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Old 10-31-2012, 06:51 AM   #16
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Not re-considering cruising with DCL at all
I have the Med booked for next summer (can't wait to see Venice) and looking to book another in summer 2014

I've had 10 years of cruising with DCL and I have not read anything in the accounts of the recent events that would make me change my mind
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:58 AM   #17
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My family sailed the Disney Magic during hurricane Francis, and due to the size of the storm we stayed south as long as possible. We had to stop at Galverston Texas to refuel and stock up on food.

Eventually, we had to pass through the Gulf to get back to Florida. The waves that night were 20' or better, and we never really felt in danger.

Captain Tom was in charge of the ship then, and I trust my life and my family's life with him. The main reason we stayed at sea was because Port Canaveral was closed for a few days, we never ended back there, we had to dock in Fort Lauderdale.

I am certain if Canaveral was opened, we would have pushed through the storm and docked. These ships are designed to withstand weather you can not even imagine.

I have read the posts, and I am truly sorry for everyone that was scared for their lives, but and I say but because I sailed with DCL during a hurricane, everyone made it home. Our hurricane Francis cruise was extended 3 days due to the weather, and half the ship complained because DCL did not head back to port, even though the port was closed. In today's world, you can not make everyone happy.

I am sailing in 30 days on the Fantasy, and I am still 100% confidant in Captain Tom and his crew. My wife and kids are actually happy we should have Captain Tom again.

Sorry for the long post.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:11 AM   #18
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not affecting my decision

No, my future DCL cruises aren't going to change just because of this incident. We have 3 DCL cruises booked and I'm sure we will book another while on board the Fantasy in December. We won't avoid hurricane season on our future bookings.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by sambycat View Post
No. I think the risk is the same as it was prior to Sandy (aka dumbest name for a weather event EVER).

We've only cruised once, the Pacific Pixar Cruise, and loved it. I have a cruise next year booked for November out of Galveston. I will say that I have unsettling thoughts after the nightmare the Fantasy went through. I don't know anything about what choices might have been better or worse, but was surprised that they couldn't have found a way to avoid what happened. So, it does give me pause and maybe I will bump up the sailing dates to be out of the official season. If they EVER announce 2014 sailings I'll have a better idea of what I might do.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:13 AM   #20
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I was on the Dream 10/25-10/28 and am reconsidering whether to go on ANY other cruise. I don't care for sea days because I want to be IN the ocean, not just ON it but wanted to see Castaway Cay and this is the only way to do that.

While the Fantasy at least got in most of their cruise in sunny locations with the ship's outdoor facilities open, we were in the storm for our ENTIRE three day cruise. We had sailed down to the tip of Florida and the bridge report showed we were on a course past the Keys into the Gulf of Mexico. We knew when we boarded the ship on Thursday that we were missing Castaway Cay and that our excursion in Nassau was cancelled for Saturday because Blue Lagoon was closed. Why we turned around and headed straight back into it I guess I'll never know. None of the outdoor spaces except the main pool were open for the whole cruise and all of the parties were moved indoors into the atrium. Some doors were even tied shut.

We had tried to reschedule three times prior to sailing but were denied. Even the one in our group with travel insurance was told the same thing. We were assured that we would find a calm spot even though we wouldn't make any ports.

This is a quote from Rebecca Peddie, DCL Spokesperson, “That’s the beauty of a cruise vacation,” Ms. Peddie added, “you can steer clear of inclement weather.” - Really??? Then why didn't we??
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:36 AM   #21
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I'm not reconsidering our upcoming cruise.

Unfortunately, if left to our instincts, we, as a species, are notoriously bad at properly weighing and evaluating potential risks.

I know people who refuse to travel abroad due to fear of terrorism, yet regularly drive around without seat belts. Or people who smoke a pack a day, but won't get on an airplane.

Statistically speaking, there is no more risk of going on a cruise now, then there was a week ago.

Having said that, I know that even irrational anxiety can be crippling, and for some people, that's probably far more important then all the statistics in the world.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:00 AM   #22
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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.
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.[/QUOTE]


Let me just say. You say yourself that you've sailed 10 times all during hurricane season. You've yet to run into a problem from the sounds of it so the odds have been in your favor. I'd understand if perhaps a percentage of your cruises had been through bad weather but it is what it is.

You've said yourself you knew you were sailing during hurricane season.

I personally am not letting this stop me from my cruise next year nor does it put in doubt in my decision. I couldn't think of another cruise line I'd rather be on in a bad situation than DCL. Hurricane Season or not, when you step on a boat, any boat, you should have confidence in the captain and the ship on which you are cruising. Especially with children involved. I can't believe that DCL would take anything likely with that in mind. I think the odds are slim that this would be a common occurrance. Perhaps look at it like that. I'm not going to say NO to living and enjoying the experience because of some "unknown" may occur. What if it doesn't?

Perhaps something to think about instead of cancelling is "what can do I differently to better prepare if it WERE to happen". Like, secure loose items, stay in your room, stay calm, watch tv to get your mind off and have faith that you are in good hands. If nothing DOES happen, then you've had a GREAT vacation.

I'll be cruising Sept next year and I'm looking forward to it. And hope nothing rains on my parade.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:11 AM   #23
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Quote:
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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.
I don't want to turn this into an argument, but the issue many have is that it was indeed avoidable. The Fantasy was in in St Thomas, south and east of the storm. It sailed towards the storm and on Friday night, actually caught up with the storm. Yes, perhaps the storm stalled and this wasn't predictible. Yes, perhaps the storm was larger than anticipated. But the issues remains, and the reason many, like myself, have found their faith in Disney shaken, is that it was AVOIDABLE. The storm did not come to Fantasy, Fantasy came to the storm.

Prior to this incident, I would have told friends and family, proudly and with confidence, that they should not worry about cruising during hurricane season (or any season), because the ships will avoid the storms. Here the exact opposite happened, the ship literally sailed into the storm.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:13 AM   #24
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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.

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

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Thanks for this. You can see it stall very clearly.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:24 AM   #25
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As a "worrier" I just wanted to say that we all face a million dangers everyday and don't even know it, or think about it. I'm sure all of us here fly on planes once in a while. The pilots make errors. Planes come too close to each other due to air traffic control issues, both in the sky and on the ground. They can also misjudge weather systems and get into unpredictable situations. The weather that happens "way up there" is not usually on the news, so people are not sitting around watching it and then getting upset because a plane flew into a storm that was worse than anyone thought.

DH and I have both been on planes where things happened that were very risky and yet nothing shows up on the news. My friend who is a pilot's wife said that happens quite a bit. DH's boss was on a plane a few months ago that had an engine fire and made an emergency landing at a major airport and there was not one mention of it anywhere. Yet most people continue to fly.

One of the most dangerous things we do every day is get in our cars and drive to work/school/what-have-you. Whenever a poor driver causes a near-miss accident near my car, I think about how scared my kids would be if we actually got in a crash, even a minor one. But we still drive every day.

So, we all have choices, and bad things can happen anywhere, but no one wins when we let fear rule our lives. We love DCL and would cruise more if we lived near a port. We also love the deals in the Fall and will continue to take advantage of them.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:29 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsklamc View Post
Thanks for this. You can see it stall very clearly.
OK, the storm stalled -- why did Fantasy keep heading towards it? Surely they were aware it stalled? This video has date stamps, so it is more useful:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slate...pse_video.html

On the morning of the 26th, Fantasy was down at the tip of Florida. By midnight (UTC 4AM), Fantasy was still steaming north, about halfway between Miami and Port Canaveral. It is at this point the ship went literally, right into the storm.

I'm really not looking for an argument, but this concerns me. I would have never, NEVER thought Disney would sail its ship into a hurricane like this for any reason. I thought they had sophisticated enough radar to see that the storm stalled and stop heading towards it.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:04 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by gr8vthsfam View Post
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.

I think you should cancel your cruise. Until you, or anyone else on these boards have ALL THE EXACT SAME INFORMATION that the Captain of the Fantasy did, then you are making a lot of assumptions. Before passing judgement on the decisions made by the Captain, I ask you to tell me: What course of action was recommended by the various Port Authorities? What communications from the Coast guard; weather services; etc. we're received and what did they advise? Did these advisories ever change as the storm changed? The number 1 priority of the captain should be the safe passage of all aboard, and it appears this was accomplished. I'm very sorry that people were scared and had a VERY rough night, and I'm not saying that the captain did NOT make any poor decisions, BUT, at least I'm able to say that I DON'T HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION to make a valid judgement.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:06 AM   #28
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"same boat"

Happygilmore, my BF and I are booked on that same cruise 10/05/13. He isn't quite as concerned as I am. I have been thinking about this since Saturday (it has pretty much occupied my mind in frequent spurts each day ) We are considering changing our date. Unfortunately, we already informed our employers of it and it would be quite inconvenient since that date works so well for both of us.

I guess I'm just saying we're in the same "boat" as you. Literally.

We haven't decided what to do yet.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:11 AM   #29
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I don't want to turn this into an argument, but the issue many have is that it was indeed avoidable. The Fantasy was in in St Thomas, south and east of the storm. It sailed towards the storm and on Friday night, actually caught up with the storm. Yes, perhaps the storm stalled and this wasn't predictible. Yes, perhaps the storm was larger than anticipated. But the issues remains, and the reason many, like myself, have found their faith in Disney shaken, is that it was AVOIDABLE. The storm did not come to Fantasy, Fantasy came to the storm.

Prior to this incident, I would have told friends and family, proudly and with confidence, that they should not worry about cruising during hurricane season (or any season), because the ships will avoid the storms. Here the exact opposite happened, the ship literally sailed into the storm.
I am in agreement with you. Yes, weather happens and can be unpredictable, but this was a clearly visible hurricane that they were aware of and could have avoided. Yes, it is hurricane season, but most people are willing to travel with the understanding that bad weather will be avoided if possible, and the cruise line will take customer safety into consideration.

While I'm sure a lot goes into a decision by a captain, I still don't see how driving into a visible hurricane is a good plan. Why would you do this? Were they being chased by pirates? I'm sure the captain is a good captain, but I'm wondering what went into the decision to go into a hurricane.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:11 AM   #30
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OK, the storm stalled -- why did Fantasy keep heading towards it? Surely they were aware it stalled?
I have no experience captaining a cruise ship, or a dinghy for that matter, but maybe it was too late by the time they realized it had stalled to turn around? Or turning around might have kept you in the storm just as long? I just don't have enough info to say it was the wrong decision.
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