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Spring Break cruise not exactly what I expected

L

LaVagabonde

Guest
#1
My daughters and I were on the Western Caribbean cruise of the Celebrity Zenith on March 11-16. Although we had a wonderful time in general, I was a bit disappointed in the general feel of the cruise... it wasn't the "style" of cruise we had expected from what we'd read online. We had chosen Celebrity because I got the impression that there would be fewer children on board, a little stricter dress code (we wanted to dress up, and wanted to be around others who were dressing up), a more classy feel than those billed as the "fun ships."

I had been worried that the cruise would be almost "too old" of a crowd, considering I was bringing my 24 and 25 year old daughters, but that was far from the case... it looked like Daytona Beach on board there! There were very few children on board, but the ship was full of spring breakers, and I mean FULL! The pool area and outside deck lounge chairs were always full. If you didn't get there early in the morning, you were hard-pressed to find a chair that didn't have a person in it or personal items "saving it." (This was a particular problem in that people were leaving their stuff there to save their chairs while going off to lunch or shopping or to the casino as well)

The behavior at the poolside by some of the students got way out of hand, and I didn't see any attempts by the staff to tone it down until the last day (though I may not have been there during other confrontations). Numbers of students were very noticeably drunk, and there was both reckless (safety issues) and somewhat lewd behavior that went unchecked. We took to dragging lounges (when we could get them) up to the front of the ship where we could relax in peace. We were very disappointed to see the dress code slip, as we saw people walking through the main dining rooms in very casual clothing, including shorts. I was under the impression that if a passenger didn't meet the dining room dress code he would be diverted to the casual dining facilities, but this was apparently not done on this cruise.

One of my daughters spoke with the cruise director towards the end of the cruise and he said they were shocked at all the spring breakers and did normally have that kind of crowd. He said Celebrity has never marketed to the spring break crowd but that apparently a couple of travel agents had taken it upon themselves to do so this year, and she got the impression from him that they were going to try to nip that in the bud somehow. My thinking is that if they wanted to do so, they probably should have done a little more to enforce common rules of decorum and safety, and should have enforced the existing dress code.

I don't want to sound like a complainer, as we still did have a nice time. The service, the entertainment, and the food were excellent (my daughter was delighted that they had a complete vegetarian menu). We only used the formal dining for dinner, and used the casual dining for breakfast and lunch. Having breakfast outside on the back deck was a wonderful way to start the day!

Some of our cruise pictures are available for viewing at http://www.picturetrail.com/knepperl. I haven't finished putting titles/comments on the pictures, but the two ports of call were Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Key West.
 
L

LaVagabonde

Guest
#2
[quote LaVagabonde]One of my daughters spoke with the cruise director towards the end of the cruise and he said they were shocked at all the spring breakers and did normally have that kind of crowd. [/quote]

Whoops, typo! That should have said "One of my daughters spoke with the cruise director towards the end of the cruise and he said they were shocked at all the spring breakers and did NOT normally have that kind of crowd."
 
T

Ted_D

Guest
#3
If you take a cruise on any mainstream line during Spring Break, you shouldn't be surprised to find lots of young people on their holiday. Ditto for cruises during the Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving holidays. Having said that, if their behavior was not controlled by the crew, shame on them. I am not sure what you meant by your disappointment in dress on board. Shorts have always been permitted in Celebrity's dining rooms during breakfast and lunch. But, if you experienced it during dinner and it was permitted, I would be surprised and disappointed as well.

Ted
 
B

BSeabob

Guest
#4
The shorter the cruise on any line the possibility of more of a "Younger crowd"
The shorter the cruise at spring break the better possibility of a MUCH younger crowd.
The lines have very little control over who is actually going to be on their ships at any given time except for Promotions and charters.
We once sailed B2B on the Zenith and one week to the next (spring break) was very different.
 
L

LaVagabonde

Guest
#5
Yes, I was talking about dinner. My understanding was that we should expect pretty nice dress even on the casual nights for dinners in the dining room on the Celebrity cruises.
 
J

Joanandjoe

Guest
#6
We're sorry to see that the spring breakers messed up your cruise experience. One of the main contributors to another cruise board had the same experience. X, as noted, does not normally market to the spring break crowd. They were taken by surprise, and didn't know how to handle it.

Let's hope that you give Zenith and X another try--but not during spring break!
 
T

Ted_D

Guest
#7
I have been on multiple Celebrity cruises and agree that this is not the norm. And, as anyone who follows these boards regularly knows, Celebrity is my favorite mainstream line.

BUT, since Celebrity has been in business for 25 years, I would not be so quick to let them off the hook. They certainly should have policies and crew training in place to deal with people of any age that are acting contrary to their own written policies, their well advertised brand image, and what the overwhelming majority of their customers desire. When they fail to do it, they let all of us down.

Taken by surprise? I hardly think so. Not enough spine by the crew members involved? Yes!

Ted
 
D

daysatsea

Guest
#8
We did a 2 night Millie cruise (Dec. 2) as an add on to our transatlantic. Worse mistake of our life.
This also was not a normal Celebrity cruise. They ran out of food at breakfast at the buffet, people sat anywhere in the dining room instead of their assigned tables, kids were running around the dining room, the disco lounge was filled to capacity, the bars had people stacked 5 deep, men were smoking cigars in the elevators and outside the dining room. It was a zoo and a bitter ending after the relaxing transatlantic. And these were adults and families - not college students . I really thought this cruise would attract the normal Celebrity cruiser because the per day cost was quite high.
I did speak with the maitre'd about late breakfast station being out of food 15 minutes after it was supposed to open. He stated that even though they prepared extra food, they weren't able to keep up with the demand and had to open the late station earlier in the morning. He had never seen anything like it in his career with Celebrity.
I will never take a short cruise again. I think that on a short cruise, people are trying to get the most for their money and/or time.
My new idea of short is 7 days.
 
S

Searcher

Guest
#9
[quote LaVagabonde]Yes, I was talking about dinner. My understanding was that we should expect pretty nice dress even on the casual nights for dinners in the dining room on the Celebrity cruises.[/quote]

Point one... On one cruise we were on an X shore excursion and it got back WAY late. Choice was, not to eat or go to the dining room in shorts. We did the latter as it was not our fault we were late.

Point two... I never would have waited until the end to complain. Nip it in the bud is the only way to stop bad behaviour so a complaint, on day one, was the only way to get things under control.

I police the darn Solariums where "over 16" is the rule and by doing it on day one, it stops the people who think the signs don't mean their kids.
 
T

Ted_D

Guest
#10
Searcher,

I beg to differ. A casual dining alternative was available to you, or you could have changed to more suitable attire and been five more minutes late. You could have even ordered the exact same meal via room service. And, no it was not your fault that the excusrion came back late. I would point out that it wasn't the fault of your shipmates at dinner that night, either, and they may well have chosen X for the slightly more dressy atmosphere they expect. Certainly I do, and apparently so did Blonde.

Ted
 
A

Addict

Guest
#11
Ted said - If you take a cruise on any mainstream line during Spring Break, you shouldn't be surprised to find lots of young people on their holiday. Ditto for cruises during the Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving holidays.

Sorry, don't know how to do the quote thing.

Now I am worried! We are on Constellation at Christmas (18th Dec to 29th Dec). As it is our first cruise AND the most expensive time of year, is it really likely to be full of young people? Nothing against young people but I thought (maybe wrongly) that there wouldn't likely be too many youngsters at Christmas due to the high cost?

Sue
 
T

Ted_D

Guest
#12
Sue,

Is Constellation likely to "be full of young people" over Christmas. No, it certainly won't be full of them, but there will be 3-4 times as many on board as the week after New Years or the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is prime family cruising time for those that can afford it. Most of them will be traveling with their families.

You can minimize some of the potential problems by signing up for second seating for dinner, since most (though not all) of the families with smaller kids usually attend the early seating. And, this puts you in the cycle of show performances while the majority of small kids are eating. And, if by chance you are seated with unruly children ask for a table change immediately. It will be gladly granted. There will be no way to escape the mayhem around the pool, but that's life.

Constellation is a wonderful ship and you're going to have a great time. Don't stress about the kids. Half of making a cruise as wonderful as it can be is in the attitude you bring on board.

Ted
 
A

Addict

Guest
#13
Thanks Ted, I won't be stressing at all - we are really looking forward to it, and as you say, it is only what you make it so I can't see the point in being miserable the whole time and feeling like we've lost a fortune. I just imagined that the whole ship being full of drunken teenagers!!

Oh and we are already signed up for the late seating for dinner, so that should work out well hopefully.

Thanks again.

Sue
 
T

Ted_D

Guest
#14
Sue,

I should also have mentioned that there is one place on board where young teens are not permitted, so it affords a place to "escape" if you need to. There is a large covered solarium that encloses the thermoplassy (sp?) pool area. It also contains a nice spa-type eating area for breakfast and lunch. The pool does not allow teens, so the area is certainly calmer than the general pool area.

Honestly, though, you are going to find that life on board is going to be much like it is at home when it comes to kids. The overwhelming majority of the kids on board will be well behaved and supervised by either their parents or the ship's kids' program staff. One percent will be spoiled stinkers with parents who let them misbehave. You'll enjoy the 99% and need to avoid the 1%. If you can't avoid them, report their misbehavior and do not take no for an answer from the crew. If one of them says "we really can't do anything about it", ask to speak to their supervisor.

I'd be shocked if your first cruise wasn't great!

Ted
 
B

BSeabob

Guest
#15
[quote Ted_D]Sue,



I'd be shocked if your first cruise wasn't great!

Ted[/quote]

I would also just llike to pipe in and agree with Ted-D here. The M class ships are very comfortable when it comes to open spaces and you will not find yourself crowded or places in area's very often that you could not escape a dreaded "teenager gone bad"

enjy your planning