Wednesday, January 30, 2008

DJIA Travel Review

The following traveller review recently appeared on the TripAdvisor website:

SS DJIA Cruise - January 1-22, 2008
- January 24, 2008
(one out of five stars)

A. Market Investor
New York City

What a disappointment! My wife and I just got back after taking the cruise from hell. From reading the previous reviews on this site, I was sure that this three-week cruise on the SS DJIA would be my best vacation in years.

Since there were very few negative reviews, I was surprised that our holiday turned out to be such a disaster. After all, the glossy brochure we received in the mail promised all kinds of happy returns and special dividends. Needless to say, once on board, we didn’t see any of these advertised perks. In fact, there were almost no on-ship amenities at all including a woeful lack of life boats and preservers.

To be fair, there were a few positives. For example, when my wife and I boarded the DJIA on January 1st, everything appeared calm. Everyone on board was happy and relaxed and it seemed like we were in store for a pleasant trip. But by the middle of the second week, it was clear that things had gone awry.

Before listing the negatives, I think I should point out that my wife and I are not first time vacationers. In fact, we have been on a number of cruises over the years, both good and bad. For example, we enjoyed a wonderful ride on the SS NASDAQ in late 1999 and a not-so-pleasant voyage in the summer of 2001 on the M/S Standard & Poors 500.

But our trip this month on the DJIA was like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. No one told us but apparently the ship’s stabilizers weren’t working properly. Consequently, we were up and down like a yo-yo from one day to the next. I’ve never been seasick before but after experiencing these fluctuations, I was in agony. My wife was sick, too, and even went so far as to buy a gold skin patch which did seem to help a bit.

My parents told me about a cruise they took in 1982 on the DIJA which, by all accounts, was a complete horror show. They said that they avoided the cruise line for years after. But in recent years, it seemed to have bounced back and reestablished its sterling, long-term reputation.
As for our cruise, it was definitely the worst we’ve ever been on. Thanks to ship deficiencies, falling metal and foul weather, we didn’t manage to achieve even one of our desired objectives.
On some days, it looked like the seas would calm down and that we might even get a bit of sunshine. But just like clockwork, the next day we would again be tossed about like a bottle in the ocean.

I tried to complain to my travel agent but at first he wouldn’t answer his phone. When I finally did get through to him, all he would say was that our trip was a temporary setback. He claimed this was an industry-wide phenomenon and that cruises from Europe to Asia were experiencing similar troubles. He even had the gall to suggest that, since the DJIA’s upcoming cruise packages had been marked down, we should buy another one. Unbelievable!

In summary, don’t book this cruise. The SS DJIA sucks. I can certainly think of better places to spend my capital. If you’re looking for a safe and worry-free vacation, I strongly suggest checking out an old-fashioned, dependable train ride through the Rockies on the Long-term Bond Express.

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