First cruise for me and traveling partner in January 2011. Many famous musicians on board, lots of entertainment. One of the lesser-known musicians who has a history of jumping on passengers jumped on my back, locked her arms around me, screamed in my ear, and then took off. I was standing on deck on top of the hot tub at the time. She almost knocked me over. Two nights later, she stalked me from bar to bar and did the same thing.
I reported the assault to ship's security who told me to take it up with the charter, Sandy Beaches Cruise, so I did. I was told she is a "functioning alcoholic" who has been in rehab so many times, jumped on previous passengers, and is obnoxious on and off stage. Often, she invites herself on stage to join other singers whether they invite her or not. One night, she invited herself on stage with Delbert, and by the look on his face, he clearly did not want her there. It gets better.
The day after I reported her, she was nowhere to be found. I was told she was banished to her cabin, but the next day, she was back. And, all the other musicians were looking at me and my traveling partner like we were the ones who started trouble. This made for a very awful trip. It all went downhill after that.
I spoke with Gary Turlington, VP at Sandy Beaches Cruise. (Of course, every time I went to speak to someone, I missed a show) I let him know that I was aware that she has done this in the past and it appeared she wasn't supposed to be on this cruise and asked how she got back on. He didn't answer, but only said that he "didn't have time for this" and that he was pretty sure that she wouldn't be allowed back on in the future.
Now, thinking back to the pre-cruise party, one of the folks at the registration desk did inform us that, if we wanted to bring anything on board (alcohol, etc.) do not put it in your carry-on. He told us to put it in our checked luggage. After the whole "drive-by-jumping-by-an-alcoholic" situations, my traveling partner was outside on deck watching a show when a bag of, a-hem, an oregano-like substance with a cigarette inside landed at his feet. Some guy out of nowhere materializes to collect it. Toward the end of the cruise, you could smell it in the air all throughout the hallways-there's no escaping the pot smell.
We paid thousands of dollars for a horrible experience and tried to contact Sandy Beaches Cruise. I also followed up with Holland America per the ship's security who took the assault report while we were on board. At first, they were like "Oh my God" and offered to look into things. After Jeannie Ogden spoke with Sandy Beaches Cruise, she came back and stood by some story that the rude singer was simply asking me for a light for her cigarette, followed by "there's nothing I can do."
I also let Gary Turlington know that I would not be traveling with them again. He removed my name from future cruises. That is the outcome of this situation.
So, if you're not a hippie pot-head, and you're not aware of some arrangement between Holland America and Sandy Beaches Cruise that lets you bring drugs on board, then you're not welcome with the rich and famous "in" crowd that have no problem taking your hard-earned money. No matter how they treat you.
Seriously, folks, the last two years were stressful for me with losing my job and going through the flood in Nashville. I was really looking forward to my first cruise. Never again with either.