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
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
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
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
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