This will be a short post and it differs from most of the other posts. No cool recommendations, (more or less) nifty tricks for savings, or travel advice – just a personal rant.
I spend a lot of time on various travel forums – for cruises, for timeshares, for Disney, you name it. And I love it! People are amazingly helpful and you can learn so much there. I have saved loads of money after reading about free dining at Disney (back in the day), cheap flights from Copenhagen and many other things.
But one thing I just can’t understand is the often prevailing view that traveling is a privilege (yep, no doubt about it) for which we should be thankful (yes, still with you) – to the point that it is wrong to complain/be upset if something advertised is not provided (nope!).
I absolutely agree that it is important to look on the bright side and not let minor (or even bigger) problems spoil our vacations. But this goes so much further. You are supposed to take whatever is provided (or not provided) with a smile and be happy because you get to enjoy a trip.
But a trip is a service you paid for and in my opinion you are entitled to get what you paid for. Case in point – apparently Norwegian Cruise Line has gotten (presumably) in some sort of kerfuffle with tax authorities in some European countries.
Details are unclear but the upshot is that passengers on board of some ships can not be served alcohol while in British/Italian ports, EVEN IF THEY HAVE BOUGHT AN UNLIMITED DRINKS PACKAGE.
If you have ever looked at drinks packages for cruises you know that these can be quite expensive. I am not a big drinker and usually don’t even get a package. But I do find it reasonable to expect that drinks are available if advertised and paid for.
And as the problem seems to be apply only to Norwegian Cruise Lines it seems reasonable to hold them accountable for this. But on the forums there are quite a number of people that feel this should be largely ignored or fixed by bringing your own drinks on board (after already paying for the drinks package)!
And this isn’t an isolated incident – I frequently read “So what if the food wasn’t great – at least I didn’t have to cook it” or “Oh well, we now have to get up at 7 am and pay extra for a perk that used to be available for free but at least I am at Disney”.
Cruise lines, Disney, any travel provider are a business – they are going to maximize their profit and if consumers don’t react negatively to cut-backs/price hikes/false advertising they have no incentive to mend their ways.
Obviously, don’t be a “Karen” (apologies to anyone by that name from someone who shares a name with a pet that catches mice) but don’t be a pushover either. Be flexible, enjoy your trip, and give grace whenever you can but do speak up and ask (politely) for what you are paying for!
So what do you think? Do you agree or am I way out of line?