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Old 10-31-2012, 11:09 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovetexas

I have to disagree. Carnival halted several ships that day and HAL docked in JAX to avoid it. I think others did as well but I haven't dug around enough for the info. Yes, all cruise lines ended up sailing in part of it at some point but THAT DAY (when the Fantasy came back), the other lines chose to inconvenience thousands of passengers rather than sail into that horrific storm. That tells me that the other lines were more concerned about the safety and comfort of their passengers.
I went back to edit my post that the stalling of the storm was not predicted. Tropical cyclones can be predicted to some degree, but with all weather, it's subject to change. Ask any true meteorologist how far in advance weather & temps can be predicted with ACCURACY. A good one will tell you 3 days; even 4 is stretching it. My hubby and I laugh at 10 day forecasts. Give me a break. Computer models help, but in the end, Mother Nature rules.

I respectfully disagree with you, though. I don't think the other cruise lines predicted the storm stalling & growing. What they did was be conservative & change their plans to accommodate the "what ifs."

I frankly do not want to engage in the discussion with regards to my opinion. I'm purely passing on meteorological knowledge. I'm not here to defend or chastise the decisions made by Captains Tom, Henry & their crews, or shoreside DCL.

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Old 10-31-2012, 11:18 AM   #62
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- gr8vthsfam

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 Disneys 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. __________________
Just curious, what type of response did you expect less than a week after this happened?
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:19 AM   #63
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To answer the OP, I am not reconsidering our cruise, nor would I reconsider my flights if there was a problem with a flight.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:35 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovetexas View Post
I have to disagree. Carnival halted several ships that day and HAL docked in JAX to avoid it. I think others did as well but I haven't dug around enough for the info. Yes, all cruise lines ended up sailing in part of it at some point but THAT DAY (when the Fantasy came back), the other lines chose to inconvenience thousands of passengers rather than sail into that horrific storm. That tells me that the other lines were more concerned about the safety and comfort of their passengers.



People are going to believe what they're going to believe and on this board, they want to believe that Disney can do nothing wrong. The evidence is more than clear that the other cruise lines took measures to avoid the storm that day....DCL did not.

Now, to answer the OP's question: I canceled my booked Fantasy cruise for next April. Has nothing to do with hurricane season as it wasn't in it. I've sailed in that season often and got stuck in a pretty bad storm once. It has to do with DCL sailing into this storm that day when others chose not to.
One of three things is true:

1-DCL is not capable of getting the same weather reports as other cruise lines which is bad and I don't want to cruise with them

2-DCL got the exact same information as everyone else and interpreted it wrong which is bad and I don't want to cruise with them

3-DCL got the exact same information as everyone else, interpreted it correctly and chose to sail into it anyway which is bad and I don't want to cruise with them


Seriously, those are the only three options available (the other cruise lines avoiding this storm that day is well documented). How each of us chooses to interpret them is the only difference.
This is somewhat what I believe, though I am giving them one chance in February...
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:40 AM   #65
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I have absolutely no quams about my reservation for next September which is also in hurrican season. I have purchased Disney's insurance so I know that I can cancel and have it applied to another cruise. We are retired and have no ties to hold us should plans change, it will make no difference to us. We hae the flexibility to change as necessary.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:40 AM   #66
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I have been on 3 Disney Cruises and 1 RC cruise all in the month of October. Out of all those cruises I have only had one bad day of weather and that was on the one last year. I have to admit it was misserable.

The thing with a cruise is if you hit bad weather there is really no relief from it on the boat bc you can feel it everywhere. Not like at WDW where you can just skip the parks and hang at the hotel.

Disney has been cruising for a long time now and I believe this is one of the few incidents that I have heard of. Airlines have issues all the time but people still fly them.

This incident did really put me in the place on that boat though and made me think, what would I do if something went wrong. I think I would cruise again but this may have hightened reality for me a bit.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:54 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerbell 766 View Post
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?
No, I do believe that DCL is the best of the best! If it turns out I cannot get the reassurance I am needing, then cruising obviously is not for me! LOL
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:01 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Silverfox97 View Post
I went back to edit my post that the stalling of the storm was not predicted. Tropical cyclones can be predicted to some degree, but with all weather, it's subject to change. Ask any true meteorologist how far in advance weather & temps can be predicted with ACCURACY. A good one will tell you 3 days; even 4 is stretching it. My hubby and I laugh at 10 day forecasts. Give me a break. Computer models help, but in the end, Mother Nature rules.

I respectfully disagree with you, though. I don't think the other cruise lines predicted the storm stalling & growing. What they did was be conservative & change their plans to accommodate the "what ifs."

I frankly do not want to engage in the discussion with regards to my opinion. I'm purely passing on meteorological knowledge. I'm not here to defend or chastise the decisions made by Captains Tom, Henry & their crews, or shoreside DCL.

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Your video was interesting and you're right; we all know (in hindsight) what happened and everyone can make their own choices about how to proceed going forward.

I'll be choosing conservative and accommodating the "what ifs".
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:04 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Silverfox97 View Post
I went back to edit my post that the stalling of the storm was not predicted. Tropical cyclones can be predicted to some degree, but with all weather, it's subject to change. Ask any true meteorologist how far in advance weather & temps can be predicted with ACCURACY. A good one will tell you 3 days; even 4 is stretching it. My hubby and I laugh at 10 day forecasts. Give me a break. Computer models help, but in the end, Mother Nature rules.

I respectfully disagree with you, though. I don't think the other cruise lines predicted the storm stalling & growing. What they did was be conservative & change their plans to accommodate the "what ifs."

I frankly do not want to engage in the discussion with regards to my opinion. I'm purely passing on meteorological knowledge. I'm not here to defend or chastise the decisions made by Captains Tom, Henry & their crews, or shoreside DCL.

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I competely agree. But, of all the cruise lines, I would have thought Disney would have been the MOST conservative. That is what shocks me so much. In retrospect, I believe Disney made the wrong decision, but that is with 20-20 hindsight - they didn't know how bad it would get (the captain said as much the next morning) we on this board can go round and round debating what was the correct decision. What I'm still shocked about though, is how unconservative that decision was.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:06 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by GoofyDisneyDaddy View Post
I competely agree. But, of all the cruise lines, I would have thought Disney would have been the MOST conservative. That is what shocks me so much. In retrospect, I believe Disney made the wrong decision, but that is with 20-20 hindsight - they didn't know how bad it would get (the captain said as much the next morning) we on this board can go round and round debating what was the correct decision. What I'm still shocked about though, is how unconservative that decision was.

Why would you expect DCL to be the most conservative?
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:07 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by tinkerbell 766 View Post
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?
Ummm, maybe, considering accounts of what other cruise lines did. It is disheartening to think that Disney chose to "make it back regardless...." while cruise lines like Carnival and others chose to stay at sea another day and wait it out.

My DH was stunned by the accounts both on here and on the blog site. We have sailed through three hurricanes on Disney and only one of them (on the west coast) required we sail straight because we could not go out to sea or completely miss Panama Canal. That storm, however, was NOTHING compared to the reports of what happened last week. THe other two hurricanes we were in had the captain (Capt. Tom both times) taking us way out away from it and staying away from it until it was safe to return.

Funny that their very first hurricane that delayed return, Hurricane Francis, that made our 7-night into a 10-night, they seemed to make all the right decisions. For some reason, years later, with even better equipment and knowledge, they seemed to go back to square one!

None of the reports would affect us taking a cruise on any line in the future, but we would certainly look at dates more closely. However, it does not take away from the vast amount of reporting on websites this week of people's reports of what they went through and the disappointment one feels in Disney's decision-making.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:30 PM   #72
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Why would you expect DCL to be the most conservative?
Seriously? Something about being a premium line that caters to families. A company with ample resources to handle large crowds and diversions. Or, perhaps because of all lines, they have the highest image to try to maintain. You disagree? That you would NOT expect DCL to be the most conservative? Interesting...
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:31 PM   #73
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We are booked on our 1st DCL cruise, leaving June 2013. DH and have sailed before on RCI. Our kids have never cruised.

I'm not going to cancel but I'm not feeling good about our cruise. I am shocked DCL sent the 3-night Dream out in a hurricane.

When you book a cruise vacation - any time of year - you can run into problems. CC could be too cold to swim. You could get lots of wind or rain and unseasonably cold weather. Thunder storms. The Aquaduck could be down for the entire cruise. You could miss 1, 2 or all scheduled ports. One or more in your party could get sick. For all these things I would be disappointed but I would suck it up to "things happen." Most of us have had bad weather on a vacation. It happens.

To set sail in the midst of one of the worst hurricanes to hit the US is senseless, IMO. My heart goes out to the pax on that ship. I feel even worse for the crew. In addition to all their normal duties, they were cleaning vomit all over the ship while terrified pax were confined to their cabins. THEN they had to turn around and go right back to sea? What was the point of sailing the 3-night Dream? Did the pax have any enjoyment on that cruise?

It would be very hard to convince me sailing the Dream was anything other than bad judgement. Am I missing some important facts? It just seems like a no brainer to me. Why did they sail?
As a passenger on the Dream I am still trying to find out the answers to these questions as well. We attemped to reschedule more than once and were assured that we would stay out of the storm and find calm waters. This did not happen and we instead went directly into the storm. Winds were between 55-75mph for the entire three days with most activities shut down. I tried to make the best of a bad situation for my son who was sailing with me, but we were both glad to get off the ship when it docked. the only good things about this cruise were that we did see and do things on the ship we wouldn't have normally and neither of us got seasick. That can't be said for many on the ship who were sick the whole time on top of everything else.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:09 PM   #74
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I was on the 10/20 Fantasy and we did rebook and also plan to use the 25% discount DCL provided for another cruise.

My husband and I may be in the minority but we were not all that bothered by the storm ... yes, I was frightened for a few moments when the ship pitched left and then right, but I certainly never thought we were in danger of capsizing and had full confidence that we would be fine. We are also both fortuante that we don't suffer from motion sickness, so being ill was not an issue for us. I feel for those guests who were adversely impacted by events but their experience is not our experience.

Our opinion is that the captain and crew did they best they could in very difficult and unpredictable circumstances. We were already committed to a certain course and my understanding is that it's extremely dangerous to try to turn a ship in those types of conditions ... you pretty much have to go through them at that point. The scope of the storm was huge, and with tropical force winds extending out more than 450 miles, I think it would have been difficult to avoid being impacted regardless of our location.

There was a full breakfast in Cabanas the next morning and breakfast was being offered in both Royal Court and Enchanted Garden. We were able to get our usual lattes from Cove Cafe as well. I have been told by fellow cruisers that Flo's and other quick service venues opened for lunch as well due to the length of time it took for the ship to be cleared by Customs and for guests to disembark. Cast members were also handing out free bottled water in the atrium.

Disembarkation was poorly handled ... but so many people were packed into the atrium waiting to leave before we were ever cleared to do so that it would have been next to impossible for crew members to fix that problem. I do think they washed their hands at that point and let people congregate as they would.

Could things overall have been handled better? I'm sure they could have in hindsight but I'm not privy to the decision making process nor the information at hand at the time those decisions were made. Cruising carries a risk of bad weather, even during non-hurricane seasons; we accept that risk because we really enjoy cruising. People on the boards who know me well know that I am not the kind of person who walks around farting pixie dust - I don't believe Walt Disney walked on water and I don't think the Disney Company is perfect, but I have no hard feelings towards DCL in this instance.

Just my two cents ... not even worth one cent.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:23 PM   #75
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I was on the 10/20 Fantasy and we did rebook and also plan to use the 25% discount DCL provided for another cruise.

My husband and I may be in the minority but we were not all that bothered by the storm ... yes, I was frightened for a few moments when the ship pitched left and then right, but I certainly never thought we were in danger of capsizing and had full confidence that we would be fine. We are also both fortuante that we don't suffer from motion sickness, so being ill was not an issue for us. I feel for those guests who were adversely impacted by events but their experience is not our experience.

Our opinion is that the captain and crew did they best they could in very difficult and unpredictable circumstances. We were already committed to a certain course and my understanding is that it's extremely dangerous to try to turn a ship in those types of conditions ... you pretty much have to go through them at that point. The scope of the storm was huge, and with tropical force winds extending out more than 450 miles, I think it would have been difficult to avoid being impacted regardless of our location.

There was a full breakfast in Cabanas the next morning and breakfast was being offered in both Royal Court and Enchanted Garden. We were able to get our usual lattes from Cove Cafe as well. I have been told by fellow cruisers that Flo's and other quick service venues opened for lunch as well due to the length of time it took for the ship to be cleared by Customs and for guests to disembark. Cast members were also handing out free bottled water in the atrium.

Disembarkation was poorly handled ... but so many people were packed into the atrium waiting to leave before we were ever cleared to do so that it would have been next to impossible for crew members to fix that problem. I do think they washed their hands at that point and let people congregate as they would.

Could things overall have been handled better? I'm sure they could have in hindsight but I'm not privy to the decision making process nor the information at hand at the time those decisions were made. Cruising carries a risk of bad weather, even during non-hurricane seasons; we accept that risk because we really enjoy cruising. People on the boards who know me well know that I am not the kind of person who walks around farting pixie dust - I don't believe Walt Disney walked on water and I don't think the Disney Company is perfect, but I have no hard feelings towards DCL in this instance.

Just my two cents ... not even worth one cent.

This was exactly my thoughts and experience as well. None of my family suffered from sea-sickness and so we just batten-down the hatchetts and settle in for a rough night.

And yes, the disembarkation is the only real complaint that I have with what happened on the Fantasy that cruise.
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