My Other Blog

What's a Wreck?

A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

Now, don't you have a photo you want to send me? ;)

- Jen

Bum Voyage

I was actually trying to keep this on the DL (yo), but John and I planned to slip away for a Caribbean cruise this week.

Which, naturally, made us happy as a couple of pigs with pacifiers.

(What? I work with the cakes I'm given, k?)

We also booked a cabin for my parents, since we don't get to see them much.

These are not my parents.

Nice rat wedding cake, though.

Anyway, so, we flew my folks down,

Bargain airfare ftw!

...and then John and I stayed up all night finishing my sparkly dress for Formal Night:

I'm, uh, really short.

Bright and early Sunday morning, we drove the four and a half hours down to the cruise port:

We like a sweet ride.

When we arrived, though, DISASTER:

Um. I meant that in a more metaphorical sense.

See, I didn't realize my passport had expired a few months earlier, and that meant I wasn't allowed on the ship. Because how could they tell if I was a U.S. citizen? I mean, once the passport expires, I could have been born *anywhere*, right? (/sarcasm)

Ok, so this pig (I think it's a pig) looks more frightened than sarcastic. But do you know how hard it is to find a sarcastic looking cake?

I mean besides this one.

Anyway, getting back to my tragic tale of metaphorical disaster:

So, my passport was a no-go. However, they *would* accept a photocopied birth certificate. Which is illegal to use for identification purposes. And I, unfortunately, didn't have one. But hey, if the red tape says photocopied birth certificates are admissible, but slightly out-of-date passports are not, who am I to question?

Besides, there was some not-so-crappy news: since they were refusing us passage, the cruise line promised us a credit for another cruise, which we could take later. So at least there was that. turns out, there's not that.

This is me, watching my family sail away.

Only, you know, with less apples and more snot. [head tilt] And clothing. Definitely more clothing.

Still, I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about all this. Sure, we're out a lot of money, and won't get to see my family again for some time, and have been treated like lying scammers for asking for the voucher we were promised, but anger doesn't solve anything. [nodding seriously]

In fact, Celebrity Cruises, I got you a virtual cookie cake - just to show there are no hard feelings.

See? It's a visual representation of how you treated us! Isn't that sweet?

Aimee F., Erin B., Lindsey N., Alexandra W., Nicole R., Kester, Meredith F., Sarah C., David S., & Samantha S, ok, maybe there are some hard feelings. Teensy tiny ones. Sorry; I'm just a little stressed. I guess I need a vacation.



Update from John: Just the facts, Ma'am.

-The expired passport? Yes, totally our fault. We know. Bummer.

-The cruise line would accept a faxed birth certificate. Totally wrong. Also, passports used to be valid for up to a year after expiration for cruise purposes. I've been on three cruises with an expired passport. The whole ID thing is wonky.

-Two Celebrity employees at the port including a supervisor assured us we would get a voucher for another cruise - but now they won't honor that promise. That's the main issue here.

« Internal Wisdom | Main | So Hard to Say Goodbye »

Reader Comments (142)

I just sent them an email with a link and a message about how I won't be booking a trip with them any time soon.

Keep us updated and more snarky emails can be sent!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You may have done yourself a favor by not going on Celebrity Cruises...I live in Miami and have cruised all the major lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL) but have avoided Celebrity like the plague - they have a TERRIBLE reputation!!! Poor customer service, dirty boats, nasty food...every one of the people I have spoken with who has taken a cruise with them has had a mediocre experience at best, and a disastrous one at worst.

Still, I'm sorry you didn't get to Royal next time and you can park at my place (it's a $15 cab ride to the Port of Miami...sure beats the $20/day they charge you to park at the port)!!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnastasia

I'm sorry. They make it so easy for illegals to scam the system, those who wouldn't hestate to have someone fax an altered certificate.
But it is so hartd for honest ppl to deal with the red tape. The state dept clearly states on website that an expired passport is valid for travel. The only reason they expire is to get a current photo.
I had trouble with the state of Georgia not letting me have a drivers license because mine was expired.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Jen knows it was her fault, and she knows it's not a voucher-worthy screw-up, but imagine how sad you'd be if you found out that silver lining was a mirage and really there's just cloud. Those employees should never have uttered the word 'voucher' if they weren't authorized to offer one, but they did, and got Jen's hopes up, just to dash them again. It doesn't matter whose fault it was at this point--it was a bum deal all around, so let's just let Jen vent if she needs to, offer her virtual (((hugs))) and our sympathy, but because this sort of thing could happen to any of us, and we would feel just as crappy about it.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTexpenguin

That sucks! What a bummer! :0( Hope your week has a really happy surprise to make up for this!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

reading more comments, I am amazed at all the sourpusses who can't fathom that people make mistakes like missing or missreading an expiration date. I guess perfect people don't get those of us who sometimes overlook things.
Of course Jen knew she needed a passport. That is why she brought it! She didn't realize it had expired. Ok. They aren't going to let here go. But they would let her go if she had Guido fax her some crappy copy of someones birth certificate with her name on it.
And of course no on can use any logic and deduce that since her parents are born in the US, she is automatically a citizen no matter where she is born. And they can't take her parent word for the fact that they are her parents, even though their word is what caused the birth certificate to be certificated in the first place!!!!
She is upset about the unfairness and stupidity of the rules. The rules easily skirted by people who want to break the rules.
And the 2nd heart break when the consolation certificate didn't materialize. And yes, there are plenty of off peak times that an incremental passenger would cost very little if the ship wasn't going to be full, and there would be additional fees anyay. Much better for them than the cost of pissing off someone with such a loud voice. Jesus, lighten up people. Jen is having a hard time.
I certainly don't need snotty finger pointers telling me how bad I screwed up after I trigger a big disappointment like this myself.
A little sympathy people!!
And if you are going to slam a blog author, have the guts to post your name, Anonymous!!!!
They shouldn't allow "mean spirited" comments through especially if posted by cowards who won't use their name.


September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

same story - different year... still haven't taken a cruise... at least I have Cake Wrecks to make me smile.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterT

I find it unfortunate that the ad on my Google Reader feed under this was for a cruise line...

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterquickbite

Hey! Do you want all of us to email them and threaten to NOT travel on their cruise line?!!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel H.

Conde Nast Traveler has a great section called "Ombudsman" that could help, I'd write to them.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Oh, and I really love that all the long diatribes about what a boobyhead you are for making a *mistake* are posted anonymously. If you're going to criticize, people, how about putting a name to yourselves?

I think we know who the real boobyheads are here.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

A pig with a pacifier... a dog on a pile of poop... doesn't that just scream "EAT ME"? LOL

check out my blog:

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter~Nikki~

Oh dear. Seems like when I've made cruise reservations before, I've had to input my passport information, including expiration date. At least that would send alarm bells off that something's wrong before you actually show up for the trip. Having said that--I've been on two cruises and they aren't my cup of tea. But watching my family leave without me, even to the city dump, would suck. I hope you get your voucher--doesn't seem like it would be that big of a deal for them to give you one.
It kills me that anyone wouldn't know when their passport expires, but I guess if you've got a lot going on, anything could happen.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Blast! :(

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow, I wish I could of smiled more while I read this post, but hearing about your horrible day made me feel soooo bad for you guys! I hardly get to see my family and I can't immagine how I would of taken the news that suddenly my planned vacation wasn't going to happen. Sympathy vibes!!!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I totally feel for you. My mother was all set to come and visit me in Chicago. She lives in Canada. I got transferred in work. The cancelation insurance won't honor her either.

Well I won't be using celebrity cruises thanx for the info.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My husband and I went on a cruise over the summer with Royal. I went over the list of documents a hundred times - a valid passport OR a valid government ID and a birth certificate for U.S. citizens starting and ending in the U.S. We had our licenses and original birth certificates. The guy checking the docs said to me, "Oh - you got married." Yeah, 20 years ago! Turns out if the license doesn't match the birth certificate, I need a marriage license. That was, I must point out, NOT on the list of documents needed. Some couples in the waiting room were having family members go to their house, get the license, and fax it. My husband, luckily, had once scanned all our birth certs and marriage license and emailed it to himself, so he borrowed the clerk's smartphone and emailed it to him. If we hadn't been able to get a copy of our license, I wasn't going on that trip.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarylynne

So, you weren't treated like a celebrity by Celebrity? Boy, are they stupid! I like the personalized cookie for them-although if it were me, I'd get them the real thing!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShari

Bwahahaha where do you find these cakes

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

As soon as the cruise line (should have said) "Bring your passports!" you should've checked them. Also, it's not them being "not nice" to let you on with an expired passport, IT'S THE LAW.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

Put it on Reddit. They'll figure something out!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBec

Don't worry people! I'm sure Jen will religiously check her passport exp date every time she leaves the house from now on. Going to get groceries...check passport. Going to dentist...check passport. Mani/pedi...passport. She has learned her lesson, so we can all stop telling her this was all her fault and should be stoned, right??


September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Contact the Better Business Bureau immediately!! Most companies that won't deal with you, will make amends once you get the BBB involved. And if you paid by credit card, call them AND send a written notice that you did not receive what you paid for. Good luck!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca and Aaron

Ouch, that really burns. Lots and lots. :( :( :(

At least you got to go to Dragon*Con. DRAGON*CON!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarrietastic

Try contacting Christopher Elliott, He's a consumer advocate and has a Travel Troubleshooter column on where he helps people with similar travel problems.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErica

That's awful. I hope they get shamed into giving you vouchers for TWO cruises.

On another note, though, I think I'm starting to notice a theme this week. I hope it's not just coincidence, and that it's leading up to a Sunday Sweets based on -- well, I won't give it away, in case other readers haven't caught on to the date; but it certainly makes for an amusing revenge fantasy (against the cruise line, I mean).

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGoueznou

Our cruise story is different- here is the short version. Had tickets to cruise Oct, 2009. Last minute we could not go(could not leave a sick child). Knew the tickets were non-refundable. Did not even try. Cruise called -sorry you missed the ship, can you fly to Mexico and board there? Ha, no. Three months later they sent a refund- we did not even ask for!!! So there are some nice guys out there! We cruised in June, 2010 and took the child!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSwampgirl

In this economy I can't believe a company would act like that. For the people who were snarky enough to comment that the cruise ship didn't have time to resell the cabin, puh-leeze. That ship was not full. With the amount of money they will make from you for extras (drinks, shore excursions, meal upgrades, gifts, etc.), offering a voucher makes perfect sense. I hope Celebrity Cruises will reconsider.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaryl

I see some really bad animals-as-cake and
2 cakes with a plane crash. Who thinks up this stuff? Makes me shudder to think about it.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIlze

That sucks beyond words. Ok, where's the petition?

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMollyMcB

Totally stupid of the cruise staff. EXPIRED PASSPORTS ARE GOOD ENOUGH AS THE WHOLE DOCUMENTATION TO GET NEW ONES. Without any other certification. Even ones that expired when one was 21 or sol. And one was 40-ish. I Jumped through all the hoops to make sure I had all the pieces parts and got told that the old one was the best piece of info and the other stuff was a waste of time.

Discovered that a long while ago. So the cruise ship company is being stupid.

I feel badly for you but the cruise co deserves a whacking.

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdragonet2

I hope you receive the voucher you were promised by the three employees of the cruise lines. Did you get their names for a letter?

Yes, you made a mistake - it happens, but they gave you some kind of hope and made a promise in the company's name. The company needs to make good on it and not just offer some small discount on a future cruise. I know if I was lied to by the employees of a corporation, I would never utilizing that company's services ever again.

I have been looking at taking my daughter on a cruise before she goes off to college next summer. This has pretty much taken Celebrity right off my list of cruise lines to look into.

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Hey Jen!! Did you know that Mensa International, the club for the smartest people in the world (you have to test in the top 2% of the population to be considered) put out the 50 top websites their members like, and Cake Wrecks was on it? Wow, you're both fun AND educational!

WV: unpredi
Those cakes are unpredi.

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJuno

Icebergs and airplanes-- Now THAT'S an epic story of mass transport romance tinged w/ hubris,yo!

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Ouch, that sucks. :( I reiterate writing a letter to the cruise line, but I would make sure to send it to the President, CEO, Board Chairman, and anyone else of import (you can usually find all of this info on the company's website under investor relations). You'll get better and faster responses this way.

You could have hung out at my place. I'm about 10 minutes from the port, on the Beach. It's no cruise, but I could have dug up some little paper umbrellas for your juice boxes.

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDana

I just had to tell you that when I read this post in my Google reader, the ad at the bottom was for Royal Carribbean cruises.

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDysfunctional Mom

I'm sorry you missed your vacation and all, but really? If you had even glanced at your travel document requirements, valid passport is stamped everywhere.
This really isn't the cruise line's fault. I honestly think it's ridiculous that you think you should be given vouchers for a different cruise.

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterReagan

sorry about the trip....

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertiny purple elephant

If it makes you feel better, I took a Celebrity Cruise over Christmas in 2008 with my family and wasn't a big fan. I did Carnival once, and as long as you choose a bigger boat (some of the Carnival ones are sort of small and cramped, but the big ones are great) I think Carnival is much better. Celebrity forces you to pay for everything that "isn't included in the price of the trip" which was even down to coffee, use of the gym, some "restaurants," use of the mini golf, etc. I felt like they were trying to pull cash out of my wallet at every turn; on Carnival, most everything was free (except spa treatments and excursions) so my family members could choose vastly different activities without having to spend drastically more money than the cost of cruise.

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow what jerks they are. That last cake would be perfect for them.. with real poo hidden in it. Lol mean but there it is. How hard is it to get a voucher?? They must be lazy very lazy. May all their cakes be horribly misspelled and wrecked in all sorts of scary ways..

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

To Reagan and everyone else,

We did not ask for another cruise!!! They told us we would get one. When we called to take them up on that offer, they changed their story and refused. Obviously, we made a mistake. Nobody is arguing that point. The point is we didn't get what we were promised after the fact. End of story.

Thanks everyone for commenting on this and for speaking your mind. I think I'm quite through moderating comments and I believe everything has been said that can be said. Tomorrow is a new day and I'm sure we'll put this behind us.

Have a great night.


September 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjohn (the hubby of Jen)

In case no one has pointed this out to all the people saying "OMG You Need a Passport!!"

For the record, a year later you still don't need a passport to take a cruise in most of the Caribbean and Bahamas. Because you can get back into the U.S. from a ship that traveled to those places without one.

October 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

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