Just off The Dream

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by SLK1, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. SLK1

    SLK1 DIS Veteran

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    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. :scared1:
     
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  3. SoCaOC-Mom

    SoCaOC-Mom DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  4. tiffyms02

    tiffyms02 Earning My Ears

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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. :(
     
  5. Jestocost

    Jestocost DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  6. WicketsMom

    WicketsMom Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  7. Wendy&Grumpy

    Wendy&Grumpy Is there any better place to live than Mickey's ba

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    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.
     
  8. kristinmcd

    kristinmcd Earning My Ears

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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.
     
  9. TARIE7291

    TARIE7291 TARIE7291

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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.
     
  10. ajh88

    ajh88 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  11. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

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    Unless you had trip insurance (and plenty of people don't) - to cancel would be to lose everything that was paid for the cruise.
     
  12. Wendy&Grumpy

    Wendy&Grumpy Is there any better place to live than Mickey's ba

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    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 DreamĀ® 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.
     
  13. realityland

    realityland Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  14. realityland

    realityland Mouseketeer

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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."
     
  15. Juney

    Juney Mouseketeer

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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.

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  16. realityland

    realityland Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  17. Juney

    Juney Mouseketeer

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    Yes, I would agreed with that. It's certainly what they ( and I) consider their differential advantage.

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  18. WicketsMom

    WicketsMom Mouseketeer

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    We attempted three times before departure to rebook for a different date and were denied. We even called one last time the morning of the cruise and were told that if the ship sailed and we weren't on it, we lost our entire cruise price. We were repeatedly reassured that we would be routed around the weather. Even if you had trip insurance, this was the case. (I have since found out that there is something called "cancel for any reason" insurance, but had never heard of it and don't know what the cost is.)

    We were at the tip of Florida on Friday morning as the storm headed toward Nassau and our original projected course on the TV showed us heading into the Gulf past the Keys where the waters were calm. Instead, we turned around and headed directly into the storm and the conditions just continued to deteriorate throughout the rest of the cruise.
     
  19. realityland

    realityland Mouseketeer

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    Typically, "cancel for any reason" coverage can be added to the cost of the travel insurance only at the time that you purchase the insurance. It usually can not be added on later. I believe it refunds 50% of the trip cost - excluding the cost of insurance. Cost is usually around 3% of the trip. Keep in mind, this is in addition to the cost of the regular travel insurance. Some have stated that if you purchase DCL travel insurance that you can cancel and apply the balance toward a future cruise - but I do not have first hand knowledge of this.

    Regarding the change of course that you mentioned, I think that is what many of the people are upset about and cannot understand why that decision was made. The fact that they were left to wonder have drawn many to reach their own conclusions.
     
  20. C2broncofan

    C2broncofan Earning My Ears

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    Yes they are "For Profit"... However when you pay 25% more to cruise with Disney you do so with an expectation that YOU and more importantly your KIDS are safe and not terrified. Take some of that 25% premium and save it for days like today and you still have a huge profit.

    My thought is when your the KIDS cruise line you should be the safest, conservative cruise line on the open seas. Just because the ship can do it doesn't mean you should do it. If your guest arrive terrified and sick at their destination what did you really achieve.

    What you achieved was bad press and fewer customers. In today's Facebook world everyone on those ships are going to tell 50 people how miserable they were on their Disney cruise.

    The bad press will cost Disney far more than the cost of keeping the ships away and losing the revenue from the next cruise.
     
  21. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    A risk of a hurricane during hurricane season is a given. Maybe cruise lines should underline, and bold it, and make you sign something acknowledging this if you book during hurricane season.
     

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