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Nightmare cruising experience from Tianjin


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 This cruise from China to HK is not for the faint hearted. Boarding was like an immigration scene from a movie with hundreds of passengers held up and forced to stand for hours waiting to repeat the paperwork done online. The Chinese passengers were moved through a different portal and boarded much more quickly. Once aboard with 4000 Chinese pushing, shoving and spitting where and when they chose, it became a challenge to remain civil. Our only port visit was Okinawa where I’ve since learnt  there was a measles outbreak occurring at the same time. (South China Morning Post 3rd May 2018 see attached).

I was cruising with family members including my daughter and granddaughter and at no time did RC warn us about the measles outbreak in Okinawa. Nor did they prevent the spitting that is a known cause of disease, most especially TB which many Chinese carry. So a comprehensive failure on the part of RC to ensure the safety and comfort of all its non Chinese passengers.

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4 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

When travelling to a foreign country, I would see it as my responsibility as the traveler to research the cultural differences I might encounter. Just curious as to what safety protocol you would have liked to have seen implemented to ensure the safety of just the "non-Chinese passengers"?

As someone with extensive cross cultural experience I never assume anything and am always mindful and aware of others. Protocols implemented could include fair and equal treatment for all. Unacceptable behaviour such as spitting or any other anti social practice that causes the spread of disease needs to be discouraged and if necessary, fines imposed. It’s irrelevant what nationality they are.

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Spitting in public is very common place in China and some other Asian countries. It's a behavior that is ingrained in many people.  You were on a cruise from China to HK so you should expect the ship is going to tolerate the  local  sensibilities.  I am not saying that it isn't a health concern or seriously off putting to Westerners, but I really don't think RC could stop it from happening.    If you are going to service that market,  you would have a very tough time trying to  impose strict rules and impose fines on passengers.  

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I understand that spitting is commonplace in China but this is a cruise ship so public places that are covered in spittle is a health concern. Perhaps strict rules are unenforceable but for RC to tolerate this practice without even voicing a discouragement to the offenders is unacceptable. At the very least, ensuring the safety of all means endeavouring wherever possible to keep public spaces disease free. Please note that spitting adjacent to the restaurant was commonplace. I lived in Cambodia for a year and while I saw plenty of confronting behaviour I’ve never seen spitting right at a restaurant. 

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I have visited and stayed in China for lengthy work related projects and all I can say is that I would never live there nor visit again. It's uncivilized as so many individuals do not care of their fellow mankind. As for a heads up on the measels situation, it is RCCL's responsibility under U.S. statute to notify all U.S. passengers of the possibility of contracting measels due to the outbreak (i.e., Zika virus, etc.). RCCL's failure to share this vital info just further shows that RCCL only cares about the mighty dollar instead of the health of their passengers. The C.D.C. would have had a field day with this if they had knowledge of RCCL's failure.

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11 hours ago, Peachie said:

 RC to ensure the safety and comfort of all its non Chinese passengers.

 

6 hours ago, Peachie said:

 Protocols implemented could include fair and equal treatment for all.  It’s irrelevant what nationality they are.

These two posts above are completely contradictory.

4 hours ago, Peachie said:

I understand that spitting is commonplace in China but this is a cruise ship so public places that are covered in spittle is a health concern. Perhaps strict rules are unenforceable but for RC to tolerate this practice without even voicing a discouragement to the offenders is unacceptable. At the very least, ensuring the safety of all means endeavouring wherever possible to keep public spaces disease free. Please note that spitting adjacent to the restaurant was commonplace. I lived in Cambodia for a year and while I saw plenty of confronting behaviour I’ve never seen spitting right at a restaurant. 

I have to completely agree with @Garnet21 here.  I am in no way saying that what you observed is acceptable but you were on a cruise that departed from China.  Obviously, there would be many Chinese people there with their own cultural differences.  That being said, I myself am I huge germaphobe, and knowing that, there are places in the world that I would never consider visiting because of cultural differences and what is considered acceptable hygiene.  But that choice is my own, and if I were to go willingly, then I would have to tolerate the differences in cultures.

As far as enforcing any rules, as noted on many other threads, even the enforcing of dress codes in the MDR and hand washing is quite relaxed.  It would be difficult to implement rules on this one.

No one here works for RC either.  We are just a community of people who love RC or want to learn more about RC.  Writing to RC directly or noting your concerns on your post cruise survey might be more constructive.

5 hours ago, Garnet21 said:

If you are going to service that market,  you would have a very tough time trying to  impose strict rules and impose fines on passengers.  

And this is the bottom line right here. 

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6 hours ago, Peachie said:

I understand that spitting is commonplace in China but this is a cruise ship so public places that are covered in spittle is a health concern. Perhaps strict rules are unenforceable but for RC to tolerate this practice without even voicing a discouragement to the offenders is unacceptable. At the very least, ensuring the safety of all means endeavouring wherever possible to keep public spaces disease free. Please note that spitting adjacent to the restaurant was commonplace. I lived in Cambodia for a year and while I saw plenty of confronting behaviour I’ve never seen spitting right at a restaurant. 

Comparing Cambodia to China is like comparing apples to oranges.  One country has been colonized by Europeans for many years where social/cultural norms has changed over time.  Another example is Hong Kong.  They have posted fines for spitting in public. 

There is a shift in the cultural norms in China with the younger generations though.  I interact with many international students from China and have asked them about the spitting. Most of them are oppose to that type of behaviour.  But try telling that to the older generation.  It's like telling your grandfather that he is wrong.  He will tell you to piss off haha.  So as the east interacts more with the west, these behaviours will eventually change. 

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Up until few month ago the cruise that came out from China or to China was mark as special cruise that are catered to local (main announce in Chines , some changes in restaurants and some difference in shows) 

I do not see it anymore, we were on a cruise from Hong Kong to Vietnam but I guess its different as most of the passengers were from Australia.

I thought to book a cruise origin from China, one of the considerations were stories like you published , but if I will go on one we will set our expectation.

 

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13 hours ago, princevaliantus said:

I have visited and stayed in China for lengthy work related projects and all I can say is that I would never live there nor visit again. It's uncivilized as so many individuals do not care of their fellow mankind. As for a heads up on the measels situation, it is RCCL's responsibility under U.S. statute to notify all U.S. passengers of the possibility of contracting measels due to the outbreak (i.e., Zika virus, etc.). RCCL's failure to share this vital info just further shows that RCCL only cares about the mighty dollar instead of the health of their passengers. The C.D.C. would have had a field day with this if they had knowledge of RCCL's failure.

US statutes do not apply in China.  The CDC has no jurisdiction on a foreign flagged vessel sailing between foreign ports.  No more than the FAA has jurisdiction over a South American airline flying in Asia or anywhere else in the world.  

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5 minutes ago, twangster said:

US statutes do not apply in China.  The CDC has no jurisdiction on a foreign flagged vessel sailing between foreign ports.  No more than the FAA has jurisdiction over a South American airline flying in Asia or anywhere else in the world.  

I never said they had jurisdiction in China, but under International Law under the direction of the World Health Organization which the CDC does fall under, RCCL, since RCCL sails in international  waters, can be held liable for not notifying their passegers of any inectious or communicable diseases before hand. There is also applicable laws in the International relm which protects each country in the event of any known persons who enter their visiting destination and knowingly has a infectious or communicanle disease. I work in the legal sector for YEARS and I know what I'm stating as a matter of law. I have also travelled to our international offices around the globe, where I work in the legal sector and have applied each countries respective laws as it applies to that in the International relm. Trust me when I tell you that every international countries  laws are connected. That's why things happen a "certain way" that normal individuals will never understand.

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6 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

I never said they had jurisdiction in China, but under International Law under the direction of the World Health Organization which the CDC does fall under, RCCL, since RCCL sails in international  waters, can be held liable for not notifying their passegers of any inectious or communicable diseases before hand. There is also applicable laws in the International relm which protects each country in the event of any known persons who enter their visiting destination and knowingly has a infectious or communicanle disease. I work in the legal sector for YEARS and I know what I'm stating as a matter of law. I have also travelled to our international offices around the globe, where I work in the legal sector and have applied each countries respective laws as it applies to that in the International relm. Trust me when I tell you that every international countries  laws are connected. That's why things happen a "certain way" that normal individuals will never understand.

I'm not saying there are not international laws in play.  Which US statutes apply in this case and how are US laws enforced on a common carrier operating in China?

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Peachie please don't tell me that these Chinese where spitting within the cruise ship if so how disgusting and hipocrytical you have to soap up with germx all over the ship and watch some Chinese spit on the floor or worse I say this surely falls under the royal code of conduct and if in the us or carib would have you put off at the next stop or can you imagine the brawl if the person and I use that term loosely sitting next to you in the casino hung a loogee on you shoe as you passed by in the crowd I am sorry please don't crucify me but this really stretches the old adage when in rome do as the romans do peachie I am with you I am sorry but just because you have money does not mean you are ready to be on a ship confined with 2000 to 6000 people this is a recipe for disaster just saying

 

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25 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

Again, you're reading it wrong. Let's move on to the next topic. Thanks.

Not trying to pick a fight, I was hoping to learn something.  Maritime law is fascinating to me. 

I was thinking about future cruises in 2019 and beyond and Asia came to mind.  This thread has been enlightening.  I was hoping to use the ship as a means to experience the culture by day (in port) but have a comfortable place to return to when I needed to escape it.  In this case a little too much local culture seems to be on the ship. 

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I'm going to go ahead here and ask the question no one else has asked...what ship was this on and when was the sail date??  I will admit, I've been thinking of this thread all day. I have even gone to search for other reviews and compliants that are similar to this one. So far I have found none. 

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Speaking to the crew on Ovation and also from other people who have sailed out of China (excluding Hong Kong) the splitting practice is quite common. Our concierge on Ovation said they had to tell people off for spitting on the carpet in the lounge. This is why the ship undergoes a deep clean before leaving from Singapore for Australia.

From what people have told me it is a truly different experience when it comes to dining as the Chinese families eat together and expect all the food to come out at once. On Ovation this provides some challenges in the coastal kitchen.

From what I understand Princess does not advertise their Chinese itineraries to westerners because the cultures are so different.

I think RCI has a disclaimer but that is about it.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I'm going to go ahead here and ask the question no one else has asked...what ship was this on and when was the sail date??  I will admit, I've been thinking of this thread all day. I have even gone to search for other reviews and compliants that are similar to this one. So far I have found none. 

 

2 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I'm going to go ahead here and ask the question no one else has asked...what ship was this on and when was the sail date??  I will admit, I've been thinking of this thread all day. I have even gone to search for other reviews and compliants that are similar to this one. So far I have found none. 

 

2 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I'm going to go ahead here and ask the question no one else has asked...what ship was this on and when was the sail date??  I will admit, I've been thinking of this thread all day. I have even gone to search for other reviews and compliants that are similar to this one. So far I have found none. 

It was Ovation out of Tianjin 26 April

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1 hour ago, F1guynz said:

Speaking to the crew on Ovation and also from other people who have sailed out of China (excluding Hong Kong) the splitting practice is quite common. Our concierge on Ovation said they had to tell people off for spitting on the carpet in the lounge. This is why the ship undergoes a deep clean before leaving from Singapore for Australia.

 

Glad to know that sailings from Hong Kong are excluded from the spitting practice...   I will be sailing on the Ovation from Hong Kong in 12 days. :-)

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9 minutes ago, SeaFarers said:

Glad to know that sailings from Hong Kong are excluded from the spitting practice...   I will be sailing on the Ovation from Hong Kong in 12 days. :-)

I think that is because there are a lot more Australian's cruising from Singapore and Hong Kong. I think Tijian would almost exclusively be Chinese as the crew members I spoke to said to avoid it.

Enjoy your cruise on Ovation.

 

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9 hours ago, F1guynz said:

I think that is because there are a lot more Australian's cruising from Singapore and Hong Kong. I think Tijian would almost exclusively be Chinese as the crew members I spoke to said to avoid it.

Enjoy your cruise on Ovation.

 

omg no problem I will avoid tijian cruise or related itineraries like the plague LITERALLY LOL LOL ?

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16 hours ago, twangster said:

Not trying to pick a fight, I was hoping to learn something.  Maritime law is fascinating to me. 

I was thinking about future cruises in 2019 and beyond and Asia came to mind.  This thread has been enlightening.  I was hoping to use the ship as a means to experience the culture by day (in port) but have a comfortable place to return to when I needed to escape it.  In this case a little too much local culture seems to be on the ship. 

The best in that case will be to take a cruise from HKG or From Singapore , there are nice routes that goes to Vietnam on the Voyager and on the Ovation.

On our cruise from HKG to Singapore (Taiwan and Vietnam) i never encounter any of such issues.  

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14 hours ago, SeaFarers said:

Glad to know that sailings from Hong Kong are excluded from the spitting practice...   I will be sailing on the Ovation from Hong Kong in 12 days. ?

HK was part of the british empire until we stupidly handed it back to the chinese a few years ago, so maybe thats why things like spitting is not allowed

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52 minutes ago, Ray said:

HK was part of the british empire until we stupidly handed it back to the chinese a few years ago, so maybe thats why things like spitting is not allowed

When I visited there a years ago, I could not believe how clean their MTR was.  The reliability and efficiency of their public transportation systems puts anything in NA to shame.

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22 hours ago, hayley_bopp said:

I've heard they form very orderly queues at the Windjammer on the cruises out of HK too ?? ??

Now, I am really looking forward to my 9-day Best of Japan cruise out of HK on May 16.  I got quite worried when I first started reading this thread.   :-)

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  • 2 months later...

I am a Chinese Canadian born citizen and I am familiar with certain despicable etiquette which deeply bothers me. I would have been pissed off as well if I was on this cruise. Things like line budding, coughing without covering your mouth, and spitting/horking all bother me to the core. I understand its part of the culture and this is why I really have no interest travelling to China apart from visiting Hong Kong to visit family. 

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Can you say slip and slide in the Windjammer. YUM YUM  Personally we quit eating in Chinese  restaurants years ago. I passed thru many kitchens during my career and saw things that would make you hurl in a a heart beat. For example taste and spit  was most common.

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