Europa actually made it to Réunion yesterday and is now in Port Louis, Mauritius as she's was scheduled to be.
Lucky passengers. They visited all of the scheduled ports of call (except Mayotte, which is a bit of a grey area) and stuck pretty much to schedule, unlike the two previous cruises and quite possibly all those before it. After all, we were told whilst still on board that only on one previous cruise had the Europa called at Madagascar.
So, her departing passengers have nothing to complain about concerning the itinerary. As they return home over the next 24 hours perhaps we might hear about other customer care issues, but not about the one that so incensed the paying customers on the two earlier cruises.
I find myself wondering whether her customers were as badly treated this morning as we were on the morning of departure, i.e. by being driven from their cabins at 4am (staff rapping on cabin doors to wake passengers) and told to get off the ship no later than 6.30am as we were? As it happens, most of our fellow passengers understandably took exception to this unusual treatment and took their time.
Leaving cabins by 8am is the general rule on previous cruises, as I'm sure most of us would confirm, with departures from 9-ish onwards. Of course, cabins have to be prepared for arriving passengers on the next cruise, but convention here seems to be to either ask them not to arrive before 2pm or to explain that cabins will not be available before that time. That seems entirely reasonable to me.
When you're a guest staying with friends it's inevitable that a crucial element of the way that you remember your stay will be your departure. Did they seem glad to have met you? Had they been courteous hosts, taking an interest in you while you stayed with them, making it clear that they were glad you'd taken time to come to see them? And did they come to the door, and even outside to the car, to see you off with waves and hopes that you'd come again soon?
That sort of hospitality counts and sets a tone for the future. Imagine if instead they said that they were leaving for work at 7am and, frankly, wanted you gone before then so that they could strip your bed and ensure that you didn't raid their fridge or make the house untidy? You'd remember that forever and you'd probably take them off your Christmas card list.
Just because we suffered poor treatment doesn't mean that we should wish it on others, so let's hope that the passengers who are presently on their way home feel that they were treated like old friends and have fond memories of their cruise.