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Old 10-28-2012, 09:28 PM   #1
SLK1
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Just off The Dream

I have to say, I question the wisdom used by Disney to set sail into what was a known hurricane. Even at "hugging the coast" as we set sail on Thursday, they knew we would be hitting the sides of the storm. We then make it to the Keys, only to turn around and follow the storm back to the Bahamas. The final night, Saturday night, was SCARY. Nothing like what we have seen from the CNN footage of the Fantasy, but very scary nonetheless and it makes me mad that although the captain kept us "safe", the whole situation was avoidable. It's not like that hurricane popped up out of nowhere. I ccruise for the ship experience and could not care less about the ports. But this was a disaster. Their 25% discount on a FUTURE cruise is kind of silly...you really feel bad, you give me 25% refund for THIS cruise!!! Not that I'm looking for anything, but I don't believe it was handled all that well, especially given that on Sunday morning, the captain said there were 35 foot waves hitting the ship and yet he never came on the speaker to tell us we were in for a doozy of a night. Instead, I had a daughter in tears and sheer terror because of the rough seas.

We are Platinum cruisers and have a cruise booked for March on the Fantasy. We are all seriously re-considering going simply because we have kind of been scarred.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLK1 View Post
I have to say, I question the wisdom used by Disney to set sail into what was a known hurricane. Even at "hugging the coast" as we set sail on Thursday, they knew we would be hitting the sides of the storm. We then make it to the Keys, only to turn around and follow the storm back to the Bahamas. The final night, Saturday night, was SCARY. Nothing like what we have seen from the CNN footage of the Fantasy, but very scary nonetheless and it makes me mad that although the captain kept us "safe", the whole situation was avoidable. It's not like that hurricane popped up out of nowhere. I ccruise for the ship experience and could not care less about the ports. But this was a disaster. Their 25% discount on a FUTURE cruise is kind of silly...you really feel bad, you give me 25% refund for THIS cruise!!! Not that I'm looking for anything, but I don't believe it was handled all that well, especially given that on Sunday morning, the captain said there were 35 foot waves hitting the ship and yet he never came on the speaker to tell us we were in for a doozy of a night. Instead, I had a daughter in tears and sheer terror because of the rough seas.

We are Platinum cruisers and have a cruise booked for March on the Fantasy. We are all seriously re-considering going simply because we have kind of been scarred.


I am so sorry to read that Dream passengers also had concerning experience. I hope you and your family are feeling better and safe now.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
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Sorry about your experience... We were on the 10/21 sailing and got off the same day you got on. We actually had NO CLUE about the hurricane until we were off the ship! We experienced rough seas Wednesday night but didn't know that's what was going on. When we learned about Sandy we felt so bad for those of you heading out Thursday. I felt sick from the rocking we had Wed. night, I CAN'T imagine what it was like during your cruise or for the people on the Fantasy.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:10 PM   #4
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Sorry about your experience, but a major reason that cruises at this time of year are much less expensive is that hurricanes are a possibility and you take your chances.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
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Sorry about your experience, but a major reason that cruises at this time of year are much less expensive is that hurricanes are a possibility and you take your chances.
The cruises during this season are a little less expensive, but not much less expensive. Some rough seas, rain/wind, are to be expected but not tropical storm and hurricane conditions for the duration of the cruise.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Sorry about your experience, but a major reason that cruises at this time of year are much less expensive is that hurricanes are a possibility and you take your chances.
The chance we took was that the itinerary might be changed and/or ports missed.

Not that the Captain would knowingly choose to sail us into a hurricane, rather than staying clear of it.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:14 PM   #7
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We were on the 10/21 cruise as well and had no idea a Hurricane was brewing just really rough seas our last night. I cant imagine knowing. I'm glad i was clueless. Felt really bad for the people boarding as we were leaving.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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We sailed on the 10/20 Fantasy and obviously as you know didn't have the greatest outcome. When I heard the Dream left on Thursday, it clearly did not make sense to me why the would leave to the Bahamas, here the Fantasy wouldn't go to Castaway Cay Bahamas on Friday. The hurricane was know to go through the Bahamas on Friday. This again was a very poor decision on Disney's part. I really feel sorry for the passengers on this sailing, this whole trip should have been cancelled or avoided. Why would you take the passengers to sea for 3 days for motion sickness with alot of your amenities not running? The Fantasy was already at sea and the hurricane started brewing after a couple days into our trip. Even though we had a wonderful trip up until Wednesday night, we were shorted the remainder of the trip where they also could have made a better decision.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:02 AM   #9
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This isn't directed at the OP specifically, but I'm just wondering why people chose to get on the ship with the imminent threat of a hurricane? The tropical depression advisory was, I think, issued on October 22. I have no standing to say about who was "right" or "wrong", and I don't think there is a clear cut answer anyway - but if Disney (and/or other cruise lines) decided to embark with a storm (like tropical storm or hurricane) at sea and if I personally were supposed to be on the ship, I'm about 100% certain I would cancel and re-schedule. Maybe I'm just more compulsive than some, because I'm an avid weather watcher for my vacation destinations in the time leading up to the trip.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:12 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ajh88 View Post
This isn't directed at the OP specifically, but I'm just wondering why people chose to get on the ship with the imminent threat of a hurricane? The tropical depression advisory was, I think, issued on October 22. I have no standing to say about who was "right" or "wrong", and I don't think there is a clear cut answer anyway - but if Disney (and/or other cruise lines) decided to embark with a storm (like tropical storm or hurricane) at sea and if I personally were supposed to be on the ship, I'm about 100% certain I would cancel and re-schedule. Maybe I'm just more compulsive than some, because I'm an avid weather watcher for my vacation destinations in the time leading up to the trip.
Unless you had trip insurance (and plenty of people don't) - to cancel would be to lose everything that was paid for the cruise.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajh88 View Post
This isn't directed at the OP specifically, but I'm just wondering why people chose to get on the ship with the imminent threat of a hurricane? The tropical depression advisory was, I think, issued on October 22. I have no standing to say about who was "right" or "wrong", and I don't think there is a clear cut answer anyway - but if Disney (and/or other cruise lines) decided to embark with a storm (like tropical storm or hurricane) at sea and if I personally were supposed to be on the ship, I'm about 100% certain I would cancel and re-schedule. Maybe I'm just more compulsive than some, because I'm an avid weather watcher for my vacation destinations in the time leading up to the trip.
We chose to get on the ship because we trusted DCL's promise to keep us safe:


October 24, 2012


Reservation #: 24402394

Dear Diana,

We are currently monitoring Hurricane Sandy very closely as it moves north through the Caribbean towards The Bahamas, and wanted to reach out to Guests on the October 25th sailing of the Disney Dream® with this very important information.

At this time, the October 25, 2012 Disney Dream sailing will depart Port Canaveral as scheduled. However, given the predicted path of the storm, we realize that the ship's itinerary will need to be altered as the storm passes through The Bahamas.

Unfortunately, the storm is expected to produce tropical storm and hurricane force winds near Nassau and our private island, Disney's Castaway Cay for most of the day on Friday and early on Saturday.

Therefore the revised itinerary will be as follows:

Thursday, October 25 Port Canaveral, Florida
Friday, October 26 Day at Sea
Saturday, October 27 Nassau (pending weather conditions)
Sunday, October 28 Port Canaveral, Florida

The safety and security of our Guests is always our top priority. If necessary, our Captains are always prepared to alter the ships' courses or itineraries to navigate away from inclement weather.

Should you have any questions related to this change, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-939-2784. We are confident this revised itinerary will provide for a safe and entertaining vacation that only Disney can provide and look forward to welcoming you aboard soon.

Sincerely,

The Cast and Crew
Disney Cruise Line

******************

See where it says "the storm is expected to produce tropical storm and hurricane force winds near Nassau and our private island, Disney's Castaway Cay for most of the day on Friday and early on Saturday." ?

We woke up Friday morning in safe calm waters off the Southwest tip of Florida... then the Captain decided to sail us back towards Nassau.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:31 AM   #12
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I also see the part about "a safe and entertaining cruise that only Disney can provide." By nearly every account I read, that statement is an utter joke. Disney failed MASSIVELY to deliver on their clearly written commitment. These folks have every right to be ticked off big time.

It is right there in writing - straight from the Mouse's mouth.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:38 AM   #13
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My thoughts from another post that seem to fit very nicely in this discussion ...


So the general consensus is that people were miserable and/or scared on the Fantasy and Dream. I understand that the weather is something beyond Disney's control. But Disney is in the business of selling "Disney magic", first and foremost. It is "Disney magic" with a cruise attached. We've all seen the advertisements "Come sail with Disney - pay the big bucks and experience "Disney magic." People generally pay a pretty steep premium with Disney (whether at the parks, cruise, etc.) to experience something above and beyond. There is a certain expectation that comes with this. Perhaps Disney needs to temper people's expectations when it comes to cruising. Most people equate a Disney Cruise with a trip to the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, etc. And that is precisely how it is marketed.

When people have an experience like what just happened on the Fantasy/Dream, they feel betrayed. And when people return from an absolute nightmare of a trip to find out that other cruise lines have made different decisions, they feel doubly betrayed. Jogging straight into a storm and crossing the Gulf Current during said storm is anything but what people associate with "a Disney experience." Whether the threat to people's safety was real or just perceived during a high stress event - people FELT at risk. So, their perception was reality for them.

Granted, there is an element of risk that you accept when cruising in hurricane season. But again, we've all seen the advertisements and the implied "magic." Disney markets primarily to families with small children - many probably first time cruisers. There is a disconnect between the product that a Disney Cruise can realistically deliver during hurricane season and people's expectations. This should be addressed - but that would make the cash registers ring in reverse in some cases. So, this experience/event will fade away and it will be back to business as usual selling the "Disney magic."
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:44 AM   #14
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I understand that the weather is something beyond Disney's control. But Disney is in the business of selling "Disney magic", first and foremost.."
This just isn't true. The Disney Corporation is a "for profit" business. We tend to forget that because they typically do such a great job of spoiling us. First and Foremost, Disney is in the business of turning a profit.

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Old 10-30-2012, 11:01 AM   #15
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This just isn't true. The Disney Corporation is a "for profit" business. We tend to forget that because they typically do such a great job of spoiling us. First and Foremost, Disney is in the business of turning a profit.

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You are correct .. Disney is a "for profit" business. Perhaps I could have said that the product they market, first and foremost, is their "magic." That's how they position themselves in their marketing, anyway.
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