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April 3rd, 2013
The Holiday That Doesn’t Live Up to Expectations

Diamond Princess, Sydney

At some stage during most of the cruises we’ve taken, the cruise director will read out a list of the top ten complaints/questions they receive from passengers. Here are three for your amusement:

1. The passenger with an inside cabin who complained because they didn’t have a view and wanted the cruise staff to cut a porthole for them.

2. The passenger who complained because the sea was keeping him awake.

3. The passenger who complained because he didn’t get a suntan. He was cruising in Alaska.

This made me think of our past holidays and the things that have gone wrong. Luckily, to date, we haven’t experienced any huge dramas, merely minor irritations.

1. The hotel room in Egypt with mouse droppings all over the bed. The second room also had mouse droppings and I gave up. I slept with one eye open and used my sleeping bag.

2. The hotel shortage in Zanzibar. We stayed on Zanzibar for three nights with the hotels becoming worse and smaller each night. The last room was a small square box with no windows or facilities and we had to run the fan or melt. The fan was really noisy! Didn’t get much sleep that night. Oh, almost forgot. The first night our friends, who stayed in another room, had a nocturnal guest—a rat. They called the hotel desk and it was like a Greek comedy. The story and the size of the rat has grown over the years. We still chuckle about the rat story. Also, the ferry going back to the mainland broke down and we spent time drifting in the humidity while they fixed it.

3. The hotel in Greece that was really still a building site. After two nights we complained and were shifted to a new and much better hotel.

4. The camp site in Kenya. The porters asked if we’d heard any noises during the night. “No,” we said. They’d had to chase elephants away from our tent. When we didn’t believe them they showed us the footprints. They were really close to our tent!

5. The camp site in Tanzania. I was petrified about having to go to the loo in the middle of the night. Luckily I didn’t need to, but the roar of the lions kept me awake all night.

6. Camping once again, this time in Rotorua, New Zealand. It was a wild and windy night, so windy only our weight kept the tent on the ground. There was a few times when I didn’t think that would be enough to keep us earthbound. We ended up driving home at about three a.m.

Do you have any bad holiday stories to share?

14 comments to “The Holiday That Doesn’t Live Up to Expectations”

  1. awww mice and rats…sounds like the perfect holiday vacation to me. LOL


  2. I thought of you when I wrote my post :)


  3. These stories are wild! And how do you NOT hear an elephant in the middle of the night. LOL!


  4. LOL – I’ve no idea. We had a heap of dawn drives to see animals. Up at ungodly a.m. Several days in a row, so that might have been it.


  5. We had two and as we have only taken 5 vacations in 31 years that is not really a bad average I guess.

    In 1984 we won a trip to go to Aruba through my husband’s employer, I had never flown and on the trip from San Antonio to Miami which was first stop got airsick and stayed that way on the next short jump flight from Miami to Aruba. Our trip was a long weekend from Friday, Saturday and home late Sunday so it was really fast and one I never wish to repeat as the food on the island was not what we expected or were used to and the only good meal we had was burgers and fries poolside at the hotel the whole time we were there. It was hard to sleep as the ocean mist kept everything musty and both my husband and my allergies were awful the whole time. The trip home was another comedy of errors as for some reason we ended up sitting in the airport in Miam for a five hour layover before heading back to San Antonio airport which meant we got home at 2 am after driving back from San Antonio to Refugio Texas and my poor husband had to go to work at 7 am the next morning. Fun sort of but not something would attempt again.

    Second time was on our 10 anniversary we rented a condo at South Padre Island and drove from outside Houston to get there and of course since we got married in mid December it was freezing cold and not much to do in the winter if you go to a place with only a few restaurants and the main attraction is the beach where they have a lovely kite shop that sells all kinds of kites to fly. We did make it out to the beach on one of the mornings we were there, fed the seagulls with frozen fingers and then went back to take hot showers to thaw out in the condo.
    The reason this vacation did not live up to it’s expectations was simple my husband has asthma and thanks to the dirty (as in very musty from salt water in air) bed linens and dirty musty mildew in the condo we rented he was sick the whole time we were there, I guess people with upper respiratory problems just do not make good travelers!

    Compared to your mouse droppings and other poor sleeping quarter conditions ours was a walk in the park Shelley!


  6. I wouldn’t say that. Your holidays sounded very trying. Allergies must be awful. Maybe you need to research a few places with climate to suit? A place that has a similar climate to where you live?


  7. Hurricanes. Once delaying our flight to Mexico, and once when we were in Mexico. Still, it was a vacation and a vacation mind-set, so it wasn’t so bad. Once a thunderstorm when we were camping, and advised to leave. Went to a hotel!


  8. Hurricanes don’t stop for anyone. Our cruise last year had a change of itinerary due to Hurricane Sandy and we went to Madeira. I thought it was great.

    You know hotel v tent. Hotel wins every time. I think I’m past camping :)

    You’re right about the vacation mindset. As long as you’re safe that’s the main thing.


  9. With all the trips and adventures, I’m glad you can sort of minimize the not-so-great to a few :-)


  10. This is Mr Munro taking over Shelley’s blog.
    There were plenty of other interesting times. Like the time in Africa (don’t quite recall where, Tanzania I think) we lost our appetite cooking breakfast. Luckily the egg we were going to eat was to be fried and not boiled…it contained a half, very dead, developed chick! The sight and smell put us off eggs for a long time!!


  11. My mother had the same experience in the camps in Africa.


  12. Yep, African camps have their own particular charms :)


  13. Thankfully, I have not had any truly bad vacation experiences. I’ve put tents up in pouring rain, and heard bears in the woods near camp, but nothing compared to some of your stories.


  14. Bears in the wood would spoil my holiday for sure. I don’t like the idea of bears at all!!!! Not up close and personal.