Donny & Marie Cruise

(NOTE: If you are only interested in my evaluation of the Donny & Marie events and the cruise line, skip down to HERE)

INTRODUCTION

My girlfriend Jane approached me last September about the Donny & Marie Cruise.  She’s always wanted to see them in Vegas and we hadn’t had the chance yet (even though we go to Vegas everytime we go out to Utah to visit my parents).  So she thought this was a great opportunity.  We booked the cruise and our airfare not knowing exactly what to expect (the itinerary didn’t really clue you in).

I’m not a huge Donny & Marie fan.  They’re a little bit country and rock n‘ roll… I’m a little bit head banger (KISS, Motely Crue, etc.).  Also I grew up in Orem, Utah… the sister city to Provo where the Osmonds grew up and so to us they were just the local celebrities.  When I was older and bought my first house it was just 2 blocks south of Osmond Lane (Dover Drive) in Provo.  I always wondered if any Osmonds still lived on the lane?  There’s also Redford drive right next to it, but I don’t think Robert lives there.  At any rate I had seen Donny & Marie perform at various 4th of July events in the BYU football stadium (wonder if Donny remembers being suspended in the helicopter when Bob Hope MC’d?) and seeing Marie at softball games (not sure if that was husband #2?).

But I knew Jane really wanted to do this and I personally love cruising (mostly for the days at sea where I can curl up with a book on the top deck).  It was also my birthday week, so we were excited.

DAY 0 – FT. LAUDERDALE (photos)

As with any cruise, it’s a good idea to fly out the day before.  So we decided to spend the night in Ft. Lauderdale at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six just minutes away from Port Everglades where the cruise ship was to leave the next day.

When Jane booked the room we just thought we were booking a normal hotel room.  Wow… were we surprised when we walked into a suite with a lobby… yes a lobby… a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, huge bedroom, and 2 bathrooms!  Unbelievable.  And as we talked to other people we found out we got this suite for 25% less than they paid for 1 room.  Nice!

We went to a fantastic birthday dinner at the Pier 66 Grill and Jane surprised me with a birthday cake.  We then went walking along the pier and came across Steven Speilberg’s Yacht worth $220 million.  We learned you could rent it for $1.6 million a week.

DAY 1 – BOARDING THE SHIP (photos)

The next morning we swam in the beautiful pool and waited until we could head over to the port and start boarding the ship.

Once at the port, things got a little bit confusing — and I’ve been on 4 other cruises.  I’ll say this up front.  MSC is by far the worst cruise line I’ve sailed on, with NCL (Norwegian) being the best.  I’ll comment more later on what went wrong with MSC (which had very little to do with Donny and Marie).

We managed to get boarded, go to our room, find registration for the Donny and Marie events.  They gave a lanyard with a pass that said either GUEST, VIP, or STAFF.  On the reverse side they all seemed identical.  This becomes very important later when I discuss one of the main problems with the way the D&M events were handled.

We then explored the ship and accidentally stumbled into the theatre where Marie was rehearsing (and quickly got kicked out).  Pretty soon it was time for the lifeboat drill that everyone must attend before leaving dock.  This was utter chaos is all I can say.  We showed up at the scheduled time of 5:15p with our life vests and sat for an entire half hour waiting.  When they did show up they proceeded to do the drill in 5 different languages which basically multiplied the time by 5.  By the time we finished we had 5 minutes to get back and get ready for dinner.  I have never experienced this chaos on any other cruise line.

MSC dinner’s were a disappointment.  The presentation was non-existent and it also was becoming clear that no one spoke english very well (it’s an Italian cruise line with Indonesian employees).  Lots of mistakes made and the food really wasn’t up to the caliber I’ve had on other cruise lines.

That night was a Q&A session with Donny and Marie.  Our first event.  Donny came down the isle right next to where we were seated.  Pretty cool.  Then Marie came on stage.  They then proceeded to answer questions from the audience.  The only problem with this is right before the cruise they had asked us all to email questions to them.  None of those questions were used.  Instead we got crazed fanatics who told Donny that they owed them this or that he promised them that.  It was really embarrassing.  I walked away from the event somewhat disheartened.

By the way… here are my two questions I submitted and still would love to hear the answers to:

  1. Hi Donny. I use to live in Provo, Utah just 2 blocks south of Osmond Lane. I heard you once lived just north of there in the house on the hill. I got to walk through it once when it was up for sale. What was with all the jacuzzis and the bar? Definitely seemed like a bachelor pad. LOL!
  2. Hi Donny.  I know you are an electronics tinkerer. I heard that you are the one that actually invented the wireless microphone? I think I remember being one of the first people to use one on the Donny & Marie show. Is that true?

That night we got back to the room and realized we had 1.5 pillows (one was a baby pillow).  We called 99 (the reception desk) and immediately it would say push 5 to get a callback.  We did this and would get a callback with no one on the other end.  This continued several times.  Finally we got through to someone and asked for 3 REAL pillows.  An hour passed and nothing.  We called again.  Same sequence… 99… 5… wait… no one on the other end… repeat… repeat… finally someone.  “Can we get our pillows?”.  “They’ll be right there!”.  Another hour later… we did the same thing.  Finally at 1AM I went down to reception and informed them I was going to stand right there until I got our pillows.  I sat there for 15 minutes and finally she said they were headed up to our room.  15 minutes later he arrived with 3 of the worst excuses for pillows, but they were sufficient.  Another MSC fail.

DAY 2 – NASSAU (photos)

I had been to Nassau 20 years ago.  It had been with my first wife and all she liked to do was shop.  So I wasn’t too thrilled with the prospect of going there again.  Especially since we hadn’t booked any excursion because the D&M people hadn’t bothered to give us an itinerary up front.  We only knew what we were doing when they left the program in our room each night for the next day.  So we didn’t have anything planned for Nassau.

However… while staying in Ft. Lauderdale we talked to a couple at the pool who had just come back from Nassau.  They told us we should rent a scooter and drive half the length of the island down the Jaws Beach (where the movie was filmed as well as the Flipper TV show).  I had a little trepidation about doing this as I don’t think I had been on a scooter since my brother’s mo-ped in our teens.  But we did it.  Once we got out of the city and got the hang of driving on the left side of the road it was a blast.  After only one wrong turn the entire time we arrived at Jaws Beach.  Check out the photos to see how beautiful it was.  There were Manta Rays in the water and it was so blue.

Unfortunately Jane had an accident here.  One of the pier planks had broken and she tripped on it and landed on her knee and elbow.  It proved to hinder some of her activity the rest of the trip.  And when we got back to the boat and called for ice, 3 hours later nothing still had arrived so Jane used various items from the mini bar to keep it iced.  Friggin’ MSC.

So Nassau was AWESOME and we got to do something we hadn’t done before… scootering.  We also had a great lunch down by the Fish Fry restaurant and had a fish stew consisting of Snapper, Grouper, and Conch.  Yum!  Plus they had a Calypso band playing.  Lots of fun.  It was just unfortunate Jane got hurt.

When we got back to the ship Jane went to Marie’s talk while I took the opportunity to take a dip in the pool.  When Jane came back she went on and on about her new admiration for Marie.  She said it was a very emotional talk and she related to so many of the things Marie talked about.  So thanks Marie for helping so many women.

That night Jane was really excited.  It was the sock hop.  Well, that’s what the paperwork said.  It really turned out to be a 70s TV themed costume contest.  So the poodle skirt Jane had gone out to buy, thinking this was a good ole’ fashioned sock hop where we would be dancing, suddenly had to become a Laverne and Shirley Poodle Skirt as Marie would later put it (same for the other 6 or 7 women who showed up in the same thing, thinking that’s what a sock hop meant).  So now that it was a costume contest and there wasn’t really any dancing (whew… I was relieved) Jane decided to go up on stage and have her costume judged.  I cheered for her… even though no one else did.  But she got to meet Marie and be up on stage with Donny, even if it was just for a moment.  Pretty cool!  I think the kid in the young Donny costume was the winner.  Marie and her husband dressed up as Farrah and Lee Major while Donny and his bandmates dressed up as the Village People and did YMCA.

When we go back to our room we watch a NCL ship come in drop someone off and take back off.  We assumed a heart attack or something.  Shortly after that another NCL ship came in with party horns blaring.  A little more exciting than the viewing of “Inception” taking place up on our pool deck!

DAY 3 – AT SEA (photos)

The days at sea are my favorite.  I took my copy of “Walk In The Woods” paperback by Bill Bryson and headed up to the top deck.  Jane wasn’t feeling well, but decided to go to the gym and work out (she’s way better about this than I am).  Plus she had picked up on a comment Donny had made earlier about being in the gym on Thursday to train some women who had won a workout with Donny.  So she wondered if he might show.

As she was finishing her routine Donny came in with the women.  I was thumbing through my paperback when Jane came running up ecstatic.  “Where’s the camera?  I don’t have my camera and Donny is in the gym!”.  I handed her the camera from my pack.  She asked me to go, but I was really enjoying the sun and the good book and I really wanted her to experience this.  So I encouraged her to go back and see if she could get a picture.  So she did, and Donny was gracious enough to take a photo with her.

One comment here… Donny and Marie made themselves pretty accessible to the public, though they always had body guards around them.  I personally never spotted them on the ship or islands, but Jane saw them various times.  Probably because I was always looking for places to be away from the crowds and Jane was always out doing something.  Donny and Marie were unconditionally polite, even if the fans sometimes weren’t very courteous… for example the guy who squeezed Marie’s butt when he hugged her.  I don’t quite understand this ENTITLEMENT that fans (or fanatics as Jane eloquently put it) feel.  One women showed up at every event in the first row and continually took up time to ask Donny some crazy question.  Again, a little disheartening… but I commend Donny and Marie for handling it so graciously.  They are really sweet people and don’t act like “hollywood” type stars.

That night was the concert we had all waited for.  This was definitely the highlight of the cruise.  They performed a lot of classics and their broadway stuff.  I have to say… Donny’s vocals were spot on.  And the band was fantastic.  The keyboardist was really really good.  After that event we felt pretty good about the experience and were glad we had made the trip, even if some things up to that point had not gone completely smooth.

DAY 4 – COCOCAY (photos)

Before heading over to CocoCay we went to the donny.com event.  This was mainly a venue for Donny’s Make A Difference Foundation, but he intermixed it with some musical numbers.  He did YoYo (not something I was familiar with — not being a Donny fan) and danced unbelievably.  This guy is fit!  We left that event early, knowing that all the tenders (little boats over to the island) would get crowded once it was over.  We heard later that Donny came over on the public tender along with everyone else.  That tells you how accessible he made himself.  I don’t think many stars would do that.

CocoCay was just beautiful.  Again… we found a nice secluded cabana and I whipped out my book while Jane went exploring.  She again saw Donny over in the lunch area.  She came back and encouraged me to take a walk a ways down the beach to the nature trail.  It was really beautiful.  Jane almost stepped on a string ray.  It was within 5 feet of her when we noticed it.  Yikes!

For that evening’s dinner Jane again surprised me and had the waiters sing Happy Birthday and brought out a cake for our dinner.  That was really sweet.  Thanks Jane!

It was then time for our final event.  The talent show where Donny and Marie were like American Idol judges.  It was a really good event.  I’m assuming Donny and Marie did not intend for it to end like it did.  I won’t go into any more detail than that.  Let’s just say Donny and Marie were both on the floor laughing when the event was over and the curtain had to come down.  I imagine they wanted to do more as far as let us know where we could leave feedback about the cruise, etc.  Kind of a strange ending, but it just went to show how human they are and how comfortable they felt around all there fans.  It was like we were one big family just joking with each other.  I suspect from Donny’s comments about the video montage that he wasn’t impressed with MSC and that they had been questioning the MSC choice as well.  I hope so.

SUMMARY

You might get the impression from all my complaining that this cruise was unenjoyable.  Quite the contrary.  We had a fantastic time.  My purpose for doing this lengthy prose is to hopefully help Donny and Marie out with next year’s cruise.  I am by no means alone here.  I heard these sentiments from many others.  So here’s my opinion of things that could be fixed to make the cruise more enjoyable next year.  I’m splitting out the MSC comments from the DONNY AND MARIE ones because the MSC failures had nothing to do with them.

DONNY AND MARIE

As I said above.  Donny and Marie are true professionals and the most gracious stars I have ever seen.  Even when the fans were inconsiderate they were sweet and brushed them off nicely (although the guy who squeezed Marie’s butt should have been banned from all future events — and possibly dumped overboard).  When the woman needed help getting through her Make A Difference speech because her hands were shaking so bad, Donny came over and held her papers for her.  How sweet.  Both Jane and I have a new admiration for both of them.

Here’s a few suggestions for next years cruise:

  • Ditch MSC.  Worst cruise line I have ever been on.  I heard others say this as well.  Take a look at NCL.  Their staff is well trained, speak english, and are considerate.
  • Take over the entire cruise.  This split cruise was both disruptive to the non D&M’ers as well as the fans.  It was almost like 2 cruises were going on at the same time.  If you took over the entire ship and scaled back some of the activities I think people would be happy with 2 shows to choose from per night.  It would also prevent the problem of non pass holders trying to get into events they shouldn’t have been at.  I felt bad for the “other” entertainers on board who only got half an audience.
  • Fix your badges.  I heard stories of people misusing the badges.  Either slipping into the VIP line or sending a pass back out with someone to get a non-pass holder back in.  Maybe a bar code and scanner.  If you go with taking over the entire cruise then allow each person to attend only once per night.
  • Itinerary MUST be available at the time of registration.  I had no idea what we were buying and was unable to schedule any excursions because we didn’t know until the night before what was going on.  FIX THIS PLEASE.  And don’t taunt us with the fact that you have the entire schedule but don’t want to share it.  That’s just mean Greg.
  • Make the itinerary clearer.  A good example is the sock hop.  Do you know why there were so many poodle skirts?  Because I think people thought this was a sock hop.  No where did I see any information that this was a 70s TV themed costume contest. (UPDATE: someone sent me a link that showed that this was specified as a 70s themed event — but I still contend the description did not match what actually occurred)

MSC CRUISE LINE

  • As I said… MSC is the worst cruise line I have ever been on.
  • The tips are included in price so there is no reason to give good service.  Literally no one was friendly or considerate.  I waited 45 minutes for something to drink one night.  Another waitress said something to the effect of “LET ME FINISH” when someone at the buffet asked her something.
  • Huge language barrier.  Even asking for a P-L-A-T-E became a chore.
  • Life boat drill was a joke.  Started 30 minutes late and went right up until our 6p dinner seating.  Doing it in 5 different languages was completely ridiculous.
  • We never did know who our cabin steward was.  I’ve never had this happen before.  On NCL our steward always showed up when we returned and asked how dinner or our excursion was.  I never saw ours on this trip.
  • They washed the side of boat while we are sitting on tenders.  I don’t think that was just water coming down.
  • Calling the reception desk was a process in insanity.  Those who hit 99 then 5 and then waited know what I’m talking about.  Worst customer service ever.

Thanks to Donny and Marie for a wonderful cruise.  Yes, there were hitches, but that’s to be expected on the first outing.  Please listen to your fans and fix this for the next time.  Jane wants to go again.  I told her if it’s on MSC I will not go.  Now… if it’s the KISS cruise… well… I’ll overlook that! :)

Take care!

 

 

Comments

30 Responses to “Donny & Marie Cruise”

  1. Gayle Gondek on March 4th, 2012 5:44 pm

    I agree with absolutely every single word that you said about the Donny and Marie cruise…as I’m sure many others do too!!!

  2. Amy on March 4th, 2012 5:48 pm

    At least you got your pillows!!! We were told to be patient and they were on there way. Maybe the next set of guests got ours. Other than that I really liked MSC & I have been on NCL. Although NCL is Top Notch (so there you can’t really compare)

    As far as The D&M side of the cruise. Well yes we absolutely need itinerary’s before hand. Giving people seat numbers would be a HUGE help, lining up 2 hours before a show is rediculous. Giving the VIP their goody bags when they registered would have been a nice thought. I really could have used that tote bag in the Bahamas!! Poor poor planning on their part.

    As far as Donny & Marie, they are incredible. Unfortunately, I think they weren’t that accessible which made the fans panic and hoard them when they got the chance. As a fan I know the only souvenir we really want to walk away with is a picture with them. If they could just do a really quick in and out 2 second picture with everyone right up front I think everyone would back off the rest of the time. They just want that one second that they know they D&M saw them and the bragging rights when they go home. One more thing, dare I say….. Most of us left our families at home because D&M said this was a cruise for the fans. As much as I loved seeing his family roaming the ship I felt bad that some of the fans mobbed them as well. I don’t think it was fair to us or them as Donny’s attention was divided. Don’t get me wrong I loved seeing them all there but time & place for everything.

  3. Sherry on March 4th, 2012 6:02 pm

    Hi,

    I just read your blog and loved reading it. I’m glad you told it like it was about the cruise line and that you enjoyed your D&M events. Sorry to hear about your girlfriend getting injured – but so happy she got her moment with Donny in the gym.

    Thanks for sharing your trip.

  4. Rosemary Myers on March 4th, 2012 6:37 pm

    Nicely Said! My husband would totally agree as well. He also is not a Donny fan and won’t cruise MCS again. Like you we love NCL!

  5. Robin on March 4th, 2012 6:42 pm

    I really enjoyed your comments, they were so right on! From the “baby” pillows to the end. Thank you for writing it up so elloquently. I have only cruised with Royal Caribbean before (6 times), and promise to NEVER cruise with MSC even if Donny and Marie do. Which is sad to say, since I have been to all the Donny.com get togethers since 2006 that were in the USA.

  6. Ted on March 4th, 2012 7:58 pm

    Even though the cruise line’s service was horrid, it sounds like the two of you had a wonderful time. I’ve never been a fan of the Osmond’s music, but there’s no denying that they can entertain a crowd.

  7. Judy Merritt on March 4th, 2012 10:26 pm

    I also was on the cruise and I agree with all your insight and suggestions. It was a first cruise for me and now I know why I was underwhelmed. I have been to many Marie doll events and have been to Vegas to see the show (please go and do the meet and greet, you will be impressed)and I must say I have never been involved in such an ill run full of rude and entitled over zealous fans plus the security was heavy handed when it didn’t have to be and vise versa.

  8. Denise on March 5th, 2012 10:55 am

    Hi Doug, I agree with everything you said. It was my first cruise so I have nothing to compare it with but apart from the waiter staff in the buffet, who seemed to want everyone else to stand out of the way when they were coming, we bumped into our steward a couple of times, and asked him for extra pillows but otherwise never saw him. Also the restuarant steward was very attentive and remembered the wine we were drinking and that lemon was required for the water. I thought the food was really nice too. I was disappointed not to bump into or even have an arranged picture taken with Donny as is usually the case at his GT’s. Your wife was very lucky to bump into him and get a photo. You said you left the GT early so you didn’t see Donny near the end constantly looking at his watch and check with the staff how near the time it was to finishing the GT. It showed he was more interested in going to CocoCay than being at the GT and that annoyed me. I did enjoy all the events especially the last one. I cried with laughter at that one.

  9. Linda P. Lim on March 5th, 2012 11:42 am

    Thanks for sharing the experiences of your trip . I would have loved to go but due to the fact that I am very busy at work and not being able to take leave to go to US for a week, I decided it is not for me this time . Donny & Marie are just wonderful and they are very nice to their fans . I have enjoyed their shows in Las Vegas for the past 3 years ( 2009-2011 ) . You must go and see them .Remember to get the VIP ticket for the Meet & Greet . There you can have your pix taken with them . Once again, thank you for writing and posting your comments of the cruise .

  10. Joan on March 5th, 2012 12:08 pm

    Hi Doug!!
    Doug Davies
    “Here’s my blog entry concerning the Donny & Marie cruise. We had a great time but there were definitely some inaugural growing pains. My post separates the D&M issues from the MSC issues, since they had no control over that. Enjoy! Please leave feedback on the blog if you will.”

    I have read your blog on Donny’s Facebook There has been ALOT of complaints and problems with “The Donny And Marie Crusie 2012″ I have never seen so many complaints. BUT?? there was alot of good to!

    I did not want to go on this cruise for various reasons. Not just because of this.

    I have seen the pics from other fans sent in from this cruise, and I have noticed some of the pics of JUST Donny and Marie were not TOO happy. But u can c some of the pics of JUST of themselves..NOT too happy.

    I have spoke to Donny Osmond personally and they both (him and Marie) did like it very much. They tried to M&G and get to EVERYONE!

    Well? I hope EVERYONE did like this and went on this cruise. Some of the other fans complained that it was too expensive. And they didn’t get to go. Well? again, you can’t please everyone! Just gotta please yourself.

    Thanks..Oh BTW..great site!!!

  11. Anonymous on March 5th, 2012 12:34 pm

    Doug, glad u r NOT a BIG fan of The Osmonds..cause let me tell you..there is NOT a good side to Donny Osmond.
    Let me ask you this before I lead on. Donny ALWAYS says “my wife this..my wife that..my wife, my wife”. NOW, Let me ask you this?? Have you EVER heard “Debbie” Donny’s “WIFE”. Ever say “My Husband”???? Well? have ya? be honest!! I have NEVER heard “Debbie” say My Husband..nor say My husband this, my husband that. Whenever she was intervied by other media. I have heard by other people MYSELF that “Debbie” Osmond is VERY damanding and VERY rude. I MUST say NOW..I TOTALY agree. I met her myself..and NOT a very friendly person.
    Donny tends to change some his stories..check out some interviews on youtube..u will c.

    Here’s one person you MAY reconize, Tina Salmon, she used to be an ASST to Donny she wrote and post this herself. NOW why…WHY on earth she go and post this???? And she quotes:

    “There is alot u do NOT know about Donny Osmond..there is the good..and there is the bad.
    1. He is NOT Mormon…2. He does drink alittle..3. He has a girlfriend. And finally..Donny IS NOT really Married!!!!!!!!!!
    You all may not believe to this above…but this is very true..I used to work with him!!
    Ohh, no worries there is alot more that u all do not know about Donny Osmond.

    Somehow I’m thinking I now know a lot more than I ever thought I would…” Tina Salmon

    Well? you figure it out. I am glad u are NOT a BIG fan. There has been other fans THAT used to be fans..now they are seeing this truth too.

    Thankyou!

  12. Alison Howorth on March 5th, 2012 2:18 pm

    Love your perspective on this and agree with the majority of your comments.This was my first cruise so I had nothing with which to compare,I am English and in the main I enjoyed the Msc experience…….maybe it’s a European thing!!! I hate queuing and also think that a better system for seating at the various events should be adopted.From a true fans perspective I feel opportunities were missed with the merchandise stalls-they were mainly open when Donny & Marie did their show,and when Donny’s G.T. Was on (so who would be shopping then??!!) I went with a couple of my friends at 9p.m. On Donny’s day to be greeted with the guys who were selling it surrounded by boxes……..they had packed up early something to do with not being allowed to sell it?? I felt there were definitely missed opportunities there ( have a sales & marketing background) let me loose with it!!!!
    Thankyou for this Doug.x

  13. Donna Lane on March 5th, 2012 4:36 pm

    I too was on the cruise and agree with all that you said. I appreaciate you being factual and not making personal attacks as I have read in some complaints. As for the 70′s TV Themed Sock Hop, I was unsure of what that was going to be so I ended up wearing a “Poodle Skirt” and also paraded across the stage. My main objective for the week was a pic with Donny! Even though I ran into him several times during the week he was always bombarded with “crazy Donny fans”, as I labeled them. I felt sorry for him and just gave up on getting my pic! My friend and I plan to get VIP tickets and go to Vegas. All and all I had a great time!! I am really exhausted now, but plan to go again next time, but hopefully not on MSC!! Thanks again for your blog, it was a nice way to put the week in perspective!

  14. Lisa on March 5th, 2012 5:56 pm

    I too am in agreement!! We love NCL hate MSC. Took us 2 hours for room svc, since no food was available btw 10 and 11:30, but my husband fell asleep before it was delivered so I called to cancel. LOL but I ended up with TWO trays of food at diff times, it was nuts!! Donny and Marie are sincere and think they will work out the kinks, but changing to a different ship would mean they listen to their fans. The MSC staff were rude, one maitre d in particular was horrible, ‘just find your seats’ was his attitude and ‘no its after 6 you should have been her on time, dont you know the time?’ was NOT what I was used to on NCL…. But as you said, the performances were great….. I was happy to get only one pic at the vow ceremony with D&M but that was wonderful!!

  15. Karen W. on March 5th, 2012 6:55 pm

    You’re a good writer, Doug, and a good sport. You expressed it all so well, and I’m going to share this with people asking me about the cruise.

  16. Karen R. on March 5th, 2012 9:35 pm

    What to say..what to say. This was my 10th cruise and 1st time on MSC. Never again – I had the same trouble all of you did – never saw my cabin steward, tried calling front desk to no avail, didnt understand why in 2012 someone couldn’t leave me a message in ,y room..instead I had to rely on “knowing” a blinking red light simply meant someone tried to get me. gee, thanks.
    The fact that there was no food to be found after 10ish was a joke! I had prepared my 2 1st time cruising friends that “food will be everywhere – 24/7″ Boy, did i look like a fool. At 11:30 all i found was a hamburger roll with a slice of man and cheese on it and a rotten pear – seriously!!!

    As for Donny and Marie – I have a few thoughts –
    * I , too have a new found love for Marie. I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between she and Donny
    *I have been a fan of his for 25 years and his voice is flawless – loved the concert!
    * I too, was VERY disappointed with the Q&A as I did AS I WAS TOLD and sen tin a question ahead of time.
    *Also was disappointed in the talent show as far as I was told ahead of time that we could do a skit. My friends and I spent a lot of time and money on costumes etc and then found out that we were signed up for the wrong thing – but found out too late – very sloppy work by Donny’s staff there.
    *They tried to squeeze too many activities into 4 days and i feel alot of them ended up being half a**ed because of it!
    *Finally – I agree with Amy as far as this being a cruise for Fans…Its ok if Donny wanted to bring his family on this cruise but being told on board ship that he “has to go, has to go, ” or “dont go near him at a movie, or when he shows up for karaoke” and then being told when you try to say hi to him on the island by Security “not to go near him when with his family- on board is the place to approach him..” made for some disheartened fans. If he wanted to go on a cruise with his family go on the Norwegian Jewel next to us where he would go unnoticed DONT GO on a ship with 1,200 of your closest fans!
    ** And despite all that – he rocks and I love him!!!

  17. ursula on March 5th, 2012 11:14 pm

    Doug

    You might want to share with your girlfriend that the ladies in the gym with Donny didn’t win a workout with him, they paid $8500 for there cruise to get the chance to spend a half hour with him and fans kept coming in wanting his attention too.

  18. Doug on March 5th, 2012 11:16 pm

    @ursula thanks for the info. I did not know that. I thought there was a drawing or something I missed. I wonder how the people were selected for the dinner with Donny as well? I never heard anything about that. Thanks again.

  19. M.A.D For God on March 6th, 2012 3:08 pm

    Well? For some people it was worth every penny…for others was NOT worth $$$$

    Still? no matter how everyone felt, or been thorugh, good or bad, I hope EVEN BETTER for all!!!! Next time!!

    Remember? give the respect TO ALL not just one or two people.

    We are ALL humans we MUST TRY to get along grin and bare it.

    Some fans couldn’t even go on this Cruise cause it was way too expensive for them or other reasons…cause they diffinally deserve that happiness to!!.

    You know there are other celebs that have fans too and they are going thorugh the same thing as we are all going thorugh. One is not happy while the other one is happy.

    We ALL got to get along NO mattter WHO or WHAT we are. Kindness, Giving, And most of all the OUTMOST of all Peace and Respect..that what this WHOLE world needs.

    So, LET’s ALL get along…LET”S ALL make a Difference in this world rather then being rude or other. Cause this will NOT get us ANYWERE!

    So next GT? OR whatever The Osmonds decide, or even Donny himself OR both Donny and Marie
    LETS ALL TRY to cope and get along The GOOD and BAD! No matter how bad things get..shake a hand..Let’s try to put back the HUMAN kindness back into this world AND SHOW OTHERS we MEAN BUSINESS!!!!!!! What do you all think??

    PEACE BABIES!!

    M.A.D (Make/making A Difference for God!!!

  20. Millsmom on March 6th, 2012 3:28 pm

    Doug

    I very much enjoyed reading your report, thanks for sharing. I am a Donny fan, and been to several concerts in the UK and he always gets mobbed, and unfortunately there are people who spoil it for others expecting to get more of his time than most. He turns us into teenages again I think lol.
    Anon…. Where on earth did you get that untruthful rubbish that you have quoted? Donny IS certainly married, a Mormon, never drinks alcohol, and whilst Tina did work for him, she would never betray his trust and talk about him. and I think it would be public knowledge if he had a girlfriend, or maybe that is you!!! lol, You are deluded!

  21. Missy on March 6th, 2012 3:43 pm

    Hi Doug- This was exactly as i remember it too!! I can’t agree more with everything you said!! Iactually DID think the last show was one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen (probably becuz I am an Osmond fan and have seen them in so many circumstances- I loved how open and “normal” they were with us).I really thought it was hilarious and am hoping someone has it on youtube.. I laughed till I split most of the times they were around (and its hard to get me laughing, I promise!). Anyways – I do think the long lines were really hard for us fans- there has to be a way around that. I know some people had some good ideas for next year – so hopefully- they’ll reconfigure that and give everyone a chance to be up close at their performances or events…Thanks for your thorough comments – I enjoyed seeing that someone else had the same experiences as we had! Again- it was amazing but horrible on the part of MSC!!!

  22. Carla on March 6th, 2012 5:47 pm

    Doug,
    Thank you very much for sharing your experience and lovely pictures. Many of us were unable to to on this cruise, so it was delightful to enjoy it vicariously through you.
    I do hope Jane is fully recovered from her injuries, and I’m glad you had a great time despite the cruise line blunders.
    I feel bad for those who encountered “fans” like Anonymous above from March 5th post at 12:34 pm. Yes, Donny and Marie are beyond gracious even to those who cross over into “fanatic” range. Sadly, many who are mentally ill get too close to them.
    Again, I appreciate your perspective!

  23. Cheryl lawson on March 8th, 2012 2:24 am

    Donny did not like MSC either!

  24. Doug on March 8th, 2012 12:37 pm

    @cheryl How do you know this? I would be curious.

  25. Jean Smith on March 9th, 2012 10:30 am

    I agree with Cheryl Lawson (Mar 8th) AND with Anonymous (Mar 5th) 100%!!!!

    There is always 2 sides of people, Donny did say in one of his chats that they do have secerts..and THAT IS SOOOO TRUE!!

    I did watch 2 of Donny’s videos of the same thing? and he did change his story.

    Also I DO LOVE the comment from M.A.D For God..VERY well put!! Look at this on the brighter side. You all had arrived on the boat, went to your distinations..and MOST OF ALL?? Think? what would that be? You had ALL arrived home safe to your families and friends. Something to REALLY think about!! I must add, VERY WELL PUT “M.A.D For God”.

    DOUG? Thankyou for posting BOTH comments!!!!

  26. Mark on March 13th, 2012 10:28 am

    Doug –

    Thanks for the informative account of the D&M cruise. As a Marie fan, I was excited to learn about the trip when it was announced last year. I made my reservations shortly thereafter, but had to cancel; I didn’t get to go. After reading your blog, I dont feel so bad. I’m relieved I missed the inconveniences you described. I’m glad you and your girlfriend enjoyed yourselves at Jaws Beach, etc.

    I agree with all comments that D&M are pros who do their best to accommodate fans. I know this from the shows I’ve attended. It’s unfortunate some overbearing fans take advantage of D&M’s accessibility by hogging their attention, interrupting them at events, and being inconsiderate of other fans. It’s rude and annoying. Maybe a few of those types will read these comments and learn how to be considerate.

    Your comments were well-done, Doug. I hope the event coordinators consider them for future cruises. Happy belated!

    Mark

  27. WENDY LO. on March 14th, 2012 10:26 am

    ALL THAT HAS BEEN SAID HERE IS TRUE. DONNY AND MARIE WERE GREAT AS ALWAYS. LOVE SEEING THEM THERE WITH THEIR FAMILIES. MY 1ST AND LAST CRUISE WITH MSC! RUDE,RUDE, RUDE. TRYING TO GET A REFUND ON TIPS. PHONE # HAS BEEN CHANGED. A LITTLE UPSET OVER THE DOLL EVENT. WE WERE TOLD WE WOULD BE SCUPTING DOLLS. NOT TRUE. NOT A HUGE LOSS FOR MY 1ST EVER CRUISE. WE LIVE AND LEARN. I TOO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT A QUICK PHOTO WITH THE TWO OF THEM IS ALL I AND MOST FANS WANTED . NOT THE OTHER JUNK. TOO BAD . STILL A FAN BUT WILL NOT CRUISE WITH THEM AGAIN. PAID WAY TOO MUCH FOR THIS SHIP. WILL TRY DISNEY OR R.C. NEXT TIME . OVER ALL , I STILL HAD FUN. THANK YOU MARIE FOR SIGNING MY OLD ALBUM, :)

  28. Cruise, Crap, and Finding Time : Funky Visions on March 18th, 2012 11:15 am

    [...] — it was a dream of my girlfriend).  If you’re curious about it you can read it on my personal blog here.  It was relaxing and got me away from my electronic devices for 5 days.  I’d forgotten how [...]

  29. martha marincic on February 3rd, 2013 3:08 pm

    Any idea when the Osmonds will do another cruise. We really enjoyed this one.

  30. Elma on May 9th, 2013 9:33 pm

    Hi,
    Does anyone else think that Debbie Osmond is unpleasant? Or is it just her opinion?

    I would like to hear other fan’s stories on meeting Debbie. If you want, you can send them to my email. I would REALLY love to hear them! I don’t care how long or short. :)

    If anyone has any Debbie Osmond photos that I can see from the cruise or anywhere else, PLEASE send them to my email. It would make me sooooo HAPPY!!! I adore Debbie! She’s my role model.

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