Some years ago , the shortest holiday my husband and I and two friends ever had ,turned out to be the worst experience !
We had booked on a small ship for a weekend cruise 'to nowhere' off the coast of Western Australia; Having never cruised before I was quite excited to be going on a ship cruise and boarded the ship with great expectations to start our adventure.
We were shown to our cabin, what a disappointment! It was cramped and had a porthole the size of a dinner plate. The mattress was thin and uncomfortable and the single bunk beds lay on a har
The bathroom and toilet was the size of a shower cubicle , and a ring held the shower curtain, which you would pull around to stop flooding the bathroom, there were bath robes and soap,shampoo and conditioner on a small shelf.
We decided that nothing would not spoil our ship cruise, and off we went to meet our friends up on deck. We sat back in the small library come lounge talking and drinking with our friends. About an hour into our journey, the ocean started to get a bit rough, and a big swell got the ship rolling .
We decided to go to the pool area to get a drink, and some fresh air, so we would not get seasick . The music was loud, the atmosphere was good . Dozens of young noisy people were dancing and throwing down drinks as fast as they could get them . We stayed for quite a while and left to go to the dining room for dinner.
The ships dining area was small but neat, a buffet was being served. I could not make out what the food was, it looked like lettuce swimming in some sort of juice and another dish looked like stew or soup ? It was Russian food . We asked the crew member what it was, and she could We decided to hop into the food anyway, but it was terrible, no taste and sloppy; There were no sweets but plenty of stale bread rolls.
Most of the crew we found out were Russian or Polish and had not been paid for three months, so they were not happy, when we complained and just glared at us .
After this, If we asked for something they would ignore us( or maybe they did not understand the request, as they lacked english?) We left the dining room feeling hungry and headed for the bar, where they served small pizzas, we ordered some and sat back and watched the crowd.
By this stage the ship which was very, very small was really rolling around, and the seas were getting bigger; We were heading into a storm.
My husband rang home on his mobile, and the phone said we were off the coast of Yanchep, we could see the lights on shore, as we hugged the coast heading North. We stayed up at the bar until late, but it was getting really noisy , the ship was full of young people and they were steadily getting drunk and dancing around the pool to loud music; We headed back to our cabins to get ready for bed.
After rolling around the passage to get to our cabin( the sea was getting rougher) we encountered many sea sick passengers, who had vomited everywhere, and some so drunk they were asleep in the passage . We quickly made our way to our cabin to escape this, and upon entering our cabin all we could smell was tobacco smoke….the air conditioner was obviously not working properly, and people were smoking in their cabins! We climbed into our bunks to settle for the night.
There was a table between the two bunks and I had placed a cup on the table, it was so rough, the cup was sliding back and forth on the table . Our bunks were like a see saw doing the same , as the ship tossed around on the ocean.
I found out later that ballasts were off at night on this particular ship. I can remember waking in the early hours and looking out of the porthole, I spotted a yacht not too far from the ship, it had a large mast with a light on the top, the mast would disappear completely as it went down a wave then would resurface , only to disappear again. I know I actually felt grateful that I was on a bigger boat than they were!
The next day was more of the same, we rocked around again with the bad weather , it rained heavily, and as we made our way to the dining room again, food was different, and staff rude.
As we finished our meal on the last night of the cruise, the dining staff left a little envelope for tips…we actually felt that they should have ‘paid us’ , however, we did feel sorry for them not being paid for three months, and gave them quite a large tip for looking after us.
We left the dining room, and went to the pool bar again as this was the ‘central’ place for entertainment. We had decided that this was the last night we would enjoy it. We had a few drinks and some snacks at the bar but the weather had deteriorated. It was very cold on deck and the water was coming out of the pool in waves as the ship tossed around . Some of the younger passengers had never been to bed since they got on the ship, they would get drunk, throw up, sober up , get drunk again, and dance . At one stage, they started throwing their drunken friends into the swimming pool.
We had had enough, so made our way to the cabin again with much difficulty, only to experience that same as we had the night before.drunken people in the passage either sleeping or throwing up.
As the ship pulled in to Fremantle, we could not wait to get off and I vowed never to go on a ship cruise again!
In saying this we did try cruising again and have really enjoyed it ! In fact we are about to go on our 8th cruise again in April…so never let a bad time stop you from another experience….