WE were ready and exited to go on a Christmas cruise to Amsterdam. I had even talked my brother into coming along, after myself and my wife having had a great time on the Queen Mary in October we booked this trip as our Christmas present to each other. We boarded and everything looked as it should even though there was a strong smell of fuel around the bar and casino area, they must just be refuelling we thought! We went for our evening meal on the first night and the staff looked in a zombiefied state, maybe it was the smell of fuel that was getting to them, however we did notice a very restrained atmosphere and that worsened as the voyage progressed.
The next day at sea there was growing concern that we were not going to dock in Amsterdam as apparently the weather was bad, not that you would have guessed that by looking out of the window. The morning we were hoping to dock we awoke and it was deadly still, we turned on the TV and the entertainments director was advising the passengers to take an umbrella and wishing us a good and enjoyable day in Amsterdam. Excellent we are here, so leaping over and opening the curtain it was beyond a disappointment that we were actually heading back down the channel in the other direction and so that's how it remained for the next two days going up and down the channel with no information coming from the captain, not only that, I don't think anyone saw the captain during this whole ordeal, he still didn't appear when hundreds of people were chanting we want the captain at the reception area. Had he lost his spine? It was then announced that the ship was going to have to dock early at Southampton as work had to be done on the fuel tanks , this was no doubt why we had to put up with the smell of fuel for the whole of this saga. By this time hundreds of passengers were itching to disembark as soon as possible and that is why hundreds of people did disembark a night earlier,
The entertainments laid on were lacklustre the shows lasted a pitiful 45 minutes and were mediocre at best. This had been a terrible experience so when we got home we made a complaint and expected carnival/cunard to do the honourable thing of offering a reasonable compensation package to us hard working people that had been taken for a ride on this so called cruise to Amsterdam . It took three or more weeks for a reply offering $25 off another cruise with them. What an insult. If you are looking for an uncaring corporate company that are happy to hide behind a force majeure clause to avoid paying compensation even when, according to the Amsterdam cruise port website, the Britannia Beaver tanker and the Merlin Diver vessel docked at Amsterdam during this time . Then good luck. We however after being treated like this will never set foot on any carnival / cunard / p&o line, So it looks like they wont have to honour their enormously insulting $25 offer.
Room was OK. Although didn't see steward at all.