A Tasmanian woman’s “deluxe cruise” turned into a nightmare when she encountered filthy rooms, broken air-conditioning, a blocked toilet, rats, and cockroaches.
While embarking on a month-long trip across Asia, Lynne Ryan and five friends booked a two-day cruise in Vietnam’s Halong Bay through a Hanoi travel agent.
Ms Ryan told Yahoo7 the travel agent pulled out a brochure filled with amazing promo pictures, and sold her on a luxury cruise experience.
“I was shown a glossy brochure with a beautiful boat with lovely rooms and dining room,” she said.
But what they were met with was a “crummy boat” that was far from the experience promised.
“As soon as we got on it was shoddy as hell,” she told Yahoo7 of her cruise on May 2.
Once the group inspected the cabins, the experience went from bad to worse. Photographs show filthy rooms, rat droppings, blocked and broken toilets, and cockroaches on the deck.
With temperatures about 30 degrees, the room’s air-conditioners were only allowed to be used between 8pm and 4am, according to Ms Ryan. After sweltering to 8pm, the uncomfortable traveller had to switch rooms because her air-conditioning unit was broken.
She also told of how a friend’s toilet was blocked and the seat broken, while another friend’s bathroom sink wasn’t properly sealed, causing water to leak onto the woman’s feet.
But she considered herself luckier than one of her friends, who found a rat had entered their room through a gap in the window.
“Woke up to find rat poo on their stuff,” she said.
The Devonport woman said she and her friends asked themselves: “How are we going to get through this?” and were thankful the cruise was only one night.
“We just wanted to get off… If we had a two-nighter we would have asked to leave.”
Following the trip, Ms Ryan said she confronted the travel agent about the condition of the boat, and was given a $30 refund for the entire group, who paid $100 each.
“They had all the excuses in the world. They said they didn’t know [the condition of the ship],” she said.
“We would have paid more money if we were getting something better.”
Ms Ryan was determined not to let the horror cruise spoil her trip.
“We survived. We came back in one piece.”
The traveller advised other Aussies considering embarking on cruises overseas is to “Do your research.”
She warned others not to assume what they see in a pretty brochure will be what’s provided.
“Maybe go to multiple travel agencies,” she suggested.