Now us brits like to moan. If it’s not about the rain then it’s about too much sun, it’s like were not happy unless we are moaning about something, but imagine being stuck on a cruise line with 800 moaning angry pensioners – it’s a nightmare come true.
I was on-board the Ms Boudicca for a 16-night trip to rural Canada and it seems nothing went right throughout the cruise. We were supposed to have five ports of call in rural Canada but two were missed due to weather conditions. This is not the cruise lines fault and I understand that our safety is paramount but apparently weather is always like this at this time of year and even the locals were surprised a cruise ship was docked this early in the season. For this reason, I think people were more annoyed than if it was just freaks of nature but the atmosphere was dreadful. People were arguing over stupid little things as there was so much tension. No one seemed to care about manners anymore and even the crew had grim faces.
I had to endure this for 6 days at sea and I decided to hide in my cabin as much as possible as I couldn’t take any more confrontations or moaning. Now I like to moan as much as the next person but I couldn’t listen to it for 6 days when there was absolutely nothing that could be done about it. I wrote a letter of complaint and handed it into customer relations along with a lot more passengers. I didn’t do this for any compensation but it had to be highlighted that it wasn’t acceptable.
It seemed that the missed ports were not the only problems that occurred on this cruise. Most ports of calls were on Sundays, might not be a problem in major cities but this is rural and it was even more quiet than on other days. In fact, on our first stop I was informed when I got off by a local that absolutely nothing was open apart from a craft fair they had put on for us and a café to get a coffee, I turned round and went back on the ship. I don’t know if I had sort of ruined myself for this journey as I had gotten straight off a Baltics cruise and had seen amazing places such as St Petersburg that a little coastal village was going to seem quite boring to me.
When we arrived in St Pierre there was a problem with the tender, I have been given two different stories so I’m not sure which is true but it was an issue with the fuel which then raises cause for concern over the lifeboat fuel. They managed to source a bus but after an hour or so of hassle and again moaning stressed passengers I gave up even getting off the ship as was again told nothing to do in this port. We were here on a Saturday and information we were given in the port talks was to get a postcard and send home as it’s a unique postmark but post office wasn’t even open on a Saturday. In fact, a few passengers informed me that even the local café couldn’t cope with the cruise ship as it was apparently the first day of the season and they didn’t even know a ship was docking.
When we docked in Sydney again a Sunday but even worse, it was a bank holiday weekend so even less things open. Luckily I had a tour booked with the cruise line but other people who got taxi tours were being taken to places that weren’t even open. This is where we had problems with wind and couldn’t leave but there were little sailing boats out so not sure how they could sail if we couldn’t. Anyway during our evening meal, we were informed that we wouldn’t be leaving but we could get off the ship if we wanted. Although this sounds great there were no taxis around, no other means of transport and nothing open within walking distance so we stayed on and went to the bar instead.
On one of the sea days’ home there was a medical emergency and someone was taken off the ship by helicopter and I even contemplated this myself just to get away from these people. Joking aside I hope it wasn’t anything too serious and hopefully the person will get the treatment they needed and make a speedy recovery.
This has to be the rudest ship I have ever been on. I was pre warned that Fred Olsen ships have this reputation and as it’s the elder clientele it might not be suitable for a younger person but age is only a number and the itinerary looked great so I decided to book anyway although now I wish I had listened. Here are some of the comments I received from this lovely bunch of little old dears
• You should get out of the lift and let someone use it who deserves it – I am actually registered disabled and have problems walking upstairs not that this is any of their business but who actually deserves to use a lift?
• Your people don’t know how to dress – now I understand that the younger generation doesn’t dress up as much as this generation like to but I’m not my own race of people, it was how she said it.
• You shouldn’t even be on this ship it’s not for your type – I would never dream of saying these things to anyone if they were my age or not
At one point a lady was being quite rude to me and I retaliated as I was getting fed up and I was told by another lady I shouldn’t cheek my elders. It was like being told off by my grandparents, no wait it’s not as my grandparents were nice lovely people these are monsters in disguise.
Now I’m back from this horrible journey I have done some research and it seems that other cruise companies do not do this route until at least June, even Fred Olsen is doing it in July next year. Also I have checked the Canadian ice archives and I’m no expert but to me it looks like the same area was blocked with ice in 2014 and 2015. We have since received a letter from Fred Olsen explaining the situation in more detail and offering 25% off a future 2016 cruise. Mmmm let me think about that a minute…… I don’t think I will be taking them up on this offer.
Luckily there were a handful of lovely people on this ship that made it a little bit more bearable otherwise I think I might have thought about jumping overboard. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make up for the worse cruise I have ever been on. I’m finishing this article 2 week since docking in Liverpool and I’m still so bitter about the whole experience but I’m not going to let it put me off cruising although I have learnt a valuable lesson and I will be looking more closely at itineraries before booking any future ones.