On average, I’d argue that most cruises and sea voyages are 99 per cent fun, one per cent minor annoyances. I know a lot of that comes down to individual preferences and/or tolerance levels; we’re not all wired to the same standard. We react in different ways and styles to what we perceive as anything that rains on our parade.
And so, just to throw this out there, here’s a handful of things that leave me wondering the proverbial ‘wtf’….
1) Untrained staff
One night before dinner on a cruise, I asked my stewardess- a lovely, sweet girl- if she would open the champagne in my room and put it out on the balcony for later.
I return to find that she has, indeed, done just that. Silver ice bucket, white cloth, gleaming glasses…. and a corkscrew bottle opener, placed by the bucket on the table outside.
I had to smile; the poor girl had not been shown how to open champagne. Incredible. She had done what she thought to be the next best thing.
Not a huge deal, and funny in it’s own way. Certainly not her fault that she hadn’t been trained to do something so simple. But it is the fault of the hotel manager.
Memo to hotel managers; please ensure that your staff are trained to perform the simplest and most basic tasks. It makes life better for everyone.
2) Kids in adult only pools/hot tubs
Gah! The bane of my existence. There I am, wonderfully par boiled in a gorgeously bubbling hot tub somewhere warm when… bam! Junior and his/her little friends decide now is a great time to come and cannon ball into the adults only Jacuzzi. Yep, the one sporting the big sign- written in English- that says ADULTS ONLY.
Worst of all, mummy is sitting on a sun lounger a few feet away, completely ignoring the signs. Every so often, she might mumble a weak-as-water ‘calm down, Stephanie’ to her charming child. Sorry. My mojo has already been spoiled, because you think rules only exist for little people. Not your little people, naturally.
And cruise staff who just ignore this make my blood boil. Why have rules if you’re not going to enforce them? It’s chocolate fireguard syndrome.
Please, mother dear. Show some consideration. Don’t make me bring my electric cattle prod. I hate the singe of charred flesh in the morning.
3) Constant tannoy sales pitches
Dear Cruise Director; these really do put the ‘annoy’ in ‘Tannoy’. It is truly thoughtful of you to interrupt my sleep at three in the morning to remind me that there will be naked dwarf throwing at sunrise on the lido. But allow me to let you in on a little secret; I’ve already read about it in the programme, thank you.
Most adults on cruises- and I stress ‘most’- are capable of reading and deciding what they want to do during their time on board. Constant tannoy reminders seem to presuppose that we are all either illiterate, or in the deathly grip of advanced Alzheimer’s. Well, after a week of being bombarded with this verbal dross fest, dementia begins to look more and more appealing. I know you have sales targets to meet, but please- tone it down at little? Thank you.
4) Passengers shouting in music venues
Dear loud fellow passenger: this one is for you.
When I go to a music venue late at night, it’s usually with the hope of hearing some cool, classy jazz over an artfully crafted martini or two. I don’t go there to hear your tequila fuelled, boom box level of inane verbosity, kindly sharing your wonderful experiences ashore in Hooters that day. In short, have some consideration for those around you.
Else, next morning, when you emerge from the boggy lair that constitutes your cabin and you shamble up to the buffet feeling like death warmed up, I may be obliged to take it upon myself to start reading out the full daily programme, line by line, in a very loud voice. Before the tannoy gets there first. Point made?
These are just a few of the things that raise my blood pressure like a Saturn Five cleared for take off. Misunderstandings are a fact of life; they happen. But simple, common courtesy? It’s not rocket science now, is it?