"A Bad Journey"
The initial impression of the 2/3 berth outside cabin was most favourable as it was noticeably larger and had much more storage space than the same class in other shipping lines I am familiar with (TT-line, German, and DFDS, Danish). The bathroom, also, was particularly well-designed and the shower drained without spilling over onto the floor. The bathroom appeared spotlessly clean but the floor of the cabin had not been cleaned as there were bits of paper, thread, dirt, etc. on it.
Otherwise, the trip was a nightmare. In general, the crew were unhelpful, rude and downright offensive. Specifically, a request for our cabin key was reluctantly answered by a stony face and pointing finger, after which the crew member turned her back on us. The reception area operated as a social centre for members of the crew: passengers requiring assistance or information had to wait until one of the ladies at the desk could drag herself away from gossiping/flirting. Food was served for one and a half hours for breakfast and at lunch time. There were no other cooked meals available. There was little choice and food was not labelled.
Two and a half hours before we docked in Genoa we were ordered via the intercom to leave our cabins and collect in the public lounge. This was insufficiently large for the vast numbers of people ordered to assemble there. This was not an emergency: it was apparently regular practice as the cleaning staff needed the time to clean the cabins for the return journey. The public lounge was not a viable, comfortable area for so many people, especially those who are old and/or, like myself, suffering from a debilitating, fatal illness.
Nevertheless, a male cleaner burst into our cabin and started screaming and shouting at us when I refused to get up and leave. Having paid for the cabin I saw no reason for not using it when I needed it. Without asking in any language, he used our telephone to speak to the desk, then handed the phone to me. I listened to a woman who ordered me rudely to leave in five minutes. I explained why I could not and received no answer other than 'five'. In the end we stayed in our cabin, repeatedly harrassed and interrupted until about fifteen minutes before the call for passengers to go to their cars. We spent this time sitting on a bench for wheelchair passengers in the reception area. During this time a number of German foot passengers were herded to the escalator to get their tour bus. Their comments on the crew as 'like Nazi concentration camp guards' were interesting!
The ladies had little English or German and since most of their passengers were English and/or German speaking, communication was impaired. This was not helped by a poor quality intercom: it was impossible to hear announcements even if the speakers could produce good quality language.
If Grandi Navi Veloci are interested in providing an attractive service they need to reorganise their cleaning schedules and cleaning staff, give adequate training in customer relations to all staff, including training in the relevant aspects of a suitable international language, and promote the attitude that La Suprema is run for the benefit of the customer – the passengers – and not the crew.
Reviewed by who travelled with Grandi Navi Veloci on La Suprema