In January of this year, we decided that we needed a getaway. we found an inexpensive cruise on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas. Being Diamond level members in their customer loyalty, program , we booked and paid for a suite on the March 10th sailing. We got a great deal, because all cabins have to be paid for 90 days prior to sailing, and the ship wasn't even half booked by that point.
Unknown to us, a Florida travel agency bought all of the remaining cabins, bundled them with unlimited alcohol packages, and then sold them to college kids as a spring break getaway. We were surrounded by booze guzzling, clothing optional Frat boys and their female counterparts. Vomit was everywhere: in the pools, the passageways, and the casino. Drunken passengers running up and down the hallways at 3 am, screaming at the top of their lungs.
Being a bit of a gambler, I was in the casino playing craps, and had to contend with college kids waving their hands in front of the game, and causing problems while I had several hundred dollars of bets on the table. When I asked them to stop waving their hands and their drinks over my chips, all I got were smart assed answers.
I saw a college girl with a VERY short dress and no visible underwear sitting on the lap of a piano playing crewmember, and right next to them was a crew member with his hand inside of the dress of another young woman.
In short, the trip was a booze fueled college party. I am too old for that crap, and it was NOT the relaxing vacation that I was looking for. Now, I will say that this was not our usual cruise with this cruise line, and we have never had issues like this before. A complaint to the cruise line customer relations onboard got us some sympathy and a 30% refund, but the manager told us to contact the cruise line's main offices when we got home.
When we did that, the customer service people were very rude, and said some outrageous things:
- What do you expect when you travel during spring break?
- We can't control what other passengers do
- They paid for the cruise, just as you did
- This is March, and you have to expect this sort of thing
- Yes, we have a guest code of conduct, but there is little we can do to enforce it
- We are sorry this upset you, but this is to be expected when college students are aboard. Maybe you should book cruises during other times of the year
Maybe I should think about another cruise line.