Fancy a Relaxing Cruise?

Travel Forums General Talk Fancy a Relaxing Cruise?

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1. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1057 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

I've just read this in one of the on-line newspapers down here. A "bloodbath"!

I'm not a great fan of cruises although I am aware that some people swear by them - this must have been a nightmare for the 'normal' cruisers.

Does anyone have a story about a nightmare cruise?

2. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 763 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

There is often an aspect of a cruise that is less than perfect. But since I don't normally suffer from seasickness, I don't have any stories like that about a cruise I've been on when I've been on a commercial ship.

There have been cruises on our boat which were pretty close. This is the account of the middle of one of the worst ones.

We were on our boat in the Bahamas. we had been to Allen Cay and had not gone ashore because of the weather. We went to Norman's Cay and again anchored off the island. We did go ashore and had a meal at MacDuffs and I practiced getting back into the dinghy after I went snorkeling. We went on to Highbourn Cay and anchored. The BATELCO tower (for cell phones) which had been taken down in the last hurricane was being put back up (and I had no service on my phone and couldn't send emails) so we went into the marina (which was very expensive) and had a meal there. Then we headed for the Exumas Park- they had a waiting list for moorings so we anchored off Shroud Cay. As long as the wind isn't from the west, this is a nice place to anchor and wait for a mooring at the Exumas Land and Sea Park. Some snorkeling too. But we had the wind from the west, and it was not just wind from the west, it was a storm. We weren't in any danger, but neither of us could sleep and it went on for more than 24 hours. When it cleared up we decided to go down a little closer to the Exuma Land and Sea park, so Bob went to pull the anchor and when he came back to the cockpit where I was at the wheel, he said "We need to go back to Nassau. I'm having a heart attack"

And he was. It took us 2 days to get back to Nassau. He was flown (with me) back to Miami where he had a stent put in and then after 3 weeks, we returned to the Bahamas to bring the boat back to the USA. We left Nassau and went to Chub Cay where we were weathered in for a week.

At some point on Tuesday, I mentioned to Bob that perhaps we could leave Weds, and this was a great mistake. He'd walked out to the point, and said it didn't look to bad out there. So we left about 9:30 am, and motored out of the channel. There was a great deal more wind and waves out in the channel than he saw from the point, but, it wasn't bad because it was an east wind, and we were going west. So we made it onto the banks and to the Northwest Channel shoal very quickly, and then turned north.

Here, we had a horrible sail. Winds 25 knots from the NE which meant we couldn't get in to the Great Harbor Cay Marina because it was directly into the wind, and the wind would blow us back almost faster than we could motor into it. Plus, it was going to take us hours, and hours to get there because we were going so slowly. We kept going north. At about 4, I talked to Herb the weather guy, and he said basically what were we doing out there? In any case, we could not get to the east, so decided to just to go Lucaya, which was north.

The waves were more than we had experienced before. We actually got water over the lee rail into the aft cabin. Water over the side - rocking and rolling, and - it was dark and you couldn't see the waves coming. Plus it was only about a month since Bob's heart attack. I spent the night lying next to the mast on the cabin sole pretending that I was somewhere else.

But we made such good time, that we got to Lucaya about 3 am. Since we didn't want to enter at night, we went downwind toward Freeport until 4:30 (we could see the lights on shore - Freeport is never dark) and then turned around and came back. The entrance to Lucaya has a kind of barrel with a bell and a little red light on it to mark the entrance. It is on the charts. Unfortunately, there are also big cruise ship moorings in the area that are NOT on the charts so it makes it hazardous to be in that area after dark. I had put waypoints into the computer the previous year and using those, we found the entrance channel about sunrise. The entrance channel consists of two tiny markers with tiny lights, and the channel is not visible until you are right in front of it. The channel has breakwaters extending out from each side, and you don't want to run into them. We went in as soon as it was light and tied up at the Lucaya Village fuel dock at 6:45, got about 33 gallons of fuel, and then went into a slip here. Bob skinned his knee on the concrete dock, and because of the blood thinners he's taking, I thought he would bleed to death. Blood all over everywhere - pants, sock, shoe etc. Could not keep a bandage on his knee. I finally was reduced to making a large pressure bandage out of paper towels, and strapping it on with silver electrical tape.

The topping lift frayed and one end got stuck in the windmill, but the windmill wasn't running, and it came right out. Everything on deck was soaked with salt water. The CQR anchor came adrift and made a scar bouncing on the trailboards in the waves. Bob said he saw it reflected in the running light on the bow, but he wasn't going out on the deck to find out what it was. Then when it got light, we could see. Everything loose in the cabin came adrift, including a speaker which was held in by velcro. But it was all easily taken care of. Bob washed the boat, and did several loads of laundry (to wash the salt water our of the aft cabin rugs), and then I made him take a nap. Even though he had no sleep the previous night, he was surprised that he slept. When we were taking the water taxi over to Port Lucaya to eat at a restaurant in the marketplace he said he was tired. He was surprised about that too. So we had dinner at the Fat Man's Nephew, and took the water taxi back to the boat where we both went right to sleep.

I insisted that we stay here a day to rest. Bob filled the water tanks, and we got the jitney bus in to the Winn-Dixie on Seahorse Rd (or anyway the one not all the way in Freeport). I also did the internet stuff in Port Lucaya and the internet cafe. I didn't think we would leave before Sunday or Monday. But Bob had other ideas and we left for West End on Saturday because Bob thought he saw a weather window with the wind from the south coming up for Sunday. So we left Lucaya and had a nice sail from Lucaya to West End on Saturday. - 31.8 nm.

It was supposed to be nice to go Sunday, but it wasn't. The wind was still from the north (You do NOT want to cross the Gulf Stream which is flowing north with a north wind as it makes huge square waves which can sink a freighter). So we stayed there another day. The boat next to us that did leave Sunday had their jib blown out. We checked with the weather and the wind was going to be from the south. We decided that if we left really early in the morning that we could get to Ft. Pierce. Bob from CAROLINA was supposed to help with our lines, and the little catamaran on the other side of us was leaving too. CAROLINA was going to Lake Worth because they thought it was shorter. The weather forecast was for 2-3 ft waves, with wind of 10-15 knots

We left Tues am abut 6:15 right after the little catamaran (without Bob's help as he wasn't up yet), and surfed across to Fort Pierce doing 92 nm in 13 hours. We were doing 9 knots in the Gulf Stream, with 12 knots being the fastest we went.

The above is what I wrote to my family.

Behind the story - it rained until 10 am, and then we were dodging showers with the wind getting stronger and stronger - a steady 20-25 knots, with waves of 6-8 feet. Finally when Bob said the GPS had us doing 12 knots, I strongly suggested we reef something (had the main and jib up). The waves were under the quarter and the foam from them breaking under the boat made the depth alarm go off about every 2 minutes. We finally got out the instruction book and figured out how to turn it off, as we were in 600 to 900 ft of water. This was another scary passage (hull speed is about 7+ knots), and I spend some of it lying on the cabin sole again. We came into Ft. Pierce at about 6:15, and were tied up at the fuel dock and logged in with customs before 7.

They left us on the fuel dock the first night because we got in at dusk, and the dockmaster felt it would be too hard with the wind and current to get to the transient slips at night (He was RIGHT). There is no current at the fixed fuel dock. Plus it was pretty dark by that time and the fuel dock guy would have had to walk all the way around the marina to do it - he was just going off duty when we got in.

CAROLINA (which is a faster boat) left after us and went to Lake Worth. They apparently had a terrible time crossing the Gulf Stream, and also a bad time coming up from Lake Worth

3. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 763 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Borisborough

I've just read this in one of the on-line newspapers down here. A "bloodbath"!

I'm not a great fan of cruises although I am aware that some people swear by them - this must have been a nightmare for the 'normal' cruisers.

Does anyone have a story about a nightmare cruise?

This is just some drunk people who can't behave themselves appropriately. It doesn't have much to do with the cruise except that the violent people happened to be on a cruise ship at the time. Don't even consider this as a nightmare cruise. It isn't.

A nightmare cruise is one like the Costa Concordia cruise in 2012 where the ship sank off Giglio, Italy, killing 32 people

4. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1057 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Quoting greatgrandmaR

Don't even consider this as a nightmare cruise. It isn't.

Really?! So you'd have been happy on that ship then? I agree that the Coast Concordia was a shocking disaster (and definitely worse than a nightmare) but I'd rate this cruise as something I'd never want to have to relive.

From some of the other passengers, quoted in the article:

'They said threats had been made to stab and throw people overboard during what was described as a "cruise from hell".
"We are so scared after witnessing a traumatic experience with yet again the same offenders. It was a bloodbath," the passenger told Nine News.
"We will not be leaving our cabins and are truly scared for our safety and what could happen in the next 24 hours."' - suggests a nightmare to me.

5. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 763 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

It sounds like there were violent drunks who were not as quickly subdued and removed as they should have been. This is the second incident of this type that has happened recently on an Australian cruise. So maybe it is the type of passenger that they get in Australia.

I have been on cruises where people were put ashore for bad behavior, but it never got as bad as this, so I think much of the blame lies with the ship company (as it was for the Costa cruise)

But the ship didn't sink, and they weren't marooned for days with no power and no working toilets. No one was killed.

And they would not have published a comment from someone who didn't think the cruise was horrible, now would they?

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Feb-2018, at 19:47 by greatgrandmaR ]

6. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 557 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

The story has become big news in Australia unfortunately Australian cruises have started to attract an unsavoury crowd and you go on cruise forums and you will see Aussies complaining about the persistent focus on "fun" cruises. But the company hasn't done itself any favours. Obviously the security was instructed to confiscate phones as a lot of footage has come out of passangers being attack by security because they were filming the incident. Whether you agree with their right to film or not, the fact is there was a more pressing issue at the time and they were focusing something that could have been dealt with later. Also the handcuffed people being kicked in the stomach was not a good look either.

The ship may have not sunk and they were not marooned but at the end of day you are stuck in the middle of the sea in a confined space with people threatening physical violence towards you:( and while no one died people were physically injured. I am not surprised passengers described it as a cruise from hell. You had a group of 26 people that were complained about throughout the cruise by many other passangers, they should have been dealt with long before it got to this point.

7. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 763 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

I think the problem was both with the staff on the ship and the passengers. I have been on one cruise around Australia and it wasn't with Carnival - it was with Princess. Based on that single experience with Princess cruise line, I was not a fan. But I just went on a Princess cruise which was lovely, so I think my bad experience was at least partly that particular ship (the Dawn Princess).

We didn't have any fights or anything like that, but there were deficiencies. Embarkation was one of the worst I've ever experienced and for some reason the correct credit card was not listed on my bill. The ship was consistently late in getting to ports - in one port we were to have been there at 9 am and we didn't get there until 3 pm. And the worst thing from my perspective was that Australians were allowed to board when they had the flu, (I know this because two people at our table at dinner said that they got on knowing that they had the flu which meant that they lied on their embarkation forms) and I got sick and could not go snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef which was the reason that I took the cruise.

Even so, I would not characterize the cruise as a cruise from hell. It was disappointing and annoying, but I overall enjoyed the cruise.

Carnival advertises themselves as the Fun Ships. They aim at the younger demographic as opposed to the more stuffy Cunard and Holland-American. My son likes to cruise on Carnival. I have also cruised on Carnival although I was apprehensive at first. Their decor is often completely over the top (my husband commented that if they took off the plastic columns around the doorways the ship would probably be 10 tons lighter) . Plus we don't drink or gamble - that kind of fun isn't our kind of fun. But the port local to me has just one Carnival ship and one Royal Caribbean ship so I had to pick one and eventually I tried Carnival and it wasn't that bad. I can put up with the waiters dancing on the tables each night as long as the cruise is cheap, the food is adequate and I get to Bermuda or someplace else that I would like to go.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Feb-2018, at 07:47 by greatgrandmaR ]

8. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 763 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Borisborough

I've just read this in one of the on-line newspapers down here. A "bloodbath"!

I'm not a great fan of cruises although I am aware that some people swear by them - this must have been a nightmare for the 'normal' cruisers.

Does anyone have a story about a nightmare cruise?

I think this is an incendiary post.

9. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 339 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

The report on the German media about this incident sounds a lot less dramatic...

10. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1163 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

Quoting greatgrandmaR

I think this is an incendiary post.

You've made 4 replies to his thread and now you've decided one of the moderators is being inflammatory?