Experience on Noordam of Holland America

Jun 1st, 2014, 11:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1
Experience on Noordam of Holland America

I took an 11-day (5/18-5/29) cruise on Noordam of Holland America that was scheduled to stop at Tunis, Tunisia, the only port I hadn’t been.

It was at sea on 5/20. I left my iPhone on the hand dryer in the handicapped bathroom outside the ship gym. 40 minutes later, it was gone. Yes, my own FAULT for being forgetful!!!

My daughter (a first-year college student) was going to travel alone in China, learning the language. I have all the apps and info on the phone to stay in touch with her (I speak Chinese), and to make sure she is safe in the country.

The ship staff, other than searching my stateroom, told me to wait until it was turned in. At my repeated requests, the cruise director mentioned once on his daily TV chat—“if you lose something, go to the front desk. If you find something, return to the front desk.” Most people, including myself, didn’t hear this.

With extreme worry and stress, I developed an acute infection, and begged for some sort of public message-a desperate plea (a half-page flyer) at my own expense and work for the return of the phone. Whoever got it may not know how much the phone meant to me; and the phone maybe totally useless for him/her. I felt the need to let the person know. It might just be a kid who picked the phone up.

But the hotel director criticized me for being accusatory when I said the ship could do more to help. And the security head told me that “your daughter will be ok”.

I requested to see the captain Bart Vaartjes. The reply was “the captain doesn’t have time to see you, and NEVER will have time to see you!” “Feel free to write to Holland America Company and report this!”

I understand that a cruise ship could not make an announcement for everyone who loses something. But shouldn't an exception be made when a smart phone, with so much info on it, was missing at a public area? No security camera was available.

My daughter is still struggling in China.

The phone is on airplane mode.

Captain Bart Vaartjes announced an itinerary "revision" the night before Noordam was supposed visiting Tunis—cancelled.
cruiseforfunfun is offline  
Jun 1st, 2014, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,621
Sorry about your bad experience. Whoever got your phone obviously did not intend to return and would not have done so no matter how many announcements were made. The wrong person got it and kept it.

I lost my iPhone in Bangkok last yr. in a cab and despite knowing the cab company and the cab number it was not turned in. Just bad luck. I had insurance and eventually got a 5s for the cost of about $170.00 when I was do for an upgrade. If you use the iCloud back up you should be able to get all your apps and data. It worked for me. Did you have the iPhone "find my phone feature? Did you have a pass code lock? When mine was lost I logged on Verizon and deactivated it.

You can easily get a phone cheap that will enable you to call China. I see no reason why your college freshman daughter who is well enough to be alone in China of her own and apparently with your blessing should be struggling for you not having a smart phone. You can replace it easily. It takes very little time.

As for missing Tunis that's too bad but port stops can be cancelled. It happens all the time. We once booked a cruise with a stop in Alexandria which was cancelled after we booked for political reasons. They added Haifa. Then the night before we were to port in Ashdod that was cancelled due to rocket attacks from Gaza. Just have to roll with it. It's not the cruise lines fault.

If you were spoken to that way about seeing the captain you have a reason to be upset. However HAL has a great reputation so I would have to hear their version as well as this is so atypical.

jacketwatch is online now  
Jun 1st, 2014, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,621
I meant to say "should NOT be struggling"
jacketwatch is online now  
Nov 8th, 2014, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1
You say you "understand that a cruise ship could not make an announcement for everyone who loses something. But shouldn't an exception be made"...for you. With all due respect, my answer is no. On my last HAL cruise, I lost my billfold with my cash, cards and identity...arguably more valuable and urgent than your phone. There was no announcement, and I understood why. I empathize, but I accept HAL's policy.
wls1515 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2014, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,549
Such an experience is so upsetting at the time and leaves a bad taste for awhile, so sorry it happened to you.

I do not think it is uncommon. We are often less vigilant on a cruise ship, but there are dishonest, even some really bad or evil people everywhere. I don't think the cruise ship can do a lot about it, no more than if it had happened at a McDonald's. Unfortunately, it might even be one of the ship's crew, but still be difficult to find out. In any case, if an honest person had found it, they would have turned it in. If they were dishonest, no amount of announcements would do any good.

Jacketwatch gave some good ideas for those of us traveling to help in similar cases. Thanks.
Sassafrass is online now  
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