The key to this is doing the best you can to remember that any event that does not go as you envision does not make you upset, angry…or disturbed. This, we do to ourselves. It is how we CHOOSE to react to a difficult person, or the food coming out cold, or finding that first scratch on your car (the car…the scratch is my most difficult one!).
The same applies to how we answer the question…did you enjoy your cruise? We are human, and we tend to remember the few items that did not go our way. We are programmed this way. Take the news on television. Would ratings do well if the majority of news reported was good news, with lots of human interest stories? Do we get some kind of pleasure from watching bad things happen to other people, and sitting there, thinking that we are glad it wasn’t us? There is no right or wrong answer here, just something to think about.
About four years ago, we were booked on the NCL Pearl. A couple of months after booking, with full payment already in, we received the call. The call was to tell us that the ship would be taken out of service for the week of our cruise! Talk about scrambling. I got on the phone right away, trying to find a cruise that leaves the same week, for the same duration of time. And, I had to do this for eight other people, which included two couples flying in from other states. it was disappointing, as we are NCL fans, and, I wanted to bowl at sea! But, we push on.
Later that day, we chose to sail with Holland America. Cathy and I were cautiously excited. I heard many wonderful things about HAL, but remember, I work in an active-adult retirement community. And, this was the crowd that raved about HAL! I was kind of concerned we would be cruising “where I work!” But back to HAL, just heard many good things about their service. So, we were ready to experience a line we would normally NOT book…at least not without our grandparents coming with us!
We all boarded, and the first impression was a good one. We rented a private cabana for the week, and enjoyed having this anytime we wanted. I liked the food, the entertainment was fine and the ship never seemed overly crowded. But, this is what puzzled us. No overcrowded feeling, yet we were not receiving the type of HAL service everybody raved about.
Were the chocolate covered strawberries and bottled Evian in our cabanas everyday as was advertised…no. Was the private attendant accessible all of the time…no. In the buffet, was it slow and did they run out of milk, forcing us to wait and slow the lines? Yes. Dinner service was abnormally slow, when compared to our several (31) past experiences.
Although our expectations of an HAL Cruise were high, and we were surprised at the lack of attention to detail at times, we still had a heck of a time. The positives outweighed the negatives, and this is how you have to think if you go into anything with any sort of expectations. The HAL cruise wasn’t a perfect Cruise Customer Experience, but it was still an excellent experience, and a nice trip. About three days in we learned that the ship was sent out some 90 crew members short. Should the crew member have told us that…I don’t know. But if this was true, all the more reason to feel that under the circumstances, the crew and staff did an admirable job.
Remember, only we have the power to control how we react to things. Events do not make us angry or happy…we do! If you can grasp this, you can always enhance your Cruise Experience!