Tuesday the 22nd of July 2014, the 9:30am cruise
The Bogeyman Cruise
Could it be that some tragic incident in AML's past is responsible for the crew's bizarre and unpleasant behaviour?
From the start, the Naturalist (whale-watching guide) warns us that the ship is built like the Titanic, unsinkable. We are perplexed.
Our Naturalist follows up with such gems as :
- This boat is not a daycare!
-You, the parents, you made those kids, you're responsible for them, not us!
-If you fall in the water, we don't come to get you, you are dead! The water is at 5 celsius, there are currents that will pull you under and there are sharks. You are dead!
(Sorry for the grammar, he is from France)
-Children, if you climb on the railings or the benches, I tell you, you will spent the rest of the trip downstairs, you will not see whales, and that's it.
At that point, we are all laughing, right?... Not. Everybody is looking at each other, dumbfounded. The little boy next to us, already fearful when he got on board, is now in tears and as white as a beluga. It seems neither him nor his family found it funny.
With all these horror stories, what they neglected to tell us was that it might be forbidden, imprudent or dangerous to lift a child in our arms or hoist them on our shoulders. We found out anyway, later...
When we found whales, Mylord Naturalist, confortably installed at the front of the ship, made sure it was always pointing towards the whales. Only those at the front could see anything. Naturally, a few parents lifted their child in their arms. Woe befell them : they were taken to task over the loudspeakers, and told they were crazy! The childen were swiftly set down, but the man who dared point out afterwards that he had been standing 2 meters from the railings was threatened by the second mate to be met by the police on return to the port.
On the whole, this stressed-out, unpleasant naturalist with no tolerance for tourists or children should take a vacation, or let someone who likes working with people take his place.
And we're not even getting into the complete lack of any further communication during the 90 minute return trip, the paucity of information on the magestic creatures we went out to observe, on the landscape or the spectacular lighthouse on the Prince reef, the rude manner in which the naturalist manhandled a young woman who was standing in his way, the high pitched, annoying background noise emitting from the loudspeakers most of the time and finally, the complete lack of signs posting the real safety instructions...
If there were any competition in Rivière-du-Loup for whale-watching cruises, Croisières AML's dismissive attitude towards its clients would surely sink it...It seems AML is confident that its foreign clientele is sufficiently captive to fill its ships and its coffers without needing to charm them or to please the Quebec or Canadian public. They don't care about the clients.
Good luck to them, next year, we'll go to Tadoussac or somewhere else.
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