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Old 10-31-2012, 12:00 AM   #1
HappyGilmore
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Are you like us seriously re-considering due to recent events?

I am not posting this to stir up trouble and seriously want to get some perspective from others that may be feeing as we are. If you want to argue go somewhere else!


We have sailed DCL and DCL only 10 times our 1st cruise on the Magic in 1998 - with our 11th cruise planned for 10/2013 on the Fantasy. We currently have a group of 10 sailing along with us and we all are feeling a little uneasy. I have always known the risks associated with cruising during hurricane season and quite frankly we can't afford to plan to go any other time. We always thought that what happened to the ship and the passengers would NEVER have to be something we would have to encounter though.

We are FL residents and have taken a couple of our previous cruises at last minute (booked and gone within 6 months time) other than those, the others have been June, August, Sept, October. I have ALWAYS been confident and trusting that we wouldn't be put into a situation like the recent cruisers were but now my confidence in that theory has been tarnished qute a bit.

I read through the accounts along with my senior parents and we all are very shocked and concerned that we could potentially end up in a situation like that. We have been in 14-18 foot seas which were quite horrible but I could not imagine 3 x's that. I generally have the gear packed and out the door the last night very early so that I don't have to worry about dealing with packing if the return trip gets rough. I DONT do roller coasters anymore and would be FREAKING out if I was in that type of situation and having to care for and reassure my two small DD 8 and 5 while trying to keep myself calm.

Not so sure I feel as confident and trusting as I used to feel. I am thankful to those who shared their stories and feel terrible for them and what they went through. There is something about being stuck with no way out or no way to make the feeling stop that is really not sitting well with me.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:19 AM   #2
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For each individual, the feelings will be different. Follow your instincts. Some will say this was a freak thing and would never happen again. Some might say you would be missing out. In the end, it's up to you & my thought is that if you're uneasy about it, trust yourself. HTH
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:03 AM   #3
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I hear ya, and you are not alone. We are scheduled to embark 12/9 in a few weeks. I am very apprehensive, and the thought of cancelling has crossed my mind some. Ok... a LOT! LOL I even wrote DCL about my concerns. My needs are simple; or so I thought. I explained to them that due to Hurricane Sandy, my children were asking about cruise lines and what do they do in those situations to keep everyone safe. At the time I easily and what I felt at the time to be honestly, answered their questions kinda proudly as most DCL fans would; that DCL knows to stay AWAY from storms, and if we have to we just do not visit a port, or CC or we may even have to come home a day early or stay out a day late; but bottom line, DCL puts safety above all else - they do not want to ruin their reputation. You can trust them, etc. Well, not two days later after reading the reports, I felt like I had just lied to my children. I do not believe that DCL made the right decision in that case at all! To intentionally (profits and schedules) or unintentionally (oops we underestimated the storm) be in a situation to caused their guests and employees THAT much terror I find completely unacceptable; because it was completely preventable. But being a true Disney fan, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, and so I wrote to them explaining my concerns and asked if they could please tell me what they have learned from this experience and what they plan to do differently next time. I got back the following, which unfortunately only caused me feel more distrustful and dismayed. Because an answer is so important to me, and if we do not go we are out several thousands of dollars, I responded to the email restating my questions and concerns. I am looking for them to take responsibility (not legal responsibility so people can sue, but responsibility to not blame passengers distress on a missed port, cc, or late arrival! (companies that admit mistakes, attempt to make things right and share what they plan to do in the future get sued fars less often anyway! So for me, when a company makes a mistake, admits it, and develops a plan for the future, I feel that I can much more easily support them with my business unless trust is broken again. Depending upon the response from my second email, I just may end up cancelling - not a threat -but simply my not being able to trust them with the physical and emotional safety of myself and my children. No amount of money having been paid and knowing I will lose all of it is worth the risk of going through what many of those passengers went through. Here is the email:
"Dear Ms. ________

Thank you so much for your email.

Please accept my heartfelt regret for any disappointment you may have experienced while reading the online comments from various individuals about their cruise experience and the unavoidable situation that occurred due to Hurricane Sandy. We genuinely want all of our guests to enjoy a seamless voyage and have fond memories of their time spent with us. I can assure you that the Captain, his officers, and crew truly endeavored to deliver a great guest experience despite the unavoidable circumstances brought upon by the weather conditions created by Hurricane Sandy, which prevented us from calling on Disney’s Castaway Cay and arriving late into Port Canaveral. The safety and comfort of our guests is our highest priority; we are prepared, if necessary, to spend days at sea where our guests can enjoy better weather and safe conditions. Your remarks and the remarks of other guests will certainly be evaluated along with those received from our other guests to help us
determine where future changes might be necessary.

Thank you again for writing to us. We look forward to having the opportunity to welcome you aboard in the future.

Kind regards,

Andrea Coppola
Executive Guest Correspondent"

What angers me most about this response is that Ms. Coppola states in a few places that what the passengers experienced was "unavoidable". This I simply do not believe. (more loss of trust)

Good luck to anyone else struggling with this issue; it is not easy, and like the OP said, if you want to argue, flame, judge, go do it somewhere else. The only things defending Disney right now that I would be open to hearing are what specifically went wrong, (verifiable facts) why they could not correct it, (not armchair guessing) and how they plan to never let this happen again. I think we all deserve that. I know some passengers are still profoundly effected by what happened even today. I wish them all the best in their healing.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:41 AM   #4
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Is it just DCL you are considering not using in the future, or all cruise lines?
Do you think you would be in better hands with another company?
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:21 AM   #5
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I've tried to not say much about this...

but, the SIZE of Hurricane Sandy was huge! I wonder if because of its circumference it was more unavoidable? Most hurricanes are not as big in size as this one was.

I live in Mass. and we were feeling wind from it 2 days before it even got here.

It was here on Monday, and this morning it is still raining and gusts of wind.

The storm was not like any other hurricane we have had in this country in many, many years.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ptwolfman View Post
For each individual, the feelings will be different. Follow your instincts. Some will say this was a freak thing and would never happen again. Some might say you would be missing out. In the end, it's up to you & my thought is that if you're uneasy about it, trust yourself. HTH
I agree with this. We are scheduled to cruise in a few weeks and I have read the posts enduring Sandy at sea. My heart feels for those who had to go throug this. However this does not deter my decision in cruising. We really enjoy the experience of cruising and like getting in an airplane we understand that that there are risks. So for us we are looking forward to our time on DCL and hope our waters are calm. I hope you can find peace in making your decision as well.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:31 AM   #7
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No. I think the risk is the same as it was prior to Sandy (aka dumbest name for a weather event EVER).
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8vthsfam
I got back the following, which unfortunately only caused me feel more distrustful and dismayed. Because an answer is so important to me, and if we do not go we are out several thousands of dollars, I responded to the email restating my questions and concerns. I am looking for them to take responsibility (not legal responsibility so people can sue, but responsibility to not blame passengers distress on a missed port, cc, or late arrival! (companies that admit mistakes, attempt to make things right and share what they plan to do in the future get sued fars less often anyway! So for me, when a company makes a mistake, admits it, and develops a plan for the future.
We are scheduled to depart in a few weeks. While the accounts of recent events have concerned me (and are extremely unfortunate and very sad for those that endured them), I never truly considered canceling our trip.

A Disney cruise is really no different than any other cruise. It is run by a big corporation, whose main three goals are as follows ...

1. Maximize profits
2. Admit no wrong doing under ANY circumstance - regardless of whether the company is actually culpable or at fault. The legal department forbids such behavior.
3. Try to achieve a reasonable level of customer satisfaction, but only after meeting the previous two goals.

My family's safety is never truly a concern to any corporation. I accept this, even if the company is Disney.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:45 AM   #9
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First off, let me say that I cannot fathom what the passengers of the Fantasy were feeling last weekend sailing into that hurricane. I deal with anxiety anyway, so experiencing what they did would probably been more than I could take. I'm very thankful that no one was seriously injured, though I think that the emotional scars will last for some time.

Having said that, we are scheduled to sail the Magic on 2/9/13 and we will be there. Am I apprehensive? A little, but I am not letting that keep me from experiencing my first cruise with my DD who will be turning six at the time of the cruise. I know that we are sailing during a less active storm season, but it is the sea and it is always unpredictable. I remember sailing on a catamaran in Hawaii a couple of years back and the seas were ridiculously rough. Everyone on board was sick (except the crew and my DD). All I remember about that experience was how much I couldn't wait to get off the boat. I realize that it was a much smaller vessel and only a few hours in length but I still was worried. DD, however had the time of her life, so in that respect, I'm not as worried about how stressed she will be if we encounter rough seas.

I think that with all the negative press that DCL has received over the past few days, they have learned their lesson and more than likely wish for a do-over. I truly believe that the Captain made a calculated guess that the conditions would be better than what they experienced. I don't think that there was any intentional human error made. My opinion is that everyone involved in the decision to sail through Sandy underestimated her. My take on it is that DCL has been and will be coming up with a plan on how to avoid the same mistake again. I'm a wait and see kind of person, being that it's been less than a week since it happened. We'll likely never see or hear of any such plan. Disney is in the business to make money. I'm not naive enough to believe any differently, but I also know that they wholeheartedly consider the guest experience as well.

So, I said all of that to say that no, I'm not reconsidering our trip. We will still go with the hopes that everything will be fine. I definitely don't blame anyone for deciding against going. We each know what's best for our families.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desamnik
but, the SIZE of Hurricane Sandy was huge! I wonder if because of its circumference it was more unavoidable? Most hurricanes are not as big in size as this one was.

I live in Mass. and we were feeling wind from it 2 days before it even got here.

It was here on Monday, and this morning it is still raining and gusts of wind.

The storm was not like any other hurricane we have had in this country in many, many years.
My DH & I have Atmospheric Science degrees (scientific meteorology, not journalism) from The Ohio State University (this explains all of the hurricane updates on his dclblog). Yesterday, he used GOES satellite imagery and put together a video, more for the Frankenstorm aspect to see all 3 systems converge. It is totally clear in the video how Sandy grows & stalls on Friday. I do not think anyone predicted it stalling like it did.

http://disneycruiselineblog.com/2012...rricane-sandy/

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Old 10-31-2012, 05:55 AM   #11
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I have read each and every thread regarding this trip on the Fantasy. That being said, I LOVE my Disney Cruises and I love the Fantasy. I don't know that we will ever know the intricacies that led to the decision behind Oct. 27. While it's of little consolation to those who experienced this trip, one way to enjoy DCL (and other cruises) and greatly diminish the chances of going through a hurricane is to NOT sail during known hurricane season.

True, true, this was an enormous storm. True, true, the prices are a little less during Hurricane season. True, true, we trust the captain and crew to make decisions based on safety of passengers and ship and not financially-based. But of all those things, there is only one that passengers can control - when and if we sail.

In the end, I wish peace and comfort to those who went through this experience. I can't say what I'd do in your place - but I hope you are someday able to look back at this trip and be at peace.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ptwolfman View Post
For each individual, the feelings will be different. Follow your instincts. Some will say this was a freak thing and would never happen again. Some might say you would be missing out. In the end, it's up to you & my thought is that if you're uneasy about it, trust yourself. HTH
I agree also with the post from Ptwolfman. The time you decide to cruise is a personal decision. If you feel uncomfortable cruising during the hurricane season, then you should not cruise at that time. It does not matter which cruise line you sail on, all cruise lines sail during hurricane season. By all means trust your feelings and go when everyone in your party and you feel comfortable.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:27 AM   #13
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I've been hit by two hurricanes, where my home has suffered some damage, in about a year's time. Am I moving to Arizona because these acts of nature happened to me? No.
Acts of nature happen. You can't predict it. You can try to avoid it by vacationing in certain places during certain times of year, but you never can be 100% sure. I can't live my life hunkering in the basement if I think there is a remote chance something will happen. I'll sail during the hurricane off season and hope for the best.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by MaleficentRN View Post
I've been hit by two hurricanes, where my home has suffered some damage, in about a year's time. Am I moving to Arizona because these acts of nature happened to me? No.
Acts of nature happen. You can't predict it. You can try to avoid it by vacationing in certain places during certain times of year, but you never can be 100% sure. I can't live my life hunkering in the basement if I think there is a remote chance something will happen. I'll sail during the hurricane off season and hope for the best.
Very well said. This does not keep me from sailing again and I will choose DCL again without any hesitation. We always choose our cruises Jan - June to help reduce our risk of hurricanes. So far we have been fortunate.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:43 AM   #15
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I'm scheduled to go out in October next year and I have no plans to change as of now. I live here so I'm not too freaked out by hurricanes. I AM concerned about what happened to you all. I do question the decision that was made to send you all into the storm. But I know nothing about steering a ship.

I'm also expecting that enough people on that cruise are going to complain so that if DCL goes into a storm like that again, there will be very good reason. (Maybe they had very good reason this time, I have no idea.) I just don't expect they will make the decision lightly and I think either way, they will communicate better next time.

The odds of getting caught in a hurricane is small, but of course it can happen. I'm just not going to stress out about it. I did buy insurance and if I see a hurricane brewing, I will reschedule. That's one of the reasons I went with insurance through Disney even though it was pricier and doesn't cover pre-exisiting. If you cancel and your insurance doesn't reimburse you, they will credit it towards another cruise (which is what I would want anyway).





I AM interested in seeing how DCL responds to everyone. I would not be surprised by the general letters they are sending out right now. This is something they are going to have to take all the complaints into consideration and discuss what happened and policies. I don't imagine anyone will get an answer quickly.
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