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David's complaint against Imagine Cruising
Imagine Cruising (A-Rosa 7 nt Danube river cruise, Oct 2018)
Complaint against Imagine Cruising
After an enjoyable stay in Prague we were very disappointed in the ‘cruise’ part of the package holiday, from Passau to Budapest, arranged by Imagine Cruising. On the first evening the shower head fell off on to the ground, narrowly missing my foot. I noticed that the holder for the shower head was broken - this had to be replaced the following day. My wife had to wait until later that following day to have my first shower. Again later on the first evening, just before we were getting ready for bed, our toilet flooded the ensuite floor and the technician was in our room until 11:30pm fixing it, making very loud and disturbing suction noises. The flush wasn’t easy to use and it was like this for the whole duration, even after complaining several times. Also, the shower and hand towels were nearly threadbare and needed renewing. The crew dropped a bombshell, only when we reached Vienna. Due to the low level of the river we couldn’t continue to Bratislava or Budapest. If we had wanted to change our plans it would have been too late, as the ship was due to leave imminently. It was too short notice and anyway we were told that we would have to pay if we wanted to make alternative arrangements. The cruise manager informed me that the ship hadn’t been able to get to Budapest on several occasions over the summer, the previous group having sailed only as far as Bratislava. There had been little or no rainfall for months, so there was a high likelihood that we wouldn’t get to Budapest by boat – why weren’t we informed? On board we were sold the full package of excursions as far as Budapest when the crew must have known that there was a high likelihood of not getting there. Instead we were given unremarkable excursions which were not what we paid to see. We didn’t go to Salzberg because it was a long bus journey, arranged to take place just the day before we were all due to leave the ship finally, early the next morning. I have already visited Salzberg twice before anyway. After Vienna it was not a cruise anymore. We always travelled at night and during the day we were moored up with the A’Rosa sister ship alongside – most of the time our side of the boat was in semi-darkness and we couldn’t help looking into the neighbouring boat’s opposite cabin, with not even a net curtain for privacy. Our upgraded balcony cabin was a complete waste of money. It was a shame that the trip turned out this way and we have come home tired and disappointed; for us it was not just another holiday. We had saved up, taking my brother-in-law with us on what we assumed would be an enjoyable trip - he has autism. He hadn’t been away for a long time and was particularly sad at missing a large part of the assumed itinerary. He hates any sudden change of plan. Also, because we always sailed at night, the engine noise and shuddering unsettled him more than it should have. My wife has written a letter of complaint to the Customer Relations Dept (by email) at Imagine Cruising and has had a reply saying that they would respond within 28 days – that was nearly a fortnight ago and we haven’t heard anything yet.
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