My Worse Vacation Experience

I love to travel but everything doesn’t always go according to plan. It seems that no matter what you experience there is always someone else who has had worse. I have been through a number of “unique” travel experiences but the worse was while my family was on a Hawaiian cruise.

We were cruising the Hawaiian islands on Norwegian Cruise Line. It was a 13 night cruise. On the second night of our cruise at about 2 o’clock in the morning when I awoke to hear the sound of running water. My first thought was that someone had left the water running in the bathroom sink. So I got up, put my slippers on and walked to the bathroom to check it out. I turned the bathroom light on, which is on the outside of the bathroom in the hallway. I opened the bathroom door and was shocked to see about 4 feet of foam and water bubbling up out of the shower drain. The bathroom was completely flooded and the water was running out under the door and into the rest of the cabin. The carpet was soaked. I called the customer service desk and they sent a guy down to check it out. He came in looked, made a call and 2 more guys showed up. They somehow stopped the water from coming in and used a pump to suck up the water in the cabin and left. That morning was a port day so while we were in port they put a heater in the cabin to dry the carpet. When we returned to the cabin it was seriously hot inside from the heater. They sent us a fruit plate for the inconvenience. Three nights later at 2am again the cabin flooded but it was even worse this time. We went through the same routine, called the front desk, some guys came down with a pump and left us soggy carpet. This time though that morning was a sea day so we spent the day walking around on wet, stinky carpet. The carpet was so wet it took 3 days to dry. I went up to the front desk and asked if we could be moved to another cabin but they said the ship was full so there was no available cabins. As nicely as I could I let them know how unhappy I was, my son has asthma and wet, nasty carpet was not good for him and who knows where that water came from! They gave us a $200 on board credit.

Then on the last day of the cruise we all got food poisoning. My son became sick that last night and was up all night. We were scheduled to fly home the next day and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get him home. Fortunately he was doing much better in the morning. We flew home and the following morning I became extremely sick. I thought food poisoning hit you fairly quickly after eating the bad food so I wasn’t sure what was happening to me. I looked like I was having a seizure or stroke. My hands were constricted into fists, I couldn’t walk, my husband found me on the shower floor which I crawled into because I didn’t have the strength to sit up to throw up. I have never been that sick. He took me to the emergency room. All I remember is my husband on one side and a doctor on the other side and me saying “I’m going down.” The next thing I knew I was in a room and the doctor was giving me a shot. After several shots the doctor said I had food poisoning and that it can take up to 3 to 5 days from the time you eat the contaminated food to get sick. I hadn’t eaten anything since I gotten off the ship. When we got back home my husband became sick.

Once I was feeling better I wrote a letter to the cruise line and was very clear about how mad I was. I wasn’t rude or didn’t use any foul language but very sternly and clearly stated my grievance and what I planned to do if acceptable compensation was not provided. Its important to complain in the right way in order to get the right results. I had a very clear game plan in the event they wouldn’t fix this situation. I talked to several people in the maritime oversight industry and actually gotten a couple to agree to email the cruise line and let them know I had contacted them to see if there was any coarse of action I could take with them. Which in reality they had no authority over cruise ships but it would let the cruise line know I was serious when I said I was prepared to take action. You don’t want to make a bunch of unrealistic threats that you have no intention of carrying out. I listed every step I would take if they didn’t rectify this situation. In the same turn you can’t demand unrealistic compensation.

In the end we were given enough credit that we got to cruise to the Caribbean for free. So I was happy.

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