Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cruising Ethics: What would you do?

Imagine that you are confirmed on the cruise and for some terrible reason your roommate cancels. You have two choices. Do you let Rose Tours assign the next person on the wait list to take your roommate's spot, or do you find someone on your own and arrange a name change?

Two people from the wait list got confirmed this week, but I don't know if it was from cancellations. However, I also know of at least two instances where remaining roommates found and selected a person on their own. (One was on the message boards, and some of the responders were offering to pay for both their own spot and that of the vacancy poster. Don't know if they succeeded.)

On the surface, the hand picking seems completely unfair and wrong. You're barely in the room anyway; who cares if you are BFF, right? But on the other hand, this person will have access to all your stuff. There's only one safe in the room. Most people on the wait list are probably not thieving scuzzbags, but do you take the chance?

@knlsmom also pointed out that if you do a name change, you only pay $100, but if you have a cancelation, you forfeit at least 25% of your payment. That seems to discourage using the wait list too.

Please let me know what you think in the comments.

UPDATE: Early poll results show that most people would hand pick. So I've started a thread for people looking for cruise spots to post their wanted ads and tell us about themselves. We're a calmer group, I think, than ning, so please take advantage of this space to find a roomie if you need one.


  1. I would let Rose Tours pick from the wait list because I would hope, if I were on the list, that I would get picked. I just wouldn't bring anything that I couldn't tolerate being stolen, not that everybody would steal.

  2. I'm curious as to why the handpicking seems unfair? Is it because some people are attempting to buy their way onto the boat by paying the cost for the poster? I agree that is a bit repulsive. However, I am confirmed on the boat and should my roommate not be able to go, I would absolutely be choosing who I was going to room with. If I wanted to room with a stranger, I would have signed up for the roommate matching program. I'm not taking expensive jewelry,etc., but I like my things and you're sharing a walk- in closet sized room with someone who has full access to your things. I would hope I could reach out to my personal BH network and find a replacement and not simply place a posting on ning. I think it's strange that people are so worked up, saying that people shouldn't take their husbands or children or pick a roommate replacement because you're taking a space away from someone who wants to be there. Well, technically yes, however, who is someone else to determine who I should and should not vacation with?!?

  3. I would pick one of my own friends who didn't get a spot on the boat for whatever reason. I would want to spend my time with them. Sorry if they sucks for those on the waitlist, but I dont know you and you're not gonna take priority over my real friends.

  4. I booked on roommate match you have to have faith that it will work out for the best. I have respect for others so I expect the same from others. As Katie put are out of the room for most of the time right? And if we are all on the boat for the same reason, it should be great to get the opportunity to make new friends and have NKOTB be the matchmaker!

  5. I think it's everyone's decision who they choose to room with. Some are more comfortable sharing their private space than others. If I was the one with a free place in my cabin I would let RT choose for me just because it would save me a lot of hassle and if it doesn't work out I have someone else to blame - haha! This roomie might become one of my best friends - lots of bonding happens in such an enclosed space.
    I realise that a lot of people are scared to room with someone they don't know. Believe me, it is a lot of fun. I haven't done it on a cruise but I spent 10 months in a backpackers in mixed dorms (yes, that means male and female share a room!). Sometimes I had new room mates every day, sometimes they stayed for a few days / weeks / months. In total we were 6 people in the room (26 people in the backpackers in total and 3 shower rooms, 1 kitchen ,1 living room and 1 phone to be shared by all of us!). I was supposed to stay only for a few days until I found a room somewhere to live. I am a very shy person and find it difficult to talk to people I don't know. That's why I wanted to find a single room somewhere else. I ended up having such a great time at the backpackers that I ended up staying for 10 months (the best 10 months of my life, seriously!). I met so many people from all nationalities and walks of lives and had such a great time, it's something I will cherish forever. I even met a few NK fans - we were sitting at breakfast dreaming about a reunion. Now I lost touch with them and can't enjoy it with them - bugger! I'm still in touch with a few other people, who became close like sisters to me. Don't be scared to meet new people - show that you have an open mind and an open heart and the rest is easy esp. since you already have the appreciation for NKOTB in common.
    I hope it works out for everyone who wants to go. I'm on the waitlist and don't think there will be enough cancellations for me to go. Everyone who does go have fun!

  6. Personally I would probably hand pick who I wanted to go. I'd rather have someone I knew or at least one of my cruisemates knew if at all possible.

    One of our cruisemates did have to back out and we helped her find the replacement. It was a friend of one of our other cruisers.

    Also, if I really wanted to get on the boat and I hadn't got on....I'd probably offer to pay the other cruisers expenses too. It's not THAT repulsive. If you want to get on the boat bad enough you'll do whatever you can. Now to ASK for someone to pay those fees IS repulsive. But to accept someone who's willing to over someone who's not, well it's all about money honey.

    Just keep in mind, November is right around the corner, and even *I* don't have the whole $400 yet. I'm sure there will be several cancellations, unfortunately.

    That's how I got on the boat this last time. There were several cancellations and by the time the boat was set to sail, there were STILL rooms left on the boat. (I heard it sold out the day before sailing but I'm not sure if that's true)

  7. I chose handpicking because I have a friend who is on the waitlist and I would want to choose her if I had a vacancy in my cabin. That is the only reason. I would feel horrible if I let Rose Tours randomly assign someone to my room while she is still trying to get on the boat.

  8. Teresa-

    Since the one canceling is the one who has to call Rose Tours and give them permission for the new person to take over, it would be the canceling person choosing their replacement (ideally she/he would allow friends going to help choose, but maybe not). In my case there were 15 in my group and 1 (plus her roomie) are on the priority waitlist...I think any of the 14 of us would pick her to replace us should we need to cancel so that she could get her spot she thought she already had. We are going on the cruise to see our guys and vacation with each other so would do that rather than letting Rose Tours pick someone for us.

  9. If my roommate cancelled I would almost definitely pick my own roommate. It really doesn't have anything to do with rooming with someone I don't know (for me, at least). I don't mind meeting new people. It's more that I PERSONALLY know people who are on the waitlist and I would feel horrible if I had an opening and didn't let a friend have an opening. I can see where that seems unfair, but If I had the opportunity to get a friend on the boat that was dying to go, I would do it.

  10. As someone on the waitlist, my opinion is probably biased, but I think it should be left to Rose Tours to assign people from the waitlist to room openings. We all wasted our entire day the day cabins went on sale trying to get on that boat, and it's only fair to let us all have a chance to openings as they become available....But as I said, I am patiently awaiting my name to be called off the waitlist, and if I already had a cabin I suppose my opinion may be different. No way to know until if and when my number comes up for the picking :)

  11. If my roomie (or I for that matter) had to cancel, I would handpick my replacement. But not from a random posting on ning or anywhere else. I have several friends who missed the boat and I would want one of them to be in our room.

  12. As a wait lister I would hope you'd all let RT decide.

    But if it were me with a spot in my room I'd want to hand pick.

    lol...a contradiction I know! I just want on the boat!

    For the Wait Listers who are upset with the handpicking going on - think of it this way... chances are the hand picked people are on the wait list too. And if they were ahead of you in line then you've just moved up a spot!