 25% discount on our next cruise which I'm the only one to take that offer. This was the first time my friend was on a cruiseship and she said she

was never doing it again.

I really enjoyed the Sea Trek Underwater Helmet experience on Cozumel. Don't forget to take some money to buy the disc of your adventure. I know what happened was more of a weather fluke so I'm going again. Crew were nice, but I had a soda card. They require you to go to the bar and order there. It was a hassle, especially since it seemed those with these cards were, by my standards, considered low on the totem pole.

All the other customers were given drinks first, them myself. Its a good deal if you spend more than $50 on soda for the cruise, but by forcing you to get up and get it, I actually used the card less. Based on how much soda I bought, I paid less than what I paid for the card. The other thing is the sexual bias. Women in the shows are barely wearing anything, yet the guys are fulling dressed.

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lost and found
Publication Date: December 4, 2014

My husband and I were on the Transatlantic cruise last April on the Nieuw Amsterdam. When we left the ship in Barcelona after a wonderful cruise, my husband forgot to pack his binoculars. After discovering this oversight upon arriving home, I wrote HAL to ask about locating them. First I received a letter saying they had not been located. Later I received a phone call saying they had and as soon as the ship returned to Florida I would be contacted regarding the return of the binoculars. I heard nothing more about it and had given them up for gone when the Fed-Ex truck pulled up in front of our house and delivered the forgotten binoculars!! I can't say enough about the service of the Holland America Cruise Line. Always excellent service and beautiful ships. We'll be back on in the spring.

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