Cruise Show 2016 NEC Review

Why the cruise show and National Express didn’t cut it for me

The Cruise show has been on this weekend at the NEC in Birmingham. 10th and 11th September 2016 which I attended with a friend and her husband and our credit cards. I love cruising, I love reading about cruising and I love finding a good deal so thought this would be the perfect event for me but I was so disappointed.

I really don’t know how they can charge people £10 for entrance. Would you get charged money to go into a travel agent on the high street because that’s all it was, lots of sales people in a big room.

I wanted to find out all about the different world cruises on offer, I mean I know most about it anyway from months of research but when I approached the stands all I was given was a brochure to look at. No one was willing to answer any of my questions. One company even turned her back on me I won’t name and shame them but it was so rude. Was it the way I was dressed? I wasn’t scruffy I had on one of my favourite tops lol or was it my age, do I look as though I don’t have the funds to go on these cruises?, I’m not sure what the reasons but I felt ignored at most of the stands. I was being bypassed for the elderly couple stood next to me. A few times I waited patiently and when the sales person had finished talking they went straight to another couple even though I was first.

It’s like the pretty woman scene where she has the money but no one will sell her anything “Big mistake! huge!” as I would have happily bought a cruise at this show, I was prepared with my credit cards but at least my purse is very happy.

A show like this has so much potential but to be honest it was a waste of time. If you are already into cruising and can surf the internet, then there is nothing different here and to be honest you will get a better deal on the internet. I was even told this by a sales person. I met a friend and her husband who was into cruising and even they were asking questions and nothing was really being answered. I think was of the funniest things was when we went to the India stand, now me and my friend are planning to go to India we said we want to go to India he said “Oh right” and that was it lol

There weren’t even any freebies apart from a few cloth bags with their branding all over anyway.

The best thing about this show was the talk on photography, it was brief and I had heard everything that had been said but it was interesting seeing some of the photos and it has given me some ideas for my next travels.

Also I listened to a talk on Viking cruises and I have been tempted by these for some time as everything is included in the price so even though they seem slightly more expensive they shouldn’t be any more extra costs so I will be looking into this a bit more and hopefully booking something for 2017. Remember Viking I’m a sucker for a bargain so please keep sending me them!

Then there was the stress of actually getting home. I had booked with National Express and haven’t used them before and I don’t think I will in the future. My bus from the airport/NEC stop was due at 3pm, there was a man waiting at the stop and his bus was due at 2.45 and he said it didn’t turn up so when at 3.10pm another bus came I asked if I could get on. The driver said no as I wasn’t insured to be on it and I pleaded with him as I was going to miss my connecting bus from Birmingham coach station to Bristol. He finally let me and the other guy on the bus although it was slightly embarrassing to have to plead to get on a bus. So when we got to Birmingham bus station me and this fella went to the desk to explain what had happened apparently the other guys bus had turned up but hadn’t let him on saying it wasn’t the correct one. And my bus hadn’t even turned up to the airport yet it was now 3.35pm and my connecting bus was 4pm so I asked what would have happened if the driver had kindly not let me on and it was explained to me that I would have missed my connection but they would have happily put me on the next one which was 2 hours later.

This is a stupid service there were spaces on the buses that were arriving and they were going to the same place. I also queried how I was not informed of the delay of my original bus and they said they don’t inform people of delays even though they ask for my mobile number and email address so I don’t know why they can’t let people know.

I was also advised that I couldn’t really make a complaint as I got to the bus station so there isn’t really an issue. Well actually there is because if I wasn’t forceful enough to get on the bus in the first place I would still be waiting at the airport now probably none the wiser on how to get home. So yes the disaster was avoided slightly but due to my actions not that of National Express, So I’m afraid National Express I will be going with the trusty MegaBus in future who I have never had an issue with and are a fraction of the price.

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1 thought on “Cruise Show 2016 NEC Review”

  1. I love a cruise so I thought attending the Cruise Show would be a great opportunity to pick up a bargin… I didn’t pay for my entrance tickets because I used the Daily Mail promotional code to preorder and receive free entrance tickets. The show wasn’t as big as I thought it was going to be and some of the big names weren’t even there….The obvious absentee being Royal Caribbean.
    As mentioned by Travel to Recovery I found that most of the staff on the smaller tourism stands seems disinterested including the India and Korena stands who only pointed out the brochures and didn’t seem interested in striking up a conversation. Was this a language barrier issue??.. Well surely if you want to sell something it would be advisable to be able to converse with potential customers!! I would however like to praise the staff on the VIA Rail Canada stand who took the time to speak about what their trains offered and the various journeys that they do. I came away with the appropriate brochure and a clearer understanding of which journey I would actually like to do and whilst I had never heard of this company I will give serious consideration to using them with a Artic cruise instead of the more famous Rocky Mountaineer. I also thought the cruise lines would be offering some last minute bargins …. how wrong was I… I saw none. They just seemed interested in getting people to book early. So I will just have to go on my Hong Kong /Japanese cruise and then my Transatlantic cruise which I am doing in the next couple of weeks and then when I get back I will have to log onto the internet to find my next bargins for the New Year.

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