I took the Seabourn Quest for a trip to the Antarctica on Feb 3 from Buenos Aires. I was terribly unpleasant on board the Seabourn Quest.
We boarded the ship at noon on Feb 3, but I started having throw-up & diarrhea at ~11 p.m. on Feb 4. Throughout the night, I had at least 6 times of diarrhea. I was too weak to get to the medical room, so a nurse was asked to come up to tend to my case in the morning. She took my temperature & said I had a fever. I was told to take Loperamide to ease off the diarrhea and Panadol to lower my temperature . The Loperamide didn’t seem to work as I continued to have 6x of diarrhea throughout the day. I was also told to be quarantined for 3 days. She came back at around 4 p.m. & told me the fever had come down a little bit. I said the diarrhea was terrible & the waste that came out was greenish. She only said she would come back the next day. On the morning of the 6th, she told me that the fever had gone, but since the diarrhea still persisted, she said I needed to take antibiotics. She didn’t come back in the afternoon. I was still having diarrhea for about 6x a day even I had no food intake. The nurse didn’t bring any antibiotics on the morning of the 7th as apparently, she had forgotten about it. The antibiotic medicine, Ciprofloxacin, was finally brought to me in the afternoon which means it was a full 2-day delay for medication. On the 8th, I finally exerted some energy to go down & visited the doctor. I told him the antibiotics didn’t seem to be effective on me & that I continuously had at least 6x of diarrhea every day. I had no food intake except a few slices of orange when I felt dry in the mouth. He changed to another kind of antibiotics, but my 6x-diarrhea-a-day & the greenish color of waste still persisted for 2 more days. It was not until on the 10th that I could start to go to the canteen to have my meals. But then, I have already missed two of the possible five Zodiac excursions, the main reason why we took this Antarctica cruise. I also missed to see the King Penquins in Falkland Islands, a tour I had paid for in full. Even though I got refunded for this excursion, but missing to see the King Penquins in close encounter was surely a regret which money alone could not compensate for it.
None of the managerial staff admitted that it was food contamination as their food was rated excellent when examined in the port. Even the doctor said it shouldn’t have happened to me solely if it were food contamination. But I would not buy this explanation as my experience on board another cruise ship could definitely prove the point. I chewed some sand in my mushroom, but all my 5 other friends who ordered the same dish didn’t find any. I told the restaurant manager & he took the excuse of examining the food by taking the whole plate back to the kitchen. Then I was told there was indeed some sand in the mushroom. My immediate response was, your kitchen staff didn’t clean the food thoroughly. He denied, “No, it’s only the mushrooms that had sand in them!” What a joke!!!
Another observation on board could also illustrate my point. It was a real shock to see that canteen staff never tried to clean the placemats on the dining tables. They only cleaned the space in between the 2 placemats & tended to ignore the food residue on top of the placemats, or the salt or pepper remains under the condiment containers. I was also astounded to see that staff, when cleaning the tables, swept all food remains onto the floor. Shouldn’t this only be happened to a low-class café? I would never have expected to see this on a 6-star cruise ship. This observation was written down on the survey & the situation seemed to have improved slightly. Rome was not built in one day. The lack-of-training would never have made the staff to improve their cleaning style within several days. In this case, how can I not be suspicious about contracting any bacteria from the placemats?
Further, we had been continuously disturbed by the noise from above our room. Our room was right under the kitchen of the Observation Deck. I had not the slightest idea why the staff started to move the trolley at midnight. For the first few nights, I was too weak to make any complaints. But I could not stand it any more when one night, there was the rolling of trolley at midnight, then the opening & closing of the drawers at ~2 a.m., & the moving of trolley cart at ~ 4 a.m., & finally the banging sound at ~ 6 a.m. I was glad that my case was resolved to & there was no noise for 2 consecutive nights. Unfortunately, the noise came back again at ~ 12 a.m. on the night after. I called & the noise stopped. There was no noise on the following night, but it came back again at the same hour the next night. I was really mad & blasted at the front desk. The problem seemed to have resolved, but on the night before departure, there was again a continuous noise of bouncing a solid ball on a counter. I was simply puzzled by the way how the personnel trained the staff.
Last but not least, I was told by a managerial staff to write to Nic Botha, the Guest Services Manager about my grievance after I got back home. I did, but I have been waiting for almost 2 months now & never received a reply.
The service was a total disappointment.